We are looking into taking a Disney Cruise over Labor Day this year. Does anyone know what is the earliest time you can get on the ship? How about the latest? We are looking at airfare and the times they fly out from here and arrive in Orlando, and our choices are 6:30 am arriving at 9:30.... which would be arriving at the airport at 4:30 in the morning with a 3 year old.....or 10:15 am and arriving at 1:00 pm in Orlando. Getting baggage about 1/2 hour....driving about an hour..dropping people at the ship, dropping the rental car, having them shuttle one of us back to the ship.... so the 9:30 arrival would put us at the ship at about 11:00 or so....but starting our day in the middle of the night with a 3 year old...not preferable....or taking the flight a few hours later, getting to Orlando at 1:00 thus getting us to the ship around 2:30 or so. Our knowing what the time frame is for boarding and stop boarding is, would be helpful.
Or......possibly flying out the day before, and staying in a hotel in the area.....anyone know of one in the area of Port Canaveral that has cool stuff to do for a 3 year old
I cruise frequently and ALWAYS fly in the day before. Saves headache and rushing around. Plus, if there is a weather incident, gives you a little buffer to allow rescheduling without missing the cruise (or hopping to the next island to meet the ship).
In Port Canaveral, I would recommend the Country Inn Suites (closest hotel to the cruise pier) but there isn't much for a 3 yr old to do at any hotel there. The Country Inn is new, clean, has free breakfast and a nice staff. They have a shuttle but it is $3 pp to the pier. Seemed more efficient than the rental cars.
We had a rental car...Avis. They were quick and nice but when we were dropped off, the porters didn't come near us until I waved $10 in their face. The other shuttles were getting all the help they could handle.
Now Disney and Carnival will differ in the arrival policy but I can tell you that we were on board the Carnival Glory and people had not been on board the Disney ship. I think we arrived around 11 AM and walked on board and Disney had people still lined up @ noon.
Usually, the latest arrival time is 1 hour before departure. Seems like the window is tight for Disney with 12 - 3 or 4 to get all the people on board.
The drive time from the airport to the pier area is about 40 minutes (if you drive like me, 5-10 MPH over limit). If you stayed in WDW the day before and then drove the rental to the pier, that would be acceptable too (and might be cheaper)
phlydude  (aka Dennis)
"I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing - that it was all started by a mouse" Walter Elias Disney
I've barely got time for website #2 let alone the various other sites I help with or run (long list). But, ya, a cruising website with Phly would be easy for me because he would be the brain power behind the content!