How much savings is renting both ways worth?

Cheburashka

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 25, 2020
I'm considering flying in and out of Tampa instead of our usual MCO, and renting a car for the drive (we'll spend the night at Disney World in between the flight and the cruise). It's cheaper to rent separately to the cruise and from the cruise, but naturally that will require check-in/check-out and shuttle from/to the rental car place each way. The rental cars overall are relatively reasonable when rented at Tampa for when we're going, and the amount extra I'd have to pay for only one rental is about $130, plus a downgrade in category, plus the parking fees at Port Canaveral. I'm trying to decide if it would be worth it. How much of a hassle is it to drop off and pick up the car before and after the cruise? Does it tend to take a long time? I like the idea of just driving up to the port and parking, and then just getting in the car and driving off after the cruise, but I'd rather save the money and drive the higher category car if doing it the other way isn't too onerous. Thoughts? Experiences?
 
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DCLMP

Travel bug
Joined
Jun 28, 2020
It’s pretty simple. I’ve done it many times. With less people and less ships sailing I think it would be even easier. I prefer Alamo, but they are still closed at PC. I think if they reopen it may bring down the prices.
 

Cheburashka

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 25, 2020
It’s pretty simple. I’ve done it many times. With less people and less ships sailing I think it would be even easier. I prefer Alamo, but they are still closed at PC. I think if they reopen it may bring down the prices.
I'll be using Avis if I rent separately both ways, and Enterprise if I do a round trip rental from Tampa. Sounds like saving the money by renting separately might be the way to go, as it would save about $200 including the port parking fees.
 

auntlynne

Aunt Lynne
Joined
Sep 2, 2008
I have rented or dropped off in Port Canaveral at both Hertz and Avis. They both had shuttles right next to the Disney buses, so a very short walk. Minimal wait time for the shuttle.

Avis is the further of the two, maybe 5 miles from the ship and about 2 miles past Hertz. Neither is walkable.

Avis was less frequented; lots of people at Hertz, but I had loyalty status and a reservation, so not bad. It was not as easy as modern airport rental where you walk out and pick a car.

To save money (yeah!), the little extra work is negligible. Based on my experience.
 

DCLMP

Travel bug
Joined
Jun 28, 2020
I'll be using Avis if I rent separately both ways, and Enterprise if I do a round trip rental from Tampa. Sounds like saving the money by renting separately might be the way to go, as it would save about $200 including the port parking fees.
I remember when I could rent a car for two weeks in Orlando for 225.00 One way rentals used to be 30 dollars. Now Im paying 120.00 from MCO to PC. I like to rent before the cruise to pick up water, wine or beer. My return rental price is 225...no thanks. I think we’ll take DCL transportation back.
 

Sykes

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
One caution I have is that if you're going on an earlier cruise, call to make sure that the rental car shuttle is running at the Port (or consider the cost of taxis/Ubers in your calculations). When we did our cruise most of the rental car shuttles at Port Everglades are still not running, and I expect that they'll be a bit slow to resume at Port Canaveral too.
 

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  • Cheburashka

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2020
    One caution I have is that if you're going on an earlier cruise, call to make sure that the rental car shuttle is running at the Port (or consider the cost of taxis/Ubers in your calculations). When we did our cruise most of the rental car shuttles at Port Everglades are still not running, and I expect that they'll be a bit slow to resume at Port Canaveral too.
    That's a good idea. I will call. When booking via Costco I noticed that most of the rental car places at the port were listed as being closed. Avis & Budget were the only ones open, which is why I chose Avis. But I will call to verify.
     

    cvjw

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 22, 2005
    I would say to prepay your rental. With the rental car shortages, I read they are prioritizing customers who already paid if they don’t have enough cars!

    I made my sons prepay for their Maui rental. They had a Jeep waiting for them when others did not.
     

    ladyofthetramp

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2014
    We do one way rentals. We have found them to be cheaper. No sense in paying for parking and the rental while you are on the ship. There really was no hassle. All pre-pandemic. I would check into pre-payment to insure you have a car or at least have a reservation. The rental situation is a nightmare.
     
