For families sailing out of Port Canaveral, Florida, the luxurious Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport is a wonderfully convenient place to stay the night before your cruise departs.
While there are several local Orlando hotels near the airport, the Hyatt Regency is the only hotel located right inside the airport terminal. You can step off the plane and walk into your hotel without ever leaving the building. Located one level above the main shopping concourse, the hotel encircles an attractive fountain courtyard atrium and manages to feel well removed from the bustle below.
Pre-cruise overnight stay
The location of the Hyatt Regency inside the main terminal of Orlando International Airport on Level 4 couldn't be more convenient to travelers arriving by air and sailing out of Port Canaveral the next morning.
While your cruise will likely depart in the afternoon, it's a really smart to arrive in Orlando the day before your cruise. If you get up at the crack of dawn to catch your flight and travel all day before embarking the ship, you and the kids may be too exhausted to enjoy the first evening's dinner and entertainment on the ship. (My family has learned this the hard way.)
Also, know that if your flight is delayed for any reason and you do not arrive at the port in time for the sailing, the ship will leave without you. On the other hand, if you spend the night in Orlando, you can take a morning shuttle to the port and board the ship right away. Once on the ship, you can enjoy the pool, lunch buffet, and other facilities for several hours before your ship sets sail. You also get to skip the often long lines that form as passengers are processed to embark. It's a triple win.
If you're sailing with Disney Cruise Line, you can check your luggage right from the hotel if you've signed up for Disney's shuttle transportation to the port. On the morning of your cruise, simply leave your bags inside your hotel room door with Disney Cruise Line luggage tags designating your stateroom number. After checking out of the hotel, you'll leave with only your carry-on bags. Later that day, your checked bags will magically show up in your stateroom on the ship. This is an extremely convenient service.
Post-cruise day use
On the last day of your cruise, you'll debark the ship very early in the morning. If you have a late afternoon or evening flight out of Orlando, consider paying a day-use fee to get a room at the Hyatt Regency at the airport. Instead waiting in an airport lounge, you can watch TV, let your kids nap, swim in the outdoor heated pool, use the gym, and generally reboot before your flight. Day-use rooms are available between 10am and 6pm for a $99 fee.
Best rooms: With over 440 rooms and suites, the hotel offers accommodations of varying sizes and configurations. Some of the suites are palatial, and even standard rooms are plush and beautifully appointed with quality furnishings, beds with pillow-top mattresses, flatscreen TVs, and designer marble bathrooms. Wi-fi is complimentary, and the rooms are completely soundproofed. Unless you venture out on your porch or balcony, many of which offer fabulous runway views, you'd forget you were at an airport.
Visited: September 2014
Disclaimer: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.
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