Where is my Ship docked at Port of Miami (PortMiami) – Cruise Ship Locator

Port of Miami Terminals Map

You are driving to PortMiami and wondering where your ship is docked! In this article you can see a real-time location map of all the docked ships at PortMiami (those with location beacons enabled).

If this is your first time at PortMiami, do not be concerned. Once you cross the bridge (or tunnel) to PortMiami, there are plenty of sign boards to guide you. You can also watch my series of videos showing the terminals and parking garages or lots.

Link to my PortMiami videos

My videos are available on Youtube. Go Here to Watch!

Upcoming Cruise Ship Schedule

I do not know of a reliable cruise ship schedule where one can see the berthing or docking locations of cruise ships. In the meantime, please use the map below and the cruise ship locator to find your ship!

PortMiami Cruise Terminal Map

PortMiami Cruise Terminals and Parking Map
PortMiami Cruise Terminals and Parking Map (click to enlarge)

Ship Locator

This map is easy to use! Simply zoom in out out and hover over the BLUE ships for names and information. The BLUE ships are cruise ships.

Best Miami Hotels for Cruise Passengers near PortMiami and Miami Airport

Port Miami Cruise Hotel Clusters

Cruise Hotels Near PortMiami (Port of Miami) and Miami Airport

The hotel choices near PortMiami can be overwhelming especially for first-time cruisers who are concerned not only about costs but also about safety. In this article I list the most popular areas in Miami to book a hotel for your next cruise.

Much have changed in Miami in recent years and some of the internet stories about crime are simply not true anymore but visitors should remain cautious and book wisely!

Please open my PortMiami Map to see the locations of these hotels as well as other important information such as public transportation routes (metrovers, Metrorail and trolleys)

The Four Most Popular Cruise Hotel Clusters

Here are the four most popular areas (or hotel clusters) to consider when booking your cruise hotel.

  • Miami Airport Hotel Clusters
  • Brickell Hotel Clusters
  • Downtown Hotel Clusters
  • Omni (Arts & Entertainment District) Hotel Clusters

Miami Airport Hotel Clusters

Miami Airport Hotel Map
Miami Airport Hotel Map

With over 50 hotels to choose from, the Miami Airport area is a popular choice for cruisers for many reasons.

Rates can be more affordable than elsewhere, airport transportation is mostly free and most of the hotels are very familiar to cruisers. Frequent travels can easily use their loyalty perks to secure complimentary rooms or upgrades; not so simple for beach or downtown properties!

Go here for my Miami Airport Hotel Guide For Cruisers

Brickell Hotel Clusters

Map - Brickell Hotels near PortMiami
Map – Brickell Hotels near PortMiami

The urban Brickell District is my favorite location for pre-and post cruise stays!

Known by some as the “Manhattan of the South”, Brickell was once known mainly as a financial district but it has grown into a residential hotspot with spiraling skyscrapers!

I love Brickell’s safe walkability, access to free public transport, outdoor and indoor shopping, vibrant nightlife, fabulous restaurants and proximity to Downtown and PortMiami.

Go here for my Brickell Hotel Guide For Cruisers

Downtown Hotel Clusters

Map - Downtown Miami
Map – Downtown Miami

If you want to stay near PortMiami with views of the cruise ships then look no further than Downtown Miami!

The Bayside Marketplace and areas immediately to its south and west are very visitor-friendly with easy access to sightsee companies and public transportation services.

Some hotels are surprisingly affordable making Downtown Miami my second choice for cruise hotels.

Go here for my Downtown Hotel Guide For Cruisers

OMNI (A&E) District Hotel Clusters

Hotel Map - A&E District In Miami
Hotel Map – A&E District In Miami

The old OMNI district is being transformed into a modern Arts and Entertainment District connecting the Arts and Design District (to the north) and Downtown (to the south).

While the area does not (yet) have the vibrant style of Brickell for example, the hotels are skyscrapers, giving you fabulous views of the Miami skyline and Port.

Go here for my A&E District Hotel Guide for Cruisers

Complete Guide to Parking at PortMiami

Parking at PortMiami

All you need to know about parking at or near PortMiami!

There are three PortMiami parking options to consider:

  • Parking ship-side
  • Parking off-site
  • Parking in hotel lots

PortMiami Parking Ship-side

Costs are $22 per night for normal vehicles.

Take a ticket upon entry and pay as you exit the lots – advance booking not available nor needed. Handicapped parking is available – but note FREE disabled parking rules are strict and you need to talk to a parking agent as you enter (find him/her in the booth of the exit lane)

Oversized vehicles (requiring larger parking spaces or exceeding the height of the parking garages) cost $44 per day.

The general idea is to drive up to the Terminal entrance, then drop your luggage (and passengers if you choose) with the baggage agents and proceed to park after which you rejoin the rest of your party.

Pros and Cons

You’ve driven far and the temperature is a blistering 90 degrees! Your family is a bit tired and you have more luggage than expected. It is extremely convenient to just drive up to your cruise terminal, hand your luggage to the attendant and have your family wait in the shade while you go and park in the shaded parking garage.  No waiting in the heat for crowded shuttles that are running late and no endless driving around the cruise terminals while dropping other passengers – all the while hoping no-one takes your luggage by mistake from the trailer behind!

