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Excursion to Disney, Universal


KAA
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Hi everyone!

My husband and I are getting on Anthem in 10 days! We like Anthem and so we usually go the Bahama's route that we have done a few times and stay onboard while everyone leaves.

This year, our anniversary falls on the Orlando day and I am kind of tempted to get off the ship. We do have free passes to Disney and I would pay for a day at Universal, but my question is, is it worth it? I know some of the excursions are 8/10 hours but that includes like 2 hours of travel time. We are not really interested in the NASA/Coco beach things as we have done them before too.

Has anyone done these excursions? Thanks!!!

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1 hour ago, KAA said:

Hi everyone!

My husband and I are getting on Anthem in 10 days! We like Anthem and so we usually go the Bahama's route that we have done a few times and stay onboard while everyone leaves.

This year, our anniversary falls on the Orlando day and I am kind of tempted to get off the ship. We do have free passes to Disney and I would pay for a day at Universal, but my question is, is it worth it? I know some of the excursions are 8/10 hours but that includes like 2 hours of travel time. We are not really interested in the NASA/Coco beach things as we have done them before too.

Has anyone done these excursions? Thanks!!!

Are you there from 7am-9pm or is it the short day from 12pm-6pm or 12-9pm?

I personally wouldn't want to chance Universal or Disney. Like you said already, it's about 2hrs gone round trip and what if there is traffic? That route from PC to Orlando can sometimes get backed up. I always feel like Orlando should be a trip in itself. I remember reading a really good live blog back in February and they went to Magic Kingdom. Even though they did not run into traffic, they still reported that it was rushed and they didn't get to do all the things they wanted to. And they were docked all day. I suppose if you've been to the parks before and you had a short list of things to do then it would be ok but otherwise it would be hard to fit in.

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17 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Are you there from 7am-9pm or is it the short day from 12pm-6pm or 12-9pm?

I personally wouldn't want to chance Universal or Disney. Like you said already, it's about 2hrs gone round trip and what if there is traffic? That route from PC to Orlando can sometimes get backed up. I always feel like Orlando should be a trip in itself. I remember reading a really good live blog back in February and they went to Magic Kingdom. Even though they did not run into traffic, they still reported that it was rushed and they didn't get to do all the things they wanted to. And they were docked all day. I suppose if you've been to the parks before and you had a short list of things to do then it would be ok but otherwise it would be hard to fit in.

Since it is an official RCL excursion, there is no danger in getting back - right?

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34 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Are you there from 7am-9pm or is it the short day from 12pm-6pm or 12-9pm?

I personally wouldn't want to chance Universal or Disney. Like you said already, it's about 2hrs gone round trip and what if there is traffic? That route from PC to Orlando can sometimes get backed up. I always feel like Orlando should be a trip in itself. I remember reading a really good live blog back in February and they went to Magic Kingdom. Even though they did not run into traffic, they still reported that it was rushed and they didn't get to do all the things they wanted to. And they were docked all day. I suppose if you've been to the parks before and you had a short list of things to do then it would be ok but otherwise it would be hard to fit in.

It's a good point. We actually went to Disney/Universal this past February for 8 days so I'm sure we could just pick a couple of attractions to see, but again, still not sure the cost is worth the reward (except for the free tickets)

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10 minutes ago, KAA said:

It's a good point. We actually went to Disney/Universal this past February for 8 days so I'm sure we could just pick a couple of attractions to see, but again, still not sure the cost is worth the reward (except for the free tickets)

Well, if you have free tickets and you're not interested in the beach or KSC then I suppose there's no harm.

Last month on Anthem we did the space center and our friends,who we sailed with, rented a car and just drove around the area for the day. That's another option.

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12 hours ago, KAA said:

We do have free passes to Disney and I would pay for a day at Universal, but my question is, is it worth it?

In my opinion, the only way it's worth it is the fact that you have free passes to Disney.  While I have not done this particular excursion, I've been back and forth between the port and orlando a few times and you're looking at two hours (at least) round trip.   That would leave maybe 6 hours at the park?   You'd have to make judicious use of Fast Passes since you probably wouldnt get there at Park open and the lines would be getting long.   Free passes or and annual pass,  I'd probably do it but we're big park fans.    I wouldn't recommend it to someone going for the first time.  Since you're not interested in Cocoa Beach or KSC, what about just staying on the ship, hopefully w/ fewer people? 

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12 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Are you there from 7am-9pm or is it the short day from 12pm-6pm or 12-9pm?

I personally wouldn't want to chance Universal or Disney. Like you said already, it's about 2hrs gone round trip and what if there is traffic? That route from PC to Orlando can sometimes get backed up. I always feel like Orlando should be a trip in itself. I remember reading a really good live blog back in February and they went to Magic Kingdom. Even though they did not run into traffic, they still reported that it was rushed and they didn't get to do all the things they wanted to. And they were docked all day. I suppose if you've been to the parks before and you had a short list of things to do then it would be ok but otherwise it would be hard to fit in.

No matter if traffic is backed up for 10 hours, the ship will wait for you IF you brought the excursion from Royal. You can buy your own tickets to the theme parks, BUT you MUST buy the round-trip transportation from Royal which guarantees that they will wait for you.

