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New Amazon travel store!

I have a new travel store….https://www.amazon.com/shop/travelswithmickey

You will find all the things I love to use for traveling and cruising. Please check it out!

I only share items I have personally used and recommend. Let me know if you have any suggestions or comments.

 As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This blog contains affiliate links for which I earn a small commission, at no extra cost to the reader. This means that if you purchase products or services through these links, I will/may be compensated. As an affiliate, I only recommend products and services that I genuinely enjoy and feel would be of value.

Happy shopping!

What to do in Nassau, Bahamas?

Nassau, Bahamas is a beautiful destination for anyone looking for a tropical paradise and is a popular port for cruise ships. It is known for its dazzling turquoise waters, white sand beaches and year-round sunshine.

But what is there to do?

Many people are intimidated when they first arrive and depart the ship. The current gateway is under construction and is rather crowded and confusing. There are also tour vendors actively pushing their tours, along with taxi drivers asking if you want a private tour or transfer to one of the many beaches. Don’t let them scare you off….walk past them and into the town. Just be careful of the busy road. And be mindful of your belongings….as is common in many tourist locations, there are pickpockets around.

Downtown Nassau has the usual shopping opportunities….beach wear, local souvenirs and the typical jewelry stores. It is only a few blocks long, so it doesn’t take much time to explore it.

Have you ever gone swimming with pigs? You can in Nassau! There are many excursions available, either through the ship or on the pier.

Want to do a walking tour? You have many options to choose from. There are culinary tours, rum tasting, bike tours or self-guided walking tours.

Be sure to visit the Queen’s Staircase, commonly referred to as the 66 steps. This is a major landmark that is located in the Fort Fincastle Historic Complex in Nassau. It was hewn out of solid limestone rock by slaves between 1793 and 1794 and is said to have provided a direct route from Fort Fincastle to Nassau City. These steps were later named in honour of Queen Victoria, who reigned in Britain for 64 years from 1837 to 1901.  

Visit John Watling’s distillery if you like rum! John Watling’s Distillery, home to JOHN WATLING’S rum, offers complimentary tours at its home, the Buena Vista Estate, in Downtown Nassau. The historic Estate was founded in 1789 and overlooks the harbour.

At the Estate, John Watling’s features a free production and museum-like tour, shopping and signature Bahamian cocktails at its tavern. It is within walking distance from the cruise ship port in Downtown Nassau. John Watling’s Distillery is located on Delancy Street and is open from 10am-6pm, seven days a week (except for National Holidays).

One of the most popular destinations for tourists is Atlantis Paradise Island, an ocean-themed resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. It is built around Aquaventure, a 62-hectare waterscape. You can purchase the excursion through the cruise ship or at the port. You can also just go and walk around the resort, visit the casino, shops and dining options.

How do you get to Atlantis? You can either take a taxis or the ferry. Taxis are available at the cruise port – $4 per person. You can also take a ferry from Prince George Wharf to Paradise Island – $4 per person and run every half hour. Be sure to keep your eye on the time, as you don’t want to miss the ship!

Enjoy your time in Nassau. Remember to take sunscreen, water and a hat with you! And wear comfortable walking shoes.

For more ideas of what to pack for your caribbean cruise, visit https://zest4travel.net/2022/09/30/what-to-pack-for-the-caribbean/

or my Amazon store http://www.amazon.com/shop/travelswithmickey

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. 

What to pack for the Caribbean

You’ve booked your dream cruise to the Caribbean. Now the big questions…what to pack!

While you might think all you need to throw into your suitcase is a couple of swimsuits and a pair of sandals, there are many other things to consider.

A Caribbean cruise vacation offers so much more than just pristine beaches…though there are plenty of those too! Different islands offer different types of excursions…. relaxing beach days to zip-lining over treetops, hikes up mountains, diving/snorkeling and catamarans.

If you’re planning on participating in any of these activities during your cruise, you’ll want to make sure to bring along the appropriate activewear and shoes. Good walking shoes are a must. Also, beach footwear is essential. Water shoes are highly recommended….many beaches are rocky or have coral. I’ve been using these and find them very comfortable and easy to use.

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No matter how long your vacation, there are many accessories and items you might not consider important, but that actually go a long way in making your cruise as comfortable as possible. You can find a good list of items here: https://wordpress.com/post/zest4travel.net/2211

Here is a quick list of things to not forget:

Swim suit! Nothing worse than arriving onboard and realizing you forgot to pack one!

