drive to/from Key West

Old Jun 28th, 2004, 01:15 PM
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drive to/from Key West

Hi. Need some opinions please.
My wife and I are planning on taking a Caribbean cruise next February. The ship departs from Miami at about 5 pm.
We intend to spend a couple of days in the Keys. If we were to leave Key West for Miami the morning of the cruise, how much time should we allow for the trip to the mainland? Obviously we want to play it safe and not miss the boat!
Also, in general how long is the trip from Miami to Key West, allowing for periodic stops along the way.
Thanks...
dinks is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2004, 01:21 PM
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Allow yourself three three to three-and-a-half hours from Miami to Key West one way. Also be aware that it may even take you longer on weekends and holidays.
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Old Jun 28th, 2004, 02:00 PM
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At least 4 hours and pray that there are no accidents or it could be 4 days.
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Old Jun 28th, 2004, 05:08 PM
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If I had a cruise ship to catch, I'd seriously consider flying back to Miami. A relatively minor accident could back up traffic for hours.
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Old Jun 28th, 2004, 05:33 PM
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We just returned from a trip to the Keys. I would suggest you return to Miami the day before. We were in a traffic back-up at one point, and yes, everything stops. You would either have to leave so early you wouldn't enjoy the ride up, or you could miss your plane. Could you plan to spend the night in Miami?

Also, consider what you really hope to see/experience in the Keys. You don't necessarily have to go all the way down to Key West...

Have a great trip--we absolutely loved the Keys!
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Old Jun 28th, 2004, 05:45 PM
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Ok, your ship departs at 5 which means you should be at the port no later than 1. The road from KW to MiJami is not an interstate highway - it's two lane just about all the way.

If you were to leave KW at 8 AM, and stop for munchies, lunch and a cold beer, you'd probably be ok. Now if there is an accident or lots of truck traffic or snowbirds (Je me souviens!) or you have to turn in a rental car, you're going to have a problem.

Best bet (like swimmer & JeanH said) is to head back to MiJami the night before.
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Old Jun 28th, 2004, 06:18 PM
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I agree, head back the night before. We got stuck in what was probably a small accident on the way down and it was pretty miserable, I can't imagine what it's like for something major. You don't want to spend the day of your cruise worrying in the car on a long trip!

love
roxy
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Old Jun 28th, 2004, 07:03 PM
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I'm with the group that votes for going to Miami the night before. I had a plane to catch and drove back from Key West in a horrible rain storm that slowed everything down. Luckily, the storm started nearer the middle keys so we didn't have a slow trip the whole way. We made our flight but it was nerve wracking getting back to the airport in such bad weather.
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Old Jun 28th, 2004, 11:58 PM
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Definitely the day before! When we did this trip, we were very lucky. It took us only 4 hours, despite the multiple road maintenance ?jams?. So I can imagine that an accident can seriously block the traffic (only one lane up and one back). It?s certainly not worth the risk.
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Old Jun 29th, 2004, 09:16 AM
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Another vote for the night before.

Stay somewhere fun like South Beach.

It is really common to hear horror stories about people stuck in traffic on US 1.

It is 140 miles or so of two lane road.
 
Old Jun 30th, 2004, 10:27 AM
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Don't leave the night before, everybody here is being too cautious. Your cruise is on a Friday, if you leave Key West at 8 AM and it takes 4 hours then you get to Miami by 12 noon with plenty of time to make a 5 PM departure. I could see if your cruise was on Sunday then you might have to worry if you left late Sunday afternoon but Friday morning? I can't imagine you will hit too much traffic and even if there is an accident you would have a 5 hour buffer time, more than enough time. Come on take a shot, live a little on the wild side.
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Old Jun 30th, 2004, 01:48 PM
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I can think of better ways to "live on the wild side" than possibly putting a cruise in jeopardy. There's just no reason to worry about traffic/accidents the day of a cruise, especially when a night's stay in Miami or South Beach would be so much fun.

love
roxy
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Old Jun 30th, 2004, 02:26 PM
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I agree with the posters who suggest you err on the side of caution. I've made the trip between Key West and Miami many times and it's never taken less than 4 hours (that excludes stops).

There are nightmarish stories about people who've been stuck behind wrecks and other traffic jams and have missed flights out of Miami. If you miss a flight, you could reschedule, but why risk missing a cruise departure?
SusanCS is offline  
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