When cruising it is important to know the dress code. Some cruises have formal nights that require proper evening attire in the dining rooms. We were on a cruise that didn't have any formal nights so a sun dress for Liz and a simple button down shirt was fine for me.
When dining in the main dining room it is not acceptable to wear shorts,sneakers or swin suits.
Parking - places - beach tips
1) Big parking lot at Las Olas and the beach. Lots of locals, lots of bars and some shops.
Hidden local tip: Park for less under the bridge that carries Las Olas over the Intercostal, then walk three blocks to the beach.
2) For less noise, but still cool wide beach, walk South from Las Olas for 1/4 mile to the intersection of the side road called 'Swimming Hall of Fame' and the beach. Less crowed, good zone for wearing a thong without hassle, cool coffee shop directly across the road and smoothie shop and bar down the side street. The very limited parking along the mini park across the road cuts down on the hordes so you will have lots of space.
3) If you want a quiet bit of beach with no shops or condos behind it, a bring your own cooler sort of beach, then try the first 1/2 mile of beach North of Sunrise Blvd. (Beach behind low grass dunes).
There is NO LONGER any free parking on the beach road, north of Sunrise. This was free but is now metered by the hour. On a sunny day or weekend you will need to get there early to get a space. The best bit of this section of beach is within the first 1/2 mile of Sunrise, behind grass dunes. North of that it is very skinny and road runs right behind it.
If the beach side parking is full, or you want cheaper parking, then turn inland on Sunrise Blvd and take the FIRST RIGHT, into the park. Park entry price varies depending on Week - Weekend rates but if you are staying more than a couple of hours it's cheaper than a city parking meeter. It is a State park. As soon as you get into the park bear right and right and keep turning right until you find the parking. Walk down to the beach and access it by crossing road or taking tunnel under the road. No thongs or topless sunning allowed in the park, but the rules end at the road, so you can wear your thong swimsuit on the beach across from the park. (One advantage with parking in the park, is that there are bathrooms!)
If you create a free account on 'The Thong Wearers Message Board' (link below), you will find a long thread about Fort Lauderdale Beach, with detailed info on current parking prices, who hangs out where, etc. Don't be put of by the name of the board, the Fort Lauderdale thread is normally very up to date.
Good Drinks and Atmosphere
No matter what ship we are on there is always a Schhoner's bar. Liz and I seem to be drawn to this place. The chairs are comfy and the atmosphere is always fun yet relaxing. The bar has some large windows with beautiful ocean views. In the evening the bar has singing and karaoke.
The service here is always attenetive and they make a good cocktail. We often find ourselves here relaxing and enjoying each others company. We always seem to make friends when we are here and it's a fun place to people watch. Casual
On Las Olas Blvd., the...
On Las Olas Blvd., the cheapest meal is at Cheeburger Cheeburger. The best chicken sandwich is at Mangos. The best ice cream is at Kilwins. You can find good Chinese food (and a Sushi bar! Original idea!) at Yeung's on 1201 North Federal Highway, which is near my school. I love to eat the veggie burger at Cheeburger and then I drink a vanilla shake.
Decent Buffet Food
Cafe Caribe is where we found ourselves on several occasions for a late night snack or dessert. The bufet is open late and is located close to the aft pool which was a big late night hang out for us and our friends. On several nights they had themes such as German Beerfest, Italian, Chinese and Mexican. There is plenty of food choices to be found here and they have some outrageously good desserts. Liz loved their creme caramel, fresh fruit and the nachos from mexican night.
I enjoyed some strawberry shortcake, sauerkraut, brats, nachos and macaroni & cheese.