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Week between Christmas and New Year

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Montreal, Canada
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28 posts
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Week between Christmas and New Year

Hello,

Just booked a trip from Dec 25 till Dec 31in Florida. Hotel booked is Sirata in St Pete Beach. We are a family of 6: adults and tall teenagers. We want to know if we can survive the week without renting a minivan. We will be in Tampa on the Saturday for the hockey game and will visit the Dali museum probably on the Thursday night. Can we easily get a 6 passengers taxi to drive us from and to the airport (late arrival and very early departure) and to bring us from St Pete Beach to Tampa and to Saint-Petersburg and back to St Pete Beach after our events? The supershuttle would be 80$ from and to airport; some taxis only take a maximum of 5 passengers... Renting would cost 800$ for the week. I found 813taxi.com but can only reserve through phone and is unclear to me which area they cover. Thanks for your help. Sandra

WINNIPEG
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214 posts
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1. Re: Week between Christmas and New Year

Hi Sandra, you can get around St. Pete beach quite easily without a vehicle, as well as to the museum in St. Petersburg. The bus and trolley system in that area are very good. However, taking a cab to the hockey game will be very expensive and I don't think a bus is even an option. You may wish to try contacting Bats Taxi and car service for an estimate. www.batstaxi.com

I think you may wish to rent a van for the day.

Montreal, Canada
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28 posts
32 reviews
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2. Re: Week between Christmas and New Year

Hello,

Thank you for taking the time to reply to me.

I was able to contact the taxi company named 813taxi via their web site and just received a reply email. Their quote is 60$ to the hotel (instead of 80$ with the supershuttle), 50$ to return to the airport (again versus 80$) and 140$ to the game and back. So, 250$ seems ok for me when I compare to the 800$ minivan rental. When I was looking how to go to the museum, it gave me the impression that the bus with 50 different stops would take an hour to reach the city. Hopefully I am wrong and the hotel will help us figure out something quicker. I look forward to this vacation and seeing the Gulf of Mexico.

Best Regards,

Sandra

Tampa, Florida...
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22 posts
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3. Re: Week between Christmas and New Year

Hello, did you look at other vehicle rentals? That price for a week just seems outrageous to me. Did you do it at the airport rental? I have seen minivan rentals for around $400. At that price you will probably save money then paying for taxis. The trip from your hotel to the St Pete Times Forum (in Tampa) and back is going to be the most expensive, as you already were quoted. The 250 you were quoted does not include gratuity to the taxi driver. Plus are you sure that the quote was for a group of 6? and not just a smaller cab. If you were staying closer to the forum I would think that you could get by without a vehicle, but with the planned activities you have so far, you might want to rent a vehicle, in case something else comes up you want to do. And you can go out on your own. For instance, make a trip to the international plaza in Tampa, or Ybor City, etc.

Montreal, Canada
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28 posts
32 reviews
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4. Re: Week between Christmas and New Year

You are right. I did not include gratuity. So, an additionnal 40$. As for the 800$, we tried several companies and some system that looks at all possibilities. Maybe it is because it is during the holidays... and big cars cost more than small ones... I also looked at 5 days instead of 7 but the mathematic ended up being the same. I saw the same taxi company in several other posts (bats). Although I saw their quotes for the airport being for a maximum of 5 passengers, I sent them an email and asked if they can accomodate 6. Finally, the only thing I did not check yet is the possibiliyty of renting for 1 day only on the Saturday. It sure would be fun to be able to visit Tampa if we have the flexibility of a car. But not at any price. Thanks for all your recommendations. Merci beaucoup.

WINNIPEG
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214 posts
61 reviews
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5. Re: Week between Christmas and New Year

Hi Sandra,

We are in Florida at the same time as you and I do agree that car rentals are extremely expensive this year. We have travelled to Florida at Christmas for 6 years and I do not remember prices for car rentals being this high. We are flying in to Orlando-Sanford this year and we were looking at almost $1300 for a 2 week compact car rental. Finally, I decided to look off airport site and found rentals for $900- $1000 cheaper for the same period. ($380 total for 2 weeks)What a deal! We are taking a 15 minute cab ride to pick up our rental, but dropping it off at the airport.

