Your Experiences of The Disney Cruise Line Transfers

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by LDISNEYFOX, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. LDISNEYFOX

    LDISNEYFOX WDW Moms Panel Finalist 2012

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    I am trying to weigh up whether to book Disney Cruise Line Transfers from Port Orleans or book a van which would probably save me about $100.00. Not so much fussed about saving the $100 I just want to get to the Port at a reasonable time, so we can board early and and get the boys lunch.

    Can anyone tell me who has used the Disney Cruise Transfers tell me what sort of time they were collected from their Disney Resort, what time they arrived at the Port and finally what time they boarded.

    I have asked when booking the cruise what time the transfers collect you and they just say you will be called at your hotel with a time!! I know the Disney Cruise would add to the experience but I want to arrive as early as we are allowed. I was also told if I had transfers I could not check in online and choose a checking in time!!??

    Any advice would be really appreciated.

    Louise
     
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  3. mmouse37

    mmouse37 DCL Diva!!

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    Ok...literally tens of thousands of people have used DCL transfers with no problem.

    This is how it works.....WDW to Port will cost you $35 pp and depending on the resort you will picked up anywhere from 11:30 to 12:30 is. There is no printed list that I have seen as to what time they pick up from each resort but I think some buses make stops at more than one resort. You can ask at your resort and they will tell you what time to meet for the bus. You will leave your bags in your room and they will be picked up separately at about 8:00 am and be taken to the ship via truck.

    The bus ride is about an hour (or more if you are picking up from the resorts). You will definitely arrive in time for lunch...that is no an issue at all.

    Now....boarding begins at approximately 11:45. You WILL have to do online check in and many are reporting that even though they are taking DCL transfers they DID have to pick a check in time. If you do not take DCL transfers you will not be able to arrive any earlier than you selected port arrival time. On August 2nd DCL says they will be enforcing everyone's port arrival time and if you arrive earlier than your selected time you will be asked to wait until your time comes. On August 2nd the port will not even open until 11:00 for check in.

    For convenience DCL transfers are the way to go.

    MJ
     
  4. SuzanneSLO

    SuzanneSLO DIS Veteran

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    From what I have read and experienced, some of this is changing for transfers to the Dream.
    In May, we were picked up at Noon and we arrived at the Port at 1:10. We finally made it on the ship at 2:30 and it would have been later if we had not skipped the boarding photos. We could have still had lunch at Cabanas (Enchanted Garden closed at 2), but we ate lunch before we left WDW. Lunch at 3 would have been too late for us because we had early seating dinner.

    So, while in the past those arriving from WDW on DCL transfer "walked onto the ship," this is no longer always the case.

    Further, with the changes to the Port opening times on August 2, further changes may be coming, maybe good, maybe bad. If the OP can wait a few weeks until after that time to finalize plans, that would be what I would do. I would also sign up for the earliest Port check in time I could get in case I ended up needing it. if not, I could cancel and book a later time. -- Suzanne
     
  5. ukintheus

    ukintheus DIS Veteran

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    We've used the DCL transfers on both of our cruises. It's definitely convenient and easy to have your luggage picked up from your hotel room at 8 am the morning you are boarding and to have it "magically" appear outside your stateroom. :goodvibes DCL do a good job of giving you all the information you need in a letter they leave in your stateroom the day before departure.

    The first time was last November and we left from Wilderness Lodge and pick up was 11:30 am. We went directly to the terminal and were onboard by about 1:00 - 1:30 pm. I don't really remember exactly, but we had plenty of time to drop our daybags in our stateroom and head up to get a bite for lunch. I felt like it was good timing for us - the lines in the terminal were very short, and we had plenty of time to eat and go explore the ship afterwards, including a meet up with fellow DISers before the muster drill.

    The last trip was July 5th and we left from Boardwalk Inn. Pick up was 12:30 pm, and we had to wait for about 10 mins for the bus to arrive. We had a stop at Saratoga Springs and got to the terminal about 2 pm. By the time we got on the ship and dropped our bags we had only just enough time to get to Cabanas to grab some lunch - they were literally shutting it down as we were eating and we somehow continued to feel that "behind" schedule all afternoon.

