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We are going on the Caribbean Princess in July. We had a nightmare happen to us on our honeymoon cruise 3 years ago (A hurricane canceled our lay over flight in Houston). Needless to say we are going a day early this time! We are not paying for Princess transfers. What are some of the closest hotels to the pier that have a pool?
What is the taxi cost from hotel to Pier? Final question how early can we get on the ship?
We stayed at three different hotels going to and from our cruise. First, the Radisson Bahia Mar, which was nice enough. Second, the Hyatt Pier 66 which was excellent. . .lovely pool, get a room in the Lanai section to be in an area that looks just like an Hawaiian Resort. Third, the Marriott Ft. Lauderdale Marina, which had the comfiest beds (pillow tops), also ask for a Lanai room to be close to the pool. The pool at the Hyatt is better but the beds at the Marriott are better. At all of the places you are a captive audience so plan to either spend a lot on meals or go for a short walk to find something to eat. The Marriott is close to a number of grocery stores and restaurants, walking distance easy. The Radisson is also close to the beach area where there are many types of eating establishments. The Hyatt is probably the most remote, in terms of close by things.
We were in line at 11:15 a.m. They opened the doors at 12:00 noon sharp and we were in our room about 15 minutes after that. The line will be long but it moves very fast after they open the door.
Cab to the Pier is quite inexpensive ($5-7 plus tip) but be forewarned that some of the cabbies (Haitian particularly) have big attitudes about the fares. . .the one who took us from the ship to the Hyatt was so mad he was trying to cajole us into paying him $40 because we were going a short distance and he could have had an airport fare. (He literally grabbed our bags from the porter so too bad.)
We were advised by hotel staff that if we were going a short distance not to say so until we were in the cab and then not to tip unless the cabbie was pleasant. The last one was, a very nice guy, and he got the big tip.
Going a day before the cruise departs is wish indeed. We have always done this since we have to fly from the west coast and have to overcome the time change in addition to not wanting to fly the red-eye.
We stayed at the Marriot Ft.Lauderdale Marina last time and I can recommend it without reservation. It has very nice rooms and pool, a free shuttle to the ship, and if you get a room on the south side you can even see the ships in port. You can walk 2-3 blocks east from the Marriot and reach a Publix market or an Eckard drug store as well as places to eat. Be sure to check out the Marriot web site for photos of the hotel to see the pool. I think we got an excellent deal for this hotel on priceline, $66 per room (plus tax). The best price I could find online was $198.
From the airport it was a $10.25 cab fare to the hotel and after the cruise a $8.50 cab fare back to the airport.
There was NO line at all when we went to board the ship at 12:15pm.
if there's a way to construe my post as non-argumentative, please do so.</font>
Cruise photos on my Home page <font color="990066">
Spring Break was on the Grand Princess </font>21, March 2004
So when is the next cruise?
Priceline sounds like a great way to go! I just checked it out and how in the world do you know which area and what is the star rating on the hotel?
I've done hotwire before for the hyatt in Maui, but haven't done Priceline!
Good idea to go a day ahead, that's the smart way to do it.
In Fort Lauderdale if you want a nice hotel that's close, the Wyndham at the airport is a nice hotel which offers free shuttle service from the airport to the hotel and then around the area. This is nice if you need to pick up some last minute things; they'll take you shopping.
If its the beach you're after I'd suggest the Sheraton Yankee Clipper or her sister hotel down the street the Sheraton Yankee Trader. They Hyatt Pier 66 is also a winner.
All these can be bought through Priceline.com with a little planning and study of BiddingforTravel.com or the help of Amber (cc member)on Biddingfun.com
A cab ride to any of the beach hotels can be had for $8 per person using Castro's Limo Service who caters exclusively to higher end cruise passengers in their custom Ford Excursions
Like noted above, we entered the terminal at Noon and were onboard by 12:15. Very easy
We stayed at the Wyndham Airport before our last cruise. I tried bidding for the downtown area but was not successful. Our flight did not get to FLL until mid-afternoon, so we did not have time to do much there. We did enjoy the pool area and hot tub. There was a gas station/convenience store within walking distance so I was able to buy a 12-pack of Diet Coke. We ate a nice supper at the hotel.
