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What to do for 8 hours or so?

Ventnor City, New...
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for Walt Disney World, Orlando
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What to do for 8 hours or so?

My family (wife, me, kids 12 and 9) will be disembarking a cruise ship at Port Everglades around 8 or 9 a.m. on a Sunday, and unfortunately our flight doesn't leave FLL until 8:30 p.m. and I can't change that.

I figure we'll rent a car and find SOMETHING to do until we go to the airport around 6:30 p.m. The question is, what is there to do???

I don't think the beach will be a draw for us. We'll have just spent 2 days on Caribbean beaches during the cruise, plus we live in Atlantic City, NJ and will be on our own beach the following day (Labor Day).

I considered the possibility that we'll be tired after the cruise and may just want to get a day rate at a hotel to chill and maybe swim.

But I don't want to settle for that if I don't have to. Any suggestions for how we can spend our day???

Edited: 28 May 2012, 15:44
UK
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for Florida
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1. Re: What to do for 8 hours or so?

Sawgrass Mills Mall (well more of a city than a mall lol).

JENSEN BEACH
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2. Re: What to do for 8 hours or so?

What do you enjoy doing? Museums, Shopping, Aquarium, Zoo, Snorkeling, Fishing, IGFA, IMAX?????

Florida
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for Palm Harbor
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3. Re: What to do for 8 hours or so?

You could catch an IMAX movie at the Museum of Discovery & Science and then grab a bite to eat on Las Olas Blvd.

Sunrise, FL
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4. Re: What to do for 8 hours or so?

Take into consideration that you need to get the car, pack it up and then head out somewhere, so really your time isnt going to be quite as long as you think.

Sawgrass Mills Mall is not a bad idea, but you will need a car (to get there and avoid dragging around your bags all day). Of course a movie isnt a bad idea either. I would skip the fishing/snorkeling on a boat because A) unless you catch and release, you wont be able to enjoy the fish, B) you will def need a shower/change afterwards, C) if something goes wrong with the boat/time you can miss your flight and D) youre going to be exhausted after the cruise, do you really wanna run around getting to the docks and whatnot?

Try a hotel to just "post up" for a few hours might be your best bet. Unless you want to just rent a car, go out for a nice lunch and maybe drive around a lil bit?

Pembroke Pines...
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5. Re: What to do for 8 hours or so?

It is possible your Cruise Line will offer you a tour in debarkation port / Fort Lauderdale, cruise lines usually do that. May not be a bad idea. Last time we returned from a cruise they were offering Everglades, Miami and few other tours. Then they drop you off at the airport after the tour (your bags sty in the bus all the time).

We did not take it as we are locals but many cruise passengers who had late flights out off MIA or FLL did.

JENSEN BEACH
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6. Re: What to do for 8 hours or so?

Maybe book a cheap hotel near the beach as you won't be sleeping in the room anyway. Save the $ for a rental car, Since it's a weekend the free trolley runs from the beach to Las Olas etc. (maybe a place like the waterfront inn). The water taxi is a great way to see Ft Lauderdale via water. Hop off at one of the many stops for lunch (we like 15th St Fisheries) dine by the water and relax. A quick shower and change and a shuttle to the airport. That or the cruise ship tour seem like good ideas to me. Sawgrass Mills is a HUGE outlet mall and can be exhausting to try and cover in a few hours.

Atlanta
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7. Re: What to do for 8 hours or so?

I would recommend an Everglades airboat tour, or if not enough time look into crusing on the water taxi which is a fun way to kill a few hours. If it's rainy the Hard Rock casino is nearby.

Atlanta
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8. Re: What to do for 8 hours or so?

Oooopps scratch the Hard Rock--forgot about the kids in tow.

Massachusetts
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9. Re: What to do for 8 hours or so?

I used to deal with this same issue comming home . The long wait at the airport took the shine off my vacation. I now book a cheap hotel and stay an extra day. We get up the next morning and off to the airport refreshed and without all the paxs from the cruise ships :) I think this is the best option for us.

Good luck

Reader

Edited: 01 June 2012, 13:13
Sunrise, FL
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10. Re: What to do for 8 hours or so?

While i would recommend doing an Everglades airboat ride sometime, its prob not in your best interest to drive all the way out west and then drive all the way back east. Not that its a really long drive, but there is so much to do out there, it would almost be short-changing yourself.

skljajic has a good idea too. Most, if not all, cruise lines offer tours when you come back into port for those individuals who have "time to kill." These tours are usually pretty short and give you a nice lil taste. Not sure how much they cost, but it might be worth checking out.