Yes, when it comes to Port Everglades the looks can be deceiving. As we say in Alabama, 'you can't get there from here' due to the serpentine access roads inside the port.
The 17th Street hotel shuttles are not a generally known thing. In fact some hotels such as the Embassy Suites will gladly sell you a 'cruise package' which adds $50 to $80 to the price of a room, which includes a shuttle to the ship and they will also pick you up and deliver you to the airport on debarkation day if you ask. But that still isn't worth it when you can simply go outside and get a shuttle ride for $7, sitting next to the people who paid the premium price.