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Old 02-10-2013, 05:58 PM   #1
MikeInThornhill
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Happy Limo is unreliable for Port-MCO Transfers

Hi Everyone –

I just wanted to share an experience for anyone researching private transfers from Orlando Airport (MCO) to Port Canaveral.

I was travelling last week with my wife and two small kids (9 months, and 3.5 years). We flew into MCO on Friday and stayed at Hampton Inn & Suites at Gateway Village before our Saturday cruise. I wanted transfers from the Hotel to the Port, and back from the Port to the Airport. I wanted private transfers so I could be on my own schedule, and rent car seats for my kids. I did my homework, and chose Happy Limo because of some posts on TA, and their mousesavers.com endorsement (they have been pretty spot-on in my experience, and they had a discount code.) I booked via phone – no problems.

The transfer from the hotel to the port was fine. The driver showed up 15 mins early, had a clean van with the car seats we ordered and got us to the port well ahead of schedule with the included stop for groceries at a Publix close to the port. The charge for the transfer+carseats was $138 (billed two weeks in advance to my CC) and a $20 tip.

The following Saturday, Happy Limo knew we were scheduled for late breakfast (8am) and suggested a 9:30am pickup for our return transfer. Fine. We ate breakfast as scheduled and got in line to get off the ship just before 9am and were met by a huge backlog line up to get off the ship. This being our first cruise, we didn’t think this was unusual, and expected to be through the line quickly, given the suggestion from Happy Limo. We reached the luggage/customs area around 9:25 and didn’t get cleared to leave until just after 10am. We went to our appointed meeting place and I called Happy Limo to pick us up.

The dispatcher who answered the phone was not very friendly. When he retrieved our reservation he asked me if I “realise I had a 9:30am pick up time.” I told him yes, but we had been delayed in customs. He then put me on hold for what seemed like a long time. When he came back he told me that the car had left and that another one could pick us up in 45 mins. I politely told him that didn’t work for me, and that I needed to get to the airport asap for our 1pm flight. Again, I was put on hold for a while and was then told that I had the option to take a refund rather than wait the 45 mins. I asked him to process the refund, and he said he couldn’t until Monday because the guy who does that doesn’t work weekends!?! I bet the guy who processes payments does…

Anyway – In the end it wasn’t a big deal – we caught a cab right away that had us to the airport on time (for $110 + tip), but I was uncomfortable the whole ride because the kids didn’t have carseats. I was just floored by how unreliable Happy Limo was, and how inflexible/unhelpful they were in our situation. If you are looking for a reliable Port Transfer company, I would look elsewhere.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:06 PM   #2
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Sorry thirds didn't go smoothly. My extended family of 8 used Happy Limo (based on recommendations from the DIS) - had a limo and couldn't have been happier with their communication and service.

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Old 02-10-2013, 06:08 PM   #3
mom2jcg
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We had a bad experience with Happy as well. I booked online, requesting a 9:30 pickup time. When I received my confirmation, they had confirmed me for 10:45 pickup! When I called to fix it, I was told very rudely, that that was all they had. I said that won't work and she proceeded to argue with me and tell me that I couldn't get in the ship until 1:30, that I didn't know what I was talking about, even after I told her I had an 11am port arrival time. I canceled and booked Sunshine. It was a fantastic experience, and I've booked them again for our next cruise. Who "confirms" a time you didn't request? I know a lot of people like Happy, but they made a horrible first impression. I won't ever use them.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:38 PM   #4
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We book a minivan from Budget one way. Both legs run about $70 with taxes.

Best way to make sure you get to where you need to go and at a low cost.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:38 PM   #5
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We had a similar experience with fltours. We now use a smaller more personal car service and couldn't be happier.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Namsupak
We had a similar experience with fltours. We now use a smaller more personal car service and couldn't be happier.
Which do you use?
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:47 PM   #7
CMOORE185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeInThornhill
Hi Everyone –

I just wanted to share an experience for anyone researching private transfers from Orlando Airport (MCO) to Port Canaveral.

I was travelling last week with my wife and two small kids (9 months, and 3.5 years). We flew into MCO on Friday and stayed at Hampton Inn & Suites at Gateway Village before our Saturday cruise. I wanted transfers from the Hotel to the Port, and back from the Port to the Airport. I wanted private transfers so I could be on my own schedule, and rent car seats for my kids. I did my homework, and chose Happy Limo because of some posts on TA, and their mousesavers.com endorsement (they have been pretty spot-on in my experience, and they had a discount code.) I booked via phone – no problems.

