Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Lauderdale Beach
Fort Lauderdale's port, Port Everglades, is the embarkation point for many Caribbean cruises. Fort Lauderdale is 30 miles from Miami and well known as a spring break destination.
Where You're Docked
Port Everglades is a huge port. The only public transport runs along SE 17th St by the port's north entrance. Unless you are at Terminal #1 or #2 (used by Princess), you will need to take a taxi to your terminal or face a long walk. You can check the port schedule linked from here http://www.porteverglades.net and https://pevvesseltraffic.broward.org/webclient/public/publicmovements.aspx but cruise berth assignments are posted at the gates. Port and google map links are in the Maps section below.
Getting To/From the Airport
You can use either Miami International or Fort Lauderdale Airport though Fort Lauderdale is much closer.
Taxi from Fort Lauderdale airport to Port Everglades should be between $10-$15 (Jan 2014). http://www.porteverglades.net/cruising/transportation/ Shared van services are operated by GO. http://www.floridalimo.com
If coming from Miami International Airport, it may be cheaper to take the SuperShuttle shared van service.
Money & Tipping
Near Port Everglades, there are banks and ATM's along SE17th Ave including a Bank of America. When dining in restaurants or taking taxis, it is customary to leave 15-20% tip since workers make minimum wage.
SE 17th St is served by public buses and a private trolley. Take bus 40 westbound to go to Downtown Fort Lauderdale and eastbound to go to Galleria mall or the main beaches. This route runs every 20-30 minutes with reduced frequency on Sundays. The closest stop to the cruise terminal is by the Walgreens at SE17th and Eisenhower Blvd. Fare is $1.75 adults/$0.85 seniors and youth and a day pass is $4/$3 (Jan 2014). To return to the ship from Galleria Mall, the bus stop is outside the main entrance by the Blue Martini restaurant. Route 40 schedule linked from here http://www.broward.org/BCT/Schedules/
The other option is the Sun Trolley which runs Fridays, Mondays and weekends daytime only. It picks up at the bus stops and one route goes from the Publix supermarket to the beaches. You can change trolleys at Los Olas Blvd, to head towards downtown. Fare is only 50 cents and $2 for a day pass (Jan 2014). http://www.suntrolley.com/
The water taxi (more of a hop on-hop off boat service) is a unique way to get around. There is a stop by Port Everglades north gate. http://watertaxi.com/
Search hotels in Fort Lauderdale here
Fort Lauderdale's main attraction is miles of sandy beach and sunny weather. Miami is not too far away.
Shopping & Restaurants
SE 17th has good shopping with the Walgreens at the north port gate for last minute items. Southport Shopping Center is nearby with a Ross Dress for Less, Dollar Tree, and Office Depot. Chef's Palette at The International Culinary School has good reviews with dishes prepared by student chefs but is only open a couple of days each week. Also in the area is a Publix supermarket with a neighboring Total Wine store. Further west near South Federal Highway, you can find a cluster of fast food restaurants and a CVS pharmacy.
Galleria Mall by the beaches has a Macy's, Neiman Marcus, and an Apple Store. Take bus 40 from SE 17th heading east. To return to the ship, there is a bus stop in front of the main entrance on East Sunrise Blvd heading eastbound.
Los Olas Boulevard has trendy boutiques and restaurants.
For power shopping, Sawgrass Mills is 13 miles to the west and is a gigantic mall (6th largest in the US).
The nearest post office is across from Walgreens and down the road a bit in South Harbor Plaza. Address is 1515 SE 17TH St and they are closed weekends.
Cafes and restaurants may provide free wifi for customers. Starbucks on SE 17th has free wifi if you have a Starbucks card. There may be free wifi in the cruise terminals.
Ft Lauderdale Weather Forecast
Climate and weather http://www.sunny.org/plan-your-trip/weather/