Toledo Talk

Cruising Royal Caribbean Out of Ft Lauderdale

Has any ToledoTalk Peeps gone on a cruise out of Ft Lauderdale? This is my first cruise (not real thrilled about it) and they say get there a day early - which means spending the night. Crappy hotels are $350. Seems like highway robbery. I am tempted to fly in early in the morning, but Mrs Molsonator is afraid the flight would get bumped and we would miss boarding. Any help would be appreciated.

created by Molsonator on Dec 27, 2017 at 10:56:19 am     Comments: 28

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Definitely fly in the night before. And I would recommend doing the second to last flight of the night in case there is a problem with the flight, you'll have another alternative that way. If there is bad weather in Detroit, the plane has a mechanical problem, etc. and you aren't there when the ship leaves you are SOL.

Why are hotels so expensive??? You should be able to find a decent hotel by the airport for a reasonable price. I'd recommend staying by the airport and if the cruise is later in the day just enjoy the pool at the hotel and Uber it to the port.

posted by classylady on Dec 27, 2017 at 11:29:14 am     #  

Growing up, we never flew in the day before and stayed the night... always took the transfer straight from airport to the ship. Not sure if that was my parents being cheap or not.. but we always cruised during the winter.

I could see the idea behind flying in early, though.

posted by wahhutch9 on Dec 27, 2017 at 01:38:05 pm     #  

I've never taken a cruise but if I were to take one I would fly in the night before.

If there's bad weather at DTW your flight could cancelled or severely delayed. I've seen maintenance issues found during boarding and the flight gets delayed by hours and I flew in August on a flight and we made it out to the runway and a light came on and we had to return to the gate and they couldn't get a new aircraft until the next morning. I'd spend the night on the hotel room than risk not making the cruise.

posted by jamesteroh on Dec 27, 2017 at 02:25:43 pm     #  

You should be able to book a room for about $150 in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. Cool little beach town just north of Ft. Lauderdale. Beach bars within walking distance and a quick Uber to your ship the next day.

posted by OneMoreBourbon on Dec 27, 2017 at 03:21:09 pm     #  

we stayed at Cambria suites 141 Sw 19th Court, Dania Beach, FL 33004 in 2015 we had a package that included parking and shuttle to the port, It was pretty affordable and clean.
We have flown in the day before, flone in the morning of the cruise and drove down the day before the cruise. at this point my preference is to book the airfare with the cruise lines and will only fly a direct flight.
What ship and ports of call ?

posted by jhop on Dec 27, 2017 at 03:44:43 pm     #  

Harmony of The Sea. Ports? Who knows. All of the Caribbean was destroyed.


posted by Molsonator on Dec 27, 2017 at 04:14:27 pm     #  

Cambria $351.

posted by Molsonator on Dec 27, 2017 at 04:16:36 pm     #  

I see all kind of rentals available on airbnb for less than a 100.00, Fly in, take uber to your airbnb rental and next morning take uber to cruise line. Example Dec 27-28 - LOFT room NEXT TO BEACH & AIRPORT. 65.00 for the night, plus tax, cleaning. A little over a 100.00

posted by Nyse on Dec 27, 2017 at 05:51:09 pm     #  

Molsonator posted at 03:16:36 PM on Dec 27, 2017:

Cambria $351.

WOW, we paid around $200 with a weeks parking and round trip shuttle in 2015. I made the reservation about 6 months in advance.

posted by jhop on Dec 27, 2017 at 06:35:04 pm     #  

I have flown in the same day of the cruise a couple of times without a problem. Maybe I was just lucky !! Looking at cruises for Mrs Hoops & me, and we may sail from Port Canaveral. Easy flights in/out of Orlando and a short drive to the port.

posted by Hoops on Dec 28, 2017 at 08:38:37 am     #  

We were in Ft Lauderdale exactly two years ago, and were surprised at how expensive hotels were. Not knowing that rates would be so high, we didn't book in advance, and had to stay at a dive far away from anything for $200+/night. AirBNB might be the best bet for a reasonable stay.

posted by swampprof on Dec 28, 2017 at 09:06:33 am     #  

Mrs. Molsonator is quite right to worry about the flight being canceled. Fly in early, sleep on the beach if you enjoy that kind of thing, then get lined up to board the ship.

A few things to remember on a cruise are:
Wash your hands like a fanatic. The ship is a closed environment, and people bring all kinds of disease onto the ship.
Check the bedding for parasites and other varmints. You can pick up lice (all varieties), bedbugs, and any number of heretofore undiscovered tropical parasites.
Don't get drunk.
Don't go anywhere by yourself. Actually, this isn't so much for you as it is for Mrs. Molsonator. The crime rate on cruise ships is higher than the cruise line and the cruise industry would like you to believe.
When you stop off in port, be aware that the cruise ship does not keep track of you and will leave without you. You have to catch up with the ship, and you're on your own for that.
The real cure for motion sickness is to go topside and watch the horizon. Staying below makes you sicker than ever.

Write back and tell us how the trip went. Have a good time!

posted by madjack on Dec 28, 2017 at 11:18:56 am     #   1 person liked this

I have taken a couple cruises out of Ft Lauderdale and have taken early flights the day of the cruise. It wasn't winter though.

This last flight was into Miami and then took Uber to the cruise terminal. Saved some money with that compared to the flights into Ft Lauderdale.

madjack is right about keeping tabs on the time. Was on deck seeing people run to the ship as it pulled away. Felt terrible for the dad with two kids. Wonder how common that is?

posted by Spaceace on Dec 28, 2017 at 11:29:11 am     #  

Lived in Miami for a few years and flew out of Ft. Lauderdale often. Because I was cheap, the flight back and forth to the midwest (Detroit) was on Spirit. Never had a major problem on either end.

