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Hello- Local here. Sounds like your looking for the Fort Lauderdale experience & money does not appear to be a factor. My suggestions would be:

1. Marriott Harbor Beach

2. Hilton Fort Laud Beach

3. W Hotel Fort Laud Beach

4. Atlantic Hotel Fort Laud Beach (Botique Hotel).

5. Ritz Carlton Fort Laud Beach.

*** Don’t concern yourself too much w/ shuttle service exc as just about everything (including the port) in Fort Laud is 15 min away via Taxi or Uber. Any of the choices above will give you the full beach, restaurant, pool, 4-5 star resort experience. If you have any questions let me know. I live 1 minute from the Port & know the area like the back of my hand.

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23 minutes ago, tonyfsu21 said:

Hello- Local here. Sounds like your looking for the Fort Lauderdale experience & money does not app

HELP TONY!  ok... spent hours today on this lol and can't make a decision.   What I want for the Saturday before my March freedom cruise (embark on Sunday)  is a more central hotel.   I want to do the yellow water taxi and be close to restaurants and things to do.   I can't figure out the best location.   Ideally I'd love to walk to the water taxi.   Is there a hotel near there that is easy to get to Las olas bld... should I be near there?  Are there other things we should do as tourists?  And is the Blvd or the Las olas riverfront better to be near?   We get in very early and have all day... ideally if love an outdoor pool if the weather is good.   I'm not worried about being close to the port as we will taxi or uber no problem. 

  On the Saturday night after the cruise I want oceanfront resortish.  I want to cry getting off the boat and park on the beach one more day lol.  Which resort is the best for that?  I think I had narrowed down to westin or Hilton but is there better or is one of these better? 

   I would seriously live local input.   Because we could only do the 6 day cruise,  I really want to enjoy lauderdale...I've never been and I'm not sure when I will get back.   Also is spring break brutal in terms of craziness or has the 80s spring breaks moved elsewhere lol?   THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP!   Jane

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Hello- Local here. Sounds like your looking for the Fort Lauderdale experience & money does not appear to be a factor. My suggestions would be:

1. Marriott Harbor Beach

2. Hilton Fort Laud Beach

3. W Hotel Fort Laud Beach

4. Atlantic Hotel Fort Laud Beach (Botique Hotel).

5. Ritz Carlton Fort Laud Beach.

*** Don’t concern yourself too much w/ shuttle service exc as just about everything (including the port) in Fort Laud is 15 min away via Taxi or Uber. Any of the choices above will give you the full beach, restaurant, pool, 4-5 star resort experience. If you have any questions let me know. I live 1 minute from the Port & know the area like the back of my hand.

 

 

Jane-

I have a couple options for you for Fri:

1. Riverside Hotel (las olas blvd): historical Hotel that is located directly on Las Olas where u can easily access all the dining exc right out the front door. Also, the water taxi stop on the new river is a short walk. Cons: older hotel “historical”. I believe it was renovated not so long ago but I haven’t seen for myself. There is a pool area located close to the new river which is nice. 

2. Hilton Marina- for a quick one night stay before a cruise my parents always come into town and stay here. Pros: water taxi stop right outside under 17th street bridge. Nice resort style pool. If you have HHonors status try to book a high floor looking South and you can watch your ship come into the port. Also, you can easily take the water taxi to the las olas stop or a short Uber ride. Cons: just your same old ordinary and cookie cutter Hilton Hotel. Nothing too special here but it does offer a good location close to port, short walk to dining, water taxi exc.

 

Sat after your cruise:

1. Marriot Harbor beach is a great choice to get the full beach & resort experience. In fact it’s so great that we SoFL folks actually pay to join the beach club and use the pool + facilities! 

2. I would also recommend the resorts listed in my previous post for you as they are located on A1A and most have private beach access across the street. I am not very familiar with the Westin but I drive by it all the time and it seems to be in a great location. Not so sure about B ocean Hotel if your considering that...

 

***** note- Uber to Pirate Republic (great Brazilian influenced menu on the new river) and take the water taxi through the new river where the captain will give you a tour of all the famous peoples homes exc. 

Dining recommendations:

Franco & Vinny’s Pizza Shack- Local favorite Italian (very casual).

Cafe Vico- Great Italian food (you will thank me later)

Chima Las Olas (Brazilian steak house). Quite an experience.

Le Tub (Hollywood beach): google it, Oprah made it famous.

Jimbos Sand Bar: Tiki hut vibe & excellent food especially the blackened shrimp or mahi tacos.

Rustic Inn: Garlic crab out of this world. 

 

Please let me know if you have any other questions as I am sure I can help.

