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Hotel suggestions for Tampa


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airlink diva - I have stayed at this hotel a couple of times. It's nice and quiet out there. Safe too. The hotel sits right on the water. Continetal breakfast is very good (I love the hot cinnamon buns they have). Everything was clean and well kept there. You can walk across the parking lot to the Bahama Breeze Restaurant, which is a really good place to eat. They have an airport shuttle. You will probably have to take a taxi to the port, which could cost you $25-$30.

 

mommyto2girls - Nobody that responds to this thread has ever said anything bad about the Embassy Suites on Westshore. As noted just above, folks have actually liked it. I think some of the people who write critiques on Trip Advisor are just too picky. Some people are never satisfied with anything. People have also responded that they liked the Double Tree on W. Cypress, and that's covered up the thread a ways.

 

Ken

Thanks, Ken, I going to book right now!!

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Our cruise is Saturday 3/11 and we plan to arrive in Tampa on Friday. I think if I leave home at 6 a.m. I can make it there by 3:30 p.m.

 

Will I be early enough to get thru town to Sailport Waterfront Suites, 2506 Rocky Point Drive 33607 before rush hour?

 

I know it is a quiet area. That's one of the reason I picked it, figuring it would be safe. I've read there are only 2 restaurants in the vecinity, but since there's a kitchen in each unit, we can always cook.

 

The resort has shuttle service to something called the port (but not the cruise port). Is this something worth doing that afternoon? Thanks

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Phyllis, I really don't understand your questions. If you plan to arrive by 3:30 yes you will beat rush hour, which almost everywhere starts around 4. Are you coming in on 19 or 75?

 

Since you have a car, you can easily travel to nearby areas loaded with every kind of restaurant, Spruce St, either of the Malls, or Dale Mabry. I am not aware of any area other than the cruise port on Channelside Drive that would be referred to as the port. And again, why wouldn't you want to drive your own car? I can understand you don't plan to park at the port for your cruise, but for all other sightseeing????

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With our mini-suite, we should have embarkation priviledges. In any case, one our first (and only other) cruise, we arrived early and found that there were tours of the ship available. So, I expect that we'll be early.

 

We'll be arriving by plane and have no car. If we were to go over to Ybor City, we'd need to get a cab or a shuttle. I trust the hotel will have arrangements.

 

Selmon's sounds like serious barbeque. I hope they have spicy. Most have sweet barbeque these days. I missed by annual trip to Gatlinburg this year (with barbeque every day).

 

from a previous post, I noticed that there is a couple of Cuban restaurants around. I guess I can get my fix of Cuban coffee.

 

mark

 

mark1 - As for the time to show up at the ship, I agree with Jessemon. We have been on the Veendam from Tampa, and DW has been on it 2x with her mother. You could get into the terminal earlier, probably as early as 10:30-11:00, but getting there a little later like Jessemon said is a good idea too. If you get there a little later, the huge crowd that gets there very early (as if they think someone else may be able to get on the ship before them or something...:rolleyes: ), will have already boarded. So, you can waltz right in, go to the counter, check in, and walk on the ship. No sense in dealing with the crowd and lines. There's something to be said for showing up with the boarding passengers are down to a trickle. They won't give your cabin to someone else if you wait until 12:30 to 1PM to board, and there will still be plenty of food left in the lido (despite what some folks seem to think:) ).

 

As for the Hilton Westshore: There are some good places to eat in walking distance. LeRoy Selmons BBQ (That's LeRoy Selmon, as in Tampa Bay Bucs years ago), Flemings Prime Steakhouse, and Roy's. Those are all Outback Steakhouse Corp. concepts. Great places to eat. Across the street (a busy divided highway), is the International Plaza Mall. It's upscale, and very nice. Huge too. In an area behind the mall is an area with some nice restaurants, including the Cheesecake Factory (you might need a cargo van to take you back to the hotel when you leave there).

Going down to the Port of Tampa could be fun. You could go down to the Channelside District shopping complex for some light shopping and restaurants. The FL Aquarium is next door. The street cars run by Channelside, so you could take one down to Ybor City and scout around there too. The Centro Ybor complex is nice, with movies and fun things to do, and restaurants, etc. It all depends on your mode of transportation.

