Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Pre- and Post-Cruise In Fort Lauderdale

Hilton Garden Inn
Traditionally a favorite homeport due to its proximity to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), a recent study identifies Broward County's Port Everglades as an evolving tourism magnet for the Greater Fort Lauderdale area.

Sixty-two percent of the cruise passengers surveyed for the study stayed at least one night prior to their cruise vacation, staying an average of 3.4 nights, and 21 percent planned to stay an average of 2.6 nights after their cruise.

"This study validates what we have long known—that our local economy benefits from the cruise industry. But, we are seeing that hoteliers are taking advantage of the opportunities that having a cruise port in their backyard offers," said Chief Executive & Port Director Steven Cernak. "Just look at the number of new hotels that have opened around Port Everglades in recent years and the creative pre- and post-cruise vacation packages offered on in the Cruise & Play section."

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau encourages pre- and post-cruise vacation stays through its "Cruise & Play" section on the website. The "Cruise & Play" section features as list of hotels offering shuttle service to and from the cruise port and airport, as well as deals on hotels, attractions and special discounts available just by showing your cruise card or cruise documents.

The Cruise Diva crew has sailed many time from Port Everglades and we nearly always spend a day or two pre-cruise in the area. While we've stayed at a number of properties, our favorite is the Hilton Garden Inn at 180 SW 18th Avenue, Dania, Florida, 33004 (just off I-95 at Exit 22 Stirling Road). Pictured above, the hotel has a great little restaurant and there are numerous places to eat within walking distance if you don't have a car. Some hotel amenities include:
• Complimentary shuttle to/from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport
• Charter service to Cruise Ship Terminals at Port Everglades and Port of Miami
• Complimentary fitness center, outdoor pool, and whirlpool
• Cooked-to-order breakfast, dinner and room service at the Great American Grill®
• Complimentary WiFi internet access
• Complimentary parking
In addition, complimentary coffee, lemonade, and cookies are offered in the lobby during the day and evening. We have taken advantage of their stay-and-cruise option and parked our car at the Hilton Garden Inn for a nominal fee on several occasions.

Another benefit to cruising from Port Everglades includes the Port's location in relation to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). More than 21 percent of the cruise guests surveyed said that they came directly from FLL, and an overwhelming majority (66 percent) said they selected FLL based on its close proximity to the Port. FLL is located within two miles of Port Everglades and is accessible by taxi, shuttle, or bus transfer from the cruise line. The Port is also within 30 miles of Miami International Airport (MIA), which is an approximate 40-minute drive.

Located in the second largest county in Florida, Broward County's Port Everglades is consistently ranked as one of the three busiest cruise ports in the world, with more than 3.7 million passengers in 2015. Nine cruise lines and more than 40 cruise ships sail from the South Florida seaport including: Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Seabourn and Silversea Cruises. The Port's wide-ranging fleet of cruise ships provides guests with an array of cruise vacation choices from the sunny Greater Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Dania Beach area.

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