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Hotel suggestions for Tampa


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You folks would be surprised to see what kind of information is already posted on this thread. Even over just the last 4-5 pages. The reason the thread is so long, is because the same questions and answers keep happening over and over and over and over and..:rolleyes:

 

As you can see from what I've written on this thread, I like helping folks. I've sometimes researched web sites, and have even driven by new places, just to find answers or to refresh my memory before answering. HOWEVER, please take some time to review what's already here. If the answer isn't here, then ask and one of us will answer.

 

One of these days, if I can find time, I'm going to review the entire thread and make an index of information. I'll try to get it posted up top, at the #1 post position by the moderator. Then, people can look at the index, see where the answer is, and go for it. Once I've completed that task, I'm done here, unless there's something new that comes up. It's not in my nature to be rude or snarky with folks, and I'll bend over backwards at times, but, there comes a time...

 

Ken

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Does anyone have any feedback on the Embassy Suites Westshore? We are booked for April the night before and night after the cruise. We are a party of 5 and got a two room suite with breakfast and airport shuttle for 119.00.

 

Thanks, Tom

 

We had a great stay at the Embassy Suites Westshore on Jan 6th precruise one night. We had the 2 bed 2 bath suite. Very big. It was really nice. Evening Cocktail reception was wonderful and the free breakfast buffet was really very good. Safe area-close to the Westshore mall, which we walked to for dinner. Free shuttle to both malls & area resturants. Outside pool & hot tub looked very nice but it was too cold for us to swim as the air temp was about 50ish....

 

If you click on the link below you should be able to see my Embassy Suites photo album.......

 

http://cruisegirl29.shutterfly.com/action/

 

You have to enter the password: bella3

 

 

I would stay there again. Also stayed at the Marriott Westshore post-cruise. They have a wonderful indoor/outdoor pool too. Very clean & nice....

 

Sue

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We are going on the Miracle on May 14th. We are driving from Alabama and have already booked the Chase Suites for 2 nights pre-cruise (May 12 & 13). We will park our car there to save on port parking costs. Here's the twist. DH came home tonight and says he will be going to MacDill AFB for a conference (May 9 -11). So...We will now travel on May 8th and stay in a hotel during the conference. Here are my questions. Is Chase Suites convenient to MacDill or do we need to book a hotel for the conference that is closer to the base and then move to Chase Suites afterwards? Are there nice hotels near MacDill, that will fall within the government rate? Since I'll be on my own during the day are there places close by to occupy my time? I haven't been to Tampa since my active duty days back in the 80's! Any help is greatly appreciated.

 

Dawn

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Jessemon - Yep, I'm here. Looks like things have slowed down a bit here on this thread since I made the friendly suggestion that many questions have already been answered in the thread. :)

 

Ken

Hey Ken,

 

Don't want to hijack this thread but wanted to say hi and ask when you are going to visit our Hawaii to Vancouver roll call again. Someone there is looking for you!!

 

Lynn

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RoperDK - Dawn, It's not way too far to go from Rocky Point to MacDill AFB. It's not very hard either. In fact, a lot of service men stay at the Sailport Resort on Rocky Point. I think the military has some special rates for them or something. Our office is next door, and some of our people have stayed at Sailport too. Not a luxury place by no means, but not a bad place either. We have saw the Blue Angles and Thunderbirds staying there before. I've seen USAF buses picking up people there to take them down to the base. From Rocky Point, you just go down Courtney Campbell Causeway to Eisenhower Blvd, and take it all the way down to Kennedy Blvd. Then you go E on Kennedy to Dale Mabry Hwy and head S to the base. There's not a whole lot to do down on S Dale Mabry near the base. There are several motels down there that advertise military rates. I can't recall all of them at the moment. There is a Howard Johnson's down that way, and a Best Western too. Not sure about their rates. You could go to http://www.hotels.com and search against Tampa, and then narrow it to S. Dale Mabry Highway, and it will display those two motels. I just depends on how far y'all want to commute to get to the base. The Chase Suites is a nice place, and several people who have posted here in the past like it. The regional office AVP for our company stayed at Chase for quite a while, and folks from our company stay there when in town. Some nice nearby restaurants too.

