orlando to fort lauderdale-distance????

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#1
Vancouver,B.C., Canada
172 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
I am a little confused by the driving distance from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale. Mapquest says it is a 3 hour and 17 minute drive, but some posters have said it is 35 minutes away. We are arriving 5 days prior to the cruise to spend some time in Orlando before driving down to the port in FLL. Our original plan was to arrive on Monday night and drive down on Friday for the Saturday departure, but now I am wondering if we can spend the extra day in Orlando and drive down early Saturday morning (April 9th/05). Also for the 3 of us is it worth renting a car or paying for a limo/car service??? Any help would be appreciated.
#2
1,886 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by berly369
I am a little confused by the driving distance from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale. Mapquest says it is a 3 hour and 17 minute drive, but some posters have said it is 35 minutes away. We are arriving 5 days prior to the cruise to spend some time in Orlando before driving down to the port in FLL. Our original plan was to arrive on Monday night and drive down on Friday for the Saturday departure, but now I am wondering if we can spend the extra day in Orlando and drive down early Saturday morning (April 9th/05). Also for the 3 of us is it worth renting a car or paying for a limo/car service??? Any help would be appreciated.
I don't know how anyone could tell you it was 35 minutes. It is, as Mapquest says, about 3 and a half hours without hitting traffic. I would definately rent a car as a limo or car service from Orlando to Ft. Lauderdale is going to be in the two to three hundred dollar range.
#3
Moon Township, Pa
23,173 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
It is about a four hour drive if you have any kind of traffic. As a comparison, a limo from the Ft Lauderdale airport to the dock which is about 5 minutes away is $75. So from Orlando you can count on it being in the $300 to $350 range.
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#4
Los Angeles
111 Posts
Joined May 2003
I would recommend driving down on Friday and getting a hotel room in Fort Lauderdale Friday night. My experience with interstates in Florida is that they sense when you are in a hurry and then close themselves for construction.
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#5
Vancouver,B.C., Canada
172 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Thanks everyone for your response, I think I will keep to my original plan and leave on Friday to Fort Lauderdale. This will leave only 3 days to see Universal/Islands of Adventure and the Magic Kingdom. (Monday is a write-of since we do not arrive until Monday after 7pm) I want to be relaxed and stress free for the cruise and driving down on the Saturday morning sounds like a risk to me. My dh has been to Orlando before so he wants to rent a car and show us I-Drive and whatever else we have time for. I was thinking of staying at the Hyatt Pier 66, since it is so close to the pier, but not to sure if anything is around the hotel to walk to. (restaurants, shopping etc.) I know there are lots of posts on FLL hotels, so maybe I will go back and see what the majority are saying is the best place to stay.
As a side note--Our prayers are with everyone who lives in Florida and hope everyone is out of harms way.
#6
Deerfield Beach, FL USA
85 Posts
Joined May 2004
Berly369, all posts saying 3.5 to 4 hours are correct. The Hyatt is close to the port, but there is not much to walk to there. There is a Marriott at Beach Place that is in the heart of and across the street from Ft Lauderdale beach. All the shops, restaurants and action you want to see. If you need to be transported to the Port anyway, it won't matter if you are down the road a bit. There is also the Radisson Bahia Mar near there across from the beach.
Good Luck enjoy
Lynne
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#7
WV
811 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
I think the '35 minute' distance might be between Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, not Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale.
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#8
5,517 Posts
Joined May 2004
berly369 - just an FYI: Orlando is in the middle of the state of Florida, and not on the coast. It is about a 4-HOUR drive from the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale ports. Also..."Universal Studios" (Islands of Adventure) is very SEPARATE from "Walt Disney World's "Magic Kingdom." They are two separate theme parks, and are not related.

Universal has: Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

Walt Disney World has: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, MGM Studiios, and Animal Kingdom.
#9
Western North Carolina
260 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Orlando to Cape Canaveral is a 45 min drive.

This past Feb my DH and I went on a cruise and spent a few days in the Orlando area prior to cruising. I would definately plan on 3 1/2 to 4 hours drive to Fort Lauderdale. We arrived in FLL the day before the cruise, and stayed at Marriott Marina. You might want to check out this Marriott. It is right across from the port and you will be able to see your ship come in that morning. They have a pre cruise package that includes 2 drink vouchers, free breakfast and free shuttle to port on cruise day. The breakfast buffet was wonderful. Their grounds was so beautiful, and we really enjoyed walking around looking at the private owned yachts. Also the water taxi stops right there at the hotel. So no need for a vehicle. You will be glad if you go down the night before, so you can start your cruise week well rested.

