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50th anniversary of the first American flight to orbit the Earth

USA celebrate 50 years from their first flight to Earth’s orbit. The flight of John Glenn on Feb. 20, 1962 was a challenge test for the spacecraft. As you know John Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth. After his retirement from NASA he became a U.S. senator and in 1998 he became the world’s oldest spaceman. During the Cold War John Glenn’s act was a huge political triumph for all Americans.

Visit the Kennedy Space Center

For those of you who are interested in Space or are planning trips to Orlando, FL there is a great opportunity to visit the Kennedy Space Center. All you need to do is to find friendly local company to provide you Orlando to Port Canaveral transportation. At the space center you will find out interesting facts from the history of the USA space program as well as you can see and take a picture of the aircrafts used for the space expeditions.

The Space Program Timeline

The space program started in 1958 and launched the human space exploration with missions planned to discover whether a human being could survive in space. Astronaut Alan Shepard piloted a 15-minute Project Mercury suborbital flight in the Freedom 7 spacecraft on May 5, 1961 to become the first American in space. John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, aboard Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962, on the Mercury-Atlas 6 mission, circling the globe three times during a flight lasting 4 hours, 55 minutes, and 23 seconds. In 1943 he was assigned to the United States Marine Corps and flew 59 combat missions over the Marshall Islands as a F4U Corsair pilot. After the World War II he was transferred to Guam. Glenn was next assigned to VMF-311, flying the new F9F Panther jet interceptor. He flew his Panther in 63 combat missions during the Korean War. Glenn flew a second Korean combat tour on an interservice exchange program with the United States Air Force. He logged 27 missions in the faster F-86F Sabre and shot down three MiG-15s. He was assigned to NASA as one of the original group of seven astronauts chosen for Project Mercury.

The Mercurian Project

The Mercury spacecraft, named Friendship 7 and piloted by John Glenn, was carried to orbit by an Atlas LV-3B launch vehicle lifting off from Launch Complex 14 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. It made three orbits of the Earth and after four hours and 56 minutes in flight the spacecraft re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere, splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean and was safely taken aboard the USS Noa. Glenn’s mission, finished almost an year after the flight of Yuri Gagarin around the Earth, made USA more confident in taking back the lead of conquest the space and turned him into a national hero. John Glenn resigned from NASA in 1964 because he got refusal to fly again. Later he found out that responsible for this is John Kennedy – the president of United States – who was uneasy of unforeseen circumstances during the second flight.

The Oldest Man in Space

In 1998 Glenn flew for a second time as a crew member of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Back then at age 77 he took a part in scientific experiment about aging in space performed by National Institutes of Health.
Fifty years after his legendary flight 90-year-old Glenn feels bitterness of the USA decision from last year to stop the shuttles completely. Now Washington is relying on the Russians to transport American astronauts to and from the International Space Station at 385 km height. Glenn blames George W.Bush, Jr. and his administration for space projects crisis. „We spent over $100 billion dollars putting the space station up there. It’s too bad in the previous administration the decision was made to end the shuttle, so now we have to go somewhere else to even get up to our station “, said Glenn.

The Space Program Nowadays

United States Space Command wanted 830 million $ more for the budget year, starting at Oct. 1, 2012, so it could continue the cooperation with the private companies, which have to develop a substitute of the shuttles in 5 years. The American company Space X will achieve experimental flight with its spacecraft, named Dragon, after Mar. 20.
Scott Carpenter was the second American to orbit the Earth on May 24, 1962. He flew with Mercury capsule too. Carpenter regrets that USA lost their determination in this direction when China got ambitious space program and wants to send people to the Moon.
After Glenn’s and Carpenter’s missions there were two more with Mercury spacecrafts. They cleared the way for Project Gemini and set the aim for sending people to the Moon.

Port Canaveral – The cruise port of the future

It has gone a long way since the first Bahamas cruse sailed out from Port Canaveral in 1980’s. Now Port Canaveral is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world. It has 5 cruise terminals and is a home port of 8 cruise ships owned by four cruise lines. Carnival, Disney, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian has chosen Port Canaveral as a starting point for their cruise trips to the Bahamas, Eastern and Western Caribbean. Their ships are leaving from the port almost every day of the week, with exception of Tuesday and Wednesday.
Let’s now review what has changed recently and what is still pending.
During the last year and a half, three new ships came to the port.

