Saturday, September 18, 2010


We'll see how detailed these reports get. John and I booked this cruise back in May. The last time we cruised, we booked our airfare through Royal Caribbean. When I priced that option this time, I realized that we would save somewhere around $600 booking it on our own. SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS! Knowing that I didn't want to miss the ship, we flew in early and spent the day and night in Ft. Lauderdale which was still a huge savings.

I booked our one night at the Gallery One Doubletree Hotel through Orbitz. Just under $100. It was a tad far from the airport; the cab ride ended up being around $25-$30. But, I chose this specific hotel after weeks of research due to its proximity to a large mall and it's a stop on the water taxi route. Sold! I booked a Queen Cityview because it was cheaper but when we checked in, they upgraded us! I don't know if I posted before but our room on the ship also got upgraded (more on that another day) Anyway, our upgrade moved us up to the 12th floor, waterway view in a 2 room suite. WHEEEE!!!!

We had some time to kill after an uneventful flight and before check in so we dropped our bags and walked to the nearby Galleria mall to grab some lunch. There were some very nice looking restaurants, none of which seemed to be open for lunch. Instead, we ate at a very swanky food court. It was delicious and reasonably priced. After lunch, neither of us cared that much about the shopping. The stores were all the same as at home. We walked back to the hotel and luckily, it was time to check in.

This was our view of the Intercoastal Waterway from the balcony that was less than 12 inches deep and you couldn't actually stand on, though the door did open. I didn't get a picture of it but further down, you could see another ship (I think Oasis of the Seas) setting sail. That was neat.

This is the sitting area. There is also a dining table and kitchenette, complete with dishwasher! Had we been in town more than 24 hours, we may have made better use of the extra space. I think that couch pulls out too.

Here is the bedroom, in its separate room. The bed was pretty cozy and the bathroom was attached and pretty modern.

All travel websites and forums said the Water Taxi was the best way to see Ft. Lauderdale. For $15/person, we had unlimited rides for the whole day. There are, I think, 14 stops on the Water Taxi which winds its way through the Intercoastal Waterway, passing giant summer homes, restaurants, bars, marinas, and MONEY everywhere. Each taxi has a guide that narrates the surroundings. The two we rode with were entertaining and informative. We took the boat for about an hour down to dinner. Dinner was at Mango's where we both had great local seafood dishes. We walked up and down Las Olas Blvd. for a bit but, it being Sunday night, the many shops and boutiques were all closed. That was okay, it was still fun to window shop.

It was getting sort of late so we hopped on a taxi back up to the hotel. It really is a great way to tour the city and is probably much cheaper than hailing regular cabs to go everywhere.

This is where they filmed the movie, Where the Boys Are. Yeah, I've never seen it either.

This is not the best shot but this guy's mansion is worth something like over $100 Mill. On the left is just part of it, it continues WAY beyond that. He owns Blockbuster and other companies you would know but I can't remember right now. There are 7 other properties next to his that his family members live in. Do you think he would adopt me?

We had a couple drinks at the hotel bar. There were some semi-obnoxious people there and as luck would have it, they were on our ship and we kept seeing them....everywhere. After that, we headed upstairs to get some rest. NEXT UP......EMBARKATION!

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to hear more!! Blockbuster is going out of business, though.... Hope his other companies are doing better! Trip sounds fun already!


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