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Old 01-10-2013, 12:42 PM   #1
2tinkerbells
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Arrival time in Orlando

Would it be ok to arrive at Orlando International Airport at 10:30am for a cruise departure same day? It is either this option or arriving night before at 11:55pm with two kids and driving to hotel near port. Any suggestions or thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:47 PM   #2
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I would recommend arriving the night before, especially if traveling in the winter. You never know when flight delays or cancellation might occur and an extra day or two can be a buffer if any snags occur with the travel plans.

That said, 10:30am is a good time to land if arriving on departure day.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:13 PM   #3
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Unfortunately arriving the day before isn't always possible. We have arrived day of previously but I was nervous until we got to the port. Not a great start to a vacation. That however was in August. During Winter I would be a wreck watching weather reports for the weeks leading up to the flight.

For our upcoming trip in March we arrive at MCO at 10:45 pm on the Friday night. Not ideal with two young kids (4 and 8). Spent the extra money and booked into the Hyatt so we can get everyone to bed as quickly as possible and minimize the running around involved. Plan is to let the girls sleep as late as possible, grab b-fast and then hop on the Mickey bus. At least I know that if there are any weather related issues there is more time to work with.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:36 PM   #4
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I'd suggest arriving the night before. Flight delays and cancelations happen. The more time you have for alternate plans the better. If you miss departure of the ship, you may miss a few days of your cruise, or the whole thing. Only you know how you'd feel if that happened. But I've seen people distraught because of this. Especially if this is a "once in a lifetime" trip, the extra day is worth not being stressed out.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:14 PM   #5
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Definitely come in the night before if at all possible. Like others have said, you never know when there will be a cancellation or delay, so the earlier you come in the more chances you have to make it in time if those happen.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:28 PM   #6
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You should be fine. I was booked on a flight to arrive at 10:45am the same day as our Fantasy cruise but we actually for the first time in our lives missed the flight and ended up on the next flight which arrived Orlando at 12:05pm and it still worked out fine. We weren't even feeling rushed once we were in Orlando as I had already called DCL and notified them that we had missed our original flight and they said we would be fine on the next flight.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:36 PM   #7
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Add me to the folks suggesting arriving the day before. Even if it is late at night - it's much less stressful than worrying about flight delays and missing the ship.

You should be able to find a good deal on hotels near the airport. Just about all of them offer a free shuttle service to/from the airport and some include breakfast. That way you can get a good night's sleep and still be back to the airport in time to catch the DCL busses to the port.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epgirl View Post
You should be fine. I was booked on a flight to arrive at 10:45am the same day as our Fantasy cruise but we actually for the first time in our lives missed the flight and ended up on the next flight which arrived Orlando at 12:05pm and it still worked out fine. We weren't even feeling rushed once we were in Orlando as I had already called DCL and notified them that we had missed our original flight and they said we would be fine on the next flight.
I wouldn't count on that every time. Not all airports have another option less than 90 minutes later & definitely not all flights would have room for additional passengers. I stand by flying in at the earliest day/time possible. I recommend looking at something 24 hours early in the summer months & 48 hours during winter if flying from a destination that has frequent issues.

(I remember going to NYC to a bowl game 2 years ago. Thankfully, we had flights 4 days before the game. A blizzard hit & flights were a mess. We ended up getting in just the day before the game.)
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epgirl View Post
You should be fine. I was booked on a flight to arrive at 10:45am the same day as our Fantasy cruise but we actually for the first time in our lives missed the flight and ended up on the next flight which arrived Orlando at 12:05pm and it still worked out fine. We weren't even feeling rushed once we were in Orlando as I had already called DCL and notified them that we had missed our original flight and they said we would be fine on the next flight.
OP's airport may not have the option of another flight shortly following the planned one. Nor any guarantee space available for the whole family. Calling DCL has no impact as they won't hold the ship, though I do believe if you pay the exhorbitant airfare prices DCL offers they will guarantee to get you to the ship at the next port in the event of flight delay or cancellation. But that's only if you book your airfare through DCL as well.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:56 PM   #10
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I also highly recommend coming in the night before. I also agree that staying at the Hyatt at the airport would be so much better for you with young children so you can get off the plane, check-in and put them to bed. That is what we did on our cruise but we also just had a quick walk down to ME to take to the port and had boarding #2. So easy..
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:58 PM   #11
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I would suggest the night before and stay by the airport vs driving to the port that late at night.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:13 PM   #12
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We have flown in the day of three times and not had any problems though we haven't ever flown in the winter. One was a direct flight, the other two times included switching planes either in Atlanta or Memphis.

An arrival of 10:30 is excellent and will give you plenty of time. Our most recent trip which included a weather delay in Louisville still got us to the airport around noon and we were onboard by 1:30.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:27 PM   #13
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Another vote here for the day before....we actually plan our cruise at the end our vacation so that if we have fligt issues they are days before the cruise.
Or book the air through Disney if you must arrive the day of.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:33 PM   #14
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Disney says to arrive before noon. The last bus to the port is at 1:30 or 2:00 normally. HOWEVER, any time you come in the day of the cruise, you risk air issues. Is it a direct flight? That's better. Flying in the night before is best. The Hyatt MCO is costly but totally convenient. They Hyatt Place NW has a shuttle to/from MCO that operates 24/7. Other hotels have shuttles, but some have limited hours.

Hyatt Place NW also has a package that includes transportation to the port in the morning if desired!

If you come in the night before, you sleep a bit late, enjoy a decent breakfast, and have a short drive to the port area. If something happens to mess up your flight (s), you have some options! If we come in the day of a cruise, there are no direct flights. We are up before dawn and arrive at MCO tired after switching planes. That's BEST case...worst is delayed flights either at home or in Atlanta, etc. It is well worth the cost of a hotel to come in the night before.

I don't like to drive at night, so we stay in the MCO area when we arrive late.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcashner View Post
Disney says to arrive before noon. The last bus to the port is at 1:30 or 2:00 normally.

I was curious, how often does Disney run buses from MCO to the port on departure day? Our flight arrives at 9:50 but we are waiting for MIL's flight to arrive at 11:45. Curious how long we would have to wait around at the airport for a bus. Thanks for any info.

To the OP, we leave Sunday for the Dream and are flying in the morning of. I am a nervous wreck, LOL. You probably want to come in the night before!
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