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pthjudy

Kennedy Space Center Tour

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There are 2 tours offered on Anthem of the Seas to the Kennedy Space Center. Both provide transportation. One is on your own and the other is a guided tour. Oddly, the guided one is labeled mild and the independent is moderate. My thinking is that keeping up with a guide could be harder than going at our own pace to where we wish to go and as much as we are able to do.  Have any of you taken either of these tours or perhaps done a private non ship tour? Any suggestions would be very much welcomed. 

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DW and I did the independent excursion last year and had a great time.  It was nice being able to spend as much (or as little) time as we wanted at the various things to see.  I don’t know why it’s labeled moderate when you’re free to rest whenever you need to.  I highly recommend the independent excursion, especially if you have certain things you want to spend time on.

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We did the guided tour of the Kennedy Space Center on the Anthem in January and really liked it.  It was the first time either of us had been to KSC.  The tour guide was very knowledgeable and shared information we would not have gotten on our own. Maybe if we were to go back, we would go on our own, but for the first time, I recommend the guided tour.

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DH and I made our own way to/from Kennedy Space Center via Uber/Lyft.  It was cheaper for us to use a ride sharing app than pay for the ship's transportation.  We also bought our KSC tickets online ahead of the cruise.  Using the KSC maps online, we decided which exhibits were most important to us and made a rough outline for our time there.  We stayed till the Center closed for the day and still didn't see/do everything we wanted.  Many Uber/Lyft drivers wait in the parking lot at closing so there was no wait to climb in a car for the ride back to the ship.

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Kennedy space center is basically a museum which is easily done at your own pace AND a tour of the working part of the space center (the original mission control (Apollo missions), the NASA work area (has a mock up of the space station), and the large rockets used for Apollo missions etc)

 

The tour is well worth it and I would advise that you get in line right away for that.

 

There is NO reason for a guide and No reason to book this through the cruise line.

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6 hours ago, Wordell1 said:

 ...  (the original mission control (Apollo missions), ...

 

Mission Control for all Apollo missions (and all but the first Gemini mission) was in Houston.

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4 minutes ago, Host Clarea said:

 

Mission Control for all Apollo missions (and all but the first Gemini mission) was in Houston.

Probably meant launch control. Easy mistake

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Local here, I see no reason why you couldn't take an Uber over there and go on your own, but I am sure a tour guide would have a lot of additional information and explanations for you.  I suppose if it was my first time and I was a space nut (yes I am) then paying for the tour guide would probably be well worth it.

 

Do NOT MISS the shuttle display, it is amazing!  There is also a memorial to the two lost missions in there, with pieces of wreckage.  Don't miss it.

 

The other "must do" is the bus tour to the Saturn V center.  Allow at least two or three hours for that.

 

As another poster stated, it is now impossible to see everything in one day.  I love the Center, perhaps when I retire from my "real job" I will do tours, LOL.

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Thank you for all the helpful responses. One more question and I can put it to rest. We’ve decided the on your own option with transportation through RC is not only the choice that is best for us but is also pretty fairly priced. If I order now, will they use any OBC we have? Also will any other costs be put on my credit card immediately or after boarding? I only ask because a few months ago we needed to cancel a Princess Cruise due to illness the day before sailing and our booked tours were never charged.  Thanks again. 

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Go on your own.  I grew up there (Merritt Island) and last December combined visiting KSC with a cruise out of Port Canaveral.  I did the "Lunch with an Astronaut" thing, which was really interesting and the food was pretty good.   It was nice doing the rest of the displays at my own pace.

Edited by mk-ultra

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Keep an eye out on the launch schedule - if there's a launch the day you'll be there be sure to, at the very least, pre-pay for your ticket to the facility if possible.  If you can't pre-pay, you may be better off using the cruise ship excursion to get there.

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1 hour ago, pthjudy said:

Thank you for all the helpful responses. One more question and I can put it to rest. We’ve decided the on your own option with transportation through RC is not only the choice that is best for us but is also pretty fairly priced. If I order now, will they use any OBC we have? Also will any other costs be put on my credit card immediately or after boarding? I only ask because a few months ago we needed to cancel a Princess Cruise due to illness the day before sailing and our booked tours were never charged.  Thanks again. 

The transportation provided by RCCL, will be charged at the time of booking.  I am not sure how OBC may come into play.

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2 hours ago, pthjudy said:

Thank you for all the helpful responses. One more question and I can put it to rest. We’ve decided the on your own option with transportation through RC is not only the choice that is best for us but is also pretty fairly priced. If I order now, will they use any OBC we have? Also will any other costs be put on my credit card immediately or after boarding? I only ask because a few months ago we needed to cancel a Princess Cruise due to illness the day before sailing and our booked tours were never charged.  Thanks again. 

 

They will charge you CC immediately for the balance after applying OBC

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Does anyone know if you  can break away from the  guided tour. Hate doing any tour with the cruise lines, but this was the cheapest option at the time.  Cheaper then doing it on my own. (Couldn't believe It)

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You have to choose using OBC.  On the payment page.  There is the price, and then a slider with your OBC, and you can use what you want to against the price.  

