Jump to content
beigedog

Flying into Orlando and driving to Fort Lauderdale

Recommended Posts

So my wife and I will be flying 2 days before our cruise (leaving from Port Everglades) into Orlando. The airfare was far cheaper and the times were better so we just decided we'd spend a night in Orlando before driving a rental car to Fort Lauderdale. Has anyone here done that? We may do something like Universal for a day or we might just hangout at City Walk or downtown Disney and save a few bucks. Anyone here have any other suggestions of what to do in Orlando for a day or tips for making that drive to Fort Lauderdale? Hotel suggestions are also appreciated. Thanks!

 

Sent from my SM-G955U using Forums mobile app

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1000's of hotels in Orlando - it all depends upon what you want to do and location.

 

The drive to PE takes about 3.5+ hours depending upon the traffic - the toll road is worth it compared to I-95. We've left Orlando in the morning after an (early) breakfast and have been on a ship in Miami in time for lunch. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What you propose it very doable. Some car rentals are available with no drop off fees within Florida.

 

Whichever highway you decide to take, I suggest that the one navigating do a frequent traffic update on Google maps. It is not unusual for a wreck to close the turnpike or I-95 for hours. Try to travel with a plan B.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are doing the same thing next week. However, after we pick up a rental car from Alamo we are driving out to the Space Coast and staying with friends. We thought about the big attractions but eventually settled on Cape Kennedy Visitor center instead. Then we will drive down A1A to Fort Lauderdale for an overnight stay, then drop the car at Alamo on Eller Drive, outside the gates to Port Everglades.

 

We got a great price for Alamo via ‘Flexible Autos /US car hire’ also known as General Rent a Car. About 20% less than direct with Alamo. The on,y thing we don’t get is the ability to bypass the checkin desk for the car, as it’s though a third party.

 

Only 4 days until we leave :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We are doing the same thing next week. However, after we pick up a rental car from Alamo we are driving out to the Space Coast and staying with friends. We thought about the big attractions but eventually settled on Cape Kennedy Visitor center instead. Then we will drive down A1A to Fort Lauderdale for an overnight stay, then drop the car at Alamo on Eller Drive, outside the gates to Port Everglades.

 

We got a great price for Alamo via ‘Flexible Autos /US car hire’ also known as General Rent a Car. About 20% less than direct with Alamo. The on,y thing we don’t get is the ability to bypass the checkin desk for the car, as it’s though a third party.

 

Only 4 days until we leave :D

We talked about doing this. We've already reserved a car through Dollar but I'll check into that Alamo deal. I would think that the drive on A1A from the Space Coast to Fort Lauderdale would take quite awhile with all of those stoplights, even though I'm sure there's much more to see than on the Turnpike from Orlando.

 

Sent from my SM-G955U using Forums mobile app

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1000's of hotels in Orlando - it all depends upon what you want to do and location.

 

The drive to PE takes about 3.5+ hours depending upon the traffic - the toll road is worth it compared to I-95. We've left Orlando in the morning after an (early) breakfast and have been on a ship in Miami in time for lunch. :)

The toll road is definitely what we're looking at. I hate I-95 and I've had come to Jesus moments on I-4. We haven't decided whether to use Dollar's flat rate toll option or to buy a portable Sun Pass unit for the tolls.

 

Sent from my SM-G955U using Forums mobile app

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What you propose it very doable. Some car rentals are available with no drop off fees within Florida.

 

Whichever highway you decide to take, I suggest that the one navigating do a frequent traffic update on Google maps. It is not unusual for a wreck to close the turnpike or I-95 for hours. Try to travel with a plan B.

Thanks for the tip. I'm trying to avoid I-95 if at all possible. We'll probably start the drive the Friday morning before our cruise after rush hour traffic.

 

Sent from my SM-G955U using Forums mobile app

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I don't personally find much of a difference between the turnpike and i95. I actually kind of prefer i95 since it's 3 lanes. Turnpike is neverending slow drivers in left lane blocking traffic. Drives me crazy. Either will be fine though. Heck, I enjoy US27 sometimes.

 

But I'm really not sure why you would so adamantly want to avoid i95. The turnpike isn't that great and will cost you $20 for the pleasure.

 

If you aren't in a hurry to get down here, I'd take US27 and stop at Gatorama on the way. One of the last cool roadside attractions. Very Florida! You also have Bok Tower gardens and the Florida's Natural Visitors Center among other things. Sawgrass Recreation, too. And a more natural Florida, scenic drive. Why not make an interesting drive out of it?

 

Orlando is near some great springs too. Lots to do besides Disney stuff if you want more natural/nature type things to do.

Edited by BNBR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't personally find much of a difference between the turnpike and i95. I actually kind of prefer i95 since it's 3 lanes. Turnpike is neverending slow drivers in left lane blocking traffic. Drives me crazy. Either will be fine though. Heck, I enjoy US27 sometimes.

 

But I'm really not sure why you would so adamantly want to avoid i95. The turnpike isn't that great and will cost you $20 for the pleasure.

 

If you aren't in a hurry to get down here, I'd take US27 and stop at Gatorama on the way. One of the last cool roadside attractions. Very Florida! You also have Bok Tower gardens and the Florida's Natural Visitors Center among other things. Sawgrass Recreation, too. And a more natural Florida, scenic drive. Why not make an interesting drive out of it?

 

Orlando is near some great springs too. Lots to do besides Disney stuff if you want more natural/nature type things to do.

