Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pre-cruise Hotel Stay in Ft. Lauderdale

As we have mentioned in the past, whenever possible we prefer to arrive in our cruise departure port on the previous day. This way we can enjoy the start of our vacation, even if something were to go wrong, such as a flight delay.

 Our 2011 National Conference Cruise is on Allure of the Seas which departs from Ft. Lauderdale, FL. We bookedd a hotel room at the Hyatt Ft. Lauderdale which is just across from Pier 66, where Allure departs from. Since there was a pre-cruise cocktail part planned, we booked flights that would get us in mid-day. 

The down side of that meant we had to get up early to drop off the car near the airport and catch our fight. The parking lot shuttle dropped us off at the terminal and we proceeded to check our bags and then go through security. The line was long, but once it got moving, it went pretty quickly. Our gate wasn't far from the security checkpoint, so we still had time before the plane was scheduled to board.

After purchasing a couple bottles of water, we waited in the gate area for the boarding announcements. hecking in. The flight took off on time and was smooth most of the way to Florida. The skies were overcast as we approached Ft. Lauderdale and in fact, it had been raining. The captain had the flight crew prepare the cabin early for landing since some turbulenced was expected. As predicted, it got a little bumpy as we approached, but all and all, it was a good flight. By the time we got to baggage claim, our bags were coming around the bend. We claimed our bags and headed to the taxi stand.

The Hyatt hotel isn't far from the airport, so within 30 minutes of landing, we were checking in at the hotel. The bellman brought our luggage to the room and we decided to go get some lunch.

When we got in the lobby, we met the same bellman and asked him if the marina restaurant was open. We weren't sure it would be since it had started to rain and was quite windy. He took us to the restaurant via a golf cart.

We had a lovely meal at the marina restaurant and then walked along the pier back to the hotel.  There are several yachts docked in the marina that are for sale.   The prices ranged from several hundred thousands to millions.

This is an excellent location  for anyone departing on a cruise from the Ft. Lauderdale cruise port.  You can see your ship come in from your balcony window (if you ask for a tower room facing the pier).  It is a short cab ride from the hotel to the pier.

We will be writing more about our conference cruise in future articles.  The Allure of the Seas is an amazing ship with so much to offer, especially for families.   Each time we are on her, we see something new since you can't experience everything on one cruise.

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