- Tony 

 

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@tonyfsu21, I have to give a thanks for these suggestions as well! We're sailing on Freedom out of Fort Lauderdale on March 31, same day @mom2mybugs is disembarking. And like her, we're planning to fly in two nights before so we have a full day in Fort Lauderdale and leaving the day after we get back (April 8).

We heard Matt talk about the Japanese museum and gardens in the area in his podcast about the FLL area. Have you been there? Is there one hotel in the area that's better for getting to that easily than others? I'm kind of figuring we want to get a rental car for that Friday (and Thursday evening, if we get an earlier flight / pull the kids out of school that day), but if everything like that museum (and the port) is a cheap Lyft away or in easy walking distance, and there are decent beaches from whatever hotel we stay at, then a rental might not make as much sense.

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14 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

@tonyfsu21, I have to give a thanks for these suggestions as well! We're sailing on Freedom out of Fort Lauderdale on March 31, same day @mom2mybugs is disembarking. And like her, we're planning to fly in two nights before so we have a full day in Fort Lauderdale and leaving the day after we get back (April 8).

We heard Matt talk about the Japanese museum and gardens in the area in his podcast about the FLL area. Have you been there? Is there one hotel in the area that's better for getting to that easily than others? I'm kind of figuring we want to get a rental car for that Friday (and Thursday evening, if we get an earlier flight / pull the kids out of school that day), but if everything like that museum (and the port) is a cheap Lyft away or in easy walking distance, and there are decent beaches from whatever hotel we stay at, then a rental might not make as much sense.

I believe Matt was referring to the Morikami museum in Boca Raton. This museum would be about a 1/2 hr car ride (on the weekend) from FLL airport and/or East Fort Lauderdale. If your children are younger I highly recommend the discovery science museum in downtown Fort Lauderdale. As far as getting around, if you stick to East Fort Lauderdale (17th street corridor or the beach area) you will find that Uber is sufficient. With the exception of the Morikami museum in Boca everything you need will be close enough to walk or a very short Uber ride. And if you decide to stay in a hotel on A1A Fort Lauderdale beach you will have the luxury of a beautiful beach just steps from your hotel. Since March is the height of Spring Break you will no doubt pay a premium to be on the beach. I do have some alternative suggestions if you rent a car and decide not to stay on the beach or 17th street:

1. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

2. Margaritaville Hotel Hollywood

 

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We have stayed at Hyatt Place Convention Center several times and have booked through Valuetrips.com.  The hotel is very clean, has a decent breakfast, a shuttle from the airport and they will make arrangements for a shuttle to the port for a small charge.  The restaurant is right next to an Outback restaurant, but within walking distance to restaurants, a Publix, a Total Wine and several other stores.

 

If you decide to book through Valuetrips, be patient for them to respond.  I have waited a week and had gotten no reply, but when I checked the hotel itself, there was a reservation for us.

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On 11/27/2017 at 7:08 AM, tonyfsu21 said:

 

Dining recommendations:

Franco & Vinny’s Pizza Shack- Local favorite Italian (very casual).

Cafe Vico- Great Italian food (you will thank me later)

Chima Las Olas (Brazilian steak house). Quite an experience.

Le Tub (Hollywood beach): google it, Oprah made it famous.

Jimbos Sand Bar: Tiki hut vibe & excellent food especially the blackened shrimp or mahi tacos.

Rustic Inn: Garlic crab out of this world. 

 

Please let me know if you have any other questions as I am sure I can help.

- Tony 

 

Thank you for the recommendations.  We will be on Freedom of the Seas in April.  We will be arriving a few days before we embark and this list is very helpful in choosing on where to eat.  My wife and I love seafood.  Looking forward to Jimbos Sand Bar.  Anymore suggestions for seafood?  Thanks again in advance.

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16 hours ago, jurrjurr said:

Thank you for the recommendations.  We will be on Freedom of the Seas in April.  We will be arriving a few days before we embark and this list is very helpful in choosing on where to eat.  My wife and I love seafood.  Looking forward to Jimbos Sand Bar.  Anymore suggestions for seafood?  Thanks again in advance.

You will be very happy w/ Jimbos. The vibe is relaxed, food is great and the boats go by all day & night while you dine. As far as other seafood recommendations close by I would mention rustic inn 1000% if you like crabs! Pirate Republic (yes it sounds gimmicky but it’s got some great seafood on the menu and it’s situated on the New River @ a water taxi stop. 

