Thursday, December 24, 2015

Pre Cruise Stay at Hotel - December 11, 2015

NCL Escape Cruise Adventure
December 12 – 18, 2015

Pre Cruise Stay at Hotel
Miccosukee Resort & Gaming, Miami, FL (About 30 minutes from Port of Miami)

Leaving Tampa at 10AM Friday was no picnic because it takes about 5 hours from Tampa to get to the Hotel. If you know anything about us, yes, we were up all night and very excited about going on our cruise. I slept most of the way but woke up in enough time to see the scenic route on US 41 South. Along the way, and getting closer to the hotel, there were many signs about boat rides along the Everglades. Pretty interesting and reasonable rates if you had the time to spare to do it.

When we got to the Hotel, as soon as you walked in, you could smell the aftermath of clean pinesol and of course, cigarette smoke. Trying to mask it was ok, but even for an ex-smoker like myself, it was not pleasant. I had never stayed at this hotel or even heard of it. We decided to stay at this hotel based on a recommendation from a reputable vendor. So much for that.

Since we had to park our own car, JC asked to get a cart for our luggage from the front desk. Their response: they only had 2 carts for the entire hotel and the one that was available was in a guest’s room. We asked them to call the guest to have them bring it downstairs and their statement was “Well we really don’t want to disturb them as they are people you really don’t want to mess with. We asked them if the cart was inside their room and they didn’t give us a straight answer so we are assuming that the cart is in their room.” What???? I don’t understand this. Do you?

So lugging our luggage to the front desk we checked in with no one asking if we needed assistance. As part of the pricing for the room we got free breakfast the next morning, free parking for the entire time we are on our cruise, free shuttle from the hotel to the pier and back, and a $30 voucher for gaming, if you are a new player to the casino. Not bad for the $119 price per night stay. That is pretty much the only positive part about the stay at this hotel, just the price.

The room was decent and the beds were comfortable and clean. We were able to go to one of the restaurants, Café Hammock, to eat something but the food did not taste well. Pretty bland and not much to choose from, especially the price they were charging for it. The casino itself was very small and really didn’t have the ambiance of what you would expect of a casino let alone a resort.

Moreover, it was about to get ugly. That night, we went to bed early so that we would be refreshed for the next day to go to the cruise. At about 1AM, there was music, and I mean LOUD music, coming from both the 2nd AND 8th floors. I called the front desk and they stated that there were people on their balcony on the 8th floor playing loud Spanish music in addition to a party on the 2nd floor at one of the banquet rooms. I asked if they could “tone it down” is it was extremely disturbing and could not sleep plus it was very late. They apologized and stated that they would take care of it. An hour later, it was still loud but now got even LOUDER! I go downstairs to reception, in my pj’s, and told them this was unacceptable. Still not sleeping, about 20 minutes later, everything was quiet again. Now still half asleep, not being able to go back into a deep sleep, I was awake for the next 3 hours. Not happy at this point.

The next morning, still not able to get a cart or assistance with our luggage to get to the shuttle, we check out and I express my discontent with the overall performance of the hotel. The only statement they could make was “I am sorry.”

Our overall perception and experience at this hotel: DON'T STAY HERE! I would have rather stayed in Miami at the Marriott or the Courtyard than this hotel. We both felt that it was way below the comparison of Empire Casino is in Yonkers. (If you have ever been to Empire Casino in Yonkers, NY, you know exactly what I mean). This Casino and clientele was the bottom of the barrel. The only good part is you saved some money.

The valuable lesson: You get what you pay for.

Please feel free to comment as I would love to hear from you.  Tune in for the next post when we cruise on Norwegian's newest ship the Escape!

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