Skip to Content

The Best Cruises From Florida

As a New Englander who loves warm weather and cruising, I find that I am usually cruising from Florida. It’s pretty easy to fly there from Boston, my home airport, and there are so many different cruise ports going to many warm-weather destinations from the Sunshine State. In addition, there are many different itinerary options on Florida cruises, whether you are looking for a short cruise or a longer-duration sailing.

If you are on the East Coast and are looking for a convenient warm-weather cruise home port, consider taking a cruise from Florida. There are many cruise lines, cruise destinations, and home ports to choose from.

Here are the best cruises from Florida, as well as tips for your next Florida sailing.

Disclosure: We have received complimentary cruises at no cost but have also paid our way. This post contains affiliate links and a purchase/click through one of these links may result in a commission paid to us at no cost to you.

Check prices for cruises here.

Port of Miami with strip of roadway and buildings in background

The Best Cruises From Florida

There are several great cruise ports in Florida. All of them are conveniently located near airports and have plenty of airports and attractions nearby. Some of the world’s largest cruise ports are in Florida.

Port Canaveral: This cruise port, located in Central Florida, is closest to the Orlando International Airport (MCO). This is also the closest cruise port to Walt Disney World.

While I typically fly into MCO and stay overnight at the Hyatt Orlando Airport Hotel, you can also stay in nearby Cocoa Beach. Note that it’s about 45-60 minutes from the airport to the cruise port.

Port Miami: Port Miami is one of the largest cruise ship ports in the world. It’s also one of my favorite cruise ports to sail from.

When sailing from Port Miami, you can fly into the Miami International Airport or the Fort Lauderdale Airport. Sometimes, to get better flights and prices, I’ll fly into one airport and fly out of the other.

You’ll also have several areas to stay in. There are lots of great hotels near the port, or you can choose to stay in the Miami Beach/South Beach area. One of my favorite affordable hotels in this area is the Marriott Vacation Club Pulse South Beach Hotel, located right on Ocean Drive.

Port Everglades: Located north of Port Miami is Port Everglades, in Fort Lauderdale. Like Miami, you can fly into either airport. Plenty of hotels are located right near the port, or you can stay on the beach.

Port Tampa Bay: This is a smaller cruise port, located along the Gulf Coast in Tampa Bay. It has three cruise terminals. If you want to visit Tampa, Clearwater Beach, or other nearby destinations either before or after your cruise, Port Tampa Bay is a great option.

There’s also the Jaxport Cruise Terminal (in Jacksonville) and the Port of Palm Beach, both located along the Atlantic Ocean in Florida. These terminals are less busy than the ones listed above.

Port Miami at sunset on the dock of a Virgin Voyages ship

Wondering what options you’ll have for destinations/ports of call during your cruise from Florida? There are many different ports that your chosen ship may visit. Here are some of the most common spots. Many of these offer historic attractions, water sports, and beautiful beaches for your cruise vacation.

  • Caribbean Destinations: Typically, these itineraries will be split between Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean sailings. Ports include Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Aruba, St. Maarten, Puerto Plata Dominican Republic, San Juan Puerto Rico, Grand Turk, and Roatan.
  • The Bahamas: Some shorter itineraries (especially three-night sailings) go only to the nearby Bahamas, with Nassau and Bimini as popular ports of call. In addition, many popular cruise lines offer private islands/private destinations in the Bahamas. These include Disney’s private island Castaway Cay, MSC’s Ocean Cay, Half Moon Cay owned by Carnival Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at CocoCay.
  • Mexico: Mexican Ports of Call include Progresso, Cozumel, and Costa Maya. Sometimes these are combined with some of the Caribbean destinations.
  • Bermuda: In some cases, cruise ships sailing from Florida will travel north to Bermuda. Sometimes, these ships will stay overnight in Bermuda so you’ll have more time to explore this beautiful island.
  • Transatlantic: When ships are repositioning for the season, you’ll sometimes see one-way, transatlantic sailings from Florida to a European destination.
  • Key West: One of my all-time favorite cruise ports is Key West in the Florida Keys. It’s very easy to explore and offers great restaurants and shops. As a plus, you can even use your cell phone as normal since you’ll still be in the United States.

Of all of these, my favorite posts are Costa Maya, Puerto Plata, Grand Cayman, and Key West.

Disney Cruise Line ship docked at Disney Cruise Line from a distance

Cruise Lines sailing from Florida

If you are sailing to the Caribbean, I think you should choose the cruise line before selecting a specific itinerary. There are so many options that you are likely to find a great itinerary for your family from the cruise line you select.

Some of the cruise lines sailing from Florida include:

  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Carnival Cruises
  • Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Princess Cruises
  • MSC Cruises
  • Virgin Voyages
  • Margaritaville at Sea
  • Holland America Line

When choosing a cruise line, you’ll want to consider essentials, including amenities, staterooms, itineraries, price, onboard activities and entertainment, and food. If you are traveling with younger kids, it’s very important that you carefully consider what your kids will like – think about things like kids’ clubs, kids’ menus, and activities like water slides and pools.

Cruise ship balcony with table and chairs overlooking port with ship in port

Tips for Sailing from Florida

When you are sailing from Florida, there are a few tips we recommend.

Time of Year: The most important thing is to consider when you want to sail. While Florida and the Caribbean can have great beach weather all year long, hurricane season is a big consideration.

We’ve sailed many times during hurricane season, and don’t consider it a deal-breaker. But you will want to plan knowing that there’s always a chance that you’ll have an itinerary interruption. Read about our experience on a sailing that was extended for two days.

Look at Prices: Prices between cruise lines, and even within the same cruise line on different itineraries, can vary. Look at several different options before choosing your cruise.

sunrise at cruise port

Book in Advance: You can usually save money by booking in advance, and will have more options for stateroom locations and categories. You’ll also want to do some research about the various ports that are on your itinerary (as well as sea days) and bookable activities/restaurants on your ship. That way, you’ll be prepared when the booking window opens up for excursions and onboard activities.

Pack Thoughtfully: Packing for a cruise requires careful consideration. You won’t want to pack too much because the staterooms are not typically very large. However, you’ll have limited options to purchase replacements for items you’ve forgotten.

Stay overnight the night before: As tempting as it may be to fly in on the morning of your cruise, that can be risky. You’ll potentially have to deal with delayed/canceled flights as well as lost bags. Flying in the day before could be expensive, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind.

Have you sailed from Florida? What are your favorite itineraries and home ports?

View of the Miami cruise port at sunset off the edge of a ship

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.