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Considering adding a day or two in Orlando before or after a Port Everglades cruise. Would you do the drive on cruise embarkation day (Sunday)? I’m assuming renting a car is cheapest option for 4 people. Trying to make the most of our limited vacation time but adding Orlando might end up taking too much extra time. 

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No, I would not want to be that far away from my embarkation port on embarkation day.  The furthest distance I have been has been Fort Pierce.  One never knows what one is going to experience as to traffic issues along I-95 or the Florida Turnpike.  

 

Adding a day or more in the Orlando area, particularly after your cruise, would be my choice.  Lots to experience in the area--not just Disney attractions.  

 

Rental car?  Or not?  I can't answer that question.  But,  I would expect it to be a good option because you will want to have some "freedom" movement once you are in Orlando.  

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We once drove from Orlando to Miami the morning of the cruise. Got on the road early, dropped the rental car off, and were on the ship by noon.  As long as you give yourself some cushion by getting up early there are traffic options that should get you to PE in about 3.5 or so hours.

 

The only hesitancy I would have is about the check in process changes caused by the virus.

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31 minutes ago, BoozinCroozin said:

You would most likely be taking the turnpike all the way if you do that. Unfortunately, one accident could cause you to miss your cruise.

Hmmm? 🤔  If you leave early, as I suggested (7:00 or before) the chances of an accident blocking the turnpike and any alternatives for 5-6+ hours seem pretty small to me.  You could be safer and drive to FLL area the evening before and spend the night in a hotel near the port.  OP - it is your call!

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I am going to emphasize that I recommend staying at a hotel near the port and not have a long drive from there to Port Everglades the next morning.  One does not need to stay "at the port's immediate region".  There are well priced hotels within a 20-30 minute drive of the Port.  Cypress Creek Road has several.  The hotel that I use most often recently has been the Marriott North Fort Lauderdale.  Surprisingly good rates for a full service Marriott, free parking in their garage attached to the hotel, a 4th floor pool deck that is very nice, and restaurants near-by.  Easy off and easy on I-95 at the Cypress Creek Road exit/entry.  

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Regardless of trafffic issues it should not be a problem.  Keep track of traffic troubles by using Google maps or other app showing traffic on your smartphone.  Works very well...if you see a problem you can take a different route.

 

Eventually there will be a train (Brightline) option from Orlando to FLL/Miami.  Sadly it will not be available until 2023 or so and I am thinking that it will not be cost effective for 4 people.

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Posted (edited)

When we lived in Orlando, we most often drove to Miami (or Ft. Lauderdale) the morning of our cruise.  We stayed overnight in Miami once and Boca Raton once because our cruises were leaving on Sunday and we wanted to start our vacation on Saturday.  I'm not a fan of Miami at all, no desire to ever stay there again - Ft. Lauderdale is OK.  There's more than one route to Ft. Lauderdale (we like the Waze app) - if you leave early enough it's unlikely you'll have any issues.

Edited by cruisemom2
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3 hours ago, cruisemom2 said:

  There's more than one route to Ft. Lauderdale

 

As a Floridian, I think you will be laughing at what I am about to type.  You are quite right about different routes to Fort Lauderdale.  When I am not in a hurry, I like driving A1A as a change in pace and scenery.  

 

One does have to observe the speed limits in some communities along the route, however.  Never got a ticket, but observed many local police "just waiting" for those who were not being observant.  

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16 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

As a Floridian, I think you will be laughing at what I am about to type.  You are quite right about different routes to Fort Lauderdale.  When I am not in a hurry, I like driving A1A as a change in pace and scenery.  

 

 

I can understand that completely!  Several years ago we attended a wedding in St. Augustine.  We should have made a long weekend out of it, but we only stayed for one night and left on Sunday.  We decided we weren't in a hurry to go home so we took A1A south as far as we could before heading west.  It was a nice drive!  Actually we're going back to St. Augustine at the end of this month for a weekend; we haven't been there in years.  Maybe we'll take A1A part of the way.  🙂 

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9 hours ago, cruisemom2 said:

Maybe we'll take A1A part of the way.  🙂 

 

As I suggested, be observant of the speed limits.  Merritt Island was a place where there was a sharp left turn in the road (from North to South) that provided a spot for a police cruiser to be hidden.  The speed limit at that point was--if my memory is correct--was 25 mph.  There was an officer waiting at that spot.  

