You really have to hire a car for your trip here, as everything is so far apart. Before we left the UK, we thought the Theme Parks were a bit closer together than they turned out to be, and if we hadn't booked a car before we left, we would have been in trouble.
As a great tip, book a car that you feel will be just big enough for yourselves and your baggage, without being really cramped in. Then when you arrive to pick up your keys with the hire company, start to go through the motions with the booking, and if it looks like the hire company is just going to let you continue with your booking, suggest to him/her that you would have got a bigger car but couldn't really justify the extra cost. If he/she bites, you can start haggling.
If he/she still doesn't get talking about a cheap upgrade, then you must ask if there are any upgrades available. If there are, then you can start haggling for a price your happy with.
On our trip to Orlando, we had booked a standard saloon car, but after haggling an upgrade, we managed to get a Chrysler 300C Hemi V8 for only $200 more for the 2 weeks. What a bargain, and we loved it. My teenage daughters loved it too and said it was like a gangster car :)
Many people traveling to Southwest Florida look for flights to Tampa, having no idea that the Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers also offers several direct flights (some are seasonal only) to many US and Canadian destinations. Its central location in Southwest Florida makes it a very convenient place to travel to, and its smaller size also results in shorter lines for ticketing, security, etc. Again, a very good choice for your trip to Southwest Florida!
Miami is America's gateway to the Caribbean and Latin America; consequently Miami International Airport (MIA) handles more international flights than any other airport in the United States. The airport also handles flights to Europe and the Middle East. All major American carriers also fly into Miami from most American cities. The airport is located five miles (eight kilometers) northwest of the downtown area.
Airlines serving Miami International Airport: Aeroflot-Russian Airlines, Aerolineas Argentinas, AeroMexico, Aerosur, Air Berlin, Air Canada, Air Europa, Air France, AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, Alitalia, American Airlines, American Eagle, Avianca, Avior Airlines, Bahamasair, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines, Cayman Airways, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Delta Connection, Dutch Antilles Express, GOL Airlines, Grupo TACA, Gulfstream International Airlines, Iberia, Insel Air, Jetairfly, LACSA, LANArgentina, LANChile, LANEcuador, LANPeru, Lufthansa German Airlines, Qatar Airways, Santa Barbara Airlines, SmartWings, Surinam Airways, Swiss International Airlines, TAM Brazilian Airlines, Transaero Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, WestJet, and XL Airways France.
Orlando is a popular vacation destination for Americans and, increasingly, foreign visitors due to Disney World, EPCOT Center, Universal Studios, and numerous other attractions. Orlando International Airport (MCO) is ten miles (16 kilometers) south of downtown Orlando. The airport has convenient transportation into the city, as well as to the nearby tourist attractions.
Airlines serving Orlando International Airport: Aer Lingus, AeroMexico, Air Canada, Air Jamaica, AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, American Eagle, Bahamasair, British Airways, Comair, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Delta Connection, Dutch Antilles Express, Frontier Airlines, GOL Airlines, Grupo TACA, jetBlue Airways, Lufthansa German Airlines, Midwest Airlines, Norwegian Air, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, US Airways Express, Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Volaris, and WestJet.
The main gateway to Florida's Gulf Coast is Tampa International Airport (TPA). Although the airport handles some international flights, most visitors from other countries would first have to make a connection in Miami or other American city before continuing on to Tampa. The airport is centrally located between Tampa and Saint Petersburg, five miles (eight kilometers) from downtown Tampa.
Airlines serving Tampa International Airport: Air Canada, AirTran Airways, Air Wisconsin, American Airlines, Atlantic Southeast Airlines, British Airways, Cape Air, Cayman Airways, Comair, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Freedom Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Gulfstream International Airlines, jetBlue Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Midwest Airlines, Republic Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, and WestJet.
indeed my old neighborhood, port terminal is big. The sites map posted before will help you,and this site will tell you all about the terminal and transportation from a cruising point of view
hope it helps and enjoy the sunny side of FLL
oh 20 yrs even Disney has change a lot ,so welcome back ::)
This outfit can get you places and recommended by local hotels
there is the bus service in orlando but not well developed in the parks area at
when I live in the area i use the car so public transport have no experience.
another long establish shuttle transportation company that has a very good reputation is Mears
The time is ok, depends on what you like to do the most, I think a more even distribution of disney and universal should be 5/5/4;but its a personal choice on the things you want to see the most.
cheap hotels abound closer to Kissimmee and Disney area, this site list them or most all in all price ranges and its official
hope it helps your planning,cheers
Un bon moyen de visiter de façon orginale Downtown Miami est de prendre le Metro Mover. C'est gratuit et il parcourt en aérien le centre de Miami en boucle fermée en une dizaine de minutes.
Super sympa. On passe même au travers de certains immeubles.
