Travel

What To do about car Seat - Cruising from Fort Lauderdal

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  • Feb 9th, 2018 6:19 pm
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Sr. Member
Dec 13, 2006
599 posts
280 upvotes

What To do about car Seat - Cruising from Fort Lauderdal

Hi,

we are travelling all family soon and we are wondering what to do with our kids regarding car seat.

We are cruising with Royal carabean leaving from Fort Lauderdale on a Sunday.

We are a family of 5 (3 kids , 4,3 and 2 years old)

I have read that in Florida car seat for all my kids would be mandatory!! Except in Bus...

I'm arriving one day early(Saturday) and need to find an Hotel, transportation to the hotel and transportation to the port the day after.

Any one have been in this situation before?? I don't want to travel with 3 car seats.. For a 5miles ride...
10 replies
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Mar 22, 2011
671 posts
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Stock R wrote: You shouldn't need it for a taxi or shuttle.

Pick a hotel with a free shuttle from/to the hotel and cruise terminal.

It's a very short drive.

You're not quite there yet, but for future reference, in the US you can use "bubble bums".
Stock R is right. Select a hotel that has transportation from the airport to the hotel, and from the hotel to the port. The hotels use shuttles and they are considered a "bus". So you do not need a carseat. If you choose not to use the hotel shuttle to go to the Port or from the port to the airport, I have used the company Allstars Transportation in Fort Lauderdale and they have shuttles that pick up from the Port and take you back to the airport to go home.They don't charge as much as the cruise company.

I am going in April to Fort Lauderdale for a cruise and also staying over one night before. We will be staying at Springhill Suites (went there twice before) and includes free Continental breakfast. They used to have free shuttles to the port but from what i hear from various reviews, they've changed their policy to $10/pp. I will find out then.
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Jan 17, 2002
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Didn't need one for Tampa cruise in November, not bringing one to Fort Lauderdale cruise in April.. Just use shuttles.
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Jan 31, 2007
452 posts
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Like others here, I've used the hotel paid shuttles (Sheraton cruiseport specifically) and had no issues. Definitely understand why parents would not want to bring 3 carseats!. However, for those that are interested, here is the definitive answer from the Florida Dept of Transportation here.

The rules are cryptic but basically livery vehicles are exempted, as per section 6.

(6) The child restraint requirements imposed by this section do not apply to a chauffeur-driven taxi, limousine, sedan, van, bus, motor coach, or other passenger vehicle if the operator and the motor vehicle are hired and used for the transportation of persons for compensation

For privately operated vehicles, I found the bolded section below interesting, which is that for a child between 4 and 5, as long as you aren't being paid to drive the family and you aren't related to them, you can forego the carseat/booster.

1. For children aged through 3 years, such restraint device must be a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child seat.
2. For children aged 4 through 5 years, a separate carrier, an integrated child seat, or a child booster seat may be used. However, the requirement to use a child restraint device under this subparagraph does not apply when a safety belt is used as required in s. 316.614(4)(a) and the child:
a. Is being transported gratuitously by an operator who is not a member of the child’s immediate family;
b. Is being transported in a medical emergency situation involving the child; or
c. Has a medical condition that necessitates an exception as evidenced by appropriate documentation from a health care professional.
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
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The Cruise Port (Port Everglades) is very Central in Fort Lauderdale.
The Hotels in the area are grouped along A1A (aka 17th Street / Seabreeze Blvd / Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd) ...between the Airport and the Beach, and none are much more than 5 to 10 minutes to the Cruise Port.
So when selecting a hotel check a map to orient yourself to the area
Hotels closer / on the Beach are more expensive.
Airport Area Hotels run a wide span of pricing, and 17th Street is more commercial and a tad less touristy than the Beach area... but still busy with all the Hotels, and various Strip Malls etc

Having read the Florida Hwy Rules (Reply # 5 above) I think you have 2 viable choices for transportation with small kids & no car seats

1- Shuttle Buses

Many Hotels run shuttles that serve both the Airport & the Port.
Some of the Cruise lines also offer shuttle service.

The advantage to shuttles is most hotels in Ft Lauderdale run large sturdy buses vs vans.
Shuttles usually have excellent air conditioning
And the seating is spacious

The downside is they are in demand ... so except for the run to / from the airport... we don’t like being crowded into a shuttle that only goes anywhere at the speed of the slowest passenger... and if using them to get to the port this is usually an issue. Plus they can make numerous stops and you’ll see most of Ft Lauderdale long before you arrive at your destination

Most Shuttles in Ft Lauderdale are moving from COMPLIMENTARY to a charge per person.
That adds up quick

2- Taxis

Not crazy expensive... but well worth the money (And usually less than the per person costs of Shuttles)
The biggest advantage to cabs is you are on your own schedule... and with several kids that’s a HUGE Plus

We gave up on Shuttles long ago to get to and from the Hotel & Port (and back again)
Taxis means your vacation starts that much sooner... as you can time it so you’ll be on the ship before the crowds arrive
I’d rather be relaxing by the pool with a drink than sitting in a shuttle somewhere with 20 or more other disorganized cruisers
(I appreciate organization... and getting things done efficiently)

TIPS...