Shorts and t-shirts are great for daytime. I wear skorts, as I don’t like shorts. Capris or leggings are also a good choice. Most important, be comfortable!

For evenings onboard, dresses or skirts are a great option or nicer slacks. On formal nights, I love wearing something sparkly….it’s the only chance I get to really dress up!

A light weight sweater or wrap is a good idea to pack. The ship can be cool at night.

Don’t forget to add a good hat to your packing. This will protect your face from the sun. These are the ones I use:

Sunscreen. Please choose one that is Reef Safe.

If you like going to the pool or the beach, keeping your towel on the chair can be challenging. I found towel band or clips to be really useful and always have them packed and ready to add to the suitcase!

Ships have limited places to plug in your phone, computer, tablet etc. I recently discovered this charging device and have found it to be a lifesaver. Make sure to choose one that is non-surge protected, otherwise it will be confiscated at embarkation.

There is no need to pack beach towels, shampoo/conditioner, soap etc. Those will all be provided by the ship in your cabin. Do not pack irons or steamers…those are not allowed onboard. Downey wrinkle release has worked very well for us in the past.

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After many cruises and finally having luggage go missing after boarding, we have started using these luggage tag holders. No more ripped off luggage tags for us!

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Enjoy your cruise vacation….explore the islands, visit the beaches and relax!

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date published and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply.

CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED ‘AS IS’ AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.

New Facebook Group!

Do you love cruising? And talking about cruising? Please join us and share your experiences and knowledge with fellow passengers!!

Everyone is welcome…just be sure to answer the questions at sign up. Hope to see you online and onboard soon!

Celebrity Cruises Beverage Packages

What are the differences between the beverage packages onboard Celebrity Cruises? Is it worth it to upgrade? How much does it cost? What other packages are available? These are very common questions and I will do my best to provide quick and easy answers.

*NEW PRICING BEGAN DEC 19, 2022 If you booked prior to Dec 19, 2022, there is no additional charge for your package.

Classic Package

You can choose from an array of beers, spirits, cocktails, liqueurs, frozen drinks and wines by the glass up to $10 per serving. This package also includes a 15% discount on all wines by the bottle. This package will cover coffee and tea at Cafe al Bacio, bottled water and sodas. Most drinks at the Martini Bar, World Class bar are outside this package, as are most drinks in Eden.

$89 per person per day (effective 12/19/22)

If you are purchasing this package and not just upgrading and you are a Captain’s Club member, you will receive a discount according to your level. Classic and Select members receive a 10% discount, Elite receive a 15% discount and Elite Plus receive a 20% discount. Zenith members receive a complimentary premium package.

Premium Package

With this package, you will receive all classic package items, PLUS: Specialty coffees & teas, craft & artisan beers, spirits, cocktails, frozen drinks, premium bottled water and wines by the glass up to $17 per serving. Also take a 20% discount off all bottles of wine!

$109 per person per day (effective 12/19/22)

If you are purchasing this package and not just upgrading and you are a Captain’s Club member, you will receive a discount according to your level. Classic and Select members receive a 10% discount, Elite receive a 15% discount and Elite Plus receive a 20% discount. Zenith members receive a complimentary premium package.

What is included in each package?

This link will show you the brands included in the Classic and Premium packages: https://www.celebritycruises.com/content/dam/celebrity/pdf/Celebrity-Cruises-Beverage-Packages.pdf

Can I upgrade from Classic to Premium? What is the cost?

Yes, of course you can upgrade! The current cost to upgrade is $20/day plus the 20% gratuity, which totals $24/person/day. (effective 12/19/22) We have done the math on previous cruises and the upgrade always pays itself off within the first few days. Remember, this covers WAY more than just alcohol! Fresh squeezed juice in the morning and premium bottles of water are worth it just by themselves! I’m not a water snob, but those aluminum cans they are currently using are dangerous! I’ve cut my hand several times trying to open them.

If you are a Captain’s Club member, you will receive a discount according to your level. You must call in prior to sailing to receive this discount. Otherwise, you can upgrade at any bar onboard at any time during your cruise, but you will not receive the discount.

Classic and Select members receive a 10% discount, Elite and Elite Plus receive a 15% discount and Zenith members receive a complimentary premium package. If you are calling from the US or Canada, the phone number is 800-722-5941 and from the UK 0800 240 4323. Other country phone numbers can be found in “Manage My Reservation” on the Celebrity website.

If you decide to NOT upgrade, when you purchase a drink outside of the package, you will be charged the difference in price, plus the 20% gratuity.

