The Holiday Inn Express, Davie Rd, near Ft. Lauderdale was perfect for a one night pre-cruise stay. Clean & comfortable, with a free airport shuttle and wifi. The bed and bedding were VERY comfy. It is in an industrial area, so this is probably not where you would stay for a “vacation.” But for work or a short stay- it is perfect. The airport shuttle was great, even on a busy Saturday night. (The Airport shuttle area was PACKED! You call and let them know you are there, and they will be there to pick you up within 10-15 minutes. Then make sure you look out for the correct shuttle.) The hotel check-in was fine. There was only one person on duty for our 9:30 pm check-in. There were 4 other rooms of people that arrived with us on the shuttle. As a way to avoid a long line, my husband waited for our luggage, and I went ahead to get us checked in.
The complementary breakfast in the morning was good. There selection was HUGE. Literally they had it all. Juice and Coffee of course. Hard-boiled and scrambled eggs. Sausage. Biscuits and gravy (only so so.) Various breads and pastries. And a little machine that made on-demand pancakes, that were GOOD! There was limited seating on busy cruise departure days. And some people just “hang out” taking up precious table space.
As for heading for the cruise pier in the morning, we opted not to use the cruise shuttle (available at the hotel for a nominal per person charge), instead optioning to pay and pre-arranging our own car, so that we did not have to arrive at the pier with a van full of other people- we are always looking to stay efficient while on vacation. If we had chosen to take the hotel shuttle, we would have arrived at the pier with 10-15 other people. We would be in line to check-in with those people. Have to wait for the luggage for all of those people to be loaded and unloaded. They probably made a couple of stops. Having our own transportation eliminated a lot of waiting.
My only complaint at the hotel had to do with other guests and the lack of soundproofed rooms. At night the people above us were clearly not in the mood for sleep. At 11:30 p.m. you could hear the pitter-patter of feet running above us. There was also jumping, and other noises. As I wanted to sleep, we called the front desk. The noise appeared to stop for a while. However, one hour later, I still heard little feet, and noise. We called again. Eventually I fell to sleep. But that was annoying. I should have attempted to move rooms earlier. If you are like me and cannot sleep with pounding feet noises, ask for a room on the top floor. The 2nd noise complaint had to do with hearing a little dog bark in a room across the hall. It would bark randomly at the housekeeping in the halls… So, the rooms were not very noise-proof.
Within walking distance there is a greasy spoon looking restaurant. A 5 minute walk across the street there is a Piggly Wiggly or some other southern grocery store. You can ask the front desk for the specific location, but it is the opposite direction of the highway. So, if you are flying (and decide not to check luggage) and want to buy sun block or wine before your cruise, you can walk down the street and get it! They also have liquor if you wanted a little bottle of something for yourself. Be careful taking this on a cruise though as you do not want to be denied entry for trying to “smuggle’ something onboard. Overall it was a fine hotel and I would stay there again.