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5 minutes ago, princevaliantus said:

No matter if traffic is backed up for 10 hours, the ship will wait for you IF you brought the excursion from Royal. You can buy your own tickets to the theme parks, BUT you MUST buy the round-trip transportation from Royal which guarantees that they will wait for you.

Not necessary, if the ship has to go and you bought a shore excursion with Royal, they will wait for a while but not forever, eventually the ship could leave and Royal would have to make arrangements to take you to the next port of call. 

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5 minutes ago, princevaliantus said:

No matter if traffic is backed up for 10 hours, the ship will wait for you IF you brought the excursion from Royal. You can buy your own tickets to the theme parks, BUT you MUST buy the round-trip transportation from Royal which guarantees that they will wait for you.

Does anyone know if this is actually true? It was my understanding that the language isn't that the ship will guarantee to wait for you but that they guarantee to get you caught up to the cruise if they have to leave you. Usually that would mean holding the ship and making up the time en route to next port is the "best" way to fulfill the guarantee, but I would have to think at some point they are better off leaving, putting you in a hotel and the next flight to catch up to the ship. In this example for instance, are you really holding the ship for 10 hours and missing the next port of call potentially?

Definitely NOT certain I am right but pretty sure I had it explained to me that way once.

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2 minutes ago, carlosalonsor said:

Not necessary, if the ship has to go and you bought a shore excursion with Royal, they will wait for a while but not forever, eventually the ship could leave and Royal would have to make arrangements to take you to the next port of call. 

I was putting emphasis on the questions, but Royal will wait up to 4 hours. After that, they will make arrangements, ALL PAID, OF COURSE, to meet them in the next port. This happened to me once and the beauty of it, we had TWO DAYS TOTALLY PAID FOR BY ROYAL (HOTEL, MEALS, ETC) since there was a sea day before the next port of arrival. We were not complaining!!

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2 hours ago, princevaliantus said:

No matter if traffic is backed up for 10 hours, the ship will wait for you IF you brought the excursion from Royal. You can buy your own tickets to the theme parks, BUT you MUST buy the round-trip transportation from Royal which guarantees that they will wait for you.

Not exactly.  If you book an excursion through RC, yes, they guarantee that if the TOUR is late, you will get back to the ship.  In the event of a 10 hour delay, what would likely happen is the ship would leave and RC would get you back on at the next port. Of course, exact logistics will depend.

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My daughter and wife decided to do the day trip to Disney last week.  We sailed on the Anthem so the times are probably the same as you will have.  Leave the boat around noon and back about 8 or 9PM.  My daughter considered it a wasted day.  Time lost with travel, a downpour and very long waits for rides.  They got on 2 rides, visited 2 Princesses and it was about time to leave. If you already have the free tickets, then I can see going.  I am out about $350 for a trip to Disney that my daughter thinks was a waste of time.

 

I stayed on the boat and had a wonderful father/son dinner at Izumi.

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We also like the Bayonne to Bahamas route on Anthem and have done it 3 times so far. Its a long day to one of the them parks that will fly by incredibly fast. It doesnt sound like you are traveling with kids so that is a plus in a way. 2 adults move around a lot easier than with kids and expectations are usually different. And if you have been to either park before you could do some pre-planning for what you want to see or do.  I also see it as "something to do" in the otherwise boring port of Cape Canaveral. I say go for it and add a memory for yourselves.

An off thread thought on this itinerary to Bayonne to Bahamas is why doesn't Royal look into changing this one up? I love the ship and I like even more the escape to warm weather but Cape Canaveral and Nassau are about 2 of the worst ports of call. Much has been said in these posts about the lack of things to do there. Cant they come up with something else? Inset Key West for Canaveral? Switch Nassau for Freeport? We are on Anthem again for Thanksgiving and this year they have changed it from 7 to 8  nights adding a cruising day which is great but after 3 years cant they change it up a little? First world problem I know. Just wondering...........

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3 hours ago, whenismynextcruise said:

An off thread thought on this itinerary to Bayonne to Bahamas is why doesn't Royal look into changing this one up?

Anthem's itineraries are tied to the time of year.  In Winter, late fall & early spring, Bermuda, Canada or New England are out as options.  So that leaves going south.  Once you get past the Bahamas, you're talking about a cruise longer than a week.  Most Americans (especially families on vacation) are unwilling/unable to take more than a week off of work.

During the summer, you get more varied itineraries.  Check out our Anthem of the Seas group cruise 2019 as a glowing example: Bermuda, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, and Labadee.

Fall takes Anthem to Canada/New England.

3 hours ago, whenismynextcruise said:

Inset Key West for Canaveral?

Key West is further away from Canaveral, so it may be logistically impossible. Also, Key West may not be able to handle a Quantum class ship in terms of its docking facility.

 

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thanks @Matt. what you say makes sense. We have only cruised in the winter. An escape from cold New England weather. And with Anthem in NJ it is soooo convenient not to have to fly to Florida when the port is only a 4 hour drive. We will have to consider a summer cruise :) 

and thanks to @WAAAYTOOO  - I have never been to Freeport and wont plan to go! Great advice. We will continue to enjoy the relative peace of our ship day in Nassau! 

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