Cruising from PortMiami

By Shayne Benowitz | Feb 9, 2018
Port Miami
Aerial view of PortMiami and MacArthur Causeway

Your guide to navigating the ins and outs of PortMiami

It’s no secret that Miami is the cruise capital of the world. PortMiami sees nearly five million passengers annually as they embark on Caribbean cruises aboard the world’s leading cruise lines. PortMiami is home to Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line and many more.

What's New

There’s always something new at PortMiami to make passengers’ travel experience more enjoyable. The latest addition is Royal Caribbean’s newly renovated Terminal A, home to the line’s brand new Symphony of the Seas ship. The new LEED-certified terminal can accommodate ships as long as 1,300 feet. It boasts a neutral color palette with clean Miami Modern lines, floor-to-ceiling windows and beautiful sculptural elements like brass ship’s propellers hanging from the ceiling. It’s an unmistakable aspect to Miami’s skyline.

Another engaging design element at PortMiami is Miami-based artist Jim Drain’s public art installation, “The Bollard Project.” Blending functionality with artistic expression, he painted the bollards that run along the sidewalk of the passenger entrance at PortMiami in 2014. In a thoughtfully arranged color sequence, each bollard is painted a bright combination of colors meant to reference maritime flags.

In addition to Royal Caribbean’s brand new Symphony of the Seas ship, some of PortMiami’s newest and most exciting ships include Regent Seven Seas’ Explorer, MSC Cruises’ Seaside, Norwegian Escape, Celebrity Cruise’s Equinox and Carnival Horizon.

Forthcoming ships include Norwegian Bliss, which will set sail to Miami from Alaska in winter 2018 for seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruises and MSC Meraviglia, which is slated for completion in fall 2019 as the largest ship ever built by a European-based cruise line, accommodating 5,700 passengers.

Virgin Voyages is slated for its debut at PortMiami in 2020 with the first of its three midsize ships accommodating 2,800 passengers for a variety of seven-day Caribbean cruises. “We now have the right partners in place to build a world-class cruise line that will redefine the cruising experience for good,” says Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group. “The Virgin Cruises approach will appeal to cruisers and non-cruisers alike, and we look forward to being in Miami and delivering an experience for people who want a new way to cruise.”

How to Navigate

Since construction of the PortMiami Tunnel, the port has never been easier to access and navigate. The tunnel directly links the US Interstate Highway System with port facilities, allowing streamlined access for both passengers and container traffic to the port without a single traffic light and free of any tolls.

For passengers arriving to the port by car, secure parking is available at all terminals priced at $22 per day. Short-term parking is available for an $8 flat rate. However, there are many options for accessing the port, including taxis and ride sharing services like Lyft and Uber. Guests can also take advantage of shuttles provided by many area hotels and rental car agencies. This is a great option for guests who are extending their stay in Miami.

If you’re interested in exploring Miami the day of your cruise, there are a handful of luggage storage options. However, PortMiami itself, does not offer luggage storage. Your best bet is to contact your cruise line directly to find out about early baggage check-in. If you choose to explore the city by tour bus, like Big Bus Tours, you can also check your bags with the tour company.

Stay & Play

The port’s central location between Downtown and South Beach position travelers in the perfect place to extend their cruise vacation and discover the best of what Miami has to offer. If you’ve only got a day or a half-day to explore, you can easily visit Museum Park in downtown and swing into either the Perez Art Museum Miami or Frost Science. If shopping is your thing, venture out to the newly opened Brickell City Centre where you’ll find luxury shopping and excellent dining options all in one convenient location. If you’re dying to get a taste of South Beach, take a taxi over the causeway to Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road for sightseeing and window-shopping.

If you choose to extend your stay for a night or two, the city is your oyster. Set up shop at a hotel in South Beach or downtown and set out to discover other exciting neighborhoods like Wynwood, the Design District, Little Havana and Little Haiti. Whether you’re interested in Miami’s arts and culture, restaurant and nightlife scene or you simply want to relax in the sands of the city’s beautiful beaches, you can piece together the Miami vacation of your dreams to make your Caribbean cruise vacation that much more memorable.

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