    It was still convenient, but I think if I could choose to do it over again I would have preferred to have done private transport of some kind and got to the port a little earlier.
     
  6. ukintheus

    ukintheus DIS Veteran

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    Sorry - I forgot to respond to part of your question. We did have to check in online, and I chose a boarding time (I picked as early as I could) incase I changed my mind about using DCL transfers.
     
  7. mmouse37

    mmouse37 DCL Diva!!

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    So true....all bets are off come August 2nd and we won't know how it all plays out until it happens.

    MJ
     
  8. mrp4352

    mrp4352 DIS Veteran

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    FWIW - I used the transfers in January for the Dream. I was picked up from Saratoga Springs at noon (although it was 12:15 before we left), we stopped at Caribbean Beach and made it to port around 2. I learned that day that boarding group 36 does exist - and that they don't bother to call that number because it's the last one before general boarding. They just call "All passengers are welcome to board at this time."

    If getting there early is a priority, I would arrange private transportation. If ease and "the Disney experience" is your priority, then DCL transfers are the way to go. (I didn't list cost, because that can vary depending on party size.)

    Whichever way you choose - have a wonderful cruise!!!
     
  9. shoes99

    shoes99 DIS Veteran

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    We are two adults 60+ and take the transfer from the resort to port. We were picked up at AKL around 12:00PM, had a full bus, but stopped at Saratoga too. We love that our heavy luggage goes to the port in a truck if you have it ready before 9AM. We got to the port at 1:30PM, filled out the sick survey, and was given boarding pass 36. When we checked in the agent changed the 36 to a 3 and said go right onto the ship. We passed as least 100 folks in line and walked onto the ship. Great service. We dropped our carryon at the cabin and went up to the buffet. We were assigned a table, and food was good and plentyful.
     
  10. bailman

    bailman Mouseketeer

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    Can I ask another question here? We aren't staying at wdw at all. We are flying in on Saturday, staying at a hotel near the port that night and the Dream leaves on Sunday. Is Disney transportation an option for us? I'm leaning towards using someone else anyway, but since we are going to the port area the night before our cruise, does that rule out dcl transfers all together?
    Thanks, and sorry for hijacking your thread!
    Carolyn
     
  11. mmouse37

    mmouse37 DCL Diva!!

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    DCL transfers only run the day of the cruise....you can't use them the day before your cruise....it is not an option. Plus, they would only run TO the ship and not any of the port hotels.

    Many of the port hotels and all of the car rental places have shuttles to take you to the port. Port area car rental companies are Avis, Budget, Hertz, Thirifty/Dollar and Enterprise.

    The closest hotels to the with shuttles are Marriott Residence Inn, County Inn and Suites and the Radisson.

    MJ
     
  12. Sleepyluke

    Sleepyluke Mouseketeer

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    Not staying at WDW or at the airport, no you can't use them.

    For OP, take this for what it is worth, we have been on Magic and not the Dream, we are users of the DCL transfer ease. With all of the talk of you can't get in before this time, hurry up and wait in this line to get to that line, no thank you. We put luggage out in the morning, go have a nice leisurly breakfast while others are in cars at the parking deck trying to get in, we then go to the bathroom if we want in our room or at the resort, rather than getting out of the car that is still in line and running into the parking gargage (which I think is a great idea by the way, since I had not figured out how they were going to accomodate all those folks with kids bladders) - then we may goof around in the gift shop while others get parked (or get dropped off) whichever be the case, then we get with our other 10-30 people going on the cruise while waiting inside in the A/C, instead of outside in line in the heat and or rain, then we board the bus noon ish or so, maybe make 1-2 stops to pick up other folks, then about 10 minutes in the cartoons start, while others are still outside in the heat. About 2 cartoons in, the folks are getting into the terminal to wait in another line and get upset that DCL gave them boarding pass number 42 instead of the 1 or 2 that they wanted, even though those folks are on the ship already, some lugging luggage, some not. We pull up after a nice ride and happy cartoons and a video tour of the ship and see Mickey, Minnie and all the gang, then the little one needs to go to the bathroom, so you get back out of line and go back to the parking garage since it is not your time to enter the terminal, we get up go to the back of the bus and use the restroom and return to our seat only missing a few minutes of the cartoon, then we unload the bus, while you jsut got on the ship 15 minutes before we got there, if you got there real early, you may be on the ship lugging around your backpack, your kids backpack, and other crap you have already accumulated because the room is not ready, and then we walk through security, maybe taking 5 to 10 minutes at the absolute most (don't think it has ever taken that long even if on the back of the bus) but for arguments sake, then you walk to the large mickey hand waiting for you at the top of the stairs, walk straight to one of the waiting customer service folks, or ok,one person is in line in front of you, then walk straight onto the ship, take your boarding pictures at one of the waiting photographers, go drop stuff in the room, walk up to the buffets, find a seat and enjoy lunch and by this time it may be 2-2:30. We are having a great time and others have already started the stress of hurry hurry hurry.

