To make your cruise vacation even better, it helps to get off to a smooth start. This begins with a great experience at your pre-cruise hotel.
Wise cruisers like to arrive at their Florida cruise port city a day ahead of their voyage in order to explore the city, enjoy the weather and ease into the start of their trip without the worry of missing the ship because of snags in the schedule for their flights.
We’ve rounded up the best Florida cruise hotels that feature some of the top perks and amenities that put you in the right frame of mind for a wonderful vacation.
The world’s busiest cruise port naturally offers a slew of accommodations for cruisers staying their voyage with an overnight stay in sunny Miami. A visit to this city gives you access to South Beach and dozens of shopping, dining and museum and sports attractions.
We’ve narrowed our list to these best Miami cruise hotels.
Holiday Inn Port of Miami-Downtown – The hotel is located right across from the cruise port and next to the Bayside Market Place shopping mall, and its “Sail Away” package offers a complimentary breakfast buffet and shuttle service to your ship. Also, kids up to age 11 eat free at the property’s restaurants. Hotel amenities include an outdoor pool, fitness center and laundry facility. Rooms feature a microwave and fridge.
Intercontinental Miami – Located near Bayfront Park, the hotel is steps away from the waterfront and a seven-minute drive to Port Miami. Amenities include a rooftop pool, 24-hour fitness center and a spa. It offers a “Pre and Post Cruise” package that features transfers to and from the port, daily breakfast buffet and two welcome drinks.
Courtyard Miami Airport – The Marriott property offers an “Extend Your Miami Cruise Experience” package that includes breakfast for two and transportation to your cruise ship. The hotel has low rates and is located two miles from the airport (shuttle is complimentary). It features a sports bar, fitness center and gym. Rooms offer mini-fridges and coffee makers.
Hampton Inn Coconut Grove – With its “Stay and Cruise” package, travelers get a hot breakfast and a shuttle to Port Miami. Located about five minutes from downtown, the hotel features an outdoor pool and hot tub, gym, business center and complimentary fruit and fresh-baked cookies in the lobby. The rooms are noticeably spacious and have a microwave and mini-fridge.
In Fort Lauderdale
This city offers a great array of restaurants, beaches, shopping and museums. So, it’s easy to slip right into vacation mode when you arrive a day ahead of your cruise. Sccordingly, the city has a wide range of hotels in proximity to the busy cruise port.
These places feature enticing deals for cruisers.
Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort – The hotel offers a pre- and post-cruise package with prices at 10 percent off the best available rate. Cruisers also get a free breakfast and shuttle service to and from your ship. The resort features an ocean view pool, fitness center and beach access. Rooms offer kitchens or kitchenettes.
Embassy Suites Fort Lauderdale 17th Street – This hotel offers an inclusive cruise package that includes transfers from the airport and to the cruise port. Other goodies included with a stay here: cooked-to-order breakfast appetizers and drinks at an evening reception, pool and fitness center. Every room is a two-room suite.
Hampton Inn and Suites Fort Lauderdale Airport/South Cruise Port – The hotel offers complimentary transportation to and from the airport and cruise packages with free breakfast and transfers to your cruise ship. Amenities include a fitness center and outdoor swimming pool.
Quality Inn and Suites Fort Lauderdale Airport/Cruise Port South – This Quality Inn offers transfers from the airport and to and from the cruise port with its cruise packages. Prices start around $100 a night, and cruisers also enjoy free hot breakfast, outdoor pool and business center. Rooms have a refrigerator and microwave.
We’ve found a batch of hotels that offer nice features that appeal to cruise travelers in Tampa.
Embassy Suites Tampa Downtown Convention Center – This all-suite facility is within walking distance to the Florida Aquarium and other attractions. Suites offer a separate living room, fridges, wet bar and microwave. The hotel has an included made-to-order breakfast, complimentary nightly cocktail hour with snacks, outdoor pool and 24-hour fitness center. Your stay includes a port transfer.
Hampton Inn and Suites Tampa/Ybor City/Downtown — The hotel offers a free hot breakfast, 24-hour fitness center, outdoor pool, and rooms with refrigerators, microwaves and coffee makers. The hotel is one mile from the cruise port, and it offers a complimentary shuttle within a three-mile radius of the property. (No airport shuttle, however.)
Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina – This hotel is steps from the Tampa Riverwalk and features spacious rooms and a rooftop pool. Amenities include a 24-hour gym and rooms with mini-fridges. The cruise package includes breakfast and shuttle service to the cruise port.
Courtyard by Marriott Tampa Downtown – Located right in the middle of numerous shopping and dining options, this hotel has a slew of nice amenities, including a hot tub, barbecue facilities, tropical pool and 24-hour fitness center and free shuttle to and from the port (as well as within a two-mile radius).
In Port Canaveral
This cruise port is in the Greater Orlando area, so you have a chance to visit Disney parks or other attractions when you arrive a day earlier or extend your stay.
The hotels in Orlando provide your best experience for a cruise from Port Canaveral. These cruise hotels all feature inclusive cruise packages, offering transfers from the Orlando airport to the hotel, transfers to Port Canaveral to meet your cruise ship, comfortable accommodations, included breakfast and a transfer from your ship to the Orlando airport when your cruise ends.
Holiday Inn Express Orlando Airport – This hotel has and outdoor pool, gym and laundry services. Each room is equipped with a mini-fridge and microwave.
Staybridge Suites Orlando Airport – Each guest room can sleep up to six people and offers a full kitchen. The hotel features an outdoor pool and hot tub, fitness center and laundry room. A complimentary shuttle service operates within a three-mile radius of the hotel.
Quality Inn Kennedy Space Center – Located in Titusville, this hotel is 25 minutes from the port. It offers an outdoor pool and sundeck. Each room sleeps up to four and has a microwave and mini-fridge.
Embassy Suites Orlando Airport – The property features a pool, hot tub, 24-hour fitness center, shuttle operating in a two-mile radius and business center. Rooms have separate living area, mini-fridge and microwave.