Not far from there.. Ft. Lauderdale. Plenty of hotels on the beach. I've stayed at the Sheraton Yankee Clipper many times. Lovely right there on the beach and the cab ride to the pier isn't bad at all.
Life is too short to let the ship of your dreams sail without you.
Carnival Destiny Feb. 2006
Carnival Fascination Feb. 2007
Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas Feb. 2008 The DTW & MsBJ tour
Carnival Valor MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2009
Carnival Glory MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2010
Carnival Dream MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2011
I always go a day early when sailing out of Miami and have stayed at the Best Western Bayside Hotel - multi story inside rooms (3 Stars by AAA). It's been several years...but it was much nicer than a typical Best Western although costlier - it was still a reasonable price and a short cab ride from the cruise pier (about 5 blocks away). You can walk across the street to the "Bayside"....a beautiful indoor/outdoor shopping mall with many restaurants (Bubba Gump Shrimp, HardRock and many many more), free outdoor concerts at night w/dance area...lots of local entertainers outdoors at night and nice tours of the bay and celebrity homes. There are horsedrawn carriage rides around the area in the evenings as well. It's really an awesome location.
Take a taxi from the airport to the hotel and where the doorman will meet you and assist you in unloading your bags.