Our pre-cruise stay at the Fairmont Turnberry Isle will be followed by a short inaugural cruise of the Celebrity Eclipse

Day 1 – Arrival at Fairmont Turnberry Isle

Following a pleasant and uneventful flight (the best kind) to Ft. Lauderdale, my husband and I used a local sedan service to make the brief 20-minute drive to Fairmont Turnberry Isle in the nearby city of Aventura.

As we pulled up before the hotel entrance, my husband observed the beautiful marble entryway and remarked “I can already tell this is going to be a wonderful experience.”  Helpful porters quickly whisked our luggage away and the check-in counter personnel had us on our way to our room in a quickly and friendly manner.  The pathway to our room was reminiscent of some palatial hacienda – stucco walls, marble tiling and beautiful lanterns along the long passageways that impressed even more after nightfall.  We passed both of the magnificent swimming pools on the way to our room – one of them was illuminated after nightfall by a large globe, giving the impression that the moon had descended from the heavens and was now situated on one end of the pool.  On the other end, a gorgeous fountain – truly a marvelous site.  And, we hadn’t even yet arrived to our room.

Once there, it was apparent that our room was no less impressive than the pool and corridor sights.  The beautiful wood trim throughout – comfortable chairs and an ever-so-comfy bed – and perhaps best of all, a marvelous patio overlooking the golf course.  Standing on the patio after nightfall, we appreciated the gorgeous view of the Aventura skyline reflecting palm trees and hotel structures alike.

But, it was dinnertime and the breathtaking view from the patio could wait.  After freshening up in the bathroom – a spacious, beautifully marbeled experience with a deep-soaking tub and separate shower offering a luxurious “waterfall” effect, we headed down to the hotel’s premier restaurant, the Bourbon Steak.  The restaurant’s combination of class and casualness (very comfy chairs and pillows) made for an immediately relaxing atmosphere and it was difficult to decide between the restaurant’s magnificent wine list and delightful assortment of tropical drinks made – according to the restaurant literature – from only the very finest ingredients.  We decided upon a marvelous California Cabernet Sauvignon to accompany our server’s appetizer recommendation: scallops risotto with a cheese sauce.  This appetizer was so good that we seriously considered foregoing a dinner in favor of another order of the appetizer.  But, in a restaurant named “Bourbon Steak” we decided it was only fitting to order – a steak.

The aged, hand-rubbed filet ordered by my husband was, he pronounced, perhaps the best he had ever had – high praise from a man very fussy about  his steak.  Accompanying it were two complimentary dishes offered by our server, one of which were french fries (cooked in duck fat) paired with three different sauces – the one with chives was absolutely to die for.  Also complimentary was the potato bread – another marvelous offering to begin the meal, along with very succulent shrimp cocktails.  We paired the steaks with baked potatoes and agreed it was a truly memorable meal. We were also inclined to forego dessert until we saw the “Chocolate Lava cake” offering with vanilla bean ice cream – it appeared we had a little room left for dessert, after all.  The warm chocolate and offsetting cool ice cream made for the perfect conclusion of a perfect meal.  Dinner was around $250, however, you could dine there for less if you did not order the pricey wine we chose.

Then, a brief soujourn through the restaurant’s shops – some  jewelry offerings for me and a golf pro shop for my husband.  After investing in a pair of ruby-studded chandelier earrings we walked past the “moon pool” on our way to the room and then enjoyed a drink on our patio while admiring the night skyline.  Then, we watched a movie from the hotel’s more-than-ample selection on our HD TV while cuddled in a very cozy bed.  Finally, it was time for “lights off” – we left the patio doors open to allow in the wonderful breeze before dozing off, dreaming of a most enjoyable first day, and the next days to come.

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