Miami Beach is one of those places I always wanted to visit ever since I got hooked on watching Crockett and Tubbs on TV 40 years ago. So, in 2019, at the end of a Caribbean cruise, we added on an extra 4 nights in Miami. It happened to be in the middle of Spring Break, that time when college kids in the US go crazy. I thought I’d seen it all, having worked in Temple Bar for 18 years; the stag/ hen (bachelor/ bachelorette) party capital of Ireland. Not a week went by but I’d hear the partying going on outside my office window with the singing, dancing and frolicking starting in the early afternoons. But Miami at Spring Break was a whole other level of crazy!
So we arrived back in Florida having left a cruise on the Harmony of the Seas. We got a taxi from Port Everglades Terminal in Fort Lauderdale and drove the roughly 20 miles down to the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel on Collins Avenue, Miami Beach.
It was Sunday 14 April 2019 – Spring Break!! – and check-in was chaos. After braving the long check-in line we were told that our pre-booked room would not be available until the mid-afternoon. We hung out for hours in the “airport hanger-like” lobby. The clientele was young, noisy and mostly drunk/high. We were told that most of the pool area had been booked for private parties which was obvious from the bone-rattling loud techno-music booming from that area. We got a take-away lunch from the hotel’s Chez Bon Bon coffee shop and browsed around the Morris & Co Gift Shop….but first impressions were not good at all.
When we finally went back and joined the horrendous queue for check-in the staff seemed ill-prepared for the huge crowds and were not a bit friendly. However, the room itself, when we finally got there, had great views and was very clean but a little dated.
It’s always an issue staying at a hotel directly after a cruise – the service is never up to cruise standard. So we were allowing for that….but the Fontainebleu wasn’t to our liking. Too big and impersonal......huge distances to walk which doesn't suit me anymore. At Spring Break we definitely didn’t suit the demographic. Lots of wannabe gangsta types there for private pool parties with LOUD techno music. Maybe I'm getting old! 😂
I'd say go elsewhere during Spring Break also if you have children. While the facilities are quite good and the beach is amazing, there were too many near naked youngsters getting wasted in the middle of the day. In Ireland they'd get "a cold in their kidneys" dressed/ undressed like that! 🤣
Food and drink was tasty...if overpriced. A cocktail with taxes, service charge and all the add-ons at the Blue Bar was nearly 30 dollars and was nice but I’ve had better elsewhere cheaper. But the conspicuous flashiness and preening of the Insta/ Tik Tok crowd was unrelenting. And it was all a bit vulgar and trashy not classy.....
The next day (Monday 15 April 2019), we headed down to walk the Boardwalk and Miami Beach which was really gorgeous. The weather was great. We spent a couple of hours there:
In the afternoon we headed by Uber to Lock & Load Miami! This offers a memorable shooting experience. Charlie really enjoyed his first experience with the big guns.
Fabian was an excellent instructor giving great info on all the guns and how to use them. Also a free museum with an array of guns. Highly recommended. Charlie’s shooting was surprisingly accurate! Don’t mess with Charlie!
We came back to Chez Bon Bon at the hotel around 5 pm – and ordered tea with milk! We got a cup of hot (not boiling) water with milk and a tea bag floating in it! The Cha man was horrified! 🤣
The following day (Tuesday April 16 2019), we went on a private sea-plane to Islamorada in the Florida Keys which was the highlight of the trip for us. The previous blog I did on it is here. Afterwards, we came back to Fontainebleau at 3:30 and had dinner that night at Vida Restaurant.
Our last day, Wed 17 – we had a day sitting in the sun, walking the beach and shopping in the Morris & Co gift shop. We left at 18:51 for Miami International Airport for our 22.45 8 hour flight to Dublin arriving on midday Thurs 18th.
It had been an amazing holiday from the Everglades and Hollywood, Florida, to the Harmony of the Seas cruise, to Miami and the Florida Keys. Now, I don’t think I’d be rushing back to Miami at Spring break but Florida as a whole is a great vacation destination!!
Bucket List Items Ticked Off in the above Blog post 102
Number 57 - Travel - 7 Continents - North America
Number 58 - Travel - 80 Countries - USA
Number 59 - Travel - 80 Hotels
Other Blog Posts
Blog 11 - Sydney, Australia
Blog 12 - Hong Kong, China
Blog 17 - Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai, China
Blog 19 - California, USA
Blog 27 - Scotland
Blog 28 - Barbados
Blog 29 - Canada
Have you been to Miami? Or to Florida? Tell me about your experience in the comments section below.
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My name is Mary and this is my bucket list blog ...having survived a near-death experience. I hope it encourages you to "live your best life". See how I'm completing my own bucket list items. And let me know how you're getting on with yours!