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Cruise lines from Florida

Sail from the sunshine state to the Caribbean, South America, across the Atlantic and beyond.


Aerial view of port of Miami

Home to some of the world’s busiest cruise terminals, Florida offers the most versatile mix of routes and itineraries in the world. Wherever you’d like to go, it’s likely you can find your way there from one of the Sunshine State’s departure ports — though if you’re hoping to sail to Mexico, you’re better off starting in California.

Best cruises from Florida

Overwhelmed with the options? We’ve done the research for you.

Best for short cruises from Florida: Norwegian

Norwegian cruise line offers three- and four-day cruises from Florida that are perfectly paced for a quick tropical getaway. Most will take you to the Bahamas, including Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, but it also has routes that dock at Key West and Costa Maya, Mexico. Interior cabins start at under $35/night for a cozy place to escape for a couple of days.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for transatlantic cruises from Florida: Viking Ocean Cruises

There's a reason Viking Ocean Cruises was nominated as the #1 Ocean Cruise Line by Travel and Leisure in 2018. The unique Scandinavian feel and thoughtful touches on board — a curated library, guest lectures and resident historians — create a transatlantic river cruise experience to enrich your mind while your body relaxes atop the waves. Dine on the Aquavit Terrace to watch the Atlantic Ocean pass by before stopping in Barcelona, Marseille, Monte Carlo and other bucket list cities.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card, Cheque
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for weekend cruises from Florida: Carnival

Only have a couple of days? Carnival can get you to the Bahamas and back in two nights. Leave on a Saturday and be back in the office before anyone even notices you missed the groggy slog of Monday.

Hoping for some beer money? Carnival often runs promotions with free onboard spending money simply for booking a cruise.

  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Paypal, Carnival EasyPay, Gift Card, Discover Card, Debit, Western Union, Cheque
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for family cruises from Florida if you've got small children: Disney

Every aspect of a Disney cruise is designed with children in mind — from friendly costumed characters wandering the decks to staff that's particularly good at working with kiddos. Most of its routes circle through the Caribbean, with a stop at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.

Disney's also known for its themed cruises — a Very Merrytime Bahamian cruise over the holidays, a Star Wars galactic-themed day at sea and more. We guarantee you won't hear, 'are we there yet?' while aboard.

  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card, JCB
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for family cruises from Florida for the whole clan: Royal Caribbean

Sometimes, all you need is to sit under the sun with your brood. Royal Caribbean is ideal for cruises from Florida that the whole family can enjoy, because it frequently has sales for discounts on your 2nd guest.

And, it offers hundreds of cruises from Miami and Orlando throughout the year so you can find an itinerary that everyone agrees on. On board, you'll find action-packed fun for everyone — waterslides, dance classes, musicals, a casino, spa, teen lounge and even an 80's dance party.

  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • Price matches
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Tips for finding the best cheap cruises from Florida

Competition among cruise lines in Florida is fierce, due to the high demand — PortMiami is the busiest cruise port in the world. So finding cheap cruises from Florida is certainly possible. Here’s how:

  • Look for last-minute deals. Cruise lines slash rates in the days and weeks immediately before departure to fill up cabins. Look for last-minute cruise deals on sites like Expedia to nab the sale.
  • Leave the bells and whistles behind. If you’re itching to hit the waves and can do without drink and Wi-Fi packages, you’ll be able to save money on fare. For example, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line sails round trip to the Bahamas every day of the week for super cheap. Bring along some board games for the journey — and pack a few of your favorite snacks — so you’ll have more dollar bills to spend after docking in Nassau.
  • Browse beyond Miami. Though smaller, terminals at Carnival Cruise Port in Jacksonville and Canaveral in Orlando often have inexpensive cruise options. Toggle between departure ports to see if you can find cheaper fare beyond Port Miami.

How we chose these cruises

When choosing cruises for this list, we looked at the quality of routes available from each cruise line, prioritizing well-paced itineraries with port stops at key destinations around the region.

We also considered onboard dining and weighing the number, variety and overall quality of restaurants against passenger reviews. Finally, we weighed cabin amenities against each price point, looking for cruise lines that are known to deliver the highest value.

Additionally, we sought out customer reviews on travel websites and personal travel blogs, considering first-person experiences and each company’s overall reputation.

When is the best time to cruise from Florida?

Most cruises from Florida run from December to April. While folks up north are shivering with snow, Florida is primed and ready for launch. Here’s the breakdown of it 365 days a year:

Peak season.

Snowbird season — mid-December through April — is peak traffic time for cruises from Florida, though early January and February do tend to be quieter, with decent fare before the spring break swells hit. Even if you have to pay a little more, the money might be worth it if a sunny sky is what you’re after. You’ll have the widest range of itineraries to choose from during this time.


Off-tourist season in Florida generally occurs from May to early June and from late August through early November. During this time, you’ll find the lowest fare and smallest crowds. You’ll likely be able to find cheaper airfare if you’re flying into town during this time.

Hurricane season.

Hurricane season in Florida runs from June 1st through November 3oth, but it peaks from mid-August to late October.
While you can probably find the cheapest cruises from Florida during that time, but make sure to keep your plans flexible. If a hurricane does sweep through, most cruise lines will offer credit so you can re-book later on.

Getting to the port for your cruise from Florida

There are six cities in Florida that cruises depart from:

Fort Lauderdale — Port Everglades

Jacksonville — Carnival Cruise Port (it’s only for Carnival ships)

Miami — Port Miami

Orlando — Canaveral

Palm Beach — Port of Palm Beach

Tampa — Port of Tampa Bay

Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Port Canaveral see the most traffic — the other three ports are much smaller.

Your options for arriving at each port are similar though, since transportation options in Florida don’t differ much by city.

    • Ride-hailing apps. Uber and Lyft are both at your disposal.
    • Taxi. Catch a taxi from the airport directly to your port.
    • Shuttle. If you’re staying overnight beforehand, check to see if your hotel offers a free shuttle to the piers. Otherwise, browse third-party routes.
    • Public transportation. Florida isn’t well-known for its public transportation, but in Miami or Tampa you might be able to find a train or bus that’ll drop you off near your terminal. Otherwise, you’re better off arranging your own transportation.

If you’re road-tripping to your terminal, parking is available at each port. But you’ll have to pay a per-night fee.

Bottom line

Florida is ideal in so many ways. While sunny skies and no income tax might top the list, it’s also the best US state to catch a cruise due to the sheer variety of cruises you have to choose from. Before sealing the deal and setting sail, check to see if you can save money with a discount or deal.

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