Never had a big problem in winter or summer, but I agree with those who say arrive early. And flights cancel at the drop of a snowflake in winter, so there's that.

Check the Ramada by FLL--not terrible (but this is 4 years ago--check review sites. It was not a bargain 5 star experience, so don't expect that. Our room was clean and we got in / out decently enough. Right now I see it for around $120.

High season (winter) and good times economically = higher prices. Sorry. Spring break will likely be wilder than usual and demand much higher than usual.

And adding on to one thing MadJack said...

When you stop off in port, be aware that the cruise ship does not keep track of you and will leave without you. You have to catch up with the ship, and you're on your own for that.

ALSO be aware that the cruise line does not take any responsibility for any injuries, robbery, or generally bad things that may happen to you on those "excursions" off ship. The operators are simply treated as vendors by the cruise line. You get robbed, swindled, beaten, nearly drowned, etc. on one of those activities, take it up with the activity company. Based in Trinidad. HQ in a room in back of a house. Good luck with that.

I'm sure you'll have a great time--my elderly in-laws (70+) have now been all over the world on a ship -- hey, they have the time to do it now. They have never, ever had a problem on ship. We have a problem with them coming back 15lbs heavier than when they left, but they have fun. My wife and I might try it in the next few years.

posted by oldhometown on Dec 28, 2017 at 03:47:38 pm     #  

Well here is the kicker. I am a closet germaphobic. One of the reasons I am not looking forward to this.

My wife and I spent a lot of time in The Virgin Islands before little Molsonators. I loved staying on the islands and learning the culture. You stay long enough and YOU become part of the scene. That's when it's a blast!

My understanding is as of now there is not a lot to do at any port do to damage. Royal Caribbean has already shorten the time you have at each port by several hours.

posted by Molsonator on Dec 28, 2017 at 04:38:06 pm     #  

Last cruise was 15 years ago. Cousin and I stayed at a friend's place in Gainesville and had to drive 337 miles to the Port Of Miami the same day. We left with plenty of time. About halfway through the drive, for some reason he thought embark time was 2pm not 4pm so we went 100 the rest of the way... pedal to the floor, gunning it, weaving in and out of traffic, passing semi trucks in the right lane. It was like an old episode of Miami Vice. We got there and found out embark time was 4pm after all.

So yeah, I'd recommend getting as close to the port as possible ahead of time.

posted by mixman on Dec 29, 2017 at 01:01:25 pm     #   1 person liked this

Tubbs and Crocket. "Ain't it a crime!" - just made LOL!

posted by Molsonator on Dec 29, 2017 at 02:58:04 pm     #   2 people liked this

It says we return to Port at Ft Lauderdale at 6:15 am. Anybody have any idea how fast we could get off the boat and to the airport? Do you carry your luggage off the ship? or is it the same process in reverse? Thanks for the help.

posted by Molsonator on Jan 22, 2018 at 08:43:45 am     #  

I booked the 11:30 AM flight upon my return to port just to be safe

posted by Hoops on Jan 22, 2018 at 09:20:16 am     #   1 person liked this

People who only have carry on luggage depart first usually starting at 8AM. We just did 4 days and had only carry on and were off the ship by 9. You may still want to attempt breakfast first, but so is everyone else. Some people who had checked bags carried them off to leave with the first group. 11:30 is cutting it close as we got to the airport about 10:30 using an Uber.

posted by OldTimer on Jan 22, 2018 at 10:33:30 am     #  

As long as you plan on carrying your own luggage off the ship you should be fine.

posted by jhop on Jan 22, 2018 at 10:48:52 am     #  

I appreciate all of your input. It has helped greatly. One more question. I have Verizon...what are my cell phone options on the ship? I will have a teenager staying home to go to school (he will be staying with friends) but i need to know i can reach him.

posted by Molsonator on Jan 25, 2018 at 08:59:12 am     #  

No cell towers out at sea. Get the internet package on the ship and use Email or there is an app for texting over the net. In port you need an international plan to make phone call, call Verision if you need that. Watching the teenagers freak out in line to board the ship when they realized they could not text nonstop on the ship was interesting.

posted by OldTimer on Jan 25, 2018 at 01:33:00 pm     #   1 person liked this

If you have a newer smartphone you can make and receive calls via Wi-Fi just like having cell service . You can share the single device internet plan between multiple devices but can only have one logged in at a time.

posted by jhop on Jan 25, 2018 at 06:04:13 pm     #  

another cruise tip. take a shoe organizer that hangs on the door and use it to store your miscellaneous stuff.

posted by jhop on Jan 25, 2018 at 09:38:05 pm     #  

Well I have my Dramamine and my anti-bacterial lotion and I am headed to a boat that it too big to possibly float. I would post a few smarmy comments but the cost is like $1,000 a minute. Still maybe...

Problem is, I keep hearing Maureen McGovern sign "The Morning After"...

posted by Molsonator on Feb 05, 2018 at 01:38:44 pm     #  

Have a couple rum drinks for us Molson. Currently 17* here with a balmy bright sun. Enjoy the high seas.

posted by Mariner on Feb 05, 2018 at 03:10:20 pm     #  

Made it back alive. Weather in the Atlantic was windy and rough. It got progressively worse each day - but it was still more than bearable. I took 1 dramamine each day. No problem. The ship had 6,300 passengers yet the staff kept things clean and enjoyable. When we stopped in Puerto Rico I talked to the business owners. They are tough as hell. The Old San Juan business owners were very thankful for FEMA. They never once complained or used their demise as a selling tool. They are pushing local products/artwork/services. We spent a lot of money there.
Haiti was very interesting.

I think i would do it again.

Thanks for the help and comments all.

posted by Molsonator on Feb 18, 2018 at 08:08:55 pm     #   1 person liked this