Florida Atlantic Coast Road Trip 2019!

Sep 10th, 2018, 08:25 AM
  #1  
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Florida Atlantic Coast Road Trip 2019!

Summer vacation Trip Advice for a family of four from the UK with two children aged 16 and 12.

In 2017 we enjoyed a road trip down the Gulf coast travelling from Orlando to Tampa (Busch Gardens), then down to Fort Myers (Sanibel) for a few days, driving through the Everglades (Highway 41, Miccosakee Indian Reserve) and ending up travelling down the Keys to Key West, staying in Marathon for 4 nights.

I know this is early, but we are planning our vacation for Summer 2019 which shall hopefully be 20 days from 17th July and will need to book flights soon. I am giving some thought to planning out an itinerary but this time travelling down the East / Atlantic Coast.

We plan to start off in Orlando and as we have stayed here before and visited most of the Theme parks will stay her for a few (say 4) days and get a pass for Universal. We have never visited Kennedy Space Centre, so this shall be the next stop. Thereafter, our plan is for a bit of a lazy road trip down the East coast ending up in Miami South Beach and fly home from there. The emphasis for this part of the trip is hopefully to explore, sit on beaches and relax. It is this latter part of the trip that I am looking for a bit of input and advice on places worth stopping off at.

We have an idea to include a mini 4 / 5 day cruise to the Bahamas from Ft Lauderdale with Carnival Cruises.

We are not big on museums or hiking, but would like to see some more traditional resorts in preference to modern condo lined beachfronts, though we accept there will be lots of these as we get closer to Miami.

A SCUBA dive would also be nice for me, possibly as part of the cruise or from the coast?

I appreciate this is quite a list and very non-specific, I will be grateful for advice and any tips to make this a truly memorable trip.

Thank you.
Nigel_UK is offline  
Sep 10th, 2018, 11:45 AM
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I live in Fort Lauderdale and I will give you some "advice" about taking ANY 3 or 4-night cruise to the Bahamas or anywhere else for that matter. Many of those cruises, especially if they encompass a weekend end up being a "party cruise" for many participants. Folks get on, buy the unlimited drinks package, and then they drink and that is about all they do. Admittedly that behavior doesn't affect the scenery in the Bahamas but you're spending a lot of time around them so bear that in mind.

You can easily fly to somewhere in the Bahamas from either Fort Lauderdale or from Miami and you might consider doing just that instead. Yes, probably more expensive than doing a cruise but in July the cruise season for that part of the Caribbean is over so a cruise could be very cheap.

Have you looked at any other cruise line besides Carnival such as Royal Caribbean to compare prices?
Dukey1 is offline  
Sep 11th, 2018, 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Dukey1 View Post
I live in Fort Lauderdale and I will give you some "advice" about taking ANY 3 or 4-night cruise to the Bahamas
Thank you for your response Dukey. The flights are booked now so I am turning my thoughts to the itinerary, yes we are a bit out of season but dictated by UK School Holidays. We have never been on a cruise, and thought that the four day (Thursday to Monday) Carnival Cruise from Ft Lauderdale to Half Moon Cay/Nassau might be a good introduction. Some friends recommended it to us. The booze cruise aspect had not occurred to me, maybe I will see if there are some that are not over a weekend? Will check out the Royal Caribbean site also.

As you live in Ft Lauderdale, i may be back to pick your knowledge at places to stay running down the coast. Depending on the Cruise I had penciled in a night at Cocoa Beach following Kennedy Space Centre, then maybe Vero Beach, Cruise, Jupiter / West Palm beach area, Fort Lauderdale and finally one night in Miami South beach. Open to suggestions.

Thank you.
Nigel
Nigel_UK is offline  
Sep 12th, 2018, 04:45 AM
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Nigel.

Will top this for you in hopes others might respond. You might also TRY looking at one of the many US-based cruise discounter sites such as www.vacationstogo.com You may have to "sign up" with your email to access it and you may end up using email to communicate with them but they list many, MANY cruises at discount prices and just about every cruise line will discount. Never pay the brochure price, ever.
Dukey1 is offline  
Sep 13th, 2018, 06:49 AM
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Good advice Dukey1. There is a lot of the east coast to explore other than Florida. Consider flying into a major airport (Philadelphia or BWI) and driving south along a coastal route to Florida.
tomfuller is offline  
Sep 17th, 2018, 04:18 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Dukey1 View Post
Nigel.

....TRY looking at one of the many US-based cruise discounter sites such as www.vacationstogo.com ..... Never pay the brochure price, ever.
Thanks for that useful link Dukey, looks like a great site with lots of details.
Nigel_UK is offline  
Sep 17th, 2018, 04:20 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by tomfuller View Post
There is a lot of the east coast to explore other than Florida. Consider flying into a major airport (Philadelphia or BWI) and driving south along a coastal route to Florida.
Hi Tom, thanks for the idea, this trip will focus on the East coast of Florida, the last trip was the Gulf coast and Keys. A East coast of the USA trip may be the next one! Watch this space!
Nigel_UK is offline  
Jan 6th, 2019, 01:18 PM
  #8  
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My plans are firming up a bit so i thought i'd nudge this up a bit on the forum. Narrowed down the cruise part of the trip to a 3 day cruise out of Port Canaveral as our preferred one out of Fort Lauderdale does not run anymore. Therefore the Plan is arrive in Orlando late, Kennedy Space Centre, Cocoa beach/cruise, 3 day cruise to Bahamas, back to Orlando for universal for a few days, then seven days down the coast.Rough plan is for 2 days in / around Vero beach, 2 days West Palm Beach, 2 days Fort Lauderdale and one day in South beach Miami.
Nigel_UK is offline  
Jan 19th, 2019, 01:18 PM
  #9  
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Looking for places to visit / recommendations from Melbourne down to Miami South Beach so I can plan how long to stay, Thinking of staying near Vero beach for a chilled couple of days followed by a leisurely drive down the coast. Would Fort Lauderdale make a good base with a final one night stay at Miami South Beach? Looking for low impact activities,beaches, snorkelling, coastal walks, boat trips, shopping, sight seeing, photography. Thanks for any advice.
Nigel_UK is offline  
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