These are all great ideas! I love the idea of roadside attractions. I loved Gatorland as a kid so Gatorama would be cool. Especially if I could get my wife to hold one. Lol. We really wanted to see gators in the wild so we had thought about going to Everglades park but this would probably suffice. Could you guess how much slower this route is than the turnpike (without stops of course)? Probably less traffic than the turnpike.

 

Sent from my SM-G955U using Forums mobile app

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

US27 will add about an hour roughly. You will pass Sawgrass Recreation, too, if you want to do airboats and their little zoo. Gatorama has more character and would split the drive up better. It's awesome. We love that place.

 

I like that drive. Pass through a few little towns, old Florida feel. Some great roadside Mexican restaurants, too. I have a second home in Placid so we make the drive all the time. I find it pleasant, much more relaxed than turnpike.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are driving down the day before, I agree US-27 will be a lot more enjoyable. It would take only about an hour longer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We will be doing this again this fall - flying into Orlando for some typical amusement park fun, then heading down to Port Everglades for a cruise.

 

Last time we booked a shuttle service - but it was sketchy. Contacting to confirm was very difficult (no phone number released). If I had not gone to extra effort, I do believe we would have been forgotten, as the booking agency had a falling out with the shuttle company in between the time we booked and the time we actually took our trip. But in the end, we did make it. The cost was $60 plus tip each.

 

This year we decided to fly down to Port Everglades from Orlando after our time at the parks. We got tickets for $60 each, so thought that wasn't too bad, and far less headache than the shuttle bus. So we are locked into this method for this year. Will pay another $25 or so for a checked bag, and then will need a cab from FLL to the port.

 

But for next year, maybe a rental car would be a better idea, and would allow us to visit a few other areas like Kennedy and the Space Coast.

 

I'd be interested to hear how much in total it ends up costing people (tolls, gas, rental, insurance and drop off fees) to see how that option lines up with flying down. There are only 2 of us. For a group of 4, I could see the rental car being the most reasonable and most flexible, but how bout the cost compared to flying or shuttle bus for 2?

 

Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

also looking into this as well in January 2019. Still debating as flights are about 50.00 cheaper to fly into orlando rather than Ft Lauderdale. Have 4 of us travelling. Will fly in the day before and maybe drive to the port. How far from the airport in Lauderdale to the port? May have to drop the care there and taxi to port. Unless there is a rental car place closer to the port that would shuttle us to the ship?? Any suggestions would be wonderful

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
also looking into this as well in January 2019. Still debating as flights are about 50.00 cheaper to fly into orlando rather than Ft Lauderdale. Have 4 of us travelling. Will fly in the day before and maybe drive to the port. How far from the airport in Lauderdale to the port? May have to drop the care there and taxi to port. Unless there is a rental car place closer to the port that would shuttle us to the ship?? Any suggestions would be wonderful

 

You would be nuts to do this. To save $200 in airfare? Car rental cost, tolls, gas, etc. etc. Is that $200 for the entire round trip, also?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How far from the airport in Lauderdale to the port?
1.5-2miles,,,,taxi fare is $15-20.

 

May have to drop the care there and taxi to port. Unless there is a rental car place closer to the port that would shuttle us to the ship?? Any suggestions would be wonderful
Book the flights to FLL (Ft Lauderdale). Way less stress.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also have to factor in hotel costs. We can stay in Orlando for free, but will have the cost of 2 rooms in Lauderdale. So that adds to the increase of the flight as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1.5-2miles,,,,taxi fare is $15-20.

 

Book the flights to FLL (Ft Lauderdale). Way less stress.

 

 

 

That is what I am leaning towards. My biggest fear is always something happening and not making the ship in time for sailing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I also have to factor in hotel costs. We can stay in Orlando for free, but will have the cost of 2 rooms in Lauderdale. So that adds to the increase of the flight as well.

 

That definitely changes the calculation! Figure a 3 hour drive roughly. You can check the rental car cost and then $25 or so in tolls plus gas for 200 miles. Do the numbers and see if it makes sense.

 

Not sure where you are coming , but the budget airlines fly in to FLL. Southwest, Spirit and Jetblue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't mention if your return flight is from Ft L or Orlando. Personally, unless there is a huge price difference I would fly directly to Ft L. A lot less stress in my book. $200 more for airfare would not do it for me. The round trip drive from Orlando to Ft L alone makes paying the extra flight $ worth it. Even one way, with drive time, car rental cost, tolls, fuel, it's still worth the extra flight cost. JMHO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You don't mention if your return flight is from Ft L or Orlando. Personally, unless there is a huge price difference I would fly directly to Ft L. A lot less stress in my book. $200 more for airfare would not do it for me. The round trip drive from Orlando to Ft L alone makes paying the extra flight $ worth it. Even one way, with drive time, car rental cost, tolls, fuel, it's still worth the extra flight cost. JMHO

 

 

I have not booked our flights yet, and yes, totally agree on the ease of just flying into FLL is worth the extra money. We have not sailed out of FLL before, so this airport and cruise terminal is new for us. I'm not really concerned on the way back as we will have all the time we need since we will not fly home until Monday. Thank you for the help, I really appreciate it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can make a fun trip out of the drive down if you take US27. A few attractions and make a short day out of it. Something to consider. But if you driving down same day as cruise, I would just fly in to fll

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did the reverse in October going Ft Lauderdale to Melbourne to cruise on Oasis. We took 95 until we got out of FLL area and then cut over to the 1 at Deer Field and did the slow drive up the coast. It did take a little more time, but was a lot more interesting with plenty of places to pull off, eat, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Victory Cruise Lines Sweepstakes - Enter now for a chance to win a free 9-night cruise on Victory II
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2018
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×