6:30 a.m. flight vs. the afternoon before...

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by disneyfool_1202, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. disneyfool_1202

    disneyfool_1202 The countdown has begun!!

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    Our DCL vaca isn't until May 2011 but we're already trying to decide on the 'getting there' plan. DH wants to take the first flight out of Boston (MA) at 6:30 a.m. which would put is at Orlando Intn'l about 9:45 a.m. We'd end up at there terminal somewhere in the neighborhood of 11 - 11:30. Good plan- other than we have to be out the door of our home about 4am to get to the transportation service at 4:15 - take the 4:30 bus which gets us to Logan at 5:30 (ish) for a 6:30 a.m. flight. And that's if everything sails smoothly..... If it were just us adults, no problem, but we have 2 kids- who will be ages 7 & 5 at cruisetime, and I can just imagine how horribly tired they will be by the time dinner rolls around!!!! I think it's just too long a day.

    I am investigating heading to FL the night before- which means a hotel room near the cruiseline that offers a shuttle. So now we are talking increased $$ for an afternoon flight, an additional transfer fee, and the cost of 2 hotel rooms (my MIL is coming with us and I can't find a hotel room for 3 adults, 2 kids...). So we're adding probably $600 (at least) between the flight (additional $60 per person), additional shuttle fee, and hotel night.

    Any suggestions / thoughts? I've done DCL cruises many times and usually flown out of Boston about 7:30 - but that flight time is not currently an option. The later flight puts us at risk for delay and if things go smoothly, we'd get to the terminal around 2:30 - 3:00.... HUGE difference than 11am.
     
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  3. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

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    What we do....
    I try for a flight that leaves after school/work on Friday night before a Sat. cruise. I get a hotel room on Priceline. At the 2.5* level all of the hotels include complimentary shuttle to/from MCO AND complimentary breakfast. Obviously, you'd need 2 rooms (which you can do). I don't care where we stay other than in the MCO area....the brand doesn't matter to me. Our recent stays have been the Hyatt Place and the Amerisuites--both lovely hotels within 5 minutes of MCO. I typically bid between $31 and $39 for the room, add under $10 for taxes and fees and you are still under $50 for the night + shuttle + breakfast. Not bad. SO...you'd spend $100 on the hotel + $300 extra on the flights. A little less than your plan.

    You've preserved all options for going to the port area--in the morning you can take the free shuttle back to MCO, have your towncar driver pick you up at the hotel, or use your rental car. Again, renting a mini van has cost me $46-$92 with all taxes and fees (add tolls and gas). Again much cheaper than other transportation methods. If you drive in Boston, the drive to the port will be "nothing."

    Is Southwest airlines a possibility? You'd eliminate luggage fees that way.

    I feel that if I'm in Orlando, then by hook or crook I'll be on that ship!

    We've done the "day of" flights--it's just not worth the risk and aggravation.
     
  4. TheWog

    TheWog <font color=indigo>The Curse has been Reversed<br>

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    I would go the night before. You could stay at the MCO Hyatt and still take the DCL bus the next day. They will also arrange for your luggage to be brought to DCL as well. Might cost a bit, but worth the stress free trip imo.
     
  5. moochpuppy

    moochpuppy DIS is the place to be

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    We always arrive the night before the cruise. With the way flights/airlines are these days I would not put getting on the cruise in jeopardy. Also that makes for an extremely long day for kids that age.

    We always stay at the Radisson at the port. The room rate is cheaper than parking at the terminal for a 7-nighter. They offer free shuttle and allow you to leave your car at the resort for the duration of your cruise.
     
  6. wcw57

    wcw57 DIS Veteran

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    snow problems are moot in May (your travel date) BUT

    there are always wind delays, heavy storms elsewhere which put connecting flights all out of skew, strikes, etc

    and lets not forget the ever-popular security breach which can shut down a terminal for HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    I advise leaving for FL a day early.:thumbsup2

    we will be traveling in FEB from NY and any type of snow can upset us...even a day in advance might not be safe.......
     