I know with 6 people that may more difficult, but there are car rental on the 5300 to 5400 block of Gulf Blvd. in SBP. I did a quick check and you can rent a van for $100 for a day with Budget. This may give you the ability to visit Tampa and the area near St. Pete Forum, which is close to Channelside and Ybor City prior to the hockey game. We spent a day in those areas a couple of years ago prior to watching the Canadiens take on the Lightning. It was a great day.

Whatever you decide, I know that you will enjoy the trip and the beaches of SPB. Have fun.

KIM

Edited: 28 November 2013, 12:24
Montreal, Canada
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28 posts
32 reviews
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6. Re: Week between Christmas and New Year

I really like this forum concept. Thank you so much. There is an Avis and a Budget at the hotel location. Avis has no minivan. Budget has a 7 passenger SUV for 150$ including tax. I have to add parking at the forum and gaz. I did not see your 100$ deal. Can you tell me how you found it? One thing I would like to do in Tampa is bring my teens see the manatee viewing center near apollo beach. Is it worth it?

WINNIPEG
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214 posts
61 reviews
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7. Re: Week between Christmas and New Year

Hi Sandra,

I went to the Budget site and put in a December date between your dates, as I was unsure of the exact date you were looking at for renting. I believe the van came back at $109. Rentals of course depend whether it is a weekday or weekend.

My other suggestion would be to use www.priceline.com and try using the location (SPB) that you wish to rent from. Use the bidding option to get the best deals. I bet you will be able to find a van in the SPB area for about $100. I often use Priceline and get rates cheaper than advertised.

KIM

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8. Re: Week between Christmas and New Year

It is better to go to lowery park zoo manatee rehab center and much more and closer

Calgary, Canada
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9. Re: Week between Christmas and New Year

We really enjoyed going to the Manatee viewing center - found it to be very informative. I haven't been to the Lowry Zoo - so I can't compare the two, but we had already seen Manatees at Epcot years ago and wanted to see them in the wild. At the viewing center you will be able to stand on a platform and look out over the discharge canal. There are usually about 100 manatees and their calves in the water, but the water isn't very clear, and you will likely be at a distance. The manatees aren't very active, so will just be suspended in the water and they look like large rocks in the water. While we were there, one of the mothers brought her calf right over to the platform and we were able to get a nice view. We were lucky - most of the moms were a bit of a distance from us and if the mom hadn't brought her calf over we wouldn't have gotten a view. Also, the platform was very crowded. We were patient and waited for people to leave so we could get a good view. There were volunteers at the centre that answered our questions and gave us some excellent information on the manatee.

If you want a really good look at the manatee, you would likely get a better look if they were in a tank. The tank at Epcot gave us a great view. I don't know how much of a view you would get at the Lowry Zoo - but if the tank is similar to the one that was at Epcot, you would get a better view. We watched for a long time as they slowly swam around the tank, and they were fascinating to watch. If jade02tla has seen them at the Lowry Zoo, perhaps she will tell us more about how well she was able to view them.

Edited: 29 November 2013, 00:55
Tampa, Florida...
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22 posts
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10. Re: Week between Christmas and New Year

Sandra, Kim is right. Go offsite for a vehicle! All I can suggest is look into it. And by offsite, not the hotels either. Go directly to the rental place to reserve. There are many in the Bay area. It will be significantly less (as Kim pointed out). I already found them for $400 and less for the time you mentioned. Another option you also pointed out is possibly only rent for a few of the days around the hockey game. That way you have it for when you need it, plus the freedom of also exploring this great city. There is so much to do around here. Which will add up tremendously with the cab. But enjoy your time here.