DH and I are thinking of renting a car in Fort Lauderdale for the 3 days before our cruise. I'm a little leary as to how to get around Fort Lauderdale and driving in an area I'm unfamiliar with, we stayed in Fort Lauderdale last december so I know a little bit about the area, but we weren't driving either. Can anyone tell me if it is difficult to drive in the area and if we rent a car, would we drop it back off at the airport before heading over to the cruise terminal or is there someplace at the cruiseport to drop it off? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Sandy, I have a terrible sense of direction, and driving in any unfamiliar area is always a challenge for me. Before we bought our own, we used to rent a GPS system along with our rental cars. It very easy to learn to program and very accurate. Hertz rents its system, which it calls "NeverLost" for about $6/day.
Ft. Lauderdale is easy to get around. It's laid out in a grid. North/South divider is Broward Boulevard. East/West divider is Andrews Avenue. There's a lot of traffic, but it moves pretty good. There are very few one way streets and most streets are at least 4 lane. They don't have a drop off at the port. What we did before we started driving down was, I'd drop hubby and luggage off at the port. Then I'd take the shuttle or a cab back to the port and meet up with him in the line. Now I drop him and the luggage off, and go park the car. It's nice to have a car because you can go more places. Miami isn't that far, so you could go and see some sites there as well. Do take the water taxi, though. It's the best way to see Ft. Lauderdale. It runs from just a little north of Port Everglades up to Atlantic Boulevard on the intracoastal waterway. They'll point out interesting sites and homes along the way. Las Olas Boulevard is a great place to shop and check out some cafes. Take a ride out to the Everglades and catch an airboat tour. There's a huge swap meet on Sunrise Boulevard a little east of State Road 7 (US 441). Sandy's idea about the GPS is great, just program in your destination and voila, it'll guide you right there. The Sea Watch Restaurant in north Lauderdale is a great place to eat. They have an early bird special for around $30/pp, 3 course meal. The restaurant is right on the ocean with huge iguanas walking around the grounds, great key lime pie, too. Charlie's Crab and the Pier 66 Bar & Grill are also fantastic places to dine. For breakfast check out Lester's diner on State Road 84 (really close to the port). They used to advertise the world's largest cup of coffee, but they have good diner food and very reasonable prices. We enjoy having breakfast at the Sea Club hotel, but there are a lot of neat little cafes along A1A where you can enjoy the ocean while you eat. Have a wonderful time!