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Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Hotels for Cruise Passengers


BurBunny
By BurBunny,
in

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A frequent question for cruise passengers wishing to purchase a pre- or post-cruise night through Hotwire or Priceline is "which zone should I select?" Hopefully this will give you a bit of guidance.

In Miami, without a doubt, the Miami Downtown zone is the closest to the ships. This is a great option for a pre-cruise night where you want something inexpensive and close, and not looking to participate in the beach/nightlife scene. The Bayside Marketplace is nearby and good for dinner options. From most of the hotels in this zone, if you have a room facing the port, you can see your ship when you awaken.

However, if you'd like to experience the beach, nightlife, or a bit more activity, the next closest zone is the South Beach area of Miami Beach. There is a specific "South Beach" zone on both Priceline and Hotwire. On Hotwire, it's broken out to South Beach South and South Beach North. The South section is closer to the port.

Fort Lauderdale has more zones which are appropriate for cruise passengers. The closest zone to the port is the Downtown Fort Lauderdale zone. Most of the hotels in this zone offer airport and/or cruise shuttles, but none are more than a $10 taxi ride (per cab, not per person) from either the airport or the cruise port. Most are closer to $5 to the port.

Another popular zone for cruise passengers is the Fort Lauderdale Beach zone. On both Hotwire and Priceline, this zone encompasses the properties just north of the port on the east side of the intracoastal waterway. As the zone goes farther north, it does widen a bit farther west, but if you're seeking a property like the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort or the Hyatt Pier 66 - since their on the east side of the 17th Street bridge, they're in the Beach zone. Most properties in this zone do not have shuttle service, but they should be less than $15 cab ride from the airport, and $10 or less to the port.

The final zone in extreme close proximity to the port is the Fort Lauderdale Airport zone. This zone is a bit farther west, and slightly south of the port, but the properties in this zone generally have both airport and cruise port shuttles. Taxi to the hotel should be less than $5, and to the cruise port around $10-12.

Dining options in both the Downtown and Beach zones are numerous. Not as many in the Airport zone.

One note about using hotel shuttles to the cruise port. Many hotels in all these zones in both Fort Lauderdale and Miami offer complimentary shuttles. However, they get full quite quickly the day before you embark, and can be crowded and slow due to 5-6 different families trying to sort out luggage, get it all loaded and unloaded at the proper ship (if more than one is in port that day, which is normal), and get it to the porter with the proper tip. It's usually faster and time beneficial to take a taxi from your hotel. Especially if there are only 2-3 of you (more people and a single taxi may not hold your luggage). So if getting to the port at a certain time and getting onboard early is important, consider a cab. Otherwise, if you're in no hurry, then do take advantage of the free shuttles.

Finally, a tip if you're driving to the Fort Lauderdale Port and looking for an inexpensive parking option. The Amerisuites in the Downtown Fort Lauderdale zone offers free parking during your cruise if you stay there the night before you embark. If that makes a difference to you, you might take that into consideration when considering your purchase strategy.

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  • 10 years later...

THANK YOU SO MUCH

I CAN USE THIS INFORMATION AND MANY MORE PEOPLE NEED TO READ THIS POST

IF YOU ARE NOT FROM FLORIDA OR EVEN FROM THE US IT CAN BE VERY TRICKY

SO THANK YOU FOR YOUR EXPLANATION

BEST REGARDS FROM BELGIUM / EUROPE

FRIEDA

I AM SORRY FOR THE ENGLISH MISTAKES BUT IT IS NOT MY FIRST LANGUAGE

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