  7. Anjelica

    Anjelica Self-Declared Queen of WebSphere

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    I also agree with others who suggest arriving at least the day/night before. Staying near the port at one of the hotels, the Hyatt at MCO or even a DW hotel. This allows you and your family a little breathing room if for some reason there are delays with your departure.
     
  8. Anjelica

    Anjelica Self-Declared Queen of WebSphere

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    Now where is that Tag Fairy....:lmao:
     
  9. disneyfool_1202

    disneyfool_1202 The countdown has begun!!

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    I'm agreeing with everyone BIG TIME - especially with the kids. I can just imagine how horrible it will be with overtired kids.

    I like the idea of staying at the airport then hopping the shuttle back to the airport and taking the DCL transportation the morning of the cruise. No rushing around like a maniac.

    It's the $$ that will make or break it with my husband - we really don't have extra $ flying around. BUT it is over a year away.

    I've never used priceline but they seem to have the best rates - can someone explain it to me and let me know how well it works. Is it a guaranteed rate once you book with them?? I'm not used to the whole "bidding" thing- it sounds very risky.
     
  10. LMCmom25kids

    LMCmom25kids Mouseketeer

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    I would also love more info on Priceline. Anyone? I checked into using them for a flight once, but I think I could not really choose my flight time. Didn't like that at all. That was a deal breaker for me. Hotel searching might be different though. Wish I would have tried it for the two rooms we booked at the Raddison at the Port the night before our April cruise. Oh well, too late now. Paid in full. Bummer!

    Yes..... go the day before your cruise. (We thought of it as a way to extend an already too short 3 nt cruise) We are planning on enjoying the pool at the hotel, going to dinner etc. Then we have the advantage of getting to the terminal early.
     
  11. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

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    There are a couple of sites that help with lots of info on priceline bidding, but we're probably not allowed to list them here due to the links they contain. They contain info on what other people have gotten as successful bids--what they paid, the hotels they got, etc. I was afraid to do it the first few times, but after several good experiences, I don't hesitate.

    How it works--use the "name your own price" section for the bidding. THe other section has really inflated prices.

    Go to priceline.com and put in the date/s you need and the city. It will show you the various areas of the city that you can choose from. If you want to stay near the airport, that would be the MCO area in Orlando. OK, I know that I want at least a 2.5* hotel because at that level they all have complimentary shuttles and complimentary breakfast. At 3.0, many don't have breakfast, but I could live with that. At 2* in MCO area, there are some nasty hotels that I know I don't want. SO, I enter the 2.5* level knowing that is the lowest they can give me (but they could give me a higher level). I start bidding at $31 (because I haven't been successful lower than that). Enter your info, credit card, and press the bid button. In a minute you will either get the name of your hotel, a "we can't accept this bid" or a message about "if you will increase your bid by X amount...." IGNORE the X amount message--it is always way more than I've eventually gotten a successful bid. You'll also have the option of changing some parameters of your bid--area, etc. I rarely get into this (yes, I know about using it for "free" rebids), but I start far enough ahead that I have enough time to re-bid later.

    You can place one bid every 24 hours. If I'm unsuccessful at $31, I'll bid $33 the next day. The least I've ever paid for an MCO hotel is $31, the most was $39. Taxes and fees are added to your bid amount...this is less than $10 per night. The taxes are based on the local hotel taxes on your bid amount. The priceline fees are their profit. SO...if I get a successful bid of $35, I'll pay somewhere around $43-44. THe downside--your credit card is charged when you have a successful bid. NO cancellations--you don't show up, you don't get a refund.

    Another way to get an idea of what to bid is to go to hotwire and see what they are selling hotels for--this tells you the highest you should go on Priceline. However, I find that I get better hotels cheaper thru Priceline. Our recent MCO stays have been at the Hyatt Place and the Amerisuites. We've never gotten a bad place at MCO area.

