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Need hotel between FLL and Port of Miami

Greeley, Colorado
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Need hotel between FLL and Port of Miami

We are flying into FLL April 6 for a cruise out of Port of Miami. We just need a hotel for one night. We mainly wanted to stay in South Beach because we thought the retro-looking hotels were pretty cool looking, fun things to do and see, and close to the port but..........the reviews we are reading on the handful of hotels is a bit scary and pricey. Our next option would be to stay somewhere in Fort Lauderdale and then travel on to the port the next day. We are not familiar with FL at all. Can anyone suggest a nice hotel for under $150 a night that is on the beach or a block or two from it - with lots to do around it...ie. shopping, site seeing, cleanliness, beach, maybe a gator/boat excursion?? We are also trying (most important) to find a hotel that has a FREE shuttle from FLL to it's hotel and then "maybe" a free shuttle then to the Port the next day??? We will not be renting a car of course so we need a hotel that is within walking distance to fun places to go, beach and restaurants. Hope someone can help! PS Does anyone have ANY IDEA on how much it costs to take a taxi FROM Port back to FLL? Or is there something cheaper?

Fort Lauderdale...
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1. Re: Need hotel between FLL and Port of Miami

While there are some hotels that will shuttle you from FLL to their site just north or south of the Airport, there are none near FLL that wi ll shuttle you to Port Of Miami . They shuttle only to the Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. Also, none of the hotels that will shuttle you from the airport are atall near the beach. Most are along two areas- Federal Highway (RT.1) that runs north and south next to the Airport ( Sleep Inn, Dania , FL or Days Inn Airport) or along Rt. 84( 24th Ave) such as the Hampton Inn or the Holiday Inn Express Airport. None of these are near the beach , nor do they have good transportation options to the beach area- just taxi - which is probably $20 in each direction.

A hotel on or near the beach will require you to taxi from the Airport - also about $20 and one that will meet an acceptable level of cleanliness ( such as Best Western Oceanside) will run at least $200 0n Easter weekend. Honestly IMHO , anything you find on or near the beach at a lower cost would be very low level and shold be avoided.

I wish I had a nice idea for you , but in thinking about all the alternatives I have no answer.

Sleep Inn in Dania would possibly be a $15 or so ride to the Dania Beach, but don't think there is any nice dining in that area- and I'm betting it's more than you want to spend at least on that weekend- and many places may well be sold out already. I also am guessing that whole area is not what you really envision for your pre cruise- there is really nothing "cool" about that area.

maybe someone else will have an idea that escapes me. TropiRock is a budget hotel a few blocks off the beach, but no free shuttel from FLL , which would ad about $30 to your expense.

No easy solution for getting back to Miami- these places are so far apart. I wish people would know not to treat the two cities like they are right next to each other- It's about 30 miles - and an expensive trip between the two. The TriRail Train would take you so far west in Miami, the taxi ride back would be costly too- and you really can't do TriRail with luggage. There is a "shared ride " van that goes from FLL to MIA , but again that puts you out west at the Miami Airport. Not sure if the shared ride van would take you from FLL to anywhere else in Miami. Most people end up in a taxi or hired limo- You could probably rent a car in FLL , but I think Hertz is the only one I know of that has a small office in Downtown Miami that would shuttle you to the Port. The others have returns at Miami Airport and no shuttle to Port of Miami- which is all the way across town.

Fort Lauderdale...
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2. Re: Need hotel between FLL and Port of Miami

Oh, also, the gator/airboat places are about 25 miles west of town and pretty much impossible without a rental car or taking a guided tour that picks you up in a van etc- similar to what your cruise ship probably offers as a pre or post cruise option.