If any other questions, just ask.

 

Ken

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Hey Ken,

Did you notice the home page of CC today? Tampa mini vacation. They had an area in the subject matter (about posts & threads on Tampa) and the biggest thread on that subject...that you help so many people with...WAS NOT THERE...:eek:

I think someone should contact Laura S. about this.

Out of all the hotels pre and post cruise...this is the largest.

Jeff

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Jessemon - I just checked that out. It seems they linked to the U.S. page on the Ports of Call board, instead of the "Hotels- Pre & Post-Cruise" board. The are missing a lot by not linking to this thread. Maybe they didn't link to this because it conflicts with some of the stuff posted? Perhaps we haven't discussed some of the places noted on the promotional page, and they are promoting that as a travel agent thing? Who knows...

 

I don't know how to contact the host as you mentioned. Never tried it before. If you know how, and would like to do so, please feel free to do it.

 

Thanks for the info.

 

Ken

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mark1 - Now you've went and got me started! We must think alike. I never get tired of BBQ. I like various types. South Carolina style (like Maurice's Gormet BBQ in Columbia, SC) is great. Sonny's isn't shabby. Sometimes I plan road trips with Sonny's in mind. I'm sure my manager see's it on my expense accounts and laughs at it. I've had Memphis style too, lovely. As for Selmons, it's on the sweet side. It's very good though, and a really nice place.

 

If you want something different, where lots of locals go, try Jimbo's Real Pit BBQ at 4103 W. Kennedy Blvd, Tampa. It's sometimes hard to get a place to park at lunch. When our Tampa office was closer, we used to eat there every Friday. Some of the best sliced pork and ribs I've ever had. The sauce is very good, and kind of thin. It's not sweet. Just right for my taste. I've been eating at that place for many years, as well as it's sister location here in Lakeland, where I live.

 

On Dale Mabry Highway, S. of Kennedy Blvd (I don't know the street number, but it's not too far S.), is Fred Flemings Famous BBQ. This is great too.

 

Is there such a thing as BAD BBQ? I don't think so, unless it's burnt.

 

I know of another little BBQ joint out in the E side of Tampa on 40th St. just N. of Hillsborough Avenue - Big John's Alabama BBQ. It's ran by an African-American family. The patriarch, John Stevens, died years ago, and (as far as I know), the kids still run the place. It's a small place, nothing facing at all. The parking lot is dirt. But the pork, beef, and ribs are great. They make their own sauce. They have spicy sauce too. I remember a gentleman ordering the spicy sauce one day (he was ahead of me in line), Big John Stevens asked him twice if he really wanted the hot sauce. The man said yes. From the looks of things, I think he messed up. :) I haven't been there in hears. When I was in law enforcement, they gave us 50% off the price, and they loved police types. They would take a large 5" hamburger bun, get a big hunk of BBQ port off of the pit, slice off a big amount, then chop it up and pile it on the bun until it fell off the sides on the wrapping paper, put a big gob of sauce on top, then the top bun. We would have to hold it over the table to eat it, while little bits of meat would fall out. I just made myself awful hungry for this stuff!:rolleyes:

 

Enjoy.

 

Ken

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Jessemon - I just checked that out. It seems they linked to the U.S. page on the Ports of Call board, instead of the "Hotels- Pre & Post-Cruise" board. The are missing a lot by not linking to this thread. Maybe they didn't link to this because it conflicts with some of the stuff posted? Perhaps we haven't discussed some of the places noted on the promotional page, and they are promoting that as a travel agent thing? Who knows...

 

I don't know how to contact the host as you mentioned. Never tried it before. If you know how, and would like to do so, please feel free to do it.

 

Thanks for the info.

 

Ken

Hey Ken,

Sent a message off to Laura S. about the thread.:)

I just send it to LauraS@cruisecritic.com

Speaking of BBQ...did you ever have the Reverends BBQ at Campbell's on Hillsborough (just west of the vet on the south side) before it closed?

Two words...yum-yum...

