The Cruise Ports of Florida

by Lexa Pennington / May 15, 2012 /
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Florida is a great place to get a cruise from because you have so many options of which cruise line you want to take and where you want to go. Cruises from around here are perfect for family getaways to Florida as there are four cruise ports throughout Florida that you can leave from, so you can simply choose one that is closest to the city that you are in, or pick one that is near a city you'd like to visit. These cruises go all over the Bahamas, Caribbean, and more. Here are the major cruise ports in Florida and what you can expect from each of them:


Port Canaveral
This one is closest to one of the major tourism areas of Florida. About an hour from Orlando, it's easy to take a bus or a rental car from Orlando to Port Canaveral if you want to extend your vacation with a cruise. While Cape Canaveral might not have as much to do as Orlando, you can still find some interesting things there, including the Kennedy Space Center and Cocoa Beach. Some cruises that leave from further north, such as New York and Baltimore, make a stop here as a port of call. If you're interested in a Disney cruise, the majority of them leave from Port Canaveral. Some people even choose to vacation in Disney World, and then take a Disney cruise from Port Canaveral.


Miami is another popular port to leave from, mostly because there are so many different places you can get to from Miami. Cruises go to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, and even the Panama Canal. Miami is also a lively city itself, so if you get there a few days before your cruise or leave a few days after it, you'll have plenty to see and do in Miami.


Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale is another great place to leave from to visit the islands or Mexico. Most of the major cruise lines have some ships that leave out of Fort Lauderdale, and there are also ships that stop here for a brief visit. There are also many different lengths of cruises, so you can choose if you want to just stop by one island on a cruise that takes a few days, or if you want to go for a full week or more.


This is the largest cruise port in Florida, and it's probably the best one to leave from if you want to go to the western Caribbean. That's where the majority of cruise ships travel to, though there are some that go to other nearby destinations as well. You can get a cruise out of Tampa on a number of different cruise lines, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Holland America. There's also plenty to see and do in Tampa itself, including Busch Gardens or the Florida aquarium.