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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!

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I routinely fly into FLL airport and rarely into MIA airport.

I typically try to find an airport hotel with a hotel shuttle near the FLL airport then find my way to the port the next day.  Often Ft Lauderdale hotels are more cost effective but that isn't always the case.  With the number in your group I'd consider an FLL area hotel that offers a free shuttle to/from the airport.  That takes care of day 0 transportation. 

The morning of the cruise you can then focus on getting your group to Port of Miami.  Uber has a fare estimator that can give you an idea of what an XL would cost but for 6 people that might be pushing it so a shuttle isn't a bad idea.  Your other option is a Royal transfer service from FLL airport to the Port of Miami.  You could take the free hotel shuttle back to the airport and use the Royal transfer as if you just flew in that morning.  I'm thinking an independent shuttle for that many is going to cheaper than Royal's transfer.

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58 minutes ago, JerseyJoe said:

 

  • 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?

This decision really depends on where you are staying and where you want to go.  Uber/Lyft are very prevalent down there, but you're going to always need the XL services for 6 people.  If you're planning on splitting up and doing different things, it's easy just to rely on regular Uber/Lyft services.   Public transportation is not time efficient down there.  

A car rental would likely be cheaper and allow you to explore more of the area.  Bonus if you have any access to rates where you don't have to pay one-way car rental charges that can also come into play when figuring out transportation to the port.  

You have so many variables going on here that you need to consider which you value more: money or convenience.  

 

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3 hours ago, Sean C. said:

We like to stay at the Holiday Inn port of Miami. it is very nice and clean.  Across the street from the Bayside Market place. Lots of live music food and fun. Check out this great video by Jim Zim. If you want zoom ahead to 4:45 in the Video.   

 

We are timeshare owners, and our points can be used at Holiday Inn locations, so that is good to know that this is a good location. 

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