First cruise ever..how should we get to port from DW resort

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by micknme, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. micknme

    micknme Mouseketeer

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    Not quite sure what to do regarding getting from our resort to the port.

    If taking the cruise line bus, are there different times for the bus to leave for PC? Or do they all leave pretty much the same time. I don't know what time to choose for port arrival if we do take the bus and will it get us to the ship way later than most other travellers so that we won't have any luck signing up for Palos brunch, mixology, etc.

    I'm wondering if I should cancel the bus and book a a shuttle or limo for the two of us (don't even have a clue of other companies to book or prices) I am such a cruise newbie and would really appreciate any guidance you all can give me.

    TIA
     
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  3. PWammy

    PWammy Mouseketeer

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    April 25th will be our first Disney cruise (Dream), but in general, I never take the cruise line shuttles. They typically leave for the port when they are full, not on a schedule though.
     
  4. ktb2002

    ktb2002 DIS Veteran

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    I can tell you that taking DCL transportation from WDW you will not get to the port until 1pm at the earliest. You can select the earliest time available regardless of what transportation you use, because if you get there early and the terminal is packed you may not be allowed in until it clears out.
     
  5. mom x4 grandma x4

    mom x4 grandma x4 DIS Veteran

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    When we lived out of state ( live in Florida now) we always took the cruise line bus to the port.
    We had to check in with the representative around noon and we left around 12:30 and went straight to the port. Just once we stopped at one more resort to pick up 1 family.

    I loved riding their bus because it really sets the mood for the cruise. They play cartoons on small TV and some trivia and other fun things presented by the characters.
    You park right next to the building and they got our luggage for us so we didn't have to hassle with it.
    It was slightly over an hours ride to the port.
    We arrived in plenty of time to have a late lunch, we walked right on after checking in, and they were still taking reservations for Palos and for changing dining times. We also got to drop off our carryon upon boarding which was nice. I hate dragging it around with me when we arrive earlier. You cant go to your room until 1:30 P.m..


    Its up to you but I would just take the cruise line bus and sit back and relax, vacation has started and let Disney take care of you,
     
  6. MickeySTL

    MickeySTL Earning My Ears

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    These are all considerations:

    Party size

    Convenience vs cost

    What time you would like to arrive at port (depending on your PAT)

    ------
    That being said; for my family of 4 here are the costs I calculated:

    DCL Shuttle - cost $280. Advantages: They handle your luggage and you can board as soon as you arrive at port. Disadvantages: You typically don't arrive until after 1:00 pm because they don't start picking up from the resorts until after 11am.

    Private TownCar Service - cost ~$295 incl. tip. Advantages: You can schedule for whatever time you like, most will allow you stop at a grocery store for drinks, etc. on the way to the port, and it's fancier than a bus. Disadvantages: Lots of companies to choose from (with varying prices and varying reviews), a little more expensive than DCL.

    Rental Car - cost ~$120 including gas. Advantages: Go on your own schedule, make any stops you want on the way and cheapest option. Disadvantages: Can be a hassle picking up and dropping off the car.

    I have decided to go with Budget rental. We are picking up our full size vehicle from the Doubletree across the street from DTD and dropping it off at the port. Then on return from the port to MCO.

    Use Budget BCD offer code Y937800 and watch the prices drop!

    Good luck and I can try to offer more help if you still have questions.:car:
     
  7. MickeySTL

    MickeySTL Earning My Ears

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    Sorry I re-read your OP and saw it's only 2 of you. At that point the $140 DCL option is probably your best bet.
     
  8. kshark1958

    kshark1958 Mouseketeer

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    One deciding factor is how many people in your group and what time you want to get to port. The wife and I stayed at WDW the night before our cruise we rented a car from Budget when we landed at MCO then returned it the next day at PC. This is the most economical way and you also get to set your own schedule, we were also able to stop along the way for things we forgot to pack and a liquor store .But returning a car at Budget in PC can be a hassle with long lines especially if you arrive between 10 and 12. We wanted to arrive to early but had to go back to SSR for our passports so we didn't get there till 1:30. I dropped off DW at terminal and returned the car to Budget. Got right on shuttle since it was me with no luggage and my DW checked us in so we walked right on ship. Another solution is limo they pick you up when you want drop you off at terminal hassle free. If we stay at WDW next time before cruise we will definitely do limo service. According to other threads they will stop along the way to PC if you want to pick something up. It may cost a little more but when you figure in what you are spending for the cruise the convenience is worth it. One name I heard mentioned a lot was Happy Limo their website has a price chart. Now if you don't care about getting to port after 1:00 then take DCL transfer . I will say this much we wanted to get to port by about 11 but after our mishap and getting there at 1:30 their was no crowds or lines to get on ship which was real nice. When we left the ship we took DCL transfer to MCO again convenience well worth it.
     
  9. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    This is not the case for DCL. You make a reservation to take the DCL bus to the port. It will generally pick you up from your resort between 11:30 and 12:30. The buses do have a schedule and it may have more than one resort stop.

    DCL will also handle your luggage from your resort room to the ship. It will be picked up from your room at around 8:00 AM and you will see it in your stateroom before 5:00 PM that afternoon.

    We loved taking the DCL bus to the port and didn't mind the later check in time because we were immediately able to get into our stateroom upon boarding.
     
