To recap, the port garage is within a literal stone's throw from the ship. You pull into level 1 and a porter meets you to take your luggage. Tip him $5.00 and you are done. Assuming, like us, that you handle your own luggage back to the car, you are out $85.00.
Fulton: First, you get a reservation by calling or filling out an online form. They email you a confirmation with the instructions to pull in and get a ticket, park, then go the cashiers office on the 1st level and pay. They don't give clear directions in the confirmation as to how your luggage is handled or where to find the shuttle.
You'll navigate through several reserved spaces but at level three, you'll find open spaces. We were confused about what to do from there, other than the part about paying downstairs. A porter finally appears from the elevator and tells us he'll stop by after loading another customer's luggage. It's hot and humid but we wait it out for 5 minutes until he comes back. We follow him down to level 1 via elevator and we wait again on the shuttle to get back. I go pay the cashier and am told that on Saturday, I need to come back to the cashier's office to get my receipt validated. The lobby has a few seats and is air conditioned.
The shuttle shows up several minutes later and we tip the porter $5. The shuttle is pretty standard with good seats and AC. It's a very short trip to the port. Well, we've got to tip the driver, so $2 to him and the savings is now $18.
He has to stop at the far end of the driveway where the shuttles and taxi's stage so we have a short walk to get in line. Oh, but who meets us there? Yes, a flowered shirt porter. $5 to him and savings now = $13.
Ok, so we get back Saturday, clear customs and head down to the general area where we were dropped off. I wait a few minutes and decide to call. It's hot and humid. They tell me he's on the way, just left. However, he pulls up across the drive from us so off we go dragging the bags across the way to get in a line about 20 people deep. Of course, he fills up and tells us he'll be back. It's hot and humid and now we are in the sun. About 20 minutes go by and he gets back and we get on. By our estimation and based on past experience we would have been to Hammond, LA by now had we parked in the port garage.
We get back and I tip the driver and the awaiting porter a combined $4. Savings final total over the port = $9
There is sign on the cashier office door that states we will find the cashier today on level 2. We go get the car loaded and start cooling the car down while I go search out the cashier. I walk all over level 2, there are empty booths but no cashier to be found. I saw only one other human the whole time. I go back down to level 1, re-read the sign just to make sure. I find no employee at all on either level 1 or 2. We just exit the garage as the barricades are locked in the up postion anyway.
Bottom line, the "savings" don't justify the wasted time. Next time we'll park at the port.