Pre-Cruise Day in Fort Lauderdale

Mar 30th, 2011, 06:32 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 44
Pre-Cruise Day in Fort Lauderdale

Hello, everyone. We're sending my (retired) parents on their first (and well-deserved) cruise. Their flight to FLL is scheduled to arrive at 10:30 am on a Saturday. They need to be at the port around 3 pm for the 5 pm departure. Any ideas on what they can do before 3 pm? Is there a place where they can deposit their luggage for a few hours? Any advice will be much appreciated! Thanks!
mrsrvk is offline  
Mar 31st, 2011, 08:38 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Are they interested in doing a tour? We did the air boat tour at the Everglades Holiday Park and the Flamingo Gardens. We actually went at the end of the cruise before going back to the airport. It was a Princess sponsored ship tour, but I think you can to before the cruise also. It was about 3 hours.

Here's our pictures:
KVR is offline  
Mar 31st, 2011, 09:34 AM
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Boarding for a 5pm departure will start around 11am. Most people will be on board the ship by no later than 2; in all honestly, on the last-minute stragglers arrive after 3.

Unless they really want to do something specific in Fort Lauderdale, I think they'd be better off just going straight to the ship and using the early hours to get acquainted with its layout, have some lunch, make plans for dinner, consider their wine plan options, perhaps book shore excursions, etc, and get a little rest before the sail away party. With luck, they'll be in their cabin by 1pm and can sit by the pool if they wish.
doug_stallings is offline  
Mar 31st, 2011, 11:13 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
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I agree with Doug Stallings. With the flight probably late, standing in line to check in and fatigue, I can't imagine any truly boring free time to kill. Grt to the boat, get lunch and rest
Aristotle is offline  
Mar 31st, 2011, 02:57 PM
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Totally agree with Doug and Aristotle. Even if flight is on time, it will be 11:00-11:30 by time they get luggage and out of airport. Another half hour to get taxi to port and another half hour to check in. It will be 12:30-1:00 at best. Get on board asap. Explore, relax and be ready for sail-a-way party.

Hope they have a great time. Which cruise and which Princess ship will they be on?
Sassafrass is online now  
Apr 1st, 2011, 06:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,567
They better not be heading anywhere but to the cruise ship port! A cruise that departs at 5pm typically closes door 90 minutes prior as the passengers & crew manifesto needs to be cleared by Homeland Security authorities. The check-in process as straightforward as it is designed to be it is not without lines and unavoidable delays. Lunch starts at 11am; their suitcases will be at their room around 2pm. I would strongly advised that you send your parents straight to Port and if there is time for an excursion it be with the ship (...and I am NOT a huge fan of cruise excursions).
Viajero2 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2011, 06:38 AM
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Tell them to pack a bathing suit in their carryon bags. Then they can change and be at the pool before their luggage arrives.
GBelle is offline  
Apr 1st, 2011, 10:43 AM
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I would go to the ship directly from the airport.

Checking in takes some time, lunch is served in the buffet (or the main dining room on some ships), if the cabin is not ready (this will be announced on the loud speaker) they can relax by the pool or in the lounge, maybe take some photos, maybe people-watch, walk around to make yourself familiar with the ship layout.

Time will go fast on the first day.
Dayenu is offline  
Apr 1st, 2011, 12:12 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 96
I would also recommend going straight to the ship. My fiance and I went on our first cruise last March out of Puerto Rico on Caribbean Princess. We arrived a day before we were to leave on our cruise. Rather than sightsee in Puerto Rico we decided to board the ship early around 12:30ish and it was the best thing we could have done!! There were no lines, boarded with no problems, found our room and had the rest of the day to enjoy lunch and explore the ship. I highly recommend going straight to the ship. Hope they have a great cruise!
jerseygrl is offline  
Apr 1st, 2011, 01:32 PM
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Yes, go straight to the ship. Boarding will start at 11 am. Make sure they pack their nercessities (example: medications) with their carry-ons. They will not get their luggae until much later.
Eschew is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2011, 09:26 AM
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Thank you all for the responses. They will be on the Crown Princess. I did't realize that they could board the ship as early as 11 am. That sounds like the best thing to do. I was really worried about them going around town (maybe looking for a place to have lunch) with their baggage in tow! I have never been on a cruise myself and am really excited about being able to send my parents on one. Thanks again for all your kind advice.
mrsrvk is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2011, 05:02 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,318
OMG, They will love Crown Princess. We did a 14 day TA cruise on it last Spring. Wonderful. It is a beautiful ship with lots to do. Everything about it was great. Absolutely, get on it early and start to enjoy it.

They should get to the Library first thing if they want best selection of books. If they are going to take any of the ship's excursions, they should book right away to have good choices.

If they have not already done so, they should join the roll call for their ship on asap. They can meet up with other people who are doing their own excursions, and perhaps join them or get advice on doing things themselves. There is usually a Meet and Mingle they can sign up for with the group from the roll call. It is usually held shortly after sail-a-way in one of the lounges.

I hope you can go on a cruise too sometime. It is a sweet thing you are doing.
Sassafrass is online now  
Apr 5th, 2011, 02:34 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
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If they must wander around, there is a strip mall and a Starbucks about 4 or 5 blocks away, definietly walking distance after dropping off the luggage at the dock, or only a few bucks for a short cab ride.
Eschew is offline  
May 8th, 2011, 04:58 PM
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Thanks again to everyone for the kind responses. My parents had a wonderful time. As most of you advised, they took the shuttle straight to the port, checked in, and went on board. And hit the buffet before the ship sailed.
mrsrvk is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2011, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 3
most cruises let you on board at about 12 noon. They provide lunch. No need for them to arrive later.
baba7 is offline  

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