Our cruise of the Caribbean was the middle 8 days of a 28 day vacation. We drove into Fort Lauderdale and needed to find a place to leave our car where it would be safe. The parking stalls at Port Everglades would have cost a minimum of $150. Online I found a company that caters to people that have that same problem. It is called Stay123. By booking through them we chose a lovely Hampton Inn hotel room in Plantation, Florida (7801 SW 6th St). Besides the usual amenities of comfortable room, guest laundry and good continental breakfast; we were allowed to park our car at the back of their parking lot until we returned from the cruise. In addition to that they had airport or cruiseport FREE transportation. Transport was well organized and we ended up at the correct terminal in plenty of time for first boarding. Upon our return I called the motel front desk and the extended window van hauling an enclosed luggage trailer picked us up in a matter of minutes. The best $80 plus tips we have spent in a long time.
Fort Lauderdale has a lot to offer in addition to overnight lodging. Unfortunately we only extended our sight-seeing to the restaurant next door to the hotel. We had lunch at Jay's Cafe. This very new restaurant shared a building with a spa, salon and bridal boutique. Bill ordered a fish dish and I had an Italian sub. It was a fairly diverse for such a small place. But they need to work the kinks out of the ordering system.
For supper we ordered in pizza from Pizzaloft (3514 S. University Drive, Davie, FL). This was a recommendation from the front desk clerk. She knows her pizza. Our choices were excellant.
In the morning, when we arrived at Port Everglades, the rainstorm formerly known as Tropical Storm Alberto also arrived. (In another review I mentioned how our suitcases were drenched.) But my observation here is how bleak the port and city skyline look. Florida in this area is remarkably flat. I'm surprised the explorers of the 15th century didn't just plow into the land by accident. This port is easy for large ships to enter and depart, but we always enjoy watching the little pilot boats escorting us.
Our first port of the trip was exciting for the sheer size and amount of activity. And when we returned here we took pride in America's impressive highway system and services available. And it was sunny that day.