Fort Lauderdale / Miami Can't Decide Post

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Florida Departures

Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami & Port Canaveral & Tampa
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2,433 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
We are flying from Oregon to Fort Lauderdale Thurs Jan 23rd arriving 5:30pm. We'll be cruising out of Miami on Saturday the 25th on the Norwegian Epic. Having a horrible time making a decision on our hotel. We are two long time married best friend couples in our mid-60's. We will be sharing a room so need either two beds or sofa bed and bed. We are your regular mom and pop people who dress casually and have no interest in the party scene. Don't want to deal with a rental car and parking. Have no problem using public transportation and the Water Taxi and Sun Trolley sound like a fun and inexpensive way to spend a day sightseeing.

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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Karen (and Larry)
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Naples, florida
1,379 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
I think you would like the Riverside Hotel Las Olas. The executive tower rooms are nicer and more spacious. The on site restaurants are nice and not fancy, altho you will see everything in Fort Lauderdale, during the winter season. They also allow dogs so if that bothers you it might not be the best fit. We spent a very nice weekend there over Memorial Day and we are not fancy types, either. The water taxi is about two blocks away. The Sun Trolley goes right by the hotel and is lots of fun. We took a cab to the beach on two days for about $10 but you can also take the trolley. They have beach loungers and umbrellas that are permanently on the Ft Lauderdale beach and rent for $15 per chair and are first come first serve (easier than dragging our beach chairs onto the trolley). I think you would like it. There are a multitude of bars, restaurants, and shops on Las Olas Blvd, within walking distance. It is clean and very safe. We have always stayed on 17th st before a cruise which is where the Embassy Suites are located and I will always stay at the Riverside from now on. Have a wonderful trip!
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Southern California by way of Kentucky
19,606 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Try pricing your hotel dates using the Last Minute Travel Club...they were offering free membership and a July 4th booking sale....I priced the Embassy Suites for our 2 day stay pre-cruise for October ($298.00 inc all taxes) on the Hilton MVP site and found the best price using LMT ($245.00 inc all taxes)....I also believe someone posted about a special Groupon () price on the Riverside Hotel recently...sorry I don't remember the specifics on that post since I already booked ES. Best of luck.
Ft Lauderdale, FL
14,515 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
The Riverside Hotel is in a great location. You don't have to dress up in the hotel. Many of the restaurants in the area are casual (Big City, Mangos, Cheesecake Factory, Noodles Panini,etc.)...women can get away with capris and nice knit tops and men can wear polos with decent shorts or jeans. I've seen men in T-shirts in the restaurants but it isn't necessarily the norm, except during the day on weekends. The beach area is more casual, though people dress up at the hotel restaurants. Best Western is out of the way for going out and seeing the main commercial beach area but it is walkable (just over a mile). Look at Alhambra Beach Resort. It's a casual little inn on the same street as Casablanca and has a pool. Bahia Mar also has good rates, especially if you sign in with your Hilton Hhonors acct at
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