The world’s cruise capital is an excellent place to kickoff tropical escapes. Though scrupulous travelers might schedule around hurricane season, Miami sees glorious sunshine an average of 248 days a year — and it only gets better, south of there.
I want to cruise from the Port of Miami in 2020. What are my options?
Even though the CDC’s No Sail Order expires on November 1, most major US cruise lines are waiting until December to resume operations.
These cruise lines are planning to relaunch in December, sailing from the Port of Miami:
Carnival. Sail to the Bahamas — including Nassau and Princess Cays — and other islands in the Caribbean, like Grand Turk and Ocho Rios.
MSC Cruises. Visit Ocean Cay, Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Mexico when you cruise from the Port of Miami with MSC Cruises.
Norwegian Cruise Line. The Norwegian Sky, Pearl and Joy are scheduled to cruise around the Caribbean, stopping at places like Aruba, St. Lucia, Barbados and Antigua.
Royal Caribbean. Go to the Bahamas, CocoCay, Haiti, Mexico and other destinations in the Bahamas and the Caribbean.
Virgin Voyages. Richard Branson’s cruise line will take you to Key West, Costa Maya, San Juan and beyond.
If a 2020 itinerary is canceled, these cruise lines are offering either a 100% refund or credit for a future cruise — read the booking terms to learn about your options.
Travel during the coronavirus pandemic
Ship operators are getting back to advertising cruises now that the CDC’s No Sail order has expired, but it doesn’t mean that you’re safe from risk. The CDC issued interim guidelines for operators to mitigate and manage COVID-19 on ships originating or porting form the US.
Guidelines urge the creation of plans that include crew training on preventing and reducing an outbreak, onboard monitoring of symptoms, onboard and offshore training, medical staffing, sufficient PPE, onboard isolation and quarantine and a system of alerting national, state and local authorities.
Look for flexible cancellation policies, and expect temperature and other health screening, enforcement of social distancing and mask wearing and reduced attendance at events and in facilities.
Best cruises from Miami
The Port of Miami, located in Biscayne Bay, happens to be the largest — and busiest — cruise port in the world.
Best for budget travelers: Bahamas Paradise
Lounge beneath Bahamian palms for under $100 on a two-night getaway. While it lacks white tablecloth service, this route has been dubbed good value by the New York Times — because sometimes you simply need to catch a break.
No free room service
No free alcohol
No price matching
Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card, Cheque
Get whisked away on a three, four or five-night cruise aboard Disney Magic. You'll find whimsical entertainment like fireworks and youth clubs for the kids, and adults-only areas for grown-up indulgence.
Room service included
No free alcohol
No price matching
Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card, JCB
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 dining onboard, 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 it the best time to cruise from Miami?
Since Miami is so close to the equator, it offers a temperate climate and pleasant cruise weather all year round.
Still, there are other factors to consider before determining your dates. Here’s what to keep in mind:
Hurricane season lasts from June to mid-November, but August and September have the highest risk of tropical storms. Check your cruise line’s policies about cancellations due to natural disasters — most offer a full refund, as long as you eventually rebook.
Off-peak season is from late April to early May and September to early October. You’ll likely find the cheapest prices during these months.
The hottest month of the year is August — temperatures in Miami hover just below 90°F. And if you’re sailing south, expect it to get even warmer.
Getting to the port for your cruise from Miami
The Port of Miami is located on Dodge Island, just a few miles directly east of downtown Miami.
If you’re flying into the Miami airport, it’ll take you about 20 to 25 minutes by car, depending on traffic. Transportation options from the Miami Airport to Port of Miami include:
Uber. You’ll pay about $15 for an Uber Pool, and about $18 for an UberX.
Taxi. Expect to pay a $27 flat-rate fee.
Shuttles. Most cruise lines offer shuttles to and from the airport for a fee. It’s also common for hotels in the area to offer free shuttles to and from the port. Or, you could research third-party options.
If you’re driving yourself, there are parking lots next to each cruise terminal in Miami. Overnight parking costs $22/night, while short-term parking costs $8.
Get lost at sea on purpose, departing from the cruise capital of the world. Remember to check for cruise deals to find the best prices.
Frequently asked questions
It’s about 230 miles from the Orlando Airport to the Port of Miami — that’s 228.2 miles via Florida’s Turnpike.
If you find cheap flights to Orlando but your cruise departs from Miami, a rental car is the most efficient way to get from point A to point B.
It’s about 40 to 45 minutes, or 30 miles, south on the I-95 Express, depending on traffic.
There are a few third-party shuttle services that can get you from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport — though flying into this airport is usually more expensive, depending your starting point.
Stephanie Yip is the travel editor at Finder and has been writing about travel and lifestyle for over a decade. She has written for a range of travel publications including Thomas Cook Magazine and Showpo. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Technology Sydney, Australia, and has visited over 50 countries (and counting). She has a passion for sharing her experiences and knowledge of travel and helping consumers stretch their travel cash while on holiday.
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