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Everglades Eco-Adventure with Airport Drop-Off MIA


Neaxan
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In the Black Friday/Cyber Monday frenzy we booked the Everglades excursion for our Symphony TA because we wanted to visit the Everglades on Friday anyway. Guess what, now that the frenzy is over we're thinking about the problems this might entail. Has somebody done this excursion? What happens with the luggage, is it left in the terminal or on the bus? As we're German I guess there'll be a check of our ESTA/visas on top of customs - any idea how long this will take? And finally: we chose this excursion because we won't be flying home but renting a car until Sunday . so we thought it might be easier to get a rental car at the airport instead of the port. Does this make sense or is it a stupid idea? Actually we had planned on renting a car near the port and booking an Everglades boat trip on our own. 

Happy to hear your thoughts, having never been to the US we have no idea what to expect.

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I know these tours are commonly booked by those with later flights so that guests enjoy their day and don't have to worry about their luggage (which is held by the cruise line during your tour - not sure where).

Perhaps someone here has done one of these excursions without going right to a flight, but if not I suspect RCI will be able to tell you if you can simply get your luggage at the end (rather than having them forward it on).  I'd be surprised if this wasn't an option.  That in mind, if you'll be renting a car, you may opt to do an airboat/everglades tour on your own.  You can look into Everglades Holiday Park and Billie Swamp Safaris (to name just two of the many options).  It just seems that going at it on your own would be cheaper, you wouldn't be waiting on others, etc.  On the other hand, you'd want to make an extra stop before heading out on an excursion to drop of your bags and such at your hotel - so there is that extra step.

With regard to clearing customs and immigration, guests with excursions on disembarkation day will be processed either ahead of others or separately, as the cruise line doesn't want to risk long delays if the lines get long in the port - so I wouldn't worry about that.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I did a similar excursion with my grown kids when we had later flights out of MIA.  That was a couple years ago now.  You collect luggage,  pass through customs and get on the excursion bus.  Luggage stays on the bus.  It drove into the Everglades where we boarded an airboat and ventured into the Everglades.  We saw alligators and the guides discussed the watery make up of Florida.  We got back on the bus and headed to the airport.

The bus dropped us in a bus area at the terminal where they unloaded the luggage.  At that point we were free to go where ever.  Since we were flying out we checked our bags and went through security but at that point you could jump on the car rental bus and get your car.

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