I am heading to Alaska on NCL Spirit on 9/11. Can someone give me some suggestions on where to stay for 2 nights in Seattle - something in a safe, quiet area. I'd rrefer something like Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn, Amerisuites or a newer, similarly priced hotel.
Also, does anyone know of any good vegetarian/Argentinian/Caribbean restaurants in Seattle?
For moderately priced area near attractions, I'd look at Lake Union hotels (Silver Cloud, and a couple of Marriotts). They offer free shuttles to places of interest downtown like Space Needle--you could actually walk to the Space Needle from Lake Union area, but it would take you probably 20-30 minutes. The Lake Union area is about 3 miles north of the direct downtown area and is very nice--there are tons of restaruants on the lake to choose from. It is much more affordable than downtown--probably around $100 on travelocity or expedia.
For downtown affordable, try priceline. For the names you suggested above--there really isn't any downtown that I'd recommend in those categories, most are by the Space Needle area is a less desirable part of town.
We are staying at a Comfort Suites - Downtown/Seattle Center. A two bedroom suite for 135 a night.....have no idea really - if this is a good thing or not. It is near the monorail which will take you into downtown proper.
Have you tried priceline.com? You bid on the price you want to pay according to the level of service you want. I was leary at first to try this but have had great success and been very happy with the results. You pick area you want and "star" level. They will let you know what type of hotels are at which star level. We are leaving from the east coast and got the Marriott at the Newark airport for $50 (Travelocity was $189). Also staying longer on the west coast and got Hilton at Fishermans Wharf SF for $50 (Travelocity was $179) and Lake Tahoe Horizon Casino for $50 (Tavelocity $189 with 2 night minimum).
Yes, Seattle has a good bus system, including an undergound bus tunnel in the downtown area. One thing that is a big plus is that all rides are free in the downtown area. Do a search on SEattle transit and you'll get a map.
Another good site to see this is http://www.tourmap.com/sea_full.html. The bus tunnel is located on 3rd avenue in grey (click on center panel and you should see it--it runs then east along pine street and south towards the baseball stadium). All surface buses are free--most run along 1st or 3rd avenue north and south I believe. Also, don't forget there is a monorail to shuttle you from the downtown area to Seattle Center/space needle area.
This map is a little deceiving in one aspect though--the hills!!! The downtown area is fairly highly, with a HUGE hill below the Pike's Place Market to the pier area.
Since you area leaving on the Norwegian Spirit, hotel wise you might be in better shape. It leaves from the Pier 66, which is right downtown on the map below Pike's Market. Click on panel 6 and you'll see it. The new Marriott Waterfron is right across the street--very nice--check there for a convenient hotel to your pier. For other hotels, like others have mentioned, try priceline bidding.
I forgot to add above that I would not recommend renting a car if you plan to stay in the downtown area only for 2 days. It is difficult to drive in, there is NO parking except in very expensive lots and even then they are a long walk from most attractions. I've never bothered really to drive downtown--I just park one place and take the transit wherever I needed to go. I'd recommend canceling your car and just using the public transportation or taxis and save yourself the headache. However, if you do want to go somewhere else besides the downtown area, you might want to check with me to see if we can figure out if you need your car.
im just saying thanks for the great info on seattle hotels. soon i will be trying to set up a room for 1 night pre-cruise. we want to be close to downtown. we will also have to get to the airport for our flight out next day.