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Killing time in Ft Lauderdale before our flight home


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It looks like our flight home to LAX after our cruise in February will be either a late afternoon or early evening departure.. Without having a car, what are some suggestions of we could do to spend the day without just sitting at the airport all day? We will have our son with us who has Down Syndrome so a lot of walking is not an option.

Thanks for your help!

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I would look into post cruise excursions that your cruise line may offer (I think most of them do).  The Everglades alligator park is popular.  Your luggage travels with you and after the excursion you are dropped off at the airport.

 

Alternatively, you could rent a car and store your luggage in the trunk and explore the Fort Lauderdale area.  See www.sunny.org for suggestions.

 

A more complicated option would be to store your luggage at the airport (www.bagstogo.net) and then come back into Fort Lauderdale and take the water taxi (www.watertaxi.com) around for both transportation and sightseeing for the day.  You can get on and off at your leisure and a number of restaurants and other attractions offer discounts with your water taxi ticket.

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1 hour ago, cruisin'mama said:

It looks like our flight home to LAX after our cruise in February will be either a late afternoon or early evening departure.. Without having a car, what are some suggestions of we could do to spend the day without just sitting at the airport all day? We will have our son with us who has Down Syndrome so a lot of walking is not an option.

Thanks for your help!

You’ll want to take advantage of your ship’s luggage check-in/transfer service.

 

Some easy options: take the water taxi around town. You’ll catch it under the 17th street causeway bridge. It’s a single fare per person with hip-on, hop-off privileges. There are a couple of stops with really east beach access- just ask the crew where to get off.

 

If the weather is a bit off, take a taxi or Uber to the Museum of Discovery and Science. It’s about a 15 minute ride from Port Everglades. MODS is Fort Lauderdale’s hands-on science museum, full of family-friendly experiences. One of the features is an Everglades and reef collection. (I grew up with the museum and worked there for about 10 years).

 

Steve


 

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7 hours ago, cruisin'mama said:

It looks like our flight home to LAX after our cruise in February will be either a late afternoon or early evening departure.. Without having a car, what are some suggestions of we could do to spend the day without just sitting at the airport all day? We will have our son with us who has Down Syndrome so a lot of walking is not an option.

Thanks for your help!

Prior to COVID remember the RIVERSIDE, WYNDHAM AND RESIDENCE INN used to offer day rooms, but don’t know if this has been discontinued.  Give them a call…..

 

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I would use the luggage direct service from the cruise ship thus freeing you immediately from luggage. Check with your line which service they use.  Your luggage is whisked from your stateroom to the airport and you pick it up at LAX.  I would do the water taxi or the Sun Trolley.  I did the Everglades airboat ride and it was crowded and just ok.  About a month later I did the air boat ride from New Orleans, while visiting family, and it was a far superior experience.

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2 minutes ago, cruisin'mama said:

I’m planning to use Luggage Direct so we won’t have to deal with our suitcases at all

In that case, the water taxi definitely gets my recommendation!  I will second FOPMan's recommendation of the Museum of Discovery and Science.  We took our 5 year old granddaughter there right before the pandemic.  She was one of the younger kids visiting that morning but loved it.  There were lots of elementary school age kids on field trips who were enjoying it too.  Best of all, mom, dad, grandma and grandpa had a great time!

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8 minutes ago, capriccio said:

In that case, the water taxi definitely gets my recommendation!  I will second FOPMan's recommendation of the Museum of Discovery and Science.  We took our 5 year old granddaughter there right before the pandemic.  She was one of the younger kids visiting that morning but loved it.  There were lots of elementary school age kids on field trips who were enjoying it too.  Best of all, mom, dad, grandma and grandpa had a great time!

I forgot to mention it, but if you are a member of your local science museum, you may be able to visit MODS at a free or reduced rate through the Association of Science-Technology Centers’ reciprocal admission program (www.astc.org).

 

MODS also has an IMAX theater- there’s a park across the street where you can access Fort Lauderdale’s riverfront. There are a number of places to grab a bite near the museum.

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Thanks everyone for your input and suggestions!!! I really appreciate it!

