Category Archives: Fort Lauderdale

I’m Too Excited To Sleep

It doesn’t matter where we go or what we are doing, just before a trip I’m too excited to sleep.  Even more so when Disney is involved.  I didn’t get to sleep until nearly 10:00 last night and here I am at 3:00 am wide awake.  I could try to go back to sleep but the alarm is going off in an hour and fifteen minutes.  What if I don’t wake up?  Did I remember to set the alarm?

I laid in bed for a while, trying to go back to sleep.  It’s not like this is a cruise vacation we are going on or a trip to Walt Disney World (at least not yet), so why does this affect my sleep?  I’m not getting up earlier than I normally would on a weekday, it should be a leisurely trip to the airport this morning.

It’s been a couple years since we flew out of Madison so this will be a nice change.  Only 20 minutes to the airport instead of an hour and a half to Milwaukee.  I didn’t do online check in, but our seats are already selected so I guess that doesn’t matter.  We’ve got a bag to check anyway so it’s fine.

I wonder what I should blog about today?  After all, we’ll be flying this morning and then going straight to CruiseWorld 2011 so I won’t have a chance to blog until tonight.  I don’t think I have time this morning to do a quick blog, or do I?  Maybe if I get up 15 minutes earlier than the alarm.  Can I do that?

It’s going to be 80 degrees Fahrenheit today!  I’m so looking forward to the warmer temperatures.  It’s hasn’t been too miserable yet.  We were spared from the snow this last weekend.  In fact, it reached the mid-60s yesterday, but the temperatures are going to drop a bit again.  I’m pretty sure I packed a swimsuit….

The hotel will be within walking distance to the convention center.  Our flight gets in just before 1:00.  Are we going to make it to the 2:00 session?  That’s calling it pretty close, but on the other hand, the airport is only a few minutes from the hotel.  We’ll be right on the water — on the intracoastal waterway.  In fact, the water taxi has a pick up right outside our hotel.  We may plan to take it one evening and check out the area.

As long as we’re going to be in Fort Lauderdale for a few days, we need to check out some other hotels, including ours, for a pre-ToaD Oasis of the Seas sailing hotel.  We’ll be very close to Port Everglades with the entrance just beyond the convention center.  We should be able to see Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas from our hotel!

We also have a friend who lives just north of Fort Lauderdale that we’re going to try to get together with.  How long has it been since we saw her?  I think it was the 5 night sailing in 2008!  Wow, it’s been a long time.  That will be lots of fun though.  Maybe I should bring a little toad gift for Christina?

The best part of the trip is that we’ll get up to Walt Disney World at the end.  Will I have this much trouble sleeping the night before we go there?  I’ll already be on vacation, so will I still be too excited?  Of course I’ll be excited!!  We are going to try to get to all four parks in 26 hours!

Too much going on in my head to try to get a little more shut-eye!  Fort Lauderdale, here I come!!

Oasis of the Seas Review – Part One

We had the opportunity to tour the Oasis of the Seas recently.  This is the first of three blogs on this ship.

I must say going in I was very curious because I thought there was no chance I would want to sail on this ship or her sister ship, Allure of the Seas.  I mean, these are massive ships!  It takes three Majesty of the Seas ships to equal the size of the Oasis of the Seas!  If you put the Disney Magic and Disney Dream together, they would still be a little smaller than Oasis of the Seas.

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Cruise Over the Holidays with MSC Cruises for Less

Right now you can get a balcony on a holiday sailing on MSC Poesia to the Caribbean for the price of an oceanview stateroom. You can also book a superior balcony for the standard balcony rate. Prices for these cruises start at $649 per person plus taxes and fees. Additionally, deposits for these cruises (and all MSC cruises) are now just $100 per person! Here is a listing of the cruises with these special promotions:

7 nights – MSC Poesia

Thanksgiving Cruise

  • November 19
  • Starting at $649 per person
  • Western Caribbean Ports of Call:  Fort Lauderdale, Key West, Cozumel, Isla de Roatan, Montego Bay

Christmas Cruise

  • December 23
  • Starting at $799 per person
  • Eastern Caribbean Ports of Call:  Fort Lauderdale, St. Thomas, San Juan, Nassau

New Years Cruise

  • December 30
  • Starting at $949 per person
  • Western Caribbean Ports of Call:  Fort Lauderdale, Key West, Cozumel, Isla de Roatan, Montego Bay

President’s Day Cruise

  • February 18
  • Starting at $699 per person
  • Eastern Caribbean Ports of Call:  Fort Lauderdale, St. Thomas, San Juan, Nassau

In addition to these promotions, you will also qualify for Travel On A Dream’s onboard credit promotion when you book your MSC Cruise with us.  Contact us today!

Cruising Out of Miami

When we decided to take a Norwegian Cruise out of Miami, we started looking for airfare.  Our first two choices of airlines – Southwest and AirTran – do not fly to Miami.  The closest they fly is Fort Lauderdale.  I knew that people flew into either Fort Lauderdale or Miami for cruises in the area, but I have never done this myself.  We decided to give this a try.  AirTran’s prices were lower and offered a direct flight on the way home so we booked it this way.

We decided to fly down the day prior because it’s just a bit more relaxing than worrying if the flight will get there on time and missing the ship.  We wanted to stay near the Port of Miami as this would make it the most relaxing.  We chose The Grand Doubletree which is about a mile from the entrance to the port.  Next we needed to figure out how to get to the the hotel and then over to the port in the morning.

A taxi from Fort Lauderdale to the Port of Miami area will cost you between $60 and $75 for two people.  There were shuttles as well that were less expensive but you would have to stop at other hotels on the way.  The only car rental option was Hertz.  They have a dropoff location about 1/2 mile from the Port entrance and are the only ones that offer a complementary shuttle to the port.  This was close to the price of the taxi for a one day rental and we wouldn’t need to worry about getting to the port.  A taxi to the port in the morning would run between $12 and $15.  We decided to rent a car.

It was very easy to drive from Fort Lauderdale to Miami and this is something that I would not let intimidate you.  The freeway was 5-6 lanes in each direction, but at the time we were there, it wasn’t that busy on the freeway.

After we checked in, we decided to walk over to Bayside.  This is a marketplace down by the water, right next to the port entrance.  There are restaurants, shops and entertainment here.  If you want to take a water cruise to see the Miami area, this is the place to do this.  When we were there, a band played down by the water and many people were dancing.  There was a very good variety of eateries, from Bubba Gumps and Hooters to an Argentinian Steak House to a little shop that sells empanadas for $1.  We stopped and tried some gelato and then settled on a seafood place for dinner.  We sat on the water and watched as the boats came in and out and dusk fell.

Since it was dark, we didn’t want to walk back to the hotel so we asked about the tram that we saw elevated over the roads that went within two blocks of our hotel.  This was a free service that is offered in Downtown Miami.  This is like a monorail in Orlando and Las Vegas airports, where primarily you have to stand.  It was a short trip to our exit and a quick walk back to the hotel.  This was a very nice way to get back to the hotel.

In the morning we returned the car and went over to the port to check in and get sailing!  I’ll review the cruise at the end as this is a training that I am attending and the first day at sea was filled with training.  Today we are heading in to Grand Cayman and tomorrow Cozumel.  Rumor has it there is a tropical storm or hurricane coming our way, but shouldn’t reach us before we leave the area.