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Hi!  Another person looking for a pre-cruise hotel recommendation in FLL.  We fly in relatively late (we land at 6:45pm).  Looking for something close to airport and port, with a good but casual/fun restaurant within walking distance (we'll have our 11 and 14-year old sons with us) and a decent on-site or nearby breakfast.  Would love for the hotel to also be walking distance to a wine store, but I can ask our Uber driver to stop at one on the way to the port in the morning if necessary.  Price isn't a huge factor, but we will be there such a short time, I'm definitely not looking for anything fancy.  Thanks for any suggestions!

 

ETA:  Also would love suggestions for that good but casual/fun restaurant for dinner!  :)

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12 minutes ago, iujen94 said:

Hi!  Another person looking for a pre-cruise hotel recommendation in FLL.  We fly in relatively late (we land at 6:45pm).  Looking for something close to airport and port, with a good but casual/fun restaurant within walking distance (we'll have our 11 and 14-year old sons with us) and a decent on-site or nearby breakfast.  Would love for the hotel to also be walking distance to a wine store, but I can ask our Uber driver to stop at one on the way to the port in the morning if necessary.  Price isn't a huge factor, but we will be there such a short time, I'm definitely not looking for anything fancy.  Thanks for any suggestions!

 

ETA:  Also would love suggestions for that good but casual/fun restaurant for dinner!  :)

Look no further then Embassy Suites on 17th street. It checks every box. Total wine (walking distance), breakfast in hotel in am, close to many restaurants, less then 10 min from airport and 5 minutes from the port Everglades. Enjoy

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On ‎11‎/‎26‎/‎2017 at 6:54 PM, FloatMe said:

We have settled on Embassy suites. It is just too conveniently located near restaurants,  grocery and drug stores.

We just stayed there for the cruise we were just on and I agree that it is very convenient.  our only issues were that the check in seemed to take too long (maybe we were just tired) and that the water pressure in the shower was non-existent. We will be staying there in April for our Harmony Cruise.

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17 hours ago, tonyfsu21 said:

Look no further then Embassy Suites on 17th street. It checks every box. Total wine (walking distance), breakfast in hotel in am, close to many restaurants, less then 10 min from airport and 5 minutes from the port Everglades. Enjoy

Thanks for the suggestion - looks great!  And we had enough Hilton points that I could book for points + cash, with the cash portion being only $14.67!  Can't beat that deal!!  :)

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4 hours ago, HighlandBoy said:

I see that you recommend the Embassy Suites would you say that it is better than Pier 66?

Yes. 100%. In its prime, Hyatt Pier 66 was a great Hotel but developers have recently purchased it with the intention of demolishing it for luxury condos. The Hyatt charter has been revoked and it’s gone way downhill. Keep in mind that Embassy Suites is just a Hotel and not a “resort”, if your looking for a resort on the beach check out my other postings within this thread.

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1 hour ago, tonyfsu21 said:

Yes. 100%. In its prime, Hyatt Pier 66 was a great Hotel but developers have recently purchased it with the intention of demolishing it for luxury condos. The Hyatt charter has been revoked and it’s gone way downhill. Keep in mind that Embassy Suites is just a Hotel and not a “resort”, if your looking for a resort on the beach check out my other postings within this thread.

Thanks for the advice not specifically looking for the resort style but I do like the idea of being within walking distance to shops and somewhere to eat. The Embassy seams to be a better deal than we have at Pier 66 as well.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wanted to ask about another property that I see is listed on the Embassy Suites site as being right in downtown Las Olas -- Hampton Inn Ft. Lauderdale / Downtown Las Olas Area. If anyone has stayed there and also at the Embassy Suites 17th Street, how do they compare? The Hampton Inn is $50 less per night right now, but that's a little less of a concern since I wouldn't actually be paying for the room until we were there (well after all other cruise expenses are paid off).

To tie this thread back over to the discussion on flights during Easter weekend -- I'm finding that if I can book my flight down on that Wednesday before Easter instead of flying down Thursday, I will be saving just shy of $800 no matter what airline I look at (between Jet Blue, United, SW). If I'm going to be paying for one extra night in a hotel, might choose the less expensive option if there's little to no difference in quality between them.

Side note -- was looking for any hotels in the Carlson family (Radisson, Country Inns & Suites, I forget what other) as I'm a Club Carlson member, but they have nothing in FLL proper, only one property in Miami. Makes me wish I backed a different team, but those are what we have and like to stay in for all of our New England trips! :4_joy:

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21 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Wanted to ask about another property that I see is listed on the Embassy Suites site as being right in downtown Las Olas -- Hampton Inn Ft. Lauderdale / Downtown Las Olas Area. If anyone has stayed there and also at the Embassy Suites 17th Street, how do they compare? The Hampton Inn is $50 less per night right now, but that's a little less of a concern since I wouldn't actually be paying for the room until we were there (well after all other cruise expenses are paid off).

