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Old August 1st, 2013, 03:23 PM
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Default Question for Cruisemates! Ft Lauderdale or Miami ??

I have a big question to ask of all you cruisemates who have cruised from Miami port? What are the pros and cons to flying into Ft Lauderdale or Miami. I have heard that Miami nicer hotels are so high priced. But now we are trying to figure out is it more to fly to FLL or Miami? are the hotels nicer or most costly in one port over the other one. any input will help a lot. we are a group of 9 going in March. All booked on theBreeze. So excited to be going. We have stayed at the LaQuinta in FLL a few years ago. Nice place to stay. Liked it. But any suggestions for Miami and or FLL are appreciated. thank you in advance! Cruisingrandma
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Old August 1st, 2013, 03:31 PM
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If I am cruising out of Miami I stay in Miami. The hassle and cost of going from Fort Lauderdale to Miami isn't worth it. It has been many years since I cruised out of Fort Lauderdale.

I have used Priceline and have had good hotels on every one of my Miami cruises and I have never paid more than $100 for a downtown hotel. I do have to add that the $100 downtown Miami hotel is getting harder to find. On my last two cruises, out of Miami in the last year, I had to stay closer to the airport in the Crown Plaza and the Best Western Premier because a 3 or 4 star hotel in downtown was not happening. Each of the airport area hotels were 3 and 4 star and less than $75. The cab ride the Port of Miami is about $20 to $25. Each hotel also had shuttles for $10 - $15 p.p.

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Old August 1st, 2013, 03:52 PM
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First, I'm surprised your agent wasn't able to help you with all this.

With that said, obviously it's all about convenience, cost, and quality. Personally, I think the hotels in Ft. Lauderdale are nicer and you can stay closer to the beach without breaking the bank. In Miami, pricewise, to me it's always better to stay in hotels closer to the airport than the pier. There are some very nice hotels near the pier, but rather costly and there's no ocean beaches close by. There are a couple not too far away, but then the neighborhoods aren't quite as nice.

Keep in mind that for the most part, while some hotels will provide complimentary shuttle from the airport, there aren't too many that offer free shuttles to the pier. So that may play into your plans.

Ft. Lauderdale airport is roughly 25 miles away from the pier in Miami. With a group of 9, it would behoove you to have your agent contact a shuttle service instead of taking taxis. If you were to go directly from the airport to the pier, the price per taxi is about $75.

The airport in Miami is roughly 8 miles to the pier in Miami and there are set fees for taxi. It's possible it has gone up, but when we were there several months ago, it was $12 per taxi.

Next would be flights and it really depends on where you're flying from and whose offering the best rates to which airport. For example, from the Washington, DC area I always look at rates from Dulles, National, and BWI and into both Miami and Ft. Lauderdale to see where we get the best deal. Just remember, best price may not be the best deal when you take everything into consideration; price of the airfare, price of transfers, as well as the location and price of the hotel.

Again, work with your agent and let them help you with all this. It'll save you time, hassle, and worry.

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Old August 1st, 2013, 04:45 PM
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The LaQuinta Inn East is a great place to stay in Miami. I found out about it from Fern here on Cruisemates and stayed there last November. It is close to the airport, so if you want a beach view you are SOL. Otherwise, it's a nice place to stay and not too expensive. They have airport pickup and will take you to the port, just make sure you tell them when you check in. I hope this helps.
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Old August 1st, 2013, 08:00 PM
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Default Just stayed in Miami

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Originally Posted by Moiraine View Post
The LaQuinta Inn East is a great place to stay in Miami. I found out about it from Fern here on Cruisemates and stayed there last November. It is close to the airport, so if you want a beach view you are SOL. Otherwise, it's a nice place to stay and not too expensive. They have airport pickup and will take you to the port, just make sure you tell them when you check in. I hope this helps.
I agree! We just stayed at The LaQuinta Inn East in Miami in July. The price was $99.00, but with the AARP discount it was $76.00. We had a room with a microwave and a mini fridge. They have a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel. Just be sure to flag down the shuttle for the LQ East. The shuttle to the port is free. Just let them know at check in that you want the shuttle.
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Old August 1st, 2013, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by cruise planner View Post
First, I'm surprised your agent wasn't able to help you with all this.



The airport in Miami is roughly 8 miles to the pier in Miami and there are set fees for taxi. It's possible it has gone up, but when we were there several months ago, it was $12 per taxi.


Pete
Pete it's been a LONG time since it was $12 for a taxi from MIA to the Port of Miami. When I started cruising (2000) it was set at $20. Now it is around $25 but it is a set fee and it is per car and not passenger.

Take care,
Mike
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Old August 1st, 2013, 09:28 PM
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Mike, you are definitely correct. (Did I say I suffer from oldtimers?)

