First cruise coming up next month, and the logistics of such things as where to stay before and after the cruise, getting to and from the port, etc, are really stressing me out! The cruise itself is not stressing me out. I'm looking for some expertise to help ease my mind, so if you have any experience of any of the following issues, it would be greatly appreciated!
We will be leaving out of Miami on April 21 (Easter). We are looking at probably flying to Florida on the 19th or 20th (leaning towards afternoon/evening of the 19th). Looking at flights, it is about $100 cheaper to fly into Fort Lauderdale than it is to fly into Miami. It is also cheaper to leave out of Philadelphia than it is out of Newark NJ. We are about an hour from Philadelphia and about 30-40 minutes from Newark, so not that much of a difference there.
Would we be better off staying in Fort Lauderdale or in Miami? I've seen people comment that they don't like the city of Miami, and that the beaches of Fort Lauderdale are much nicer. But when it comes to getting to the port, would it be much easier for us to get there from a hotel in Miami than Fort Lauderdale?
Getting 6 people and luggage from the airport to the hotel, and from the hotel to the port - I've seen people talk about the Go Airport shuttle over Uber for that many people. Will they take us and pick us up from wherever we need to go? Will it break the bank?
Will we need a car to get around in either Fort Lauderdale or Miami for a day and a half, or will we be able to easily get around without one?
We return back to Miami on the 26th. Would you recommend looking for a flight on the 26th, or to spend another night in Florida that night and flying home on the 27th? If we fly home on the 26th, I wouldn't want to book a flight that is so early that we cut it close getting there, but also not one that is so late that we have hours of sitting around with nothing to do.
If we are booking a shuttle when we get back to take us either to the airport or a hotel, what time do we book it for if we don't know the exact time we'll be getting off the ship?
Being huge cruise ports, I'm sure these details have been ironed out over the years, but it's all new to me, and I can't find any one resource that tells you what to expect in regards to getting to and from the ship. I'm really just looking for people's experiences in what they've done that worked for them, or maybe didn't work for them. If there's anything I didn't think of in my questions, feel free to add it as well. Thanks!