Make sure you have all your paperwork in order BEFORE you head to the port, as well as your Luggage & Carry Ons... cause there is no time to doddle once you get to the port / terminal

You will need to present your Passports & Cruise Tkts / Boarding Passes to the Gatehouse (TSA / Homeland Security) when the taxi arrives at the Port. So have it ready to hand out the window.

Think this thru... cause those few minutes from Hotel to Ship go quite quickly but are jam packed with tasks to be done (load luggage - everyone in the cab - present docs - everyone out of cab - unload luggage - keep carryons - give checked bags to porter - tip porter - head into terminal - Security / Check In - board ship)... and there are TONS OF DISTRACTIONS with all the excitement & stuff to see (ooohs and aaahs, and squeals of delight... lol, and that is my 60+ year old self). Plus people... there are tons of people. Embarkation & Debarkation is the one place you get a real sense of truly how big these cruise ships are... and just how many people are on them. Once onboard you don’t really feel that so much.

So put one adult in charge of the all important paperwork... putting it in a designated spot where they can be retrieved quickly at the Port Gatehouse, and then put them away again until you next have to present them in the Terminal

Have all your luggage tagged with the cruise line Luggage Tags
(stickies that tell the Porters where your bags are going on the ship)

Have your Carry On Bags (totes / knapsacks / whatever) organized with your valuables and what you’ll need till you can get into your cabin and see your luggage (sometimes that might not be till after Sail Away)

Carry On Stuff ... Important Docs (Passports, Cruise Tickets, Travel Insurance Docs, Other Travel Tickets, Docs & Confirmations) - Wallet & other valuables - Cameras - Phones - Electronics - Meds - Sunglasses - Suntan Lotion - Bathing Suit - Cover Up - and anything you or the kids will need thru the afternoon.

We also pack along an extra pair of clean undies & toothbrush as part of our Emergency Kit in carry on whenever we travel by air / ship... just in case the absolute worst happens and luggage gets lost / delayed... it’s rare we’ve ever had to use it from a flight (just a few times) and rarer still on a cruise (never)... but it takes up very little space and would be a GOD SEND if you ever did need it, until either your bags caught up, or you were able to shop for items.
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Jan 15, 2013
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PointsHubby wrote: The Cruise Port (Port Everglades) is very Central in Fort Lauderdale.
The Hotels in the area are grouped along A1A (aka 17th Street / Seabreeze Blvd / Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd) ...between the Airport and the Beach, and none are much more than 5 to 10 minutes to the Cruise Port.
So when selecting a hotel check a map to orient yourself to the area
Hotels closer / on the Beach are more expensive.
Airport Area Hotels run a wide span of pricing, and 17th Street is more commercial and a tad less touristy than the Beach area... but still busy with all the Hotels, and various Strip Malls etc

Having read the Florida Hwy Rules (Reply # 5 above) I think you have 2 viable choices for transportation with small kids & no car seats

1- Shuttle Buses

Many Hotels run shuttles that serve both the Airport & the Port.
Some of the Cruise lines also offer shuttle service.

The advantage to shuttles is most hotels in Ft Lauderdale run large sturdy buses vs vans.
Shuttles usually have excellent air conditioning
And the seating is spacious

The downside is they are in demand ... so except for the run to / from the airport... we don’t like being crowded into a shuttle that only goes anywhere at the speed of the slowest passenger... and if using them to get to the port this is usually an issue. Plus they can make numerous stops and you’ll see most of Ft Lauderdale long before you arrive at your destination

Most Shuttles in Ft Lauderdale are moving from COMPLIMENTARY to a charge per person.
That adds up quick

2- Taxis

Not crazy expensive... but well worth the money (And usually less than the per person costs of Shuttles)
The biggest advantage to cabs is you are on your own schedule... and with several kids that’s a HUGE Plus

We gave up on Shuttles long ago to get to and from the Hotel & Port (and back again)
Taxis means your vacation starts that much sooner... as you can time it so you’ll be on the ship before the crowds arrive
I’d rather be relaxing by the pool with a drink than sitting in a shuttle somewhere with 20 or more other disorganized cruisers
(I appreciate organization... and getting things done efficiently)

TIPS...

Make sure you have all your paperwork in order BEFORE you head to the port, as well as your Luggage & Carry Ons... cause there is no time to doddle once you get to the port / terminal

You will need to present your Passports & Cruise Tkts / Boarding Passes to the Gatehouse (TSA / Homeland Security) when the taxi arrives at the Port. So have it ready to hand out the window.

Think this thru... cause those few minutes from Hotel to Ship go quite quickly but are jam packed with tasks to be done (load luggage - everyone in the cab - present docs - everyone out of cab - unload luggage - keep carryons - give checked bags to porter - tip porter - head into terminal - Security / Check In - board ship)... and there are TONS OF DISTRACTIONS with all the excitement & stuff to see (ooohs and aaahs, and squeals of delight... lol, and that is my 60+ year old self). Plus people... there are tons of people. Embarkation & Debarkation is the one place you get a real sense of truly how big these cruise ships are... and just how many people are on them. Once onboard you don’t really feel that so much.

