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ilmsg

Disney cruise from Port Carnaveral

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I am booking a first time cruise for our kids 9 and 6, on Disney Dream. Three nights - Bahamas out of Port Canavaral. We are going to arrive the night before and thought that it would be best to sleep near/at the hotel? Do you get a free shuttle to the Port from the airport hotels? Also, on the last day we want to stay somewhere overnight, any suggestions of a hotel to stay after the cruise near kids activities? Also, any tips for first timers on a Disney cruise?

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Are you flying into MCO, Orlando Intl? Some people choose to stay near the Airport. Others near the port. It’s about a 45 mile drive. I wouldn’t count on an airport hotel providing transportation, at least not for free. 

 

We chose to stay at a hotel in Cocoa Beach, 10 minutes from the port. It was wonderful to wake up and see the beach right from our balcony and have a short drive to port for embarkation.

 

As far as accommodations upon your return: the Orlando area has countless options based on what activities you’re interested in and what your budget is. It would be hard to narrow things down without knowing these things.

 

About tips: Are you a huge Disney fan? If so, you will probably consider your Disney Cruise to be worth every penny. If you’re not, then keep in mind that there are many other cruise lines that offer a comparable product at a fraction of Disney’s prices. My kids (who are also 6 and 9) truly enjoyed the experience, but we didn’t consider the overall product to be worth the premium that we paid. 

Edited by Tapi

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Thank you.  We are flying into MCO. We are not huge Disney fans but thought a Disney cruise would be more kid friendly/ geared towards kids,  no,? Other cruise line suggestions?

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Just now, ilmsg said:

Thank you.  We are flying into MCO. We are not huge Disney fans but thought a Disney cruise would be more kid friendly/ geared towards kids,  no,? Other cruise line suggestions?

It is definitely a wonderful cruise for kids. No doubt about it. We thoroughly enjoyed our Disney Cruise. If your main focus is on the kids, you will not go wrong. But we’ve also sailed several other cruise lines with our children which they have enjoyed just as much (and sometimes more) than Disney, and at a fraction of the price. My kids prefer Royal Caribbean. We’ve also sailed Carnival, MSC, and Holland America with them (which was the only one that they really didn’t care for). Our most recent cruise was on MSC and we paid about half what we paid for a Disney Cruise the year prior and for better accommodations with more perks.

 

But admittedly, we are not huge Disney fans. We appreciate what they have to offer but my kids can’t tell the difference between Disney and Dreamworks or any other company. At the same time, we have friends who are big Disney fans and we can’t get them to try anything besides Disney. 

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Not sure where you are flying from, but I don't fly to a port for less than a 7 day cruise.

 

With that said, the airport is about an hour away from the port. If you stay by the airport, you will need a service to take you to the port. Check out the Florida Departures Board for suggestions.

 

 

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12 hours ago, 1025cruise said:

Not sure where you are flying from, but I don't fly to a port for less than a 7 day cruise.

 

With that said, the airport is about an hour away from the port. If you stay by the airport, you will need a service to take you to the port. Check out the Florida Departures Board for suggestions.

 

 

 

Disney does have bus service from the airport for a fee, but my suggestion is to stay near the port. Many of the Port Canaveral area hotels have shuttle service to the port.

 

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Radisson at the Port, in Cape Canaveral, has transportation from Orlando airports to their hotel for a fee and shuttle to the cruise terminal...we've used it many times

 

https://www.radisson.com/cape-canaveral-hotel-fl-32920/flcocoa?facilitatorId=GOOGLEAMERICAS

 

Transportation details

https://www.radisson.com/cape-canaveral-hotel-fl-32920/flcocoa/optional

 

Edited by dendave97

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We often stay near MCO that way if the flight is delayed, it's only a 10 min drive to the hotel. The next morning our kids are wired and get us up with plenty of time to spare. For boarding the ship, we drop the luggage and family off at the port about 30 to 45min before the PAT. This lets the kids see the characters and look around the terminal while the driver drops the car off at the rental terminal (they are all off site). The reason why only the driver goes, is because there is always space on the shuttle for 1 person with out luggage. You might have to wait a shuttle or 2 if your trying to move 4 people with luggage. Often the driver will catch up to the family while they are waiting to be processed.  One time we even had the CM use the previous cruise picture and give us the drivers KTW card, since we had signed copies of the paperwork.

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Several airport area hotels offer a "cruise package" that includes an overnight stay and ROUNDTRIP transportation to the port for a fee.  These are usually a good deal even if you only use the transportation one way.  Other options are a one way car rental or a paid shuttle.

 

If you stay at a port area hotel (Cape Canaveral or Cocoa Beach), you'll still need transportation from the airport to the hotel.  Some of these hotels offer free shuttles to cruise ports, others charge for the service.

 

There are lots of shuttle options--again, check the FL departures board or ask specific questions here.

As to your question about cruise lines....if you aren't a Disney fan, I don't know why you'd pay the increased cost of a DCL cruise.  In 1998, they were definitely the best family cruise line, but over the past 20 years other lines have improved greatly.  DCL has good kid programming, but many kids don't like the noise, the fact that kids can choose to participate in activities or not, and the large age mix in a given space.  Other kids love and thrive on it.  There are other cruise lines that have more "organized" kid programming which some kids like better. DCL food is OK but nothing to write home about; some other lines are better.  DCL does great entertainment, but again, depending on ship and specific shows, they are certainly  not the only good choice out there!  Other lines may cost half of what DCL does.

 

I'm with the above--I won't deal with the issues of getting to port, etc. for less than a 7 night cruise.

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