  • Cheburashka

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2020
    We do one way rentals. We have found them to be cheaper. No sense in paying for parking and the rental while you are on the ship. There really was no hassle. All pre-pandemic. I would check into pre-payment to insure you have a car or at least have a reservation. The rental situation is a nightmare.
    Yes, I've decided on two one-way rentals. Thanks for sharing your positive experience. Another thing I considered recently is liability for the parked car while you're on the cruise. No worries about that when you do two one-way rentals.

    I have reservations via Costco Travel. You don't prepay with them, just reserve. I rented through them at MCO in late December last year without any issue with availability of cars, even though the place was slammed. There was no car shortage at that point, at least- the lot was full despite the overwhelmed rental desks with 30 - 60 minute lines. Regardless, I suspect booking through a prominent agency rather than as an individual helps.
     
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    ladyofthetramp

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2014
    Yes, I've decided on two one-way rentals. Thanks for sharing your positive experience. Another thing I considered recently is liability for the parked car while you're on the cruise. No worries about that when you do two one-way rentals.

    I have reservations via Costco Travel. You don't prepay with them, just reserve. I rented through them at MCO in late December last year without any issue with availability of cars, even though the place was slammed. There was no car shortage at that point, at least- the lot was full despite the overwhelmed rental desks with 30 - 60 minute lines. Regardless, I suspect booking through a prominent agency rather than as an individual helps.
    Totally agree. We always reserve. Sounds like your plans are coming together!
     

    lovedisneycruise

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 3, 2014
    I'm considering flying in and out of Tampa instead of our usual MCO, and renting a car for the drive (we'll spend the night at Disney World in between the flight and the cruise). It's cheaper to rent separately to the cruise and from the cruise, but naturally that will require check-in/check-out and shuttle from/to the rental car place each way. The rental cars overall are relatively reasonable when rented at Tampa for when we're going, and the amount extra I'd have to pay for only one rental is about $130, plus a downgrade in category, plus the parking fees at Port Canaveral. I'm trying to decide if it would be worth it. How much of a hassle is it to drop off and pick up the car before and after the cruise? Does it tend to take a long time? I like the idea of just driving up to the port and parking, and then just getting in the car and driving off after the cruise, but I'd rather save the money and drive the higher category car if doing it the other way isn't too onerous. Thoughts? Experiences?
    We've only done a one-way rental once years ago; we stayed at Residence Inn Port Canaveral (closest to the Port) so we returned the car the morning of the cruise. I don't recall the rental company, but it was a major one and very close to the hotel. We went to drop off the car around 10 am and the lot was jam packed with other passengers waiting to drop off their cars. It was hot and we ended up waiting almost 2 hours for a shuttle to come and take us to the port, which was a couple miles away. If I could have, I would have walked. They claimed they were stuck at the Port dropping off other passengers, but I assume that happens every week. When one of their shuttles finally did show up, it didn't hold many people and the few at the front of the line quickly got on.

    I don't know if this was an exception, but we vowed never again. It was unexpected and not a pleasant way to start off a cruise, plus it was very different than I had read it described on these forums. I hope yours goes smoothly on both ends.
     

    orum

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 13, 2011
    We've only done a one-way rental once years ago; we stayed at Residence Inn Port Canaveral (closest to the Port) so we returned the car the morning of the cruise. I don't recall the rental company, but it was a major one and very close to the hotel. We went to drop off the car around 10 am and the lot was jam packed with other passengers waiting to drop off their cars. It was hot and we ended up waiting almost 2 hours for a shuttle to come and take us to the port, which was a couple miles away. If I could have, I would have walked. They claimed they were stuck at the Port dropping off other passengers, but I assume that happens every week. When one of their shuttles finally did show up, it didn't hold many people and the few at the front of the line quickly got on.

    I don't know if this was an exception, but we vowed never again. It was unexpected and not a pleasant way to start off a cruise, plus it was very different than I had read it described on these forums. I hope yours goes smoothly on both ends.
    We have only done 2 cruises out of PC, but both of them we rented 2 one way minivans. It was not hassle free, but I am pretty sure in both cases, we dropped everyone off but me at the terminal, went and returned the rental car, and then I took the shuttle back. Not sure how this will work if we arrive before our PAT this time (if I can drop my wife at the terminal with our bags). If you only have one person, it may be easier to get onto a shuttle and/or just call an uber.

