We have been having trouble getting a good hotel rate for this weekend and found out the 23rd Strictly Sail Miami is set for Feb.14-18, 2008. The Holiday Inn is already blacked out and the Intercontinenal wants $500/night!! We decided to fly into FLL and stay there then make our way to Miami the next morning. I'm sure there will be lots of traffic.
Teresa and Larry
#36-Carnival Splendor 9/16/12
7 night Mexican Riviera
#37-Allure of the Seas 11/11/12
7 night Eastern Caribbean
We had the same problem. We're sailing out on 2/10, and I tried starting in March to get the Holiday Inn. It's booked solid. I used Priceline for the first time, though, and was very happy to get the Hyatt Regency downtown for $125 (and I probably bid way too high for a first try).
smart move on your part Teresa. Do you have your air and hotel arrangements made yet? Probably a good idea to do it now. FLL could book up for the reason you are going there. I would leave early in the morning for Miami via shuttle or van service to avoid the traffic. You may end up hanging around the terminal but thats a lot better than sitting stuck in traffic watching your ship sail away.
Indeed, there are NO deals to be had anywhere within reason to Miami during THAT weekend in any given year, unless you're looking for a nice bridge to sleep under! Often, there are not even any rooms available. When it came to crunch time last year and the year before, I saw that the only rooms left were at the very posh hotels and were priced over $10,000/night. YIKES!
I work at a "bed & breakfast" on a yacht in Miami and the requests for the following year's availability for that weekend start before the weekend is even over. Folks come to Miami from all over the world that particular weekend, most of whom are big spenders; thus, the hotel industry knows that and is happy to take a firm stand on the rate.
The good news...I did not notice any real hectic traffic woes getting to/from the port itself during this weekend. The worst of the traffic was out at Miami Beach. Bayside Marketplace will be jammed, though.