Editor's Note: This property has closed.
by Linda Kaye
San Antonio, Texas
May 2, 2004
Because we were flying to Ft. Lauderdale the day before our cruise began, we needed a place convenient to the airport and to Port Everglades Pier. We found both at the Best Western Marina Inn and Yacht Harbor. One of the best features is they offer complimentary shuttle service from the airport and then to the cruise ship docks. No need to pay for a taxi. Our shuttle driver was a delightful woman from Jamaica with the most enchanting accent; on her radio was playing Caribbean style music and this started off our trip in a very positive way.
This Best Western was one of the most beautiful and unique we had seen. The tropical gardens and Tiki Bar surrounding the pool are magnificent. The sweet scent of flowers invades every breath. As the name suggests, it was on the water directly across from Port Everglades where the cruise ships dock.
Within a short walk from the hotel is a landing where the water bus stops on the hour to pick up passengers. It runs along the Riverfront stopping at restaurants, shopping areas and hotels. The charge is $5.00 for an all day ticket. Even if you have no place to go, it is fun just getting on and riding. You can get complete route and schedule at watertaxi.com.
While we were at the landing, there was a lot of commotion, people with binoculars looking a something just beyond where we were. We found out that the Queen Mary 2 had just docked. Had we been up earlier the following morning, we could have seen our ship, the Golden Princess, come into port.
The hotel restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner at very reasonable prices. The service and quality of the food was excellent. When we checked in, we were given a coupon for 10% our restaurant bill. We were also each given a coupon for $2.50 that covered a continental breakfast or $2.50 off any breakfast on the menu.
For dinner we split a humongous Caesar salad followed by grilled grouper on a bed of rice and vegetables. We finished our meal with the most delicious Key Lime Pie and coffee. The cost (with the 10% discount) was less than $15.00 per person.
The guest rooms were large and comfortable, but nothing out of the ordinary. Most rooms overlook the beautiful gardens or the waterway. Be sure the request the view you want. If you choose the gardens, be aware that there is music playing at the Tiki bar until 12:00 or 1:00 a.m. and can be a little annoying if you are a light sleeper.
As promised, they delivered us and all our luggage to the cruise terminal at Port Everglades before noon, giving us plenty of time to check-in and get settled before the cruise actually "started".
From journal OUR GOLDEN PRINCESS EXPERIENCE