Port Canaveral - Fly in day before or day of?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by CrawfordMomof2, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. CrawfordMomof2

    CrawfordMomof2 Mouseketeer

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    Hi Everyone!

    Brand new here, and we are planning our first Disney cruise. WHOOP WHOOP! :woohoo:

    I have read a lot of posts about people flying in the night before; some staying at the MCO Hyatt, and others staying closer to port. Does anyone fly in the morning of? We're trying to decide on what transportation will be the easiest, what time frame will be the best, etc.

    Any information/experiences that you would like to share are very much appreciated! :banana:
     
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  3. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    Welcome!! We fly in at least a day before. I consider it a form of "insurance." But we also travel from the northeast during the winter, so storms can delay flights and I wouldn't want to risk missing the cruise because of a flight delay. Stuck in a snowstorm while dreaming of CC isn't exactly the vacation I have in mind :rotfl:

    Enjoy your cruise!
     
  4. capshockeygrl

    capshockeygrl Mouseketeer

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    I thought about flying in the day of this January, but decided against it. I've heard you have to be in MCO by 12p. At least to get on Disney Transportation. In the end it was too hard to find flights that would match up. And I decided I wanted a day in the park. :)
     
  5. McNabrat

    McNabrat First Timer!

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    Definitely the DAY BEFORE We just got of the Fantasy on Saturday & our flight out of Denver connecting in Memphis was delayed so we missed the connection. Didn't make it to MCO Friday night, instead was rerouted through Atlanta and had to fly in on Saturday morning. I would be sure to give yourself time, anything can happen!

    Needless to say, we had a rough go from start to finish! Also...be sure to buy trip insurance! Mine decision to do so has been priceless!
     
  6. TFTM

    TFTM Earning My Ears

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    Day of.

    Also fly in from the north-east, but find checking into a hotel the day before and then re-packing / checking out too tiresome.

    Our way, catch a 7 am flight, arrive by 10:30 and off to the ship.
     
  7. PizzieDuster

    PizzieDuster DIS Veteran

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    Day before. Less stressful.

    I like the pre hotel stay. It's so exciting. We've stayed at the MCO Hyatt everytime we sailed from Port Canav.
    From Miami, we stayed at the Intercontinnental.

    Welcome and have a WONDERful cruise!!!:wizard:
     
  8. CrawfordMomof2

    CrawfordMomof2 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the input! Has anyone traveled in the day off with kids? Mine are 7 and 3. My husband wants to fly in the day of, but i'm worried the kids will be exhausted by lunch time.
     
  9. McNabrat

    McNabrat First Timer!

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    Essentially we did fly in on Friday morning :) I flew with 3 kiddos (6,8 & 11) they were so excited to be on the ship they lasted until midnight! Of course they slept until 10 am the next morning!
     
  10. TBMommy

    TBMommy Earning My Ears

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    Having worked for several years at an airport hotel, I would never consider flying in the morning of a cruise. Flights get delayed all the time for all sorts of reasons. Small electrical problems are very common, also weather in other cities prevents planes from being where they are supposed to be, even flight attendants who are late for work, sometimes it they are even delayed because the pilot's flight was late the night before and they have to wait a certain amount of time to fly again... So many unpredictable factors.

    If you are flying into MCO, it is a big airport and takes a while to get from your plane to your luggage then to transportation. Then it is an hour drive to Port, assuming all is well on the 528.

    With the amount of $$ invested in a Disney cruise, I wouldn't risk missing the boat.
     
  11. PizzieDuster

    PizzieDuster DIS Veteran

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  12. sambycat

    sambycat DIS Veteran

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    Day before. ESPECIALLY with kids!
     
  13. Magic3forme

    Magic3forme Grand Slam club members

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    Day before, our flight years ago was cancelled that morning for no reason. Had to drive 2 hrs to another airport ( 6 adults, 7 kids.) We made it in time, but the stress level was way too much....
     
  14. mhconley

    mhconley Califloridian

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    Heck, we're driving from 3-hours away and will go up the day before. I would not risk it. We have stayed several times at the Hyatt MCO and I highly recommend it; it is a nice hotel and one of only a few where you can watch airplanes out your (sound insulated) window. :thumbsup2

    We'll be staying in Cocoa beach and will probably visit the Space Shuttle Atlantis at the Cape Canaveral NASA visitor center on Friday.