Norwegian Sun
Norwegian Sun

For the first time Norwegian cruise line decide to use Port Canaveral as a seasonal home port for its ship Sun. Norwegian Sun came to the port in October 2010. It offers Caribbean cruise trips from October to April.

Disney Dream
Disney Dream - All Hands On Deck 4

[12:56:13 PM] Stanislav Stratiev: From January 4th 2011, Disney’s new ship – Dream began cruise trips from Port Canaveral. However, in March 2012, the port is expecting the brand new Disney Fantasy cruise ship. Disney Fantasy will replace Disney Magic cruise ship at the port. Let’s mention here and one more interesting thing about Disney – apart from the regular stops on cruise trips Disney is offering stop at their very own Bahamas Island – Castaway Cay.

Carnival Ecstasy
Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Fascination

In November 2011 Carnival’s ship Ecstasy also started operation from Port Canaveral. Carnival is the first of the four cruise lines which called Port Canaveral home. The Carnival Fantasy was the first mega ship home-ported at Port Canaveral.

The news from the port in the last year and a half are in a synchrony with the upcoming changes at Port Canaveral. The port’s development and improvement plan is giving more results this year.
The new terminal 6 is expected to be ready for use in the summer of 2012. It should have a sleek and modern design and is expected to allow the cruise ships to simultaneously embark and disembark passengers, which the rest of the terminals do not offer. The new terminal is coming with new pier, gang way and parking.
Part of the future development of the port are also widening and deepening of the channel, widening of the west turning basin entrance, Jetty Park Expansion and Improvements, magnificent Hotel and Conference Center, a 10,000 square foot Welcome Center in addition to the open-air marketplace launched in February 2011. Plan also includes infrastructure improvements – new road, sidewalks, parking etc.

disney-dream-port-canaveral-7 Sensation at Port Canaveral - 1Port Canaveral
The target of course is attracting more mega ships to the port and more happy passengers coming to Port Canaveral. The newer, bigger and financially stronger Port Canaveral will not only serve the cruise lines and their passengers better but it will boost the local economy. As one of the major transportation providers between Orlando and Port Canaveral, we in LuxTransO, are very excited to be part of this extension and to have the ability to serve and satisfy more and more people in their transportation needs. If you are in a need of transportation, please use our site menu to get more familiar with what we are offering.

Which are the best hotels near Orlando International Airport (MCO) for one night stay?

We continue in our attempts to help you plan your best cruise vacation. This time we are taking a closer look into the hotels near Orlando International Airport.

Orlando International Airport (MCO) is just the most convenient way to get to Port Canaveral. The distance between the MCO airport and Port Canaveral is just 45 miles (73 km) or a trip of 45-50 minutes.

In order to avoid the stress of late flights, some people prefer to fly one day before their cruise and spend the night in a hotel near the airport. Then on the cruise day they take private transportation to the port.

Here is our top 5 hotels based on user reviews and research in internet:

  1. Comfort Suits Hotel near Orlando Airport (2 and half stars hotel)

    Rates from: $89

    Over-sized rooms with separate areas for working. Complimentary breakfast. Exercise room, outdoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi. 24-hour business center.
    Free airport transportation. Smoke-free hotel. A+ staff.

    Web Site:

  2. La Quinta Inn & Suites Orlando Airport North (2 and half stars hotel)

    Rates from: $89

    Hotel offers clean and well maintained rooms. It has outdoor pool with a spa tub, complimentary breakfast, wireless Internet access, business center and fitness. Airport shuttle is provided. Pet friendly hotel without pet fee. Employees are friendly and helpful.

    Web site:

  3. Staybridge Suites Orlando Airport South (3 stars hotel)

    Rate from: $119 ($102 Advance purchase)

    Room are clean and spacious. Hotel provide free breakfast, complimentary facilities such as the fitness center, sport court, outdoor pool and business center. Pet friendly with deposit of $20. Shuttle from and to the airport.

