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Old 02-11-2013, 09:35 AM   #31
piglet33
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I also had a bad experience with Happy Limo and will not use them again. I used Florida Towncar in December, and they were wonderful. I plan to use them again in August.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:17 AM   #32
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This is a related, but slight side bar, but it seems I have the right audience for my question since those tuned in here are all experienced using a car service.. I asked on a another forum, but it seems folks there were Disney transpo advocates, so hard to get viewpoints from both sides...We just booked with Happy Limo for our party of 7 (including young children and grandparents) for an upcoming first cruise, so this headline got my attention ( oh no!)....

Anyway, I only booked them going TO the port and not the return ( which was actually an accident) but I am debating whether it is better to go ahead and take Disney transpo coming back to the airport or correct my reservation for the return.

For those who prefer the car service rather than the Disney transpo, what are your reasons and what are the pros and cons each way?

I like the idea of having your bags whisked away and not having to deal with them, BUT I want to make sure I get to the port early and I really dont like lines. WE have taken Disney transpo before to the hotels and it was fine, but you are definitely on their schedule....

For departure, I dont like the idea of having to be all packed up and ready by 9 pm the night before...seems like a pain to have to do that before dinner or a show and then have to still lug a rolling suitase for everyone's pajamas and any clothes worn after 9 pm and toiletries needed in the pm or am....which now have to be packed to TSA standards since the checked bags are gone.

Thanks for your help and experienced insights.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:37 AM   #33
mom2jcg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whirl
This is a related, but slight side bar, but it seems I have the right audience for my question since those tuned in here are all experienced using a car service.. I asked on a another forum, but it seems folks there were Disney transpo advocates, so hard to get viewpoints from both sides...We just booked with Happy Limo for our party of 7 (including young children and grandparents) for an upcoming first cruise, so this headline got my attention ( oh no!)....

Anyway, I only booked them going TO the port and not the return ( which was actually an accident) but I am debating whether it is better to go ahead and take Disney transpo coming back to the airport or correct my reservation for the return.

For those who prefer the car service rather than the Disney transpo, what are your reasons and what are the pros and cons each way?

I like the idea of having your bags whisked away and not having to deal with them, BUT I want to make sure I get to the port early and I really dont like lines. WE have taken Disney transpo before to the hotels and it was fine, but you are definitely on their schedule....

For departure, I dont like the idea of having to be all packed up and ready by 9 pm the night before...seems like a pain to have to do that before dinner or a show and then have to still lug a rolling suitase for everyone's pajamas and any clothes worn after 9 pm and toiletries needed in the pm or am....which now have to be packed to TSA standards since the checked bags are gone.

Thanks for your help and experienced insights.
I prefer the car service for two main reasons. As a family of five, we can travel via stretch limo for not much more than Disney transportation, a nice treat for us and the kids. Also, we can arrive early on our own schedule, not what Disney dictates. We fly in the day before the cruise, spend the night, and leave Disney hotel about 9:30 the morning of the cruise. We were on the ship, had eaten, and were swimming when Disney folks arrived. As for dealing with your luggage, we departed from the Poly, limo man loaded our bags, unloaded them at port, then gave the straight to curbside baggage. If you are flying in that day, you would have to claim them, so that would be a little extra effort on your part.
As for departure, I began putting some things in the suitcase as I knew we were done with them. I've only done one cruise and we did it just as you described and I didn't think it was too bad. I wasn't aware that there is an alternative, though!
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:38 AM   #34
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With 7 people, I would think a car service would be much cheaper than the DCL transfers. That and the ability to get to the port earlier would sway me toward the car service.

When I cruised out of Port Canaveral, there were 4 of us, and we took a car (I can't remember which service but our TA screwed up and 2 cars showed up) and we rented a car from Budget for the trip back to the airport with a side stop at an outlet mall. Way cheaper than 4 DCL transfers.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:58 AM   #35
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Why didn't the driver contact the customer to say they couldn't wait? that would be my issue.