After your cruise your family may be sunburned, tired of crowds and everyone just want to get home. While other passengers are waiting for shuttle buses, you just walk out to your vehicle (hopefully parked in a garage out of the sun), pick your family and luggage and drive home.

  • The benefits are convenience, less frustration and parking in a shaded garage (depending on your cruise terminal). 
  • The obvious drawback is cost. But consider this – many cruisers try to save money by parking off-site. They can save up 50% for the duration (do not forget about tips). Then they get frustrated with the off-site shuttle buses and end up calling taxis and pay $18 or more each way (tips included) – thereby negating a slice of their savings especially for short cruises!

TIP – Even if you are budget-minded, our advice is to park ship-side for 3 or 4 night cruises and off-site for longer cruises. 

Parking Directions

Signs will direct you to your parking lot as you approach the cruise terminals. Most parking garages/lots are directly across the terminals. With so much construction going on, there are parking shuttles between a few of the garages/terminals.

  • Terminal A – Parking garage is part of the terminal. Porters will handle your luggage soon after you enter.
  • Terminal B – Under construction. Currently sharing parking and check-in with Terminal C
  • Terminal C – Parking garage (6-levels) across the road. The surface lot is under construction and may be opened any time.
  • Terminal D – Parking garage (4-levels) across the road. A small surface lot is next door.
  • Terminal E – Large surface lot across the street
  • Terminal F – no garage or lot
  • Terminal G – Parking garage (4-levels) is connected to the terminal via a walkway on level 3.
PortMiami - Terminal A Parking
PortMiami – Terminal A Parking
Parking at Terminal A
PortMiami - Terminal C Parking
PortMiami – Terminal C Parking
Parking Terminal D
Parking Terminal D
PortMiami - Terminal E Parking
PortMiami – Terminal E Parking
Terminals B and C Parking
PortMiami - Terminal G Parking
PortMiami – Terminal G Parking

PortMiami Off-site Parking

An internet search shows many off-site parking lots with a 15-minute drive from the Port. But buyer beware!

It is tough to recommend any but perhaps four are worth your consideration.

While vehicles are generally safe, online reviews reveal slow shuttle services, no customer service and unfriendly or unhelpful drivers. As a result passengers often end up calling an Uber or taxi when they get frustrated with waiting. It is best to add $25 or so to your parking budget in order to compare costs with shipside parking.

Also know taxes and services fees are not shown online until you check out! So be wary of low online ads!

ISSUE – There seems to be a process whereby someone with a van mamages to secure parking spaces in garages and lots around the city. Then they rent those spaces to airport or cruise passengers. You call the shuttle upon arrival then they show up after some time!  Unfortunately these agreements seem to perish after a while and clients are moved to different lots than advertised.

This is why we stick to the four companies mentioned. At least they have a permanent set up (or so it seems).

MAP of Parking Locations

Look for the parking lots on this map! 

Parking Rate Comparison

Here are typical SEVEN NIGHT (8 days) pre-booked cruise parking rates in December 2018 BUT please get accurate quotes for your own dates! Competition dictates frequent rate changes!

And do pre-book online – you may pay more if you just show up at the lots.

Ship-side parking for 8 days = $154

(click on the names for pictures and links)

Safe Cruise Parking – The area looks very shady but the open surface lot has high walls and is gated. $88

Safe Cruise Parking - Miami
Safe Cruise Parking – Miami

Premier Cruise Parking – A nice area. In the MET3 parking garage (Whole Foods). $90

Premier Cruise Parking - Miami
Premier Cruise Parking – Miami

Miami Port Parking – A parking garage in an OK area. $120.

Best Cruise Parking - Miami
Best Cruise Parking – Miami

Pros and Cons

The benefit is cheaper parking if you are budget-minded.

The drawbacks are plenty

  • The lots are often not as secure as promised and only as good as the least trusted employee. Do you keep your car keys?
  • The rates you see advertised are rarely the amount you pay! You have to complete the booking forms or call to get the actual costs (with service fees and taxes added). And you have to consider tipping the shuttle driver.
  • Rates for the same lot varies at times because of booking agents! You can shop around to find the lowest price but it is best to book direct! For example – Parkjockey,  Instapark
  • Shuttles often get delayed due to unforeseen problems (such as slow passengers) and wait times between shuttles are increased
  • Shuttles are packed (especially on the return trips from the cruise ships)
  • Watch your luggage while passengers unload! It is very possible for someone to mistakenly grab the wrong bag while in a hurry at the cruise terminal. You will not know about this until you reach your own stop, creating a huge problem!
  • Shuttles make multiple stops – sometimes including a drop at the airport on the way to the cruise terminal! If your ship is number 6 on the drop-off list it will not be a fast transfer!
  • Frustration do set in and many passengers simply call taxis (especially after the cruise while fighting the crowds at the ship). After tipping the shuttle and taxi drivers, their savings are diminished.

TIP – If you are budget-minded, our advice is to park ship-side for 3 or 4 night cruises and off-site for longer cruises. 

PortMiami Parking at Hotels

There is no consistent advice that can be shared because the options vary greatly depending on your booking. Some hotels do not allow parking while you are cruising while others have different rules/rates depending on how you booked.

You have a few options: Book direct with the hotel. Our hotel section list all the popular hotels with parking/shuttle/review information.