I did a quick look and Sleep Inn Dania is $150 on Travelocity- would have shuttle from FLL, but not to anything in Miami and would require a taxi to go anywhere like the beach. And while I was looking , I noticed the Sea Club right on Fort Lauderdale Beach for $169- but to show you how dangerous bargains can be- that hotel made the list as one of the ten dirtiest t hotels in the US here on Trip Advisor- and the reviews here are just horrid- so be very cautious in choosing your hotel- anything near the beach at that price is usually bad- except possibly TropiRock, which is shabby but clean,

Mendenhall...
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3. Re: Need hotel between FLL and Port of Miami

Hi -- I am in exactly the same situation -- just different dates. We are flying into FLL on March 24 and our cruise leaves from the Port of Miami at 4pm on March 25th. I have been glued to this computer trying to make sense of where to stay between FLL and MIA. One thing that I did determine is that we absolutely need to rent a car for one day. There are five of us altogether including 3 kids, so the shuttle option for us would be a ridiculous price. I got a rental car for one day on Priceline for under $50. The pick up is at FLL and drop off at the port of Miami. Also, then it doesn't matter as much where you stay -- you can drive to dinner, beach, etc. However, I still prefer to find a place with nearby stuff for my kids to enjoy pre-cruise. I was looking at the Thunderbird Resort in North Miami, but then I just read that the beach in that area is a legal nude beach!?! Was considering the Avalon Waterfront Inn, Three Palms Resort Motel, and Sea Club Resort. The problem is that there are some very scary reviews of these places. I am not really picky, but clean and safe is not something I would compromise. I am very confused about where to stay. Like you, I would prefer to spend under $150 and would like at least something interesting nearby -- preferably the beach. If anyone has any additional suggestions -- they would be greatly appreciated!

Fort Lauderdale...
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4. Re: Need hotel between FLL and Port of Miami

I'm afraid none of the three accomodations you listed would meet your criteria of clean and safe and are unfortunately typical of what you find if you try to find something on or near the beach in that price range. Since you have a rental car, maybe you should consider some of the hotels on SR 84 and then drive to the beach- the best ones there, Hampton Inn or Holoday Inn Express Airport are probably out of your price range. The Best Western Fort Lauderdale or Ramada Inn are possibly in that range but not as nice- buit I would say acceptable.. The Rodeway Inn and Red Carpet Inn must be avoided at all costs.

I think even the Sleep Inn in Dania Beach might fit your budget and is nice and clean, but would also require driving to the beach.

All these hotels have the disadvantage of not having eating places near them , though all serve breakfast on premises. But since you have a rental car , you would be able to find dining that you could drive to.

I don't think you or the earlier poster have many other options. I think anyone wanting to go from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami is really going to have to rent a car- although a taxi can take four people and a certain amount of luggage - as well as a hired limo- and may be acceptable options - as the cost is shared by the party rather than per person as a shuttle. For a party of two a shuttle is the better option, but with careful shopping ( like Priceline) a rental car is the best option. Just be sure to specify Port of Miami as the drop off, not Miami Airport- the taxi back to the Port from the airport across town would be a deal killer. I know Hertz offers Port Drop Off- don't know of others who do- let me know if you found another rental firm who does. I think Enterprise picks up and delivers to Port and Airport, but apparently doesn't allow drop off to be different from pick up location- or so their site seems to indicate.

This whole Fort Lauderdale and Miami arrival and departure thing adds great stress to travel planning for cruisers. I wish they could know that in advance before choosing flights. It is so much better to fly in to the city you're cruising from.

Fort Lauderdale...
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5. Re: Need hotel between FLL and Port of Miami

I thought I would mention for both posters a few beach area lodgings ( a block or two from the beach) that are budget friendly and generally get good reviews , although they are old facilities and a bit shabby-they are Tropi-Rock, Birch patio and VistaMar Villas.

The Avalon gets very mixed reviews and the situation there seems to be that they are a cluster of a few old motels put together- which is why they have two pools. I think some rooms are better than others, but the candid photos taken by travelers show significant mold, rusted out air conditioners , doors coming off hinges and the like. theer are also many references to roaches in reviews. I have driven by it countless times and really do believe the odds of getting in a bad situation are high. It also appears they may be a magnet for some rather low level occupants who have parties involving noise and lots of liquor.

For the poster with several children, I don't know if any of the properties are very child friendly, although TropiRock has a large resident dog belonging to the owners. All the properties are older, dated in decor- they would be an easy walk to the beach. None provide shuttle from or to anywhere.

