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Old 01-26-2003, 08:47 PM   #1
inkkognito
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Cool Night Before - Holiday Inn Select MCO?

After many fruitless tries over the past two months, I finally got a room for the night before our Feb. cruise at the Holiday Inn Select MCO. There must be something going on in the area at that time...I got our March room weeks earlier (and a lot cheaper too). Has anyone had any experience with this hotel? We are arriving at midnight, but I called & thankfully their shuttle is 24 hours. We have had good luck at most of the hotels we've gotten through Priceline (Marriott, Rennaissance, La Quinta Suites North), but the La Quinta West is a dump and last time the Marriott wouldn't give us a non-smoking room (thankfully the smoking room really didn't smell much, so it was fine for one night). I'd be interested in any opinions of this property! It is paining me to pay $43 when we normally pay $28 to $33.
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Old 01-26-2003, 11:26 PM   #2
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Holiday Inn has really created some brand confusion over the last several years so that nobody really knows what the various brands mean any more. But a Holiday Inn Select is your standard business-class Holiday Inn as opposed to the Holiday Inn Express that caters more to budget-concious people. The MCO HI Select is in the neighborhood of nicer hotels north of the airport whereas the La Quinta you had the bad experience with was in the neighborhood of lower-end motels northwest of the airport. I think you'll be fine. And they have this to say on their <a href="http://www.sixcontinentshotels.com/holiday-inn?_franchisee=MCOAP">web&nbsp;site</a>:

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<b><i>We are not your typical Holiday Inn. Let our professional and friendly staff take care of all your travel needs while staying with us. We will show you why we have been awarded the highest honors by Holiday Inn with the "Excellent Quality Performer" award for the past 3 years.</i></b>
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Old 01-26-2003, 11:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave_from_Marietta
But a Holiday Inn Select is your standard business-class Holiday Inn as opposed to the Holiday Inn Express that caters more to budget-concious people.
Dave makes a good point that the Holiday Inn brand has been segmented into sub-brands. Holiday Inn Select hotels (business hotels) are actually positioned differently than regular Holiday Inn Full-Service Hotels & Resorts, and both sub-brands are positioned higher than Holiday Inn Express (budget prices and no restaurants). Holiday Inn Express is positioned similarly to La Quinta.

There are also Hoilday Inn Sunspree Resorts and Hoilday Inn Family Suites. The former Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza hotels (the highest category of Holiday Inn) are now just called Crowne Plaza hotels.

According to the 2003 AAA Guide for Florida, the regular rate at the Holiday Inn Select MCO for the time when you're traveling is $130-150 per night. $43 sounds like a good deal!
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Old 01-27-2003, 08:24 AM   #4
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hey barb

how far in advance do you usually book your priceline rooms? Just wondering....
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Old 01-27-2003, 08:57 AM   #5
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Hi Barb. We will be staying there this Friday, 1/31. I'll check it out for you and get back to you. We paid $45 through Priceline, so you got it a bit better than we did. It was my first Priceline attempt and my first bid of $35 was rejected. It seems like a nice enough hotel.

Later in the month I've got the Mariott Orlando Airport for $34.
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Old 01-27-2003, 11:42 AM   #6
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This will be our first DCL cruise. Thanks for the idea of arriving the night before and staying at the airport. I just checked our airline and coming in a night earlier will reduce our fare 20%...more than enough to cover the cost of the room.

Question: So, if we don't fly on the morning our ship sails, how can we kill the time? I'm not inclined to hang out at the hotel pool (greasy lotion, wet suits, wet towels, etc, and nowhere to change before we drive to port). Would there be stuff to do at port if we arrived mid-morning? How early can we get onboard?

Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 01-27-2003, 01:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by KelNottAt

If we don't fly on the morning our ship sails, how can we kill the time? I'm not inclined to hang out at the hotel pool (greasy lotion, wet suits, wet towels, etc, and nowhere to change before we drive to port). Would there be stuff to do at port if we arrived mid-morning? How early can we get onboard?
You can enter the terminal property at 10:30 and only one person needs to hold the place in line to board while the others look at the ship's model, look at the ship, look at the amazing terrazzo floor of the terminal, and watch cartoons. Actual boarding is usually around 12:15.

So you don't have that much time to kill. Sleep to a comfortable hour. Eat breakfast. Check out. Drive to the port (47 miles). If you have extra time, go shopping at Ron Jon Suf Shop in Cocoa Beach. The time will fly!
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Old 01-27-2003, 06:07 PM   #8
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Cool

kendall,
I usually start bidding a month beforehand, but I've done it as early as two months and have gotten a room. The closest has been a week beforehand.
Interestingly, when we got the Holiday Inn Select, I had bid $35 for a 3-star and was rejected, but I got a screen that said "If you up your bid by $9, you can bid again right now" (usually you can't do the same search again for 72 hours). Since I was getting desperate, I figured $43 would still be good.
We have a Holiday Inn Select right by our home, and I never knew what the difference was...thanks, Dave & Werner!
Barb
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