We are undecided about driving or flying.
We live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and it will take about 12 hours
to get to Miami, Florida, plan to leave a day ahead of the cruise.
Any suggestions, we are only thinking of driving due to the airplane cost.
It will save us about 500.00 which we can use to upgrade on the Fascination.
This is my first cruise and all the advice has come in handy.
If the cheapest airfare you can find is $250 per person, and you were planning on leaving a day early anyway, I would drive. I dont imagine the airfare will go down much lower than $250. Thats a lot of money that could very much come in handy on your trip. 12 hours is just borderline too long for me, but its managable especially with the added excitement of knowing that you are headed somehwhere amazing like your cruise!!
Unless of course you have kids that are coming with - then I would NEVER think about driving.
However, there is the 12 hour drive HOME after the cruise that will not be very much fun at all...Hmm...now I am changing my mind. Maybe if you stay in Florida a day or even two after your cruise, it would make the drive home more bearable.
I guess that didnt help very much...sorry!
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We have three kids but they are staying with grandparents since this is my first cruise
This will be our anniversary so it will be fun and exciting!! My husband is a Captain in the fire dept so he drives alot and says he would not mind the drive.
I just have to keep him awake since he will be pulling a 24 hour shift before we leave.
However, I believe he will be to excited to close his eyes!!!!!!! Plus that would mean I would drive and I just mowed down our mailbox!!
I could not imagine a 12 hour drive, MAYBE before your vacation, but certainly not after! And expecting your hubby to drive that far after pulling a 24 hour shift?? Girl, why don' t you do the driving?? Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen to me....
Personally I would bypass the upgrade and fork out the money for the airfare, make it a more pleasureable time for Everyone....
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We are driving 14 hours to get to New Orleans from Illinois. Last year we drove 21 hours to Port Canaveral. It was four of us in our family so it was worth it. We also have been renting a vehicle (then you don't have to worry about what happens to it while you are gone). This year we are spending at least the day before in N.O. and then going to Vicksburg for a day or two on the way back. See more of the country that it. It is is misery but I'm not big on flying.
Can you break up the drive? 12 hours in one day is past *my* endurance level, but maybe drive 6-8 hours, stay at a hotel, then another 4-6 hours the next day? And the same on the way back - or do you have that much time?
We had an 8 hour for our cruise in January and the drive down was wonderful. We wer soooo excited and talked "cruise" the entire time. The drive back slightly less wonderful, but we were able to analyze (and re-live) the whole cruise!
It sure would be nice to have that extra $500 to spend on the cruise....
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Drive three quarters of the way, the first day. Stop, rest, spend the night. Vero Beach, Florida is a nice place to stop. Plenty of restaurants and shops. The next day to Ft. Lauderdale or Miami is onlly about two hours.
If you break up the driving, the first day on your cruise, you will not be exhausted and will be able to enjoy your evening.
Map the driving time on the net. Florida has a number of nice stops along the way.
Thanks for all the advice. We are leaning more to driving and spending the night in Florida. I am going on the internet and book a hotel because it will be Labor Day weekend and I am afraid we may not be able to find a room. I told him I would do most of the driving, however a fellow fireman has said he would work the day before so my husband will be ready to drive. It is like a little family in the fire dept and if one needs help they all pitch in. I have read several negative and positive things about Carnival
but with the sun, food and good people how can anyone have a bad cruise. Unless it rains, the food is bad and the people are ugly!!
Hi, we live in Durham NC. Not far from you. We always fly. Thats a long drive, and then you will be tired before your cruise. With the way gas prices are, it may be worth it to fly. Good Luck with your decision. Its gotten really high to fly to Miami, we used to fly for about $140 pp.
If you were going a day early can you try priceline b/c it won't really matter that much what time you flight is?
4-5 hour drive is my personal max.
It's not really a $500 savings b/c you will still have to pay for gas. I'm assuming it's about a 700 -- 800 mile trip. If you get 20 mpg that's 35 - 40 gallons each way or 70 -- 80 total at $2.00 gal that's $140 -- $160 in gas plus parking.
Now all the OT he's working. You won't be relaxed when you get home. Ugh.
another option is to fly into Ft. Lauderdale, its usually cheaper than flying into Miami. Then you can grab a cab, shuttle or use ships transfers. It might not be cheaper in the long run to drive what with gas prices, tolls, and parking, not to mention the exhaustion factor. How about changing departure airports? If a smaller airport is within a reasonable driving distance you can usually save a good amount using a budget airline like Southwest, or JetBlue. How about the train?
Thanks for all the advice I did check into arriving at FLL and you are right it is cheaper by about 100.00 per person. So we are planning now to fly to FLL and stay Sunday night and get transportation to the port on Monday. The only bad thing is it will be Labor Day weekend and I am afraid will be looking for a hotel forever. I called several and of course they have a two night min stay. I have called my TA and she is working on a hotel through Carnival for Sunday night.
To JamieGunter--small world --Thank you for the suggestion!!
I will be going on the same cruise, and also thought about driving (10 hours) or flying. With talk about Delta eventually declaring bankruptcy, I decided to cash in some Skymiles and fly (had 85000, and was saving for 2 tickets to the Orient). Since I booked the flight though, I am much more relaxed knowing that I will not have to drive during my vacation. (Except the rental car in Miami!).
As far as hotels go, I booked the Hyatt Regency in downtown Miami for $38/night through priceline.com. Booking through Priceline gives you a much cheaper rate than what you could normally get at nice hotels. The only drawback is you do not know which hotel you get until your credit card is charged.
You do, however, get to pick what quality level hotel you want, and what section of the city you want to stay in. The Hyatt is one of Priceline's 3* hotels, in Miami's "downtown" section. The other 3* known "priceline" hotels in the downtown area are the Sheraton, the Marriott, the Radisson, and the Doubletree. Unless Priceline adds/drops hotels, you will get one of these 5 places if you choose 3*, and the "downtown" section only. The Marriott and the Hyatt are the 2 hotels that are awarded on a regular basis in this area.
I believe the only 4* hotel in this area is the Intercontenintal, normally awarded to those who bid $60/night or higher.
If you do decide to use priceline and your bid is rejected at $38, let me know, and I'll give you some more tips for rebidding on priceline as cheap as possible.
As far as airfare is concerned, take a look at hotwire.com....I plugged in the dates 09/05/04 - 09/11/04 from RDU-MIA and got a rate of $212/person (nonstop or 1 connection). Hotwire does chare your credit card before giving you the exact flight times though. That's why I used the 5th and the 11th, as the cruise is from the 6th-10th. You may also want to try bidding about $170 per ticket thru priceline as well. Hotwire has good hotel deals as well....the best deal I've seen in that area is the Sheraton Downtown Miami @ $53/night. You can generally get a hotel cheaper thru Priceline though, and 3* hotels on Priceline are generally rated 3.5 or 4 *'s on Hotwire. The Sheraton, is in fact a 3* on Priceline, and 3.5 on Hotwire.