This is our first time arriving two days early so we actually have a full day to enjoy ourselves before the cruise. On the one hand it would be nice to stay in the Miami area with just a short taxi ride to the port but on the other hand the Fort Lauderdale options sound more fun. We need clean and safe and quiet enough to sleep at night with good beds and pillows. If we stay in FLL needs to be in one of the shuttle to Miami pickup zones or we'll take taxi back to the airport and shuttle from there.
For some reason the Riverside appeals to me (classic double queen) - love it being on the water and the water taxi being right there. The four of us can stay two nights for around $450 for lodging. Looks like there are places you could walk to in the evening and have a drink and bite to eat. Not sure if the Riverside is "fancy" and if we'd feel out of place not dressed up.
Best Western Plus Oceanside is approximately $420 and includes breakfast. Location looks ok and fact that we wouldn't have to pay for breakfast is nice but I just don't know about the area.
If Embassy Suites cost less (now around $545) it would be an option but I don't think we'd drink enough at happy hour to make up the difference.
Also thought about a very small hotel/motel that is being renovated. Just under $300 ... no pool, no breakfast but new beds etc. It's near Casablanca Cafe, beach across the street.
Any thoughts or recommendations?
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Also Booked: NCL Bliss 9-30-2018, NCL Gem 10-8-2018