What’s the best way to get from the Miami airport to the cruise port? This guide will help you determine which way is best for you.
Miami: the home of beautiful blue beaches, the Everglades, art deco homes, and a diverse eclectic culture. The city is also known as a huge hub for cruise travelers headed to the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and other destinations in the Caribbean.
In fact, almost 5 million travelers pass through the Miami cruise port every year on over 55 different cruise ships, deeming Miami the “Cruise Capital of the World”.
For many, Miami is the gateway to their dream vacation, but unfortunately, there are some barriers between getting off your plane in the airport and boarding your cruise ship.
It can be a bit confusing to get from the sprawling Miami airport to the Miami port terminal, so we have created an absolute beginner’s guide to help any traveler navigate their way to a splendid vacation!
Where is the Miami Cruise Port Located?
The Miami cruise port is located on Dodge Island, which is right across from downtown Miami. From a distance standpoint, it is located about 8 miles east of Miami International Airport. The address is 1015 N. America Way Miami, Florida 33132.
Transportation from the Miami Airport to the Cruise Port
There are plenty of methods to get from the Miami airport to the cruise port, especially since the distance is quite short! Depending on your the cruise you are taking, the cruise line’s services, your budget, and time allocation, you have plenty of options to choose. Here we explain what you need to know, as well as some pros and cons for every option.
Driving to the Miami Cruise Port
You may not have to rely on the different methods of airport transportation if you have a friend or family member in Miami who can drive you to the cruise terminal. If you are expecting a ride, there will be a sign in the airport by baggage claim that says “pickup area.”
This is an area made specifically for residential cars to pick up travelers, compared to ride sharing options or shuttles, and you won’t have to wait in a backup of traffic to access a car and get out of the airport quickly.
Easily enough, the Miami terminal is connected to the Miami Airport by the popular yet busy Dolphin Expressway the SR 836. As a toll road, it will lead you directly from the airport exit to the Port Miami Tunnel. All you’ll want to do is take the exit “Miami Beach/MacArthur Causeway” and follow the signs for the Port Miami Tunnel on North Cruise Boulevard.
If the traffic is steady, you can expect this journey to take you about 20 minutes. However, at peak times such as rush hour or during common morning commute times, it is safe to allocate at least double this amount of time to get to your final destination! The toll for this journey is only about $2, making driving your own car the most cost-friendly option.
There’s even a route you can drive to avoid the small toll fee. From the airport, you’ll want to take NW17th Street to NW27th Avenue and travel eastbound on NW North River Drive. You’ll exit at NW8th Street, turn south on the adjacent Miami Avenue, and then turn east on NE5th Street which will turn into the Port Boulevard.
From there, you’ll be able to follow signs to the cruise terminal. This route typically takes 30 minutes, and again almost double the time if you’re to be in that area during heavier traffic periods.
Pros: Incredibly cheap, and takes about the same time as a normal shuttle or taxi would.
Cons: Not always available to every traveler. Is only an economical option for those with friends or family that live in Miami, because if not, you’ll have to pay to rent a car and for parking at the terminal when you are on your cruise.
Cruise Line Transfers to the Miami Cruise Port
Did you know that your cruise line may actually offer a transfer for you from the airport? This is one of the most convenient ways to book transportation but is unfortunately only available on the day your cruise departs. So if you are looking at flying into Miami the night before as a way to bypass any travel risks such as cancellations due to the weather or flight delays, a cruise line transfer may not be the best option for you.
But if you plan to arrive into Miami then head straight to the airport, you can book shuttle transportation via your cruise line directly. These shuttles are not free, and the price does range per person, per each cruise line. Carnival Cruise Lines currently charges $16.99 per person, each way.
One of the biggest advantages of choosing a cruise line transfer is that you can easily add this option on when booking your cruise either yourself or with a travel agent. When you go this route, the cruise will take care of all the arrangements including making sure your entire group is traveling together on the same shuttle, all your luggage is in the same place (you may even be able to have your luggage go directly to the cruise ship and placed in your room so you don’t have to worry about it!) and you may have the option of priority disembarkation once you arrive at the terminal.
In addition, you’ll be dropped off or told exactly where to go when you get to the terminal, whereas if you are traveling alone you may have to navigate the crowded, sometimes confusing, terminal by yourself.
This means that as soon as you’re on the shuttle, you won’t have to worry about a thing.
Pros: Incredibly convenient, as the cruise will handle the transportation of your luggage and will bring you to where you need to be. You are also able to pre-book ahead of time via the cruise website or your travel agent, so you won’t have to worry about finding transportation once you get off the plane.
Cons: As the most expensive option, some travelers may not be able to justify the convenience with the added cost per person. This increased cost is also only for a one-way ticket, and you’ll have to pay the same amount to get back to the airport once your cruise is over.
Third-Party Shuttles to the Miami Cruise Port
If you are the in the market for a shuttle due to your large group size, there are plenty of third-party shuttles that you can use. They offer just another simple option on how to get from the Miami airport to the Miami cruise terminal. Some examples include:
SuperShuttle– These blue vans offer anything from a large shuttle service to a private sedan. Rates start at $16 per person but keep in mind this price is for a large group of people.
Port of Miami Shuttle– This service offers a flat rate of $35 to/from the Miami airport to the Miami cruise port for four people. For five to nine passengers, it is $8 per person, and for 10 and more passengers, it is $7 per person.
GO Airport Shuttles– A good option for those who want multiple choices when it comes to transportation. GO airport shuttles provide multiple different executive car and shuttle services, starting at $97 per one person traveling by themselves.
