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jlnprt

Suggestions for Ft. Lauderdale After Cruise

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Dh and I will be on the Veendam in February. We got great airfare, but our after-cruise flight doesn't leave until late (around 7pm). For now, we've booked a HAL tour and transport to the airport, but that will get us to the airport in the early afternoon. I've read a lot of comments about how FLL is not the most pleasant of airports to hang around for hours waiting for a flight. Other than renting a car for the day and touring around ourselves, any ideas for how to spend the day? Are there any private tour companies that would pick us up at the pier and take us on a tour? I've looked at earlier flights, but none of them are non-stop, and they get us home later than the non-stop one we have now, even if they leave hours earlier. 

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We were on the Koningsdam in January 2019, and did an Everglades airboat tour through Sawgrass Recreation Park . It was an excursion through HAL.  They picked us up at the pier, did the tour, then drove us to the airport.  We were pleased with it.

 

L.

 

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FLL currently has a lot of construction in the terminal(s) - not sure of the timeline - we flew out fo there about a month ago. Very crowded with passengers waiting for flights and I thought food options pretty sad.

 

Luggage may or may not be an issue - if you are traveling light or can check your luggage from the ship to the airport (I think X was doing this) you are more free to enjoy yoursleves. We did a cruise on the CarrieB (11 am) which was delightful, then strolled along Las Olas and found a nice sidewalk cafe for a long lunch. Very pleasant day. You might want to consider cabbing to the airport, checking your bags, then heading over to CarrieB/Las Olas - might not cost anymore than HAL excursion.

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Las olas BLVD . Many shops and restaurants. Galleria mall. Of course the water taxi. 

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3 hours ago, wesport said:

Las olas BLVD . Many shops and restaurants. Galleria mall. Of course the water taxi. 

Ditto, ditto and ditto.

Las Olas is wonderful area to walk. Plenty of food options all day long. Great place to catch the water taxi or do a boat tour. 

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13 hours ago, Mary229 said:

Use Luggage Direct to send your luggage to the airport then use the taxi/water taxi to see the sights or other activity. 
 

Luggage Direct

Thanks so much for the link. This is perfect! Sounds like there are plenty of ways to fill our day, but I was worried about what to do with our luggage since we can't check it until 4 hours before flight time. 

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2 hours ago, jlnprt said:

Thanks so much for the link. This is perfect! Sounds like there are plenty of ways to fill our day, but I was worried about what to do with our luggage since we can't check it until 4 hours before flight time. 

 

You will find a Luggage Direct Form in your cabin but you will need to fill it in and return it to Guest Services by the deadline.  An added bonus to this service is that it counts towards your Mariner Credits as it gets charged to your onboard account.  Have a great cruise!

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Our family of 10, including kids and grandkids, took an end of the  year cruise a couple of  years ago and did the Everglades excursion and transfer to FLL.  The kids had 5 and 7 p.m. flights and couldn't check their bags yet.  We thought we could all enjoy lunch together, but they had flights from different terminals and all the "decent" eateries were after security.  Not only was there a severe lack of food options pre-security, but the one greasy spoon was jammed. And there were no areas where we could even all sit and socialize...in fact, we couldn't find any vacant seats anywhere at all!

Rather than taking a late flight to the west coast, my wife and I had decided to stay over night at a hotel near the airport and catch an early flight the next day.  This worked out great.  We took Uber from the airport to our hotel, had a relaxing dinner and an early bedtime.  FLL is, indeed, a miserable place to get stuck for hours. 

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We usually buy a "dayuse" pass to a Fort Lauderdale upscale hotel and use Uber each way - giving us access to the hotel's pool, gym/spa, beach and a hotel room to freshen up before our evening flight home. Very relaxing end to our vacation. Google is your friend.

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20 hours ago, twodjs said:

We usually buy a "dayuse" pass to a Fort Lauderdale upscale hotel and use Uber each way - giving us access to the hotel's pool, gym/spa, beach and a hotel room to freshen up before our evening flight home. Very relaxing end to our vacation. Google is your friend.

which hotel?  and cost?  might use this option ourselves!

