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The BEST Fort Lauderdale Hotel For Cruisers

Cruises, Florida

If you’re looking for the best Fort Lauderdale hotel for cruisers, then look no further. Fort Lauderdale is one of the most popular cruise ports in the country. Here are all the reasons I recommend staying at the Lago Mar Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Florida if you’ll be staying in the city before your cruise.

I first discovered the Lago Mar Resort when I was taking a 7-day Caribbean cruise with Holland America Line. Out of all the hotels in the area, so far, the Lago Mar Resort is easily the best Fort Lauderdale hotel for cruisers for so many reasons.


Why You Should Arrive at Least a Day Early Before You Cruise

When I take a cruise, I love staying an extra day or two to explore the city. Especially in beautiful Fort Lauderdale which has amazing beaches and restaurants. Aside from taking extra time to enjoy the city, I never hop on a cruise the same day.

Flights can be delayed or even canceled and the cruise will not wait for you. Never risk missing out on your cruise by trying to arrive the same day. You should always arrive to your port city at least one day in advance. Additionally, if you do not have travel insurance and you miss your cruise, you will not be refunded and it could cost you thousands of dollars.


Why is Lago Mar Resort the Best Fort Lauderdale Hotel for Cruisers?

Below are all the reasons I fell in love with the Lago Mar Resort which has been a favorite of both locals and travelers for 60 years. This charming resort has everything you could need before heading off on the open seas.


The Lago Mar Beach Resort is only a quick 10-minute Uber ride from the airport and an even shorter 5-minute Uber ride to the cruise ports. Its convenient, 1-mile location from the entrance to the cruise ports makes it the best Fort Lauderdale hotel before a cruise.

Additionally, the resort is a quick uber ride to popular areas like Los Olas Blvd. which has tons of restaurants and shopping. Most people do not factor in the cost of transportation and uber rides so it’s very crucial to stay at a convenient location.


The Beach

Most hotels close to the cruise ports are not located right on the beach. The Lago Mar Resort on the other hand offers over 500 feet of private beach.


The Pools

In addition to the beach, there are also two large pools on the property including an adult-only pool with several jacuzzis.


Soda Shop

I adore the 1950’s style “Soda Shop” located on the property which offers ice cream, breakfast, a coffee bar with lattes & espresso, snacks, a variety of wines with cheese, and a deli. This is where I like to stop each morning to get my morning latte and a quick breakfast sandwich before heading to the cruise port.



When looking for the best place to stay in Fort Lauderdale, Florida before a cruise, one thing most cruisers are looking for is close proximity to restaurants or restaurants on site. The Lago Mar Resort has two on-site restaurants. Their Acquario restaurant offers wonderful fine dining options like filet mignon and a variety of fresh fish selections.

There is also Palm Garden which offers lunch and a breakfast buffet as well as Ocean Grill located near the pool on Saturdays and Sundays. Then there are two bars. The Wine Cellar Bar is located next to the Acquario restaurant with plenty of lounge seating. There is also the Promenade Bar located in the center of the pool.


Spacious Rooms

Almost every room at the Lago Mar Resort in Fort Lauderdale is a suite. They are huge and have a living room separated from the bedroom with a pull-out couch and kitchenette. We stayed in the Executive Suite with a king-size bed. It had plenty of room for ourselves and two others with the pullout couch. It even had its own kitchen area with a dining table, sink, mini fridge, microwave, and coffee maker.

The size of these rooms and the separation from the bedroom make them ideal for families if you’ll be cruising with children. It’s a much more affordable option than purchasing two separate rooms, especially if it is only for 1-2 nights. Their suites are the size of a one bedroom apartment.


Family Friendly

While we do not have children, the resort is one of the best Fort Lauderdale hotels for families. In addition to the various suites with pullout couches and the Soda Shop, they also offer numerous activities to keep the kids busy.

In addition to swimming and the beach, here are the on-site activities available:

  • beach volleyball
  • basketball
  • foosball
  • pickleball
  • tennis courts
  • putting course
  • shuffleboard
  • oversized chessboard
  • children’s playground

No Hidden Fees

The Lago Mar Resort in Fort Lauderdale is one of the few resorts that do not have any hidden “resort fees” which we always appreciate. They also offer free parking if you’re driving in.


Most of the rooms at Lago Mar resort have kitchenettes and we found this incredibly useful, especially if you’re looking to save money on eating out. We had a small fridge for drinks and sandwiches as well as a microwave and sink. The deluxe suites even have two-burner cooktops.

Free Laundry

Many people like to extend their vacations after they cruise. You may be surprised to learn that the Lago Mar Resort offers free laundry rooms. The only expense is purchasing the detergent which they have available in a vending machine. This is great for those trying not to overpack for their cruises!


While there are a few hotels in the area that offer shuttle services to the cruise ports, I opted not to stay at those locations because it was actually quicker and cheaper to just call an Uber myself. This gave us more time to relax in the morning and get to the cruise port during our call time instead of having to rush to grab the shuttle.

Also, the Lago Mar Resort was much nicer and we wanted our stay in Fort Lauderdale to feel like an extension of our vacation so we opted to stay an extra day. This was great as we didn’t feel as rushed and had some extra time to explore the city. We were flying in from California so we did not arrive until 6 pm and we enjoyed having that extra day to relax before taking off on our cruise.


What Cruise Lines Depart from Fort Lauderdale

Every popular cruise line departs from Fort Lauderdale and it is one of the top ports for those cruising popular Caribbean destinations. Holland America, Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney Cruise Lines, Viking, Ritz Carlton, Seaborne, and Silversea all have cruises that depart from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

I absolutely love cruising and one of the most popular questions I see asked daily is “what is the best Fort Lauderdale hotel to stay at before our cruise?”.

If you’re looking for the best Fort Lauderdale hotel before your cruise, we highly recommend the Lago Mar Resort for its close proximity to the cruise ships, beautiful property & rooms, amazing views, delicious on-location restaurants, and direct beach access.

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About The Author

Sondra Barker is an established travel writer, photographer, and culinary enthusiast. She resides in Newport Beach, California one of the most beautiful beach towns in the country. Her favorite destinations include visiting various wine countries, cruises around the world, and fun theme parks like Disneyland.


DSC_1770 cropSondra Barker
I created this site for purveyor of exceptional eats and escapes; our team is always on a journey to find the perfect bites in the most wonderful places.

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Sondra Barker of Cuisine and Travel is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to recommendations on All Products recommended are from my own opinions and experiences.

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