The shuttle I referred to was the cruise transfer motor coach. $55 is not as bad as I remember. Maybe I was thinking of the total price of transfers on each end of the cruise??? I remember it being $125...
So, yes I can see your sticker shock on the car rental. So you can look at it as the $110 plus the cost of cruise booked excursions (that offer a tour and a trip to the airport) versus the cost fo the rental car. Like you said, what would you do until 1:30am? Our flight was about the same time, you can do alot in that time if you have transport. There is an animal refuge on the way to Anchorage and there are glaciers... You can see things in Anchorage too or even take in a movie. Drop the car off at the airport and off you go...
I'll leave you to your choices. For us with so many it was a "no brainer" but for only two, you will have to decide if you want to sit in the airport all day or not. You will be off the ship by 9AM. Its at most 2 hours to the airport. That's a lot of airport sitting time in my book. OR just book one of the tours that drops you and your luggage at the airport. But I don't know what those cost as we didn't do it. But that way you wouldn't have to worry about driving.
Carnival Cruise Lines:
Fantasy 90, Celebration 95, Victory 05, Conquest 05, Spirit 6/06, Freedom 6/08, Holiday 7/08, Victory 6/09, Valor 9/09, Dream 6/10, Splendor 8/10,Conquest 8/11,Magic 11/11,Triumph 4/12,Spirit 7/12,Freedom 11/12, Triumph 2/13 - The fire cruise, Magic 1/14, Freedom x 2 6/14
NCL Dream October 2006, RCCL Mariner OTS June 2007, Celebrity Silhouette 2013