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cruising from Port Canaveral help


melika091900
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No idea what is the easiest way to do this since we are flying in  the day before the cruise from the west coast 

is it easier to book hotel by the airport? and use private shuttle? or to rent a car and park it at the cruise terminal the whole length of the cruise? 

its just me and hubby and our 9 year old it seems like renting a car might be the easiest but we have never cruised out of Florida 

 

any suggestions welcomed  

 

thanks so much 

 

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13 minutes ago, Cruisesfun65 said:

You don't necessarily have to park the rental car for the duration of the cruise. You can return the car at an agency near the cruise port and then proceed to the ship.

ih i had no idea theres one near the port, 

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We prefer to use a one way car rental pre-cruise, giving us the flexibility to shop, dine and stay where we want.  Drop the car off and ride the car rental shuttle to the port.

 

post cruise, unless you have a late flight and this time to do something fun, just use one of the popular shuttles (Cocoa Beach Shuttle and Cortrans) to get to the airport.  

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so i can rent at the airport and drop off the next day at the cruise port and then book a shuttle to go from cruise port to airport after? 

 

im hoping I can find a late flight the day we get off, 

thanks for the info 

i have to do all my research thats for sure i have never cruised out of florida 

 

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There are dozens of threads here on options in Orlando and to the port. 

 

I assume, unless you get what sounds like a redeye flight, you would get into Orlando later in the day. You could stay at a hotel close to the airport, and get one of the commonly recommended shuttle services, like Cortran, to the ship (and back when you get off). It will be the least expensive option, certainly if you get in later in the day.

 

Another option would be Uber, either to your Port area hotel, or from an airport area hotel.

 

There is always cruise line shuttles, but probably the most expensive option. Other than parking a rental car at the Terminal.

 

Rental car is far from the only option, and could be one of the more complicated options.

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My advice, and take this with a bit of unknown, is it all depends on the time your flight gets in. We were a Disney family, so it is a bit similar.

  • If your flight arrives late, say after 8PM, stay at a hotel near MCO. 
  • If your flight arrives before that, then heading over to the PC area is another option. It just depends on how tired you are and whether you want to take the 45 minute drive the next morning.
  • Renting a car at MCO can be returned at PC and no need to pay for a week and parking for the week. I have researched this because we will be going this route when we do get to cruise again.

Hotels around MCO will be cheaper for the night if that is a concern. You can get insane deals on nice hotels through the bid sites. If you do rent a car, it is a toll road out to the port. Not a big deal, just have cash. Return the rental car and they will shuttle you to the terminal.

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Many rental car companies offer "plate pass" or similar devices which allow you to use the express lanes on the toll roads.  Skip the toll booths.  You pay a few dollars for the privilege, plus the tolls.

 

Alternately, the 528 Beachline Expressway still had toll attendants (real people!) a few months ago.  If you want to pay cash.

 

https://www.cfxway.com/for-travelers/tolls/toll-payment-options/

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/15/2021 at 5:53 PM, JohninDC said:

We prefer to use a one way car rental pre-cruise, giving us the flexibility to shop, dine and stay where we want.  Drop the car off and ride the car rental shuttle to the port.

 

post cruise, unless you have a late flight and this time to do something fun, just use one of the popular shuttles (Cocoa Beach Shuttle and Cortrans) to get to the airport.  

I was going to rent a car before our cruise as well (We are going 2 days ahead).  When we do the one way rental and drop it off the morning of the cruise, does the car rental place charge for the shuttle from the rental place to the ship?

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1 hour ago, sk9mom said:

I was going to rent a car before our cruise as well (We are going 2 days ahead).  When we do the one way rental and drop it off the morning of the cruise, does the car rental place charge for the shuttle from the rental place to the ship?

