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10 questions to plan a great time in Florida

Key West Beach Strand

Before our transatlantic trip on the Celebrity Eclipse we wanted to have a great time in Florida, because you do not always have the opportunity to explore America. We had some Florida highlights on our plan: Miami, Key West, swimming with dolphins, Fort Lauderdale and of course: outlet shopping! To plan a great trip we asked ourselves ten questions.

Our first time in Florida and our first transatlantic cruise! Of course we were incredibly excited and many questions were running through our heads: Will we like Florida? How it will be on a 5-star Celebrity cruise ship? Will it get boring at sea? What do we need to pack? And of course our last question: will the journey be worth the money? To have a wonderful holiday, we had to plan a lot. If you are also planning to go on a transatlantic cruise from Florida or you have already booked and want to spend some time in Florida before leaving with the cruise ship, you should ask yourself a few questions in advance:

10 questions you should ask yourself  to plan your time in Florida :

  1. What do I want to do in Florida ?
  2. How much time do I have to spend?
  3. How far are the distances between my points of interest?
  4. When do I want to be where in Florida ?
  5. How to get from A to B ?
  6. Do I need a car and if yes, for how long do I need a car?
  7. Should I prebook hotels ?
  8. How much money can I spend?
  9. Are there any club memberships I can take advantage of?
  10. What do I really want to have done at the end of my trip?

Our 10 answers :

  1. We really wanted to see Miami and the Keys, visit one of the incredibly great outlet shopping centers and realize a childhood dream: swimming with dolphins!
  2. Overall, we planned to spend 1 week. As far as possible we wanted to spend 1 day Outlet shopping, travel along the keys for 3 days and visit Miami for 2 days. Our goals are set.
  3. To see if our trip planning works out, we needed to check the distances between our targeted locations. Will we manage to visit all destinations and come back in time? One should also remember that you can always meet with an obstacle. So you should better not plan for your last day to go on a long returning journey. Because if your car breaks or you are stuck in traffic, you can not make it in time for embarking the ship. To get started we created a table and calculated the distances. This is super useful, because you can always see your next stops at a glance and can cancel a stop if necessary:yimg-1112521128-1-548682915
  4. Simply create a schedule when you want to be where. That way you always know at what time to check-out of the hotel, where you want to taste the delicious cake in the afternoon and at what time you should reach the Keys for a spectacular sunset. You can also write down the telephone number of hotels and restaurants, so that you can call if you can not find the way there or you will arrive late. We have simply created a word document:
    20150905_143613
  5. The best you can do is to rent a car in Florida in order to be very flexible. You can salways stop to take great pictures and stop by a nice diner to take a bite.
  6. Yes! We recommend to rent a car already at the airport. We rented a car for the whole week from the time we arrived at the airport until we reached our last hotel close to the port.
  7. We booked all hotels in advance, because we wanted to plan a fixed route. That is not quite flexible, but you do not have to search for a hotel and loose time. That way we always had a nice room to sleep at night and had to stick to the plan. This gaves a little more security in a completely foreign environment. Additionally, you can benefit from the early bird prices and discounts.
  8. Before planning your trip you should set your budget. You do not want to be financially ruined when returning home. After prebooking hotels and renting a car in advance you should know quite exactly what your trip costs. Also start planning your activities! You want to swim with dolphins? Then check out the internet for prices. If you want to go shopping, set your maximum budget like 400 Dollars. You better set a high budget, so you do not get upset or spend too much unwillingly. The same procedure with choosing restaurants. Check out prices online and figure out your overall costs.
  9. Yes, Club memberships are great! Especially on a trip to America. Here there are some memberships which can help you save money: VIP Shopper Club, the Marriott Rewards program or the ADAC membership for cheap car rental rates with full insurance coverage.
  10. Our MUST- DOs were to eat an original key lime pie in Key West, go shopping at an American outlet, get a hotel room with beach-view in Miami and of course to swim with dolphins!

 

Do you have tips for a trip to Florida? Leave a comment!

1 Comment

  1. Anna Schmitt says:

    Vielen Dank für Eure tollen und wertvollen Tipps!
    Wir sind durch unseren lieben Freunde mit dem Kreuzfahrtfieber angesteckt worden und sind seitdem ebenfalls begeisterte Kreuzfahrer. Nächsten Sommer fahren wir mit der Norwegian Gem und werden gerne hier berichten bzw. unsere Erfahrungen teilen.

    Wir freuen uns auf weitere tolle Tipps und Anregungen von Euch.

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