    Web Site:

  4. Fairfield Inn Orlando Airport (2 and a half stars hotel)

    Rates: $139 ($119 Advance purchase)

    Clean, comfortable beds. Friendly staff. Airport shuttle service. Lots of nice restaurants close by within walking distance. Complimentary breakfast included. Pets are not allowed in the hotel.

    Web Site:

  5. Hyatt Place (3 stars hotel)

    Rates from: $149, look for 48 hour sale 25% discount of the rates

    Hotel has outdoor pool. Complimentary breakfast, internet and parking. No pets allowed. Smoke free hotel. Good service. Clean and spacious rooms. Bakery Café on site. 24/7 Guest Kitchen serves made-to-order snacks and entrees. Shuttle service from and to Orlando International Airport is provided.

    Web Site:

Please don’t forget to consider our transportation company for your trip from the hotel to the port and then from the port to Orlando International Airport. We offer private van transportation with flat competitive rates. Check our Port Canaveral page, contact us, call us on 407-690-3330 or submit a quote.

Also, you can take a look at our review of the hotels near port Canaveral, which is another feasible option.

NBA 2012 All-Stars game is coming to Orlando, Florida. Enjoy the game and let us take care for your transportation.

Some NBA excitement is coming to downtown Orlando next weekend. One of the world‘s best sporting events, the 2012 All-Star Game will be hosted in the Orlando’s Amway Center on Saturday, February 26th. Every season, the game between the NBA top athletes brings joy to all basketball fans in USA and across the world. This year players have been selected, including Orlando Magic’s and local hero Dwight Howard. There is nothing left for the fans, but to wait patiently a few more days for the show to start and bet who will win this year.

Congratulations to the lucky ones with tickets who will enjoy the game live in the Orlando arena. If you are one of them and you are coming to Orlando for the game don’t forget to book your transportation in advance. Around 50,000 visitors are expected in the city for the game. That is why taking a taxi in the last minute may not be a good idea.

Take advantage of our private van transportation service from Orlando Airport with hassle free meet and greet. We can take you to your hotel or directly to downtown Orlando for the game. Then after it, we will bring you back. Еntrust your transportation needs in our hands. Our vehicles are clean and our drivers are professional. Submit a quote for your exact transportation needs, contact us or call us at 407-690-3330 to schedule your transportation.

Enjoy the game and leave all your transportation worries to us!

Did you know?:
The Amway Center is the new home of the Orlando Magic’s team. It opened in October 2010. Orlando Magic were chosen to host the All Star Game in May 2010. This will be the game 61-st edition.

Amway Center

Hotels near port Canaveral. Which are the best hotels for my money?

Taking a flight to Orlando the same day your cruise departs can be risky. Flights get delayed or canceled all the time due to bad weather or other reasons. Many people prefer to fly the previous day and spend the night in a hotel near Port Canaveral. On the cruise day it is few minutes ride between the hotel and the port with a free or low cost shuttle service. Now your question is – Which hotel should I choose? We did some research for you to help you with this task. Here is our top 5 list.

  1. Radisson Resort at the Port (3 stars hotel)

    Rates start from $93 Sunday to Thursday and from $120 for Friday and Saturday

    The hotel is built in 1962 year, but remodeled in 2009. Clean and spacious rooms, although some of the cruisers found them little outdated. Good service and good breakfast (not complimentary). Free internet, parking, outdoor pool, business center and fitness. No smoking allowed on site. Pets friendly hotel, no fee. Restaurant and lounge on site. Shuttle to the port is free with cruise package and cost $4 one way otherwise. Government and military discount available.

    Web Site:

  2. Holiday Inn Express Cocoa Beach (2 and a half stars hotel)

    Rates start from $145 ($127 when purchased in advance)

    Large and clean rooms. Complimentary breakfast, internet, parking, heated outside pool, business center and fitness. Smoke free hotel. Pet friendly, but all animals must be ADA approved. Nice Location, close to the beach, grocery store and restaurants. Cruise package includes free shuttle to the port, $4 one way fee otherwise. You can book your shuttle trough the Front Desk.