 

Hope this helps.

 

lnew1gd1 - Lynn, Thanks, I'll go over there and check-in.

 

Ken

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I checked with the Chase Suites and they have a government rate so I think we'll stay there all week. I like the idea of having good restaurants nearby and I think the location will be better since there isn't anything exciting near the base.

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RoperDK - Dawn, It's not way too far to go from Rocky Point to MacDill AFB. It's not very hard either. In fact, a lot of service men stay at the Sailport Resort on Rocky Point. I think the military has some special rates for them or something. Our office is next door, and some of our people have stayed at Sailport too. Not a luxury place by no means, but not a bad place either. We have saw the Blue Angles and Thunderbirds staying there before. I've seen USAF buses picking up people there to take them down to the base. Ken

 

We had pre-booked at Sailport and saw a gazillion men and women in uniform, many of whom were checking in when we were, so there was a little wait.

 

Sailport is a time share place that also rents suites. It was about the same price as the other places that allow you to park during your cruise. However, they DO NOT provide a shuttle to the pier as we'd been told on th phone.

 

They do have a nice continental breakfast. Hint: bring a plate from your room since there are only napkins at the buffet. They had various sweet rolls, English muffins, bagels, cream cheese, jellies, butter or margarine and coffee. There was also a coffee maker in the room with complementary packets of coffee for it.

 

All suites have a water view and balcony, which is great for us smokers traveling with family/friends who do not smoke. Got to watch the sun set from the balcony.

 

It said it had free Showtime on tv but we didn't ever find it.

 

The ground floor is all for opn air, but covered, parking, and rooms are on the floors above, as is the office. There is a single elevator.

 

There is a notice "do not feed the birds." Well, a gull stayed on top of the balcony light the first night and left his signature on the carpet below. He was gone in the morning, however.

 

There is a full kitchen, utensils, dish washer and soap for it, but no paper towels. We took a couple of cans of soup with us and heated them in bowls in the microwave.

 

There are a couple of restaurants within walking distance, and a couple more across hwy 60 to the other side of Rocky Point.

 

We selected this area because it seemed a safe place, and was.

 

We did not use the pool or beach or barbeque area, but they are there. The grounds are pretty.

 

The bedroom was small, living room with pullout sofa with connecting kitchen adequate. It was clean but a little older on the inside than it looked on the outside. Each suite had an internet connection (free) if you brought your laptop.

 

There was a very small "ship's store" where you could buy snacks, bottled water, sodas etc.

 

As it turned out we had to spend another night in Tampa and they were full, so went to Courtyard Marriott Westshore on Cyprus which was nice, and near lots of restaurants. The cab fare from the pier to CY Marriot was $15, plus tip, and not much traffic to get there on a Saturday morning. They gave free parking while on the cruise, same price as Sailport but no free transportation to the port. They did have free shuttle to the airport, only a few minutes away.

 

We were on the first floor with a patio that was by the pool, indoor hot tub, & exercise room. They have a restaurant but it is only for breakfast. We did not us it, so can't comment. They had one computer for free internet service, a fridge with ice, ice maker down the hall.

 

The other hotel the travel insurance offered for the same price was Residency Suites.

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Thanks for the update Flash dog. Sounds like you had a better experience than we did. That is eactly what I enjoy about these boards. Information galore. By the way - we were there Feb 11 and we had booked the "cruise pkg" and the sailport Van took us to the pier for free. Maybe they have just recently eliminated that. He took us to Sonny's BBQ for dinner as well. Us Northerners just had to get our BBQ FIX!!

