Pre-cruise options

Ok, enablers. Seeking opinions on pre-cruise options. I’m going solo on a 5-night cruise out of Port Canaveral. I see these as possible options pre-cruise. I’m open to other ideas.

Fly into MCO the day before; stay at hotel near the port.

Fly into MCO the day before. Stay at either WDW or off-site; maybe see Drawn to Life. Travel to port on embarkation day.

Fly into MCO two days before; stay at WDW. See Drawn to Life the first night and the next day do a one-day park trip (likely Epcot).

We usually stay in the Boardwalk area because we hop in and out of Epcot, but if I stayed at WDW on this trip location would be less of an issue. So I have no idea where I’d want to stay. If I don’t do a park day, I’d want a resort that has things to do.

If I don’t manage Drawn to Life on this trip, I can do it on another (assuming it doesn’t close by then).


I am voting for this one only because it is closest to what we are doing. Only we are flying in 4 days ahead, staying at SSR. We will do one day at Epcot, one day where we go see HDDR, and one day where we go see Drawn to Life. The rest of the time will be relaxing and exploring resorts and DS.


Are you cruising on DCL? Or a different line?

If you’re on DCL, it seems so seamless to just stay at WDW and use their shuttle directly to the port on embarkation day. You get there early with good boarding times. That’d work for flying in either 1 or 2 days before.

We’ve done our non-DCL cruises in various ways, in terms of where to stay (WDW, Orlando non-Disney, or near the port), and whether we rent a car or do shuttles (Cortrans). So much depends on when your flight arrives into MCO and how much WDW you really want.


I couldn’t resist going to WDW for at least a day when you’re so close!


We’ve always flown in at least two days early and stayed at a Disney resort. Once we played mini golf and ate at Disney Springs and just enjoyed the pool. Another year we hit Epcot and this year we did the Halloween party.


Our two cruises have been from Miami and even tho most people fly in closer to Miami, we couldn’t resist doing at least some UOR/WDW when being so close so we chose to fly in to MCO. Both times our cruises left on a Monday so we had the full weekend before that we wouldn’t miss any extra work and both times the kids had that Friday before off too so we took off work that day to jumpstart the fun. My vote is to go as many days as you can in advance to enjoy all that Orlando has to offer that you can and want to fit in! And it helps that your longest option includes a day of Epcot which is my favorite place in Orlando. So yes, definitely do the two days is my vote.

As for where to stay, if you’re doing Epcot one day and Disney Springs another, I’d stay somewhere that gives you good access to both.

Will you use a rental to drive to port or a Disney ground transportation (bus)? If doing a bus it seems like staying in a deluxe resort gives you an edge in boarding groups over those taking the bust and staying in a moderate resort (who in turn have an advantage in their boarding group over those to stay at a value).

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The class of resort you stay in has no bearing on your boarding group for the cruise when you take disney transportation to the cruise. I actually received a lower boarding group staying at a value before my cruise than I did before the cruise where I stayed at a moderate.

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