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Old 02-03-2014, 11:59 AM   #16
KashasMom
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I would definitely do the day flight. My daughter (4 1/2) frequently does a 15 our nonstop flight and has been doing so since she was 2 months old. It's much easier now since she's a little older. She brings her own bag of toys/books, etc. and loves watching the movies and cartoons on her own screen. Taking off that late - for a red eye - is difficult since your child has to stay awake until you get on the plane. Even if you have a stroller it's uncomfortable and would throw off his/her sleep. On the day flight between playing, watching movies, and eating, there's a little time left to take a quick nap across your lap(s).
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:05 PM   #17
CrusingFamily4
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Honestly it depends on your kids and how well you can sleep on flights too! We did the red eye from western Canada to Orlando (I believe we left at midnight and it was a 6 hour flight). My girls, 4 at the time, would normally go to bed at 7:30. We put them to bed at their normal time, woke them up at 9 and drove to the airport. They were up from 9pm-midnight while at the airport, and then they fell asleep pretty good on the flight. My one daughter fell asleep on me, and my other daughter fell asleep on my husband. Needless to say, they were pretty well rested but my husband and I were lucky if we got 30 mins sleep. It made for a very long day for us and I'm not sure we would do it again.
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Old 02-03-2014, 02:16 PM   #18
WildEyed
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We were on the Fantasy on January 4 and planned to arrive in Orlando from Western Canada on January 3. Because of the bad weather in Chicago and the East Coast our flight was cancelled and we were rebooked on the midnight flight through Houston instead arriving in Orlando at 10:30 the day of the cruise.

Our kids slept for a few hours on the first leg of the flight but not at all for the second leg to Orlando. We, the parents, did not sleep AT ALL. We did not get a moment's rest until we got into our rooms on the ship. (and not even then because the kids wouldn't hear of resting before starting to explore!)

I have to say that this kind of ruined the first 24 hours of the cruise for us. Our kids were difficult to handle because they were over-tired. We were grumpy because we were sooooo tired. I think the first day of a cruise should be a special and exciting time but we were barely able to stand up and could not wait for that day to be over.

If I could do it again I would plan to arrive 2 days ahead of the cruise to get acclimatized and arrive early at the port, well-rested and ready to enjoy my time on the ship. Since the cruise costs so much $$$ even one lost day is a big loss in my opinion.
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:31 PM   #19
southlake
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Thanks everyone for the opinions. It looks like we are going to take the United day flight after all. Virgin's only return flight home is too early for us to take on disembarkation day, so we'd have to wait until the next day to come home on Virgin. Trying to split flights (do 2 one-ways) between 2 airlines is not cost effective (at least in our instance), so I think by default now, we're going to be on the day flight on United.

Thank you again!
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:20 PM   #20
MKCQuilt
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We are cruising May 10-17 on Fantasy. We are booked on the non-stop United flight from SFO to MCO on Friday, the 9th. This will be our 9th Disney cruise and we've tried every transportation combination. I highly recommend going the day before. The first impressions of the ship and the characters is so important. You don't want this ruined by jet-lag and lack of sleep. Not to mention any of the transportation headaches like weather or mechanical delays. Book the cheapest hotel you can find near the airport with transportation. Reserve a rental car from Enterprise. They will come pick you up at the hotel and take you to the rental office the next morning. Renting a car for one day should be less than $60. You could pick up a rental car at the airport when you arrive and return it the next day at the port too. Enterprise has an office at Port Canaveral and will take you to the ship once you have returned your car. Depending on your plans after the cruise, do the same in reverse. Renting the car is the cheapest way to get to the port. Easy ,straight shot that takes a little less than an hour and a half. This also gives you the opportunity to stop at WalMart or CVS to pick up water or anything else you didn't want to carry on the plane. Enjoy!!!
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:57 PM   #21
natmom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKCQuilt
We are cruising May 10-17 on Fantasy. We are booked on the non-stop United flight from SFO to MCO on Friday, the 9th. This will be our 9th Disney cruise and we've tried every transportation combination. I highly recommend going the day before. The first impressions of the ship and the characters is so important. You don't want this ruined by jet-lag and lack of sleep. Not to mention any of the transportation headaches like weather or mechanical delays. Book the cheapest hotel you can find near the airport with transportation. Reserve a rental car from Enterprise. They will come pick you up at the hotel and take you to the rental office the next morning. Renting a car for one day should be less than $60. You could pick up a rental car at the airport when you arrive and return it the next day at the port too. Enterprise has an office at Port Canaveral and will take you to the ship once you have returned your car. Depending on your plans after the cruise, do the same in reverse. Renting the car is the cheapest way to get to the port. Easy ,straight shot that takes a little less than an hour and a half. This also gives you the opportunity to stop at WalMart or CVS to pick up water or anything else you didn't want to carry on the plane. Enjoy!!!
We are on that cruise as well see you there !
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:58 PM   #22
southlake
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MKCQuilt,

How are you getting home? My head is starting to hurt looking at the myriad of options when we come home on Sat, May 31.

United's only direct flight from MCO-SFO is at 6:25 p.m., arriving at 9:35 p.m. We did that same flight time last year on Virgin and it was awful. We had to kill all day in Orlando, the flight left over an hour late, we didn't get into to SFO until almost 11 pm, waited nearly an hour to get our bags & for DH to go get our car to pick us up, and we didn't get home until almost 1 am. It was a LONG day that we said we never wanted to do again.

So, now we're encountering the same problem again this year (only 1 direct flight home, leaves in the evening) so now we're considering connecting flights to get home earlier, but this is about $500 more expensive. The airfare is pretty high! What are you doing? Wondering if I'm missing something, because we didn't pay this much last year on Virgin!
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Disneyland (DLH): 5/12, 10/12, 11/12, 10/13, 11/13, 10/14

Disney Aulani: 8/13
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:51 PM   #23
calimom951
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Personally, I wouldn't do it. We did the red eye to Hawaii last year. It was a nightmare. My son will only sleep in his crib or a bed. He tossed and turned during the flight. Then wanted me to hold him. He wouldn't let my hubby hold him. Just me. He was miserable. I was miserable. I had a raging headache when we got there. My neck was killing me from holding him the entire flight. It took me to 2 days to get over that flight. Two days of my vacation. I will NEVER fly red eye again with him. It just wasn't worth it. Since then we have taken 3 day flights and he has been just fine. I really think it was the red eye that bothered him so much.
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:30 AM   #24
soxfam04
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We will only fly Virgin!!! They were awesome when we flew non stop lax-bos with our then 2 year old!!! Very customer friendly with lots to offer!!! Disney Channel for the kiddos!!!! Need I say more?
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