To tie this thread back over to the discussion on flights during Easter weekend -- I'm finding that if I can book my flight down on that Wednesday before Easter instead of flying down Thursday, I will be saving just shy of $800 no matter what airline I look at (between Jet Blue, United, SW). If I'm going to be paying for one extra night in a hotel, might choose the less expensive option if there's little to no difference in quality between them.

Side note -- was looking for any hotels in the Carlson family (Radisson, Country Inns & Suites, I forget what other) as I'm a Club Carlson member, but they have nothing in FLL proper, only one property in Miami. Makes me wish I backed a different team, but those are what we have and like to stay in for all of our New England trips! :4_joy:

Here’s the quick & dirty:

1. Hampton inn downtown is NOT where you want to be if your looking for convienence in any way shape or form. It’s within walking distance of a few dining options but nothing of note.

2. Embassy Suites located directly on 17th street corridor and anything + everything you need is within walking distance.

 

I personally think it’s worth the $50 price difference to stay on 17th street.

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21 minutes ago, tonyfsu21 said:

Here’s the quick & dirty:

1. Hampton inn downtown is NOT where you want to be if your looking for convienence in any way shape or form. It’s within walking distance of a few dining options but nothing of note.

2. Embassy Suites located directly on 17th street corridor and anything + everything you need is within walking distance.

 

I personally think it’s worth the $50 price difference to stay on 17th street.

Yeah, those are not insignificant differences. And given my mobility limits, being in the center of everything with short walks or easy access to Lyft sounds a lot better. Thanks for the feedback!

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I've stayed at all the places on 17th and all are fine.  Pier 66 is a bit of a hike over the bridge and reportedly gone downhill since its no longer associated with Hyatt, but the others are all walking to shops and eats, very safe and convenient.

 

Hilton Marina - beautiful marina and grounds, great for leaving the car while cruising.  Save some $ and ask for the older low rise wing.

Renaissance - Upscale and a bit pricey, but first rate.  Also good for leaving the car.

Holiday Inn Express - Basic, clean and well maintained.  New garage I've never tried.  Good place.

Extended stay - Also basic, clean and well maintained.  Good place.

Embassy Suites - Typical Embassy Suites great quality.  

 

Wide variety of eateries, Walgreens, liquor store all within 5 minute walk from all these places.  All about 5 minute ride to the pier including security stop.

 

 

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14 hours ago, PRC said:

Renaissance - Upscale and a bit pricey, but first rate.  Also good for leaving the car.

Ditto, on this, sad but true story, we kept forgetting stuff, made three separate trips to Walgreen's, which is directly across the street.

Made a hike over the bridge to watch Harmony leave on Saturday evening, quite a hike all the way over and back. There is a water taxi at the base of the bridge.

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1 hour ago, tiny260 said:

Ditto, on this, sad but true story, we kept forgetting stuff, made three separate trips to Walgreen's, which is directly across the street.

Made a hike over the bridge to watch Harmony leave on Saturday evening, quite a hike all the way over and back. There is a water taxi at the base of the bridge.

 

15 hours ago, PRC said:

Renaissance - Upscale and a bit pricey, but first rate.  Also good for leaving the car.

Ditto on this.  We loved the Renaissance.  Probably our favourite pre-cruise hotel yet.  Clean, modern, lots of eating options within walking distance. And it was 5 min from the pier.

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We tried the Marriott Courtyard, Fort Lauderdale Beach for the first time recently (Nov.18 Allure).  It is right on FLL beach and we had a nice little suite.  Unfortunately, we arrived so late that we did little but crash for the night but I think there would have been a lot to do if we had arrived early enough to enjoy it.  There was a live band somewhere in the very near proximity so it's a shame we weren't in any mood to go and enjoy it.

This was a comp'ed room for us (we are both Marriott Rewards members for biz travel) but the room would have been $298.28 for the night if we had paid for it....which is not bad for a beachfront hotel in FLL.  To be completely honest, I cannot recall how we got to the ship.  Old brain.  I'm sure there was some kind of shuttle from the hotel but whether or not we took it or just grabbed a cab, I simply do not recall.

440 Seabreeze Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL  33316

800-495-7972

 

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1 hour ago, Sabrinaklai said:

 

Ditto on this.  We loved the Renaissance.  Probably our favourite pre-cruise hotel yet.  Clean, modern, lots of eating options within walking distance. And it was 5 min from the pier.

Interesting because I never hear anything about that Hotel. I see it, it’s there but for some reason it’s just not talked about. 

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1 hour ago, tonyfsu21 said:

Interesting because I never hear anything about that Hotel. I see it, it’s there but for some reason it’s just not talked about. 

