You are not giving us enough information. We don't even know when your cruise is. But to help as much as is generally possible....find out what time your fight is, add 10 & a half hours to allow you time to fly, go though customs and reach your hotel. Take off 5 hours for time difference. Now add one hour to settle in. You should now know what time you are free from. Normally you will have time to go out for a meal, even on some occasions go to a mall but that's often pushing it. Go to bed as late as you can but you will still be awake wondering where you can get a coffee at 4am. If breakfast is included in your deal take it otherwise go out to a diner for an American breakfast then saunter back to the hotel where the transit bus should take you to the dock from 10-30 on, but you will have been notified of the exact time or get a taxi to the docks and be onboard earlier than the rest. To do all this you will need to study your times and your hotel position and find out where the best restaurants are and diners and how far and how much to the docks. It's all part of the fun of cruising and to be relaxed and enjoy every minute. Now spend some leisure time on the net and get information, there's nothing like good knowledge ....regards Nei.
We had a stop over at hotel in Miami near the airport as part of our package. We arrived late afternoon and had enough time to get cab down to Miami beach and have something to eat, our kids also wanted to go and see where Miami Ink was filmed. From previous experience we didnt not use the shuttle bus the following day to take us to Fort Lauderdale to board the ship, we pre-booked a taxi from the hotel to pick us up at 10.30, took us just 45 mins to get there, had a small wait but were on deck by 12.00. Much better than waiting with a lot of people and then queing in the heat to get on the bus at the hotel. We paid approx $25 each and it was well worth it. We were sat in the waiting room with all the americans waiting to get on. Get hotel to book it for you when you arrive.
We intend to do the same and get a private transfer as with 2 young girls nothing is worse than waiting with lots of others, getting pushed and pulled. Was this a private taxi you had that was run by a local firm or shared with others as it seems in reading. I just wanted to get in a cab like in UK for just us and go straight there and like you say be on board nice and early! We go on Emerald Princess 31/10/08 so girls excited now.
We booked the taxi via the hotel when we arrived. They rang the taxi company they regularly use and confirmed the exact pick up time and also how many cases we had (there were 8 of us travlling together so they sent us a small mini bus). We had to pay a small deposit it but it was well worth it. If i remember correctly taxi came at about 10.00 in case traffic was bad. left all the other passenger just hanging around the hotel waiting for the coaches (I think about 10 were due at noon). Yhere were no taxi' waiting at the hotel so you must pre book when you arrive. You will have a wonderful time, it is a beautiful ship with excellent staff. Just very disorganized when we left the ship and had to get coaches back to the airport .