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Candice R 08-05-2011 04:42 PM

in need of thoughts..RCCL or Disney
Husband and I decided on our next trip (November 2012). We are thinking of doing Universal Studios for 7 days with a 7 day cruise on RCCL (Freedom??) OR 7 days at Walt Disney World with 7 day cruise .. But only did parks for 3 days. RCCL does work with Universal Studios.

I am hoping someone can help me.. IF we go to Universal Studios will RCCL offer transportation to Allure or Oasis? Or would we need to drive there ourselves. We would do park 1st then cruise.

We loved Freedom, but also liked Disney. I know there will be kids on both, I saw more kids on Disney. Any thoughts ideas would be helpful..Thanks

Jim1012 08-06-2011 07:20 AM

RCL or Disney
You've given yourselves planty of time to save up for this vacation, and I think I'd need twice as much time. Disneyland/Epcot/Etc are VERY expensive!! I've done all three, and believe me, any more than one day at each is almost too much-too much money for food, too much walking, too much waiting in line, etc. I've never been on a Disney cruise ship; I understand they're very nice, cabins are a little larger than RCL's, and that the cruises cost a bit more. RCL in the Fall is usually much cheaper than Summer or Springtime(we usually try to sail in Sept). MY ideas would be to fly into Orlando, rent a car, stay either off site near Disneyland or on the property for three days, drive back to Orlando airport, drop off the car. go down to baggage claim where transportation for both RCL and Disney, and, having pre-paid for some form of transportation to the ship (privately or through the cruise line), and go to the ship you choose (sorry for the run-on sentance). We're going on Freedom in a few days-we've sailed Mariner from there, and sailed on Liberty last Fall from Miami. I found Miami to be an awful port, with many employees who didn't seem to care very much, and too many new people checking you in who tended to screw things up, like how we had planned to pay for on-board expenses. I will be interested to see if there are many differences between Liberty and Freedom. Anyway, enough of my ramblings; have a great time whichever way you go!!

Cruise Fanatic 08-06-2011 09:23 AM

Seven days at Universal would be way too long in my opinion. There's only two parks. If you do the Universal/cruise package everything will be included. It will include hotel/admission tickets/transfers from airport to Universal to the pier and back to the airport.

If you decide to do Disney World I would stay at an onsite Disney property. It will be a better experience. If budget is an issue the Disney All Star Movie/Music/Sports are very economical. When staying at a Disney property you will have access to early park entrance/late stay at park, for the designated park of the day. You will be able to purchase gifts in the shops and have them delivered to your hotel (no having to carry them around). When staying at a Disney hotel you can add on a Disney Meal plan. There are several different plans. The Quick meal plan provides plenty to eat in a day for most people. In the past Disney meal plans were pricey but now they are a pretty good deal. Also Disney shuttles to/from hotel run more frequent then off site hotels. Disney provides the Magical Express transfer from the airport to a Disney hotel free of charge and back to the airport. If you are doing a Disney World/ Disney cruise package then all your transfers to the pier and back would also be included. If you did Disney World but a Royal Caribbean cruise, you could have a transfer company pick you up at a Disney hotel and transfer to the pier without going clear back to the airport. Also, if you did want to rent a car to go to the pier there is a car rental at the Dolphin hotel and Disney Car Center over by Downtown Disney.

I've been on three Disney cruises and have enjoyed each one. My first Disney cruise had about 600 children but you never would have known. Disney has excellent programs for the kids. Disney doesn't have casinos and the space where a casino would be, is turned into a hands on interactive area for the kids. There are plenty of adult only areas on a Disney ship.

Candice R 08-06-2011 10:36 AM

With both parks we were only there (prior visits) for literally 3 days..WDW we were unable to go to the water parks. (we stayed at Polynesian with no dining plan). At Universal we also did not get to go to Sea World and other water related parks...That's why we chose 7 days..Although may do 5, 6 or 7 days..BUT no less than 7 day cruise. We want time to see other things.

My other question is if we went to Universal and decided to do Allure or Oasis we need to rent a car right? Transportation is not offered through RC correct?

Sorry if I repeated question

Thanks all

Cruise Fanatic 08-06-2011 11:09 AM

Yes, you definitely would need a rental car. Oasis and Allure sail out of Fort Lauderdale. That's going to be a 218 mile drive.

Candice R 08-06-2011 12:21 PM

Cruise Fanatic...Thanks!!! I am seriously thinking of doing Disney then Freedom..actually called RC..they do not offer transportation from Disney property to cruise..But we could stay at Disney then take cab to one of Universal hotels for a day or two or three..then RC will give us transportation..Wondering if that would be too much of a pain?!!

MCPayne 08-06-2011 05:12 PM

Hi Candice.

You may want to figure in the costs as well. If you stay at a Universal hotel, then the cab fare, then the transportation to Port Canaveral, would that be any cheaper than renting a car and driving to Port Canaveral? I realize then you have the issue of refilling the car with gas and returning it, but most of the major car rental companies will do one way rentals. Example, pick it up at Orlando Airport and return it at Port Canaveral, or a nearby location.

Glad to hear that you enjoyed the Freedom of the Seas enough to go on it again! I'm actually in the very early stages of at least thinking of the possibility of my next cruise. Like you, I'm considering the Freedom of the Seas again, or maybe the Carnival Dream. I'm thinking my next cruise, I maybe doing the Eastern Caribbean, as opposed to the Western Caribbean, which I've done my past 2 cruises.

Sonny V 08-06-2011 10:41 PM

When I sail out of Port Canaveral I always rent a car at the Orlando airport and drop it off in Port Canaveral. I usually use Budget or Thrifty--they have a free shuttle to the ship. The next best mode of transportation from Orlando to the Port is a shuttle service.

Candice R 08-08-2011 05:11 AM

MCPayne I told husband that it wouldn't bother me if we did not do cruise, although I love to cruise. I really wanted to go back to either of the parks..Like I said before with both parks we missed a lot.

I was shocked when husband said he liked Freedom best (over Disney..Only two ships we were on) and he would do Freedom again..I will never ever say no to a cruise. So it looks like we will both get what we want..

We have pleny of time to decide..I am trying to figure out what is cheapest "route" and how I want to do this..Only thing I know for sure is park 1st then cruise

Mmketeer 08-09-2011 02:05 PM

Wow, that's a tough one. I personally prefer DCL and Disney (two adults in there 40's no kids). That being said if you go to Disney World and stay at their resorts you can pay for their Disney bus transfers over to Port Canaveral and it is a really nice bus. They don't have leather seats, but it does have little drop down tv's where they show movies during the ride. Also if you stay at a Disney resort you get free bus transportation from the Orlando airport. Disney is just so huge and offer so many things to do. I go over there at least twice a year and don't even visit the theme parks. I am not that big of a thrill ride person now that I am older, so Disney is fine for me. Also Port Canaveral is 90 miles from the theme park so it's a quick ride over and you can sail on their newest ship the Disney Dream and starting next April the Fantasy. I just sailed the Dream for my 40th birthday. Best birthday ever and the Aquaduck was a blast!
Anyway, since I have already sailed their newest ship we decided to do the Allure for our 20th wedding anniverary next year. You like us will need to either fly into Fort Lauderdale and you can do this I believe from Orlando and take a 8min. taxi ride to the ship or drive down and you can rent a car.
I am curious to see which you decide to do. :) Honestly which ever you choose is gonna be a great vacation!

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