I remember reading when doing my research that it was renovated a few years ago so maybe it went by a different name?  It looked newer and fresh, compared to others in the surrounding area, when we were there in August.  It was also one of the only ones in that area that did not have a bed bug report! lol.

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Further reading about the Embassy Suites reveals another perk of booking there -- shuttle both to/from the airport and to/from the cruise port; both are $9 pp, with two people complimentary if you book the room with the right package. And then with the hotel centrally located, the need for a rental car is essentially nil if we decide to skip the Japanese gardens. At most we'd just grab a Lyft to get to whatever beach or other place wasn't in easy walking distance.

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3 hours ago, JLMoran said:

Further reading about the Embassy Suites reveals another perk of booking there -- shuttle both to/from the airport and to/from the cruise port; both are $9 pp, with two people complimentary if you book the room with the right package. And then with the hotel centrally located, the need for a rental car is essentially nil if we decide to skip the Japanese gardens. At most we'd just grab a Lyft to get to whatever beach or other place wasn't in easy walking distance.

Yes they have a reasonably priced shuttle service but it’s jam packed in that lobby right around 10:00am. Just be prepared for a crowd. If you don’t want to deal with any hassle at all just call an Uber which will most likely cost less then $9.00 total fare since the Port is so close to the hotel. 

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From past experience, I rarely rely on hotel shuttles any longer. Uber or Lyft are much more convenient and you can often get more reasonably priced accommodations if you aren't reliant on a shuttle.

The last time we were in Fort Lauderdale, we ended up renting a car for our two days precruise even though the hotel had a shuttle. For $20 a day, it gave us a lot of freedom that we were able to have more flexibility dining, explore the Everglades, and even see a concert. We just used the rental car shuttle to get to the port on embarkation day and a cab afterward to the airport, which was about $14.

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2 hours ago, tonyfsu21 said:

Yes they have a reasonably priced shuttle service but it’s jam packed in that lobby right around 10:00am. Just be prepared for a crowd. If you don’t want to deal with any hassle at all just call an Uber which will most likely cost less then $9.00 total fare since the Port is so close to the hotel. 

 

2 hours ago, DocLC said:

From past experience, I rarely rely on hotel shuttles any longer. Uber or Lyft are much more convenient and you can often get more reasonably priced accommodations if you aren't reliant on a shuttle.

The last time we were in Fort Lauderdale, we ended up renting a car for our two days precruise even though the hotel had a shuttle. For $20 a day, it gave us a lot of freedom that we were able to have more flexibility dining, explore the Everglades, and even see a concert. We just used the rental car shuttle to get to the port on embarkation day and a cab afterward to the airport, which was about $14.

@JLMoran I can't remember now if it was on these boards or another one that someone gave me this exact same advice when I was looking for a Fort Lauderdale hotel with a shuttle. That it's not worth it. Between fighting with the crowds to get onto one, then not having as much flexibility in getting to the port at your desired time, and waiting around for the shuttle to load, it's more worth it to just use uber/lyft/taxi. Embassy is so close to the port. It only cost us $12 total in a taxi (from Renaissance which is about a block or two away from embassy). 

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8 hours ago, Sabrinaklai said:

 

@JLMoran I can't remember now if it was on these boards or another one that someone gave me this exact same advice when I was looking for a Fort Lauderdale hotel with a shuttle. That it's not worth it. Between fighting with the crowds to get onto one, then not having as much flexibility in getting to the port at your desired time, and waiting around for the shuttle to load, it's more worth it to just use uber/lyft/taxi. Embassy is so close to the port. It only cost us $12 total in a taxi (from Renaissance which is about a block or two away from embassy). 

@ taxi’s are notoriously higher in price then Uber or Lyft so I’m sure your under $10.00 direct to the port. 

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Thanks for the recommendation of Lyft or taxi as a better alternative. Still looking at the Embassy Suites because of the central location and overall good reviews. Cost to rent a car, using @DocLC's quoted $20 a day, is decently less than the $36 my family of four would have to pay for each shuttle ride, so if I can find a mid-size or large sedan at that rate that can hold all the luggage we'll have (three to four suitcases and four carry-ons), that can work.

Of course, now I have to see the rates and then go back to the missus and say, "You know how I said I didn't want to rent a car...?"

And then there's the slight hassle of following Matt's advice to drop the rest of the family at the port first, then drive the car back to the rental agency, and then take their shuttle back to the port. I want to be in the port at the same time as everyone else, dang it! Why do they get to "ooh" and "ahh" and ogle the ship while I have to do administrative work?!? :9_innocent:

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