We're sailing on the Grand on Jan. 14 (Sunday), and have just started to really focus on logistics. We made our own air arrangements, and we fly into Miami Friday night. We're debating on renting a car from Miami to Ft. lauderdale, or possibly taking a taxi or shuttle service. We also need a hotel in Ft. Lauderdale, hopefully near the area where the ship departs, and also within a reasonable distance to do things on Saturday. Would appreciate any suggestions on (1) the best way to get from Miami to Ft. Lauderdale and (2) hotels. What would be ideal would be a hotel in Ft. Lauderdale that had a shuttle service from the Miami airport, and also a shuttle service to the dock where the Grand departs! (I can dream, can't I?). Also, any suggestions on what to do on our free day in Ft. Lauderdale? Thanks!
You ARE quite a dreamer. :-) There are shuttle services that run between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale as well as a train that you could take. Check out the the Ft. Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau web site for lots of information to all your questions especially "the what to do?".
The "Getting Around" button gives lots of information on how to getting to Ft. Lauderdale including approximate fares, $70+ for taxi and $25 pp for shuttle, from Miami Airport. The link to the train web site is http://www.tri-rail.com but you will still need a cab from one of the stations to your hotel. I think the train fare is $3-4 each.
Another option would be to purchase the transfers from the Miami airport to the ship in Ft. Lauderdale from Princess and stay in Miami.
I've heard lots of good things about the AmeriSuites Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale. Centrally located near the pier and FLL airport and they provide shuttle services to both. We were going to stay there this Saturday, Jan. 6, but I got enough points at Marriott to stay on the beach for free. My experiences with AmeriSuites have been positive. Nice big rooms with a large continental breakfast buffett. Check out http://www.amerisuites.com Not sure what kind of availability there is.
Good luck figuring out your logistics. We'll be one of the many passengers crying as we get off the boat Jan. 14 as you are waiting to get on. :-)
I don't know how to say "Ya done screwed up!" tactfully, but it would be much more convenient to fly into Fort Lauderdale (FLL) rather than Miami if you can change your airline reservations. I understand that several hotels in Fort Lauderdale do provide complementary shuttles to both the airport and the pier (which, BTW, are only about five minutes apart). This option would solve your transportation problem completely at no additional cost.
The other relatively economical option -- again, if you can change your airline reservations -- would be to arrive in Miami on the day of embarkation rather than on the day before the day of embarkation. Princess's transfer from Miami International Airport to the pier is $15 -- which three times the charge of $5 from Fort Lauderdale International Airport to the pier, but still considerably less expensive than either a taxi or the standard airport shuttle.
If you can't change your airline tickets, you probably will have to bite the proverbial bullet. Since you will have a significant amount of luggage, it probably would be easiest either
>> (1) to find a hotel in Fort Lauderdale that offers a free shuttle to the pier and plan to take a taxi from Miami International Airport to the hotel or
>> (2) to find a hotel in Miami that offers a free shuttle from the airport and plan to take a taxi to the pier.
I know that neither of these is particularly satisfying, but it could be much worse!
Finally, fire the travel agent who told you that it's okay to fly into Miami on the day before embarkation!
Unfortunately we can't blame the travel agent for this one -- we arranged our own transportation to the cruise. We wanted to use our frequent flyer miles with United Airline, and none of their flights from Washington, D.C. to Ft. Lauderdale are non-stop -- and they all connect at Chicago ORD. Our thinking (way back when we made the reservations) was that it was quicker and safer to go direct from Washington, D.C. to Miami and make the short trip to Ft. Lauderdale than to have to connect in Chicago ORD with the possibility of snow delays, etc. in January.
Thanks for the information -- we'll keep the airline reservations, but will probably take a shuttle to the Ft. Lauderdale area (or maybe the taxi, depending on how we feel).
Although it is very late, try Amerisuites in Ft. Lauderdale. Get their direct telephone number, (on-line) and first see if they have a room available and the best price, if the price is $159 or so, ask if they have a "manager's special". This could be less it depends on availability. Good Luck. I would opt for the airport shuttle to the hotel from Miami, once you have obtained accommodations. Embassy Suites would be my second suggestion, but are a little more expensive. You are also going to need to reserve port to airport transportation back to Miami, so don't forget to reserve now!
We did something similar last Oct. We rented a car from Hertz at Miami Airport
and drop it off in Ft. Lauderdale. They have free shuttles to the pier. I don't recall
there is any drop off charge for the rental. Having a car is great becuase you can
do some sightseeing on Sat.
Flying into Miami was a good choice! Who wants to chance that Chicago weather in January?!! Rent the car and enjoy your extra time. The drive from Miami to Ft. Lauderdale will provide some great sightseeing. If you have searched all the internet sights you were given you will have plenty of choices on where to stay, what to do etc. We are making our own travel arrangements and received lots of help and answers from the internet sites. Enjoy your trip. Don't forget to let us know how it all worked out!!
It's probably too late for this trip, but I'll pass this along for future planning. United and Delta have a domestic partnership under which you can cash in your United "Mileage Plus" miles for free tickets within the United States on Delta. The worst case on Delta would have been a connection in either Orlando or Atlanta, neither of which has O'Hare's problem with winter snowstorms.
We flew into Miami. It's only a 30 minute drive to Ft Lauderdale. Also used United Miles. They just don't have any decent flights to Ft Lauderdale. This year we are going Air west from Okalnd, Calif. Much better times and the price is only $386.00 r/T! United and others want $547.00 from SFO and the times are terrible.Of course, we are paying this year.
The Marriott Harbor has a Hertz drop off. Great Hotel. Go to the internet and scroll down to AARP rate. About half the going rate . Best Hotel.