Water Taxi offers transportation and tours in Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The Water Taxi makes scheduled pickups and stops at many restaurants, attractions and shopping areas. A Water Taxi tour is also a great way to get acquainted with the area. Group tours, theme parties, sunset cruises and other options are available. You can get an all day ticket for around $5
There is no more stopping at the toll booths on the Florida Turnpike! According to the website: "... on the Turnpike segment located between Milepost 0 in Florida City and Milepost 47 at the Miami-Dade/Broward County line. The conversion to all-electronic open road tolling on this stretch of the Turnpike was February 19, 2011. "
It was freaky for us to just blow through the toll booths, but apparently they take digital images of your license plate when you go through, and will send an invoice in the mail once a month. We'll have to see how this works out...
Further advice & links about transportation from Miami Airport to Fort Lauderdale, based on my "old" personal experience. I often went to Deerfield Beach (NORTH of Ft.Lauderdale), from either Miami or Ft.Lauderdale Airports.
First I saw where the Renaissance Hotel Ft. Lauderdale is located.
Then saw that the TRI-Rail Ft. Lauderdale is at Broward Blvd and NW 22nd Street (by the I-95) -- not far from Renaissance though you'd need a cab (or bus, but cab is simpler.)
NOTE: TRI-Rail also goes to Ft.Lauderdale Hollywood Airport at Dania Beach, careful to exit at right stop.
CHECK-OUT Renaissance Hotel website for options they suggest from either airports. Hotel does not provide shuttle service.
Also, they leave out the TRI-Rail option from Miami Airport suggestions but I think it could be a good one. Look into TRI-Rail from BOTH airports.
SuperShuttle Shared Ride Van Service from Miami Airport to Ft.Lauderdale is @USD80, expensive compared to TRI-Rail.
I once needed to go from Ft.Lauderdale Airport to Deerfield Beach (NORTH)to visit parents who had their own car there -- so didn't need to rent one. I was advised to use the Airport's Shared Ride Van Service.
I landed in Ft.Lauderdale at 6:00 a.m., everything was closed. Waited until 9:00 a.m. for a Van to be full enough to go NORTH. Drop off at my parents door, all went well. Reasonable fare, USD13 I think, I gave the drive USD20 (not that you *have* to tip but I only had 20s.)
Mention is sometimes made of need to RESERVE Van Service but that was NOT necessary when I used it. You register with the attendant, giving him your direction. He's the dispatcher to North and South & sends out vans when they have enough customers to go.
With this in mind, consider all options in links below. BTW, Broward is the name of the county where Ft.Lauderdale is located.
"MIAMI Intl Airport: Tri-Rail commuter train station is located just outside the airport. Free shuttle service to & from the train station is available the lower level Central Terminal E bus station to passengers using this service. Please contact Tri-Rail directly to inquire about the rates & schedules for the train service. (NOT NECESSARY, see schedules somewhere on the links.)"
Enjoy your cruise and Ft.Lauderdale after it. You may enjoy going to Boca Raton, among other things there's a small boutique-type mall I really liked there (shopping and good lunch places.)
I rent cars all the time in Miami but Orlando as Pedro mentioned is a little different. As always renting a car in a city location would save you a bundle of money since they add on an airport charge on a daily basis. some car rental companies have restrictions on the number of days you can rent, i think it is 30 days with AVIS but i am not sure. since you have plenty of time to check things out, you can look at the separate websites of the car rental companies
The most popular budget rental companies are Alamo and Enterprise. then there is national budget etc and the usual ones, Avis and Hertz. If you can, rent from Hertz or Avis, they may be a little more expensive but the service is better.
since you are not resident in the usa, please check whether your auto insurance at home or the credit card you use would cover the insurance. if you have to take insurance the rates would go up dramatically. sometimes as much as 100 per cent. but you must have insurance since florida has a very high rate of uninsured drivers.
you can also look around whether there are cheaper deals in miami. all depends upon where you are flying into.
the first tip is
you would save money by not renting at airport locations.
If you are going to be in Miami for a few days before the cruise, it would be difficult to get around without a car as the public transport is notoriuously inconvenient. you can walk to places if you stay in the south beach but then you wont be able to visit any of the other attractions very easily. as the above answer, hire a car for a few days and then drop it off at a convenient location, and then taxi to the cruise terminal. i know that you can hire a car at miami airport and then drop it off in fort lauderdale airport and also at various other locations.
It is practically impossible to get around Florida without a car. At the hotel we were staying at there were lots of tourists who hadn't hired a car, we were setting off for a day at the parks one morning and there were around 50 people in the lobby. The bus they were relying on to get to the theme parks themselves was running over an hour late. If they'd been wanting to go to Aquatica they wouldn't have gotten in.
My advice? Hire a car, preferably a big one, and make sure the air conditioning works!
Not sure where you are flying from, but some budget airlines aren't available through search engines. Such as:
Allegiant Air (Montreal/Plattsburgh to 3 florida cities)
Direct Air (Montreal/Plattsburgh & Niagara Falls/Toronto to Florida)
Air Transat (several canadian cities)
West Jet (several canadian cities)
of course Air Canada
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