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Fly into Miami or Ft Lauderdale?


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Just booked a December 2021 cruise from port of Miami.  Asking if we should look at flying into FLL or Miami?  Pro vs con of each airport.  We will be flying in a day early and staying at a hotel (yet to be determined).  Any info or help you can provide will e greatly appreciated.  

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Honestly and someone with more experience may provide another opinion, it doesn't really matter. I would fly into whichever has a non-stop flight at the lower price. The cost of going from FLL to a hotel near POM is maybe $50 or so with Uber. MIA to a hotel near POM is about $20 with Uber. So, it is whatever you feel most comfortable with, flight times, and airfare. Transportation from the airport to your hotel is about a $30 difference (along with about 20-30 more minutes). Use that to weigh your options.

 

Because we are not in a major airport, we chose POM over New Orleans because of options in case flight delay, cancelation, etc. In the worst case scenario for a flight the night before, if flights were canceled, getting confirmation to get there in time the next morning, we would have the option to suck it up and drive over night. Not the most pleasant of options, but it would be better off being certain to get there.

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Boozing is right -the delta in time/distance/cost is not great - pick the airport that gives you the best flight options.  Pre-virus hotels in FLL were generally cheaper than comparable hotels in Miami.  Shop around.

 

Pre-virus the FLL airport was very crowded, and some locals preferred MIA.  You have some time to check more recent reviews before making a decision.  Good luck! 

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11 hours ago, JohninDC said:

Boozing is right -the delta in time/distance/cost is not great - pick the airport that gives you the best flight options.  Pre-virus hotels in FLL were generally cheaper than comparable hotels in Miami.  Shop around.

 

Pre-virus the FLL airport was very crowded, and some locals preferred MIA.  You have some time to check more recent reviews before making a decision.  Good luck! 

Agree with JohninDC, choose the airport that fits your travel plans. Our choice of airline whenever possible is Southwest. We originally booked a round trip flight into FLL with a hotel in FLL. A few weeks later Southwest announced they will begin to fly into Miami. Changed our departure flight from FLL to Miami with no extra expense. From FLL you can get a shared shuttle to the POM for around $15.00 per person, from MIA to POM or hotel is about $30.00. Same prices for return trip after cruise. We made our choice based on the great price from Southwest and also a great price in a FLL hotel, compared to Miami prices.

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5 hours ago, JohninDC said:

Sure wish I could get my wife to say this once in a while! 🙄

 

5 hours ago, JohninDC said:

Sure wish I could get my wife to say this once in a while! 🙄

Always have to agree with a person that has a wealth of Cruise knowledge.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/8/2021 at 3:41 PM, skrufy said:

Our choice of airline whenever possible is Southwest......

 

Not a chance I'd spend 5 hours in a 737 from CA to FL.

 

I'd choose Miami, assuming all things being equal. I'd choose the cheapest non-stop flight, as longas it isn't Spirit. I'd stick with the majors.

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On 3/7/2021 at 5:46 PM, imola said:

Just booked a December 2021 cruise from port of Miami.  Asking if we should look at flying into FLL or Miami?  Pro vs con of each airport.  We will be flying in a day early and staying at a hotel (yet to be determined).  Any info or help you can provide will e greatly appreciated.  

We're sailing out of Miami for the first time this October (Covid willing).  Our best chance of a non-stop is into FLL, so we'll likely go that direction.  I checked prices yesterday for a one day, one way Avis rental from FLL to the Miami cruise port location, and it was something like $26 for a Camry.  That lets us get off the plane, eat where we want, sleep where we want and drive to the port when we want without Uber, shuttles or anything else.  I may have to pay a few $$$ for parking at the hotel.  Whatever. 🙂

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5 hours ago, CaptainHazelwood said:

Why not?  The seats are the same in just about every large plane.

 

The cabin of a 737 feels more cramped and 737 seats tend to be narrower than other planes.

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10 hours ago, CaptainHazelwood said:

We're sailing out of Miami for the first time this October (Covid willing).  Our best chance of a non-stop is into FLL, so we'll likely go that direction.  I checked prices yesterday for a one day, one way Avis rental from FLL to the Miami cruise port location, and it was something like $26 for a Camry.  That lets us get off the plane, eat where we want, sleep where we want and drive to the port when we want without Uber, shuttles or anything else.  I may have to pay a few $$$ for parking at the hotel.  Whatever. 🙂

That's a good rate, but add gas, parking, and the cost to get from MIA (or wherever you return the car) to the port and I think a $35+ Uber/Lyft from FLL to downtown Miami where you can walk to dining and shopping, is also a good option.  Your call! 

 

Have a great cruise! 😎

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5 hours ago, JohninDC said:

That's a good rate, but add gas, parking, and the cost to get from MIA (or wherever you return the car) to the port and I think a $35+ Uber/Lyft from FLL to downtown Miami where you can walk to dining and shopping, is also a good option.  Your call! 

 

Have a great cruise! 😎

Thanks.  🙂

 

You actually return the car at an Avis location near the port and they provide a free shuttle to the ship.  Gas is meaningless for less than 30 miles (maybe $3 - $4?), and we'll stay at a hotel with $10 per night parking (likely Hyatt Place by MIA).  Also, they'll be three of us with luggage so an Uber might not work out great.  I've actually never used Uber but need to so I better understand the process.  I do have the app installed on my phone and it looks very simple.  The costs of most options are pretty trivial, so it likely comes down to personal preference.

