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Maximize Your Florida Cruise Port Experience

When you book a cruise vacation with Paradise Travel, one of the first tips we will tell you is to book a pre-night hotel stay. This helps you to avoid missing the ship from airline and other travel delays - and it also gets you in the vacation spirit a day earlier. Be sure to book your next cruise vacation with Paradise Travel to get more cruising tips.


When taking a cruise to the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Mexico and other destinations in the Atlantic Ocean, you'll probably be leaving from a cruise port located in Florida. Most major cruise lines sail from Florida, including Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, among others. If you are sailing from one of the Florida ports, be sure to plan ahead to enjoy what each unique port city has to offer. Here are a few things to do in Florida pre and post cruise:


Port of Miami

There is hardly a more tropical port to sail from than Miami, Florida! There are a handful of hotels that we recommend close to the port - some even have rooms with views of the port itself. There is nothing like watching your cruise ship pull up in the early hours of the morning! Getting to Miami a day (or two) prior to your sailing can open up some opportunities for adventure. Here are some recommended activities:


Pre-Cruise Activities for Port of Miami
Explore Miami Before Your Cruise!
  • Explore Little Havana: This local neighborhood is rich with Cuban culture and authentic Latin cuisine.

  • Visit South Beach: This beautiful beach is near the port and known for white sand beaches, vibrant nightlife, and celebrity spotting!

  • Shop at Bayside Marketplace: Bayside Marketplace is a shopping and dining destination with over 150 shops and many restaurants. This is very close to the port and great for a nighttime activity with kids.

  • Visit the Miami Seaquarium: Miami Seaquarium is home to a lot of marine animals, including dolphins, sea lions, and manatees.

If you have more time in Miami before (or even after) your sailing, consider:

  • Florida Keys: The drive to the Florida Keys is a scenic journey along the Overseas Highway, a 113-mile highway that stretches from Miami to Key West. The highway is surrounded by water on both sides and offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. You can drive all the way to Key West (3 hours) or stop in Key Largo (1 hour).

  • Everglades Tour: An airboat tour from Miami is a great way to explore to Florida Everglades and see unique Florida wildlife. These tours typically last 1-2 hours and family members of all ages can participate.

If you are interested in pre-arranging a tour, let us know and we can help book it!


Port everglades (Fort Lauderdale)

Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale is a popular cruise port. While located close to Miami, Fort Lauderdale itself can be an exciting city. Here are a few activities for your pre-night stay in Fort Lauderdale:


Things to do before a cruise from Fort Lauderdale
Visit one of Fort Lauderdale's Beaches
  • Bask in the Sun at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea: This small town is known for its beachfront, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs that make it a popular destination for snorkeling and diving. The town's charming atmosphere has local shops, restaurants to explore the day before your sailing.

  • Explore at the Museum of Discovery and Science: Explore this hands-on museum and see live demonstrations on the latest science technology.

  • Tour Fort Lauderdale via Water Taxi: For a low-key day, book a scenic tour of the city and its waterways from the comfort of a water taxi.

If you have more time before your cruise or want to explore more after your sailing, then consider visiting Miami, Florida Keys, or the Everglades! Let us know how we can help you book your pre-cruise adventure!


Port Canaveral (close to Orlando)

After flying into Orlando, Port Canaveral is just a short drive away with lots of hotel accommodations. Outside of the hustle and bustle of Orlando, there are still many fun and exciting things to do in Port Canaveral, Florida. Here are some of the most popular options:


Port Canaveral destination ideas
Spend some time in Orlando before your cruise!
  • Visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex: Learn about the history of space exploration and get a sneak peek at NASA's current plans. You might also be able to catch a space launch if timing works out!

  • Take a wildlife tour: Book a guided boat tour and see some of Florida's unique wildlife, such as dolphins and manatees.

  • Visit the Manatee Sanctuary Park: This park allows visitors to learn more about manatees, their habitat, and conservation efforts.

Have more time? Visit all that Orlando has to offer, from theme parks to luxury resorts. Or go big and add on a pre-visit to Disney World or Universal Studios. Read more about why booking a Disney or Universal Studios Vacation with Paradise Travel is beneficial to you!


Port of Tampa

Flying into Tampa and cruising from the same location is a relatively relaxed experience. The smaller airport and cruise port are easy to navigate for all cruisers. Before you set sail from the Port of Tampa, be sure to plan extra time to explore this beautiful city.


Things to do in Tampa before your cruise
Visit the beautiful beaches of Clearwater!
  • Visit Busch Gardens: This Tampa theme park is all about big thrill rollercoasters and animal encounters!

  • Explore the Florida Aquarium in Tampa: This local aquarium is rated one of the best in the US. Visit and see their sea turtles, sharks, lemurs and more!

  • Visit the Museum of Science and Industry: Explore the hands-on science exhibits and be sure to check out their events page for extra special areas of interest.

If you have more time, plan a few days in Clearwater. This nearby city has stunning beaches, clear blue waters, and abundant activities and attractions. However, one of the best nearby attractions is a visit to the Crystal River where you can kayak or snorkel with manatees! We can help you book this tour before your cruise!


At Paradise Travel, we're excited to assist you in planning your next cruise holiday. We'll take care of everything, from booking your flights and pre-cruise hotel and activities, to all the small details of your actual cruise. Contact us today for a complimentary cruise quote!


About Paradise Travel

Paradise Travel was founded in Parker, Colorado, but we have expanded over the years and have agents ready to plan vacations no matter where you are located! Our experienced travel agents at Paradise Travel are committed to finding you the best travel deal tailored to meet your individual vacation needs. We guarantee a VIP experience with exclusive offers that you won’t find anywhere else. Plus, we provide a free consultation so you can leverage our expert services while maximizing your money on a dream vacation.


​Paradise Travel, your trusted travel agency, provides expert travel advice and personalized trip-planning services. Our travel agents have first-hand knowledge of destinations and will make all the necessary arrangements for you. And the best part? These VIP services are offered to you for free.


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