Our flight arrives in Miami at 10:15am on October 31. We cannot board our ship in the Port of Miami until 4:00pm. When we return on 11/5, our ship docks at 7:00am and our flight leaves at 6:00pm. Any suggestions on things to do and how to get around in the general Miami area? We are planning to take a cab from the airport to the ship. Are there things to do close to the airport or the Port (within walking distance), or would we have to rent a car to go elsewhere? Thanks in advance.
If you are flying in the day of your cruise and your flight arrives in Miami, I would highly suggest going straight to the port. You will not need anything to do. We flew into Miami last year the night before the cruise (it was real late so all we did was eat & crash), and we were about 25 minutes from the port. We were at the port by 11 or 11:15. The port of Miami is very chaotic. We didn't board the ship until around 1:00. Just my opinion, I would say your best bet would be to straight to the port after your flight arrives.
Double check your tickets / facts. You probably have to be on board no later than 4 pm which means you can board around noon. If you only land at 10:15, you'll be fine. Take your time, catch a cab & head over to the pier. You can board, have luch & relax.
About the only thing right near the port is the Bayside outdoor mall. You can take a tour when you get back to Miami. We rented a car & went to the Miami zoo. Others recommend going to the beach for the day. Car rentals aren't too expensive & the car provided a safe convenient place to store the luggage all day too.
EMBARKATION: Guests check in begins at 4:00pm
SAILING TIME: 8:00pm
This is our first cruise, so we're not real familiar with the process. Do you think we'll be able to board the ship before 4:00pm? My travel agent told me that the ship arrives from a previous cruise at 8:00am that morning, so we won't be able to board until later on (orginially I think they told us noon). Thanks.
I'm sorry, I just assumed you would be sailing out earlier, like around 4 or so. We sailed out around 4. Even though we were on the ship around 1, it was nice to check out our room (we didn't have to wait before we could go to our cabin), eat, and just look around the ship. I would probably board the ship as soon as they let you. But because I have never sailed out that late, I don't know what time they will let you board. Sorry.
RCI ships out of Miami usually sail at five and you have to be onboard no LATER than 4:30. You can usually board around noon or 1. I don't know what ship you are taking, but the cruise line would be able to give you definitive info.
Re: Miami activities. We also had a late flight out of Miami after our W. Carib. cruise and booked an RCI excursion to the Everglades. It was fun and the tour bus got us to the airport around 3. We didn't leave till 7 but at least we didn't have all day to wait. We had time for a nice dinner. We ate at the airport instead of the box lunch available at the park. There was also an alligator show after the airboat ride.
Explorer E. Carib. 1/12/02
Explorer W. Carib. 1/18/03
Summit Alaska cruise/tour 8/3/03
Adventure S. Carib. 2/8/04
Galaxy Panama Canal 2/3/05
That is strange as most ships Ive been on get in around 7-8 am and are really good about turning things around. We have been able to board around 11-12 sometimes. I also second the excursion with the ship when you return to Miami. You get to be one of the first people off the ship, collect your luggage and head to a bus. You do your tour and then the bus takes you and your luggage right to the airport.
Which ship are you sailing, Cruiser? Every NCL ship I've sailed out of Miami departed at 4:00 pm and returned at 7:00 am. Processing began around 10:30 am and boarding commenced about 12:30 pm. I'm not familiar with any of the NCL ships departing at 8:00 pm. Could this be the Spirit that you'll be on? I haven't seen the data on her yet.
There's nothing of interest within walking distance of the Port of Miami. And it's not a place you'd want to be walking around anyway.
Most of the cruise lines offer tours of the Miami area for passengers who have late air departures. You'll probably be off the ship before 10 am, leaving you plenty of time to enjoy such an organized tour prior to your flight. And I believe that these tours will drop you off at Miami International Airport if that's your point of departure. If you're just interested in hanging out, you might want to take a short taxi ride to Bayside Marketplace. Lots to do there.