  • Book via an online hotel booking agency but these are best for room-only bookings. Trivago is an excellent source for price comparison. There are other favorites like ValueTrips and Priceline 
  • Book with specialist sites that offer packages to include breakfast, parking and shuttles (for example). Stay123, ParkSleepFly

Pros and Cons

The benefit is obviously peace of mind and the ease of simply booking a hotel package with everything included. Sometimes it is cheaper too.

The drawbacks are:

  • Hotel shuttles are often subcontracted to local transportation companies and quality of vehicles/service vary.
  • Many hotels offer free airport shuttles but port shuttles cost extra.
  • Hotel shuttles to the Port often run on a limited fixed schedule – say 10am and 11am. They do not run non-stop so plan accordingly! If you get frustrated with waiting then calling a taxi will negate your package savings
  • Hotel cruise shuttles make various stops (including the airport at times). If your stop is number 6 then you will get a tour of the Port!
  • Watch your luggage while passengers unload! It is very possible for someone to mistakenly grab the wrong bag while in a hurry at the cruise terminal. You will not know about this until you reach your own stop, creating a huge problem!
  • The wait times for hotel shuttles from the ship back to the hotel at the end of the cruise can be frustratingly long! Many passengers simply hail taxis. Keep this in mind before paying upfront for return hotel shuttles.

Cruise Lines

This information is valid for:

Carnival Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line

Royal Caribbean

Holland America

Princess Cruises

and others

Popular Brickell Miami Hotels for Cruise Passengers

Brickell Miami Skyline

Brickell Miami Hotels for Cruisers

Brickell Miami Hotels are extremely popular for good reason and Brickell is my top choice for pre-cruise stays at PortMiami.

Booking.com

The area is safe and very walkable with a wide selection of restaurants, bars, shops and cruise necessities such as grocery stores and pharmacies. It has two fabulous shopping centers.

The towering modern skyscrapers are visually stunning at night and your senses will immediately feel the energy of this fast-growing district.

You have many wonderful hotels to choose from as shown on the map below. The Hampton Inn, Marriott, SLS Lux and EAST are the most centrally located.

In our opinion the Homewood, Atton, and Extendend Stay are somewhat isolated in terms of public transport and the area is not as vibrant as the rest of Brickell shown on my map. The Aloft Hotel is also a bit further away.

At times the areas underneath the MetroRail tracks attract aggressive homeless and I prefer to avoid it after dark. For this reason I prefer the hotels to the east of the MetroRail tracks.

NOTE – The Brickell area of interest to cruisers is quite small. It is only 0.7 miles from the Four Seasons to the W Hotel (15 minutes walking)! But if you want transport, you have many options!

Map - Brickell Hotels near PortMiami
Map – Brickell Hotels near PortMiami

Metromover

  • A driver-less experience!
  • The yellow line of the free metromover transport system runs through the middle of Brickell and connects it to Downtown Miami and beyond.
  • It takes only 30 minutes to ride the complete yellow-line loop, meaning you can reach Downtown Miami in under 15 minutes!
  • The City Centre Station is a part of the City Centre modern shopping complex!
Miami Metromover
Miami Metromover
Metromover Station - Miami
Metromover Station – Miami

MetroRail

  • Did you know you can use the train between MIA and Brickell?
  • As shown on the map, the Brickell station of MetroRail is near the Hampton Inn
  • Use the Orange Line for service to/from Miami International Airport Station. It takes 20-30 minutes
  • The MIA Station is at the Rental Car Center. From the station you take the MIA Mover to the airline terminals
Miami MetroRail
Miami MetroRail
Miami Trolley Stop
Miami Trolley Stop

Miami Trolley

If you take some time to study the FREE MIAMI TROLLEY routes you may find it very convenient for sightseeing!

  • The drivers are fun and knowledgeable. Just tell them where you want to go and they will assist you
  • Just look for the bus stops with the Palm Tree signs and flag the trolleys
  • The Trolley Route is displayed above the windshield as it aproaches
  • Once seated, every stop is announced. You can pull a wire to bell the driver.
  • The Biscayne and Brickell Trolley routes are of interest to Brickell visitors
  • FYI – the Coral Way Trolley stops at PortMiami (2 or 3 cruise terminals)
Miami Trolley
Miami Trolley

Shopping

Cruisers love to stroll these two modern shopping areas in Brickell! It is all happening between the 10th St and City Centre Metromover stations!

Brickell City Centre – Much more than just an ultra-modern shopping mall. It has office space, residential towers and the EAST Miami Hotel!

Mary Brickell Village – A neighborhood complex with an outdoorsy feel designed to create a “downtown” experience.

City Centre - Brickell Miami
City Centre – Brickell Miami
Mary Brickell Village Shops
Mary Brickell Village Shops
Map-Brickell Shops in Miami
Map-Brickell Shops in Miami
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Popular Arts and Entertainment District Hotels for Cruise Passengers

A and E District - Miami

Arts and Entertainment District Hotels in Miami are growing in popularity and the area is best known as the cultural center in this vibrant city! Anchored by Adrienne Arsht Center and the Broward Center for the Performing Arts to the south, visitors are advised to plan ahead to ensure their visit coincides with major entertainment events.

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The area is not as vibrant as Downtown or Brickell and fine dining is missing but cruisers will find solid eats and panoramic views in the hotels overlooking Biscayne Bay.