Remember….you MUST upgrade prior to sailing in order to receive this discount!

Zero Proof Package


Refresh with premium bottled water from Evian, Perrier, San Pellegrino, & Panna, Specialty Coffees & Organic Teas, Red Bull Energy Drink, Frozen Smoothies, Zero Proof Cocktails, Coca-Cola selections, offerings from Vitamin Water, and Bottled Iced Teas. 

$30 per person per day

Wines by the Bottle Packages

PREMIUM WINES BY THE BOTTLE PACKAGE – (3, 5 or 7 bottle selections)

Choose from a selection of excellent wines including a medium to full-bodied Sancerre, Jacques Dumont, France to a bold, yet elegant Crianza, Palacios Remondo, ‘La Montesa’, Spain and much more. When purchasing Wines by the Bottle Package, your wine bottle follows you. Knowledgeable sommeliers deliver your bottle to any venue on board, including your stateroom. All wines will be poured in the highest quality Riedel glasses.

CLASSIC WINES BY THE BOTTLE PACKAGE – (3, 5 or 7 bottle selections)

Choose from an array of wines ranging from a medium-bodied Penfolds Koonunga Hill Chardonnay, Australia to a sturdy, flavorful Cabernet Sauvignon, Beringer, ‘Founders’ Estate’, California, and many more. When purchasing Wines by the Bottle Package, your wine bottle follows you. Knowledgeable sommeliers deliver your bottle to any venue on board, including your stateroom. All wines will be poured in the highest quality Riedel glasses.

*Wines from a pre-selected wine list. †Select vintage wines may require additional fee.

Are drink packages worth it?

A cappuccino or specialty coffee from Cafe al Bacio starts at $5. Various beers start at $6 or $7 at most onboard bars, with special offers for buckets. A glass of wine starts at $9….and that’s just the starting point.

Since the Classic Package starts at $89 per day, if you order a morning coffee, an orange juice, two beers at the pool, and a glass of wine or two with dinner for yourself, you’re already paying almost half of the daily fee when you could easily take advantage of an unlimited selection per day of beers, spirits, cocktails, liqueurs, frozen drinks, and wines by the glass, and get 15% off all wines by the bottle with a beverage package. Add in an after dinner beverage or two and you are well on your way to saving money! Not to mention an afternoon coffee or tea and the numerous bottles of water you should be drinking during the day!

Ultimately, the guests who find cruise drink packages the most worthwhile are those who don’t want to worry about getting an unexpected bill at the end of the cruise. The convenience of knowing that your drinks are already paid for can help you relax into your well-deserved vacation.

Passengers can also take two bottles of wine per guest (over 21 if embarking in the US or Puerto Rico) onboard at embarkation. The bottles MUST be in your carry-on bags. It’s smart to protect those bottles from breakage.

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What can I bring onboard with me?

Celebrity Cruises offers a wide variety of beverages on their ships. They serve Coca-Cola® products butallow guests to carry on any non-alcoholic drink of their preference, including bottled water, even if that particular selection is also offered on board. Regarding limitations, guests are only permitted to bring aboard what they are able to personally hand-carry onto the ship. Please note that any personal beverages you bring aboard must be stored in your stateroom and your room’s minibar can hold a very limited number of items.

In terms of alcoholic drinks, on embarkation day, guests are allowed to bring a maximum of two bottles of wine or champagne with them per guest. No other alcoholic beverages are permitted to be carried on. Remember, there is a $25.00-per-bottle corkage fee for guests who choose to consume this alcohol in any of the ship’s bars, lounges, or restaurants. This corkage fee does not apply to those who have a Classic or Premium BeveragePackage.

All information has been taken directly from the Celebrity website and is accurate as of December 19, 2022. Prices can (and do!) change, so be sure to check current costs.

Happy Sailing!

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Bonaire!

Bonaire is one of three islands that make up the catchy nickname: the ABC islands. This colorful Netherlands Antilles archipelago lies 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela and is comfortably outside the Caribbean’s hurricane belt.

  

Bonaire is laid-back by design. Large chain hotels have been kept out and eco-preservation has been enforced since the 1970’s, making this some of the best dive and snorkeling sites in the world. The island’s relaxed and slow pace helps maintain the island’s chief attributes…its national park and pristine wilderness, both above and below the surface. This is the place for adventure sports: diving, caving, sea kayaking, mountain biking, wind surfing, and cliff jumping, to name just a few. Bonaire continues to be recognized as one of the top destinations worldwide for its sustainable tourism.

