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Cruise leaving from fort lauderdale

Maryland/New York
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Cruise leaving from fort lauderdale

We are taking a cruise that leaves from fort lauderdale at the end of January. Our plane arrives at 10 30 am and the ship doesnt begin boarding till 2 pm....any ideas as to what to do for three and a half hours?? Its my boyfriend and I going and Im trying to give him a wonderful b-day weekend so anything fun would be great. Nice restaurants in the area would work too...

Ft Lauderdale, FL
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1. Re: Cruise leaving from fort lauderdale

Maybe catch a cab and walk around Las Olas? Lots of shoppes and restaurants.

Fort Lauderdale...
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2. Re: Cruise leaving from fort lauderdale

If it is a Saturday or Sunday I believe one of my favorite restaurants on 17th St, Bimini Boatyard, is open for brunch- they serve some brunch items ( eggs benedict) and also a lunch menu. I really like their crabcake salad ( but maybe from MD you get those at home). It's a nice relaxing restaurant in the same complex as the Rennaisance Hotel and overlooks a small marina. Best of all it is almost directly opposite the Port entrance , so you could relax and be a short taxi ride away when boarding starts. My only quandry about this or any other recommendation others may add is what to do with your luggage, which I assume will be with you..I wonder if the folks at Bimini would store it somewhere for you.

Another possibility if you would not mind being on a different boat a bit earlier than your cruise would be the Carrie B sightseeing boat which docks just behind the Cheesecake Factory on Las Olas Blvd. You would get a 1 1/2 hr cruise of the waterway which goes by mega mansions and also into the Port so you might get a glimpse of your ship. Only problem is I believe the cruise times are at 11 am ( probably just s bit too tight) and I think 1:00- but I know the staff there has been nice in the past letting folks leave cruise luggage in their office ( the staff there should know of Trip Advisor if you want to drop the name). They do not serve food aboard but do have bar service - and they might perhaps let you drop the bags off early and go order food to go at Cheesecake or some other restaurant which they have always allowed folks to bring aboard and eat while they cruise. By the time you get off the early afternoon cruise it should be easy to get a taxi to the Port- 15 minutes or less away.

Some other restaurants on Las Olas serve brunch ( Le Bonne Crepe for one,), but I don't know their attitude toward luggage- they area tiny place. Riverside Hotel would also be serving , but I have never been able to get my e-mail answered if they let diners leave luggage at their bell stand.

Kansas City
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3. Re: Cruise leaving from fort lauderdale

Have you been on a cruise before? I ask because I suspect that you may not have as much extra time as you are anticipating. First, you could have a delay in your flight. But even if your flight arrives in Ft. Lauderdale at 10:30, by the time you exit the plane, and gather your luggage it will be 11:15 at the very earliest. I have been on two prior cruises and can tell you that the boarding process at the cruise ship pier is fairly time consuming and although they say to board at 2:00, you should get there earlier.

I have been researching Cruise Critic message boards for tips on my next cruise and have seen many posts recommending to arrive at the pier anywhere from 11:00-12:30. It is my understanding that the buffet is open much earlier than 2:00 and you can eat as soon as you board. I would take in my carry on a bathing suit and something casual that is weather appropriate for the first few hours since you appear to be coming from a winter climate. I even carry on the plane a change of clothes to wear to dinner because it takes a while for your luggage to get to your cabin once you are on the ship.

Maybe you are cruising in a suite and have priority boarding in which case you may not have to deal with the lines, but if not, check out the Cruise Critic boards for advice on this. I know you are looking forward to having a nice lunch in Ft. Lauderdale but am questioning whether your schedule will allow this. But don't worry, you will have plenty of special moments on the cruise.

Did you purchase a transfer to the pier through the cruise line? I'm suspecting not since you are planning to go to lunch, but am wondering what you have arranged for your luggage while you do that.

Since I don't know on what line you are cruising or any other details I could be way off base here, but recommend the above mentioned site for details on this.

Kansas City
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4. Re: Cruise leaving from fort lauderdale

Sorry I didn't realize some of these issues had been addressed in the prior post. That's what I get for answering the phone while reading!

