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Florida Departures Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami & Port Canaveral & Tampa
The question comes down to how long you are staying, what your budget is and what you like to do. There is no right answer for this. If there was they would not have so many hotels in so many areas.
If you are there for a couple of nights, not interested in the beach, want to be convenient to the Port, and near a range of restaurants I would look at Hampton Inn, Intercontinental, Marriott Marquis, Marriott Hyatt and Holiday Inn Bayside and Doubletree. I would recommend Hampton Inn for value and because it is near Mary Brickell Village which has a lot of restaurants and other shopping and it includes a nice breakfast.
Still don't want a beach but want convenience of downtown and want to spend more for a more luxurious hotel, consider Four Seasons, Epic Hotel, or Mandarin Oriental (manmade beach).
Want the beach and the nightlife look at hotels in South Beach and Miami Beach. Hundred of choices.
We like the Intercontinental. Its a modern hotel, close to food, and we only use it for 1 night stay. You can get it for a good discount on LastMinTravel from April thu Dec, for around $100-130. Jan- March are high everywhere in S. Florida.
When we cruise out of Miami, we somehow end up flying in the day of. I don't recommend this as you're always risking delayed flights and possibly missing your cruise! This has never happened to my husband and I, but it's just easier to fly in the day before and stay somewhere. In April, we are flying in a day before the April 14th sailing of the Ecstasy. We are staying at the Hampton Inn & Suites - Miami Brickell Downtown. My husband booked it with his Hilton Honors points so it was free. What can be better! It's the #2 hotel for Miami on www.tripadvisor.com. It gets really good reviews for their amazing service, beautiful rooms, wonderful breakfast (FREE) spread every day, and one free drink at happy hour in their bar! They are also in a great location, apparently close to many stores, restaurants, and bars. Also close to pharmacy and grocery store if you need to pick up last minute toiletries or wine/water to bring on the boat. They are also apparently very helpful in arranging taxi's or shuttles to the port. You can take the metro from the airport to the hotel (the stop is a block away from hotel) for a little over $2 pp. Can't beat that!
__________________ Past Cruises
03/2004 - Crown Princess - Western Caribbean (HS Senior Spring Break)
03/2008 - Carnival Conquest - Western Caribbean (College Spring Break)
03/2009 - NCL Spirit - Western Caribbean (College Spring Break)
06/2010 - NCL Gem - Eastern Mediterranean (Honeymoon)
12/2010 - NCL Dawn - Southern Caribbean (Christmas Vacation)
11/2011 - Celebrity Summit - Southern Caribbean (Post-Thanksgiving Vacation)
06/2012 - RCCL Adventure of the Seas - Western Mediterranean (Gift from my Husband!)
11/2012 - Carnival Liberty - Western Caribbean (Thanksgiving Vacation)
07/2013 - Carnival Dream - Southern Caribbean (Husband's Birthday Celebration)
04/2014 - Carnival Ecstasy - Key West + Cozumel (Spring Break)
06/2014 - Carnival Glory - Western Caribbean (Family Vacation w/ Husband + In-Laws)
We are staying at the Embassy Suites. We usually stay at the IC, but we have some birthdays and anniversaries in our group this year and plan on taking full advantage of the Manager's Reception.
Big Red Boat 1999 (Jon) - Nassau
Carnival Triumph March 2002 - San Juan, St. Thomas, St Croix
Carnival Triumph Jan 2005 - San Juan, St Thomas, St Marteen
RCCL Navigator of the Seas Jan 2006 - Labadee, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
Carnival Elation Feb 2007 - Nassau, Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk
RCCL Majesty of the Seas Nov 2007 - Nassau, CocoCay
Carnival Valor Sept 2008 - St Thomas, St Marteen (missed Nassau due to Hurricane Ike)
Carnival Destiny B2B Feb 2009 - Key West, Cozumel/Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, Nassau
Carnival Liberty Oct 2009 - San Juan, St Thomas, Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay
Carnival Destiny B2B2B Sept/Oct 2010 (Platinum) - Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman/Key West, Cozumel/Grand Turk, Nassau (missed Half Moon Cay due to TS Otto)
Carnival Dream - 8/27/11 Nassau, St Thomas, St Martin
Carnival Pride - 4/29/12 Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk and Freeport
RCCL Oasis of the Seas - 10/20/12 Nassau, St Thomas, St Martin (Bouncing with Sandy)
Carnival Pride - 5/5/12 - Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk and Freeport
RCCL Oasis of the Seas - 9/21/13 Nassau, St Thomas, St Martin
Carnival Breeze - 9/7/14 Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
We Have always stayed in South Beach at the W or The Ritz but this year we are flying in 2 days before our Dec 28th cruise and it is just too expensive to stay in South Beach so we are staying downtown at the Courtyard Marriott. We needed a sofa bed for our DS and it is a big room with a fridge and microwave.
Carnival Breeze New Years Cruise 2015
Carnival Breeze New Years Cruise 2014
Carnival Breeze Christmas Cruise 2013
Carnival Victory January 2012
Carnival Dream February 2011
Carnival Destiny February 2010