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By: Angela Caraway-Carlton

PortMiami makes cruising easy from one paradise to another

In Miami, we know a thing or two about cruising. Dubbed as the “Cruise Capital of the World,” we have the Eastern and Western Caribbean, Mexico, Key West, South America and beyond at our fingertips; and the cruise lines are many, with big names such as Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, MSC Cruises, Celebrity, Disney, the new Virgin Voyages and many more. If you’re stopping over in paradise before cruising to another beautiful spot from PortMiami, we’ve got the tips to navigate the port with ease.

Put It In Park

If you’re arriving by car, long-term cruise parking is $22 per night, while the daily rate is $8 for short-term parking. Getting to the port is also easy thanks to a quick taxi or ride-share like Uber and Lyft. Many hotels also provide shuttles to the port, and most cruise lines offer shuttle service directly from Miami International Airport. Keep in mind, PortMiami does not store luggage, so check with your cruise line about storage.

So Much New

You can now breeze through the PortMiami Tunnel, which zips underwater and offers easy direct access to the port from I-395 and I-95. Chances are, PortMiami may look completely different than the last time you cruised, even if you live in South Florida. The port is quickly changing with shiny new additions, and five new cruise port terminals are set to open between 2020 and 2022.

In 2020, a new Norwegian Cruise Line Terminal designed with a spiral facade will accommodate ships of up to 5,000 passengers and feature new technology to help guests get on and off quicker, along with a new parking garage and valet parking area with direct access to the terminal. MSC Cruise Terminal makes a grand entrance as the largest cruise terminal at the port, with inspiration from the sleek lines of Italian yachts. And, Virgin Voyages Palm Grove Terminal, inspired by Miami’s swaying palm trees, is being constructed by Richard Branson’s new cruise line.

There are also loads of new ships to call home for a vacation on the sea like Virgin Voyages adults-only ship, Scarlet Lady; Norwegian Cruise Line’s innovative ship, Norwegian Encore, fitted with a racetrack and laser tag arena; along with the buzzy new Meraviglia ship by MSC which offers Cirque du Soleil at Sea performances.

Frost Science
Frost Science Museum is a great way to spend extra time in Miami with the family

Time To Spare

If you have time to spare before or after a cruise, there is so much to do nearby. Let the kids burn off some energy at Frost Science which houses a 3D planetarium, an aquarium with touch-tanks where you can peep sharks circling overhead from an oculus. Walk next door to Perez Art Museum Miami for modern and contemporary international art, dramatic hanging gardens and stunning views of Biscayne Bay. Also nearby, the Miami Children’s Museum offers endless activities and hands-on exhibitions spread out over two floors. You can also spend time at Jungle Island, a mammoth park with loads of animals and thrilling activities.

Bayside Marketplace
Bayside Marketplace is close to PortMiami and a popular shopping, dining and entertainment area

Bayside Marketplace is one of the closest spots to PortMiami and this waterfront marketplace is the perfect spot for grabbing a bite to eat at restaurants such as Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Hard Rock Café and Segafredo, or do some last-minute shopping for souvenirs and vacation items.

Brickell City Centre
Brickell City Centre is a luxury shopping centre located in the heart of Brickell

You can also boost your cruise wardrobe at Brickell City Centre, an open-air, luxury shopping center with more than 120 stores, many restaurants including two Italian food halls Luna Park and Casa Tua Cucina, along with CMX, a luxury dine-in theater.

South Pointe Park
South Pointe Park is a popular spot to watch cruise ships sail by

Other nearby, must-see places include South Beach, Wynwood and the Miami Design District. On South Beach, you can meander the famous pedestrian mall, Lincoln Road, where you’ll find many mainstream stores along with restaurants like Juvia, which offers unbelievable views, and a popular food hall, Time Out Market Miami, housing concepts by many of Miami’s best chefs. Other top restaurants include Stubborn Seed, Upland and longtime favorite Joe’s Stone Crab. Stroll down the always-bustling Ocean Drive, where you can have a massage at the new K’Alma Spa inside Hotel Victor, or try a unique sushi experience at Sushi by Bou tucked away in the former Versace mansion. Or you can make your way to scenic South Pointe Park to walk the pier, or let the kids splash around in the water fountains.

Wynwood is home to Wynwood Walls and hip restaurants like Kaido

In artsy Wynwood, peep our famous street art and sky-high murals, starting at Wynwood Walls. Then move on to restaurants such as Asian-inspired KYU, buzzy Alter, and other local-favorites like Zak the Baker, The Salty Donut and Panther Coffee. At neighboring Miami Design District, art, architecture, luxury shopping and standout restaurants rule. The area is now home to hip new restaurants like Kaido, Ember, Le Jardinier and L’Atelier.

There’s so much to do before or after a cruise that you’ll want to extend your vacation in Miami.

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