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goin' cruisin' 02-20-2007 07:07 PM

We're flying into MCO on 3/29, a couple days at Disney World (ugh), renting a car and driving to Miami 4/1 to go to Eastern Caribbean on Explorer (aahhh). I did a mapquest and plan to leave Orlando at 5:30 +/- Sunday morning so we can be at the ship plenty early. I know it's not the optimal plan, but...any idea about how much cash (change?) I should have for the toll road from orlando to Miami?

penny3333 02-21-2007 05:47 AM

It's $2.50 each booth, and I believe there are 3 booths between Orlando and Miami. However, you can hop on I95 and go to Miami for free. The traffic on Sunday morning shouldn't be too bad, especially if you're leaving that early. Bring comfortable shoes for Disney and eat outside of the park if you can, it's really expensive. However, if you must eat there, the food at the Grand Floridian was wonderful. The food at the Brown Derby in MGM Studios was horrible, they charged $5.00 for a glass of tea, no refills. Have a wonderful time and a marvelous cruise!!

LHT28 02-21-2007 07:36 AM

I agree don't take the turnpike...shoot over to I-95 it takes about 2-3 hrs to Miami.
There is a nice outlet mall at Vero Beach if you are not already shopped out!

Enjoy the cruise

goin' cruisin' 02-21-2007 10:13 AM

Thanks for the tips and well wishes...I guess the only good news about WDW is that the admission tickets are comped (a friend's grandfather helped build the park). The really excellent news is that the cruise follows WDW, not the other way around!

cousins 02-24-2007 01:23 PM

The drive from Disney to the Port in Miami....Allow 5 hours. You will still have plenty of time to get there.
95 is okay on a Sunday morning. The highway signs in Dade County are confusing. If you need directions be REAL careful where you pull off. Call their department of tourism for a free map, also AAA mails out free maps to members.

goin' cruisin' 02-24-2007 06:27 PM

Thanks for the advice...I presume when you say be aware of where I pull of if I need directions, you're suggesting there are less than "friendly" parts of town. Any specific offramps to avoid?

cousins 02-25-2007 05:46 AM

In the day time you're alright.The Dade/Broward line is about NW 215 ST. The first 7 miles are okay then it goes downhill. I believe the port is about 13 miles from the Dade/Broward line. The problem with that last 6 miles is if you get off sometimes it's hard to find where you get back on and you get further lost just trying to get back on. You can tell on 95 just by looking what areas aren't to good. If it looks residential you don't want to get off if you see stores/gas station it's better. My husband is a fire fighter down there (not in this area) he wasn't sure if there is a direct 95 to Biscayne Blvd exit. The Biscayne Blvd is a bridge that takes you to the port. RCI is out of Miami and I'm sure they can give you very specific directions off 95 because , like I said the interstate signs can be confusing and you need to try not to get off those 6 miles.
Sun morn ...most of the hudlams are sleeping...just don't plan on looking for lunch!!!

goin' cruisin' 02-25-2007 03:25 PM

Thanks for the heads up; it sounds much like what we do in the federal probation and parole system--when we go visit certain areas, we do so before 8 or 8:30am, and never after 10:00am. It's called self preservation. Thanks again.

Frase 02-26-2007 01:16 AM

About seven years ago, I moved from Miami to Orlando. During my trips between Miami and Orlando, I used to take the Turnpike all the way. Then I discovered it is just as fast and much less expensive to use the "BEACHLINE"(528) and I-95. The Beachline (a.k.a. 528, formally known as the Bee Line) is an East-West running highway which connects Orlando with the East coast of Florida which includes: Cape (Port) Canaveral, Melbourne,Titusville,Cocoa Beach and others. The Beachline (528) runs alongside Orlando Intl. Airport (MCO) and is very accesible when driving from there. Just make sure to look for the sign 528/Beachline EAST. Once you get on the 528 Eastbound, you will then have a straight shot East for about 40 miles until you reach I-95. From the airport to I-95 (on 528) there will be one toll costing $1.50. This will be the only toll you will encounter along your trip to Miami. On the Turnpike, it's a whole different story (about $14 in tolls, ONE WAY!). Eventually, after 40 miles on the 528, you will reach I-95. Make sure you don't miss the off-ramp to get on I-95 South. Otherwise you will end up in Port Canaveral (many other cruiseships dock there, including both of the Disney cruiseships). From there is about another 200 miles heading South on i-95 until you reach Miami. I believe you leave I-95 in Miami using 395, which should drop you off on Biscayne Blvd in downtown Miami. The entrance to the Port of Miami is on Biscayne Blvd right next to the Bayside Mall. And from what I heard, the American Airlines Arena (where the Heat play) is right across the street from the port entrance (I left Miami before they started building the A.A.A.). From there, after entering the Port of Miami, I am sure there must be signs pointing the way to cruiseline(ship) and the respective long-term/passenger parking.

When returning to Orlando, be careful when getting back on to 528 from I-95 Northbound. It can be tricky (if my memory serves me correctly). You will need to be in the right lane long before the 528 overpass, and before your access to the exit lane is blocked by concrete barriers.

So I hope all of this can be of some help to you. Goodluck and have a great time on your cruise.

Frase 02-26-2007 01:27 AM

And don't worry about needing to stop on I-95 to find food, fuel, or a restroom. Just like the Turnpike, they have those places on i-95 too. And they probably cost less than the what you would find at the Turnpike's Rest Areas.

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