Florida has the longest coastline in mainland USA and sits on a peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. To most Americans the name Florida is almost synonymous to sun, fun and cruising.
There are five cruise ports in Florida that host a number of world famous cruise lines. Each year thousands of cruising enthusiasts leave the Florida Port of Calls for the Eastern, Southern and Western Caribbean, to Europe and to the Panama Canal.
When it comes to planning a cruise, it can be quite overwhelming if you do not know the location of the port for embarkation. These are three questions that are often asked by cruisers planning their next cruise:
1. Where are these cruise ports in Florida?
2. Which is the nearest airport to fly into for my cruise?
3. What is the cheapest way to get to the port?
Here is a handy guide to help answer the three common questions:
Five cruise ports in Florida
You can choose from five of these ports in Florida:
Tampa: Tampa Port Authority in West Florida.
Miami: Port of Miami in South East Florida.
Fort Lauderdale: Port Everglades in East Florida (just north of Miami)
Cape Canaveral: Port Canaveral in East Florida (just north of Fort Lauderdale)
Jacksonville: Jacksonville Port Authority in East Florida (just north of Port Canaveral)
Airports closest to the cruise ports in Florida
Cruise lines do offer a fly, transfer and cruise package for passengers. It is convenient to have all your travel arrangements done by the cruise professionals. However it comes with a higher cost. If you are looking to save money, it’s best to book your flights separately.
What if you could save even more if you fly to a less busy airport and take a cab to the port? For example your cruise leaves from Miami and the cheapest flights to Miami International Airport are not available. Your closest airport is fully booked on the desirable travel time and date.
Use the Travelmath calculator and find out the closest airport to Miami. You have two options. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood airport is 21 miles away and Palm Beach International Airport at West Palm Beach is 63 miles from Miami.
Check the availability of flights and price at Travelmath suggested booking engines.
If you have never been to Key West but have been dreaming about a trip there, through the calculator, you will find Key West Airport is only 129 miles from Miami. This is your chance to take advantage of your time to see more of Florida. Visit Key West for a few days and then drive to Miami for your cruise. It takes about 3 hours 34 minutes to drive from Key West to Miami.
Cheapest way to get to a port
If you have a large group of friends and family going on a cruise with you, driving will be your cheapest way to get to a port. You need to look for a convenient port where you can drive to easily.
It takes about 17 hours 44 minutes to drive from Livingston New Jersey to Port Canaveral. If you have a family of seven, you can simply take turns and drive with just stopping for gas and bathroom breaks, just in time for your cruise. This method can potentially save you at least $1500 for a family of seven on flights minus gas and parking.
Before you make your flight or cruise reservations, there are two important points to take note of:
One: In case of flight delay and you miss the embarkation time
It’s best to fly into the cruise port a day before departure and book an overnight stay at a hotel.
One great advantage of making all your travel arrangements with the cruise line is the guarantee that comes with it. If your flight is delayed or cancelled and you miss your boat, most cruise lines will pay for the cost incurred because of delay and arrange for you to get on the ship as soon as possible in the next port of call.
Two: Leave enough time for going and leaving the cruise ship
There is always a way to get delayed in a cruise, flight or any form of transportation. You need to factor in all these possibilities for your flights and other transportation arrangements. Most large ships take a long time for disembarkation. If you arrive in Miami at 8 am, you want to arrange a flight that leaves Miami after 12 pm. This will give you ample time to get your luggage, go through security and transportation to the airport.
There are many cruises that leaves from Florida’s cruise ports. Take advantage of the deals and options of transportation that are available here. Happy cruising.