No they do not. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 2/15/2021 at 2:30 PM, melika091900 said:

No idea what is the easiest way to do this since we are flying in  the day before the cruise from the west coast. is it easier to book hotel by the airport? and use private shuttle? or to rent a car and park it at the cruise terminal the whole length of the cruise? 

its just me and hubby and our 9 year old it seems like renting a car might be the easiest but we have never cruised out of Florida

 

I'd book a night at the Homewood Suites, SpringHill Suites or Residence Inn MCO then Uber the next day to the port. That is much easier than dealing with rental car counters at the airport and turning the car in at the port.

 

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I much prefer the rental car option.  We've done this twice for Port Canaveral cruises and it is painless.  We've used both National and Avis.  Next time, on the return, we'll likely just take the NCL transfer as we plan to not stay overnight after getting off the ship.

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I think we will be doing as above. Car rental from MCO to PC and shuttle from PC to MCO. We will see how it goes on our first cruise. We are staying at MCO hotels because our flights get in late on Friday nights. We could make the drive to PC at night, but spending $200 for one night vs staying free near MCO is a big difference. I just don't see a benefit spending that much money for about 8-10 hours at a hotel. Its money I can use on the vacation. 

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On 3/21/2021 at 12:04 PM, scottca075 said:

 

That is much easier than dealing with rental car counters at the airport and turning the car in at the port.

 

Please explain what this "dealing with rental car counters" is.  Isn't it a five minute exchange (I give them my credit card and license, they give me keys)?

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My wife and I are doing this, We are flying in to MCO the night before renting a car and staying in PC. Then we are thinking of doing the same thing on the way back but staying near MCO. We figured, for the cost of a shutter or Uber and calling a Uber if we want to explore while we are there. It will be cheaper to rent a car. The other reason why this works out for us because we have a early flight coming in 10Am and late flight leaving 5PM. With a 2 year old we don’t  want to hang out at the airport or rush for a early flight and living in New England we need the extra days incase of Snow Storm. 

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15 hours ago, CaptainHazelwood said:

Please explain what this "dealing with rental car counters" is.  Isn't it a five minute exchange (I give them my credit card and license, they give me keys)?

 

If there is no one else at the counter it might be 5 or 10 minutes to rent the car. The bigger hassle is returning the car at Port Canaveral. Will the rental company have a shuttle to the port?

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5 hours ago, scottca075 said:

 

If there is no one else at the counter it might be 5 or 10 minutes to rent the car. The bigger hassle is returning the car at Port Canaveral. Will the rental company have a shuttle to the port?

The answer (two personal experiences) is yes!!

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, scottca075 said:

 

If there is no one else at the counter it might be 5 or 10 minutes to rent the car. The bigger hassle is returning the car at Port Canaveral. Will the rental company have a shuttle to the port?

You might just check and see how many ships and what size ships will be in port the day you are returning your rental car in Port Canaveral. We had a rough experience a few years ago when there were four larger ships in port and the vehicle traffic congestion was really bad at the port going over the bridge, and the car rental shuttles could not get in and out of port very easily. There were a lot of people at the Avis rental car return waiting for the shuttle to return. We ended up calling an Uber to get to the port rather than wait for 2 or 3 shuttle cycles to go and return to pick us up. They may have improved the traffic flow or corrected this problem by now but just be aware of that. Maybe someone else who has done this more recently can provide more input on this.

Edited by stingray310
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5 hours ago, stingray310 said:

You might just check and see how many ships and what size ships will be in port the day you are returning your rental car in Port Canaveral. We had a rough experience a few years ago when there were four larger ships in port and the vehicle traffic congestion was really bad at the port going over the bridge, and the car rental shuttles could not get in and out of port very easily. There were a lot of people at the Avis rental car return waiting for the shuttle to return. We ended up calling an Uber to get to the port rather than wait for 2 or 3 shuttle cycles to go and return to pick us up. They may have improved the traffic flow or corrected this problem by now but just be aware of that. Maybe someone else who has done this more recently can provide more input on this.