And if you want to venture out, you have easy access to the Biscayne Route of the FREE Miami Trolley as well as a Metromover Station at the Art Center.

But folks love to stay in the Arts and Entertainment District Hotels for the views of PortMiami from the high floors as listed below.

NOTE – these are large hotels with rooms facing in all directions! Some views are blocked by other buildings. Please ask for a room with a clear view at time of booking!

Three Hotel Views in the A&E District of Miami
Three Hotel Views in the A&E District of Miami

Hotel Map

Hotel Map - A&E District In Miami
Hotel Map – A&E District In Miami

Port Views

Here is a selection of port views from the hotels in this area!

Hilton Hotel Views - Miami
Hilton Hotel Views – Miami
Marriott Hotel Views - Miami
Marriott Hotel Views – Miami
Doubletree Hotel Views - Miami
Doubletree Hotel Views – Miami
ME Hotel Views - Miami
ME Hotel Views – Miami
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Popular Downtown Miami Hotels for Cruisers Passengers

Downtown Miami Hotels

Downtown Miami Hotels for Cruisers

Cruisers looking for Downtown Miami Hotels will love the hotel choices and proximity to the Port as well as the views of the cruise ships!

Holiday Inn Downtown Miami - 7th Floor View
Holiday Inn Downtown Miami – 7th Floor View

Downtown Miami is 2nd on my cruise hotel recommendation list after Brickell.

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  • Bayside Marketplace is a very popular waterfront entertainment/shopping/restaurant complex.
  • Miami River separates Brickell from Downtown. The north bank is home to several hotels and highrise condominiums with shops and restaurants.

Downtown Miami near the hotels is a very safe and walkable area with easy access to the:

  • Miami Trolley.  Free
  • Metromover. Free. The map below shows the routes that are of most interest to visitors. The short Inner Loop (blue) travels clockwise and the Brickell Loop (yellow) travels anti-clockwise.
Miami Trolley
Miami Trolley
Miami Metromover
Miami Metromover

The Metrorail Orange Line to/from Miami International Airport stops Downtown (Government Center Station) where you can transfer to Metromover.

Miami MetroRail
Miami MetroRail

Other transportation options include rental cars from several Downtown locations- please read my dedicated page called Miami Car Rental for Cruisers.

For shopping and more upscale restaurant options I recommend you use the Metromover (Yellow Line) to visit Brickell (just 15 minutes or so, exit at City Centre station).

I recommend Whole Foods for grocery shopping and CVS, Chandi Liquors or Xtra Liquors for wine. You can also go to Publix in Brickell.

After dark, you may find the panhandlers get more aggressive as you wander away from the waterfront areas. I suggest you do not walk futher west than the Metromover stations.

Map - Downtown Miami
Map – Downtown Miami (click to enlarge)
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Popular Miami Airport Hotels for Cruise Passengers

Miami Airport Hotel Map

Cruise Hotels Near Miami International Airport

Miami International Airport hotels are popular with cruise enthusiasts and business travelers alike, often for similar reasons. In this article I discuss the most popular cruise hotels at or near Miami International Airport.

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Most airport hotels are part of national chains, they are familiar, they are generally more affordable than Downtown hotels, it is easier to use frequent stay perks such as complementary nights and upgrades, airport transfers are free and PortMiami is just under 10 miles away.

It is busy around Miami Airport!

Do be aware the airport is always expanding and construction never stops around its perimeter. For example, in 2020 there are plenty of road and building activity on the east side near the MIA Rental Car Center.

TIP – While PortMiami appears to take about 15 minutes by taxi, give yourself about 30 minutes because traffic near the airport can be heavy.

Nothing interesting nearby

With the exception of the Blue Lagoon area on the south side of the airport, do not expect much in terms of scenery and landscaping. The airport is surrounded by industrial buildings, lower-income housing and busy highways.

VERY IMPORTANT – Miami Airport Hotel Pickup/Drop Locations

Hotel shuttle vans have designated areas for pick/drop operations at the airport and it is your responsibility to go these areas. The vans cannot stop everywhere!

The pickup/drop location is downstairs on the Arrivals Level (1), at designated zones outside of baggage claim across from doors 1,2,3,4,7,15,20 & 23. Please follow signage at curbside to the “bus zones”. You must use the crosswalks and walk across to the bus zones.

Miami Airport Hotel Shuttles Map
Miami Airport Hotel Shuttles Map – note the purple crosswalks (click to enlarge)

The Miami Airport Hotel Clusters

Before discussing the individual hotels and their locations, it is useful to understand the layout of the airport and general hotel areas. In other words, where are the clusters of hotels located?

Please refer to the featured image above as you read the next sections.

IMPORTANT – The photos below are not meant to showcase each hotel! These were taken to show the areas and neighborhoods and sidewalks and roads! It is about what you will experience when you walk outside!

Also, until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, many standard and expected hotel amenities are restricted. No airport shuttles in many cases, no restaurant service, etc.

Miami International Airport Hotel

This popular airport hotel is located right before the security checkpoint on the 2nd floor in Central Terminal Concourse E. A great choice if you arrive late the night before your cruise!

Blue Lagoon Hotels

On the south side of the airport are several lakes in a office park/residental setting. This is the most scenic hotel cluster and if you want a more quiet setting in a leafy area then choose the Hilton, Homewood Suites, Pullman or Hyatt House .

