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How far would you drive to cruise departure point


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Trying to convince DH to change Feb cruise out of Orlando Florida (NCL Escape) to New Orleans (NCL Breakaway).   While Florida is by my standards too far to drive at 24 ish hours we could get to New Orleans in a bit over 14.    Anyone have limits on flight vs drive?   

 

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14 minutes ago, KansasinJune said:

Trying to convince DH to change Feb cruise out of Orlando Florida (NCL Escape) to New Orleans (NCL Breakaway).   While Florida is by my standards too far to drive at 24 ish hours we could get to New Orleans in a bit over 14.    Anyone have limits on flight vs drive?   

 

Good question.  Based on my past actions I have opted to fly over a 6 hour drive.  However, in the current situation I would probably consider something significantly longer.  I could see a full day drive, overnight stay and then a few hours to get to the port without any rush.

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I often drive about 5.5 hours to NYC for cruises. The drive would be about the same for me to cruise out of Boston, so I would do that as well. Everything else out of the US would be 20+ hours for me, so I would (and have) just fly for those. I just flew home from a cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale on Sunday.

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6 to 8 hours is about my limit. One thing to consider about New Orleans in February is that is prime Mardi Gras time and hotels could be very expensive so you may want to stay an hour or two away from the port and plan on making the last push into the city the morning of the cruise. Also, New Orleans schools are closed the week of Mardi Gras so plenty of locals will take the opportunity to cruise and make impact pricing. 

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1 hour ago, nolatravelgirl said:

6 to 8 hours is about my limit. One thing to consider about New Orleans in February is that is prime Mardi Gras time and hotels could be very expensive so you may want to stay an hour or two away from the port and plan on making the last push into the city the morning of the cruise. Also, New Orleans schools are closed the week of Mardi Gras so plenty of locals will take the opportunity to cruise and make impact pricing. 

In our case we came during Mardi Gras season on purpose.   Experienced a great cruise and Mardi Gras.   Yes more expensive but worth it for us.  This was our first visit to New Orleans.  We will be back.

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The longest I've driven is 9 hours.  With status and airline miles that I've accumulated since that drive, we haven't driven to a cruise port since then (2008) since we get free bags and upgraded more often than not.  When that luxury ends for us however, I would definitely drive up to 12 hours to reach a port (day before or split it).

 

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I would drive the 10 minutes to the ferry terminal from my house , 30 minute ferry ride and  then walk down the pier in Seattle. Other than that the drive to Long Beach, CA is around 20 hours and I refuse to sit in a car for more than 5 hours. 

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we live in los angeles, and are not interested in any of the cruises offered from long beach or san diego.  we always fly into the port cities. its so much easier to catch a flight, and so much less exhausting. only times i might drive is from l.a. to las vegas 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hr drive

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1 hour ago, davencl said:

In our case we came during Mardi Gras season on purpose.   Experienced a great cruise and Mardi Gras.   Yes more expensive but worth it for us.  This was our first visit to New Orleans.  We will be back.

I am not discouraging anyone from coming to NOLA for Mardi Gras but many folks don't realize that it is a long city wide festivity that culminates on Mardi Gras Day. As my name implies and I am a NOLA native who has "perfect attendance" for Mardi Gras and you will find me camped out on St. Charles and Jackson Avenue. I do realize that it isn't everyone's cup of tea and could be surprised by the prices and crowds. 

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I never considered driving when I lived 10 hours from FL ports.  I had airline status and miles so it was just easier.  Now I’m retired and live within 1.5 hours of 3 ports.  Looking forward to taking advantage of that as the industry opens back up. 

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It's kind of a moot discussion for folks like me who live in the heartland of America.  Waaaaay too far to drive to any ports, except possibly NOLA.  Still, after a week or so of a lovely relaxing cruise the last thing I would want to do is a days worth of driving with all the crazies on the road.

 

I'll stick with the crazies in the airport.  🙂

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40 minutes ago, nolatravelgirl said:

I am not discouraging anyone from coming to NOLA for Mardi Gras but many folks don't realize that it is a long city wide festivity that culminates on Mardi Gras Day. As my name implies and I am a NOLA native who has "perfect attendance" for Mardi Gras and you will find me camped out on St. Charles and Jackson Avenue. I do realize that it isn't everyone's cup of tea and could be surprised by the prices and crowds. 

