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Getting From MCO to Port Canaveral


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Hi,

 

I'm new to the Forum - Sorry if this has been asked already but, how is the best way to get from MCO to Port Canaveral?

 

My family and I will be cruising on the Freedom of the Seas in April for a 7 night Western Caribbean Cruise. My wife and I cruised twice before on RCCL (Navigator - 5/05 and 4/06 - yes, it's been a while!) but this will be the first cruise for my 6yr old son and 8yr old girl.

 

This will be our first cruise out of Port Canaveral (cruised previously out of Miami), and have plans to fly in the night before to MCO, and will stay overnight at the Country Inn & Suites at Cape Canaveral. The hotel has a shuttle to the Port, but am debating on whether to hire a private limo (VIP Limo?), rent a car one-way (Hertz is right next door to our hotel), or rent a car for the week and leave it at the hotel. For the return leg, we fly out of MCO same day we get back into Port, but is an early afternoon flight (2:45p).

 

Thoughts? Thanks for all the help in advance!

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Welcome to the Forum !

 

I really like your idea of renting a car for a one way trip from MCO since Hertz is right next door to your hotel. I beleive that the cost of parking for a week at the hotel plus the actual expense for renting the car for a whole week would be by far more expensive that renting a car for your way back to MCO. 

Unless the hotel doesn't charge for parking and you get a really good "week price" from Hertz. 

Enjoy your cruise ! Hope your childrens will have a good time. 

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Renting cars is the easiest and I usually do leave it at the hotel and go back and get it

when the cruise is over - just very convenient and easy to get back to airport

 

BUT that being said I have rented a car to get to port Canaveral, dropped it of at Hertz

then taken the RCI shuttle back to the airport, just for convenience.  Its more about

when your flight leaves and how much running around you want to do the day you

come back into the port

 

I always suggest just sending ONE family member to pick up the car, at Hertz,

then driving back over to pick up your family - less moving of people and luggage

on these shuttles.

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I'd agree with going the one way rental route. The only exception would be if you were able to get an unbelievably cheap rate on a one week rental, which can happen. About a year ago, I was able to get a full size through Alamo for a week around the holidays for $100, which was amazing. Otherwise, go with two one-way rentals.

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Susie and I are from Chicago. We have done long weekend cruises out of Port Canaveral a half dozen times. There is some distance between MCO and the port. Here is what we do: We fly into MCO and rent a car from one of the off site car rental places (either Payless or Six T) because they are far cheaper than those adjoining the airport but still offer 24 hour shuttle service. (Full disclosure: we book these things far in advance, we pay in full in advance, and we are members of one sort or another to each company--anything to receive the lowest rate) These daily rent-a-wreck rentals are cheap; often as low as $25 a day. We drive our beater to the port and park at Park-n-Cruise for the $7 a day pay in advance low rate. Park-n-Cruise offers a free shuttle to/from the ship.

 

So for an amount very close to what we'd pay for transfers we get a car to use. A car to use on our terms. A car that is on our timetable. And regarding timetables; we make the flight home for 6-7pm in the evening. We have a car at our disposal basically for free.

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There are lots of shuttle services, both shared and private with a wide range of prices. I have done both.

You need rides both ways I am assuming so make sure you do a good comparison of all your options.

 

While most people seem to say that renting a car is the cheapest(even after gas, tolls, insurance, parking??) I would consider a shared shuttle. I would be more worried about timing and cost of getting your rental car or a rental car for your return trip.

 

You could prob do a private SUV for $80ish each way...door to door, no waiting, no driving as an example...

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There are lots of shuttle services, both shared and private with a wide range of prices. I have done both.

You need rides both ways I am assuming so make sure you do a good comparison of all your options.

 

While most people seem to say that renting a car is the cheapest(even after gas, tolls, insurance, parking??) I would consider a shared shuttle. I would be more worried about timing and cost of getting your rental car or a rental car for your return trip.

 

You could prob do a private SUV for $80ish each way...door to door, no waiting, no driving as an example...

It depends on how many people you are talking about but generally renting a car can be the most economical option as well as the most flexible.  It allows you to do little things like get to the port exactly when you want, make stops for supplies along the way as well as provide a means of sight-seeing before you even board.

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Thanks for everyone's feedback - it's been very helpful, and nice to get a sense of what others are doing. I tend to be a planner, but think I sometimes overplan things. But with a family of 4, every penny counts more often than not. I've been pricing my options and this is what I have found thus far:

 

VIP Executive limo quoted me $240rt for a minivan shuttle for 4, which includes all taxes, port fees, tolls, etc, and includes a grocery stop if we wish.

 

Happy Limo (Mousesavers recommended) looks to be about $235rt for a town car. Like VIP, price includes all taxes, fees, tolls, etc.

 

For rental cars, I'm looking at Hertz. I know they're not the cheapest out there, but they are right next door to the hotel we are staying at the Cape pre-cruise, plus I am a AAA member and can usually get a discount on a rental. Pricing as of right now, for a full-size, one-way rental is $251.37: $165.32 out, and $86.05 back. That includes a free upgrade code and a mousesavers code. I think the reason it is so high on the outbound rental is because Hertz (Cape location) closes around 4-5pm on the Saturday we arrive, and unfortunately we arrive late (9-10pm ish), so they are charging me for an overnight rental. Other rental companies in the area are showing they close around similar times. I suspect that price may drop as we get closer to the depart date, but.... And this price doesn't include tolls (I have my own Sunpass), fuel, etc.

 

So I think I am going to reserve with a limo service, but keep watching the rental prices and checking codes. If I see a significant drop in rental price, I can always cancel my reservation with the limo company. Has anyone had any experience with the above listed limo services and/or recommend any others? I've picked those two because of reviews on other sites.

 

Thanks again! With almost 4 feet of snow on the ground, and a winter storm hitting here every other day, I am VERY ready for a cruise!

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Give what you've cited, I might go with the shuttles out of convenience if that's the out the door price including tips. While it's nice to have a car, if you don't have a need, it is nice to have someone else to do the driving. Further, you won't have the hassle of picking up and dropping off the car.

 

Have you checked the weekly rental rate? It might be worth renting and parking it at the hotel on a stay-cruise rate instead of the two one-way rentals.

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  • 1 year later...

A good site for rental cars is autoslash.com as their constantly reprice rentals up until the point of travel. Personally, I also have good luck on rates through Costco.

 

If you see a good rate, book it as you're not out any money and can always cancel, but it protects you if rates go up.

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