Blue Lagoon Hotels Map
Blue Lagoon Hotels Map (click to enlarge)

The Hampton Inn is nearby but on a very busy street corner however you will be across the street from Airpark Plaza Mall with restaurants, Publix, Starbucks and other shops.

Hampton Inn - Blue Lagoon Shops - Miami Airport
Hampton Inn – Blue Lagoon Shops – Miami Airport

You can easily walk to this Mall from Hyatt House but Homewood or Pullman (0.5 miles) and especially the Hilton (0.8 miles) will be a bit far in the Florida heat.

Homewood Suites - Blue Lagoon
Homewood Suites – Blue Lagoon
Hilton Hotel  - Blue Lagoon
Hilton Hotel – Blue Lagoon
Pullman Hotel - Blue Lagoon
Pullman Hotel – Blue Lagoon
Hyatt House - Blue Lagoon
Hyatt House – Blue Lagoon

Lake Mahar Hotels (marketed as Blue Lagoon properties)

To the west of Blue Lagoon near the SW corner of the airport, this area is being upgraded with new residential apartments. It is also home to several hotels but there is nothing within easy walking distance unless you stay at the Doubletree.

Lake Mahar Hotels Map - Miami Airport
Lake Mahar Hotels Map – Miami Airport (click to enlarge)

You will be traveling away from PortMiami if you overnight in this area, meaning a longer ride from the airport and also to the Port the following day.

Extended Stay America - Lake Mahar
Extended Stay America – Lake Mahar (Blue Lagoon)

Springhill Suites and Cambria Suites offer lake views from the south-facing rooms while Extended Stay America has a few north-facing rooms overlooking Lake Joanne.

Springhill-Cambria-Lake Mahar
Springhill-Cambria-Lake Mahar

The Doubletree and Days Inn are surrounded by highways and airport roads! But the Doubletree is connected to the Miami Merchandise Mart – an interesting indoor outlet-type shopping center. Reviews are mixed so check the website before going!

Doubletree Hotel - Lake Mahar
Doubletree Hotel – Lake Mahar
Doubletree Hotel - Lake Mahar
Doubletree Hotel – Lake Mahar (Mart to the right)
Days Inn - Miami Airport West
Days Inn – Miami Airport West

Doral Hotels

Be aware these hotels are in the “wrong direction” meaning you will be driving away from PortMiami should you stay in Doral. This makes for a longer ride from the airport to the hotel and to the Port the next day.

A dozen or so hotels are located in the Doral area NW of the airport. But first, let’s travel a short distance south along the Palmetto Expressway to 25th Street where you will find an Extended Stay America next to the highway.

Next door to the hotel at The Shops at MICC are pretty good local eateries, especially La Crema De Las Empanada (even better if you enjoy Venezuelan food)!   I mention this because folks often want hotels within walking distance of local favorites.

The Hotels

Returning north to the very busy corner of Palmetto and NW 36th St, you will find many hotels.

Miami Airport - Doral Hotels Map
Miami Airport – Doral Hotels Map (click to enlarge)

The Hyatt Place and Hampton Inn are next to Boykin Center, one of the better strip malls in the airport area. I recommend you consider these hotels if you want a decent selection of restaurants and shops within easy and safe walking distance. You may even run into Carnival Cruise Line employees at this mall because their corporate office is a few blocks west.

Hampton Inn - Doral
Hampton Inn – Doral
Boykin Shops in Doral - Miami Airport
Boykin Shops in Doral – Miami Airport

You can also walk to Boykin Center from Wingate, Courtyard and Quality Inn but you have to cross busy roads.

Courtyard by Marriott - Doral
Courtyard by Marriott – Doral
Quality Inn - Doral
Quality Inn – Doral
Wingate by Wyndham - Doral
Wingate by Wyndham – Doral

East of Palmetto a bit closer the airport are Four Points, Garden Inn and Homewood Suites in a secluded corner surrounded by highways and industry.

Homewood Suites - Doral
Homewood Suites – Doral
Four Points by Sheraton - Doral
Four Points by Sheraton – Doral
Hilton Garden Inn - Doral
Hilton Garden Inn – Doral

Their neighbor the Motel 6 is a bit closer to the West Airport Shopping Centre but you have to cross the very busy NW 36th St., making these hotels somewhat isolated.

Motel 6 - Doral
Motel 6 – Doral
West Airport Shopping Center - Doral
West Airport Shopping Center – Doral

On the mall side of 36th St is La Quinta in a good location if you want to explore the strip mall but frankly do not expect much.

La Quinta Hotel - Doral
La Quinta Hotel – Doral

Aloft Hotel is across the street a bit further east with nothing nearby except for Chipotle.

Aloft Hotel Miami Airport - Doral
Aloft Hotel Miami Airport – Doral

Airport North Hotels

More than a dozen hotels line the busy NW 36th St close to Miami Springs. In general the room rates are lower in this cluster so you may want to start here if you want to stay as cheap as possible near the airport.

Candlewood Suites - Miami Airport North
Candlewood Suites – Miami Airport North
Clarion Inn - Miami Airport North
Clarion Inn – Miami Airport North
Days Inn - Miami Airport North
Days Inn – Miami Airport North

Nothing stands out in terms of restaurants or shops. You can buy liquor and wine at Airport Café and Liquors (they do serve good food too!) but it may be many blocks from your hotel. Be careful after dark.

