Where to Stay in Fort Lauderdale Before a Cruise

Having been on 30+ cruises so far, the majority of them out of Fort Lauderdale, I have stayed at many guest houses, boutique hotels, and chain hotel properties around the city. But a recent one stands out for many reasons.


Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port Hotel

  • I was able to book with Marriott Rewards points for a free night.

  • It is very close to the cruise terminals at Port Everglades. This makes for a quick and inexpensive Uber trip. In the past, I have enjoyed staying at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, but it was sold out for this trip and I am not really Hilton brand loyal.

  • While I like the consistency of the Marriott brand hotels, the Renaissance brand is a bit younger and flashier in terms of design and guests, but you wouldn’t know if from the outside facade of this building, which was Golden Girls pink Florida. Inside, the lobby bar area was casual but eclectic in design, with candles everywhere and abuzz with people.

  • I really enjoyed the restaurant across an adjacent parking lot to a strip mall: Bravo Italian Restaurant. The server was a little quirky (fast and matter of fact), but the food and ambience were the draw. I was able to get my linguini with clams, loaded with clams. What a great preface to an amazing cruise.