    Martin
     
  15. skypixy

    skypixy Mouseketeer

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    :sad2:
    I am a flight attendant. I can't tell you how many passengers I have had over the past 22 years that have missed cruises/tours/weddings due to flying in the day of their important event.
    You invest so much time, energy & money in this vacation! Do you really want to risk missing the ship? Fly in the day before.
    Always the day before.
     
  16. CanuckTraveller

    CanuckTraveller Mouseketeer

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    There are multiple stories out there about how people missed the ship because they flew/drove to port the day of embarkation. Cruise critic has had a few good ones in the past few months, a quick search will convince you to fly in the day before.
    As for repacking, I pack an emergency bag carry on which has everything we need if our luggage is lost. I include our embarkation clothes, swim suits and a pair of pjs, so I never have to open the big luggage until we are in our cabin. It makes staying the night in the hotel pre-cruise much easier. Plus everyone is relaxed and excited to get on the ship :)
     
  17. Belle2007

    Belle2007 Mouseketeer

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    We've done both! In August we fly in the day of for a three day cruise. Husband was not too thrilled when he released how close we were to boarding the ship and that in his words, 'we could have missed the cruise!'....

    So I'd recommend the day before. We stayed at the Disney movies resort and enjoyed MK and then were picked up at noon to be driven to the cruise. It was approx $$ with the room cost and tickets cost, but well worth it.
     
  18. 2CME911

    2CME911 Mouseketeer

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    Welcome to the boards! You're already ahead of the game just by coming here to benefit from everyone else's experience.

    To answer your question, we've flown in the day of, as do many DCL passengers. I do have to agree with the consensus opinion here though that you do take on some extra risk by doing so. If something happens and you can't get to port by about 4:30pm, you will probably miss the boat. That being said, DCL does track its passengers travel situation to some degree IF you arranged transportation through DCL...ie flights, airport transfer, etc. That's not to say that they will definitely hold the boat for you if your DCL arranged flights are delayed, but they will at least know about the situation and might delay port departure for a little while if they think you have a chance of making it to port in a reasonable amount of time. You will not have any control over how those decisions are made, or what constitutes a lttle while or a reasonable amount of time. For many people, however, all this 'maybe this then they might that' is not very comforting.

    So you can mitigate some of the risk you take:
    1. arranging flights and airport transfers through DCL - flights more expensive this way and you have no control over booking, flight times, etc. Plus as noted this may or may not actually help.
    2. purchase travel insurance - if you miss the boat b/o a covered transportation delay you should be able to be refunded the cost of the cruise. Obviously doesn't get you on the ship.
    3. Fly in at least the night before - make your own flight arrangements, keep control of the cost and timing, stay overnight where you choose, get yourself to port or pay DCL for transfer from MCO or WDW resort.

    Time of year, where you're flying out of and your tolerance for risk will all affect how you weigh each of these. For my family, we have decided that we want to be on the ship no matter what, so we fly in the night before now and stay at Hyatt MCO, and take private town car transportation to port. Added benefit of that is a quick shopping stop on the way to port.

    Oh, and our kids (7,9) were too excited to be tired, even flying the day of, so I don't think you really need to be worried about that.

    Good luck with your decision and have a great cruise!
     
  19. CrawfordMomof2

    CrawfordMomof2 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks to everyone for your advice! This will be our first family vacation, and since we have been planning for such a long time I want to make sure everything is as good as it can be! You guys are AWESOME!:cool1:

    Thanks for spending the time to reply.:thumbsup2
     
  20. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

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    My logic--if I come in the day of, I'm up before dawn. By the time I get to through Atlanta, into MCO and finally to the port, I'm exhausted.. Not a good way to start a vacation.

    If I fly in the night before, even if after work/school, I have a decent sleep in a hotel (which I can get thru Priceline for under $50 including breakfast), have a decent breakfast and a reasonable trip to the terminal. If my flight was delayed or luggage lost, I have a lot more options than if I'd planned to fly in the day of the cruise. It isn't worth the stress to save the cost of an overnight hotel room.
     
  21. TXDCLfan

    TXDCLfan Other cruise lines did it first, Disney did it rig

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    DITTO:thumbsup2
     

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