Holiday Inn Express - Miami Airport North
Holiday Inn Express – Miami Airport North
EB Hotel - Miami Airport North
EB Hotel – Miami Airport North
Ramada - Miami Airport North
Ramada – Miami Airport North

The north-facing rooms of Best Western and Sleep Inn overlook a golf course making them a bit more attractive.

Airport East Hotels

This is a popular area on the PortMiami side of the airport – divided into hotels north of the MIA Rental Car Center and hotels south of the Center.

Unfortunately, this area is industrial and does not offer much in terms of shopping, restaurants and activities. Higher floors do have good views of the airport terminals and the Downtown Miami skyline.

On the NE corner of the airport, the Red Roof Inn, Hampton Inn, La Quinta, Hyatt Place, Embassy Suites and Holiday Inn are isolated. Surrounded by busy highways there is nowhere to go unless you walk to the hotel next door!

Miami Airport East Hotels Map
Miami Airport East Hotels Map (click to enlarge)
Red Roof Inn - Miami Airport
Red Roof Inn – Miami Airport
Hampton Inn - Miami Airport East
Hampton Inn – Miami Airport East
La Quinta Hotel - Miami Airport East
La Quinta Hotel – Miami Airport East
Hyatt Place - Miami Airport East
Hyatt Place – Miami Airport East
Embassy Suites - Miami Airport East
Embassy Suites – Miami Airport East

Surrounding the MIA Rental Car Center is a Holiday Inn Express, Element, Staybridge, Sheraton, EVEN Hotel and Radisson Red (upcoming). Nothing nearby however and walking is very inconvenient with all the industry, trucks and airport business traffic.

And it feels as if the aircraft is right next door! Exciting actually!

Element Hotel - Miami Airport East
Element Hotel – Miami Airport East
Staybridge Suites - Miami Airport East
Staybridge Suites – Miami Airport East
Holiday Inn Express - Miami Airport East
Holiday Inn Express – Miami Airport East
Sheraton Hotel - Miami Airport East
Sheraton Hotel – Miami Airport East

The Marriott Campus

Marriott Campus Map - Miami Airport
Marriott Campus Map – Miami Airport (click to enlarge)

On the SE corner of the airport is a group of hotels commonly referred to as the Marriott Campus with a Residence Inn, Courtyard, Townplace and Marriott sharing a city block.

Marriott Hotel Center - Miami Airport
Marriott Hotel Center – Miami Airport

The campus is flanked by a lower-income residential neighborhood and a busy road – 42nd Avenue. There are security walls on the east and south sides. You can walk through the neighborhood to the large Central Shopping Plaza but I will avoid walking after dark.

This is a busy area!

Central Shopping Plaza - Miami
Central Shopping Plaza – Miami

Latin Café 2000 is on 42nd Avenue near the hotels and highly recommended!

Marriott Hotel Area - Latin Cafe is in front
Marriott Hotel Area – Latin Cafe is in front
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Fort Lauderdale Airport to Port of Miami Transport

FLL to PortMiami by Road

Fort Lauderdale Airport to Port of Miami is 26 miles by road and takes between 45 minutes and 1 hour depending on the route and traffic.

What is the best way to get from FLL to PortMiami on the day of your cruise?

Fort Lauderdale Airport to Port of Miami Route Map

The Fort Lauderdale Airport to Port of Miami route by road is marked in light blue. For a larger version of the map, please go here: FLL to PortMiami Map

Fort Lauderdale Shuttle Transportation Locations

You will generally receive a final email confirmation containing your Pickup Location at the FLL Airport. Please have your cellphone ON at the time of the pickup just in case the driver has difficulty finding you.

STOP 1: Between Terminals 1 & 2
From Terminal # 1, passengers arriving on SW, AIRTRAN, UNITED, ALASKA, FRONTIER, VIRGIN , ALLEGIANT & VISION AIRLINES
Outside the baggage claim, you need to turn RIGHT ( facing the street ) and go to the designated pick-up area for COMMERCIAL Vehicle Only at the end of terminal 1
From Terminal # 2, passengers arriving on DELTA, AIR CANADA: Outside the baggage claim area, you need to turn LEFT ( facing the street ) and go to the designated pick-up area for COMMERCIAL Vehicle Only.

STOP 2: Between Terminals 3 & 4
From Terminal # 3, passengers arriving on AMERICAN, CANJET, SUNWING, US AIRWAYS, JET BLUE & BAHAMAS AIR: Outside the baggage claim area, you need to turn RIGHT ( facing the street ) and go to the designated pick-up area for COMMERCIAL Vehicle Only – located at the end of the terminal 3.

From Terminal 4, passengers arriving on SPIRIT, WESTJET, SUN AIR AND ALL INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS: Outside the baggage claim area, you need to turn LEFT ( facing the street ) and go to the designated pick-up area for COMMERCIAL Vehicle Only – located between terminal # 3 and 4.

Child Safety

If federal, state, or local law requires your child be secured in a child safety seat, please bring one as it is the parent’s or caregiver’s responsibility.

In Florida, it is the responsibility of the supervising adult to ensure that any child under 5 years old is seated in a federally-approved child car seat.

