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Old March 30th, 2008, 05:00 PM
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Default First Time Cruisers w/Large Group


We are a group/family of 55 leaving out of Miami. A lot of us are flying in the night before...I believe we get there at 12 am on the day of the cruise. Can anybody recommend any inexpensive hotels/motels in the area? I would also appreciate if anybody had any information on getting from these hotels to the port.

Along those lines, we were wondering how to get to the port. I've ruled out using Carnival's transfer service - from reading this board a bit, I'm assuming other services are better - like The Transfer Answer and Supershuttle. Any other recommendations/suggestions?

We were also considering renting a couple of large vans at Miami International and parking them at the port? Does anybody know how much parking would be for four days - Friday through Monday?

Assuming we don't all get to the airport at the same time, can anyone recommend any points at the Port of Miami where our group could gather before boarding? Or is that just a dumb idea - should we just all board the ship as we arrive to the port?

There are some picky eaters, people with special diets, certain food preferences. Again from reading, most people say to tell the maitre'd as soon as you board the ship. However, since I'm in charge of this whole thing, I want to make sure that people get what they want. Is there any way I can make food requests earlier?

Is it better to book excursions beforehand or is it fine to do it once you board the ship?

I don't think I understand what a Sail & Sign account is. Is this a mandatory purchase for everybody?

Thanks for putting up with this. I still have more questions but will pace myself.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old March 30th, 2008, 05:39 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Michigan
Posts: 364

The most inexpensive hotels will be in the airport area. Some have shuttles, some don't. You can always get large van taxi's to transport everyone, but you would have to call. Check the Miami airport website for ground transportation.

I think parking at the port is $20/night.

Don't bother meeting up until you get on board. Just tell everyone to meet you at a certain spot on the ship after muster. That way everyone can put their bags in their cabins and get a drink.

I don't know about special food. There's always the children's menu for the picky eaters.

Shore excursions do sell out quickly.

Everyone has to have a Sign & Sail account. This is the way you get on and off the ship. Your picture is embedded into the magnetic strip. Everything you purchase will be put on this account as no cash is used except in the casino.

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Spirit 11/01
Sensation 1/02
Pride 11/02
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Old March 30th, 2008, 06:48 PM
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We are a group/family of 55 leaving out of Miami.
I sure do hope you are working with a good crusie travel agent who is familiar with groups. They should be able to advise on much of this and make sure things go smoothly.

The group's reservations should all be cross referenced, and all dietary complications should be submitted to the special needs dept.

The agent should be able be ready to explain all the workings of this. With a group this size you should have also earned some group perks, like perhaps a group cocktail party or shipboard credit.

To try and arrange all these details by yourself, with little experience, will surely lead to headaches for you.
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