We've used a company for our last 6 trips that we just love and they are so dependable. Unfortunately, they're one of the sites I cannot post here
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:41 PM   #36
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A driver can't wait indefinitely, especially without contact. The ship wasn't delayed..the customer was. The driver had no way of knowing, why the customer didn't arrive, within the allotted time frame. The procedure for port pick up is spelled out in the contract.

I think, OP's accusation is unfair. The company offered alternate transportation or a refund. The OP did not adhere to the contract, but was offered compensation, above and beyond, what was required.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:55 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by pxlbarrel View Post
With 7 people, I would think a car service would be much cheaper than the DCL transfers. That and the ability to get to the port earlier would sway me toward the car service.

When I cruised out of Port Canaveral, there were 4 of us, and we took a car (I can't remember which service but our TA screwed up and 2 cars showed up) and we rented a car from Budget for the trip back to the airport with a side stop at an outlet mall. Way cheaper than 4 DCL transfers.
the car service was much cheaper for outrfamily of three versus Disney transfers...probably not as much fun...

I've never used Happy Limo but have used a number of car services from MCO to DCL and never had an issue...i usually call about a dozen to price around- they've always been on time and very good....

while i would've tried to call or text (yes- i know- no phones in customs, though i've called before when i was able to get a signal) any car service company has go to know there could be delays getting off a cruise ship...
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:16 PM   #38
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I just used them this past week and had no problems with them. On Saturday morning right before breakfast, I had phone service on the ship, and I text my previous driver to let him know that my large party would be ready for pick up at 9:00 am as we had initially reserved. I was the first one out of customs at 8:00 AM and received a text from the driver about him having a motorcoach and the number on it.

I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but you probably should have tried to communicate with them while on the ship before going through customs. You never know how long customs can take.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:30 PM   #39
Whirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2jcg

I prefer the car service for two main reasons. As a family of five, we can travel via stretch limo for not much more than Disney transportation, a nice treat for us and the kids. Also, we can arrive early on our own schedule, not what Disney dictates. We fly in the day before the cruise, spend the night, and leave Disney hotel about 9:30 the morning of the cruise. We were on the ship, had eaten, and were swimming when Disney folks arrived. As for dealing with your luggage, we departed from the Poly, limo man loaded our bags, unloaded them at port, then gave the straight to curbside baggage. If you are flying in that day, you would have to claim them, so that would be a little extra effort on your part.
As for departure, I began putting some things in the suitcase as I knew we were done with them. I've only done one cruise and we did it just as you described and I didn't think it was too bad. I wasn't aware that there is an alternative, though!
Thanks, that was helpful!!!....as I wondered if we would have to lug our bags a long way once we arrived at the cruise port, but you confirmed with the "curbside baggage" availability that it would not be a problem.

we are thinking alike, because at this point, I have booked the exact same itinerary...treating everyone to a stretch and coming in the night before and booked to leave the hotel at 9:30!

thanks....But, sounds like you did Disney transpo back, so I would be curious if those that take private transpo back have any thought to add!
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:34 PM   #40
Whirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pxlbarrel
With 7 people, I would think a car service would be much cheaper than the DCL transfers. That and the ability to get to the port earlier would sway me toward the car service.

When I cruised out of Port Canaveral, there were 4 of us, and we took a car (I can't remember which service but our TA screwed up and 2 cars showed up) and we rented a car from Budget for the trip back to the airport with a side stop at an outlet mall. Way cheaper than 4 DCL transfers.
Good suggestion....Did you reserve ahead of time or just got to the car counter....is it a far distance to take bags ( again, we shouldnt have too much luggage for a 3 day trip, but with 3 young children and 2 elderly, my husband and I do the lions share of the hefting or we have to get porters, where available).

Did you find handling your bags in the morning cumbersome?