Florida law states:

  • Children 5 years old or younger must be secured in a federally approved child restraint system:
    • Children 4 years old and younger must use a separate car-seat or the vehicle’s built-in child seat.
    • Children 4 through 5 years must sit in either a separate car seat, a built in child seat or a seat belt, depending on the child’s height and weight.
  • Children under 18 years old must be in a seatbelt.

Though not required, the DHSMV recommends children 12 years old and under to ride in the back seat of the vehicle when possible. This is due to safety concerns for air bag deployment, which can be dangerous for young children.

To learn more, please read this informative page by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

RideShare Options

I recommend Uber and Lyft above any of the other options listed below. These are PRIVATE transfers with no waiting in line or delays such as multiple stops.

Granted, some folks do want to use phone-based apps, some do not trust rideshare drivers, some travel with kids under 6 and prefer large bus travel where child restraints are easier to manage (if needed) , and so on. I do wish they’d reconsider!

  • UberX or Lyft – $40 to $50 (cheaper with promo codes) – up to 4 people with few bags
  • UberXL or Lyft XL – $70 to $80 (look for promo codes) – up to 6 people with few bags

Surge pricing is uncommon at South Florida airports because there are many drivers. When it happens, just wait a few minutes!

  • Request a ride when you’re ready to walk outside

Be sure to choose a ride option that suits your group size and luggage storage needs.

Also choose which rideshare pickup area is closest to you. The rideshare pickup areas are located between terminals.

  • Exit on the lower arrivals level

Follow the signs to the rideshare pickup area near you, either between Terminals 1 and 2 or between Terminals 3 and 4 on the innermost curb. This is where all Uber/Lyft drivers at FLL meet travelers for pickup.

  • Wait curbside

When you get to the pickup area, you’ll see signs denoting different stations within the pickup zone. To make it easier to find your driver, message them through the app and let them know the station where you’re standing.

Shared Shuttles

Please understand a shared shuttle means exactly that – not private! These transfers are cheaper because:

  • You share a van or bus with 10 or more passengers.
  • Departure may be delayed while waiting for a few passengers.
  • Some have fixed departure times, others adapt to bookings on the day.
  • Unless included in your booking, the driver tip is excluded and expected.
  • Van may stop several times at the airport terminals to pick people and again at different cruise terminals to drop them.
  • Generally operate between 7am and 1pm on cruise days only – increased rates may apply otherwise.

GO Airport Shuttle – $28.75 (including tip)

Quick Shuttle – $22

SAS Transportation – $15

MJS Transportation – $15

Jiffy Jeff Transportation – $15

QLS Transportation – $15

JR Shuttle Service – $20

Private Shuttles

These generally provide quotes for 4 or 5 passenger vehicles but you can request anything from a limo to a charter bus! The good news – it is YOUR schedule not theirs and there’s no waiting on other passengers.

Quick Shuttle – $74 (up to 4 people)

South Florida Shuttles – $75 (up to 5 people)

Larry’s Private Car & Limo Service – $96 (up to 4 people, tip included)

JR Shuttle Service – $69 (up to 5 people)

Standard Taxi – roughly $78 metered and can be higher (up to 4 people)

Cruise Line Transport

With so many excellent shared and private transportation options available (at lower cost) from both FLL and MIA, it is hard to recommend booking a transfer with a cruise line. Remember, the cruise lines outsource your ride – they DO NOT own or operate their own vans or buses! You are not getting anything special!

But if you insist, here are a few cruise lines and fares to help you decide.

These bus transfers are generally available between 10am and 1:30pm but check your voucher for accurate times. Representatives in colorful jackets will assist you near the baggage claim areas. You will normally get a boarding number and asked to wait until your number is ready to board.

Then you wait until the bus fills!

Norwegian – $25

Carnival – $31.99
Terminals 1 & 3: – Near baggage claim #3
Terminals 2 & 4: – Near baggage claim #1

Royal Caribbean – $29.95

Disney – Only from MIA ($21), no transfers from FLL

Rail Transportation

Generally not recommended because it takes too long in the Florida heat and you have to cart your luggage all over the place!

Tri-Rail cost $13 (single) and takes 1h45min including a FREE transfer to the Fort Lauderdale Station, the MetroRail fare and a Rideshare from Overtown Station to PortMiami. That’s a lot of slow travel!

For more details, please read – FLL to PortMiami on Tri-Rail

Brightline cost $28-$48 (single, depending on options) and takes 1h15min including a Rideshare transfer to the Fort Lauderdale Station, the Brightline Fare and a Rideshare from Miami Station to PortMiami. That’s also a lot of slow travel but Brightline is very nice.

Rental Car

While renting a car at FLL is painless, the drop-off near PortMiami is not! The smaller Downtown offices can get very busy on heavy cruise days and you may have to deal with lines of people either waiting to park and drop off, or waiting to get on the FREE port shuttles.

Port of Miami Rental Car Drop Off locations with FREE shuttles closest to the Port are:

  • Downtown Miami – Hertz, Budget, Avis/Payless
  • Miami International Airport Rental Car Center – National, Dollar, Thrifty

You may see other rental car offices and companies near PortMiami but those DO NOT provide shuttle services. If you book a car rental with any other company you have to arrange your own Port transfer.

Cost of the one-day rental from FLL and FREE PortMiami Shuttle – I’ve seen rates as low as $50

Unless you have good reasons for doing so, I normally DO NOT recommend booking a rental car on the morning of your cruise from FLL to PortMiami.

