DCL ground transportation or rent a car?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by Jenntx, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. Jenntx

    Jenntx Mouseketeer

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    Another newbie question... We have signed up for ground transportation to & from the Swan thinking that would make things "smoother" getting on the ship & back to the Swan after the cruise. But now I'm hesitate to use DCL transportation after reading a thread that it's unpredictable & slow. We were hoping to get on early (as possible), have lunch on board & look around a bit before the safety drill.

    I would love to hear experiences of using DCL buses. How does it work? Did you have a good experience? Do they tell you what time they pick you up or can you choose the time? Did you feel rushed by the time you got on board the ship?

    Would you recommend first time cruisers to use DCL transportation? Or do you think a rental car would be fine?

    If we rent a car - do you turn it in @ the port? Can you rent another car at port for the return trip to WDW?

    Thanks so much for all your help!!! :)
     
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  3. mmouse37

    mmouse37 DCL Diva!!

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    DCL transfers are actually quite efficient but the problem with taking them from WDW is that they don't start leaving the resorts until 11:30 and make their last pick up around 12:30. This means depending on what resort you may not get to the port until 12:30 -1:30. There are several buses that each pick up from a few resorts depending on how many guests are taking transfers.

    We usually rent a car. The drive is very easy from WDW. Yes, you would drop off your car to a port area rental office and then take the rental shuttle bus to the ship.

    If you go with a rental are you renting from MCO when you land and keeping the car the whole time or are you looking to rent a car from WDW area? You can find good info at this site www.mousesavers.com

    Read the rental section. it lists what car rentals are in/near WDW. If you rent from the airport there is a larger selection. There are also many great rental discount codes at the website.

    The rental car agencies near the port are: Avis, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty/Dollar and Enterprise/Alamo. I believe National is part of Enterprise/Alamo as well but have not heard of anyone returning a car there but you can check and see if you can.

    Now that I have said all that.....if you choose to rent a car you can't technically arrive to check in until your "Port Arrival time" (PAT) which you will select when you do your online checkin. As a first time cruiser you may get an early time or a late time. If an early time (Port Arrival times start at 11:00-11:30, 11:30-12:00, etc.) If you get a late port arrival time then getting to the port early would let you check in but you would not be able to board until your boarding number is called (boarding times are based on your PAT). Sound confusing but it really is not. The port officially opens at 11:00 am.

    If you take DCL transfers your PAT does not matter as they know when their buses get there. You will receive a boarding number when you check in at the terminal.

    The boarding process usually starts around 11:30 or so. They call numbers and each group boards according to their boarding number. At a certain point they will call "open boarding" meaning it does not matter what boarding number you received, anyone can board at open boarding.

    Hope I did not confuse you too much!


    MJ
     
  4. Jenntx

    Jenntx Mouseketeer

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    Thank you so much for your amazing helpful information. I appreciate your time in sharing this info with me. I think I'm going to talk to my husband about renting a car for embarkment day. I would like to get there earlier. Thanks for explaining the rental car process. We will be renting a car at the airport.

    I guess if we choose to rent a car on disembarkment day- we can arrange before the trip to pick a car up near the port?

    Or I guess we could use the DCL transportation system to get back to the Swan after the cruise?

    Thanks again for all your help! :) :)
     
  5. mmouse37

    mmouse37 DCL Diva!!

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    Mu suggestion would be to just take DCL transfers back to WDW...very easy. but yes, you can arrange ahead of time (recommended) to rent a car at one of the port agencies and then drop off back at the airport when you fly home.

    We always keep a car at WDW with us.

    MJ
     
  6. Kitster

    Kitster Crazy about Stitch

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    The only good thing we found about using Disney transfers from a resort is the luggage check-in. Other than your carry-on's, all luggage gets sent to the port directly from your resort. When we used the Disney transfers from AKL, the bus didn't pick us up at the resort until after NOON and STILL had to pick up at 2 other resorts. We never arrived at the port until well after 2:00 pm and by the time finally we checked in at the port, lunch was done, our room was ready and the safety drill was 1/2 an hour away.

    That was our first and LAST time using resort transfers. I hate being held to other people's schedules, so we usually have a rental car for our length of stay at WDW. We usually rent with Avis, since hubby has a business account thru his job.

