Going on our second cruise, the new Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas 11/19-26, 2006 (Thanksgiving week). Flying into Ft. Lauderdale, the ship sails out of Miami. I was thinking of staying in Ft. Lauderdale overnight one night prior to cruise and getting the R.C. transfer from the airport to the cruise port. Looking for nice clean hotels (w/pools for children) reasonably priced and near restaurants. It would be great if the hotel had free shuttle service from airport to hotel and then back to airport the next day. I've read where transfer from Ft. Lauderdale airport to Miami cruise port via taxi could run like $70. So is just taking the R.C. transfer to port from the airport the way to go, since they will deal with all of our luggage and get us exactly where we need to go? We’ve never been to Ft. Lauderdale or Miami. There will be 9 of us. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Sounds like a perfect match for the Embassey Suites on 17th Street in Ft. Lauderdale. It is well located within walking distance to all of the restaurants in town (Outback and a great Mexican restaurant is right across the street and the Bimini Boatyard [our favorite] is across 17th street)
They offer a free shuttle to/from the airport (10 minutes away) and the price also include breakfast and cocktails. You can get all the kids in the same unit that you stay in and still have privacy.
As far as getting to the Royal Caribbean Terminal in Miami, I would suggest booking a van for your whole group with Super Shuttle or one of the other limo companies in Ft. Lauderdale. It will be less expensive than the RCI shuttle and you won't have to return to the Ft. Lauderdale airport to catch the transfer. Also, arriving at the Miami port will be much less of a hassle as the van can drop you right where the porters are to check you bags.
Let me second Tom's suggestion of getting a van or limo. The cost isn't as much as one would think and to me it is well worth the price to avoid the hassles of buses, cabs, and shuttles. We used to do the cab or shuttle bus routine, but a few years ago I decided to try a limo service. What a difference! I now go exclusively with a limo service whenever I cruise. And you don't have to get carried away with it. No need for a flashy stretch limo. All of them have large sedans, vans, and SUVs too. We usually get a sedan, which typically is a Ford Crown Victoria or Lincoln Town Car. Plenty of room for us and our luggage, and not much more in price than a cab.
One other suggestiong - try the Springhill Suites. We sailed on Star Princess in January 2005 and stayed at the Springhill Suites. They have a special that includes transfer from the airport to the hotel and then from the hotel to the port. We found it worked very easily and no hassle.
You can also check out the Tropi Rock in Ft. Lauderdale, close to the beach, reasonable rates, close to restaurants. Their website is www.tropirock.com. Embassy is nice and is near a great many restaurants. We're sailing out of Ft. Lauderdale in October, so transfer to the port will be free. There are some shuttles you can check, www.miami-shuttle.com and www.easyexpress.biz, they may be less expensive that RC. Enjoy your cruise!!
My family and I stay at the Tropi Rock everytime we are in Fort Lauderdale. Wonderful place. Its like staying at a friends home. Mick and Patty are sensational. Also, Lets not forget the wonderful greeting you get from Oliver. The only thing confusing is when you mention free shuttles. I do not believe they have this service.
Sorry, it was confusing. We're flying into Ft. Lauderdale, and not staying overnight before the cruise, we're going directly to the ship. The transfer was included in our airline package that we booked. Sometimes my brain doesn't catch up with my fingers. However, the Tropi Rock is a nice place to stay and in a great location. Sorry!!
I say go with the Embassy Suites. I have stayed there several times and for one night the location is perfect. The Mexican restaurant is wonderful but they do have lots of other options nearby; easy walking distance if Mexican isn't for you. They also have the free shuttle for the airport or cruise terminal, and free breakfast in the morning along with cocktails in the evening. What more could you ask for in one night? (If you were sailing out of Ft Lauderdale I would tell you to request a room on the side of the building where you can see the cruise terminal. Then you get to wake up and look out at your ship.)
I WOULD FLY INTO MIAMI IF FLYING IN THE SAME DAY. DON'T RISK BEING LATE. THEY WILL NOT WAIT FOR YOU. FLYING IN THE DAY BEFORE IS SO MUCH EASIER AND RELAXING. SO SPLURGE A LITTLE. YOU DESERVE IT!!!.TRY PRICE LINE FOR A HOTEL. WE STAYED AT A FIRFIELD INN(DORAL AREA)FOR $50.00 W/SHUTTLE FROM AIR PORT INCLUDED.THEY ALSO HAVE A NICE POOL AND FOR$12.00 PER ROOM THEY HAVE A SHUTTLE TO THE PORT. I THOUGHT THIS WAS A GREAT DEAL.
HOPE THIS WILL HELP YOU.