Are you wondering how Disney Cruise Line ground transportation works?
Whether you are sailing out of Miami, Port Canaveral, or another cruise port, Disney Cruise Line typically offers ground transfers for a cost.
In this post, I will detail the DCL ground transfer options for those sailing out of Port of Miami.
I will also compare my family’s experience with Disney Cruise Line ground transportation in Miami to those we have had in Orlando and Port Canaveral.
Benefits of Disney Cruise Transfers
Disney Cruise Line ground transportation is not always the cheapest way to travel, but it is certainly the EASIEST with small kids.
There are loads of taxis and Uber drivers in Miami available to take you to the port for a much smaller fee than that of the Disney Cruise Line ground transfers.
However, Miami law requires these vehicles to secure your small children in car seats. On our cruise out of Miami, I did not want to worry about lugging around car seats for my six year old and one year old.
Because of this, we decided to exchange the cheaper rate of a taxi for the simplicity of using Disney Cruise Line transportation.
Traveling with a toddler can be a huge headache, and I didn’t want to add to it with extra items! The Disney Cruise Line shuttle bus does not require (nor does it allow) car seats.
This is probably the biggest benefit for us, and it is the main reason we like to use Disney cruise ground transportation. Another perk of using DCL transfers is that they handle your luggage for you if you book your pre cruise hotel stay through Disney Cruise Line.
Both in Orlando and in Miami, you can leave your bags inside your hotel room on embarkation day. Your bags will be placed on the Disney Cruise Line bus and taken to the port for you.
How much does Disney Cruise Line ground transportation cost?
The price for Disney Cruise Line ground transportation differs depending on the city where you embark. It is super easy to add the transfers to your reservation, and DCL will just charge your account.
If you booked the Disney cruise yourself, you can call DCL to add ground transfers to your reservation.
If you booked your cruise through a travel agent, your agent will need to contact Disney Cruise Line to add transfers for you.
Children under age three are free, so you don’t need to include your infant or toddler when budgeting for your transportation costs. If you are sailing out of a city other than Miami, this list shows prices for all departure ports.
In Miami, we opted to schedule three legs of Disney cruise transportation.
We chose to have DCL pick us up from the airport and drive us to our hotel, which we also booked through Disney.
We also booked Disney cruise transfers to pick us up from the Four Seasons Hotel the next morning and transport us to the Port of Miami.
In addition, we scheduled the DCL ground transfers AFTER our cruise to take us back to Miami International Airport.
Each leg of these Miami transfers costs $21 per person. For example, the total price per person to use Disney transfers in Miami was $63:
- $21 from Miami airport to Four Seasons hotel
- $21 from Four Seasons to Port of Miami
- $21 from Port of Miami to Miami International Airport
You do not have to book all three transfer options though. If you are just needing a ride to the airport after the cruise, that’s completely doable!
DCL Ground Transportation from Miami Airport
We did not really receive much information on our Disney Cruise Line transfers prior to sailing. I had instructions to grab our bags from baggage claim after landing in Miami.
We were then supposed to look for a DCL representative near the baggage claim area. Luckily, this turned out to be a super simple process!
Right after our plane landed, I realized I had a text message from our driver. His message stated that he would be standing at our luggage carousel waiting for us. He also included a photo of himself so we knew who to look for.
We walked over to the baggage claim area and immediately saw our driver holding a sign with our last name on it. The driver helped my husband grab our suitcases off the belt and then escorted us to the vehicle.
He was driving a large Lincoln Navigator, and he had two car seats for my kids. He also provided cold water bottles for us on our drive to the hotel.
Our driver took us to the Four Seasons Hotel, which was about a fifteen minute drive from the Miami airport.
The EB Hotel (near the airport) was also an option to book through Disney for our pre-cruise hotel stay. It wasn’t as expensive as the Four Seasons, but it seemed less convenient.
We would have had to take the hotel shuttle from the airport to the EB Hotel. Then, we would have needed to take the hotel shuttle back to the airport the next morning to catch the Disney Cruise Line motor coach.
I was worried that it would be too stressful to juggle two large bags and our little kids the morning of the cruise.
So, I had my travel agent book the Four Seasons instead. I didn’t want to have to ride a shuttle back to the airport just to get on another bus to go to the port.
Transportation to Disney Cruise Ship in Miami
When checking in to the Four Seasons, you are typically given a letter about their Disney cruise shuttle service for the next day. For some reason, Disney didn’t have a representative at the Four Seasons to give us this information the afternoon we arrived.
Because of this, we weren’t really sure what time our bags needed to be ready or what time the bus would pick us up the next morning. My husband ended up going down to the lobby of the hotel in the morning where he found a DCL transfer representative.
She informed us that our bags needed to be ready for bell services to pick them up by 9:30. We were then supposed to meet on the main floor of the hotel at 11:00 to board the DCL transfer shuttle.
We attached our luggage tags to our bags and set them inside our hotel room door. I also included a few dollar bills as a tip for the bellman. The bellman, who was a huge help during our entire stay, arrived right at 9:30 to grab our bags.
I told him I was really nervous about our luggage NOT making it to the ship. Since our Disney ground transportation information had been pretty unorganized, I was afraid our bags would get lost.
The bellman assured me that he would take our bags down to the lobby and personally place them on our motor coach once it arrived.
This made me feel so much better!
For some reason, I had thought that our bags would be on a different vehicle. Knowing they would be on the motor coach with us helped give me peace of mind!
We were scheduled to leave for the port at 11:15, but we ended up boarding the bus and leaving just after 11:00.
There was only one other family taking the transfer shuttle with us, so we had a giant bus basically to ourselves. The drive from the hotel to the Port of Miami took about 15 minutes as traffic in Miami was crazy!!
Christmas music played in the background on the bus during our ride to port.
**TIP- Sit on the left side of the bus to get a better view of the ship as you get closer to port. This is also true for Port Canaveral!
The bus pulled up right beside the main door to the Miami terminal. We thanked and tipped our driver as we exited the bus.
The driver put our bags out on the sidewalk at the port. A porter was standing near our bags, and he told us he would take care of them.
We tipped him a few dollars for this as well.
**Insider Tip- Make sure you add $1 bills to your packing list. I brought a lot with us for tipping, but I seemed to need even more than I had planned!
Disney Cruise Ground Transportation from Port of Miami
After we disembarked the cruise ship and passed through U.S. customs, we exited the Miami cruise terminal. There were several employees directing passengers on exactly where to go.
Disney had at least five shuttle buses lined up to take people back to Miami International Airport. We gave our luggage to the driver to place on the bus, and then we found our seats. The ride to the airport took about 20 minutes.
It was pouring rain, so the weather may have caused our commute to take longer than it normally would have. The motor coach driver dropped us off at the airport, and we headed to the Delta desk to check our luggage.
It was quite a hike from where we were dropped off to our check in desk, so be prepared for that!
Overall, we tend to have great experiences with Disney Cruise Line ground transfers. Since car seats are in our foreseeable future, I expect to continue to utilize the DCL buses for the ease of travel.
You just can’t beat the peace of mind you get when Disney is in charge of your family’s transportation!
Have you used Disney Cruise transfers in Miami?
Comment below to let me know if your experience was similar to ours!