    Here is a list from the Port Canaveral website listing the area rental car agencies. ALL of these agencies also serve the Orlando International Airport. ALL of the following agencies have shuttles back and forth to the cruise terminals, so that is a non-issue when checking rental prices.:

    AVIS
    Cape Canaveral Avis Car Rental: 321-783-3643
    6650 North Atlantic Ave
    Port Canaveral, FL, 32920 ,
    Location Code: P3F
    WDW Location 407-827-2847
    Hilton Hotel - Downtown Disney
    1751 Hotel Plaza Blvd
    Lake Buena Vista, FL, 32830
    Location Code: LB3

    BUDGET
    Port Canaveral Budget Car Rental: 321-784-0634
    8401 Astronaut Blvd
    Port Canaveral, FL 32920
    Location Code: CC5
    WDW Location 407-827-6089
    The Doubletree Hotel - Downtown Disney (FREE pick-up service available, must arrange 24 hours in advance)
    2305 Hotel Plaza Blvd
    Orlando, FL 32830
    Location Code: M03

    ENTERPRISE
    Enterprise Rent-a-Car: 321-866-0324 (their motto is 'We pick you up'.)
    6211 N Atlantic Ave
    Cape Canaveral, FL 32920-5820
    WDW Location: 407-397-0800
    Royal Plaza Hotel - Downtown Disney
    1905 Hotel Plaza Blvd
    Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-8438

    HERTZ
    Hertz Rent a Car: 321-783-7771
    8963 Astronaut Blvd
    Cape Canaveral , Florida
    WDW Location: 407-239-8100
    Disney Courtyard Marriott
    8501 Palm Parkway
    Lake Buena Vista, FL US 32836
    NOTE: Pick Up Service is FREE. Please call the location for pick-up service at: 407-239-8100.

    National / Alamo may or may not offer 1 way rentals. It doesn't really matter since their rates have become insanely expensive in recent years. Thrifty and Payless Car Rentals do not offer 1 way rentals out of Cape Canaveral.
     
  7. kshark1958

    kshark1958 Mouseketeer

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    A good suggestion that we got from the Disboards about taking a rental to port from WDW is go to terminal before returning car to rental agency. Drop off luggage and family. Have one person take the car back to agency. It is a lot easier for one person with no luggage to get on shuttle back to port then a whole family with luggage. If you plan on arriving at port between 10 and 12 the car agencies can get REAL busy and the wait for a shuttle to port can be long. Some threads have reported waits as long as 45 minutes in fact some people have taken a taxi from rental office back to port for about 10 bucks.The person taking the car back to agency only needs his drivers license to get into terminal. While this person is returning car you can check him in as long as you have all the proper documents for him such as his passport. Then when he gets back to terminal you only need for him to get his pic for KTTWC which they will do as you are walking towards ship. No need to get back in line. If I had to do it over again and wanted to get to port early I would use one of the limo services. Pick you up at hotel when you want and drop you off at port when you want. Its a little more money but no hassles and just like renting a car if you need to make a stop on the way they can do that for you.
     
  8. MrsB919

    MrsB919 Mouseketeer

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    You guys are making me rethink my transfers. It seemed like a lot of hassle to rent the car get to port drop it off and go to terminal and same for the return, but I just priced it and we would probably be saving like $50 and we could get to port earlier. I've already paid the cruise in full is it to late to cancel the ground transfers?

    Also where it says Hertz has free pick up service is that at any WDW resort or only DTD?
     
  9. Kitster

    Kitster Crazy about Stitch

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    I pulled the info directly off the Hertz website. For info you require, you would have to call the rental location directly. We rent when we arrive at MCO and drop off Cape Canaveral...visa versa upon our return.
     
  10. lizabu

    lizabu Disney Maniac

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    How many people do you have? If there's 4 you can hire a car for about the same price of the disney transfer. The advantage is you get the car all to yourself and you get to schedule the time you get picked up. mousesavers recommends happy limo. I can't speak from experience. It's my first cruise. I'm leaning towards a private car though. I find it nerve wracking to drive in an unfamiliar place in an unfamiliar car.
     
