Everglades air boat ride

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Florida Departures

Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami & Port Canaveral & Tampa
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#1
Long Island, NY
4,468 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Hi - Has anyone done this post-cruise excursion? It looks like the thing we'd like to do but would love to hear from anyone who has experienced it. We're debarking in Ft. Lauderdale and this excursion ends back in the airport. Thanks.
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Sandy/Long Island NY
#2
Indianapolis, IN
201 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
We did it between back to back cruises on the Imagination. It was a lot of fun and pretty educational. Being from the midwest, I really had no concept of the Everglades. Bring earplugs because the airboat is loud. The tour operator gives you toliet paper to stick in your ears. Go to the purser's desk and get some earplugs. I'm glad we didn't have to get on an airplane afterwards because it was a hot day and we were pretty ripe by the time we got back to the ship. I got a picture of my husband holding a small alligator. All in all, I'm glad we had the opportunity.
#3
486 Posts
Joined May 2004
We just booked this tour through HAL and I must say it was fairly disappointing. The advantages are that they pick you up at the ship in a nice air conditioned bus into which you stow all your luggage. They drive you about 30 minutes into the Everglades, but keep in mind the part of the Everglades you see is only the sawgrass area. The airboat ride was kind of cool, floating along over the grass. Our tour provided earplugs (and you need them). However, alligators are nocturnal and there were few to be seen during the day. The Native American village was an absolute joke, basically a TV showing a video of a Native American under a roof like shed covered with cargo netting. The display of wildlife consisted of one area for reptiles which definately had the feel of a roadside zoo, small rather unattractive pens. The second area was worse with little cages each containing one unfortunate animal seemingly randomly displayed (for instance I don't recall Florida being the habitat of prairie dogs). On top of the mediocre nature of the tour, they beg constantly for tips and charge for any extras ($2 to take your picture with the baby alligator, $10 to pet the panther). They literally force you to have your picture taken before you board the boat hoping you'll buy that too. I would not do it again.
#4
missouri city, tx, usa
1,489 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
We did an airboat ride in Florida several years ago. We were there on a non-cruise vacation. It was definitely fun and something different to do. Perhaps look in to booking this excursion outside the cruise line to ensure a better time and cheaper prices? Negotiate with the tour operator to include free transportation from the cruise ship terminal. If they want your business they'll agree to this!
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Cheri & Charlie

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#6
Long Island, NY
4,468 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Thanks so much for your replies. Since I just booked our flight home much later in the day, we're definitely on for this excursion. Hope we enjoy it as much as some of you did. If not, you win some and you lose some.
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Sandy/Long Island NY