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I suspect Luggage Direct is your best option but would suggest canceling your present tour if you can.  I think Luggage Direct requires you to go through customs as a group and you will have a specific disembarkation time.

 

 Roy 

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We took the HAL transfer to the FLL airport last Friday with the Everglades airboatride and wildlife park and a Seminole Indian park near the airport.  We were dropped off at the airport at 2:30, which is still hours before your flight.  We used Luggage Direct so we just had our carryon bags to go through security.  If you have your luggage with you you will not be able to check in until 4 hours before your flight.  We saw passengers in the check in area sitting with their luggage waiting.  This has happened to us before and it is not fun. Use luggage direct to avoid this.   Once though security the gate area at FLL is a mess, very crowded.  It is my least favorite airport.  If you have affiliation with an airline or credit card, purchasing a day pass at their lounge would be a way to spend 4 hours and get some decent food as well.

 

Karen

Edited by Loreto
added info

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I would rent a car and go to the Shark Valley Visitor Center Everglades.  I have been to 3 or 4 Everglades tours/parks.  The airboats are kind of fun, but you may only see two or 3 gators.  At Shark Valley they are all over the place.  Take the tram.  We had several days pre cruise last year and that was the highlight of our tour.

 

The water taxi is fun.  Just hanging out at a resort is relaxing.  Have fun.

Edited by NMTraveller

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4 hours ago, VTcruisenut said:

which hotel?  and cost?  might use this option ourselves!

Just Google "dayuse" pass for hotels in Fort Lauderdale. Several companies offer a wide range of prices for passes for day use of hotels and or spas with beach access. Depending on the day, you may see 20 or more choices starting at about $35 per person and up. Hotels are priced per room with included amenities. Be sure to compare what's included before booking.

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20 hours ago, Loreto said:

We took the HAL transfer to the FLL airport last Friday with the Everglades airboatride and wildlife park and a Seminole Indian park near the airport.  We were dropped off at the airport at 2:30, which is still hours before your flight.  We used Luggage Direct so we just had our carryon bags to go through security.  If you have your luggage with you you will not be able to check in until 4 hours before your flight.  We saw passengers in the check in area sitting with their luggage waiting.  This has happened to us before and it is not fun. Use luggage direct to avoid this.   Once though security the gate area at FLL is a mess, very crowded.  It is my least favorite airport.  If you have affiliation with an airline or credit card, purchasing a day pass at their lounge would be a way to spend 4 hours and get some decent food as well.

 

Karen

I was told that the 4 hours varied by airline.  We were just on American and did have to wait until 4 hours prior.

 

One new thing - Terminal 3 now has a connecting walkway to Terminal 4 with more dining and shops along the way.  We have a Priority Pass for Lounges through our credit card and with it we were able to dine at Kafe Kalid (spelling?) in Terminal 4.  We received a $28 pp food/beverage credit - food quite good with a tropical twist.

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On 12/26/2019 at 5:33 PM, VTcruisenut said:

which hotel?  and cost?  might use this option ourselves!

We went to Costa Hollywood last week.  We almost didn't go because it was SUPER windy ( no beach chairs on the beach and occasional sand blasts windy), but we still opted for it over the airport. For $20 (you can reserve ahead of time or just pay when you get there) they will hold your luggage while you enjoy the 7th floor rooftop pool. There is a nice pool, big hot tub, comfortable seating, great view of the beach and ocean, WIFI, restrooms with a shower, and a large bar with food service. On a less windy day it would've been perfect. If you go down to walk along the beach, there are also lots of restaurants along the walkway.

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So I googled day pass and came up with Pelican Beach Resort which I was at once a long time ago and the day pass is only $35 !  right on the beach and a pool and lazy river too!  sounds like this is what we will be doing!  Thanks for the suggestion.

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