If you come in by air, you may want to rent a car. The best car rental place is the one that is near the airport. It is open 24 hours and has all the brands of cars to rent that you could want. There are vans that take you to and from the airport approximately every 10 minutes.
Avis - (410) 859-1680
Alamo - (410) 859-8092
Budget - (410) 691-2913
Dollar - (800) 800-4000
Enterprise - (800) 325-8007
Hertz - (410) 850-7400
National - (410) 859-8860
Thrifty - (410) 850-7139
When we cruise out of Baltimore, we rent a car, drive up, turn it in at the airport, take the van to the airport and then take a taxi to the port. If we are going to be gone for two weeks or more, this is cheaper than parking at the cruise ship terminal. Parking is $15.00/day and you pay in cash in advance. So two weeks would be $210.00 One way car rental ranges between $19.00 and $40.00 for one day and the cab to the ship is usually about $35.00. So unless you are a real big tipper, it is cheaper to rent and drive than it is to park.
This is also appropriate if you are flying out of BWI. Although parking at the airport is about half what it is as the port, it is really easier (if you don't live close enough to take a taxi to the airport at a reasonable rate) to rent a car and drive to the airport. Doing it this way also means that you don't have to worry about damage to your car while parked in the long term lot or the battery going dead or having to shovel your car out of the snow.
This is the 2nd city I've tried Super Shuttle in and it's the last. In NYC they were over a 1/2 hour late picking me up and several people on my shuttle probably missed their flights. This time in Baltimore they just never showed up for the return trip. After the 15 minute window, the hotel called them for me and they had my reservation and said that they would send another driver in the area. Another 15 minutes later, I had the hotel call me a cab, forcing me to pay $44 for a cab that they will probably not reimburse because I didn't get a receipt.
It was a decent alternative to a cab to get to the city, they leave every 20-30 minutes and they try to bunch the passengers by area. I waited about 20 minutes at the airport for my shuttle and we made one other hotel stop before getting to my hotel.
The cost was $12, $20 if you do a round trip. The return trip is booked at the airport, 2 hours in advance of your flight so if you do decide to use them, I would recommend calling them to confirm you are scheduled and then calling them right at your appointed time to make sure they are enroute. And if you have to take a taxi, get a receipt, they will reimburse you if you have one.
I don't normally take a lot of taxis, I usually walk most everywhere or master the public transportation system but for BaltOberfest, it just made more sense to pile a group of us in taxis. You'll find plenty in the Inner Harbor area and along Charles Street, the main north-south street through town, cabs across town seemed to always set us back about $7-10 per ride.
The taxi to the airport was $40 + tip, Ellen thought that was high for not hitting traffic and so did I considering that the trip was only about 20 minutes. If you get a taxi from the Inner Harbor area to the airport, it looked like there was a fixed fee so check out the sticker inside the cab to make sure you are getting charged the right fare if you are in that zone.
We have always found the Baltimore terminal to be quite convenient and un-crowded to cruise from. We have left from there three times - the first time on a cruise to Bermuda in 2004 (photo 3), once on a repositioning cruise in 2007 (photos 1 and 5) and once in 2010. This last time, I was able to get only one not so good photo of the ship as we approached (11:21 - photo 2) because I was on the wrong side of the taxi. There is a flag decal on the taxi window. There are no pictures allowed inside the terminal itself.
We find it cheaper to rent a car and turn it in at the airport and get a taxi over (costs about $33 plus baggage and tip) rather than pay for parking.
Passenger Vehicles and SUV's - $15.00 per day
Recreational Vehicles - $30.00 per day
Busses - $40.00 per day
You can also come in a day early and stay at a local hotel which allows you to leave your car there for free.
The driver took us to the boarding area without stopping to drop luggage off. My bag was heavy so I wanted to have it brought on board for me so I insisted on finding the luggage drop place. Bob waited with his bags. I couldn't easily get money so I didn't tip the baggage man although I wanted to. Bob usually does that.
Then they directed us to go to the security line. I had my wheeled computer bag but of course the place to put the computer was right at the bottom with everything else on top. They wanted me to pull the computer out and send it through the scanner separate, so I did. But I couldn't just slide it back in because everything on top of it had dropped down into the hole left by the computer, so this was a problem. As an example, the ball of my trackball dropped to the floor and rolled across the terminal to another area. So I got a lot of help, and they directed us to the handicapped check-in line.
Here we were checked in very quickly, and given an orange priority boarding pass. They asked if I wanted a wheelchair and I said yes and Bob said no I didn't need one. After we went over and sat in the priority section, I said I DID want a wheelchair so I got one pushed by a short slight woman. She said she was on the night cleaning staff for the public areas of Celebrity Mercury. The wheelchair was a Celebrity wheelchair.
When they let the orange priority people get on, it was about noon. I don't know what kind of picture they have for me because the lady pushing the chair didn't get me anywhere close to the picture taking place.
We went out onto the dock and both my attendant and I looked at the steep ramp up to the ship and thought "OMG we will never make it". But they brought us in down on dock level and we got into an elevator to go up to the buffet.
2001 East McComas Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
Traveling from points North:
Follow I-95 South through the Ft. McHenry Tunnel, be sure to be in the far right lane (bore #1) when going through the tunnel. Take Exit 55, Key Highway. Turn left at the traffic light (traveling under the overpass) onto East McComas Street. Cruise Maryland Terminal’s entrance is approximately 350 feet on the right
There are so many ways to get around Baltimore, but traveling by foot is really the easiest, especially if you are staying in the Downtown/Inner Harbor area. Baltimore is a great "walking" city. Pratt Street can be considered the "main road" through the downtown area, and by walking up and down Pratt Street you will easily be connected to Camden Yards, Ravens Stadium (I refuse to call it M&T Bank Stadium), the Inner Harbor, Power Plant Live, and lots of other bars and eateries. Pratt Street also leads you into Little Italy and Fells Point, which is a bit of a walk, so you may wish to take a cab to these 2 destinations. You can hop in a cab if you get tired of walking, but traffic can be a bit slow at times. You just may want to enjoy the cityscape as you begin your adventures and save that cab fare for your after-hours-I-had-too-many-beers-and-don't-want-to-walk-back-to-my-hotel ride!
P.S. If you are planning on visiting our many museums, the Baltimore Zoo, and places outside of the downtown area, you will need to catch a cab or rent a car!
If you need to use Public Transit to get in and out of the D.C. Metro area the WMATA was so easy!
Just outside the door of the International baggage carrousels theres a sign pointing you in the right direction to connect with the Express bus 30 that will link you via Greenbelt Station to the DC Metro....
You'll find these Horse and Buggies just behind the Power Plant building on Pratt, I was told it was $15 for a tour of the Inner Harbor area.. this could be a very nice , romantic way to either begin or end the evening...
Driving in Baltimore has always seemed pretty easy when compared to other big East Coast cities like Washington, Boston, or New York. The streets seem generally well-signed and easy to navigate, and the drivers have always been more polite than in other eastern cities. There are a lot of big roads that converge here, which means you end up with bridges over bridges over water, or the occasional tunnel.
I've delayed writing a review on this hotel because I'm conflicted. On one hand, we got a great deal...more
We were meeting at the Waterfront Marriott. This hotel had a lot going for it. We were able to walk...more
My husband and I have traveled all over the world and have never been treated so poorly and done so...more