Originally Posted by ncstate7991
Okay, if I ever go on this ship (and Lord knows I will) I will be driving. So how about some information about where you will board the ship (close to downtown near the aquarium, or closer to the naval base in N Chas). Where to park? Parking Costs? Thanks a ton!
Price is $15 per day... right now. The port/pier is going to be revamp either before Carnival gets here or within the year (or so). When that happens the price could go up (or down - right). The set-up now is kinda strange and is hard to explain.. you go thru an area, drop off your luggage and drive your car to another lot where you take a bus back to the terminal... even if dropped off you still have to wait for a bus/trolley, you cannot walk up to the terminal... yet when you get off the ship you walk out and catch a cab.
I've provided some more info below including hotels that provide park and stay prices... some have shuttles and some don't... prices vary.
Here is a map:
Market St. ends at Concorde St. This is right at the cruise terminal.
All is within a couple of walking blocks. You can get a carriage ride, go thru the market, get food, etc.
If not from around here (Charleston) or have visited several times I would hesitate recommending hotels in that area. It has gotten better and if I was flying in, taking taxis, etc. it's fine.... BUT if driving a wrong turn can find you in a very undesirable area. It is much better than even a year ago but still I would be careful of the area.
The round Holiday:
The Inn at River Crossing (Rodeway Inn):
Hampton Inn in Mt. Pleasant:
Marriott - Charleston:
Hampton Inn - Daniel Island:
All of the above offer park and cruise specials and vary in price.
One thought on the drive is that you are still paying for parking at the port and unless they change it you have to take a bus to/from the parking area. It' $15 a day to park, so even a 5 day cruise is $75. You could get a room for that amount, be dropped off and if needed take a cab back to your car. It's worth it to be in town the night before without having to worry about something on the road happening.
Have a great trip!
From someone visiting:
We often visit Charleston for long weekends so I thought I would offfer a little advice.The Plantations are pretty and very interesting but if I only had one day I would spend it downtown in the historic district.You will be docked right there and everything is an easy,safe stroll away.Charlestonians are very friendly and will gladly help you with directions.No need for expensive ship's tours.There are 5 museum homes you can visit plus many other attractions.A carriage ride is a great way to get an overview or sign up for a walking tour.One we really like is Charleston Church Tours with Preston Cooley.They leave form the Meeting Street Inn in the mornings (9 0r 10 I beieve) and visit 5 historic churches.Be sure to get out and explore.Walk down beautiful Church Street--tour St. Phillips and the Heyward Washington House.Stop at the Battery and White Point Gardens to see Fort Sumter in the distance.Visit the Edmonston Alston Home on the Battery.Walk back up East Bay by Rainbow Row and visit the Old Excahnge Building.Then walk in Waterfront Park and admire the fountains and your ship.A great morning for about $25 per person.Visit the Market and have lunch at Hymans Seafood.The Confederate Museum is very interesting in Market Hall.You can easily spend 4 days downtown and not run out of things to do.Most every home and building could qualify as a museum in any other city.Again, the area is very safe and anyone who enjoys history, architecture, shopping, dining, and theater will fall in love with the Holy City. I know that we have.
Originally Posted by sebie View Post
Here are the basic's. We are booked on the Mercury for the 4/9/10 sailing. Our plan is to arrive on the 6th. We have booked a hotel & have a car rental set up (Ashley area?).
Are you flying in? Get the car at the airport, save yourself the cabfare.... When checking the car back in just one goes and the cabfare will be cheaper back to room.
We wish to visit a plantation or two (heard about the homes and garden festival). We will tootle around downtown, treat ourselves to a carriage / trolley ride, etc.
You can get a tour of plantations:
One other thing is the Harbour tour:
One other thought if you have military buffs is the Patriots point Maritime museum:
Since our budget doesn't quite allow us to stay downtown and after reading unpleasant reports of the Days Inn, we are choosing to stay on the west bank area at the SpringHill. We will use the hotel shuttle when possible. If you have any notes regarding this hotel, we'll take'm as there's not much out on Trip Advisor, etc.
Springhill does not seem cheap, it is in a iffy area that could be nice if you are right at the marina, other than that you will be driving everywhere... shuttle is from 6pm-11pm... most shops downtown will be closed, would be mainly for dinner.
Here are several options:
It is in Mt. Pleasant right across the river/bridge from the pier/port. Not that you need it but you can leave your car for the duration of cruise, they have breakfast (free) and a cab ride would be reasonable.
This Holiday Inn is not downtown but does have a shuttle to the pier and downtown, has great views (from higher rooms), nice breakfast buffer (not free), bar, etc. Not much around it but downtown is close, across a bridge and thru the "hospital area".
I understand your comments about the Days Inn but it has some real pluses... mainly being right downtown. One thought is you could do this place, forgo the rental car completely, do the many tours offered from downtown (no driving, carrying luggage, etc.), carriage ride, straw market, several museums are within short walking distance.
Another nice cheaper place downtown with the same as above.
I have a few idea's I want to run by someone regarding my thoughts on our chosen hotel & car from the said Ashley area. that includes I also have some taxi questions especially the zones. Then there is the pier. I see all kinds of details regarding parking cars, but not so much about just dropping people off. Is it as easy as leaving them off at the street or do I have to get in line with all the other cars? Ya know what I mean?
It would be great to just drop them off at the pier, take the car back to the rental agency & taxi back to the pier. If the price & timing allow, I could park near by, long enough for us to all check in at the ship & then I would return the car & then taxi back. Hence the questions about timing, parking & taxi fee's, etc.
With 3 that have handicap problems I would NEVER let them off by themselves... you cannot guarantee what results they will get with help. I would actually return the car the day before, taxi back and then all take a taxi to the port. They will allow the taxi to drop you off and if needed they do have wheelchairs for use. Once again a strong reason to forgo the car rental completely, stay downtown. You could do 4 days downtown and still not see everything. Tours to plantations are worth it. They even have day trips up to Myrtle Beach and shopping/sightseeing for the day.
So.. let's start there. I will take any details anyone can give me. It's such a blessing to have folks like you always willing to be so helpful. Thanks a million in advance!!
I cannot stress enough that with the problems you state, give yourself a break, find a nice place downtown:
and go with the flow. If you find the right hotel you can actually walk over... but that would be you lugging all the "stuff"... lol.
A cab would be very little.
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