    Other examples...I attend a conference each year. Since I have a car, I get a priceline hotel for 1/3 to 1/2 of the conference hotel. Last year I was "upgraded" to the 3* conference hotel....but I paid $38 while the conference "special" rate was $89!
     
  12. TheWog

    TheWog <font color=indigo>The Curse has been Reversed<br>

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    www.betterbidding.com and www.biddingfortravel.com are two great sites to get you started on priceline. They provide you with information, previous successful bids and strategies to determine (potentially) what hotel you will get and how you should bid and how much. They Hyatt is located right in the airport. It has a pool as well. You grab your bags go up the elevator and then check right in. No shuttles involved. If you can swing it this is a great way to go. They will also take your bags for you during the evening and you won't see them again until they get to your stateroom on the ship. Hyatt also offers discounted stay certificates for certain hotels, they accept AAA discounts and may or may not be PL when you are staying. For ease it is the best, costwise it will cost a bit more than a PL airport area hotel. Your call on that.
     
  13. TraciM

    TraciM DIS Veteran

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    We always fly in the afternoon before our cruise. I am not willing to chance anything happening the day of. We rent a car and stay at the Holiday Inn Express at the port(free breakfast and shuttle we rent a car so I am unsure of shuttle details). Sounds complicated but it is pretty easy. I just include the hotel and car rental as part of my vacation budget.
     
  14. Cheryl726

    Cheryl726 DIS Veteran

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    Both our DCL cruises we flew in the morning of, one of the trips was with the kids who were 5 and 8 and it was a long day. They were tired early and we were up early the next day. We never had any problems, got there on time, but I don't want to push our luck anymore, we'll fly in the day before from now on!
     
  15. glindamood

    glindamood DIS Veteran

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    I am another vote for the day before. I travel for work and the ONLY delay I ever had was a thunderstorm - we sat in the plane for well over two hours and then had to wait in line to take off. Not fun and I would not want to start my vacation that way as I would have had a panic attack. Even leaving on the last flight out and getting in late allows everyone to sleep in the following morning and travel rested and enjoy that first day on the ship.
     
  16. disneyfool_1202

    disneyfool_1202 The countdown has begun!!

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    You all have me convinced and now I just need to convince my husband!! They don't release the flights times / prices for May 2011 until mid July this year so I have a few months to work on him!!

    I really want to get there about supper time, have dinner, chill out and start the next morning relaxed and refreshed. The only thing that would stink is having to check our luggage ourselves for the cruise- does anyone remember if that's done at the transportation desk at MCO or if it's just stored under the bus and we check it at the terminal?
     
  17. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

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    Since all the debate over global warming came up, it sure seems that NO month is assured of no snow.
    The last 6 global WARMING hearings have be SNOWED OUT! :rolleyes1
     
  18. MinnesotaMouseketeers

    MinnesotaMouseketeers DIS Veteran

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    We always fly in the night before. We have experienced personally and picking people up from airports where flights have been delayed by HOURS. I wouldn't risk arriving late and possibly missing the ship.
     
  19. mickeyfan1

    mickeyfan1 <font color=purple>Come and let me show you my tat

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    Have you looked at any of the Suites? I am booked at on of the La Quinta's close to the airport. You can get a suite that has 2 queens in the bed room and a pull out in the LR, you, dh and kids take the BR, MIL gets the pull out.

    They have a free shuttle from and to MCO, so I will take that the evening I get in and in the morning take it back to MCO to get on the cruise bus.
     
  20. Olga

    Olga DIS Veteran

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    If your husband says you can't go a day earlier, then make sure you buy insurance for your flight and cruise.
     
  21. TheWog

    TheWog <font color=indigo>The Curse has been Reversed<br>

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    As mentioned, if you stay at the MCO Hyatt they will take care of it for you.
     

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