For more information about Rental Cars, please read Car Rental to PortMiami.

Virgin Brightline Train – West Palm Beach Airport – Fort Lauderdale Airport – Miami Airport

Unfortunately the Virgin Brightline train does not operate to or from Miami International Airport (MIA), Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) or West Palm Beach Airport (PBI). The trains operate between stations near, but not directly at, these airports.

Transfers are needed between MIA and the Brightline Miami Station, FLL and the Fort Lauderdale Station and PBI and the West Palm Beach Station.

If you need less luxury and easier train access, I suggest you consider Tri-Rail.

Brightline Train Route Map

You can see a larger map here – Brightline Route Map

MIA Transfer Options

  • MetroRail Orange Line – Board at the Historic Overtown/Lyric Theatre Station – 15 minutes – $2.25. A short walk outside over a rough sidewalk. Then board FREE MIA Mover to terminal – 4 minutes
  • Taxi – Choose from two pickup areas outside the station – 20 minutes – estimate $30
  • Uber/Lyft – Choose from two pickup areas outside the station – 20 minutes – estimate $16
Overtown Station - Northbound
Overtown Station – Northbound

FLL Transfer Options

  • Broward County Transit Bus – Route 1 – Board at Broward Central Terminal. This is a short but rough walk in a sketchy neighborhood – Arrive at Upper Level of Rental Car Center – 25 minutes – $2.
  • Taxi – Pickup area outside the station – 15 minutes – estimate $16
  • Uber/Lyft – Pickup area outside the station – 15 minutes – estimate $11
County Bus Route 1 at FLL
County Bus Route 1 stop at FLL (across the road from Terminal 1 – use the cross bridge)
County Bus 1 South at Central Terminal Fort Lauderdale
County Bus 1 Southbound to FLL at Central Terminal Fort Lauderdale (across from Brightline)

PBI Transfer Options

  • Palm Tran buses are nearby but inconvenient to the Airport.
  • Walk 4 blocks to the Tri-Rail Station and take the FREE shuttle bus (not a good option)
  • Taxi – Pickup area outside the station – 10 minutes – estimate $18
  • Uber/Lyft – Pickup area outside the station – 10 minutes – estimate $11
WPBI Tri-Rail Bus at PBI
WPBI Tri-Rail Bus at PBI (outside baggage claim across the road)

Brightline Train From West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale

Takes about 40 minutes and cost between $10 and $30 depending on time of day and options booked.

Brightline Train From Fort Lauderdale to Miami

Takes about 35 minutes and cost between $10 and $30 depending on time of day and options booked.

Brightline Train from West Palm Beach to Miami

Takes about 75 minutes and cost between $15 and $35 depending on time of day and options booked.

Link to the Brightline Home Page

Fort Lauderdale Airport FLL to Miami Airport MIA – Tri-Rail

Fort Lauderdale Airport to Miami Airport via Tri-Rail is the cheapest option. It may or may not be the most convenient choice – that depends on you!

At $3.75 one-way the price is right. The question is, can you and your party handle the following challenges:

  • Lifting and pulling luggage into a bus, off the bus, into the train, off the train then into elevators or up and down escalators, into a tram and off the tram
  • About 90 minutes travel time
  • Waiting outside (under cover) in the Florida heat

Map of the Route

Here is a link to a large version of the Map – FLL to MIA Transportation Map

Fort Lauderdale Airport Procedure

You may want to purchase water and/or a snack for your train trip.

Once you claimed your luggage, look for the signs to Ground Transportation then step outside looking for the Tri-Rail bus stop.

Tri-Rail FLL Sign
Sign to the Tri-Rail Bus Stop

There are 3 stops – at west end of Terminal 1, between Terminals 2 and 3, and between Terminals 3 and 4. The bus arrives at Stop 1 then Stop 2 then Stop 3 in this order. See image below.

Tri-Rail FLL Bus Stops
Tri-Rail FLL Bus Stops and travel direction

You are looking for bus FLA Fort Lauderdale Airport Station as shown below.

Tri-Rail FLL Bus Stop
Tri-Rail FLL Bus Stop
Tri-Rail FLL Bus to Airport Station

The route to the station changes somewhat between weekends and weekdays but the trip takes only 15 minutes or less.

At the Tri-Rail Station, purchase your ticket from one of the kiosks, cash, credit or some debit cards. Your destination is Miami Airport Station. You CANNOT purchase tickets on the train!

Purchasing your Tri-Rail Ticket

For Tri-Rail Schedules, please visit Tri-Rail.

The train may stop 6 times before arriving at Miami Airport and plan for about 45 minutes travel time. Restrooms are available onboard. Do not expect much in terms of scenery along the route! You can take a nap and not miss a thing.

Inside a Tri-Rail Train
Inside a Tri-Rail Train

Miami Station Arrival

Take the stairs, escalator or elevator and follow the signs to the Airport then look for the MIA Mover – a short walk.

Look for the signs to the MIA Mover

MIA Mover is a driverless tram to the Airport Terminal. The ride takes about 3-5 minutes.

MIA Mover
MIA Mover

You arrive at the Airport Terminal on Level 3. Use the diagram below to find your way from there!

MIA Floor Levels
MIA Floor Levels – MIA Mover is on Level 3