  11. Jenntx

    Jenntx Mouseketeer

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    Wow - so much wonderful information here! Thank you! My husband & I will hold on this & re-read it before the trip. We have decided to cancel our ground transportation from WDW and rent a car. We will use DCL transportation after the cruise back to WDW.
     
  12. kshark1958

    kshark1958 Mouseketeer

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    You will have to check the website for how long before cruise you can cancel ground transfers but we were able to cancel ours and get a full refund. I think we did it 3 months out. We still kept transfers to MCO. They say on on other threads getting a car after cruise in even worse. Also we did Budget from the airport. We arrived the day before the . Their are plenty of discount codes out there. We also signed up for a program called FastBreak through Budget and we went right to garage for our car at MCO instead of having to wait in line in MCO terminal at the Budget counter. it doesn't cost anything extra.
     
  13. yaddakal

    yaddakal Mouseketeer

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    We got a rental the day before cruise while at wdw. We were on a three night so made day 1 our "at sea" day... Got there by 11:30. Port was busy but smooth . Only waited for pic with Mickey. If I were on a seven night, I would not sweat the busses really. Rental with Alamo was super easy. When we left we used the Disney bus and only paid for that transfer which was so easy. Good luck!
     
  14. mmouse37

    mmouse37 DCL Diva!!

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    For 2 people it is no big deal to hop the rental shuttle, especially if it is a first cruise and one does not want to hang at the port alone until the spouse comes back on the rental shuttle.

    When we have large groups we do drop all luggage and one or two people go return the rental the car and hop the rental shuttle back to port...but, with just 2 people and luggage it is not hard to get a spot on the rental shuttle.

    MJ
     
  15. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    Great consolidation of information Kitster!

    Not sure if the Thrifty info is new...we did have a 1-way rental with them in Feb. 2012. No additional fees or anything. It was a good rate as well.
     
  16. kshark1958

    kshark1958 Mouseketeer

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    I know when we were doing a one way rental from MCO to PC for a cruise this past February Dollar and Thrifty were charging a 50 dollar drop off fee. Don't know why maybe it depends on where you are coming from or going
     
  17. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    Maybe. I remember when I was checking different rates, I think it was Hertz and Avis both had one-way fees, but have seen others report those agencies don't charge extra. Interesting...
     
  18. RAD

    RAD DIS Veteran

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    Considering how much money I'm already spending at WDW and on DCL I just spend the extra $'s and use a town car/limo service from the resort to the port. You get to pick what time you want to the driver pick you up to match your scheduled arrival time. No messing around getting/dropping off a car and luggage. We tried the DCL transfers one time, pick up at BW was at noon and then a stop at All Stars, didn't get to the port until about 1:45. If you decide to go with a rental car remember to pick a size that will hold all your luggage, don't get a compact and have luggage for four that you're trying to fit in the trunk.

    The for the return we use DCL transfers, especially if the airline we're flying home on is part of the onboard checking group. So nice to not have to search for your bags, take them through customs and then check them in at MCO, just put them outside your door and claim them at your home airport.

    As I said, not the cheapest solution but on vacation it's nice to not have to worry about things, just sit back and enjoy.
     
  19. Pooh93

    Pooh93 <font color=blue>Proud mom of 2 dd's<br><font colo

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    Have never rented a car or used WDW transfers. Have always used a towncar. Door to door service. No hassles. There are plenty of good limo services. We use Tiffany Towncar. Good luck w/ whatever you decide.
     
  20. kshark1958

    kshark1958 Mouseketeer

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    "Considering how much money I'm already spending at WDW and on DCL I just spend the extra $'s and use a town car/limo service from the resort to the port. You get to pick what time you want to the driver pick you up to match your scheduled arrival time. No messing around gettinig/dropping off a car and luggage."

    Well said RAD that is exactly what we will be doing next time.
     
  21. Tropics

    Tropics Mouseketeer

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    Alamo and National are serviced by Enterprise at Port Canaveral. They do have one way rates, which seem much more reasonably priced than Avis or Hertz (at least for December). You can also easily pick up an Alamo or National car at the Car Care Centre at WDW.
     

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