Bienvenidos a Miami⛱
About one year ago, we decided to book a Mediterranean Cruise. We really enjoy cruising because you get to see many ports on one vacation. There aren’t too many cabins that hold 5 in one room, but if you book early enough, you can get the best rates on two connecting rooms. Generally, rates only increase with time. For this cruise we booked two connecting balcony rooms on the Royal Caribbean’s newest and biggest ships, Symphony of the Seas. Because a direct flight from Houston to Barcelona is not an option, we chose to make a domestic connection in Miami.
One of our absolute favorite hotels in Miami is 1 Hotels, Miami: https://www.1hotels.com/south-beach. This hotel is glamorous and in a fabulous location for families. They also have a large room with two KING beds! Service is top notch and you can truly walk to very nice restaurants. Almost everything in the hotel is made from recycled materials, think reclaimed wood desks and nespresso operating instructions on recycled napkins! Your room includes bath robes, socks and a yoga mat. There are a few restaurants on site and poolside service to include an adults only rooftop pool. We had no trouble obtaining lounge chairs in the middle of the day, although it was quite busy. Service is also provided on the beach. We’ve stayed here twice and hope to stay again!
Time to eat:
For dinner on our one night in Miami, we walked to K. Ramen, Burgers and Beer. We booked a table, day of, rather easily on opentable. To be honest, this was a highlight for our family! We tried wonton chips, wings, spicy edamame, burgers, ramen, and delicious mochi (6 different flavors!). Best of all, this spot had a fooseball table and old arcades games (totally free!). We had so much fun and did not feel rushed. Highly recommended!
We had a few hours to kill before our flight, so we made a stop at the Lincoln Road Mall to grab a couple of things (Haviana flip flops and travel pants for Dave). The kids finagled a stop at the Dylan’s candy bar too😂. Tons of shops and restaurants in this outdoor shopping center. Definitely worth a visit!
As time was dwindling, we left the mall and headed for the airport. In Florida, you basically need a sunpass toll pass for many of the highways. Our rental did not come with one, but the sign said that they will send us a toll bill in the mail (we will see how that works out🙈). The Miami airport has a super convenient monorail system from the garage to the terminal. Once in the terminal, everything is basically automated. We had a couple hiccups with the American Airlines kiosks, but they were resolved rather quickly. *Another tip, we didn’t realize that TSA Precheck worked for international flights, but it does! I think this service is 💯 percent worth it!
In the airport, we headed directly to the American Express Centurion lounge. This lounge is free for the cardholder and two guests. Dave and I had to use both of our cards to gain free access for all five of us. Unfortunately, at 5 pm on a Friday evening, this place was PACKED! We ended up sitting on the floor😅. Overall, it’s still a very good benefit with free drinks, food, snacks and cookies (Mikey tried polenta and loved it!).