So put one adult in charge of the all important paperwork... putting it in a designated spot where they can be retrieved quickly at the Port Gatehouse, and then put them away again until you next have to present them in the Terminal

Have all your luggage tagged with the cruise line Luggage Tags
(stickies that tell the Porters where your bags are going on the ship)

Have your Carry On Bags (totes / knapsacks / whatever) organized with your valuables and what you’ll need till you can get into your cabin and see your luggage (sometimes that might not be till after Sail Away)

Carry On Stuff ... Important Docs (Passports, Cruise Tickets, Travel Insurance Docs, Other Travel Tickets, Docs & Confirmations) - Wallet & other valuables - Cameras - Phones - Electronics - Meds - Sunglasses - Suntan Lotion - Bathing Suit - Cover Up - and anything you or the kids will need thru the afternoon.

We also pack along an extra pair of clean undies & toothbrush as part of our Emergency Kit in carry on whenever we travel by air / ship... just in case the absolute worst happens and luggage gets lost / delayed... it’s rare we’ve ever had to use it from a flight (just a few times) and rarer still on a cruise (never)... but it takes up very little space and would be a GOD SEND if you ever did need it, until either your bags caught up, or you were able to shop for items.
Excellent tips! You sound a little OCD/anal (like me LOL). It's this planning and attention to detail which makes it all seem so seamless.

My SO used to roll her eyes but her skepticism is turning to appreciation as she is realizing more and more that I worry so that she doesn't.
Sr. Member
Dec 12, 2007
771 posts
112 upvotes
We were in a similar situation in November, 2 kids, both in car seats. We called our hotel prior to departure and their shuttle required the use of car seats. Plus, you can be waiting up to an extra hour just for the hotel shuttle. We found it easiest and most economical to rent a car with car seats on the day we arrived. One parent dropped off at port with all kids while the other returned the car. This allowed us to do some driving on the arrival day to pick up diapers, bottled water and wine for the cruise. IF you do rent a car, make sure you enroll with the rental company to do a quick pick up. (Fastbreak with Budget)

For the trip back to the airport, we arranged through South Florida Shuttles. They had a great vehicle with car seats provided at no extra charge!
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
16550 posts
13877 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
sandav wrote: Excellent tips! You sound a little OCD/anal (like me LOL). It's this planning and attention to detail which makes it all seem so seamless.

My SO used to roll her eyes but her skepticism is turning to appreciation as she is realizing more and more that I worry so that she doesn't.
Glad I could help

OCD... lol perhaps. More likely though I am one who is super observant and therefore learns from every situation (and my mistakes)

In my 60s now... but I very much remember what it was like to travel with kids in tow ( who are all now in their 30s... and we are looking forward to the challenges of travelling with the grand kiddies) Smiling Face With Sunglasses
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
16550 posts
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Eastern Ontario
mocha'n'me wrote: We were in a similar situation in November, 2 kids, both in car seats. We called our hotel prior to departure and their shuttle required the use of car seats. Plus, you can be waiting up to an extra hour just for the hotel shuttle. We found it easiest and most economical to rent a car with car seats on the day we arrived. One parent dropped off at port with all kids while the other returned the car. This allowed us to do some driving on the arrival day to pick up diapers, bottled water and wine for the cruise. IF you do rent a car, make sure you enroll with the rental company to do a quick pick up. (Fastbreak with Budget)

For the trip back to the airport, we arranged through South Florida Shuttles. They had a great vehicle with car seats provided at no extra charge!
GOOD POST

Another way to certainly attack the issue at hand ...

And if one is flying in the day before... inevitably there is running around to do BEFORE the cruise to get stuff last minute at the Grocery Store, Pharmacy & Wine Store

* NOTE - Check your Cruise Ships Rules on what you can bring aboard, many allow Bottled Water & Wine with limitations (but not all). Wine can go in your Carry On ... lol filed under VALUABLES. Cartons of Diapers & Bottled Water, just slap a spare luggage sticker on and drop with the Porter with your bags... they’ll show up next at your cabin with the luggage delivery
Member
Dec 3, 2013
433 posts
126 upvotes
mocha'n'me wrote: We were in a similar situation in November, 2 kids, both in car seats. We called our hotel prior to departure and their shuttle required the use of car seats. Plus, you can be waiting up to an extra hour just for the hotel shuttle. We found it easiest and most economical to rent a car with car seats on the day we arrived. One parent dropped off at port with all kids while the other returned the car. This allowed us to do some driving on the arrival day to pick up diapers, bottled water and wine for the cruise. IF you do rent a car, make sure you enroll with the rental company to do a quick pick up. (Fastbreak with Budget)

For the trip back to the airport, we arranged through South Florida Shuttles. They had a great vehicle with car seats provided at no extra charge!
Similar to what we did last March with our then 1 and 6 year old for our cruise out of Fort Lauderdale.

I work in law enforcement and regularly see people who forego car seats when they are traveling. I’ve also seen how the taxi and shuttle bus drivers drive and the results of their accidents. I couldn’t imagine not using car seats no matter where we are.

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