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Guide To Miami Cruise Port, Florida

Updated on July 22, 2011
Miami Skyline at Night
Miami Skyline at Night

Let's Go Miami

Miami is situated on the Florida mainland. Offshore, due east in the Atlantic, there are a string of islands. Furthest south of these is Key Biscayne. Next northwards is Virginia Key, then Fisher Island, and finally comes Miami Beach. The bay in between these islands and the Florida mainland is Biscayne Bay.

Miami started as a modest orange farming settlement. Next when a railway was extended to the settlement, its pleasant climate and coastal position were popular with incomers, so the town grew quickly.

In the early part of the 20th century property developers saw the potential of the Atlantic beaches of Miami Beach, and so commenced the building of the stylish Art Deco buildings in South Beach. The hurricane of 1929 resulted in major damage to the islands, but following a interlude for renewal new developments sprung up as speedily as before.

In the 1960’s there was a big influx into Miami of Cuban refugees, fleeing the control of Fidel Castro. As a result the city inherited the atmosphere of a Central American city, with much liveliness combining with a relaxed attitude.

Miami has now grown into an important center for culture, entertainment, tourism and industry. Miami’s cruise port is a major enterprise and Miami is sometimes slated as the Cruise Capital of the World. The port welcomes several major cruiselines, with sailings to the sun-drenched Caribbean or often further.

Fairchild Tropical Garden
Fairchild Tropical Garden

Sightseeing in Miami

South Beach (also named SoBe)
This Art Deco designed seafront neighborhood has it all, great people watching, trendy boutiques, fine restaurants, chic shops, simple cafes, a huge sandy beach and gorgeous historic hotels. The art deco district is around twenty minutes from the cruise port by cab.

Little Havana
To experience Cuban life today, go to Little Havana, the location that thousands of Cubans came to after escaping Cuba.  Saunter down Calle Ocho, visit a cafe for a cup of traditional Cuban coffee, check out cigars being hand rolled at the Credito Cigar factory and make a trip to the Cuban Museum of the Americas.

Coconut Grove
Coconut Grove, constructed in the 1870s, is the city’s oldest neighborhood. It is a neighborhood of galleries, stylish boutiques, restaurants and lively bars.  Visit Vizcaya Gardens and Museum, an early 20th century estate commissioned by a businessman from Chicago who aimed to imitate an Italian styled property.

Fairchild Tropical Garden
For a calming experience  head to the Fairchild Tropical Garden, here a series of beautiful lakes are encircled by lush plants and trees.

Coral Gables
The Coral Gables neighborhood was founded in the 1920’s, and here you’ll find an assortment of fine restaurants, modern galleries, fashionable boutiques and trendy bars. Bring your swimming gear and call in at Venetian Pool, the fantastic public pool set in a quarry. 

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
Bill Baggs Cape Florida is located on the southernmost side of Key Biscayne  barrier island. Here you’ll find the much photographed lighthouse originally built in 1825 then reconstructed in 1846. Have some time at the State park to surf, sunbathe, hike, picnic and swim on over one mile of gorgeous Atlantic beach.

Bayside Marketplace
It’s an easy walk from the cruise terminals to Bayside Marketplace, a busy shopping mall. It's an open air mall, and can be extremely hot in summertime.  It has a lot of tourist stalls, bars, restaurants and clothing stores.

Nassau Bahamas, a popular cruise destination from Miami
Nassau Bahamas, a popular cruise destination from Miami

Cruise Routes From Miami

The range of cruises available are the Eastern Caribbean (Tortola, St Maarten, St Thomas and San Juan), the Western Caribbean (Cozumel, Belize, Roatan and Grand Cayman), the Bahamas (Nassau and Freeport), or the Southern Caribbean (St Johns, Barbados and St Kitts). Extended trips are also to be had, like trans Panama canal voyages to the west coast of the US, or extended journeys to South America and the Amazon. For a calendar of cruises from Miami see cruises from Miami.

Cruise Terminal D, Miami Cruise Port
Cruise Terminal D, Miami Cruise Port

Miami Cruise Terminals

Miami Port is located on Dodge Island, a piece of dredged land in Biscayne Bay created by the combining of 3 islands, Dodge, Lummus and Sam’s. Dodge Island is only 3 miles from Miami center. Port Boulevard, a bridge over Biscayne bay, links the city to the port.

The cruise port manages eight cruise terminal buildings. The B/C, D, E, F and G terminals are positioned on the north coast of Dodge island, terminal H on the west coast, and terminal J on the south. Container vessels dock along the south of Dodge island.

Cruise terminals D and E, which were completed in 2007, are the most modern. These are designed to dock large cruise ships. The combined distance end-to-end of all cruise ship piers is some one mile. Eight large cruiseships can be berthed simultaneously.

All cruise terminals have the basic facilities, like cab ranks, restaurants, bars, shops and check in desks. Further facilities at terminals D and E consist of airline style check-in desks, automated like luggage processing, and an all-in-one Multi-Agency Service, for United States Department of Agriculture, Immigration Services and United States Customs.

The port’s official site is at Port Of Miami.

Miami Airport
Miami Airport

Directions To The Cruise Port

By Road

From the North

Follow Interstate-95 south and leave at 3B Bayside. Continue southwards and make a left at 5th Street. 5th Street will lead onto Port Boulevard bridge. Keep going across the bridge and follow the signage to the required terminal.

From the South

Follow Interstate-95 north and exit at Northwest 2nd Street. Carry on to NW 5th Street then turn right. 5th Street goes over Port Boulevard bridge. Continue across the bridge and follow signage to the required terminal.

Long term parking costs about 25 dollars a night, and may be reserved by phone.

There is a free shuttle available to take you from the car park to the terminal.

By Air

The port of Miami is just a few miles from Miami International Airport. To travel from airport to port, catch a taxi or catch the supershuttle bus.

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    • capitula profile image

      capitula 

      3 years ago

      Royal Caribbean has just announced that the company hopes to develop a new mega-ship cruise terminal at the port. If this happens it will surely strengthen Miami's position as 'cruise ship capital of the world'.

    • capitula profile image

      capitula 

      3 years ago

      Great news that Carnival have introduced their new brand Fathom featuring Miami To Cuba Volunteer Cruises. Though perhaps many vacationers may not like the 'volunteer' part ;)

    • capitula profile image

      capitula 

      4 years ago

      The Miami Port tunnel is now open, so it might be worth mentioning it in your 'Directions to the Cruise Port' section. It links the MacArthur causeway directly to the Port of Miami.

    • capitula profile image

      capitula 

      4 years ago

      PortMiami's debt now stands at nearly $1billion dollars (although this does include $300million for the MacArthur tunnel), so it's hard to see how the port is going to afford to develop the cruise side of the business further, which may start to be a problem due to the rise of Port Everglades and Port Canaveral. Though they could recoup something if they leased out land to Beckham's new soccer team?

    • Dawnrichard profile image

      Dawnrichard 

      6 years ago

      Miami is an amazing place. I have a dream to go to Miami and i will be there one day. Nice to read your hub. It gives me some more excitement to go there again. Thanks for sharing.

      Dawnrichard

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