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5. Re: Cruise leaving from fort lauderdale

I'm pretty sure that I saw a notice on the official Port Everglades website that they do not admit anyone to the Port to board any cruise prior to 11:30 Am. At least I'm pretty sure that's where I saw it. There tends to be a mad rush of people at the earliest boarding time who are anxious to be "early" and that tends to be when there are the longest lines. Also, the cruise lines who have sent buses to the Airport for the tranfer packages tend to drop off all those who have arrived on early flights as soon as they can. So, I really think you'd be in a bit less of a mob and would board more smoothly if you avoid that first crush of passengers. Once that mob has been handled , there tends to be better "slow but steady" stream.

That may be a fairly recent notice that I read, the result of a problem with people showing up at the Port before any personnel from the cruise lines were ready to deal with them.

It is true that your flight may be delayed in arriving, so it is good that you have planned an early arrival- that's better than making a mad dash at the end under pressure. We can see the ships leaving from our window and they tend to be pulling out around 6:30 in most cases- though I am sure there are exceptions.

Maryland/New York
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6. Re: Cruise leaving from fort lauderdale

You guys are awesome...thx for all the info. You know..i wasnt even thinking about what I was going to do with my luggage. I guess there goes lunch. So you guys think the ship boards as early as 11 30 but dont get there that early as there might be a mob of people??? I have not made transfer arrangements from the airport but it is my understanding that the port is a ten minute ride from the airport. Do you guys know if this is true and whether I will have a hard time catching a cab?? Also I am cruising with Royal Carribbean..Navigator of the Seas. I have cruised with Royal Carribbean but it was like ten years ago. Any info on this ship? Thanks again.

Fort Lauderdale, FL...
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7. Re: Cruise leaving from fort lauderdale

The Port and Airport are very close to each other. Taxi's are readily available at the airport.

Have a great time.

Toronto Ontario
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8. Re: Cruise leaving from fort lauderdale

Nuyor1can:

Like other posters have suggested, have a good look at www.cruisecritic.com for more specific cruise info on RCCL - you'll find it a fabulous and informative site.

As for a cab, as soon as you collect your luggage, just step outside the arrivals area and there will be plenty of cabs to take you to the pier. Unless you have very specific information to the contrary, you should be able to go almost directly to the pier although you may have to lineup until they start processing people to board. As was stated earlier, there are many "earlybirds" who want to get on the ship and these lineups aren't much fun - particularly if it's raining or especially hot and humid. See what other posters on CC have had to say about your particular ship/cruise line and their boarding policies - if you aren't sure, join Cruisecritic (it's a free board like this one) and ask the question directly. It's a great source of info - just like Tripadvisor with a lot of helpful members.

Have a great cruise!

Rob

Ontario,Canada
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9. Re: Cruise leaving from fort lauderdale

You will really enjoy the Navigator !!

There are about 5 RCI ships that are pretty much the same...the Navigator being one of them.

I was on the sister ship, the Explorer...about 4 years ago and I've cruised since...but am still talking about the Explorer !!

Go immediately to the Promenade deck....how beautiful!! And later in the week, there is a parade down the Promenade.

Back late from port...we always grabbed a ham and cheese bun at the cafe on the Promenade.

The 3 tired dining room is magnificent...and the food fabulous.

The curtain in the theater is breathtaking...and enjoyed the shows.

Portofino's is most enjoyable !!

Have a GREAT time !!

Sharon

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10. Re: Cruise leaving from fort lauderdale

I've cruised on RCI Enchantment and will be on teh Slendour of teh Seas in May ( but that's from venice touring the GReek Isles- I can hardly wait!) so I have a little , but not much experience with that line. I can't help but wonder if the original poster might have specifically been assigned a 2pm boarding "slot" by the cruise line- it seems to me they might sometimes try to give boarding priority to repeat cruisers or those in high end suites- but I'm just guessing at that. I agree with this most recent poster that the wait can be a very incomfortable experience in the heat or the rain though, so definitely use Cruise cCritic and see if veteran Royal Carribean cruisers can tell you what being told you can board at 2 really means from that cruise line. It would certainly be better to kill a little time in an air conditioned airport terminal than at the Port where there are no creature comforts till you get on the ship .

We loved Enchantment and are looking forward to Splendour- I thought the service was very good and liked the type of people who chose that line- it's not a party animal cruise like many of the Carnival cruises, but we found plenty to do and had no complaints- I think you've made a good choice!