Jeff

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OK, now we're getting down to it. :) We're likely to be having four meals in Tampa ( 3 meals the day before plus breakfast on the day we're sailing) while staying at the Hilton Westshore with no car. My guess is cuban for a breakfast or lunch and barbeque for dinner, unless we are in Ybor City for dinner, in which case it's Barbeque for lunch.

 

Advice? Remember no car.

 

mark and gretchen

 

 

mark1 - Now you've went and got me started! We must think alike. I never get tired of BBQ. I like various types. South Carolina style (like Maurice's Gormet BBQ in Columbia, SC) is great. Sonny's isn't shabby. Sometimes I plan road trips with Sonny's in mind. I'm sure my manager see's it on my expense accounts and laughs at it. I've had Memphis style too, lovely. As for Selmons, it's on the sweet side. It's very good though, and a really nice place.

 

If you want something different, where lots of locals go, try Jimbo's Real Pit BBQ at 4103 W. Kennedy Blvd, Tampa. It's sometimes hard to get a place to park at lunch. When our Tampa office was closer, we used to eat there every Friday. Some of the best sliced pork and ribs I've ever had. The sauce is very good, and kind of thin. It's not sweet. Just right for my taste. I've been eating at that place for many years, as well as it's sister location here in Lakeland, where I live.

 

On Dale Mabry Highway, S. of Kennedy Blvd (I don't know the street number, but it's not too far S.), is Fred Flemings Famous BBQ. This is great too.

 

Is there such a thing as BAD BBQ? I don't think so, unless it's burnt.

 

I know of another little BBQ joint out in the E side of Tampa on 40th St. just N. of Hillsborough Avenue - Big John's Alabama BBQ. It's ran by an African-American family. The patriarch, John Stevens, died years ago, and (as far as I know), the kids still run the place. It's a small place, nothing facing at all. The parking lot is dirt. But the pork, beef, and ribs are great. They make their own sauce. They have spicy sauce too. I remember a gentleman ordering the spicy sauce one day (he was ahead of me in line), Big John Stevens asked him twice if he really wanted the hot sauce. The man said yes. From the looks of things, I think he messed up. :) I haven't been there in hears. When I was in law enforcement, they gave us 50% off the price, and they loved police types. They would take a large 5" hamburger bun, get a big hunk of BBQ port off of the pit, slice off a big amount, then chop it up and pile it on the bun until it fell off the sides on the wrapping paper, put a big gob of sauce on top, then the top bun. We would have to hold it over the table to eat it, while little bits of meat would fall out. I just made myself awful hungry for this stuff!:rolleyes:

 

Enjoy.

 

Ken

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I understand about no car, but for Cuban, head to La Terrasita on W. Columbus (which is what Spruce turns into as it crosses Dale Mabry). It's probably less than a mile, but I'd take a cab. There's a lunch counter on one side and a sit down restaurant on the other. It's about as authentic and good as it gets for Cuban. Prices are rock bottom. http://roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=259&RefID=259

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Jessemon - No, I missed Campbell's. One of my co-workers and I went up there for lunch one Friday and it had just closed down. I had heard about it, and my co-worker had been there. He had been there lots of time. I was sad, very sad. Thanks for sending the note to Laura.

 

As for the Sailport - It's my least favorite at Rocky Point. I've been in the rooms there too. While I wouldn't consider it a dump, it's not anything fancy or luxurious, or even real modern. Chase Suites, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Double Tree Suites, and Radisson Bay Harbor Inn are all better.

 

Cuban Food - I love that stuff too! LaTerasita is excellent for cuban food. Cuban style roast port, with black beans and yellow rice is my favorite dish. I also have to get a side of platano's (fried ripe plantains- banana's) to go along with it. I also like boliche (roast beef, Cuban style). While there, get a cup of cafe con leche. That's Cuban coffee mixed with hot milk. Or, try some cafe solo - pure Cuban coffee. It will put lead in your pencil.:D A big cup of cafe con leche, and you will be wired for 24 hours, easily. Cafe solo comes in real little cups - you wouldn't want a regular coffee cup of that. If you had a regular cup, you might be awake for 2-3 days, bouncing off of the ceiling.:eek: Here I am hungry again, and it's late. :rolleyes:

 

Ken

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Been reading this site forever!!! What a lot of information. Do I have this right.

