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Florida Guide > Travelling

We have flown across the Atlantic in an Airbus 330 from London Gatwick to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, and thence to Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport with US Airways, en route for a special birthday treat – a Caribbean cruise.

September 3rd, 2010 Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport 18. 30 Local

Our 737 aircraft has landed at Fort Lauderdale and we have to collect our luggage before picking up our hire car. We reach the baggage reclaim and look on the monitors to see which carousel our suitcases will arrive on. People are already waiting and it is not long before the carousel starts to turn. In Charlotte we had a long wait for our suitcases, but to our relief we soon spot our highly coloured luggage straps in the distance. We haul the suitcases off the carousel and onto a trolley before looking for signs to the exit. We are feeling a bit weary but the sight of the sunshine outside lifts our spirits and we get our second wind.

We push the trolley through the terminal and out of the door, where we must pick up a shuttle to the car hire building. At Fort Lauderdale there is a separate car hire facility where all the rental companies have desks. The shuttle is waiting and helpful hands load our suitcases so that we can sink gratefully into the seats. With everyone loaded and the shuttle full to overflowing the vehicle moves away and cruises slowly past the various terminals. There is a 20 mph speed limit, and the shuttle is sticking to it.

At last we arrive at the car hire building and find the elevator to the correct floor. We have no trolley so must trundle the suitcases and our hand luggage so Paul takes the larger ones and I pull the two small ‘wheelies. ’ We reach the desk and with a sense of relief find there is no queue. The agent is friendly and helpful and we are soon walking towards our hire car which is waiting in the garage through a door at the end of the car hire building. We booked a compact car but have been upgraded to an intermediate, which is brilliant. The car, a white Hyundai, has plenty of room for our luggage, which is quickly stowed. We are feeling quite weary by now and can’t wait to get to our hotel, where we have two days before we embark on Celebrity Solstice for our Caribbean cruise to St Juan, St Thomas and St Maarten.

With directions to the hotel in my hand we drive out of the car park and onto the road. The sun is shining and we are delighted to be back in sunny Florida. We can feel the warmth through the windscreen, and, having left a chilly England it is lovely to be driving in the sunshine – we are already feeling relaxed.

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Page added on: 15 July 2011
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