    Web Site:

  3.  Country Inn and Suites (2 and a half stars)

    Rates start from $99 Sunday to Thursday ($85 with advance booking) and from $160 for Friday and Saturday ($120 advance booking)

    The hotel is built in 2006. It offers clean rooms and good service. The breakfast, internet, parking, heated outside pool, business center and fitness are free. Smoke free hotel. Pets are not allowed. The closest sit in restaurant is on 5 -10 minutes walk. There is a close by Burger King. Free shuttle with Cruise package, otherwise $5 fee one way. Sign in for the shuttle service upon check in. AAA and senior discounts available.

    Web site:

  4.  Residence Inn Cape Canaveral (3 stars hotel)

    Rates start from $169

    The hotel is built in 2005. It offers clean, well maintained and spacious suits with full kitchen in every one. Friendly staff. Free breakfast, internet, parking, outside pool, business center and fitness. No smoking in the hotel but it is pet friendly (pet fee $100). There are no close by places to eat on 5-10 minutes except one Burger King. Shuttle to the port costs $3 one way. You have to sign in for it upon check in. AAA, senior and military discounts are available.

    Web Site:

  5.  Ron Jon Cape Caribe Resort

    Rates start from $145 Sunday to Thursday and from $174 on Fridays and Saturdays

    It offers suites and villas with full kitchen. Outside heated pool and water park. Free internet access and parking. Close to the beach. Smoke free hotel. Pets are not allowed in the hotel. Good service. Restaurant on site. Provides assistance with shuttle and taxi service to the port.

    Web Site:

We hope you enjoyed our short list of hotels, which are getting the best users reviews on Internet.

Don’t forget to use us for your transportation from Orlando Airport to the hotels and then back from the cruise to the airport. We specialize in private van transportation for groups of 3 and more and offer flat competitive rates. Visit our Port Canaveral Transportation page to get more information.


When is the best time to visit Orlando?

I’ve decided to write this article mostly because “When is the best time to visit…” is one of the first things I check before choosing a destination. Orlando and the theme parks are always nice to visit, but in order to get the best experience you should find your best time based on weather and number of visitors. In general, the parks are most crowded around holidays and school breaks. That is also the time that the parks will offer more entertainment.
The best time to visit the parks is in:

1. October and April

  • Weather: Average high temperature is 82F (28C) and lows are around 60F (16C).
  • Pros:

– The weather is at its best. Drier air and less showers.

– The parks are less crowded.

  • Cons:

– None.

2. November and March

  • Weather: Average high 78F (26C), lows 58F (14C).
  • Pros:

 – The tropical weather is warm.

– During the school year the parks are less crowded.

  • Cons:

– Crowded on holidays.

  • Useful tips:

– Spring Break (March 24-31) and Thanksgiving Break (November 21-25) the parks will have more visitors. There will be more entertainment but be prepared for the long lines.

3. From Thanksgiving to the end of the Winter Break

  • Weather: Average high 73F (23C), Lows 52F (11C).
  • Pros:

–  The weather is still warm and drier.

  • Cons:

–  The parks are crowded. Be patient at the long lines and enjoy the extra parades, fireworks and special entertainment.

  • Useful Tips:

– During the winter the daily average temperature is above 68F (20C), but you should know that the temperature can change drastically from one day to another. Bring a jacket.

4. May to August

  • Weather: Average high 90F (30C ), lows 72F (22C).
  • Pros:

– Parks will offer extra hours and entertainment during summer break.

  • Cons:

– May is hot and humid. In June, July and August the heat goes up with daily average above 90F (30C) and very high humidity.

– In May the visitors may still be less, but during the Summer Break the parks are full.

  • Useful Tips:

– If you are visiting the parks in summer, don’t forget to drink a lot of water, put sunscreen (factor 50+) and wear your sun hat.

