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Old 10-30-2012, 07:19 AM   #16
Belle2007
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We've done both! In August we fly in the day of for a three day cruise. Husband was not too thrilled when he released how close we were to boarding the ship and that in his words, 'we could have missed the cruise!'....

So I'd recommend the day before. We stayed at the Disney movies resort and enjoyed MK and then were picked up at noon to be driven to the cruise. It was approx $$ with the room cost and tickets cost, but well worth it.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:14 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by CrawfordMomof2 View Post
Thanks for the input! Has anyone traveled in the day off with kids? Mine are 7 and 3. My husband wants to fly in the day of, but i'm worried the kids will be exhausted by lunch time.
Welcome to the boards! You're already ahead of the game just by coming here to benefit from everyone else's experience.

To answer your question, we've flown in the day of, as do many DCL passengers. I do have to agree with the consensus opinion here though that you do take on some extra risk by doing so. If something happens and you can't get to port by about 4:30pm, you will probably miss the boat. That being said, DCL does track its passengers travel situation to some degree IF you arranged transportation through DCL...ie flights, airport transfer, etc. That's not to say that they will definitely hold the boat for you if your DCL arranged flights are delayed, but they will at least know about the situation and might delay port departure for a little while if they think you have a chance of making it to port in a reasonable amount of time. You will not have any control over how those decisions are made, or what constitutes a lttle while or a reasonable amount of time. For many people, however, all this 'maybe this then they might that' is not very comforting.

So you can mitigate some of the risk you take:
1. arranging flights and airport transfers through DCL - flights more expensive this way and you have no control over booking, flight times, etc. Plus as noted this may or may not actually help.
2. purchase travel insurance - if you miss the boat b/o a covered transportation delay you should be able to be refunded the cost of the cruise. Obviously doesn't get you on the ship.
3. Fly in at least the night before - make your own flight arrangements, keep control of the cost and timing, stay overnight where you choose, get yourself to port or pay DCL for transfer from MCO or WDW resort.

Time of year, where you're flying out of and your tolerance for risk will all affect how you weigh each of these. For my family, we have decided that we want to be on the ship no matter what, so we fly in the night before now and stay at Hyatt MCO, and take private town car transportation to port. Added benefit of that is a quick shopping stop on the way to port.

Oh, and our kids (7,9) were too excited to be tired, even flying the day of, so I don't think you really need to be worried about that.

Good luck with your decision and have a great cruise!
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:07 PM   #18
CrawfordMomof2
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Talking Thanks!

Thanks to everyone for your advice! This will be our first family vacation, and since we have been planning for such a long time I want to make sure everything is as good as it can be! You guys are AWESOME!

Thanks for spending the time to reply.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:16 PM   #19
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My logic--if I come in the day of, I'm up before dawn. By the time I get to through Atlanta, into MCO and finally to the port, I'm exhausted.. Not a good way to start a vacation.

If I fly in the night before, even if after work/school, I have a decent sleep in a hotel (which I can get thru Priceline for under $50 including breakfast), have a decent breakfast and a reasonable trip to the terminal. If my flight was delayed or luggage lost, I have a lot more options than if I'd planned to fly in the day of the cruise. It isn't worth the stress to save the cost of an overnight hotel room.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:22 PM   #20
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My logic--if I come in the day of, I'm up before dawn. By the time I get to through Atlanta, into MCO and finally to the port, I'm exhausted.. Not a good way to start a vacation.

If I fly in the night before, even if after work/school, I have a decent sleep in a hotel (which I can get thru Priceline for under $50 including breakfast), have a decent breakfast and a reasonable trip to the terminal. If my flight was delayed or luggage lost, I have a lot more options than if I'd planned to fly in the day of the cruise. It isn't worth the stress to save the cost of an overnight hotel room.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:13 PM   #21
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Day before. Less stressful.

I like the pre hotel stay. It's so exciting. We've stayed at the MCO Hyatt everytime we sailed from Port Canav.
From Miami, we stayed at the Intercontinnental.

