We booked this hotel a couple of days before a cruise because it could accommodate a family of 6 (3 are teens and grandma). We got a 2 bedroom/2 bath suite and also included is a hot full breakfast and dinner (with wine or beer) Monday thru Thurs. The dinners were great, even the kids (one is very picky) liked the choices. Great price for 2bedroom vs. getting 2 rooms somewhere else, plus the free meals were worth it too. Two of our family came in the next day so the free shuttle to the airport was great. The hotel is only about 20min. to cruise ports/Miami beach. The staff was also great, even the shuttle drivers -all were very polite and helpful.
Cons-a few things could use some remodeling, like the kitchen, bathrooms and the pool area. The kitchen is small, which we expected, but the stove top (no oven-so don't buy pizzas) didn't really work, we could only get one burner to work and it would go off on its own. The microwave took about twice the needed time. The pool was the biggest disappointment, my kids really wanted to go swimming but the color and smell of the pool was a turn off at first sight (also very very small pool). This hotel sits on a lagoon but the amount of trash people throw into it is very sad. A lot of it is along the shore behind the hotel.
We only wanted to rent a car the last day, so we took the free shuttle back to the airport/rental car area and got a great 24hr car rental with Avis (a ford explorer that accommodated all of us and all our bags for the cruise) for $28.00. We usually book w/Avis for this reason-if you are a preferred member (wizard number) you can usually get free upgrades to suv from the intermediate rate. Or you can get a coupon/promo code off the internet. Then ask them to put in remarks of your reservation for a 6 seat passenger car. Sometimes this upgrade is based on availability when you arrive, but we have always gotten the larger SUV (even at 3 different islands in Hawaii). We were able to go to Miami beach and spend the day, went to the grocery store, and the next day we dropped off everyone and the bags at the port. My husband then returned the car to the airport and got the $24.00 taxi ride back to the port-which we were just getting to the front of the cruise check in line, so he just came to the front with us. So for about 65.00 (including gas) we were able to do all this, rather than spend about 150.00 for taxi's.
Another tip for cruises (if you are arriving a day or more before the cruise), buy your soda and liquor bottles when you get to Miami and put them in your CHECKED bags. Some cruises allow you to take one bottle of wine per person in your carry on. They took Grandmas half bottle of coconut rum becuz she forgot and left it in her carry on. We can remember cruises when they included everything-like drinks, now they want to charge you for all of it and if you buy any bottles of liquor on the ship or in port they keep it til then end of your cruise. So here is my tip for getting around this. Take a really large EMPTY water bottle into port and buy your liquor and pour it into the water bottle to take back on the ship. If your buying a dark liquor then use a coke or Dr. pepper bottle. We also take bottles of water for each person into each port, as you never know where, when or how much they are on the islands. My teens would even take an extra fruit and the mini cereal boxes from breakfast for quick snacks on the islands, to tide them over til they got back on board to eat. Yes, we are cheap and this is what we do.
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- Also Known As:
- Homewood Suites Miami-Airport / Blue Lagoon Hotel Miami
- Homewood Miami
- Miami Homewood Suites