Crown Plaza Hotel Jacksonville FloridaOur family cruise from Jacksonville, Florida began on January 1st when we flew into Jacksonville and stayed at the Crown Plaza Hotel. They offer a stay-and-cruise package that includes shuttles to and from the airport and cruise dock.
My father, George, had arrived at our house late on December 31st and headed to bed. Bob and I were up packing through New Year's Eve and didn't even open a bottle of Champagne - we were just too busy. We got only an hour or so of sleep before it was 4am and time to begin packing up the car for the flight. We got to the airport and met up with my sister Jenn, and her son, Jeremy (also known as Apple). So the five of us boarded the JetBlue plane.
A few hours later we were arriving in Jacksonville! The trip had begun!
I called for the shuttle to come pick us up, and it arrived shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, arriving about 10:30am, our rooms were not yet ready. We were told they would probably be ready at 1pm. Apparently the hotel was fairly full from New Year's Eve celebrations and people were sleeping in. We were all exhausted. Bob and Apple took naps on lobby couches while Dad, Jenn, and I played Super Scrabble by the pool. We got sandwiches from the hotel's restaurant which were fairly tasty. The lobby clerk was fairly uncaring when we asked after the rooms - and when she went off duty we immediately asked the next woman for a status. She said she hadn't been told we were waiting, and in quick order she got rooms for us.
So kudos to the hotel for having the free shuttle - and a negative mark for poor customer service.
For me it was now nap time! Bob, Jenn, and Jeremy went for a walk to the nearby mall to get some food at the burger joint there. Dad went to sit in the pool, so at least someone did take advantage of the pool.
Dinner time came, and my aunt Becky - my dad's younger sister - arrived! She brought with her Paige, her daughter, along with Paige's husband Jeff and their young child Kai. It was our first time seeing Kai and we were delighted! Here is my father holding Kai for the first time.
George and his sister Becky, with Kai.
Jeff's two children from a previous marriage - Michael and JoEllen - joined us. We all sat down to eat at the Crown Plaza's restaurant. Jeff had brought an interesting bottle of wine from South Africa which was quite tasty! Here are a few of the things we had.
The wait staff was quite friendly and the food was tasty.
Soon it was late, and we were all climbing into bed. It seemed each bed had seven pillows on it! We set our wake-up call and prepared for the fun trip.
Crown Plaza Hotel Website
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