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Jedi Jason

Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) pre cruise dining and hotel recommendations please

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My next cruise goes out of Port Everglades.  I will be driving down from Orlando the day prior.  I am looking for any hotel recommendations for a one night stay. It would be the first weekend in January.  I am also interested in any restaurant recommendations.  I know @Lovetocruise2002 has a favorite restaurant.  We have cousins that live in the area and we are trying to meet them for dinner the night before the cruise but they don't really have any suggestions since they have a need to stay in hotels in the area and they are not located close to the port area.  Please let me know what hotels or restaurants you like and why.  What menu item do you have to get every time?

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Embassy Suites 17th Street is a decent hotel in a good location.  Embassy Suites have free breakfast in the morning with made to order omelets and an evening complimentary happy hour.  Plus it's consistent so I always know what to expect from a room there..they easily accommodate families.  Hyatt Place was also reasonable and comfortable.

There's several restaurants immediately walkable and it's super close to the port which makes it a cheap Uber/Lyft ride the next morning.

There are several hotels in that area which tend to be the same quality/amenities.  Just spends on if you have a particular preference or brand loyalty.  

@Lovetocruise2002 is always going to recommend LaBamba which is in a shopping center right there by those hotels.  It's a mexican/spanish chain and they have several locations in the area.  I ordered the carnitas and was pleasantly surprised!

There's also Publix and Total Wine in that shopping center which is great for picking up last minute items you may need for the cruise.  

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We like,staying at the Holiday inn express on 24 th st, about ten minutes from port, there is a small,strip mall,across the street and really enjoyed a restaurant there, can't remember the name, but it was  really good, hamburgers, fish, salads and stuff like that, but I'm sure tonyfsu21, as a local can help more than I can, but Holiday in is very nice and clean.

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3 hours ago, Alibou3193 said:

I don't have any restaurant recommendations, but I am also cruising out of Port Everglades. After looking at hotel prices, I decided to look into Airbnb's around the area and found them to be much cheaper. 

We are in season and the super bowl is in Miami this season which will have an impact on pricing across the board. 

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We stayed at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach resort in 2010 &  the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach in 2012 (which Google is reporting closed) for 2 nights each, pre-cruise. We also stayed at the W for a few nights (no cruise just visiting FLL) in 2018 and loved it.

Obviously a hotel that's closed and one I stayed in 2010 aren't the best to recommend, it's the location I'm recommending. Sure, it's a bit more, but if you can swing it, really gets you into vacation mode!

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I'll put my frequent plug in, which is to look beyond just the port area. Often times, you can rent a car at the airport, have full access to the metro area (for sightseeing, meals, lodging options of all budgets), and drop your car at the port the next morning (with a free shuttle from there to the ship) for less than a hotel + uber/lyft. We have never actually stayed at a place that has a shuttle to the port, because we often prefer the flexibility of having our own car at the same, or sometimes lower, total price. 

Just one more option to look in to if it interests you. 

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If you stay on 17th Street you can’t really go wrong. Most of the hotels are at least mid range hotel level and pretty much all similar pricing. Hilton Marina is nice because if you score a high floor facing South you can see your ship in Port. Embassy Suites, Renaissance, Hyatt all in close proximity and offer the convenience of many dining options within walking distance.

If your thinking “Resort” then stay at one of the resorts on Fort Lauderdale Beach. My favorites are Conrad and the W. Both pricy options (especially in Jan) with pricing for a basic room easily at $500+/night. Beach resorts give you the full Fort Lauderdale beach experience if that’s what your looking for. 
 

Dining:

I can break it down into some basic picks just based on what I’m thinking at the moment and it may help you. 
 

Italian: Cafe Vico, Franco & Vinny’s Pizza Shack, Louis Bossi’s Las Olas, Cafe Martarano, Valentino’s.

Steak: Mastros, Steak 954 at W hotel, Del Friscos Las Olas.

Seafood: Rustic Inn (best garlic crabs on planet earth), Lobster Bar Las Olas, Even Keel, Pirate Republic on the new river (great spot w/ very interesting seafood dishes with great flavors), Billy’s Stone Crab (it’s in Hollywood and you can take the water taxi).

Burgers and Sandwiches: Le Tub (voted best burger in America and you can take water taxi to Margaritaville stop and walk here), La Spadas Hoagies located In the Panera bread plaza on 17th, Henry’s Sandwich shop (great spot). B Squared Burgers and Booze (one of my favorite spots on Las Olas).

Thai & Sushi: Thai Spice on Oakland Park Blvd (Awesome), Sushi Rock Las Olas, Asia Bay Las Olas.

Sports Bars/Pubs/Breweries: Bo’s Pub Las Olas, Bo’s Beach, American Icon Brewery, Tarpon River Brewery, Quarterdeck on 17th Street.

I have tons of options and I personally go to all these places and can say they are all great in their own way. 

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2 hours ago, Rose City Cruiser said:

Heading there next week w/ the family.  What do you suggest on their menu?

I'm with @tonyfsu21 definitely the Chimichanga.  Hubby loves the fajitas.  Any margarita (with Patron of course) and do not miss the fried ice cream.

Also @Jedi Jason, I have always been a fan of the Renaissance on 17th St. but ever since Holiday Inn Express (on 17th St.) remodelled and added suites, we have been booking with them instead.  Their price point is usually better if it's just a quick one night stay and the remodelled rooms are decent.  There are pics in my March Harmony blog.  I have always wanted to do the Conrad but the call of La Bamba is always louder.

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5 hours ago, Jolly Ogre said:

Any restaurant that is literally used to measure the severity of natural disasters gets two enthusiastic thumbs up in my book!

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My bestie and I stayed at the Holiday Inn on 17th this summer. Very nice, comfortable room and restaurants directly across the street with others within reasonable walking distance (I think my husband is put up at the Hyatt when he overnights in FLL and I know he walks to lunch/dinner). 

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5 hours ago, USCG Teacher said:

Any restaurant that is literally used to measure the severity of natural disasters gets two enthusiastic thumbs up in my book!

The Federal Emergency Management Agency utilizes an informal “Waffle House Index” to determine the severity of a tropical storm or hurricane. In short, if a Waffle House closes that’s a sign to FEMA — and to the rest of us — that a storm was severe. Here are the three levels of the Waffle House Index, which is used to evaluate areas after a storm passes through:

Green: Waffle House is serving a full menu and electricity is on.

Yellow: Waffle House is serving a limited menu, may be low on food supplies, and is likely using an electrical generator.

Red: Waffle House is closed. (Oh shit, time to panic.)

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37 minutes ago, Jolly Ogre said:

Now you are talking my language!! And don't forget the grits!

 

Grit and hashbrowns together would be an extra charge on the All Star. Let's not go crazy here, money bags. Though admittedly, I waver between grits and hashbrowns depending on my mood on that particular day. 

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