The culture contains layers of Amerindian, Spanish, African, Dutch and British influences. You will hear traces of these languages (plus some French and Portuguese) during any conversation in Papiamento, the creole language spoken. Try using a few key phrases: por fabor, danki, and bon dia—all of which mean exactly what you think they do!

Renting a golf cart is a popular activity. This is a fun and easy way to explore the island at your own pace. Be sure to reserve early….they sell out quickly! https://www.bonairecruisers.com

Photo courtsey of Bonaire Cruisers

Visit the donkey sanctuary, take a trip to the salt flats, view the flamingos or just hit the beach. Be sure to keep an eye out for the donkeys…they were brought to Bonaire by the Spanish in the 17th century for transportation. When modern vehicles (like pushcarts) became available , donkeys were no longer needed and were left to their own fate.

Since 1993 injured, sick and orphaned donkeys have been cared for in a shelter, called the Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire. Volunteers take care over 400 donkeys in an enclosed area. The shelter is open to visitors and is located south of the airport on the Kaya Ir.R. Statius van Eps. https://www.donkeysanctuary.org/?lang=en

Reduce your speed when you approach a donkey. They may cross the street unexpectedly.

The south end of the island is host to the famous salt flats & mounts. As you drive along south road, you will notice the different colors of the water, turning into an intense pink color. Cargill has been operating here since 1997 and produces some of the purest salts in the world. Depending on the grade of salt, it is used for water softeners, the chemical industry or food production. You can learn more about the Bonaire salt on a tour, either through your ship or booked independently

The Salt pyramids of Bonaire can be seen when arriving either by sea or by air, each one is roughly 50-feet high and contains approximately 10,000 metric tons of 99.6% pure salt.

The Pekelmeer Flamingo Sanctuary is one of only four areas in the world where Flamingos breed. Pekelmeer means “salt lake” in Dutch. The pools appear pink against the white salt flats because of an abundance of tiny rosy brine shrimp that live in the water. This is also how the birds get their pink color…eating the shrimp! The Sanctuary is located on the vast salt pans at the southern end of the island and is home to over ten thousand flamingos. Tourists are not allowed in the sanctuary, but the birds can be watched with binoculars from the road or nearby Pink Beach. Please take care to not frighten them….once they fly away, they will never return. https://www.tourismbonaire.com/sightseeing/pekelmeer-flamingo-sanctuary

Bonaire has over 22 beaches. On Bonaire and its sister island Klein Bonaire, the sands of some beaches are soft and blindingly white, while others are coarser and darker due to the high content of crushed shells and coral. Beach condition is intrinsically tied to the health of those reefs. You can help by taking your plastics and trash back with you, leaving the shells where they lie (they might be a home for hermit crabs) and wearing eco-friendly sunscreen. Every little bit helps to keep the sands clean for future generations to enjoy.

Be sure to pick up a Bonaire Island Map to find many sandy beaches and coves to explore and enjoy. Watch for the bright yellow stone markers painted with the site name along the coastal roads. They make it easy to find a great beach for sun bathing, strolling or snorkeling and diving.

Did you know that Bonaire has a distillery? The Cadushy Distillery was founded on March 7th, 2009 by the Gietman family and grew from a small start-up to a thriving company. They created something you would have never imagined…..excellent liqueur made out of cactus! Cadushy of Bonaire liqueur is based on the traditions of Bonaire. Lime has been used as a thirst satisfier for centuries and cactus has been an ingredient in the traditional kitchen. Be sure to stop and try some. https://www.cadushy.com

Enjoy your visit to Bonaire…..and island unlike any other in the Caribbean.

And if you didn’t watch the video already….please watch it!

Day At Sea On The Celebrity Equinox

A quick look around the Celebrity Equinox on a sea day. Included are a few of the activities provided and a nice review of the Solarium. Enjoy!!

Be sure to follow Maddie and Ryan for more adventures at sea and on land.

Exploring Sitka – 11 Things to Do

Sitka is located on Baranof Island and is nestled between the mountains and sea. The arts flourish and an ancient native culture still thrives. Surrounded by rainforest, they share their home with brown bears, bald eagles, otters and all five species of Pacific salmon.

Cruise ships dock at the island’s Old Dock at Halibut Point, about five miles north of Sitka town. A free shuttle bus service runs between the dock and downtown Sitka every 10-15 minutes. Some cruise lines drop anchor offshore instead of pulling into the port and use tenders.