My favorite time in Orlando is the second half of September. My choice is based on a few weather characteristics – the temperature is not as high as July and August, UV light not so strong also, the humidity is bearable and the day is still long enough. You can have a really nice time and spend the whole day outside. While storms can appear, they are not every day like during summer.

Don’t’ forget to consider us as one of your transportation option in Orlando. Check our Orlando Airport Transportation page.

Enjoy your visit in Orlando and its theme parks!

Top 5 Places to Celebrate New Year 2012 in Orlando

Orlando is named one of the best places on Earth to welcome the New Year. In fact, millions of tourists are spending the holidays in the city every year. No wonder this is also the busiest time of the year for the theme parks. The parks will be pretty crowded, but what have they prepared for the special event?!

Disney World

A New Year And New Dreams To Dream [EXPLORED]

The four Disney parks offer variety of entertainment for every age. You can experience the holiday spirit with many shows, parades, character greetings and extra fireworks at New Year’s Eve. The special round of fireworks starts with Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ 25 minutes show “Fantasmic” at 10:00 PM followed by Epcot’s “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” at 11:40 PM and at last Magic Kingdom’s “Fantasy in The Sky” starts at 11:50 PM.
The parks will be open from 8:00 AM with extended hours for guests of selected Disney hotels. Don’t forget to come early because a few hours after opening the gates will probably closed due to the great number of visitors. Closing hours are 8:00 PM for Animal Kingdom, midnight for Hollywood Studios, 1 AM for Magic Kingdom and Epcot closes at 2:00 AM.
You should know that dinning in the parks on the special day will be only with a reservation.
The adults can enjoy New Year’s party hosted by Atlantic Dance Hall, located on Disney’s Boardwalk. The party starts at 8:00 PM. DJ Tony Zapulla will be taking care for the party spirit.

Universal Studios

Universal Studios - Orlando - Macy's Day Parade

The Universal City Walk party also starts at 8:00 PM. Live entertainment and gourmet cuisine are part of the celebration in Universal. Special guests are Smash Mouth and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. The ticket of $119.99 per person will also include admission in seven unique clubs with life music.
Other than the evening party the guests of Universal studio can share the excitement of the New York City tradition as the Macy’s Holiday Parade cruises through the streets of the park. At Island of Adventure visitors can see the live show “Grinchmas”, performing, on and off stage, Dr.Seuss character Grinch.

Sea World

cool20091129 017_Christmas_at_Sea_World

The park promises spectacular musical celebration and fireworks. Celebrate in the park at the cost of the dally admission ticket and no additional charge .
The Christmas celebration will be still going on in the park so you and your kids can see apart from the regular shows special additions like the “Sesame Street Show”, “Winter Wonderland Show” – show on ice, “See of Trees” – light, music and 100 Christmas trees, and the story of Christmas in “O Wondrous Night”!
The park closes at 1:00 AM.


Celebration, Florida

The beautiful community is one of the favorite places to visit for tourists and locals. It has European style City Center with many cafes and shops. Every year it offers specially organized programs for the holiday’s , carolers, horse and snow fall are part of the celebration. Live entertainment and fireworks are also from the regular entertainment on the occasion. The new year celebration is FREE and family friendly, the perfect place to ‘ring in’ the New Year.

Wall Street Plaza in Downtown Orlando

wall street plaza

Outdoor and indoor DJs, video and music performance, light show, and many surprises are promised at this year’s party. Part of this years party are 9 clubs the tickets are $20 per person.

Do you know that Orlando International Airport (MCO) was initially an Air Force Base?

MCO is the official airport designator for Orlando International Airport, it comes from its former name – McCoy Air Force Base. The base was built in 1940 and was active until 1975. After its closure the site was redeveloped. In 1976 the facility gained it current name and international status but retained its old IATA airport name MCO. Throughout the years it expanded and developed into today’s airport.

Orlando International Airport
The photo above depicts the terminal in its last stage of service around the late 70s.