My memory on some of these things suck, so I asked my wife and she reminded me it was $12 from Ft. Lauderdale airport to the pier in Ft. Lauderdale and when we were in Miami, she said we paid $25 from the airport to the pier in Miami.

Sometimes it sucks getting old!! Thank you for correcting me.

My apologies.

Pete
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Old August 1st, 2013, 09:42 PM
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I vote for Laudedale, especially if you can get better fares. Try this shuttle service, for your trip tpo Miami. I have used them many times, and the rate for 5~ 9 people is, $13.00 pp each way.

You can look at the Rodeway Inn, which many Cruisemates have enjoyed
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Old August 1st, 2013, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
Pete it's been a LONG time since it was $12 for a taxi from MIA to the Port of Miami. When I started cruising (2000) it was set at $20. Now it is around $25 but it is a set fee and it is per car and not passenger.

Take care,
Mike
It is a flat rate and posted in the taxis and still some try to rip people off.

Priceline is the way I usually go for hotels in Miami.
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 02:15 PM
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I prefer to stay and cruise out of FT Lauderdale, only because I like the local area better. But I would not base my cruise decision on it.

In the last few years Miami has built a number of HUGE hotels close to the port and I think Mike's idea of using Priceline for a Miami hotel is stellar. I'll bet you can get a Hilton or something similar for very little.

FLL hotels usually have shuttles to the port. Funny, but staying at the FLL hotels on 17th st, I have never had to pay for cruise shuttle because there are so many the doorman or driver usually just says "hop in" - the port is so close the cost would only be about $7.00 pp anyway.

Same with downtown Miami hotels now - the port is only a $10 taxi ride at most.

The big difference is the cost of the taxi from the airport to the hotels. In Miami that will be $40, in FLL it will be under $20.

But see - all of that difference is so small that it pales in comparison to where you get the best cruise. That could be either Miami or FLL, depending on what you want.
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 03:30 PM
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Personally I like to cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale as it is much easier to access and the area is nicer. The LaQuinta Inn there is also a park and cruise place where you can leave your car during the cruise. The Hotel, I believe it was the Hollywood, FL location, is very nice also.
In Miami I can also affirm that the LaQuinta Inn airport east is a nice place to stay. We drive to our cruises and they have a park and stay package so we can leave our car at the hotel and take their shuttle to the port.
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 08:29 PM
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I prefer Fort Lauderdale in general, but if cruising from Miami, stay at a Miami hotel. We use the Holiday Inn Port of Miami- you can get a room overlooking the port. It is opposite the Bayside Marketplace which is a great place to spend a pre-cruise night, lots of restaurants and shops. Taxi from the airport to Holiday Inn was $24 and in the morning it was $8 to the port.

Bayside Marketplace - Outdoor Shopping Mall in Downtown Miami, Florida Featuring Top Dining & Entertainment

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Old August 4th, 2013, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by cruisingrandma View Post
I have a big question to ask of all you cruisemates who have cruised from Miami port? What are the pros and cons to flying into Ft Lauderdale or Miami. I have heard that Miami nicer hotels are so high priced. But now we are trying to figure out is it more to fly to FLL or Miami? are the hotels nicer or most costly in one port over the other one. any input will help a lot. we are a group of 9 going in March. All booked on theBreeze. So excited to be going. We have stayed at the LaQuinta in FLL a few years ago. Nice place to stay. Liked it. But any suggestions for Miami and or FLL are appreciated. thank you in advance! Cruisingrandma
I go through this analysis several times. Living in Los Angeles, Miami is the easier of the two as far as flying goes because America will fly there non-stop. But I also look at price and the cost of the transportation from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the port. And finally, I've flown into one city and out the other city a few times. As to the price of the hotels, now a days it is really not that hard to find hotels in both cities that are close in price and value. I've even stayed half way between the two in Hollywood, Florida.

Basically there has to be more than $100 savings for me to fly into one city and cruise out of the other, since the cost of transportation between the two is about that much, unless you rent a car. However, it is less expensive (and less trouble) to use a taxi than to rent a car for one day. I only rent a car if I am staying two nights and have someplace special I want to go to, or if I am driving between the two cities.

All of that said, normally I fly into and out of the city I am cruising from.
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Old August 12th, 2013, 11:19 AM
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We are flying into FT Lauderdale because we are going Southwest. It will be less expensive to take the shuttle from Ft Lauderdale and back than to pay baggage fees and shuttle from Miami, We are not staying overnight though so hotel was not part of the equation.
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Old August 12th, 2013, 11:34 AM
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We too are flying into FLL although we are cruising out of Miami.
For us the flight was cheaper as well as the hotel and we were having such a hard time finding a hotel in Miami with two queen beds, they all seemed to be full size.
Also our third person will be driving down Tampa so we will have a car to get down to Miami.
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