I've stayed at the Doublstree Westshore, the Wyndam Westshore and Chase Suites. Both the Doubletree and Chase Suites have shuttle service from the airport and to the pier. Doubletree is free both ways and Chase Suites has an extra charge to the pier, but they do have free breakfast. Wyndam only offers shuttle service from the airport to the hotel. Chase Suites I booked over the internet. We traveled with our kids and needed something to accomodate 5 of us. We had a two bedroom, two bathroom suite for @ $155 a night. The Doubletree I booked through Priceline and got for a bid of $50-$60 a night (room with one king sized bed). The Wyndam I booked through Hotwire at $78/night (room with 2 double beds - there were 4 of us). The only hotel I wasn't thrilled with was the Wyndam. While it was ok for one night, I don't think I'd go back. While it was clean and the bed were comfortable, there was peeling wallpaper, banged up furniture, worn/stained carpets and our airconditioning didn't work all that well. If you have any questions you can email me at email@example.com
. Just put cruisemates in the message line so I don't delete it.
As for the 11:45 am flight, if everything goes ok you should make it. I've sailed out of Tampa three times in the last year and only once got back in on time. In April 2005 there was bad weather and we couldn't get into the channel. The ship didn't dock until about noon and by the time customs cleared us and we got off the ship it was about 2:00 p.m.. The last cruise we ended up being rerouted to Fort Lauderdale due to Hurricane Katrina. Personally, I won't book a flight out of Tampa until very late afternoon/early evening. The port will hold your luggage for you until 4:00 p.m. and many attractions will also hold your luggage (the aquariam and Busch Gardens both do).