The airport is operated and managed by Grater Orlando Aviation Authority. Its design reflects the unique character of the Central Florida environment. MCO has high passenger convenience features, low maintenance and operational costs and accommodates a high growth rate.
MCO Orlando International Airport MCO orlando international airport (2)
Orlando International Airport is the second busiest airport in Florida and 13th in USA. Today, MCO covers 23 square miles (60 km²), and is the third-largest airport in the United States by area (after Denver and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport). MCO also has North America’s second tallest control tower. It serves 47 airlines from which Southwest is the largest carrier in terms of passengers traveled, followed by Delta and JetBlue. Annually MCO transports around 35,6000.000 passengers. Even though the international passengers are 10 times less than the domestic ones, their number keeps growing.

MCO is located 7 miles (11 km) from Orlando financial district. It takes 20 minutes to most of the hotels on International drive and 30 to 40 minutes to the Disney’s hotels and resorts.
Need MCO transportation to the Orlando hotels or Port Canaveral cruise ships? Please submit a quote and will be happy to reply.

Legoland Florida – The new family theme park

A new Legoland park opened on October 15th 2011 in Florida. It is the fifth Legoland park in the world and the second in USA after the one in California. It is built on the place of the old Cypress Gardens park and on 150 acres of land which makes it the biggest Legoland park in the world.

The park is located in Winter Heavens, only a hour away from Orlando. It welcomes families with children ages 2 to 12 and has more than 50 rides and many attractions. It is definitely a place you can spend the day with your children.
In most days the park is opened from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM or in some days it closes at 6:00 PM. It is best for you to check the working hours and plan your visit in advance.

The ticket vary from $65 for children ages 3 to 12 and adults over 60, and $75 for ages 13 and up, free admission for 2 years old children. The parking fee is $12 per car. The park offers birthday packages, annual passes, 2-days pass upgrade, first aid and baby care center in the park. Handicapped parking spaces are available also.

Legoland shuttle provides transportation form Orlando. It leaves from Orlando Premium Outlets Mall on Vineland Ave at 9:00 AM in the days of the parks operation. Your seat in the shuttle must be prearranged and you should arrive at least 30 minutes before leaving (8:30 AM). The current discounted round trip rate is $5 per person.
If you need alternative transportation for your family please request quote for a private van transportation. Of course we can not beat the discounted rate of $5 for round trip per person but we can pick you up from wherever you need at a time you like.

Orlando Airport to Port Canaveral transportation
What to choose – private ride or shared shuttle?

Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the closest airport to Port Canaveral and offers many ground transportation options to the port. The variety of companies and services can be confusing.

The most popular is the shuttle service. By itself the shuttle service offered by the local companies may be quiet different too. The most common shuttle service includes pick-up at a specific location at the airport (Ground Transportation Level), it must be prearranged and the rates are per passenger.

The shuttle service is not a luxury service but it can be quite expensive, especially if you are traveling with a family or a group of 4 and more passengers. For example the round trip rate of Disney’s shuttle between MCO and Port Canaveral is $70 per passenger. Family of 4 needs to pay $280 for a round trip between Orlando International Airport and Port Canaveral. The same family may pay less and enjoy a better service with a private transportation service between Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Port Canaveral.

The shuttle service to Port Canaveral is for shared vehicle which means that many passengers arriving with different flights will be seated in the same vehicle. This also means that you may need to wait for others to arrive. Many shuttles are not direct and they pick-up from more than one location which leads to additional stops and extra longer trip to the port.

As you are one of the many on board you don’t receive a special treatment, no meet and greet at baggage claim, no one to help you with the luggage. In best case scenario you have one child safety or booster seat per family for free and every other will require additional spending.

The private transportation and the shuttle transportation need to be prearranged. But this is the only thing in which the two services are alike.

Although some shuttle services have lower rates for groups the sum of all (four or more passengers) is still higher than the rate per vehicle offered by the private transportation companies. Even with the required 20% gratuity to the driver, the total Orlando Airport – Port Canaveral round trip rate is $272, it is per vehicle for up to 10 passengers.

The quality of service offered by private transportation includes meet and greet at the baggage claim, grocery stop on the way and it will provide as many special seats as you need. No additional stops unless you have requested them. The service is design with the client’s needs in mind so every trip is special and unique and has your name on it.

Request a free quote or contact us for more information.