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We were looking at a 7 night Harmony of the Seas cruise out of PC, but after doing more research, it would be cheaper to do a 5 night Independence of the Seas cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale, even with a flight. My question is that because Ft. Laud. is 8.5 hours away, is that worth the drive? Or is the added expense of flying worth it more for the convenience? Would probably use American as that's what we have used for trips in the past. 

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It's personal preference I suppose. Personally, 8.5 hours of driving, I'd fly. I don't mind a road trip, but to just get somewhere (cruise terminal / home after) will feel more like a chore than adventure.

Gas, tolls, food, traffic, pee breaks, ugh! 

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We are having the same debate in our house. I love road trips, but my DH is not excited about the drive from Atlanta to Miami. I am not excited about luggage fees on airlines but I love the idea of being in our Departure location in just a couple of hours. It may just come down to cost and airline/hotel options. I wonder if i can pack an 8 night cruise into a single carry on per person???

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Another thing to consider, do you need to go to work the next day? If not break it up and find something interesting to see on your drive. If work wasn't an issue I'd drive, going to the airport is such a hassle these days. It would be nice to your trusty steed wanting for you post cruise. 

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Not sure I'm completely following.....in my mind a 5 night cruise is always cheaper than a 7 night cruise.

So which is going to be 'more fun' or 'less stressful'

7 days: I 'assume' easy drive to PC and board, 7 days on boat.

5 days: a day travel to port, 5 days on boat, a day traveling home....so still 7 days....but more stress...if you drive, what about the added costs of hotels and food and gas and time sitting in the car?  If flying...sure...can be faster, may shrink days involved, but added stress of flights being on time, time at airport, baggage fees when you pack too heavily. 

 

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My general rule is anything over 8 hours in the car is worth a flight.  Ft. Lauderdale is right at that limit for us.  Based on what you have posted, I'd fly. 

If the question is which cruise to take, I'd do the Harmony out of PC.  Only 5-6 hours from my house and two extra days on the ship.

 

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Here is the "routine" we started about 2 years ago:

  • I do not like going the day of the cruise.  So we either fly or drive in the day before. We want to be well rested.
  • We are in Canada, so driving in the day of the cruise is impossible.  ~8 hours away is our closest cruise port.
  • Now we drive the day before for about 5 or 6 hours, take a cheap hotel in the middle of nowhere USA, and drive the last 1.5 to 2.5 hours early the next day.
  • We are rarely tired on the first day, and I kinda' like driving so a few hours is not a big deal.
  • For Florida we always fly.
  • Of course, this is best for retired people of weekend start/stop cruises.

Our next cruise is out of Cape Liberty ... Is Scranton a real place???

😉

Curt from Canada

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1 hour ago, Curt From Canada said:

 

  • We are in Canada, so driving in the day of the cruise is impossible.  ~8 hours away is our closest cruise port.

 

I'd love that.  Our closest cruise port is an 18 hour drive  (at least until Viking starts sailing out of Duluth - a 3 1/2 hour drive, but those will be VERY expensive cruises).

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55 minutes ago, SpeedNoodles said:

I'd love that.  Our closest cruise port is an 18 hour drive  (at least until Viking starts sailing out of Duluth - a 3 1/2 hour drive, but those will be VERY expensive cruises).

Viking will start to cruise the Great Lakes out of Milwaukee, WI in I think I read 2021. That's under 2 hrs for us. Until then, it's flying for us, a day ahead of course. I wouldn't mind the drive there as much as I would dread the drive home. That's a long time in a vehicle to think about what you're leaving behind. 

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2 minutes ago, FManke said:

Viking will start to cruise the Great Lakes out of Milwaukee, WI in I think I read 2021. That's under 2 hrs for us. Until then, it's flying for us, a day ahead of course. I wouldn't mind the drive there as much as I would dread the drive home. That's a long time in a vehicle to think about what you're leaving behind. 

Yeah, I'm interested in the cruises, but for the price I could do some pretty amazing overseas cruises. So I doubt we ever will.

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Just now, SpeedNoodles said:

Yeah, I'm interested in the cruises, but for the price I could do some pretty amazing overseas cruises. So I doubt we ever will.

True. You can take a couple of nice cruises for what they start at. The cruises out there now, aren't cheap either,  on say Blount or Pearl Mist Cruises, but the Viking ships definitely look nicer from artist renderings I've seen. It also seems kind of strange to spend all that money on things that are, although not what I would consider local, within driving distance from me. 

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4 hours ago, wstephensi said:

My general rule is anything over 8 hours in the car is worth a flight.  Ft. Lauderdale is right at that limit for us.  Based on what you have posted, I'd fly. 

If the question is which cruise to take, I'd do the Harmony out of PC.  Only 5-6 hours from my house and two extra days on the ship.

 

Harmony rate is a little bit out of our budget, and the 5 night works better with work schedules. I'm leaning more towards flying since I'm not big on spending 9 hours in a car driving after a cruise. PC surely would be more convenient, but the prices for HOS are too high for us. 

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I get stuck driving  all the way from New Jersey to Palm Beach on some of our trips. I get to tote the luggage and be the chauffeur when the fiance' and her kids fly in...  I have my house in palm beach so its about an hour to Lauderdale, maybe 2 to Miami and about 2 to Canaveral. 🙂

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Three Questions: (1) Better ports from Canaveral or Lauderdale? (2) Would you rather be on a ship for seven or five days (3) Have you considered "hidden" time and costs of flying: two hours early to airport on the front end, luggage costs, transfer costs to/from ship (car parking needed either at home airport or at terminal), two hours early to airport on back end, possibility of lost luggage, AND possible weather-related issues tied to flights.

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14 hours ago, Allen2 said:

Three Questions: (1) Better ports from Canaveral or Lauderdale? (2) Would you rather be on a ship for seven or five days (3) Have you considered "hidden" time and costs of flying: two hours early to airport on the front end, luggage costs, transfer costs to/from ship (car parking needed either at home airport or at terminal), two hours early to airport on back end, possibility of lost luggage, AND possible weather-related issues tied to flights.

We have sat and answered these same questions, and keep coming back to we would spend almost as much time flying/airport stuff as we would driving to the port so it's not worth spending that money for flights.

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32 minutes ago, Flacruiser99 said:

i will bet that if two folks got off the ship at the same time and one flew and one drove (8.5 hrs.) the one driving would get home first. Heck I have still been at the departure airport 8.5 hours after getting of the ship.😮

I agree! Between getting to the airport 2 hours early, parking, security etc, the time is pretty close to the same.

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After spending 14 hours in airports for what would have been a 9 5 hour drive...I can definitely say driving is a better choice. You would probably fly in the day before anyway, so if you figure if you leave at 8am you would be at the hotel by 5pm. Plus you save all that money on airfare and baggage costs. 

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