    Really long sentence to say, well worth the $100 difference for us!

    Sorry for the ramble, but I guess people really amuse me on vacations, (to each their own, I do understand the get as much out of it as you can group too) roll with things and enjoy life, it is too short and work sucks to bad to work at having fun! We consider the night before, the bus and the cruise all part of the experience. Now if you were talking $1,000 difference, ok, but after reading the above, $100 is worth your sanity! :lmao:
     
  13. Debers17

    Debers17 Mouseketeer

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    Since we are touching on this subject, not to hijack OP's post, but quick question. We have selected to use DCL transfers, however we are staying at a time share with friends a couple days before the cruise. We don't have to stay at the hotel in the airport to use the transfers right? We plan to rent a car from the airport and then return it that morning, checking ourselves in at ME for the cruise that morning. I can still use the transfers this way correct?
     
  14. CowboyPrincess

    CowboyPrincess Mouseketeer

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    We used DCL transfer from Port Orleans in August 2009. We boarded the bus about noon, made 2 or 3 other hotel stops, hit traffic from an accident on the highway and made it to the port about 2:30. Good thing was we walked right on the ship.... We did us FLorida Tours last year and we are using them again this year. Good luck with whatever you choose.
     
  15. policycobb

    policycobb DIS Veteran

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    We used DCL transfers July 10th from Port Orleans-FQ. We were picked up at Noon. Made two other stops. We checked-in and received boarding pass #30. We made it on the ship with 30 minutes to spare before the buffet was to close. The buffet was crowded but we found a table and there was plenty of food.
     
  16. LDISNEYFOX

    LDISNEYFOX WDW Moms Panel Finalist 2012

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    Thank you all very much for all your replies.

    It's either get there early and experience queues, hustle and bustle, or, get the cruise transfers and literally walk on board!!!

    Will have to see how these new check in times allocations work from August 1st to see if the queues are kinder!!!!

    Would love to be able to get on board around 1pm!!
     
  17. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

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    We've done a variation of this several times...fly in the night before the cruise and stay at a hotel near the airport (but not the Hyatt MCO). Many of these hotels offer complimentary shuttles to/from MCO. SO, we arrive the night before and take the shuttle to the hotel. In the morning we take the shuttle back to MCO and catch the DCL shuttle to the port.

    If I'm cruising solo, this is by far the cheapest way. For 2 of us, it about the same to rent a car and drive to Cape Canaveral vs. doing the transfers, but the transfers are more convenient.

    Yes, as long as you are leaving from MCO and going to the port on the morning of the cruise, you can use the DCL transfer bus.
     
  18. LDISNEYFOX

    LDISNEYFOX WDW Moms Panel Finalist 2012

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    Thanks for this, reading it again, now I am near to booking flights etc, I think this is the way to go. I don't really want to be joining, leaving, joining queue after queue.
     
  19. scootch

    scootch DIS Veteran

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    I like disney transfers from the airport or back... but did not want to get to port so late... so we went with limo pickup. I don't want to be sitting at WDW for hours waiting to go.
     

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