Hours to kill because arriving same day as cruise
Favorite thing: Some of the local hotels, like the Hyatt and Sheraton offer day passes to use the pool and patio. If you have hours to wait, try calling the hotel about their day pass, use their courtesy shuttle to/from the airport and then relax in comfort rather than at the airport.
Then when it is time to go to the port, many also have shuttles that go to the cruise port for ~$10 per person.
What to do with your bags post cruise
Favorite thing: If you are disembarking and have scheduled a later flight there are a couple of options
a) take a tour of Ft. Lauderdale with your cruiseline, they will carry your bags with you and then drop you at the airport, one of the more popular options is taking an airboat ride in the Everglades
b) at the pier there is a company called Bags to Go that will take your bags to the airport where they hold them until you check in for your flight
c) someone suggested that there are hotels that might hold your bags for a fee
We opted for using Bags to Go, they were located right after we left the cruise terminal and charged us $6 per bag. When we got to the airport, we located their office near the baggage claim at our terminal, very easy and not overly expensive. Princess charged a lot more per bag to offer the same service.
Guest Relations(Navigator of the Seas)
Favorite thing: The Guest Relation area is located on Deck 5 of the Navigator of the Seas across from the Champagne Bar. Guest Relations is where you can chek on your seapass account, get help with any issues, pick up the daily Cruise Compass, Maps of the ship and information about shore excusions and ports. For the most part the staff are fiendly and helpful. we only had one bad experience so far with a less than helpful staff member but swe have already written Royal Caribbean about that issue.
The Soda Card
Favorite thing: When on this ship(Navigator of the Seas;Royal Caribbean) you must purchase your soda or buy a soda card for unlimited refils. The only free beverages are: water, iced tea, lemonade, coffee, tea and juices with breakfast. I wanted to have the option of being able to have soda so I purchased the card. They give you a refillable thermal cup and place a soda sticker on your seapass to identify that you have purchased the soda package. Either present your cup or show them your seapass to obtain a soda.
Internet Access On Board a Cruise Ship
Favorite thing: On Board the Navigator of the Seas(Royal Caribbean) they have an internet cafe to keep you connected to school, work or loved ones. The cafe has a number of workstations available for use. You can also bring your own laptop and use their WI-FI service. Liz always needs to have internet access since she is in school and brings her homework with her wherever we go.
The internet pricing is $.55 a minute or you can buy a package. We always buy a package. The package rates are: $28 for 60 minutes, $38 for 90 minutes or $55 for 150 minutes.
WI-FI areas of the ship aren't always very good. We seems to have the best connectionin the Schooner Bar. Be aware the connection is very slow and can be frustrating to use.Related to:
Lynx Air from Ft Lauderdale to The Bahamas
Favorite thing: If traveling from Ft Lauderdale to the Bahamas, Lynx Air is a regional airline with convenient service to the out-islands. However if you have any schedule to meet, DO NOT FLY LYNX AIR. I have used them on numerous occaisions but can no longer let myself be subjected to their abuse of trust. Their method of operation is to see how many tickets are purchased each day, then to where they are going. They load evryone on the plane and drop you off at your island (regardless of your being charged direct, non-stop rates, as they go along. No one else going to or near your island today ? Well maybe they will try again tomorrow. Same for your return, if no one is going from Lauderdale to your island, or near it, they will not come get you for your return. If another airline is nearby, maybe they will subcontract your ticket to them and ask if they will pick you up on their way by.
If you have any normal scedule expectations, DO NOT fly Lynx Air.
Favorite thing: When cruising it is important to know the dress code. Some cruises have formal nights that require proper evening attire in the dining rooms. We were on a cruise that didn't have any formal nights so a sun dress for Liz and a simple button down shirt was fine for me.
When dining in the main dining room it is not acceptable to wear shorts,sneakers or swin suits.
Favorite thing: Royal Caribbean hands out an information sheet regarding customary gratuity amounts. Envelopes are provided in your stateroom the day before arrival back in the home port. You can put money in the envelopes for the appropriate staff or go to the customer service desk and have the gratuity added to your seapass account.
The Gratuity Guidelines are:
Dining Room Waiter: $3.50 per day per guest
Assistant Waiter: $2 per day per guest
Stateroom Attendant: $3.50 per day per guest
Head Waiter: $0.75 per day per guest
We generally overtip because we receive such excellent service.
Familiarize Yourself with the Ship
Favorite thing: As you board the ship there are maps available of the ship. Each level is shown in detail with highlights of the shops, lounges dining and bar areas. Signs and maps on each end and level of the ship are an easy way to see where you are and where you're going.
Go to the Everglades. It is...
Favorite thing: Go to the Everglades. It is an amazing place with lots of grass between trees (a 'glade' is an area of grass in a forest, between the trees).
Fondest memory: My favorite memory of Fort Lauderdale is the long 'neighborhood lizards' that come out of the canals...well, the alligators usually are far west from the beach, usually 30 kilometers from the beach.
Ft Lauderdale, and most of...
Favorite thing: Ft Lauderdale, and most of Florida, is land of the retired grandparents. The nice thing about Ft. Lauderdale is that it is close to Miami, a international city with younger spin to it. During the day, relax with Grandma and go shopping...at night, hit South Beach. Turn your family vacation into a night of intrigue and saucy fun.
Fort Lauderdale Hotels
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