When someone tells me they are going on a cruise, the first question I ask them is where are you staying prior to leaving. I don’t ask this to gauge their hotel choice, but more making sure they are allowing themselves the opportunity to be prepared for travel delays. I do not recommend traveling the day you leave, as there is always a chance you could miss your cruise.
In Fort Lauderdale, there are plenty of hotels to choose from. Your stay can range from the Red Roof Inn (a shuttle I saw while at FLL) to the Hilton off of Griffin Road and I-95. There are a handful that offer a great location. One of those in the handful includes the Hyatt Place Ft. Lauderdale 17th Street Convention Center. Normally, I do not provide links directly to sites. But since there are two in the near vicinity, I wanted to be sure to provide the exact hotel.
The hotel is hidden off of the busy 17th Street and just east of Federal Highway (US1). Within a 15 minute ride from Fort Lauderdale-Hollwyood International Airport and Port Everglades, the cruise port, this hotel is perfect for those choosing the fly into the city. As mentioned, the hotel is close to 17th Street so there are many restaurants, shops, and things to do in the vicinity.
The room is very spacious with a large living area that is separated by a partial wall to the bedroom. The couch offers a large sleeping area, but if you want the couch does open into a bed. Even with the couch open, there is plenty of room on the opposite wall. In addition to the large sofa, there is a small wet bar with fridge. For those wanting to revive leftovers, there was no microwave. The bathroom was the one thing I had issues with. Compared to the living area, the bathroom was tiny. About enough room for the toilet and shower and tub. Our room in particular had a great view of the cruise port. In the morning, we were able to see a cruise ship docked.
The hotel also offers food in their Guest Kitchen. I did not use the service, but I did have breakfast there. The breakfast was okay, which offered hot eggs, bacon, breads, and other typical free hotel offerings. The hotel did offer a free shuttle to/from the airport, however, I had to contact the hotel prior to their arrival. When I asked the airport’s information desk where the shuttle can be found, they did not acknowledge one. So you may want to save the hotel’s phone number and call when you get your bags. The shuttle stop is where all the hotel shuttles stop. There are many, so again, remember the exact name (as the other Hyatt Place, which the drivers call South stop here, too).
Also, you can arrange to have the hotel take you to the cruise port for $7/person. This is a great service for those wanting to consolidate the cost into their hotel bill (I love my points!) I caution those using this service, as there are many cruise passengers here. As a result the entrance is overloaded with families and luggage. So, if you get “excited” about this stuff, you may want to leave early or later and perhaps by taxi. The shuttle service is not bad, however, we had one cruise ship prior to ours. Since we were in a shuttle bus with a trailer, it was difficult for them to maneuver. So, we spent a good portion of the ride in the loading area of the Princess’ terminal.
Aside from being prepared of the airport shuttle and small bathroom, as a pre/post cruise airport, you cannot get any better. This hotel will be one of the first I will look at (especially when half the price of the nearby Embassy Suites).