on June 8, 2009
Our pre-cruise accommodation was the Courtyard Long Beach Downtown. It is located 8 miles from the San Pedro Cruise Terminal. The hotel is not posh but it served our purpose of being a clean, comfortable place to spend a night before our cruise. The Courtyard was one of the five hotels reserved for the passengers of the Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage cruise. Tom Joyner is a national R&B radio personality that raises scholarship money each year by chartering a Royal Caribbean ship and turning it into a week of R&B concerts, parties, and seminars. My wife and I had enough points for a free stay at two of the reserved hotels. We chose to use our free stay at the Courtyard because it is in walking distance of the Long Beach Performing Arts Center where the pre-cruise Bon Voyage party took place.We had a room on the second floor with a balcony over an alley. We normally prefer rooms on slightly higher floors for security but knowing that most of the hotel guests were cruise passengers that would be checking out at the same time in the morning, I knew we'd probably be waiting a long time for an elevator to reach the higher floors. Therefore, we were content with a room on the second floor where I could walk our luggage down a flight of stairs if necessary.Our room was clean. It passed our sniff test - no mildew or cigarette smells. The bed was comfortable. The bathroom was spotless. In other words, we were pleased with our accommodations. Our only complaint was that we discovered later that evening that the sliding door of our balcony was unlocked. Given our second floor balcony was close to the ground, our room would have been an easy target for thieves.The hotel is in a convenient location of downtown Long Beach. There are restaurants galore in walking distance. A few blocks north of the hotel is a shopping center containing Wal-Mart and other stores. The Long Beach Harbor is within walking distance from the hotel. It was there that we ate a very satisfying dinner at Famous Dave's BBQ.The hotel staff was friendly and helpful. My wife and I ended up spending the night at the Courtyard without of our luggage. The trucks that were responsible for delivering the cruise passenger luggage from LAX to the appropriate hotels did not deliver ours to the Courtyard. The front desk employees of the hotel helped us out by giving us tooth brushes, getting contact numbers, and making phone calls. They even helped us look through the conference room full of suitcases that the trucks had already dropped off. I ended up finding our bags the next morning at another hotel about an hour before the shuttle was supposed to take us to the cruise ship. Whew! Overall, we were happy with our pre-cruise stay at the Courtyard.
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