The transfer from the hotel to the port was fine. The driver showed up 15 mins early, had a clean van with the car seats we ordered and got us to the port well ahead of schedule with the included stop for groceries at a Publix close to the port. The charge for the transfer+carseats was $138 (billed two weeks in advance to my CC) and a $20 tip.

The following Saturday, Happy Limo knew we were scheduled for late breakfast (8am) and suggested a 9:30am pickup for our return transfer. Fine. We ate breakfast as scheduled and got in line to get off the ship just before 9am and were met by a huge backlog line up to get off the ship. This being our first cruise, we didn’t think this was unusual, and expected to be through the line quickly, given the suggestion from Happy Limo. We reached the luggage/customs area around 9:25 and didn’t get cleared to leave until just after 10am. We went to our appointed meeting place and I called Happy Limo to pick us up.

The dispatcher who answered the phone was not very friendly. When he retrieved our reservation he asked me if I “realise I had a 9:30am pick up time.” I told him yes, but we had been delayed in customs. He then put me on hold for what seemed like a long time. When he came back he told me that the car had left and that another one could pick us up in 45 mins. I politely told him that didn’t work for me, and that I needed to get to the airport asap for our 1pm flight. Again, I was put on hold for a while and was then told that I had the option to take a refund rather than wait the 45 mins. I asked him to process the refund, and he said he couldn’t until Monday because the guy who does that doesn’t work weekends!?! I bet the guy who processes payments does…

Anyway – In the end it wasn’t a big deal – we caught a cab right away that had us to the airport on time (for $110 + tip), but I was uncomfortable the whole ride because the kids didn’t have carseats. I was just floored by how unreliable Happy Limo was, and how inflexible/unhelpful they were in our situation. If you are looking for a reliable Port Transfer company, I would look elsewhere.
Did you try to call them when you knew you were going to be late for your 9:30 pickup? If you did and they didn't wait than I would be mad. But if you didn't try to contact them you share some of the blame.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:56 PM   #8
tx2tn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMOORE185 View Post
Did you try to call them when you knew you were going to be late for your 9:30 pickup? If you did and they didn't wait than I would be mad. But if you didn't try to contact them you share some of the blame.
I have to agree. A simple phone call to the transportation company would have, most likely, had them waiting for you. Sounds like they had no idea you were held up in customs.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:05 PM   #9
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I have used Happy Limo several times and always been happy but I know what you mean by Customs times being unpredictable. Last summer we thought we were great on time- until we went downstairs and saw the line.
The bad thing is by then you can't use your phone to let the drivers know you will be late. My driver must have texted me 5 times wondering where I was. I was worried he would leave w.out us but our flight was much later.
He was there and it all worked out fine.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:07 PM   #10
cris0809
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That's a great theory except you're not supposed to use your phone in customs. Remember?
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMOORE185 View Post
Did you try to call them when you knew you were going to be late for your 9:30 pickup? If you did and they didn't wait than I would be mad. But if you didn't try to contact them you share some of the blame.
agree with this...
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:18 PM   #12
Namsupak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2sleep View Post
Which do you use?
Pegasus professional is the company we use.

www.pegasusprofessional.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelin View Post
agree with this...
As a PP mentioned no phones in customs.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:20 PM   #13
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We used Spaceport transportation 2 years ago and we will use them next year as well...They were great to work with and Cari was more than eager to work with me. She made sure I had phone numbers ahead of time and she told me who the driver would be...great service and cheaper than the other transport companies..sorry you had a rough time...not good when you are on vacation...
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:22 PM   #14
manateesmom
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When we sailing out of PC (we've done so with RCCL), we rent one-way from Avis. Last time it was $70 MCO to PC, $100 PC to MCO. No big city traffic, no reason not to rent a car and drive, IMO.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:26 PM   #15
mom2jcg
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I asked for a 10am pickup to allow us plenty of time. I'd rather that we sit outside the terminal waiting than either getting left or being charged their hourly rate for being late! I think Sunshine will wait up to an hour for you, but they will charge you for it. They do give you 15 minutes as a courtesy, then charge half the hourly rate for up to 30 minutes, then the full hour beyond that.
I don't mean this as a criticism to you, as I understand you took the advice of Happy Limo, and they should have known. They did the same thing with me--try to tell me when I needed to be picked up. I intended this as information about Sunshine for next time to help keep you from being panicked

Last edited by mom2jcg; 02-10-2013 at 07:46 PM.
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