We were all settled in at our hotel after those few minor delays at the airport – we were thankful that everything worked itself out! We were staying overnight at a pre-cruise hotel in Fort Lauderdale called Cambria Suites Fort Lauderdale Airport South and Cruise Port Hotel. Our hotel’s shuttle van driver picked us up at the airport, and it was only a short ride to Cambria Suites. He was a really nice man who gave us plenty of helpful tips, such as booking our morning shuttle ride to the cruise port at the front desk when we checked in. This was to ensure that we could schedule the shuttle time that we wanted before it got all booked up. He also recommended that we showed up at the pier earlier than the cruise line suggested. He said that the cruise ships generally let passengers board earlier than they tell you to arrive (he was right!). We ended up booking our shuttle trip for 10:00am since we likely would be in a line-up getting into Port Everglades – there were eight cruise ships in port on the day we boarded! As it turned out, three of those ships were Princess ships – ours (the Emerald Princess), the Ruby, and the Crown.
Checking in at the hotel was a breeze! We arrived super early from the airport (11:45am) and even though this was way earlier than check-in time (3:00pm), the hotel was super accommodating and had our room ready for us! I had emailed the hotel in advance to let them know that we would be arriving early. They were very nice and wrote that they would try their best to allow us to check in early. We were allowed to use our hotel room hours ahead of check-in time without any additional cost, which was definitely a bonus. We were both absolutely starving from being up so early and not eating very much, so we threw our luggage into our room and headed out for lunch. We walked down the street to the Chipotle on Stirling Road. It was about a 10 minute walk from the hotel. From Cambria Suites, you walk up to the main road (Stirling Rd.), hang a left, and walk underneath a highway overpass. You will see the Chipotle in a plaza on the left. We devoured our veggie burritos so quickly! They were delicious!
When we got back to the hotel, Justin opted to take a nap as he couldn’t sleep much on the plane and he was just getting over the remnants of a cold. I put on my bathing suit and ventured outside to the pool. It was really sunny and was the perfect temperature for sitting outside int he sun. However, it was a little bit too cool for swimming. I did take a little dip in the hot tub and had it all to myself!
It got a little overcast out there, so I called it a day and went back to the hotel room. Justin was still napping, so I grabbed our DSLR camera (a Canon t3i we had just purchased for our trip and future travels) to take outside. I wanted to practice using the camera since operating a DSLR was pretty new to me!
In the parking lot, I saw a flash run by and it ended up being a cat! Then, across the lot, there was a second cat! They were both really timid strays who were reluctant to trust me so they kept their distance. I hope that they have at least someone who cares for them since they were really sweet little kitties!
Here’s a little tour of our hotel room at Cambria Suites. I would highly recommend staying at this hotel before your cruise, as long as you don’t mind staying at a hotel that isn’t near the beach. It is close to the airport and the cruise port, and you get a free shuttle pick-up from the airport. The shuttle to the cruise port is $5/pp. It is a new and clean hotel with a great pool and hot tub outside. The hotel is within walking distance of various shops and restaurants. There is also a restaurant at the hotel, as well as a coffee shop. There is a nice looking gym if you’re looking to exercise. The price was definitely right – we booked ahead of time and it was $167/night – very reasonable for a suite hotel room during peak cruise season.
I should also mention that the room was HUGE! It had two flat screen TVs – one by the bed and one in a separate seating area with a couch. There was a bar with a coffee maker, fridge, and microwave. The bathroom was very spacious with a large shower. There was a large desk in the room and the hotel had free wifi. Please don’t mind the pictures below that have our ugly suitcases in them – I took these photos while Justin was sleeping and was trying my best to be quiet without moving anything around!