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On 3/31/2021 at 6:26 PM, JohninDC said:

We once drove from Orlando to Miami the morning of the cruise. Got on the road early, dropped the rental car off, and were on the ship by noon.  As long as you give yourself some cushion by getting up early there are traffic options that should get you to PE in about 3.5 or so hours.

 

The only hesitancy I would have is about the check in process changes caused by the virus.

Too risky for me.

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23 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

As I suggested, be observant of the speed limits.  Merritt Island was a place where there was a sharp left turn in the road (from North to South) that provided a spot for a police cruiser to be hidden.  The speed limit at that point was--if my memory is correct--was 25 mph.  There was an officer waiting at that spot.  

 

We live east of A1A and the beach road we live on is 25 mph so we're well used to taking it slow - we're perpetually on island time.  However, A1A doesn't go through Merritt Island, it's inland a little ways to the west of the coast.

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Posted (edited)

Absolutely.  I'd probably leave around 6:30AM from Orlando.  Use Google Maps as it will keep an eye on traffic and route you around any potential catastrophic traffic issues.  There are 3 major/fast routes to FLL - US27, Turnpike, and I95.  Then of course A1A if you really wanted to.  In other words, there isn't really a risk of the only route being stopped by an accident or anything like that.

 

Many people drive a few hours to the port day of their cruise.  It's not unusual or risky at all.

Edited by BNBR
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20 hours ago, cruisemom2 said:

 

We live east of A1A and the beach road we live on is 25 mph so we're well used to taking it slow - we're perpetually on island time.  However, A1A doesn't go through Merritt Island, it's inland a little ways to the west of the coast.

 

Thanks for the correction; I remembered it as being A1A.  It has been a few years since I drove that route.

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Florida is pretty good about updating the overhead  warning signs for major traffic issues ahead. And there are good alternatives to the Turnpike (Sunpass only?).  19, 441, etc if needed.

 

But, several of the interior counties do like their local speed trap businesses.

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20 hours ago, Cienfuegos said:

Florida is pretty good about updating the overhead  warning signs for major traffic issues ahead. And there are good alternatives to the Turnpike (Sunpass only?).  19, 441, etc if needed.

 

But, several of the interior counties do like their local speed trap businesses.

 

That's actually not true.  They really don't like running radar in these areas and only do it because people fly through the towns and the citizens complain.  I drive up and down US27 almost weekly.  It's not that bad at all.  Just don't come flying in to the small towns at 75 mph.

 

For example, here is a post from our Chief about it last week.  The comments are priceless as well. Lol.

 

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=2279531305510941&id=399232706874153

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11 hours ago, Cienfuegos said:

I get up to Lakeland regularly, and see radar somewhere on 441 and 60 on just about every trip.

 

They may not like it, but they use it.

With good cause.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Cienfuegos said:

I get up to Lakeland regularly, and see radar somewhere on 441 and 60 on just about every trip.

 

They may not like it, but they use it.

 

There is a significant difference between responsible traffic enforcement and "these little towns love their speed traps."

Edited by BNBR
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2 hours ago, BNBR said:

"these little towns love their speed traps."

 

It's a source of revenue for the town.

 

Just west of Columbus, OH on  US 40, there was just such a community.  The entrapment of speeders became such a problem that legal action was filed against the community.  After much litigation, the case reached the Ohio Supreme Court and the community's practice was ended.  If I recall correctly, their ridiculously low speed limit was ordered to be raised to one that was more appropriate for the roadway and the situation.  

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In fairness, people in Florida have been known to exceed speed limits from time to time. Sometimes by 30 mph or more. 

 

prudent enforcement of speed limits helps ensure domestic tranquility and reduce bloody wrecks. And produces a nice revenue stream for the town or county.

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