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I'd estimate $25-$30. It's around 10 miles, tops. At one time, folks were saying $20 from the airport to the pier, but then I've heard $25 more recently. Rocky Point is out to the W of the airport, and a few miles more to the port which is on the E. side of the downtown business core in Tampa. Shouldn't take long to get a taxi. There's always piles of them at the airport waiting for fares.

 

Ken

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How'd you get that $70 on priceline. I have tried that every 3 days. Haven't won yet!!!

 

Actually what I did was bid $55 and it came back to raise my bid $15 and try for free in the same zone. I did that and it got accepted.

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Check this out:

 

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g34678-d79996-r3294803-Best_Western_All_Suites_Hotel_Near_USF_Behind_Busch_Gardens-Tampa_Florida.html

 

As I've told people on this thread before (and I won't change my mind), this isn't a good area to stay in. If I was forced to stay there, I'd be armed, and I wouldn't sleep well. This is better than staying at the places on Busch Blvd, but not by much. There is an Embassy Suites at the University of S FL that's very nice (and more expensive, of course), and there is a LaQuinta on Fowler E of 30th that's not bad looking. Unless you are convinced that you must stay very close to Busch Gardens, don't do it. You can do much better in Tampa. It's to the point where about the only thing good in the area of Busch Gardens is Busch Gardens. The surrounding area is a victim of urban sprawl. It's a shame the area has went down hill over the years. As far back as the late 80's, I've pulled people out of motel rooms in the area of Busch Gardens and hauled them to jail for various reasons (like warrants, car theft). It's worse now.

 

Ken

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Ken I often read where you mention arresting people at times so I am assuming you work or have worked in law enforcement down there. A few years ago we had a couple from there seated at our dinner table whose husband was a deputy down there in the Tampa area. His name was Mike and his wife was Tamma. I realize Tampa must have tons of people in law enforcement, especially named Mike, but just wondering if you knew them. Oh, thanks for all the wonderful advice you have given and continue to give on this thread. It is very much appreciated.

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Hi all

 

Need 2 nights lodging before our cruise (leaves April 29th). Have been trying Priceline, no luck yet. I have been trying near the airport and downtown..3 stars. Does anyone know how the 2 1/2 star hotels are? Or should I stay with the 3 Stars? Any help will be appreciated...

:)

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LisaCobb-I think that I and Ken both have addressed the Marriott Waterside earlier in this thread although I know it's getting long to read all the posts. The Waterside is considered one of the nicest hotels in Tampa and would definitely be my #1 pick for a pre-cruise stay because of the location. A quick check showed rates of $129nt. for your dates, if it were me I would immediately book this (provided it's within budget). That rate is reasonable(by their standards) compared to rates there that quite often will be 2X-3X that. A taxi will be approx. $20 from the airport and probably a similar amount ea. way to Busch Gardens. Of course you could probably rent a car for a similar amount but by the time you pay hotel parking and Busch Gardens parking you would probably be behind. Hope this helps.

 

Would it be possible to find this rate now? Every site I check is giving me a rate of over $300 per night. Maybe I am not checking the right sites! I am looking at Feb 9th and 10th. Thanks in advance! :)

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My husband and I stayed at Doubletree Westshore last Feb. and was booked into a king executive room for $118 using government rate. My husband works for our local government but Doubletree didn't ask to see his ID or proof of employment. The executive rooms are on the top two floors and have a separate elevator to get to them. There is also an exceutive lounge where coffee, bottled water and cookies are available at no additional charge. Appetizers are served on weekday evenings and continental breakfast is also served in the lounge, n/c. Doubletree is close to the airport and we saw a lot of pilots and flight attendants at Doubletree.

 

The room was very nice. There was Internet hook up, bathrobe and slippers provided, pillow top mattress, Bath & Body Works toiletries, and lots of pillows on the bed. Also included in room rate was free shuttle to and from the port and parking for our car while on the cruise. I noticed there was a bar, restaurant, gift shop, swimming pool and hot tub.

 

Hope this helps.

Ginger

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