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Old 05-01-2013, 02:33 PM   #1
JayhawkFans
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HELP .. Can't Budget This Cruise!!

DH has asked me to try and stay at/or below $3,000 for our vacation in September. We are a family of 3. Two adults and 11 year old daughter. The only cruise dates that will work for us are 3 night Dream on 9/26.

My plan was to fly in on Monday 9/23 and out on Monday 9/30. We really want to have 'Ohana, MNSSHP, and day at Aquatica. This will be our 4th year in a row for WDW so DH is getting tired of it so I'll take whatever he is agreeable to doing.

When I add up the airfare, 3 nights lodging prior (at Wyndham Bonnet Creek for $89 per night), dinner at 'Ohana, MNSSHP, cruise, gratuities, rental car, gas, parking at port, one night post cruise, I'm at about $3,400 and then we still have to tack on other meals, misc stuff .. HELP!!!

Anybody care to jump in and help me figure out where to cut costs. We would prefer to fly out of Branson, MO but are willing to drive to KC or St Louis but rates there seem to be higher than Branson.

I thought about doing one way car rental and then re-renting at the port after the cruise but figured cost wise it would be cheaper to keep car for duration of stay and park at one of the port parking areas for $5.99 per day.

Last edited by JayhawkFans; 05-01-2013 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:44 PM   #2
TwinPrincessMermaids
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayhawkFans
DH has asked me to try and stay at/or below $3,000 for our vacation in September. We are a family of 3. Two adults and 11 year old daughter. The only cruise dates that will work for us are 3 night Dream on 9/26.

My plan was to fly in on Monday 9/23 and out on Monday 9/30. We really want to have 'Ohana, MNSSHP, and day at Aquatica. This will be our 4th year in a row for WDW so DH is getting tired of it so I'll take whatever he is agreeable to doing.

When I add up the airfare, 3 nights lodging prior (at WBC for $89 per night), dinner at 'Ohana, MNSSHP, cruise, gratuities, rental car, gas, parking at port, one night post cruise, I'm at about $3,400 and then we still have to tack on other meals, misc stuff .. HELP!!!

Anybody care to jump in and help me figure out where to cut costs. We would prefer to fly out of Branson, MO but are willing to drive to KC or St Louis but rates there seem to be higher than Branson.

I thought about doing one way car rental and then re-renting at the port after the cruise but figured cost wise it would be cheaper to keep car for duration of stay and park at one of the port parking areas for $5.99 per day.
I would go with parkportcanaveral.com for reputable cheap parking. We are in Western KY and have actually driven to PC and back twice since Feb! Not saying it was easy but it wasn't bad.. Still how far is Nashville ? That seems to be a decent price airport. Not sure how feasible it is for u.

Where are u pricing out staying in WDW? Have u tried to get a hotwire ? That's what we did, or Orbitz. (As opposed to Disney resorts. U will be on a cruise so no need to stay on site for a few nights if u are looking to save.)

My other suggestion would be that you are very close to budget and since it is your only big family vacation this yr, it might be close enuf to pitch it to him? I know I would...

U can get a Disney card and get six months same as cash. At that point, u want to enjoy your trip n not freak out at every dime so the card may help?
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:46 PM   #3
ChloroFiend
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Maybe scrap WDW and do something like a cruise out of Galveston? The Wonder will be sailing out of there at that time of year. Gives your husband a WDW reprieve as well, while still getting a week of vacation. Granted, if MNSSHP is on the mandatory list, that won't do much good...
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:52 PM   #4
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I would also look at not booking your WDW stay as a package. If you do a resort only reservation, you could try to get a room only discount through Disney or somewhere like AAA. At that time of year, the AAA discounts are around 20%. (that's the discount I got for our Fort Wilderness stay September 21-28).
Another option is to possibly take the cost of the tickets out of the equation. Instead of paying up-front, maybe stash away cash every week or so and pay for those with the cash you've put away! I do this to "save" for spending money. When I go to the grocery store...Walmart....Walgreens, etc....I get $10-$30 cash back and let it accumulate.
Good luck!
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:52 PM   #5
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Leave DH at home. Just kidding

Good Luck
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChloroFiend View Post
Maybe scrap WDW and do something like a cruise out of Galveston? The Wonder will be sailing out of there at that time of year. Gives your husband a WDW reprieve as well, while still getting a week of vacation. Granted, if MNSSHP is on the mandatory list, that won't do much good...
I like this idea! Two adults, one child on a 7-night Bahamian out of Galveston starts at just shy of $2300. Unless WDW is a must, this seems like it might be a better option.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:55 PM   #7
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Have you looked at flights out of Little Rock? They are sometimes considerably cheaper than other airports in that area.

I'd personally eliminate O'Hana and Aquatica if that helps meet the required budget.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:56 PM   #8
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We also were over budget with a Port Canaveral departure and opted for Galveston. After WDW and DL the last 8 years, my kids might miss the parks but we're hoping the cruise will be enough fun! Johnson Space Center is nearby and we plan on spending the last day there with a late flight home.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:57 PM   #9
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More time on the ship would be my choice (cruise from Galveston). With a three night cruise you blink and it is over. At least with a longer cruise you get a chance to actually relax and enjoy all the ship has to offer. Maybe skip WDW this year and save that for another time. Just do the cruise now. Personally, I would chose a longer cruise on one of the classic ships and a shorter cruise on one of the new ships. You will even have enough left over to put down a deposit on another cruise onboard (for a 10% discount).

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Old 05-01-2013, 03:00 PM   #10
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But airfare to Houston is always $$$$, at least for us.
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayhawkFans View Post
I thought about doing one way car rental and then re-renting at the port after the cruise but figured cost wise it would be cheaper to keep car for duration of stay and park at one of the port parking areas for $5.99 per day.
I can't help with the rest of it, but with rental cars it's best to KNOW, so make sure you're looking at real prices. Sometimes it's best to do one-ways, and sometimes it's best to keep them the whole time.
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:10 PM   #12
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One of the bigger thins for us that made our cruises so much cheaper was to drive.... It's a 16 hour drive for us we live close to at Louis Missouri we flew the first time... Paid almost as much to fly as whole vacation... Second cruise we drive it only cost around 300 for us to drive.... That's there and back...... That's alot better deal I don't like bein in the car but hey that's cheap compared to flying... If u have any questions feel free to ask me
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:31 PM   #13
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I don't think you can stay under $3,000 and hit WDW. We are taking a 4-night out of Port Canaveral, and are paying $2,100 for a balcony cabin. Close to $800 for airfare (though we're using SW points from Kansas City to MCO). We figure it would run us close to another $1,500 to throw in time at WDW, staying on property.
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kendal View Post
One of the bigger thins for us that made our cruises so much cheaper was to drive.... It's a 16 hour drive for us we live close to at Louis Missouri we flew the first time... Paid almost as much to fly as whole vacation... Second cruise we drive it only cost around 300 for us to drive.... That's there and back...... That's alot better deal I don't like bein in the car but hey that's cheap compared to flying... If u have any questions feel free to ask me
I think Kendal's post maybe your best option, for us flights for 4 are always a killer. We just drive the 11 hours but it does help the budget. I also like the idea of going out of Galveston, if you can find a cruise that fits your schedule. Good luck.
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:38 PM   #15
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I would check out the Galveston option. If you are close to Branson, it wouldn't be that much of a drive. Some of them even included a day at the parks in the cost of the cruise, although I'm not sure if those are still an option during your dates or not.
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