Caribbean Cruise travel blog

Our Hotel in Fort Lauderdale

Another view of thr Fort Lauderdale Hotel


Woke at 5:30 and got ready, checked out and waited a short while for the shuttle to take us back to the airport. We checked in and deposited our cases then went through, first the automated immigration and customs formalities, then the face to face one with a real person. Eventually we were in the departure area, having walked through the duty free zone which could have been transported from any airport in the world. They are all identical with their meandering pathway to ensure maximum temptation - which we easily resisted.

We got some food for breakfast and some left overs for later. We settled into the departure lounge and surmised that most of our fellow passengers were destined for cruises, including a lady in a wheelchair sitting by Christine. We did find an exception as we walked sown the pier to the plane. This couple from Ottawa were just looking for somewhere warm to escape the Canadian cold. We got onto the plane and discovered the third person in our row was the wheelchair lady from the departure lounge. She was from Newfoundland and going on a cruise on Saturday with five friends.

We again had an uneventful flight that left on time a first in our experience of flying through Toronto. We arrived half an hour early and went to the baggage claim to find our flight was not listed on the directory matching flights with carousels. I stood by the directory board while Christine went to the wash room. As I waited someone - a fellow passenger - advised me that it was carousel 4. As I continued to wait, I recognized several fellow passengers looking at the board in a fruitless search for their flight. I advised some of the of the carousel number, hoping the information was correct. When Christine returned we headed for carousel 4 and, sure enough it was correct. When the bags started to come, mine was first off! Christine's was not far behind.

We headed for the car rental area and ran the gauntlet of the lady behind the counter trying to upsell us upgrading the car, with frightening insurance threats, offers of GPS (we had one) the ability to return the car with the fuel tank empty, no doubt at an exorbitant per gallon cost. All of this we declined.

We headed to pick up the car and were told they did not have the car we ordered but would give is an SUV (all be it a small one) at no extra cost, which incidentally had a built in GPS. After examining the car and noting scratches which we reported at the exit we were on our way and arrived safely at our hotel. We had to wait for our room as we were early. As we waited a party arrived and one lady we discovered was from Olds and her companions were from ... Edmonton! She had driven to Edmonton last night in -39 weather. We got our room and settled in. We walked over to a shopping mall and had a walk round in very comfortable weather. We decided to have dinner at a Thai restaurant and enjoyed a good meal.

We returned to the hotel and looked at our plans for tomorrow and read.

Tomorrow, on to Key West.

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