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Old 08-14-2013, 07:10 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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Default Nice Hotels
Hello all I would love some help with nice hotels in Tampa close to the cruise pier. We want to come down two days early so we can go to Bush Gardens, before we leave out on the cruise.. our cruise is in October. We have been looking for decent hotels not to pricey, but not cheap...lol. Please help with some suggestions.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:47 AM
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I would highly recommend the Embassy Suites Downtown. They don't have a shuttle from the airport, but the United Cab taxi was a flat fee of $25. I was just down in Tampa the beginning of June for a long weekend. This hotel was great. You get breakfast and a managers nightly reception. It is so convenient to everything. Right outside the door is a trolley stop. You can ride the trolley all the way down to Ybor city for more shopping and restaurants/pubs. The trolley goes right by Channelside (Tampa Aquarium, more shopping) and the port. I asked the trolley driver if you can bring suitcases onboard and he said yes. So the morning of the cruise you could take the trolley to the port or just grab a quick taxi. The trolley cost $2.50 one way or $5.00 for an all day ticket.
We went to Busch Gardens and used "Blue One" shuttle. click here They picked us up at the Embassy Suites and took us to Busch Gardens. It was $30 for two people one way. You can call them about 30 minutes before you want to leave Busch Gardens to come pick you back up. Check Busch Gardens website for tickets. I got our tickets with the meal plan for the same cost of a one day ticket. The meal plan worked out well.
There's also a Marriott downtown right across from the Embassy Suites. Both of these hotels are right next to the Conference Center and the Tampa Time Forum where they have concerts and events.
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:13 PM
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Thank you sooo much. What do you know of the Clarion or even the Comfort Suites in that area? I looked into the Embassy and it was a little pricey for the October time frame. $150 per night, they didn't want to spend that much right before a cruise.
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:39 PM
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Hi, Spiritfilled. Did you check prices on Hotels.com? Also Tripadvisor will give you a lot of reviews for hotels in the area. I always put a bid in for hotels in the area I want on Priceline.com. I just got a room at the Doubletree in Newark, New Jersey for Sept. 7th for $85. The going price was $130. I've been getting great deals with Priceline for many years.
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Old 08-16-2013, 03:53 PM
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Spiritfilled. There is more then one Comfort Suites. You might want to take into consideration the cost of taxis from a Comfort or Clarion if you wanted to go out to eat or shopping etc. Also, where they are in location to Busch Gardens. Compared to the Embassy where you can walk to so much. I stayed at a Comfort Inn once by RJ Stadium on Dale Marby Road and wasn't there much around there.

Last edited by Cruise Fanatic; 08-18-2013 at 01:33 PM. Reason: correction
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:58 AM
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Default Embassy Suites
Hello there! We cruised out of Tampa on the Legend last year & also stayed at the Embassy Suites Downtown. I know you had some concerns about the price but it was worth it to us considering the amenities. Their rooms are all suites, which is great for us traveling with 2 kids. Also, the free breakfast is a great perk. It is a hot breakfast with cooked to order omelets, not just some cold cereal (that saved us a lot of $$). They also have to nightly happy hour with free cocktails and snacks. It was a great location, close to the terminal, and close to the Ebor City area of Tampa which has a lot of great restaurants and shops. We bought cheap passes to the trolley & rode around to see the area. I know there are some other Embassy Suites in Tampa, one right near the airport which was cheaper & it would not cost a lot for a cab to the terminal on cruise day, as it is not very far. Good luck & have a great cruise. Tampa is a nice port to leave from! :-)

Amy
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:12 PM
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Thanks everyone....my sister is on Tripadvisor now and I am going to get on Hotels.com. I may even have to look into the Embassy, I kind of like those anyway, well at any rate thanks for all the advice and help I truly appreciate it. Searching for nice hotels is a job in itself, especially when you know little to nothing of the area.
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Old 08-19-2013, 06:54 PM
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Does the Tampa Embassy Suites have the large suites with two bedrooms, two baths, and a conference room? That could be a solution.
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