Hope you have a wonderful cruise. We leave out in 2 weeks on the Caribbean Princess. We are getting so excited!

God Bless...
~Kathi~
PS If you decide to stay at this Marriott, make sure you make your time arrangements for your shuttle service right after you check in.
#10
Vancouver,B.C., Canada
172 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Originally posted by imsulin
berly369 - just an FYI: Orlando is in the middle of the state of Florida, and not on the coast. It is about a 4-HOUR drive from the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale ports. Also..."Universal Studios" (Islands of Adventure) is very SEPARATE from "Walt Disney World's "Magic Kingdom." They are two separate theme parks, and are not related.

Universal has: Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

Walt Disney World has: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, MGM Studiios, and Animal Kingdom.
Thanks Imsulin, but we are very aware of where Orlando is and that Disneyworld is separate from Universal. We are already booked in the Royal Pacific Resort for 4 nights and hope to have time to see the Magic Kingdom. We will drive down on Friday to Fort Lauderdale and stay somewhere there-haven't booked anything yet. My dh travels to Orlando every year on business, so he knows the area very well.
#11
Orlando, FL, USA
3,122 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Berly369, I can understand wanting to get down to FLL a day early if there is something you want to do in FLL, but really the drive down in the morning is not bad at all, we do it all the time. We live in Orlando, leave at around 7 am, and we're at the port with the car parked and in line by 11 am. There will be MUCH less traffic on I-95 or the Turnpike on a Saturday morning than there will on a Friday afternoon/evening. Even getting across Orlando on I-4 on a Friday is a nightmare! I'd say enjoy your extra day in Orlando, enjoy the attractions and the fireworks, the restaurants, I-Drive and the SHOPPING (don't miss the Mall at Millenia - right down I-4 from IOA), and head over on Saturday morning! Also, if you get the chance - eat at Emeril's over at Universal City Walk and don't miss Margaritaville!

Just MHO!

TinaLee
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#12
Toronto On. Canada
5,928 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
TinaLee -

Since you live in Orlando, what is the best route to take from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale. We are doing the same thing as the first person. Staying at Disney from Tue-Sun. Leaving early Sunday for our Star Princess cruise (Oct 31) from FLL. Renting a car to drive to FLL to drop the car off at the airport. My sister arrives in FLL at 1pm and the Star doesn' leave until 5pm. We will take the car rental shuttle to the pier.
#13
lake worth, florida
5,504 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
i live in florida on the east coast and as has been posted before the drive from orlando is almost 4 hours, not 3 and there is NO WAY that anyone could say 35 minutes. ever! it may be about 35 minutes from fll to mia. also, as was stated above, do not even consider a limo, because it will cost an arm and a leg! rent a car...it'll be waaaay less.
also, if you can allow "extra" time for leaving, stopping for bathroom breaks, lunch, etc., you'd be wise to do so. 4 hours in a car can get uncomfortable. i know because i drive from west palm beach, 30 minutes north of fll, to orlando every year and no matter how many short cuts i try to take, i always lose time stopping for gas, or lunch or that bathroom break i didn't count on... give yourselves at least 4 hours to get to fll...you'll feel better if you do it that way. less rushed!
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#14
Gardner, Massachusetts
134 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Most people traveling from Orlando for a cruise are sailing from Port Canaveral which is a 45 mile drive. Perhaps that was what the posters who said 35 were thinking. Cruises from Ft Lau. and Miami ususally fly into Ft Lau. or Miami NOT Orlando.
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#15
Vancouver,B.C., Canada
172 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Originally posted by TinaLee
Berly369, I can understand wanting to get down to FLL a day early if there is something you want to do in FLL, but really the drive down in the morning is not bad at all, we do it all the time. We live in Orlando, leave at around 7 am, and we're at the port with the car parked and in line by 11 am. There will be MUCH less traffic on I-95 or the Turnpike on a Saturday morning than there will on a Friday afternoon/evening. Even getting across Orlando on I-4 on a Friday is a nightmare! I'd say enjoy your extra day in Orlando, enjoy the attractions and the fireworks, the restaurants, I-Drive and the SHOPPING (don't miss the Mall at Millenia - right down I-4 from IOA), and head over on Saturday morning! Also, if you get the chance - eat at Emeril's over at Universal City Walk and don't miss Margaritaville!

Just MHO!