I'm traveling to Tampa on 4/7/06. Need a safe area for sure. Trying Priceline, downtown for $60.00 3 star. Never have tried priceline but if I have my facts right, the places will all be acceptable should I win a room.

Now all I have to do is get a flight for less than $500!!!! Have to book Delta and can't seem to find anything less than that.

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Does anyone have knowlegde of the Hyatt Regency Tampa?

Looks like it may be close to Pier & Streetcar.

 

Thank You

char&ski:)

Nice hotel. close to port. My suggestion, if you are going for thaat kind of spend is the Wyndham Harbour Island or the Marriott Waterside.

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The Hyatt Regency is actually in downtown Tampa. If you want a hotel that is closer to the streetcar and the pier I would go with the OP suggestion. The Marriott Waterside is just down the street from the pier and across the street from the streetcar. They Wydham Harbour Island is a short trolley ride (50cents) from the streetcar or a long walk. It is over the bridge from the pier. Both are good choices. The Hyatt is really further from both of your requirements but probably less money.

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Any hotel in the Channelside district or downtown area will be safe. I worked in the area for 12+ years until just recently. I always felt safe even walking by myself after dark. The closest hotels to the port are the Wyndham Harbour, Marriott Waterside. There are others a little further away such as the Hyatt Regency, Marriott Courtyard, Radisson Riverside. Hope this helps.

BTW, where are you flying out of? I can't believe you can 't find anything cheaper than $500. Have a great cruise.

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Just to let everyone know, Embassy Suites is now takng reservations for it's new convention center/downtown & Channelside hotel. Reservations are August 1st and after. This will be across from the convention center and the Channelside Mariott. Close to Channelside/Port of Tampa and trolley system. It will give you all another option.

Hope this helps.

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Well, I'm trying to fly out of Knoxville but there are no flights on Delta that fit the time constraints for less than $450 so far. I'll probably have to drive to Atlanta and fly from there. Yuck. I'm trying to use a credit I have with Delta so that is why I have to use them. I heard they were thinking of striking too...YIKES

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Phyllis - FlashDog 1:

You should read my review of Sailport posted on February 19th bere staying there. We were not pleased at all. Good Luck

 

I just read your review. I called the "resort" today to make sure everything was in order. When I booked with hotels dot com in January I had 3 criteria: free breakfast, free parking during the cruise and free shuttle transportation to the port.

 

We kept getting different rates on my computer, on the hotels dot com agent's computer, and on her supervisor's computer, so the agent called the hotel, spoke to the manager to get the final word before I booked. In looking at my notes it says "free shuttle to port between 7-10 a.m. but have to take a taxi back to the resort after the cruise.

 

Well, today they said there is no note by my reservation indicating I'd get a free shuttle. I called hotels dot com today and they called the resort. The reservations man, Charles, said they USED to have a shuttle, but it was never free (there was always a surcharge), and that the only free shuttles were for people who booked packages just for that.

 

Now I don't really expect to be able to get a free ride, but it's disappointing, isn't it, when you're told one thing, confirming it with the manager, and then 6 weeks later they act as if the service never existed. Said they'd call me a cab!~

 

It's rather late now to change to another hotel, but I'm tempted. I just don't want to put myself thru the hassle the week of the cruise.

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Phyllis - that is exactly some of the nonsense we ran into. Are you staying there pre or post cruise? If it is pre-cruise, a lot of people hang out at the pool waiting for their rooms to be cleaned. Very nice view of the Bay.

FYI: The breakfast is outside - there is no "breakfst room". They have tables and chairs outside of the check-in area and that is where they set up breakfast. They had coffee, donuts, and bagels.

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We will be at Sailport pre-cruise this coming Friday. I think the room will be ready by the time we arrive, since we are driving from Alabama and won't arrive until after 3 p.m. I just wanted a place with a view, that was safe, and it was a plus to have a separate bedroom from the living room. I told my daughter it would be like a time share. Sometimes you get a great time share, modern and new, but sometimes it's an old one that is like a 50s house, serviceable, but different from the way you live at home. That's how I'm expecting Sailport to be! Now i just hope they don't find a way to reneig on the parking!

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