Either way, the drop-off point will be in downtown Sitka near Harrigan Centennial Hall. This modern oceanfront building is the town’s visitor’s center and is the perfect starting point for your visit to Sitka. The hall features restrooms, WiFi and an information desk. Throughout the summer, there are also various cultural events to enjoy. If you’ve booked any tours or excursions with a local company, this is probably the starting point.

If your plan is to explore Sitka on your own, you’ll find Sitka to be very walkable. Most attractions are located within a few blocks of the harbor.

photo courtesy of Sitka Borough

Explore the Historic District

Even if you have tours planned, it’s worth the time to walk through the downtown historic area. Stroll down Lincoln Street and walk past some of Sitka’s most important landmarks, including the Russian Orthodox St. Michael’s Cathedral and Bishop’s House.

St. Michael’s Cathedral

 For over 100 years before it became a US territory, Sitka was  Russian settlement. St. Michael’s Cathedral ….one of the most popular Sitka attractions….is a perfect example. Built in 1848 by St. Innocent, it was the first Orthodox church ever built in North America. The golden crosses and green onion domes are an architectural wonder and it has a beautiful and spacious interior. A $5 entry fee allows you to explore the historic icons inside the church. There are also weekly services that are open to the public.

Russian Bishop’s House

From 1808 until 1867, New Archangel…as Sitka was known at that time….served as the capital of the Russian-American colony. The Bishop’s House was the administrative headquarters for their 19th-century missionary efforts. Now, the Bishop’s House is protected as a National Historic Landmark. There is a free guided tour you can take to learn about the home’s art, architecture, and historical artifacts.

Sheldon Jackson Museum

Located on Lincoln Street between Harrigan Centennial Hall and the nearby Sitka National Park, the museum has been collecting items of historical and cultural significance since 1885. Inside you will find masks, carvings, tools, toys, boats, and other artifacts from native Northwest Coast cultures.

Tlingit Clan House

Plan a visit here to learn more about the culture of the Tlingit Clan and how they lived off the land. The Tlingit clans thrived on these remote Alaskan islands long before the first Russian settlements. Also known as the Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi Tribal Community House, this “house” provides an intimate look into native Alaskan heritage. Watch a live performance by the Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi Dancers while enjoying the fragrant scent of burning cedar. Everyone will love the energetic drum beats and the chance to join a native dance around the fire pit. You can also pose for pictures in front of the biggest hand-carved screen in Alaska.

Looking for nature activities? There are plenty of choices!

Baranof Castle State Historic Site (Castle Hill)

Commonly referred to as Castle Hill, this state park is one of the most historically significant sites in Alaska. Tlingit natives originally inhabited this area and built a strategic fortification at this site. Russians occupied this site between 1804-1867. Alaska was officially transferred from Russia to the United States in 1867 on top of Castle Hill. Today, Castle Hill is a state historic site and is also designated as a National Historic Landmark. A fully accessible walkway leads visitors to the top of the hill and provides outstanding views of downtown Sitka and waterfront. At the top. you will find interpretive panels that provide opportunities to learn more about the history of this site.

Sitka National Historical Park

This is the oldest national park in Alaska and covers 113 acres. The park is just outside the city of Sitka. It commemorates the 1804 Battle of Sitka that took place between the Russian settlers and the Tlingit tribespeople. There are 20 hand-carved totem poles scattered along the nature trails and a visitor center with more information about the battle, as well as guided tours that delve into the island’s flora and fauna. Take time to walk through the rainforest. You will have great views of Sitka sound also and opportunities to walk along the beach and explore the numerous tide pools.

Fortress of the Bear

One of the most popular excursions in Sitka is a visit to the Fortress of the Bear. If seeing bears is on your list of must-do Alaska activities, this is your opportunity! You will get within 25 feet of the distinctive Alaska brown bear in a naturalized setting. The three-quarter acre habitat is located about 5 miles from the town center in the Tongass National forest. You will enjoy 3 populations of bears and observe their unique personalities from a large covered viewing platform.  The naturalists are happy to share details about the bears, their behaviors and how they were rescued.