A work around for NOLA - fly in the day before the cruise and find less expensive hotel lodgings

near the airport using the hotel shuttle to/from the airport. 

The day of the cruise return back to the airport and take the NCL offered (fee $) transfer service

from the airport to the pier - no other hassles about parking traffic etc.

Not for everyone but a solution to the mad mayhem - let someone else drive to the pier.

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5 hours ago, KansasinJune said:

Trying to convince DH to change Feb cruise out of Orlando Florida (NCL Escape) to New Orleans (NCL Breakaway).   While Florida is by my standards too far to drive at 24 ish hours we could get to New Orleans in a bit over 14.    Anyone have limits on flight vs drive?   

 

We've driven several times to both Tampa and FLL.  It's about fourteen hours to FLL.  We drive about ten hours the first day, spend the night, and then drive another four hours to the port.  We've done this several times and it works well for us.  We have  NOLA cruise scheduled which will be about six hours.  We also have an Orlando cruise which is about 12 hours.  We intend to drive to both.  We actually enjoy the time to spend together.  It's great to spend the time together just talking.

 

A 14 hour drive is very doable but I would break it up with an over night stay.

If you're over eager to get home, you might consider driving home without the overnight which we usually do.

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Fellow Kansas here 🙂  We have driven to Galveston MANY times for cruises, which is about a 12 hour drive.  For us it made sense for several reasons:  

  • Where we live, we'd have to drive to KC (2.5 hours) or Wichita (1+ hour) to get on a plane.  Typically non-stops from Wichita are non-existent, so KC is our usual first choice.  By the time we did that driving, arrived 2 hours early per check in instructions, sat through the actual flight(s), sometimes it just made more sense to drive!
  • Driving was typically far cheaper, even factoring in parking at the pier for a week.
  • We can bring more luggage and/or pack whatever we want, since there were no flying restrictions.  One time we put a roll up table in our suitcase when Princess removed balcony tables 🙂
  • Much easier to carry on soda or other drinks that aren't provided on board (Pepsi vs Coke, allowed alcohol, etc).

Having said all that, we haven't made the drive in a while now since we got tired of the same itineraries from Galveston.  We've since sailed from NYC, Ft Lauderdale, and Seattle, none of which we would consider driving too, obviously.  But I would totally consider driving to NOLA!  Sounds like a great trip 🙂

 

 

 

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It's tough to have to drive from South Miami to the port.  We usually leave the house about an hour before check in time to give enough time for parking, baggage drop off, etc.  Having to drive to Port Everglades is another 25 miles.  Yeah, I'm being a smart a**.

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4 hours ago, Paula_MacFan said:

Fellow Kansas here 🙂  We have driven to Galveston MANY times for cruises, which is about a 12 hour drive.  For us it made sense for several reasons:  

I can add these.

  • I don't  have to wear a mask in my car.
  • I can pack a small goodie bag of snacks, maybe even some coffee and soft drinks.
  • I can get out an stretch my legs as I like.
  • I can stop and eat where I like at any place along the road.
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I've thought about it before, but would rather fly. Plus I don't want my car broken into at the port. I find that driving can be more stressful than flying.

 

When you fly, you can take a nap, and I'd have to be the one to drive. Plus from Cleveland,  I'm looking at 10+ hours for any port.

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Being based in Michigan, its not really practical to consider driving to any ocean port.  I only fly to the port city and I consider the flight planning to be part of the overall cruise planning process.

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Thanks everyone for your feedback.  I know I can handle a 14 hr drive but DH not so keen.  Even with a split drive stopping halfish the way saves over airfare.  Also time involved for flight isn't much better,  1.5 hrs to airport, 2ish hour wait, most flights appear to be 5-6 hrs with plane change, 1 ish hr to get off plane and get bagage after landing, then an hour or so to get to hotel, So my flight travel all in time is 10-11 hrs at worst.  Travel  back also extended past that as I tend to book later flights so spend  more time in airport for return.   We booked early in 2019 hoping the covid would not be an issue but if it lingers then  driving gives me an easy way to head back if for some reason one of us tests postive ( if they are still testing in early Feb),    Hotel Park and cruise rates seemed pretty reasonable as well if driving.

 

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