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.
Over 24 cruise lines dock at the Port of Miami, so to help streamline your planning we’ve pinpointed five of the very best. Whether you’re looking for a budget trip or a luxurious experience, these cruise lines are known for offering delicious food, top-notch service and overall fantastic itineraries for an escape above the waves that you won’t soon forget.
When will cruises from Miami start again?
Right now, cruises are scheduled to resume from Miami in the spring of 2021. However, this is subject to change as the coronavirus pandemic evolves, so be sure to check in with each cruise line to confirm the exact dates.
Most cruise lines are offering penalty-free change and cancellation policies because of uncertainty due to COVID-19 — review the terms and conditions before booking to make sure you’re on board with the details.
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 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 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 takes about 20 to 25 minutes by car, depending on traffic. Transportation options from the Miami Airport to Port of Miami include:
Uber. It costs 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.
Traveling during COVID-19
The CDC advises postponing travel to protect yourself and your family from getting or spreading COVID-19. If you plan to travel during the pandemic, monitor the risk assessment levels for your destination when planning your trip, before departure and on arrival. Follow safety measures that include wearing a mask in public, social distancing and washing your hands. If you are diagnosed with, have symptoms of or are waiting for test results for COVID-19 — or are otherwise at risk of illness — do not attend gatherings or travel for 14 days.
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 on 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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