Radisson at the Port, Port Canaveral FL
Radisson at the Port: A Smooth Sailing Review
Port Canaveral, FL – A Great Pre Cruise Option
February 26, 2015
You have booked the perfect cruise (With the help of your awesome travel agent!) You found airline tickets at a great rate. Then suddenly, it dawns on you. You need a place to stay before (of after) your dream cruise. And, you want the party to start as soon as you step off the plane. Don’t panic! If your cruise is embarking from Port Canaveral, Florida, I have found THE place for you! It’s Radisson Resort at the Port.
Location, Location, Location
Radisson at the Port is located in the heart of Cape Canaveral, directly on Astronaut Boulevard. It is the closest full service hotel to Port Canaveral. What first caught my eye, and made this hotel stand out from the rest, is the number of cruise line based packages offered at a very moderate rate. They offer three main packages: Park, Cruise & Breakfast; Fly, Ride, & Stay; and Park & Cruise Only. Within these categories are many room style choices. Here is a tip, for the best selection, book early; six months early! Too far ahead? Then definitely book your hotel when you book your flight. Radisson at the Port has a generous cancellation policy, allowing you to cancel up to two days before your arrival without penalty.
What’s included? Well, the Park, Cruise & Breakfast includes a free hot breakfast buffet for two prepared at the onsite restaurant, Flamingos. You also get complimentary shuttle service for two* to and from the cruise ship and complimentary parking while on your cruise. Radisson also offers a Park & Cruise Only option that includes everything above except the breakfast. The parking saves $60 on a 4-day cruise and $105 on a 7-day cruise if you were to park at the port.
I chose the Fly, Ride & Stay package because I needed transportation from Orlando International Airport to Port Canaveral. This package includes two* one-way transfers, either from the airport to the hotel, or from the hotel to the airport. If you are a single passenger like I was, you can use the two one-ways as roundtrip. Radisson at the Port uses Cocoa Beach Shuttle and I was very satisfied with their service. The drivers were very courteous and I only had a 5-15 minute wait from the time I called, until they arrived. This package does not include complimentary shuttle service from the hotel to port, but can be added for $6 per person and children under 6 are free. Keep in mind rates fluctuate, but including tax, my cost was $162.00. I thought this was quite reasonable.
The Beauty of the Radisson
After a short 40 minute ride, I arrived at the glass front doors of Radisson at the Port. The main building is very reminiscent of vintage Florida with a hint of the Caribbean, with its pink-washed exterior and its beachy-chic interior. I made my way across the marble floor to the reception area that was staffed with two attendants who greeted me with cheerful smiles. I was early; it was only 10 am and I expected to be told my petite King room was not ready. They did, but in the same breath they said, “so we will put you in a King, 2-room suite.” Hello! I was not going to argue with this. Had they not done this, they do provide secure storage of your belongings while you use their changing cabanas and enjoy the pool until your room is ready.
Speaking of the pool, it is located just outside the lobby, and it is not your typical hole-in-the-ground hotel pool. It is a sparkling blue oasis beautifully landscaped with lush flowers, rocks, streams, and a waterfall. There is also a tiki bar where you can pull up a stool and purchase your favorite libation. If you are more adventurous, they have a full list of specialty cocktails. The tiki bar also serves beer from a micro-brewery that is located just across the street. Feeling hungry? You can choose any food item from their full service restaurant and it will be delivered to you pool side. I had a chance to try the restaurant and ordered the Mahi Salad. It was quite tasty!
All this, and we haven’t even made it to the room yet! The resorts guest rooms are located in several smaller buildings, giving it a quaint and cozy feeling. If walking is a concern, I would ask for a room located near the lobby. While the walk is outside, it is covered and they make an effort to make it picturesque. Some rooms are accessed directly from the outside, while others, like mine, had an interior corridor and doors. My building did have an elevator, but all do not. When I opened the door I was greeted with a very expansive room. Much larger than I had anticipated. If you are looking for modern style, this is not. The décor was a cross of southern charm meets a tropically laced Florida room. While the décor could be a little updated, the room was very clean and the furnishings very well maintained. The front room contains a full sitting area including a desk and a flat screen television. There is also a roomy kitchenette complete with a fridge and microwave. Glass French doors lead to the spacious bedroom area where you are immediately introduced to a whirlpool tub big enough for at least 5 Wishes agents! There is a large double closet and a vanity area with double sinks. The shower and toilet area are a separate room. The bed is pretty special. All rooms contain a Sleep Number bed and this did not disappoint. It provided the perfect night’s sleep before cruise day!
The resort is centrally located, being only four blocks from the Atlantic Ocean and one block from Banana River. There are also many shops and restaurants in the area. One being an outstanding Italian restaurant located right next door. They say Italian, but Kelsey’s Restaurant & Pizzeria, also has a Greek flavor. It is the perfect place for lunch or dinner, but I had the pleasure of dining for lunch. They offer daily lunch specials and I chose the Tuscan Penne that is punctuated by grilled chicken, fresh tomatoes, fresh garlic and fresh spinach tossed in olive oil and marinara. It was served with homemade garlic bread and a mini Greek salad that is served with their homemade dressing. I would definitely dine here again! You know, for another piece of Baklava that is made from scratch!
I had the privilege of experiencing Radisson at the Port for a full twenty-four hours and I could have stayed longer, it was that enjoyable! They pay attention to detail and the staff was always ready to serve. I think a big reason for their top-notch service is because the resort general manager was always visible. It would take more than one hand for me to count the number of times I saw him making his rounds. And believe me, I was not the only guest on property. They had at least one full wedding party complete with every family member. They were also hosting a pre-cruise party for a Royal Caribbean specialty sailing (Harley-Davidson), as well as, all the other guests spending their cruise-eve night! If you want to start your luxury vacation the moment you step off the plane, or out of your car, then Radisson at the Port is the perfect place to provide you with that experience. Tell Dan (Tiki bar extraordinaire!) I said “Hi!”
*If your party is larger, you can purchase additional transportation.*