Thursday, February 12, 2009

Fort Lauderdale, Florida - Pre Cruise

Just back from a 6 day cruise onboard Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas. We flew into FLL airport. Took a shuttle from the airport (there is a rental car center on site) to Enterprise. Got a Jeep Compass ($62.50 total). And drove to our hotel which was 15 minutes away...

Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa, Hollywood Florida

We arrive at 10:30am. The hotel is gorgeous. I was using Starwood points so I figured the room would be small....facing the parking balcony. I get to the desk and the clerk says "How many beds do you need? We are going to upgrade you to a Oceanfront CORNER WRAP AROUND BALCONY SUITE" {I think my heart stopped for a second}

She hands me the keys to our 28th floor suite which was HUGE. The glass walls slid open onto the balcony. The room was immaculate. The property was kid paradise with pools everywhere, an ice cream social at 2pm and a wonderful gentleman by the name of Santiago in the lobby that handed the kids hershey kisses everytime they walked past him. He also told the kids to wait while he went and grabbed them "a surprise". He came back with Westin Kid backpacks with a Westin hat, stickers and map.

The hotel does have $17 parking (and valet parking). So the parking is not free. It does not have a shuttle to the port...which was the reason we rented the car. No free breakfast in the morning. There is a trolly out front and for $1 per person you can tour Fort Lauderdale with hop on/hop off options all over the city. It leaves every 30 minutes. We took the trolly to the boardwalk and ate there.

If you want a cheap hotel with a free shuttle and breakfast, do not stay here. If you want a high end experience, superior service and a true luxury resort...then start your cruise off at the Westin Diplomat.

The pictures from the Westin Diplomat, Hollywood Florida....

If you have any specific questions....feel free to ask.

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