  10. Tonka's Skipper

    Tonka's Skipper DIS Veteran

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    I am afraid this is not correct.......when you check in to your WDW resort, ask the CM where to meet the morning of the cruise and what time......there is 1 time only.

    A DCL CM will check you in at the time and then everyone leaves for the bus at the same time.

    It is true you will get there 1230 to 1 30, but the big advantage is no matter what time you are immediately brought into the terminal and get on line to check in. No waiting for a assigned time!

    We love it!

    AKK
     
  11. micknme

    micknme Mouseketeer

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    Thank you everyone for such great information. Lots to think over now, but it's good to have so many viewpoints.

    No wonder I love checking into Disboards on a daily basis. You all are the best!!!
     
  12. geekboy

    geekboy Platinum Castaway Member

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    I just realized how spoiled I was when I used port transfers on my November 2012 Disney Dream cruise. I was able to checkin and get my KTTW card at the Orlando airport (which is apparently no longer done). On the way back from Port Canveral to the Disneyworld Resort, they put me in a Mears Shuttle van instead of the motorcoach, and we left after only 5 minutes of waiting. I did take a motorcoach on the way to the Port.
     
  13. DisneyOrBustColorado

    DisneyOrBustColorado Pixie Dust Adventures

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    That was an awesome comparison from MickeySTL! I even learned something new. That being said, we have never tired the DCL bus; mostly because I am a control freak over my trip & how timing runs. Maybe we will try the DCL bus someday though. Just to have a different experience.

    We are a family of 4 & a car is the cheapest option for us by far. We used Happy Limo last year & were very pleased with their service. Great communication from them & from our driver. Our cost to take a town car from WDW to Port Canaveral & from Port Canaveral to the Orlando airport was $238. + a $20. tip each way Totaling $278. for the car including the tips. Happy Limo had the widest variety of time choices. I was extra pleased because the Fantasy didn't make it into port on time because of Hurricane Sandy. The DCL website had no updates & I couldn't reach them on the phone. So I called Happy Limo & they seemed totally on top of things & knew exactly what was going on. They called my cell phone & gave me updates as needed & we were constantly in touch with our driver.

    Below is the town car from Happy Limo that came to pick us up at the Caribbean Beach Resort in WDW.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. k3chantal

    k3chantal DIS Veteran

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    So, when you say dropping it off at port, you are keeping it and paying for parking or returning it to the rental company?
    We are a family of five so looking for the best 'deal'.
     
  15. kshark1958

    kshark1958 Mouseketeer

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    Dropping it off at the car rental center We used budget. You can find coupons on line. Have someone drop off everyone and the luggage at terminal then take the car back to the car rental office. It's a lot easier for that person to get on a shuttle by themselves without luggage then with a crowd and luggage.
     
  16. kshark1958

    kshark1958 Mouseketeer

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    I'm sorry I didn't read your post in its entirety before answering. It looks like you were asking mickeystl a direct question and I answered it. . But usually when someone says dropping off at port they mean at the rental agency.
     
  17. PKK/MJK

    PKK/MJK DIS Veteran

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    We were on the "Sandy Fantasy" voyage and we had no idea as to when we were going to dock either. (we are going on the Fantasy again same time this year)

    We live in NJ, but drove to Fl and stayed with our DD who was on the cruise with us (she is a WDW CM) we drive to the port and park in the new parking deck. We have taken the DCL bus several times but now we prefer to drive to WDW, stay at either at the resort or with DD and drive to the ship..
     
  18. quentina

    quentina <font color=deeppink>The bridge has been built and

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    I always rent a car. I never return it, I pay to park it at the terminal. Once the cruise is over, I walk...get in and leave. To me, that is worth the extra bucks.

    PS- I always priceline. I rarely pay more than $120.00 for a weeks rental (mid-size to min-van).
     
  19. Donna3271

    Donna3271 DIS Veteran

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    The earliest we've ever been to the port taking Disney transportation is 12:25. We usually spend the morning at the resort pool. They are usually empty, and for me... with 3 kids, it is less stressful than being at the terminal.

    BUT, I can understand if it is your first cruise. I would imagine you would be anxious to get to the terminal. It is very exciting.
     
  20. micknme

    micknme Mouseketeer

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    OP here.
    It looks like it will cost not too much more with Happy Limo than with Disney but I do like the thought of how Disney will handle the transfer of our suitcases. If we go with a limo service, what happens with our luggage when we get to the port? I have visions of us lugging it around with us as we wait to board. I like the thought of the limo, but am wondering if we will be overwhelmed without the DCL bus there to guide us...

    We also thought if we don't get an early time for boarding since we don't get to choose until 75 days before, we would probably be better off staying with Disney as getting there at an earlier time would be of no use. Maybe we should stick with the DCL bus for now until we find out when our boarding time will be?

    As you can tell, I am such a newbie and am really in need of advice. Thank you again for all your help.
     
  21. MDTerp

    MDTerp Mouseketeer

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    There will be porters to greet you and take your "properly tagged" luggage to the ship. It will then be delivered to your stateroom by your room host/hostess. We tipped the curbside porter about $10-15 ( there were 8 of us and 6 or 7 bags b/c we sent so e carry on sizes too). It worked great!

    Sent from my iPad using DISBoards
     

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