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  1. Default West Haven CT to Port Canaveral Florida Road Trip - 95 or 78 81 77 95

    We are planning a 2 day road trip from West Haven, CT to Port Canaveral in Florida to get onto a cruise. We want to cover as much distance as possible on Day 1 so that after 2-4 hours of driving on Day 2, we arrive somewhat fresh for the cruise.

    We intend to start Wednesday between 6am and 7am and hope to finish Day 1 somewhere between Savannah, GA or Jacksonville, FL, depending on how far we are able to go before we need to crash in for the night. The next day we will drive in the AM and get onto the cruise by noon. Except for the pit stops for food, fuel, restrooms, we don't plan on stopping anywhere for extended period of time.

    The shortest route is I-95 S. Will it be the fastest? Some have suggested we take Tappan Zee instead of George Washington bridge. Will that make a difference around 8am? I am sure we will hit some traffic in NY/NJ but that is ok if we can make up time rest of the trip. We will be passing DC around noon, when there should be little traffic, and folks say the rest of the drive is usually smooth. Is that really the case or should I take any other detours?

    An alternative folks have recommended is 78W-81S-77S-95S. But that is already 100 miles of extra driving and if I hit traffic on that route, it will only add to the driving time. Will it really be faster than 95S on a weekday?

    Which of the above routes is recommended?

    We will be driving back from Port Canaveral on a Sunday. We are starting 8am and plan to drive as much as possible until we are tired. I am guessing 95N on a Sunday is better than going 81N? Please advise.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    I'm sorry, but you are calling it way too close trying to make that 1200 mile drive in a day and a half no matter what route you take. It's a push, but it can safely be done in 2 full days. I'd advise you to leave no later than noon the day before and spend 2 nights on the road - or fly instead of drive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default What if.....

    If I were meeting up with a cruise ship, I would plan to be there hours before boarding. Cruise ships don't wait for anyone. You have not even left a buffer for a flat tyre, unexpected car problems (they happen to the newest of cars) or even an accident up ahead. All of which can delay you for hours.

    Lifey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Lifey makes a real good point. If I were either flying or driving to go on a cruise, I'd plan on getting to a hotel at or near the port the evening before sailing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    We want to cover as much distance as possible on Day 1 so that after 2-4 hours of driving on Day 2, we arrive somewhat fresh for the cruise.
    This is a 1200 mile trip you are contemplating. Let's say you leave "4 hours of driving on day 2", that's about 225 miles. 1200 - 225 = 975 miles to drive. Commercial truckers are only allowed to drive 10 hours, or 600 miles, in one day. That means you'd have to cover another 375 miles, another 6 hours, the day before. 10+6=16 hours. Get stuck in traffic? Add time. Have a flat tire, or break a belt, or burn out an alternator? Loss of time, you miss your cruise.

    I'd advise taking an extra day off to be able to drive. And, btw, I'd recommend 78/81/77/95. We've driven that, and my husband's driven straight 95. The latter? No thanks.


    Donna

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Follow Donna's advice - take I-95 to Milford, then cross over to the Merritt Parkway. Take that to I-287 over the Tappan Zee and stay on 287 around the west NJ burbs to I-78.

  7. Default Taking a Flight

    Thanks so much for the feedback. After re-thinking about drive times, we decided to shop around for flights and got a good deal from LGA. I will keep in mind the suggestions for the next time though.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Very wise choice in my opinion. For the next time, allocate a lot more time and make it an enjoyable road trip! There's a lot to see and do up and down the east coast, both inland and along the shore.

  9. Default Day/Evening in Miami and Day Trip on Overseas Highway

    Apologies in advance if Day 1 question is not relevant to the forum but definitely looking for suggestions for Day 2!

    After coming back from a cruise - we (wife, 4 yr son, me) will have little less than 2 days to spend in the Miami area before our return flight. I am looking for advice for free or inexpensive activities to while away our time:

    Day1:
    We will be driving our rental car from Port Canaveral to the Miami area so will have an afternoon and evening to spend in Miami before checking into a hotel. We could also check in first if hotel is close by to places that are recommended. Can someone suggest safe places to check out around Downtown Miami etc? We are looking for fun/culture and interesting places to "hang out" without spending too much money except for food and parking. Something on the lines of Fanneiul Hall area in Boston or the Pier in SFO or Chicago for example....Any recommendations?

    Day 2:
    On the second day we plan to take a drive on the Overseas Highway. I heard it is beautiful, but I definitely will not have time to go all the way to Key West because I have a 8pm flight from FLL so have to be back by 5pm or so. What's the least distance from the Miami we have to drive on the highway and can still take in the beauty of the "drive"? Are there any mile markers or towns at least to which we should try and drive to before heading back, let's say after lunch?

    Finally, if it makes it any easier to suggest what we are looking for, we are already planning a trip to Everglades the day before our cruise. We are vegetarians and also we do not drink, so suggestions like seafood, etc will not work for us. :(

    Looking forward to your feedback, thanks!

    Mod note ] Please keep all questions connected to this trip in this thread. Thankyou.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 02-13-2014 at 10:03 AM. Reason: Merged threads.

  10. Default

    Not sure why this got moved. The original trip was from West Haven to CT. While my new question was about drive within Florida and will be useful to other members as well. I think it warrants its own thread.

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