TinaLee
Thanks Tinalee for the advice, I really do want to spend as much time in Orlando as possible. We don't know when we will be back there, since we are travelling from Vancouver,B.C. Leaving on Saturday morning when the traffic is quieter sounds alot better to me than Friday rush hour. On the other hand,we wanted to look around Fort Lauderdale before the cruise on Saturday, so we are really undecided on what to do. What is the weather usually like in April??? Will some schools still be on spring break on April 09th????
#16
Washington State
167 Posts
Joined May 2003
Hi - we always fly into Orlando (from Seattle) and then drive to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. It's a 200 mile drive and fairly simple (I95 to the Ft. Lauderdale airport, drop the car and have them shuttle us to the pier terminal). We've driven it on late Friday night (around 7ish) and it was LOOONNNGGGGG, and then crashed at a hotel. We've driven it on a Saturday morning (left Orlando @ 10:00am) and it was a breeze. I think it just depends on how you want to spend your Saturday morning. I love Ft. Lauderdale, but if you have some extra time in Orlando, and then be able to pack up Friday night, sometimes that's easier. If you leave Friday night, you have to pack, unpack and repack again before you get on the ship !
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#17
Orlando, FL, USA
3,122 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by berly369
Thanks Tinalee for the advice, I really do want to spend as much time in Orlando as possible. We don't know when we will be back there, since we are travelling from Vancouver,B.C. Leaving on Saturday morning when the traffic is quieter sounds alot better to me than Friday rush hour. On the other hand,we wanted to look around Fort Lauderdale before the cruise on Saturday, so we are really undecided on what to do. What is the weather usually like in April??? Will some schools still be on spring break on April 09th????
Our spring breaks here in the center of the state will be in March. That includes the local colleges. The local attractions will be incredibly busy if your trip is in the vicinity of Easter weekend. That is a VERY busy time down here. If not, you should be okay crowd-wise.

If you drove down to FLL and left Orlando at 7 am, you'd be in FLL by 11 am. There is no hard fast rule that says you have to go straight to the ship (if you have the will power to stay away). All aboard is at 4 pm (I believe) and the ship sails at 5. If you want to look arond FLL, you could drive down and spent part of the afternoon doing that before you go to check in at the ship.

Weather in April is usually lovely here, although a little warm. And we do tend to get daily afternoon rain showers, but they come and go fairly quickly. The locals won't spend much time in the ocean in April, it's still too cold for us, but I've seen the crazy Canadians (like yourselves) and those from Michigan and other colder climates jump right in and talk about how great the water is (brrr). Me, I'll take a heated pool until about JUNE!

Let me know if I can answer any other questions for you!

TinaLee
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#18
Orlando, FL, USA
3,122 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by phabric
TinaLee -

Since you live in Orlando, what is the best route to take from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale. We are doing the same thing as the first person. Staying at Disney from Tue-Sun. Leaving early Sunday for our Star Princess cruise (Oct 31) from FLL. Renting a car to drive to FLL to drop the car off at the airport. My sister arrives in FLL at 1pm and the Star doesn' leave until 5pm. We will take the car rental shuttle to the pier.
You basically have 2 choices, I-95 or the Florida Turnpike... or a combination of the two. I don't personally like to take the turnpike all the way down to FLL. We usually take the turnpike down to I think it is the Jupiter exit. Then we hop off and get onto I-95 and take that straight into FLL. You can't miss the signs off I-95 for the airport to drop your rental car.

If you prefer to skip the toll portion all together, then just take the BeeLine Expressway (528) over to I-95 and take I-95 all the way down. The exit off I-4 for the BeeLine is just next to SeaWorld.

Let me know if I can answer any more questions!

TinaLee
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#19
Toronto On. Canada
5,928 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Do they both have restaurants, gas stations (I am sure we won't need gas since we get the car only Sat). What would the cost of the tolls be? What would the difference in time between the two.? We plan to leave about 8:30-9am (Disney) to arrive in FLL for my sister's lpm arrival.
#20
Orlando, FL, USA
3,122 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by phabric
Do they both have restaurants, gas stations (I am sure we won't need gas since we get the car only Sat). What would the cost of the tolls be? What would the difference in time between the two.? We plan to leave about 8:30-9am (Disney) to arrive in FLL for my sister's lpm arrival.
The turnpike toll from Orlando I-4 to the Jupiter exit is $10.70 and all the way down to Sunrise Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale is almost $15.00. I-95 has no tolls, but you'll have to pay the BeeLine tolls which come to about $1.75 or so. I-95 is just like any interstate highway anywhere, with exits all along the route with restaurants and gas stations. The turnpike has 'plaza stations' where they have gas, restrooms, fast food chains inside the plaza building. I really don't think there is much of a time factor difference either way, at least not enough that I've noticed.

TinaLee