- Photo Tours
- Live Voyage Reports
- Expedition & Niche Cruises
- Hurtigruten FRAM – Antarctica
- Hurtigruten Midnatsol – North Cape
- Passing Cloud – Sailing Haida Gwaii
- Safari Endeavour – Alaska’s Glacier Country
- Safari Voyager – Mexico’s Sea of Cortes
- Schooner Zodiac – Brew Cruise 2013
- Schooner Zodiac – Wine Cruise
- Silver Discoverer – Australia to Indonesia
- Silver Explorer – British Isles
- Silver Galapagos – Galapagos Islands
- Wind Spirit – Stockholm to Oslo
- Wind Star – Rome to Nice
- Luxury Cruises
- Mainstream Cruises
- Carnival Breeze – Exotic Eastern Caribbean
- Coral Princess – Ultimate Alaska with Cruise Experts Travel
- Cuba Cruise Louis Cristal – Cuba
- MSC Divina – Eastern Caribbean
- Norwegian Breakaway – Christening
- Norwegian Epic – Eastern Caribbean
- Norwegian Pearl – Alaska RT Seattle
- Zuiderdam – Alaska Inside Passage
- River Cruises
- AmaLotus – Cambodia & Vietnam
- AmaLyra- Christmas Markets
- Emerald Waterways Emerald Star – Danube Delights
- Tauck ms Inspire – Maiden Voyage
- Tauck Swiss Jewel – Blue Danube
- Viking Baldur – Rhine Christmas
- Viking Freya – Danube Christmas
- Viking Longships Christening 2012
- Viking Longships Christening 2013
- Expedition & Niche Cruises
- Athenaeum InterContinental Athens
- Cape Grace Hotel Cape Town
- Casa Moderna Miami
- CitizenM NYC Times Square
- Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
- Eventi New York
- Fairmont Vancouver Airport
- Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale
- Rosewood Hotel Georgia Vancouver
- Shangri-La Hotel Sydney
- Trump Hotel Toronto
- Turnberry Isle Miami
- Airport Guides
- About FTDC
- The Avid Cruiser
When I first visited Miami last March, I never intended to like it. I had – embarrassingly – written it off as little more than the gateway to the Caribbean. But not only did I like Miami, I loved it. The food, the air, the culture – that wonderful international culture – it was all part and parcel of the experience. And when I left, I realized I had barely scratched the surface.
Which is why I’m back in Miami right now, preparing to embark on four days of whirlwind activities that showcase the region’s history and family-friendly culture as we start off our latest Live Trip Report!
It’s worth noting that this journey is kindly being sponsored by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. It’s also worth noting that I absolutely jumped at the chance to explore the different family-friendly activities that are available in the Miami area. More people write in asking about Florida than almost any other destination. They want to know where to go, what to do, and most importantly, where to take the kids. And until now, I have never been able to adequately answer their questions.
Over the next three full days, I’ll have a chance to explore some of the very diverse options available to cruisers and travellers alike. How diverse, you ask? Let’s see…you can go golfing; play tennis with a proper pro instructor; visit the Miami Zoo, the Seaquarium; the Everglades; South Beach; Key Biscayne…the list goes on.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was my American Airlines flight to Miami via Dallas. It was the first time I’d ever flown with the carrier, and I have to be honest: I had my doubts. I had friends and family fly them with mixed experiences, and some of the media coverage of the airline over the last year has been anything but kind. But their times and routing were far more convenient than other alternatives.
Two things stood out for me: one, the Boeing 737-800 that whisked me from Vancouver to Dallas sported Boeing’s new ‘Sky Interior’ modeled after the 777 widebody aircraft. This means re-designed luggage bins, coloured LED accent lighting, and more spacious window openings. To my mind, that earns major points for those niceties.
The second thing I noticed, particularly on my Dallas to Miami flight where our Boeing 757 was anything but new: the crew were so darn nice. I mean really, really nice – to a level I stopped expecting from US-based airlines years ago. The girls coming through the economy class cabin where I was would stop and joke with the passengers, ask them if they needed anything, or generally just make themselves visible.
The last time I flew to Florida, my flights on United felt like a marathon that would never end. Today, I actually enjoyed my journey to the Sunshine State.
Are they perfect? Probably not; few airlines are. But the new American shows signs of change, and it’s nice to know that extends beyond their sexy new livery.
By the time I reached the Turnberry Isle Miami, it was well after 8pm. Although I’ve only been here a few hours, I get the sense that time has a tendency to stand still for guests staying here. The few people I passed on my way to my room were strolling casually through the hallways and outdoor courtyards, while one gentleman was content to sit poolside, admiring the azure glow of the water in the night and the rain shower that had started up.
I also learned you have to watch your step: I nearly stepped on a baby frog making its way across the marble concrete. Barely bigger than the size of a quarter and colored red from head to toe, I thought it was perhaps a wet leaf affixed to the floor – until it moved.
Considering the resort is located within Aventura, Florida – itself a city of roughly 36,000 inhabitants – might cause you to assume that it will have an urban feel. Instead, it reminds me of a seaside resort in the Caribbean; a stroll through the courtyard reveals the sounds of frogs in the distance, mingled with the pitter-patter of raindrops as they descend down on the palm trees and vegetation.
The one thing you don’t hear: traffic and airplanes. It’s as if the city of Aventura simply went to sleep. You’d never guess that the sprawling Aventura Mall was located right across the street.
If I had to describe the accommodations here, “soothing” is the word that pops to mind. My room – located in the Magnolia Building (one of four on the property) – is devoid of bad taste. Décor is filled with pleasing earth tones for both fixtures and upholstery, and lighting eschews the stark, overhead lighting found in some properties for the warm ambiance created by the use of multiple table lamps.
Even before I started writing about travel, I was a toiletries snob. It was the first thing I looked at when entering a hotel room then and it’s still the first thing I look at now. I nearly went into orbit with excitement when I stepped into my room’s bathroom and saw Molton Brown toiletries. If you’ve never used these before, they’re fantastic – even better than L’Occitane, in my personal opinion. I’d hate to see Molton Brown and Bvlgari duke it out – that might be too close to call – but if you ever see these in your hotel (or on your cruise ship), you’re in for a treat.
One other thing I liked: a monthly program of activities is provided in every room. This month, you can take part in Cinco de Mayo celebrations on May 5; take part in the feeding of the resort’s on-site Koi fish and turtles; take a tour of the Chef’s garden; or dance the night away every Wednesday with Havana-themed music and drinks poolside, just to name a few.
But there will be plenty of time to explore Miami and the Turnberry Isle Resort tomorrow. Tonight, I’m just looking forward to crawling into the luxurious embrace of the king-size bed in my suite. It’s one of those ones you don’t dare sit on; doing so might invite immediate sleep!
Our Live Trip Report from Miami, Florida and the Turnberry Isle Resort continues tomorrow with a round of golf, some time spent poolside, and a thrilling journey to Miami – by land and sea!
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009