Angela's Beach Resort is another small property that gets good reviews for cleanliness, but it is currently right next door to a major construction site, so noise and debris can be an issue. The management of that resort has also has some rather strange "confrontations " that were reported personally or ove rthe phone that have been very argumentative in nature. I really doubt they are child friendly and in spite of their reputation for a clean facility I would be reluctant to recommend it.

CA
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6. Re: Need hotel between FLL and Port of Miami

We stayed at Homestead Suites Blue Lagoon in January for our cruise that left out of Port of Miami. i'm not sure how far it is from FLL. We flew into MIA 2 nights prior to our cruise and rented a car. We picked up the car at the airport and drove to our hotel. The next day we went to Key Largo to a really nice beach area. South Beach was horrible! So much traffic and people. (My daughter stayed there on her honeymoon and hated it.). The Homestead Suites were around 115.00 a night (New Years Eve and Day). It had a small kitchen and fridge. We drove to dinner at Flannagans(?) which was great. Ate there both nights! The day of our cruise we returned the car and they shuttled us to the cruise dock.

Hope this helps.

Miami
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7. Re: Need hotel between FLL and Port of Miami

Sorry, there is NOTHING like South Beach in South Florida, and that includes Fort Lauderdale. South Beach is unique because if you stay there all the action, including the beach, will be just steps away - that's what makes it unique. You will be able to find a place with a nice beach outside of SoBe, but you will need a car or other transportation to do everything else. I would suggest trying to find a rental from a private owner. Look on the vacation travel sites and do your research. Some of the reviews are available on this site.

You might be hard pressed to find them for only one night however - as most have minimum stay requirements.

Good luck.

Greeley, Colorado
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8. Re: Need hotel between FLL and Port of Miami

Thank you LuluToo and Rockstart Momma for all your tips. I see that you too,Rockstarmomma, are in the same position as we are. You're just one step ahead of me in getting transportation taken care of from FLL to hotel/port. I think I may go that route too, but I am a bit cautious of it as I hear parking can be a bit expensive and a hassle in Ft. Lauderdale and South Beach. We still have not made up our mind what city to go to! Crazy! This cruise is for my 40th and my husband and I are bringing our two sons, ages 9 and 12. Lulutoo...do you think we could get away with taking a taxi, the four of us, for a decent rate from FLL to South Beach, if that is the route we take? How can I find out prices? Wouldn't it be a flat fee for the four of us? You think it would be over $50? Every shuttle place I look into (even Carnival's!) is about $30-40 A PERSON! I am not familiar with limos there - maybe someone can direct me to one that has great prices for a party of four? Rockstarmomma .....have you decided HOW you are all getting back post cruise from port back to FLL? Carnival's shuttle is way expensive I found out....$30-$40 a pp. Have you figured out what hotel yet as well? We too need to find something "kid friendly" but close to all and fun. You are so right Lulutoo, we should have flown into Miami. Will know now for future cruises. Wow, FL seems so full of hassle - Colorado isn't this hard! Help!!! What about hotels in Miami Beach? Anywhere between FLL & South Beach that's near beach and good prices and safe? I'm getting desperate. :(

Texas
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9. Re: Need hotel between FLL and Port of Miami

rockstarmama, who is your rental car with? We also need a car for transportation from FLL to Miami port. I've found Hertz has a drop off near the port, then shuttle you to ship. Is this the same you have, or is there a rental company located at the port?

Also, what is the problem with parking in Ft Lauderdale? We will use the rental car to go to hotel and to boardwalk, then to Miami.

New Hampshire
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10. Re: Need hotel between FLL and Port of Miami

ok now I am in the same position and according to the research I had previously, it was supposed to be not that big of a deal to fly into fll and get to Miami.

We are going mid april and flying in the night before, and I have been looking at the Hyatt in Miami.

Now after reading your posts I can say I am concerned. I thought you could get transport either thru the cruiseline or on your own at a reasonable rate.

I will look more into this.

Thanks!