The first site I tried, on recommendation from a coworker, was GMGTrans. Apparently they do bus service mainly for college students but it's open to anyone and a good $25 cheaper than greyhound. The ride I wanted to book showed 11 seats available, but absolutely no information on where they pick people up. I tried to call the number provided on the site. The first number given was for emergencies and apparently only to be used by drivers, with a message stating this in the most long winded way possible (a good 3 minutes of talking to give the information I gave in six words). The second number was only available during business hours, m-f 10-4, despite being a strictly weekend service offered. I finally found where their pickup area was on the website under "contact us" (?!?) And decided to book a trip. The website showed eleven available seats. 6 hours after booking I receive an e-mail telling me no seats are available. Ok, it's after college spring break and its a student centered bus service to Gainesville so this wasn't terribly shocking. However, when I looked at their website the next day it still showed eleven seats available, and still showed them available an hour before the bus was set to leave (I had to check for the sake of curiosity). The website mentioned something about standby seating but it wasn't worth the risk to me, and I also noted that their front page had been modified and showed a completely different pickup location than the one that was still under "Contact Us". Both were mile markers on the FL turnpike (service plazas) about 15 miles away from eachother, which could really ruin someones plans if they guessed the wrong one.
So I decided to book Greyhound. The first leg was from Fort Lauderdale to Orlando on one of the highly advertised superawesomelynew busses with plugs and wifi. On arrival to Orlando I discovered that the only available smoking area was in front of the station and they had security checking bagsof people entering (which they didn't have at any of the other stations we stopped at which, to me, meant that so long as you stayed in the station the security check was a little pointless). I had an hour to kill and no contraband so no big deal anyways. On my way back in I got in line for the security check, I told the officer that the zippers on my backpack were tricky and opened them for her and requested that she not shut them for me. My other bag was an open top beach bag style so no issues, but the backpack was actually the last christmas gift my grandma had given me. It was a hilariously tacky Ed Hardy she had gotten on clearance at Marshalls (she knew I loved my EH hat and there was definite thought put into it) that had developed massive sentimental value for me so despite the ridonkulous amount of sequins and wonky zippers I loved it. She did the check, told me I should have named the CDs floating around in it as potential "sharp objects" (I foolishly thought a thick plastic rounded edge wouldn't be hazardous at all) and started to roughtly close the zippers. I stepped off the check mat and asked her to leave them open and reached towards the bag and she loudly ordered me back to the mat and to keep my hands down. I then got louder and said "do not touch those zippers, please!" to which she replied "is there a problem". I replied "only if 'please don't touch the zippers' is so truly baffling a request" and she said "sir, I don't appreciate your attitude" and I replied "unless bad attitude is on that list under drugs, alcohol, and weapons I frankly don't give a damn, now can I please finish up here so I can fix my backpack that you decided to manhandle?!?". She did the metal wand on my front and back, checked that I had a belt buckle, and then said "that jacket is a little big on you, don't you think?". I replied "you're job is to check bags and apparently ignore simple requests rather than comment on riders fashion choices, don't you think?" (and with the massive camel toe she was sporting, I imagine she could have used a little bagginess in her life tbqh). I went on into the station, ended up chatting with the bus driver and securing a good seat by sheer luck, and then the guard came by and told my driver "watch out he's a trouble maker", but the driver laughed when I just rolled my eyes at her so no harm done. When we boarded the bus it smelled...odd, and had no plugs or wifi and was obviously an older model bus, but I'm sure there's some caveat on their website about not all buses offering these amenities, but with how extensively they advertise it it's misleading at the very least and I felt so bad for the people stuck on that ass scented transport until Texas!
I have emailed both GMG and Greyhound yesterday and have yet to receive a response. Shocker.
Edited bc I booked a bus seat and not an entire city...