    I am sure everything this time it going to feel like a first time.
     

    tvguy

    Question anything the facts don't support.
    Joined
    Dec 15, 2003
    I would say to prepay your rental. With the rental car shortages, I read they are prioritizing customers who already paid if they don’t have enough cars!

    I made my sons prepay for their Maui rental. They had a Jeep waiting for them when others did not.
    Even before the pandemic and resulting rental car shortage, I have run into Rental Firms overbooking. Or in reality, taking reservations without regard to what cars they actually have. Enterprise did this to me twice. In one case they had a line of customers at the counter with reservations and not a single car on the lot. Been over 40 years since I worked for Budget, but our location never checked availability when taking reservations. Then the issue was everyone wanted a Corolla due to the oil crisis. I sent a lot of unhappy folks out with reservations for a Corolla in a Thunderbird. We honored the daily rate for the Corolla on the T-bird, but when you are expecting a car that gets 30 miles to the gallon and end up with one that gets 9 mph, it can blow your budget.
     

    RedHead0186

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 6, 2021
    Even before the pandemic and resulting rental car shortage, I have run into Rental Firms overbooking. Or in reality, taking reservations without regard to what cars they actually have. Enterprise did this to me twice. In one case they had a line of customers at the counter with reservations and not a single car on the lot. Been over 40 years since I worked for Budget, but our location never checked availability when taking reservations. Then the issue was everyone wanted a Corolla due to the oil crisis. I sent a lot of unhappy folks out with reservations for a Corolla in a Thunderbird. We honored the daily rate for the Corolla on the T-bird, but when you are expecting a car that gets 30 miles to the gallon and end up with one that gets 9 mph, it can blow your budget.
    This has happened to me before, I had made a reservation at a location and then got a call saying "sorry, we don't have a car for you." Then what the heck is the point of a reservation?! I've also been "upgraded" from a compact car to a large SUV-as you mentioned, not great gas mileage and I had to drive it through downtown Chicago so it didn't feel like an "upgrade" to me.
     

    Keyser

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 19, 1999
    Last time we sailed (pre-pandemic, obviously...) we also flew into Tampa and did 2 one-way rentals (Avis from Tampa, and Enterprise on the return), spending the night in Orlando the night before the cruise. Here are a few comments:
    • Even pre-pandemic, we had an issue with one rental company - Avis basically ran out of cars in Tampa. We got one (instead of the midsize we reserved it was an extended-cab pickup - not ideal for luggage if it had rained!). Another party at the counter when we were there didn't have any car available, and Avis seemed to be working to see if they could get a car from a different company (everyone seemed to be in a similar status). On seeing the "lot" (which was almost totally empty), we felt lucky to get what we did - it was weird to see the whole parking area with almost no cars in it; I don't know what had been going on. All that to say: whatever you can do to be sure you have a car is worth it...
    • We have previously had trips where we rented a car the whole time and paid for parking. You'd have to see the prices for your timeframe to know what would work best.
    • It was weird staying in Orlando, with lots of "Disney World" feel to it, and not be going to Disney World! We were right outside maingate, so that just made it worse. But, it also got us in the "Disney mood" beforehand.
    • We had no issue dropping off the car in Port Canaveral. I dropped my family /luggage at the ship, and went to return the car. I did have to wait for the shuttle to return, but it wasn't long. I could see it being an issue if you were tight on time or there was a sudden crowd, but it was very relaxed for us. I'd just recommend arriving as early as possible.
    • On return, there was quite a line at Enterprise to pick up a car. I believe more than one cruise ship had come in, so it was not just the Fantasy. The line moved pretty well, but if I remember it took almost 45 minutes to get our car.
    • We were leaving the same day from Tampa. One thing we didn't really factor in considering we were flying on a Saturday, I believe (it was either Sat. or Sun.): we hit significant traffic coming into Tampa. We had allowed plenty of time, but I'll say the delay getting our car, and the traffic in Tampa made the whole process take about 2 hours longer than we had expected.
    Overall, I'd do it again, but would allow plenty of time for unexpected issues.
     

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