Florida Hotel That Doesn't Live Up To Its Name

Okay, maybe it is better to arrive in your port of departure the DAY before your ship leaves. That's our mantra, but sometimes we deviate from it — all for good reason — as we did this month en route to boarding the Allure of the Seas.

We paid for our deviation, big-time.

Flying from the west, and facing excessive air fares, we took the old red-eye and landed in Fort Lauderdale just after 5 a.m. With the time change, that's 2 a.m. body time, and we had decided to give our bods the endurance test of surviving until we boarded the ship about 12 hours later.

However, after landing and feeling the way we were, a better option seemed to find a bed reasonably close to both the airport and the cruise terminal. In Fort Lauderdale, that's relatively easy to do because they're almost in the same neighborhood.

We found a hotel called Sleep Inn that had shuttles to both. The room price was good: $70 plus tax — hey, we only needed the room for six hours. The shuttle was late, the hotel wasn't exactly close to either the airport or the cruise terminal, and by the time we peeled back the covers  it was 7 a.m.

Okay, five hours' sleep.

At 8:30, the maid was banging on the door, wanting in to clean the room. We told her, approximately, to go away. At 9:15, we were awakened by the key rapping sharply against the door. We decided to call the front desk to complain, or at least interrupt her routine, which would be infinitely better than having her interrupt ours. Oh, did we mention that the room phone was dead?

Back to sleep. Again.

Until 10:25, when the return of the maid was greeted with an even angrier response from within. Then again, at 11:55…since it was almost time to get up and dressed, this time we did.

You may have noticed the name of the hotel: Sleep Inn.

Bad name, because "sleeping in" isn't allowed.

Next time, we'll book a room in advance, without "maid service." 

Or arrive a day early.

Today at Phil Reimer's portsandbows.com: Space-Ships picture more Scenic than ever

Carnival Imagination
4 nights
September 7, 2014
Long Beach (return): Catalina IslandEnsenada
Inside: $269
Cost per day: $67
www.carnival.com

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