Welcome and have a WONDERful cruise!!!
We just booked the MCO Hyatt for the day before our 11/24/12 Fantasy cruise. Did you use the luggage service? I am just worried about getting on board only to find out that our luggage is still in the hotel.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:19 PM   #22
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I flew in once the day of and was having anxiety the whole way till we got to the boat. I said never again mostly cause there was a slight flight issue in the morning. Had it been the night before there is still time to work it out.

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Old 10-30-2012, 10:18 PM   #23
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We just booked the MCO Hyatt for the day before our 11/24/12 Fantasy cruise. Did you use the luggage service? I am just worried about getting on board only to find out that our luggage is still in the hotel.
There is sort of a "double check" system for luggage when you stay at the Hyatt. First, when you check in, tell them you are on DCL with transfers (if they don't ask). They will write your name and room number on the DCL list AND give you an info sheet + a brief form that you complete (Name, Hyatt room number, DCL cabin number, number of bags). Take that form with you to the Welcome Center in the morning. Step 1 (Hyatt list) is to make sure the Hyatt gets your bags and takes them to DCL, step 2 assures that DCL checks to be sure they GOT the bags.

This system was instituted about a year ago after a room was missed on the Hyatt list.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:36 PM   #24
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I vote day before too.

Years ago (when we lived up north) we were doing a family NYE cruise out of Miami. I worried about snowstorms at that time of year, but it was FOG that blanketed the entire area that cancelled our Delta flight out. I never considered fog, but should have guessed there would be a problem when we couldn't see much out of the parking shuttle's windows on the way to the terminal.

Thankfully we had booked a day before package with the cruise line, so we all piled back in our cars and started down I 75. Delta helped us by advising the airports all the way down, but if we had to drive all the way to Miami we would. When we hit Lexington it finally started to rain and voila - fog lifted.

We ran in the Lexington airport and checked at the Delta desk, and yep, they were aware of us and could offer us seats on a midnight flight, so we grabbed them.

I think we finally hit the day before Miami hotel around 3AM or later, but hey, at least we were able to make the cruise. Of course, flying home we had to return to Lexington and make the long drive back home, but we had made our cruise.

Compare this to our friends who were also at the first airport (but sailing on a different cruise) and who didn't book the day before or have trip insurance. No way they could make it down in time to sail that day. And they hadn't booked the cruise lines air, so they had to pay for flights to the first port to join their ship in mid cruise - which was in Cozumel, 3 days later. All that money, for essentially a few days on the ship, but they were bound and determined to take their cruise and at least not lose that $$.

I guess once something like this happens to you, you will always go a day early from then on LOL.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:16 PM   #25
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We just booked the MCO Hyatt for the day before our 11/24/12 Fantasy cruise. Did you use the luggage service? I am just worried about getting on board only to find out that our luggage is still in the hotel.
Yes we did. It was so convienent. Not having to lug anything around. Something about staying at the Hyatt always was fun for my kids.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:19 PM   #26
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I vote day before too.


Compare this to our friends who were also at the first airport (but sailing on a different cruise) and who didn't book the day before or have trip insurance. No way they could make it down in time to sail that day. And they hadn't booked the cruise lines air, so they had to pay for flights to the first port to join their ship in mid cruise - which was in Cozumel, 3 days later. All that money, for essentially a few days on the ship, but they were bound and determined to take their cruise and at least not lose that $$.

I guess once something like this happens to you, you will always go a day early from then on LOL.
This sounds like a nightmare (I always have pre cruise nightmares) that I have had. This one and forgetting my bathing suit (bad for me) and my make up (bad for my fellow cruisers).
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:25 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by PizzieDuster

This sounds like a nightmare (I always have pre cruise nightmares) that I have had. This one and forgetting my bathing suit (bad for me) and my make up (bad for my fellow cruisers).
I have precruise nightmares also mine are about getting to the port and forgetting the passports. Now I check double check amd recheck time and again I have the passports.

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