 

Years ago a few of us went and did the "Then and Now" tour.  Started with the pad and block house were Alan Shepard was launched.  To where the Atlas Mercury pad used to be.  Then the Titan Gemini pad.  Then where the launched the early Apollo flights on the Saturn 1B, then to the Saturn V launch pad.

 

AMAZING tour for someone who grew up during those times.

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3 minutes ago, jptoz said:

Does anyone know if you  can break away from the  guided tour. Hate doing any tour with the cruise lines, but this was the cheapest option at the time.  Cheaper then doing it on my own. (Couldn't believe It)

 

As I recall, more than half the time on the tour was "on your own".

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I did the "on your own" tour last year.

For the record, I did price out doing it on my own versus the excursion. For two of us, there wasn't enough of a price difference to make it worth the effort to Uber/buy own tickets. 

 

My understanding is that the guided tour (which left after we did from the ship) goes straight to the tour versus dropping you off, as well as makes sure you get into the imax show. I believe the rest of the time is free time. For us, we got dropped off, and went straight to get in line for the bus tour. That probably took the bulk of the time we were there. When we got back to the main center, we grabbed a quick bite to eat (note, the concessions there give Disney a run for their money), and then did the shuttle building. Never got to the imax, but by then we were ready to head back. 

 

If you've never been, definitely worth a visit. But for me, once was enough.

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On 9/22/2019 at 10:46 AM, Host Clarea said:

 

As I recall, more than half the time on the tour was "on your own".

 

That's what I remember.  Most of the tour was on your own.  Specific times to meet your tour guide for special events.

 

Transportation is provided by buses that are from the space center.

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On 9/22/2019 at 10:46 AM, Host Clarea said:

 

As I recall, more than half the time on the tour was "on your own".

 

That's what I remember.  Most of the tour was on your own.  Specific times to meet your tour guide for special events.

 

Transportation is provided by buses that are from the space center.

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I worked at Kennedy Space Center for about a year and am local to the space coast. I would not choose the guided tour as you will be able to do things more at your leisure if you don't. There are a few things that you will not want to miss, which are all included in your price of admission:

1. The bus tour onto the base where you will get a bus tour of the facility and they will drop you off at the Apollo Saturn V center. Watch the presentation movie/exhibit, it's amazing. Then walk at your own pace through the other exhibits. There is a tribute/memorial to the Apollo crew that lost their lives that you will definitely want to see. After you're done, you just go out to board the bus back to the main complex. I do recommend you do the bus tour first thing when you get there.

2. The Atlantis Exhibit. It's the building with the big fuel tank and rocket boosters out front, right by the bus loading area. The actual orbiter from the space shuttle is there and it is built around an entire film/experience. Don't miss the movie/experience part and the big reveal later. It brings tears to my eyes every time and I worked there for a year!

3. Heroes and Legends- it's an experience/exhibit when you first enter the park. Save this for later in the day though as everyone walks in and goes directly there because it's the first thing they see.

4. If you are in the complex at the time of the Astronaut Encounter....go see whomever it is talk. It only takes about 35 minutes and they have an astronaut 365 days/year to give a talk 2 times daily about what he/she encountered while in space. I thought this would be boring, but depending on the astronaut, can be really cool!

 

Have a great time. KSCVC is an experience for sure and well worth your time.

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47 minutes ago, Lilystar said:

I worked at Kennedy Space Center for about a year and am local to the space coast. I would not choose the guided tour as you will be able to do things more at your leisure if you don't. There are a few things that you will not want to miss, which are all included in your price of admission:

1. The bus tour onto the base where you will get a bus tour of the facility and they will drop you off at the Apollo Saturn V center. Watch the presentation movie/exhibit, it's amazing. Then walk at your own pace through the other exhibits. There is a tribute/memorial to the Apollo crew that lost their lives that you will definitely want to see. After you're done, you just go out to board the bus back to the main complex. I do recommend you do the bus tour first thing when you get there.

2. The Atlantis Exhibit. It's the building with the big fuel tank and rocket boosters out front, right by the bus loading area. The actual orbiter from the space shuttle is there and it is built around an entire film/experience. Don't miss the movie/experience part and the big reveal later. It brings tears to my eyes every time and I worked there for a year!

3. Heroes and Legends- it's an experience/exhibit when you first enter the park. Save this for later in the day though as everyone walks in and goes directly there because it's the first thing they see.

4. If you are in the complex at the time of the Astronaut Encounter....go see whomever it is talk. It only takes about 35 minutes and they have an astronaut 365 days/year to give a talk 2 times daily about what he/she encountered while in space. I thought this would be boring, but depending on the astronaut, can be really cool!

 

Have a great time. KSCVC is an experience for sure and well worth your time.

 

Love this advice.  Yes the preshow/reveal of Atlantis always has me teary.  I don't get tired of seeing it.

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1 hour ago, Lilystar said:

Have a great time. KSCVC is an experience for sure and well worth your time.

We Plan on visiting the KSC on Saturday the day before our Harmony Oct. 13th cruise. Thank you so much for your detailed tips. It will help us get a game plan to see this wonderful massive facility.

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