Cruise Holidays - Attheta Travel

I am proud to be certified by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) as an Elite Cruise Counselor. The Cruise Counselor Certification Program is CLIA's most comprehensive training which requires agents to successfully complete a number of compulsory training courses and exams, attend cruise conferences, and conduct ship inspections. Anita Thompson, Attheta Travel, dba Cruise Holidays.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Review: Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Hotel

Prior to our November cruise on the ms Eurodam, we spent two days at the Airport Sheraton in Ft Lauderdale.  We were scheduled to attend training classes at the Sheraton prior to our cruise, so it made sense to stay at the same facility and go to the ship with the others in our group.

We arrived in Ft Lauderdale on Thursday evening. The hotel provided a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel.  The shuttle arrived within 15 minutes of our call from the baggage area.  Since the hotel is near the southwest corner of the airport property, the ride to the hotel was short.

Our hotel room was on the 7th floor.  We were very close to the airport and I was concerned about noise, but we didn’t hear any noise from the airfield. The hotel is about 4 miles from the pier.  The next morning, we could see funnels on the cruise ships in the harbor from our hotel room.

The hotel charged for wired/wireless internet in the rooms, but provided free wireless in the lobby.  We carried both a laptop and a wireless tablet and the hotel wanted to charge connection fees for both.  Therefore, we compromised and paid the wireless fee for the laptop in the room and used the tablet in the hotel lobby.

The days were warm and the pool and hot-tub were open, but we only saw one family enjoying the water.  On Friday, we did have some time to sit outside (in the pool area) and read, but were disappointed that we didn’t have an outdoor wait staff.  It we wanted water or a soft drink, our only option was to go to the hotel bar.

The bar and restaurant was our biggest disappointment. The tables in the bar were full of diners eating a lighter dinner than what was available at the hotel restaurant and it was difficult to find a place to sit.  The restaurant was in an open court near the bar and it was noisy. 

The hotel is on the corner Griffin Road & Interstate 95, you can’t walk to nearby restaurants or shops.  If you want to leave the hotel property, you need to take a car – or taxi.  We like to walk for exercise, but walking along Griffin Road was not what we had in mind.  Therefore, we spent both evenings in the hotel. 

On our first visit to the hotel bar, we ordered a martini – it was served in a wine glass!  First time for that…

We left the hotel at noon on Saturday, going to the ship – it was a 15 minute bus ride.  Since we were with a large group, we didn’t use the hotel shuttle service to the pier.  I believe there was a charge for the hotel shuttle to the pier, but I don’t remember the cost.

The hotel staff was friendly and the hotel was clean, but it is not a hotel that we will choose when we next visit Ft Lauderdale – nor is it one that we will recommend to our clients.

As our ship left the harbor, we enjoyed watching the people on The Rocks at the end of the beach in Ft Lauderdale. They are there to watch the parade of cruise ships leaving the harbor.

Last year, we visited The Rocks to watch the ships depart. It was exciting! It was the closest we have been to some of the larger cruise ships.

This was our first cruise out of Ft Lauderdale since that time.   If you are in Ft Lauderdale on a Friday or Saturday afternoon, we recommend visiting The Rocks at the end of the beach.  Most of the departing ships will leave their berth within minutes of each other.  It’s a great parade!