Post # 1
I need help. I’m so upset. Let me give you the lowdown.
My fiance is an officer in the Marine Corps. He was deployed in March to Afghanistan for a year. He gets to come back to the states for 15 days in August. I am SO excited. A family ‘friend’ offered his house in Fort Myers for us to stay and we booked a 7 day cruise to the Caribbean out of Tampa. It seems that it was going to work out perfect.
WRONG. I just got an email from the family friend that said he changed his mind about that house and that he didn’t want to let us stay because apparently then he’d have to offer it to other friends, blah blah blah. So now we have a cruise booked out of Tampa and NO WHERE to stay for the 5 days before we cruise and the 3 days after. I don’t want to book a hotel for 8 days and spend a fortune and vacation rentals are still pretty steep considering we didn’t even budget for this.
I am so frustrated, upset and panicked. Does anyone in the FL area have a home or condo they would be willing to rent out at a very reasonable price? OR has anyone ever changed their cruise port and itinerary? If so how much does that cost?
Please, any advice would be helpful! Thank you
Post # 3
I don’t understand. Can’t you just stay at home together and then drive/fly out to Tampa for the cruise?
If for some reason you can’t, check craigslist. I know there are websites out there for vacation/house rentals… hopefully someone knows what they are.
Post # 4
What a jerk! That’s not a nice thing to do! What if you promise not to tell anyone?! Sorry you’re going through this, and I’m sorrier I can’t help. I can just offer ((hugs)).
Post # 5
Wow – that sucks. I would first email the family “friend” and say that you understand his predicament, but that you booked a cruise out of Tampa based on being able to stay at the house and ask if he knows of any inexpensive accomodations that were available in the vicinity.
Maybe that will guilt him into letting you stay there 🙂
Post # 6
Can you find a campground? Often camping or staying in cabins can be a cheap alternative. If not, I would try to convince the friend to change his mind and promise not to tell anyone he let you stay.
Post # 7
I agree with goldilocks! Tell this friend (in a very friendly way, of course) what the situation is. Is it at all possible that he’ll change his mind when he is informed of what he’s done? I think a nice person would.
Post # 8
I live in Minnesota and he’s in Afghanistan. We were going to meet in Fort Myers. He gets one flight back from the military. So that’s why we wanted to meet in Florida stay there, cruise then I go back to MN and he leaves back to Afghanistan.
Does that make sense?
Post # 9
I wish I could tell this “friend” what kind of situation he’s put is in BUT it’s sort of complicated and one of my parent’s job would be directly involved so she would rather me not put her in an awkward situation.
UGH! I know what a jerk! Keep the ideas coming. Thanks ladies.
Post # 10
I am not sure where you live, but there are a lot of military bases in FL. Pensacola, Eglin AFB, NAS Jax, NS Mayport, etc etc etc….have you thought about staying at one of those bases in the Navy lodge, or whatever the Army and other branches call their base ‘lodges’)? From any of those places you are only a couple of hour drive from Tampa. They are also pretty cheap. Heck, even Orlando and the Shades of Green resort at Disney might be a relatively cheap option if you want to stay in Florida.
Worst case scenario you end up paying more for a hotel in Tampa the night before you leave and the night you come back but get to stay at base lodging for a fraction of the cost the rest of the time.
Double bonus, staying at/near a military base means you are near places that offer great military discounts when it comes to attractions and eating out.
Post # 11
Do you know anyone who has a timeshare? A family friend has one and for mid-week stays you can sometimes buy las minute bonus time and get cheap accomodations. Good luck!
Post # 12
Oooo yes I never thought of trying a military base hotel. Great idea-thank you.
Unfortunately I don’t know of any family or other friends that have timeshares in the ares so that’s out 🙁
Post # 13
Some hotels have steep military discounts, so maybe contact the nearest officers association or officer’s wives club and see what they can tell you? My friend is active duty army, and got a fabulous hotel in downtown nyc for really cheap because the manager was former military. Also, look into vrbo.com or homeaway.com for people looking to rent condos or apartments – sometimes they’re surprisingly cheap! Good luck!
Post # 14
Oh yeah! No matter what you do ask if they have a military/government rate! Heck, this goes for anywhere and with everything! A lot of places have military discounts but you need to ask for it. 🙂
Post # 15
I second Penguingal – The Navy Lodge is your best choice if you can’t get help from friends or family.
The closest to Tampa is Jacksonville and Mayport (both are in Jacksonville, FL), about 3.5 hours from Tampa. All active duty and families are eligible to stay. Rooms average $60-65 a night. Also, you can often get discounts for car rentals in Jax, because the city has such a large military presence. Mayport is right on the water – I haven’t stayed there, but I’m sure it’s nice. I’ve stayed at Navy Lodges many times (I was a Navy brat, and in the Navy myself), and they’re quality places – clean, convenient – they even have kitchenettes in most of them.
I know it’s no fun having to pay for something you thought was going to be free, but if you’re stuck, I think the Lodge is absolutely your best choice.
Post # 16
Sometimes people rent out their vacation homes when they are not staying in them. My guess would be that FL has many vacation homes, maybe you could find one to rent out for fairly cheap. Otherwise, I’d start saving up for the hotel room. If he pays for 4 nights, and you pay for 4 nights, maybe you could swing it? Also, if you have AAA, you can usually get some fantastic rates. I’m guessing it would be worth is to see your honey!