Pros: Fantastic for larger groups that don’t want to spend a lot of money on multiple taxis or ride shares. They are easily booked online and can be booked for a time and date that works for you, meaning you won’t be limited to the specific time they have to leave such as the shuttles operated by the cruise lines.
Cons: An expensive option as the shuttles operate by charging per person.
Hotel Shuttles to the Miami Cruise Port
Some vacationers choose to stay at a hotel the day after their cruise gets back to Miami, whether it is to explore another city or to simply not have to rush off the boat and to the airport to catch a flight. Or, some flights to certain cities only leave Miami early in the morning, so it can be a benefit to stay overnight.
If you choose to go this route, there are free (i.e included in your room’s stay) hotel shuttles that you can use to get you from the Miami airport to the cruise terminal on the day of the cruise. Then on your way back, these shuttles can pick you up from the terminal, bring you to the hotel, then drop you off at the airport come morning.
All you have to do is simply search around for hotels in the Miami area and ask them if they have a complementary, or for a nominal fee, shuttle service you can use. Since going on cruises is so popular in Miami, you would be surprised by how simple these hotels can be to find.
Example hotels with shuttle service:
- YVE Hotel Miami
- Hampton Inn Miami Airport South
- Comfort Inn Miami Airport
- DoubleTree Biscayne Bay
- Leamington Hotel Downtown Miami
Pros: Incredibly cost-effective if you are already planning on staying overnight the night your cruise ship returns to Miami. With these types of shuttles, all you have to do is call a number and you will be connected to a driver that will come directly to you and your location. Also a great option for travelers with larger families!
Cons: Only available to those who choose to spend the extra expense and stay overnight.
Private Transportation to the Miami Cruise Port
If you choose to travel privately, there are a lot of different options for you depending on the size of your party. Providers such as GroundLink offer travelers the choices of a private car, a van, or a stretch limo, and offer comparable pricing to other shuttle options.
For example, with GroundLink the prices start at $71, before gratuity, for a private car and driver. This price is fixed for at least three passengers, making it $24 for each person one-way, a great alternative to other taxis and shuttles. As one can see, for a family of four, choosing to travel privately is a wonderful way to start out your vacation in style, without necessarily breaking the bank!
Pros: A surprisingly affordable option for those traveling in larger groups, as many private car services offer stretch limos. Choosing this method is a great way to ensure privacy when traveling, while also bypassing some other crowded methods of transportation. When you hire a driver, you won’t need to worry about a thing between the time you land and the arrival to the cruise port.
Cons: Can be a bit out of budget for some.
Taxis to the Miami Cruise Portal
You’ll find taxis in abundance at the Miami airport, but the question is if they are right for you! While they are easy to catch, there are some other factors you need to determine such as the size of your party and your budget before you commit to a ride in a taxi.
For those traveling from the Miami airport to the Miami Cruise Portal, there is a flat fee of $27 per one-way. This is per ride not per customer, so if you are a family of four this turns out to be only $7 dollars per person! (if all of your luggage can fit into the trunk)
There will be signs pointing you in the direction of the Miami airport taxi rank. When you’re there, all you have to do is wait in line, tell the manager where you are going, and they will ensure you get the right sized cab for your party. Taxi ranks tend to be right outside of the arrivals area, where baggage claim is.
Pros: Incredibly cost-efficient, especially for families. Taxis leave when you are ready, and there is no need to pre-book. To even bring the costs down lower, you can share a larger van with multiple people.
Cons: The lines at the taxi rank can sometimes be very long and can pose a problem if you have to be on the ship by a specific time and are running late. Since Miami is so known for cruises, a good percentage of travelers will be looking to take a cab from the Miami airport to the Miami cruise port so it is always safe to build in some extra time to your day if you choose this option.
Ride-Sharing to the Miami Cruise Port
Ride-sharing options such as Uber and Lyft have opened up a whole new world of affordable transport for travelers. The beauty of these options is that you can either pre-book them ahead of time before you’ve even arrived or book them once you are ready to be picked up from the Miami airport.
The way the Uber and Lyft apps work is quite easy. All you have to do is to download the app onto any smartphone and enable your location so the app can tell where you are. You simply put in your current location and your destination, and you will see different price options come up.
Both services offer a premium ride, known as UberX or LyftPlus and these options offer a newer model car with upgraded amenities. But these upgrades do come at a price; while normal Uber and Lyft rides can cost anywhere from $16 to $20 per way, not per person, UberX and LyftPlus charge around $23-$40 per way.
There is also an UberPool option, where you request an Uber ride and the application will look for other passengers in your area who are going to the same place. Because you may be sharing your ride with some others, the price of an UberPool is typically quite lower than a traditional ride. Since so many people are traveling from the Miami airport to the Miami cruise port, chances are you will find other people near you looking for an UberPool, and the more people you pick up, the cheaper the ride will be!
Once you have decided on what classification of Uber or Lyft you will take, all you have to do is press a button and the app will call a car to come to you. Depending on your location within the airport, you may have to go to a specific area outlined in the app, but no matter what, you can track the car that is coming to you in real time on your phone. You’ll even get a notification when the car has arrived!
Pros: A cheap method of transportation that is also environmentally friendly! Cars are also usually cleaner and newer than taxis.
Cons: For someone that is new to utilizing ride-sharing smartphone apps, hailing an Uber or a Lyft can seem intimidating and complicated. Also, you have to factor the amount of luggage that you have. The cheapest Uber rides are often smaller cars with limited space for luggage.
As you can see, no matter your time frame, budget, or size of your party, there is an option for you when traveling from the Miami airport to the Miami cruise port. With this guide in hand, you won’t have to worry about the details of getting from point A to point B — all you’ll need to do is get excited about your upcoming vacation!