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Advice on cruising out of Ft. Lauderdale.

#1
I'm doing a cruise for Christmas. The idea is to pick up two sets of Kids and spouses at the airport in Ft. Lauderdale the night before the cruise. If anybody has any experience here are a few questions:

1. How far is the airport from Cruise port?

2. Hotel Ideas? will have a total of 3 couples and 1 child.

3. I'm driving so will have one car to pick up so I might have to make two trips. Any other ideas ( I like to save money!)
 

suer182

Forum Manager
Staff member
#2
FLL to the cruise port is very close. Some hotels offer free shuttle service from the airport to the hotel as well as to the pier, plus free breakfast. So you picking them up is using gas :). Some of these hotels have free parking, some might charge. What is your price point for hotels?
 

George C

Well-Known Member
#3
Love sailing out of FLL have done it dozens of times, port is very close to dock about 15 mins away. I would spend a night at Embassy suite ( 17th st I think) very nice hotel great made to order breakfast and free cocktail party also. Note that they have a shuttle but it is cheaper to just take a taxi which is only about 10 dollars
 
#4
FLL to the cruise port is very close. Some hotels offer free shuttle service from the airport to the hotel as well as to the pier, plus free breakfast. So you picking them up is using gas :). Some of these hotels have free parking, some might charge. What is your price point for hotels?
Cheap and clean!
 

suer182

Forum Manager
Staff member
#5
JMO, but cheap, clean, Christmas, Florida is an oxymoron. :). We stayed at a Comfort Inn, got rave reviews, it was cheap. We slept in our clothes, and baseball caps...... We put the chair and suitcases against the door as the lock did not work. We asked to be moved but the hotel was sold out. We were cruising with friends so we decided to suck it up. IF I ever book that hotel again, DH would divorce me. This hotel also charged 2.00 a day for the inroom safe. When DH brought the actual safe down to the font desk, they credited us.
 

BruinSteve

Well-Known Member
#6
Holiday time is NEVER cheap in Fort Lauderdale...
I know because that seems to be when we are usually there...

Every time, it seems we always end up at the same hotel: The SpringHill Suites in Dania Beach...

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/trav...ites-fort-lauderdale-airport-and-cruise-port/

They are reasonably priced, have large rooms with kitchenettes...

But, most importantly, they have FREE shuttles from the Airport to the Hotel and from the hotel to the cruise port...
AND free hot/cold breakfast...
AND free internet...

I've never left a car there, but I'd call the hotel and ask if you can leave the car during the cruise...

Across the street from the hotel is a large shopping center with a variety of restaurants...and lots of fast food places right outside the hotel...
 

Cruizer

Well-Known Member
#7
I'm doing a cruise for Christmas. The idea is to pick up two sets of Kids and spouses at the airport in Ft. Lauderdale the night before the cruise. If anybody has any experience here are a few questions:

1. How far is the airport from Cruise port?

2. Hotel Ideas? will have a total of 3 couples and 1 child.

3. I'm driving so will have one car to pick up so I might have to make two trips. Any other ideas ( I like to save money!)
1) This photo shows both the airport (top left) and cruise port ...



2) Good hotel choices. Both pictures taken from the deck of the cruise ship ...





3) To save money, use Hotwire or Priceline to pick your hotel.
 

seamom

Well-Known Member
#8
SUER....laughing so loud I had to read your post to hubby...I'm sure it wasn't funny at the time but fancy getting $2 back...heck, those thieves could have walked out with your valuables in the safe!

Cline, I've never had the chance to cruise at Christmas though we say we will every year. Not sure my hotel suggestion is booked out but worth a try if no where else works. We've been on at least 4 cruises from FLL and used the same rental agency and hotel each time.

Thrifty has been good to us... pick up from FLL and drop off at their depot a block from the ships and free shuttle in and in reverse (search Ft Lauderdale to get both FLL and Port Everglades). I've always found vans to be something they try to give away but maybe not in family holidays..that would seat 7. I couldn't get Thrifty's for the first time economically for the first time for one leg of my trip coming up so we are trying Hertz who I swear has dropped their rates... they have a free shuttle to the port too.

The hotel we use is on 17th too, Hyatt Place, a stone's throw from Embassy Suites and next to the Total Wine store, free internet, decent breakfast buffet included, shuttles from the airport but not sure if they are free to the cruiseport these days ..you'd be better off with cabs or your rental car to the port Everglades outlet for the shuttle there. Clean, very friendly and they have pullout couches for the kids and a pool. The trick for a cheaper rate other than AAA is valuetrips.com . It is a very home made looking site but Einstein from this board recommended it to us a decade ago and it's done us well! Takes sometimes 3 days to get a confirmation email but they give a confirmation number which you can put into the Hyatt website and see your booking. Not Christmas but we got a room for $129 in December, much below the advertised rates. Only once did we use Expedia instead when Valuetrips was sold out and Expedia must have only had the runt rooms left as it was a handicapped room, large but the bed was barely bigger than a single, not like the king requested.

Good luck!
 

BruinSteve

Well-Known Member
#9
I hate to say it, but ignore any comment about how someone or another got their room at a nice hotel on 17th Street or overlooking the pier for $129 or anything closely resembling that.
We usually cruise out of Fort Lauderdale around Christmas time because my wife works for a school district--limiting us to "Winter Break" as our window (other than summer) for a cruise...
This is HIGH season in Florida...Laws of Supply and demand...

This past winter break, we cruised on the Allure out of Fort Lauderdale...
I booked our room EARLY and got the SpringHill Suites for a "mere" $189 per night on a AAA rate...I wanted to find something on 17th, but all of those hotels were selling at $249 AND UP...WAY UP...
I continually checked back, hoping for a price drop somewhere...never happened...rates only went up...By the time we neared the sail date, even the Springhill was going for $249...then it just became "sold out"...as did many of the others...
I also tried Priceline several times, bidding as much as the same $189 I was going to pay anyway...and to no avail...shut down every time...

Yes, there are a lot of great places to stay...but, in December, expect some sticker shock...and book as early as you can...

Lots of hotels in the area have free shuttles to the airport and pier...

In the end, I actually enjoy the SpringHill Suites...It is a Marriott product, well kept up, the rooms are ample with a separate sitting area and kitchenette. The breakfast includes some hot foods--eggs, bacon, waffles, etc. The location is not along the fashionable stretch of Fort Lauderdale--it is across the airport in Dania Beach...There is not much around there except that huge shopping center across the street (with several reasonable restaurants--nothing great, but, for one night, it will do)...But, for us, when all we want is a relaxing day after an irritating day or overnight of airport lines and long plane trips, and a good, casual dinner and free breakfast and WiFi...and a free shuttle to the ship, the place is great...It's just not worth it to us to pay $50-$150 more for a "better location"...Once you have to get on a shuttle, a 5 minute ride or a 10 minute ride is pretty much the same...
 
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