Thursday, August 24, 2006

Money, Money, Money

For months, my mother, sister, and I had been planning our family's vacation. From calling Triple A, hotels, and the Disney World resort (each call ending with the obligatory, "Have a magical day") to filling out paperwork to studying the websites of each park, we were determined to make this the best vacation ever while spending the least amount of money. Here are some money-saving tips:
1) Book your cruise through Triple A. It costs the same as through Disney, but they give you an additional $25 onboard credit per stateroom. If you use your Disney Visa credit card, you receive an additional $50 per stateroom.

2) There are 12 different categories for staterooms and it can be a little overwhelming trying to decide which one to get. Obviously, different families have different needs. Since we are a family of five, we had the option of getting deluxe family stateroom with a verandah or two adjoining inside staterooms. We decided on the latter and we saved a few hundred dollars. The rooms were very spacious and even though we were on the second floor, close to the bottom of the ship, we could not feel any movement. Although it is nice to have a verandah, it is not necessary as you can go out to the deck whenever you want. I also found that I was not in the room much except to sleep, shower, and change.

3) Transportation to Port Canaveral can be pretty costly, depending on where you are coming from. Disney Cruise Line provides transportation to and from the airport and to and from the Disney resort, but for our family it would have cost $300 roundtrip. Other options are a cab or renting a car, and renting a car turned out to be the best option. Not only did the total cost end up being a little over $100, but we could decide when to leave and arrive extra early to beat the lines.

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