We stayed at the Sheraton Yankee Clipper after our cruise. It was nice to be on the beach--but a little cool that day.
On a previous cruise, we stayed at the Marriott Marina. It's my personal favorite of the three hotels.
We have stayed at Embassy Suites and are staying there again this year. Rates are reasonable - I like the two room concept. There is free transport from the airport and free transport to the pier. Full breakfast also included - not just pastries - full made to order so is a great way to start your cruise.
We love the Hyatt Pier 66. I highly recommend getting a tower room overlooking the port. There is also a nice revolving lounge with an outdoor viewing platform that is ideal for watching the ships sailaway at 5pm the night before your cruise! Awesome!
Another nice thing about the Embassey Suites is that they are right next to a large shopping plaza with all kinds of restaurants and other stores and diagonally across from another with the Publix and Eckerds Drug Store.
Going the other way, across from the Embassey Parking lot is a Mexican restaurant and an Outback.
It is a great area. If you are driving, the Amerisuites would be good too as they also have a free shuttle to the pier, a good breakfast but not cooked to order like the Embassey but they have free parking for your car during your cruise.
Can you bid for two rooms on Hotwire/priceline? Also, is now too soon to get good inexpensive rates for August 2004 (we are going on the Caribbean Princess August 21 sailing).
Caribbean Princess 08/21/2004
Dawn Princess Repositioning Pacific Coastal Cruise 05/07/2004
Carnival Ecstasy January 2004
Carnival Ecstasy April 2003
Star Princess (Mexican Riviera) Christmas 2002
Royal Caribbean January 2000
NCL Windstar(Alaska) August 1995
Lisa, its not too soon to bid on priceline for August -- a few weeks ago I got a room on priceline for a Nov.2004 cruise leaving from Ft. Lauderdale. I wanted Marriott Marina (a 3 * I think), but since you don't get to actually pick what you want, Priceline gave me an "upgrade" to the Renaissance (a 4 *) I think we are paying around $70, which is about right for that hotel especially around Thanksgiving when there are alot of cruises. If I had just booked the same room, even with a AAA discount I think it was about $175, so I was pleased. I agree with above poster - check out biddingfortravel.com for all the scoop on whether you can get two rooms, what othere see as winning bids for August, etc. Hope this helps, Jolinda
Summit, November 2002
Brilliance, March 2003
Serenade, August 2003
Suggestion of a place NOT to stay - the Best Western Inn and Yacht Harbor. I'm still trying to figure out if that yacht docked across the parking lot was the harbor? Anyway, it's not much better than a Motel 6 - although it is inexpensive and you get a great view of the Princess pier and your ship in the morning. Still, my TA made a mistake with that one.
The grounds of the Hyatt look beautiful...the Marriot is nice too - I'd pick either of those.
Sun Princess, 03/2004; Pacific Princess, 07/2003; Star Princess, 05/2003; Grand Princess, 10/2002; Grand Princess, 10/2002; Sun Princess, 05/2001; Sun Princess, 04/2001; Sun Princess, 09/2000; Sun Princess, 09/2000; Regal Princess, 10/1999; Sun Princess, 08/1998; Holiday, 05/1998; Westerdam, 09/1997; Regal Princess, 11/1996; Royal Odyssey, 09/1995; Starward, 11/1993
I too vote for Embassy Suites. Got it for $64 last December on Priceline. Free to and from transport, and an awesome pool area. Shopping for whatever, and lots of restaurants within two blocks of the front door. And don't forget free happy hour from 5pm until 7pm, all the beer or wine you want, with snacks!