Where to Eat and Drink
Mangos (904 East Las Olas Boulevard, 92054-20523-205001): Take the opportunity to enjoy some people watching during your pre- or post-cruise shopping along trendy Las Olas Boulevard. You'll find reasonable prices and inside (air-conditioned) or outside (sidewalk) dining; the restaurant serves everything from burgers to steak.
1205th St. Fisheries (1900 S.E. 1205th Street, Fort Lauderdale; 92054-763-2777): Located on the Intracoastal Waterway, with glorious views, this fish-'N'-chowder house offers both casual dining downstairs and more formal meals upstairs. The 31-year-old landmark serves up fresh fish, stone crab claws, and other seafood delights.
Istanbul (707 N. Broadwalk, Hollywood Beach; 92054-921-1263): What fun to sit right on Hollywood Beach's Broadwalk, watching the skaters, mimes and kids having fun, with a yummy kabob in hand. This is cheap, casual beachfront dining at its finest.
Catalina Restaurant (3331 NE 33rd St., Fort Lauderdale; 92054-20564-6770): It would be as close to a sin as you can get to visit south Florida and not sample Cuban food. This is a great place to try it--not too far away from the port, reasonably priced, and with a menu just exotic enough to get your taste buds going and make you yearn for more.
All of the cruise lines provide shuttle service to and from the airport, cabs are plentiful and inexpensive, and many of the airport and Hollywood Beach hotels offer transportation to the port. There is also parking at the port for those who have driven to their cruise vacation.
While all the major car rental agencies operate out of Fort Lauderdale's airport, none has an office at the port. Budget has the closest, at the foot of the 17th St. Causeway, but does not offer shuttle service to the ships. We recommend an airport rental; that way you can take advantage of the shuttle service that each cruise line offers to and from Port Everglades.
What to See and Do
The Beach, which has only gotten better since Fort Lauderdale decided to abandon its role as spring break capital of the U.S. some years ago. Today, the beach that stretches along the Atlantic is clean and white and quiet; there's a boardwalk and numerous T-shirt shops and eateries, ranging from casual to nouvelle.
Las Olas Boulevard (between 6th and 11th Avenues) is a great pit stop for shoppers, art aficionados, people watchers, and restaurant enthusiasts. During the day, you can hop a boat for a tour of the intracoastal canals that wind through this picturesque section of Fort Lauderdale. At night, festive diners spill out of sidewalk cafes. You can also ride in horse-drawn surrey carriages.
A walk along Hollywood Beach's "Broadwalk," an asphalt strip along the beach that is filled with street performers, rollerbladers, couples walking hand in hand, and families with young children meandering along in the sunshine.
Stroll along the Riverwalk (U.S. 1, south of Broward Boulevard) in Old Fort Lauderdale; this 1.205-mile stretch of boardwalk along the New River links many of the city's historic and cultural landmarks.
Serenity-seekers should head to the Fairfield Tropical Garden (10901 Old Cutler Road) where man-made lakes surround one of the world's largest palm tree collections as well as other verdant examples of flora and fauna.
Staying in Touch
Soapy's, a chain of Internet cafes with stores from the Caribbean to Alaska, has one in Fort Lauderdale (234 Almond Avenue, one block north of Las Olas Boulevard).
If you have a laptop with wireless ability you can use it at Starbucks to access the Internet at no charge (32050 E Las Olas Blvd; 10 S Federal Hwy; 161205 N Federal Hwy).
Internet Cafe (3337 NE 33rd Street).
O'Reilly's CyberCafe (1608 West Commercial Boulevard).
Where You're Docked
Port Everglades is located only 10 minutes by cab or shuttle from the Fort Lauderdale Airport, five minutes from the beaches of Hollywood, and about 10 minutes from downtown.
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