I've used PC Avis for both arriving and departing cruises.  For departures, it's a non-issue, as we typically return the car around 10:00 am and have (literally) hours and hours to get shuttled the one remaining mile to the Cruise ship.   For arrivals, if the plane connection was a concern, I would just use the NCL transfer to the airport.

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We are fortunate to be Florida residents so we have no need to stay in a motel.  We live 2 hours away from PC and wanted to rent a van (we have 5 people in our group) and drop it off in PC and rent another when we want to go home.  I priced from the major vendors and the prices are outrageous.  Due to our local sites being open at 9:00 we would have to get the vehicle the day before and therefore a 2 day rental.  

 

Is there a reasonable parking arrangement for us to leave our vehicle near the port?  

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38 minutes ago, bolivar5599 said:

We are fortunate to be Florida residents so we have no need to stay in a motel.  We live 2 hours away from PC and wanted to rent a van (we have 5 people in our group) and drop it off in PC and rent another when we want to go home.  I priced from the major vendors and the prices are outrageous.  Due to our local sites being open at 9:00 we would have to get the vehicle the day before and therefore a 2 day rental.  

 

Is there a reasonable parking arrangement for us to leave our vehicle near the port?  

Several. Park 'N Cruise and Lots of Honor are the most often suggested on this board.

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Posted (edited)

Car rental rates are not normally as high as they are right now.  I'm pretty sure it's due to the much larger than normal crowds of people who have been book booking vacations here this year, likely because Florida is much more "open" right now than many other states.  I can't tell you how many people we've met from Michigan in the past month.  We'll see how it is when things are better in the rest of the country, Mexico and the Caribbean.  Hopefully then people will be traveling to other places and the car rental prices in Florida come back down to earth.  

Edited by cruisemom2
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On 4/3/2021 at 10:10 AM, cruisemom2 said:

Car rental rates are not normally as high as they are right now.  I'm pretty sure it's due to the much larger than normal crowds of people who have been book booking vacations here this year, likely because Florida is much more "open" right now than many other states.  I can't tell you how many people we've met from Michigan in the past month.  We'll see how it is when things are better in the rest of the country, Mexico and the Caribbean.  Hopefully then people will be traveling to other places and the car rental prices in Florida come back down to earth.  

From what I have been able to determine it is because lack of rentals previously caused the vendors to sell off cars and now there is a shortage.  Not enough of the right stuff for us.  Good for them - lousy for us.  We will drive to PC and park for the week.  Split up 3 ways it will not be that bad.   Thank you for your info.

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On 4/3/2021 at 8:39 AM, bolivar5599 said:

 

Is there a reasonable parking arrangement for us to leave our vehicle near the port?  

 

Something to consider:

I live 45 mins away, so it's a non-issue for me, but the last time I sailed from there, I was quite surprised to meet several parties from Daytona (also inside an hour away) who had stayed at one of the PC hotels the night before. 

They said that it allowed them a week of free parking, so getting a room with the included  deal  was cheaper than the port parking facilities alone. 

 

You would need to run the numbers for your situation. It's been a few years, so who knows what deals will be available once we start up again.  There are a few newly opened  hotels there, so prices may be attractive for a while, until demand ramps back up.

Also, the parking operation run by the Radisson (the name escapes me just now - somebody will know) is reliable, and at last check, a few dollars less than the on site port garage. 

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, bolivar5599 said:

From what I have been able to determine it is because lack of rentals previously caused the vendors to sell off cars and now there is a shortage.  Not enough of the right stuff for us.  Good for them - lousy for us.  We will drive to PC and park for the week.  Split up 3 ways it will not be that bad.   Thank you for your info.

Neighbor's son works for Enterprise in Fort Myers (where most of their fleet burnt). Prices are going to be high in general due to limited travelers, limited inventory, and then limited inventory with tons of travelers. I would use personal vehicles and park at the port. It would only be about $120 per vehicle. Split 5 ways with 2 vehicles, it is $50pp. Much easier and no real hassle. You could save a little at some of the parking places, but is it really worth it?

Edited by BoozinCroozin
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