As far as the water taxi…does it have a pick up location that we could easily walk to from the ship?

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It depends quite a lot on what terminal your ship arrives at. If it’s at 1, 2, or 3, it’s not a bad nor unsafe walk. Many of the other terminals are much further into Port Everglades and while there is a sidewalk, it’s not the most pleasant of walks, with quite a bit of traffic and sometimes folks who don’t know where they’re going.

 

There is a Walgreens just outside the Eisenhower gate to the port, in case you wanted to grab a soda or something. Depending on the specific boat you get on, there may be drinks (both alcoholic and other) available for sale. You can look at the water taxi web site for additional info and schedule.

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Adding that the closest stop to Port Everglades is underneath the 17th Street Causeway bridge. From the Eisenhower gate, it would take about 8 minutes to walk. There are no hazardous roads to cross.

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Have done Princess’ departure tour which either drops off at the airport or returns to port in case of B2B. We did a flamingo park with  alligator tours, then returned to port. Thought it was over priced for what it was…but an enjoyable day.

 

Have also sent luggage on to next destination using Easyair. Depends on airline being used. Ours was Delta and luggage forwarded to PHX..very useful. You could then take a taxi to beach/ shopping area.

 

Haven’t tried it myself but maybe booking a day room at an hotel would be a good way to relax.

 

Have heard of people renting a car and leaving luggage in boot (trunk) whilst exploring but unfortunately having car broken into and items stolen from car parks.

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21 minutes ago, shipgeeks said:

Is a service such as Luggage Direct typically offered through the cruise line, or is it something we'd have to reserve separately in advance?  

I am pretty sure all of the Carnival Corporation lines and the RCCL family of lines have.  You will sign up on the ship and leave your bags in the hall. They even check you into your flight and provide airline tags 

Edited by Mary229
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2 minutes ago, Mary229 said:

I am pretty sure all of the Carnival Corporation lines and the RCCL family of lines have.  You will sign up on the ship and leave your bags in the hall. They even check you into your flight and provide airline tags 

PS.  It is only available in certain ports for certain airlines. 

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18 hours ago, shipgeeks said:

Is a service such as Luggage Direct typically offered through the cruise line, or is it something we'd have to reserve separately in advance?  

 

Mary229's response is accurate, I believe.  If the service is available, it is really worthwhile.  

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Both the Museum of Science and the Water Taxi are good suggestions with minimal walking.

 

You can board the Water Taxi at any stop and ride to your heart's content. If you board at 17th street, you can ride all of the route and exit at stop #1. That's about two blocks from the Museum. And then Uber or Lyft to the airport.

 

In the past, Uber and Lyft have instituted surge / higher pricing during cruise arrivals and prior to departures. You should be able to avoid that problem after 3 pm.

 

 

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Look at the post cruise shore excursions with your cruise line .  I would NOT recommend the airboat ride with airport drop off but there will probably be other choices.  We went on a wonderful bus tour of Fort Lauderdale with a water (Riverboat?)  tour, with airport drop off.  These tours meet at the cruise port and would limit walking and transfers your family would need to make in the steamy hot sun.    Happy cruising. 

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1 hour ago, Midwest Sunseeker said:

 We went on a wonderful bus tour of Fort Lauderdale with a water (Riverboat?)  tour, with airport drop off. 

 

I'm guessing it was the Jungle Queen.  Every visitor we have ever taken on the Jungle Queen had a great time.

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On 7/9/2021 at 7:44 PM, shipgeeks said:

Is a service such as Luggage Direct typically offered through the cruise line, or is it something we'd have to reserve separately in advance?  

I know that on Celebrity cruises the past two weeks Luggage Valet to the airport was not available.  So, be certain before you count on that option.

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49 minutes ago, pno4te said:

I know that on Celebrity cruises the past two weeks Luggage Valet to the airport was not available.  So, be certain before you count on that option.

Yikes! That’s not what I wanted to hear! Hopefully with cruises just starting up again, they haven’t got Luggage Direct up and running yet. Hopefully they will soon, it’s such a useful option 

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