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3 Days prior to Cruise....Where to to stay & what to do?

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San Jose, California
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3 Days prior to Cruise....Where to to stay & what to do?

Need help here!! My family of 6 including my Grandchild of 2 will be arriving in FLL on Jan 2, our cruise leaves out of Port Miami on Sat. Jan 5. I have looked at renting a van to drive to the Keys as well as Hotels for 2 rooms in Fort Lauderdale as well as Miami, but I don't know the areas well and I don't want to "break the bank" here. Maybe a reasonable Hotel close to beach, shopping and Restaurants??? Don't want to be in the Night club areas even though my 2 kids (in there 20's) might like it. I was shocked that renting a Van/Suv had a quoted price of $600 for picking it up at FLL and dropping it off morning of the 5th at Port Miami!!

Any help and/or ideas would be greatly appreciated!!!

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1. Re: 3 Days prior to Cruise....Where to to stay & what to do?

Car rental rates especially for big specialty vehicles , tend to be high esecially so so near the holiday period which is a major cruise /vacation time for families here when vans are in high demand. One way drop off from some companies makes it even more expensive.

I might suggest that you go to a site called www.breezenet.com and search for a rental. It will search all rental companies at one time and you might find one that is lower than some others. Be mindful of two things though- go to the pages after page one of the results as some companies pay extra to get their results on page1- so a bargain may be further in the listings.

Also, some of the companies that show up might be less than desirable from a local point of view- so double check any result that you get by asking posters here to tell you if they are reputable.. before booking with them.

You might want to look at best Western Oceanside as one of the more moderately priced beach motels from which you can walk to many restaurants etc- While no hotel here is a bargain over the holidays , they provide a full hot breakfast and for brood your size that will be a savings. It is close enough for your older kids to get to a bar if they would like, but family friendly for the little one.

I'm not sure if in the short time frame you are here it is worthwhile to try to drive to the Keys and back- to go down all the way to Key West is not reallya day trip ( about a 4 hr drive each way) and you really won't want to be driving some stretches of the unfamiliar Keys highway after dark IMO- parts of it are two lane and dark. To go part way down sort of defeats the purpose in my opinion- . We love the Keys and will be spending two nights in Key West soon, as we do every year- but if we could not stay over, we would not choose to go.

I wish I could help you find a bargain price here for hotel and rental car, but unfortunately you have chosen the time of year when every family wants to come- and prices for all accomodations and services will be at their very highest.

You could also check two budget motels a couple of blocks off the beach- Birch Patio and Summerland Suites. They are older properties but clean and may be less costly than BWO which is right on the beach.

2. Re: 3 Days prior to Cruise....Where to to stay & what to do?

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