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Old 01-19-2013, 08:15 AM   #1
jrstanki
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Does disney wonder reach port the night before

I am trying to figure out my flight times. In order to get a decent price on a non stop flight i would have to catch a flight around 1045. Can someone tell me if the Disney Wonder 5 night western caribbean cruise reaches port the night before disembarkation or that morning?

Did anyone do the early disembarkation? If so what time were you on the road to the airport?

Thank you. We have an 3 and 4 year old and this is our first EVER disney ANYTHING. we are excited
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:32 AM   #2
clten
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The ships reach port fairly early in the morning. The problem is not usually when the ship arrives, but when the ship clears customs. They do not do the customs check until early morning (usually begins around 6am). Once the customs check (of the ship, not passengers) is complete, the ship will be cleared and passengers allowed to disembark (still have to go through customs in the terminal). If all goes smoothly this is usually around 7am and if you are among the first off will probably have no problem getting to the airport. Now, I have been on cruises that things have not gone smoothly and the doors haven't opened until 8:30-9am and by then, there are a lot of people who have been waiting a long time and anxious to get off and through customs quickly to make early flights. What will your tolerance be if things are running behind schedule in the morning?

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Old 01-19-2013, 08:42 AM   #3
jrstanki
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clten View Post
The ships reach port fairly early in the morning. The problem is not usually when the ship arrives, but when the ship clears customs. They do not do the customs check until early morning (usually begins around 6am). Once the customs check (of the ship, not passengers) is complete, the ship will be cleared and passengers allowed to disembark (still have to go through customs in the terminal). If all goes smoothly this is usually around 7am and if you are among the first off will probably have no problem getting to the airport. Now, I have been on cruises that things have not gone smoothly and the doors haven't opened until 8:30-9am and by then, there are a lot of people who have been waiting a long time and anxious to get off and through customs quickly to make early flights. What will your tolerance be if things are running behind schedule in the morning?

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Thanks. I realize i am taking a huge gamble. i just dread the thought of a connecting flight with two kids.

Also, what do you guys do for shuttles and car seats? Are car seats even an option if you take a shuttle or taxi? I am from an area where taxis /shuttles are not used regularly. am i being silly to think that using a booster/car seat is even an option?
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:41 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by jrstanki View Post
Thanks. I realize i am taking a huge gamble. i just dread the thought of a connecting flight with two kids.

Also, what do you guys do for shuttles and car seats? Are car seats even an option if you take a shuttle or taxi? I am from an area where taxis /shuttles are not used regularly. am i being silly to think that using a booster/car seat is even an option?
If you take DCL transport the use of a car seat is not required or in most cases even possible. If you take a taxi or private transport in a car or van you would be required to use a car seat or booster subject to state law. Some of the taxi and car services will provide a seat. If your child will need one, then booking a car service in advance and reserving one with a car seat would be your best bet, IMO. Otherwise you would have to bring your own and find someplace to stash it on board during the cruise.

A 10:45 a.m. flight is earlier than I would book but is doable barring any delays with the ship clearing customs or any traffic problems between the port and MCO. You'll just need to be prepared to join the throng trying to be the first off the ship and hope for the best.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:36 AM   #5
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I would rather change planes with my kids (and mine are about the age of yours) than have to HURRY to the airport with a substaintial risk you won't make it. If that happens, you will have to find an option that has 4 seats later in the day or the next day and, most likely pay for the change.

I would allow plenty of time, just in case!!
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:50 AM   #6
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IMO, a 10:45 flight just isn't worth the worry.

I'll also throw it out there that getting 2 kids that young up early enough to be first in line (and wrangling my bags) to get off the ship? I'd rather do the connecting flight thing and be able to take my time.

What are you going to do if your cruise is the one that doesn't get cleared until 9:30? Do you have a backup plan that won't strain your already frazzled nerves at that point?
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:51 AM   #7
kcashner
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10:45 is really pushing it. DCL recommends not scheduling a flight before noon, but THEY put people on 11:30 flights.

OK, the problem is not CAN it happen if everything goes smoothly--it can. The problem is the "what if everything doesn't go smoothly?"

Would you consider spending another day at a hotel with the kids and then getting the non-stop flight the next day? Looks like that or the connecting flights are your options.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:00 AM   #8
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I am going to agree with the others and say that having the worry of getting to an early flight looming in my mind throughout my cruise would not be fun IMO. You realize that if you choose early disembarkation you have to bring all your suitcases off the ship yourselves? I would rather have the connecting flights honestly.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:03 AM   #9
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I wouldn't book a flight that early. To me worrying about the flight would be too stressful. I'd rather book the later flight and not have to rush. MCO is a busy airport and I stress about making flights from there anyhow. I'd rather have the connecting flights, pay a little more money, or whatever it takes for peace of mind.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:06 AM   #10
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I just got off the Disney Wonder. We ran into some rainy, high winds type of weather on the way back after Cozumel. The Captain diverted the ship a couple of times to avoid the weather. We didn't dock in Miami until around 8am. The ship was cleared for departures around 8:30.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrstanki
Thanks. I realize i am taking a huge gamble. i just dread the thought of a connecting flight with two kids.
Is this your first time flying with them? We found that after doing both a direct and a connecting itinerary, we actually much prefer the connecting because at that age the break in the middle for real food and the chance to run around a bit really helped attitudes at the end of the day. If you can fly through DFW some of the terminals even have a playground; I'm sure other airports do as well.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:04 PM   #12
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Another point I wanted to add..the port after getting off the ship and clearing customs is a mess. People just standing at the curb looking for their shuttles and rides. Shuttles coming in and out, weaving in and out of traffic. It was rather stressful.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:09 PM   #13
jrstanki
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Thanks everyone for the replies. This is the first time we have ever flown with the children. I have never stressed so much about traveling before in my life. i feel like,logistically, planning a trip with children is so much more difficult. I appreciate all of your input
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:26 PM   #14
Stitch'sCousin
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Go with the connecting flight. Rushing or potentially missing the direct flight is a lot more stressful than a connecting flight. Plus, with the connecting flight, you can use the airport washrooms with your young kids part way through your trip instead of the one on the plane.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrstanki View Post
Thanks everyone for the replies. This is the first time we have ever flown with the children. I have never stressed so much about traveling before in my life. i feel like,logistically, planning a trip with children is so much more difficult. I appreciate all of your input
We made 2 cross country flights a year with both our kids beginning at age of 6 months. We preferred changing planes with a couple hours layover, it gave us a chance to let the kids burn up energy and get something to eat.
8 hours in transit with a 2 hour break was always better than 6 straight.
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