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3 hours ago, CaptainHazelwood said:

Thanks.  🙂

 

You actually return the car at an Avis location near the port and they provide a free shuttle to the ship.  Gas is meaningless for less than 30 miles (maybe $3 - $4?), and we'll stay at a hotel with $10 per night parking (likely Hyatt Place by MIA).  Also, they'll be three of us with luggage so an Uber might not work out great.  I've actually never used Uber but need to so I better understand the process.  I do have the app installed on my phone and it looks very simple.  The costs of most options are pretty trivial, so it likely comes down to personal preference.

3+bags, especially if anyone in your group packs like my wife, and you would need UberXL for about $70+. Makes your car rental an even better option. 😎 

 

With a car and near the airport you can easily eat great Cuban food at Versailles or other options.  Enjoy!

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  • 2 weeks later...

That $26 rental turns to $87 real quick. I would never rent a car down there without the rental insurance. Without it, they would hassle so much on the return that you could miss the cruise. It was horrible to drive down there when I lived there 25 years ago. It is a 1000x worse. Last time there, we watched a guy ram a car just because he was merging in. Most likely an illegal anyway so nothing would happen to them. But that scratch on the rental could cost you hours to return or a nightmare when you get back.

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1 hour ago, BoozinCroozin said:

That $26 rental turns to $87 real quick. I would never rent a car down there without the rental insurance. Without it, they would hassle so much on the return that you could miss the cruise.

But that scratch on the rental could cost you hours to return or a nightmare when you get back.

Have you actually had this happen to you?  I've rented many cars over the years, in all parts of the Country, and never had a single issue.  I've never paid for the extra insurance.  

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I know people who have and I know how bad south FL is for driving. A lot of people do not have rental insurance on their auto policy. If you don't get the rental insurance and they find just one mark that you did not identify, you are responsible upon return. A smart person would take a video of the vehicle before taking it so there is documented proof. But there can be tons of hassle returning a car without insurance if there is damage. When you sign that contract you agree to pay the estimated damage on the spot with any additional amount charged after complete or refunded if lower than the estimate.

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8 hours ago, BoozinCroozin said:

I know people who have and I know how bad south FL is for driving. A lot of people do not have rental insurance on their auto policy. If you don't get the rental insurance and they find just one mark that you did not identify, you are responsible upon return. A smart person would take a video of the vehicle before taking it so there is documented proof. But there can be tons of hassle returning a car without insurance if there is damage. When you sign that contract you agree to pay the estimated damage on the spot with any additional amount charged after complete or refunded if lower than the estimate.

So your answer is no.  I'll ask the forum.  Has anybody had one of these awful experiences returning a rental car?  If so, please tell us which rental car agency.  I've used National and Avis extensively, and never had any kind of issue.

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4 hours ago, CaptainHazelwood said:

So your answer is no.  I'll ask the forum.  Has anybody had one of these awful experiences returning a rental car?  If so, please tell us which rental car agency.  I've used National and Avis extensively, and never had any kind of issue.

Bad experiences years ago with Fox, Thrifty and other discount brands. If you regularly rent from National or Avis and have some sort of loyalty status with them you should have no issues. 

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9 minutes ago, JohninDC said:

Bad experiences years ago with Fox, Thrifty and other discount brands. If you regularly rent from National or Avis and have some sort of loyalty status with them you should have no issues. 

Thanks.  If others really have had the type of experience described, I (we) would like to know about it.  I've just never heard first hand accounts of such problems with reputable rental car brands.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, CaptainHazelwood said:

So your answer is no.  I'll ask the forum.  Has anybody had one of these awful experiences returning a rental car?  If so, please tell us which rental car agency.  I've used National and Avis extensively, and never had any kind of issue.

No issues. We’ve rented from both Miami and Ft. Lauderdale airports on several occasions using Avis, Hertz and Thrifty. (We’ve even rented in Puerto Rico where the driving is nuts and the rep told us they take dings into account and rarely “ding” the customers unless damage is bad). 

Edited by paceyswife
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I like to walk around the rental car, and look inside before I drive it off the lot. Just in case. 

 

There will be a scratch, or scrape, especially as cars remain in the fleets a little longer than they used to.  Never had a problem with pointing it out, getting a signature on the rental jacket noting the scrape.  I like to take phone pictures of the four quadrants, just in case, but I've never had to use them.

 

Prob 500 car rentals in the past few years (I used to travel a lot on business), and not a problem.  Never buy the worthless warranties.  I could probably buy a car with the money I've saved.

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8 hours ago, CaptainHazelwood said:

There's no such thing.  All normal auto insurance policies cover the insured while using a rental car.

That's not true. You must have the rental car insurance added to the policy. It is not automatic and I know this for a fact. It is part of the reason we dumped State Farm. It is not difficult to verify with your insurance company. A quick call or verify the policy yourself.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, BoozinCroozin said:

That's not true. You must have the rental car insurance added to the policy. It is not automatic and I know this for a fact. It is part of the reason we dumped State Farm. It is not difficult to verify with your insurance company. A quick call or verify the policy yourself.

Already have, but thanks for the suggestion.  I've never had an auto policy that didn't cover another vehicle that I was using on a temporary basis.

 

Does Car Insurance Cover Rental Cars? | GEICO Living

 

"If you carry comprehensive and liability coverage on your personal car, coverage typically will extend to your rental car within the United States."

Edited by CaptainHazelwood
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