City busses run back and forth to the Fortress of the Bear. The rescue center is supported entirely by visitor donations and is open to family members of all ages. The rescue center receives no government funding and relies solely on support and donations from local businesses, visitors and merchandise sales. http://fortressofthebear.org

Alaska Raptor Center

The Alaska Raptor Center provides medical treatment to around 200 injured birds each year. They specialize in raptors, but will aid any wild bird in need. The goal is to heal, rehabilitate and release all the avian patients, however, some are too injured to fully recover and survive in the wild. These birds join the Raptors-in-Residence team to help teach the public about raptors and the habitats they live in. Currently, there are 24 Raptors-in-Residence, including bald and golden eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. http://alaskaraptor.org

Otters and whales

Sitka is known for the otter population. Book a tour through your ship or at the visitor’s center. Sitka Sound is home to the greatest variety of wildlife in Southeast Alaska – sea otters, whales, sea lions, porpoises, harbor seals, brown bears, puffins, bald eagles, and more! You won’t be disappointed.

Dining

You’re probably hungry after all this exploring and walking! You won’t be disappointed here. Sitka is home to fresh seafood, Pacific Northwest frontier cuisine and other delicious local favorites. You will find fine dining, casual meals and mobile food units….variety that will suit everyone’s style and budget. Not to be missed is a reindeer sausage from the street vendor. Truly an Alaska specialty!

All too soon, your visit to Sitka will be over. Grab a souvenir or two to remember this incredible visit to a unique Alaskan town….where the fish is fresh, culture is celebrated and wilderness beckons at their doorstep.

Fort Lauderdale, FL – “Venice of America”

Fort Lauderdale….known as the “Venice of America”. The city is famous for its beaches, arts, culture and the 3rd largest cruise port in Florida. You can shop on Las Olas Boulevard, ride the water taxi on the canals, wonderful cuisine and visit the historic riverfront, all while enjoying bountiful sunshine…over 300 days each year!

Located just two miles north of Port Everglades, the strip of sand that is Fort Lauderdale beach hosts many sophisticated hotels, delicious restaurants and lively bars. If you want to see and be seen, take a stroll down the Beachfront Promenade. During your walk, feel free to pop into any of the Fort Lauderdale beach hotels for a drink or a meal.

Photo courtesy of Sunny.org

There are many hotels to choose from, both luxury and moderate. Vacation rentals are also very popular here. Why not rent a waterfront home on a canal? Or an apartment in one of the high rise buildings? Many hotels along the beach have added amenities such as beach chair rental, salt water pools and bike rentals. No matter where to choose to stay, you will have a great time.

Visit Las Olas Boulevard to enjoy Fort Lauderdale shopping and dining. Located in the heart of Fort Lauderdale, it is at the forefront of everything from fashion boutiques and art galleries to outstanding restaurants, sidewalk cafes and bars. Stroll the boulevard during the day, where you can duck in and out of cool breezeways and be surprised by what you discover. And if you are looking for a great evening atmosphere, this is the place!

Don’t miss taking a trip aboard the water taxi. You will have a prime view of the mansions and yachts dotting Millionaires Row.  The captains and crew are well versed on the city and the many attractions that can be viewed from the water. The crew has seen it all and will have many stories on the area’s rich history, happenings and “who lives there?” Be sure to keep your pass handy when you depart your vessel…it’s your ticket to discounts and deals on food, drinks, merchandise and attractions at over 60 “Cruise & Save” partners. http://www.watertaxi.com

Curious about the history of the area? Stop at the Stranahan House, a preserved 1900s home furnished with antiques of the era. The house was built in 1901 by Frank Stranahan, who is credited as Fort Lauderdale’s founding father, and his wife Ivy Cromartie Stranahan, the area’s first school teacher. It is the oldest surviving structure in Broward County.

Photo courtesy of stranahanhouse.org

Each October, Fort Lauderdale hosts as the largest in-water boat show in the world. Located steps from the beach, the show spans nearly 90 acres across three million square feet of exhibit space that is connected by an intricate network of water and ground transportation services. The five-day show attracts over 100,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors representing 52 countries with more than 1,300 boats on display. Products available to purchase range from sunglasses to superyachts and everything in between. Tickets must be purchased in advance to attend. If you want to see mega yachts up close, this is a great opportunity. http://www.flibs.com

If you are boarding a cruise ship after you visit Fort Lauderdale, Port Everglades is only a few minutes away. From your hotel, you can take a taxi, shuttle or use ride-share. If driving your own car, there are plenty of options for parking. Each pier has a parking structure available. You can also park off-site. A quick google search will provide you with lots of options. Many hotels also offer extended parking for cruises….be sure to look for that option when you book your hotel. Pier information can be found here: http://www.porteverglades.net Scroll down to find ship schedules, port maps and parking information.

Enjoy your visit to Fort Lauderdale. Relax in the sun, enjoy delicious cuisine, explore the canals and feel yourself starting to relax and unwind.

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