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Arriving in Orlando

There are many times you have to arrive in Orlando prior to your Walt Disney World Vacation.  It could be the flights the night/day before are just too good to pass up vs. arriving day of.  You might have to work and want to get there in the evening.  

Our case was that we had four households convening from four different locations.  One household wanted to go see Universal, another had to work then leave, the other two were pretty much free to do whatever.

There's two scenarios I would suggest.  

  • First, stay at an airport hotel with a shuttle.  In the morning, have your shuttle take you to arrivals on the B side of the airport.  Check in, take your luggage with you, and take the Magical Express to the resort.
  • Second, get a room only room at a Value Resort on property.  Take the Magical Express from the airport, then, in the morning, for $25, take a Minnie Van to your resort.

Four members of our group stayed at a Universal hotel, then taxi'd to the resort.  An option, but probably the least cost effective.

We did the first option.  It was OK, but I paid a little over $200 for a Holiday Inn Express which was average for the airport hotels.  I think the second option would put me time and money ahead, plus a little more time at the resort or Disney Springs.

Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season

It's been a horrible year for hurricanes this year.  Since 2003, when we started in business, we've dealt with storms especially since 2005 which was the most active season during which 28 tropical cyclones formed, of which a record 15 became hurricanes.  Since then, the Weather Channel would scare the bejsus about of everyone by announcing on June 1st that it was officially "Hurricane Season" (which officially ends on November 30th).  This year, however, has been the exception.

Rule #1:  if you're going to travel from August 15th through September 30th, you have to get Travel Insurance.  It might not be your cruise or resort destination that's affected, it might be getting there.  Even driving to a cruise port, can be an issue.  Plus, even if it's not your cruise port or your cruise or during Hurricane season, you can be affected.  I remember getting a call from a group leader after Katrina who was going to cruise in the following January.  She was distraught because their cruise ship had been repositioned to help out housing people in New Orleans.  These storms can affect people who have no idea they're going to get affected.

Rule #2:  Book with a Travel Agent.  A good one.  We're just coming down on DEFCON 4 making sure our clients are informed, taken care of, and properly advised.  Without a Travel Agent, you're travelling alone.  Sometimes it ends really well (although as of today we're not out of the woods yet), sometimes it doesn't because of circumstances out of everyone's control.  But at least, with a TA, you have a person vs. a huge supplier as a go to.

Stay safe, everyone.

Pre cruise travel

We've been very fortunate full time RV'ing, owning a business with flexible hours and wintering close to an embarkation port that we've been driving to our cruises.  A lot of you do, too.

We're cruisiing in August from Miami on an 8 Day Southern Caribbean (bucket list ports, namely Aruba) and will be flying in and back.  We would always recommend flying in the night before and getting a shuttle or an Uber to the pier in the morning.  Sometimes, though, it just can’t be done.

Connie hates flying in on the day of the cruise, and in truth, there are a LOT of possible issues that can arise.  One of those happened to us yesterday when we got the dreaded “your flight has been changed” email.

Our rule of thumb is boots on the ground before noon on your day of embarkation and flights no earlier than 1p on your return.  The changed flights were within the cruise lines guidelines (which you should always consult), but gave us a little bit of nerves.

These flights were on Delta, and the airline you’re flying can have a LOT to do with your options.  One thing about airlines is they’re not really that accessible.  At least Delta has the callback feature where you don’t have to wait on hold for an hour, they’ll call you back.  Still, in all, it was at least a two hour process.

In this case, we had a lot of them (including flying in the day before), but we settled on an earlier departure and arriving in Fort Lauderdale around 11:45a.  Not ideal, but workable.

I’d still much rather drive to my cruise.

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