Thanks!
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:40 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Whirl

Thanks, that was helpful!!!....as I wondered if we would have to lug our bags a long way once we arrived at the cruise port, but you confirmed with the "curbside baggage" availability that it would not be a problem.

we are thinking alike, because at this point, I have booked the exact same itinerary...treating everyone to a stretch and coming in the night before and booked to leave the hotel at 9:30!

thanks....But, sounds like you did Disney transpo back, so I would be curious if those that take private transpo back have any thought to add!
Sorry if I confused you...no, we did the limo both ways. Even if you have your own transportation, Disney picks them up and sends them to a room where you pick them up right before going through customs. I requested a pickup time of 9:30 because we were heading to MK and I was so afraid of long lines at customs that we skipped breakfast and bolted off the ship. We flew through customs (although I KNOW it backs up horribly sometimes) and ended up waiting around for about 45 minutes outside the port. It really was fantastic doing it this way, just set your pickup time according to whatever you're doing after. We have late breakfast on this trip, so I'm asking for 10am so that we're not late for the limo. They do charge extra for being late.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:47 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by mom2jcg

Sorry if I confused you...no, we did the limo both ways. I requested a pickup time of 9:30 because we were heading to MK and I was so afraid of long lines at customs that we skipped breakfast and bolted off the ship. We flew through customs (although I KNOW it backs up horribly sometimes) and ended up waiting around for about 45 minutes outside the port. It really was fantastic doing it this way, just set your pickup time according to whatever you're doing after. We have late breakfast on this trip, so I'm asking for 10am so that we're not late for the limo. They do charge extra for being late.
oh! great. thanks again! there were some really insightful little tidbits in there that I didn't key into previously, like the customs getting backed up potentially and the benefits of just getting off the boat early....We do have PLENTY of time since our outbound flight is not until 2:30...

I also didnt know there was an early or lat breakfast shift...or is that for just some cruises?.... we are on a 3 night Dream in bahamas...so its a quick one and therfore convenience and efficiency are a priority.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:57 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Whirl

oh! great. thanks again! there were some really insightful little tidbits in there that I didn't key into previously, like the customs getting backed up potentially and the benefits of just getting off the boat early....We do have PLENTY of time since our outbound flight is not until 2:30...

I also didnt know there was an early or lat breakfast shift...or is that for just some cruises?.... we are on a 3 night Dream in bahamas...so its a quick one and therfore convenience and efficiency are a priority.
If you have the early dinner seating, you have early breakfast, late dinner, late breakfast. This refers to sit down breakfast...if you want off quickly, you can grab and go at Cabanas. Like you, our flight is at 2:45, so we're in no hurry and want to enjoy. You will be asked to leave the ship at 9:00 so they can prepare for the next cruise.
Glad this is helping
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:05 PM   #44
Whirl
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Originally Posted by mom2jcg

If you have the early dinner seating, you have early breakfast, late dinner, late breakfast. This refers to sit down breakfast...if you want off quickly, you can grab and go at Cabanas. Like you, our flight is at 2:45, so we're in no hurry and want to enjoy. You will be asked to leave the ship at 9:00 so they can prepare for the next cruise.
Glad this is helping
definitely helping!
thanks again....great little nuggets of info. I have been trying to put the pieces together in my head for a while and its been difficult to fill in the details even after reading the boards over and over.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:28 PM   #45
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Hi Everyone –

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

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.
If the limo left and went back to Orlando, it would take them 45 minutes to get back to you. I don't see that they really had another option to give you as they don't have limos just waiting in PC. You expected them, the limo company, to know that if you went to breakfast at 8 you wouldn't be off the boat until 10? They didn't know you were going to eat for 1 hour and then try to get off with the biggest group of departers.

Did you have your phone on? When we got off, both my daughter and I thought we didn't have service and it was just that we'd left our phones on airplane mode.

I think your only beef is with the rude customer service. Otherwise, Happy did what they promised. If you'd arranged any other transportation and were 30 minutes later than you'd arranged, that transportation would have left too. If they were 30 minutes late, you would have given up on them too. They probably had other bookings for that day and needed to get the limo back on schedule.
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