Homeport Destination Guide: Fort Lauderdale

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Offering 24-miles of gorgeous beaches, year-round warm weather, and bustling cultural and culinary scenes, Fort Lauderdale is a traveler’s paradise. In addition, the south Florida city is home to Port Everglades, one of the busiest cruise and cargo ports in the world. Eight cruise lines currently call Port Everglades home, so odds are if you’re considering a Caribbean or Bahamas cruise, there’s a good chance you will visit here. 

 

Are you looking to add on a few extra days to your vacation to explore the area? You’ll find a plethora of options to keep you busy! Fort Lauderdale is known as the ‘Venice of America’, home to a network of winding canals perfect for boating. By day, you can adventure through the beachfront promenades, visit the area’s numerous parks and nature centers, and spend time soaking in the sun on the white sandy beaches. At night, head to the Riverwalk Arts District for a concert or stroll and people-watch along famed Las Olas Boulevard.   

With Fort Lauderdale being such a large city, we recommend doing your homework for your next cruise sailing from Port Everglades. No matter if you're spending just a few hours or several extra days in Florida before or after your trip, there are a lot of factors to consider when your sailing goes out of Port Everglades. To help you plan your trip, we’ve shared some of our top recommendations for all aspects of travel in Fort Lauderdale.


  1. Fast Facts

  2. How to Get Around the City

  3. Staying in Fort Lauderdale Before or After Your Trip?

  4. Excursions

  5. Member Tips

  6. Airport Information

  7. Parking Information


1. Fast Facts for Fort Lauderdale-Port Everglades

Fort Lauderdale Airport Address - 100 Terminal Dr, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315

Port Everglades Information - 1850 Eller Drive in Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 / Direction Information to Port Everglades

Time Zone - Eastern Time Zone 

Climate - Warm year-round. Humid in the Summer months. 

Fun Facts - Fort Lauderdale is home to the largest annual boat show - the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. The city can be considered the western corner of the Bermuda Triangle! Fort Lauderdale has more than 300 miles of inland canals that are known as the Intracoastal Waterway.

2. How to Get Around the City

If you are not arriving by your car to Fort Lauderdale, there are several ways to get around:

  • Cabs, Uber/Lyft is the most commonly used method of private transportation for getting to and from the airport and around the city. We recommend downloading the Uber or Lyft app before your trip so that it's on hand when you are ready to travel in the city. 
  • Tri-Rail - This commuter train services the greater Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami counties. There is no direct stop for the Tri-Rail for Port Everglades, so a taxi, ride-share service, or local bus is needed to connect you from the train to the port. Learn more: https://www.tri-rail.com/
  • Broward County Transit - This is the bus service that serves the larger Broward County area. Port Everglades is a stop on a local route. Learn more: https://www.broward.org/bct/Pages/default.aspx
  • Brightline - The Brightline is the newest travel system to serve the South Florida Region. This is a great way to get around Florida, eliminating the need for excess car travel. Stops currently include Downtown Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. Brightline has plans to expand service to Orlando from South Florida. There are also future expansion plans for the system to have a dedicated stop at PortMiami, Aventura, Boca Raton, Disney Springs, and Tampa Bay. There is no direct stop/connection between the Brightline and Port Everglades, so a taxi, rideshare, or bus is required. 

3. Staying in Fort Lauderdale Before or After Your Trip?

Hotels  

Fort Lauderdale is a huge city, with a variety of hotels for all price points. When selecting accommodations, you will primarily want to consider the hotel’s proximity to Port Everglades or Fort Lauderdale Airport. Some hotels (primarily near the airport) offer a shuttle service to/from the port, making traveling a little easier. We recommend checking on this directly with the hotel when booking. If you are thinking of adding a day or two pre- or post-cruise, you can also look for hotels in other areas that are near some of the sites you want to see. 

We’ve shared a selection of some recommended hotels near the cruise port, as well as in some of Fort Lauderdale’s most popular areas. 

See All Hotels Closest to Port Everglades

See All Hotels Near Fort Lauderdale Airport

See All Riverwalk Hotels

See All Beach Hotels

See All Fort Lauderdale Hotels

4. Excursions 

Fort Lauderdale, and the greater South Florida area, are indeed a traveler’s paradise! The region makes for a great place to vacation from the beautiful beaches, numerous attractions, and diverse cultural scene. There is so much to do in Fort Lauderdale and South Florida that we recommend planning your trip ahead of time. Here are some of our recommended excursions to check out:

Explore All Excursions in Fort Lauderdale from Our Partners:

5. Member Tips

We’ve received numerous recommendations and tips from our community members who have sailed from/visited the Fort Lauderdale area. These are a sample of highlights to help you plan your time: 

Didn’t do a ship excursion, but we got there the day before embarkation and took the water taxi tour which is a great way to spend the day! - echech

It was very nice. The night before we went to the beach and explored Fort Lauderdale. - Cruiser6700 

Spend a day exploring Las Olas Avenue, $14 taxi ride, and the beautiful 8-mile long white sand beach...Another great experience is the "water taxi" that cruises the canals here, stopping a bars and restaurants. - patdaly

There is a FREE trolley that goes around Fort Lauderdale. You can take it and explore before or after your cruise. Many locals, including myself have rode it all over. - watsonink

If you are there the day before your embarkation there is a small State Park down by the cruise port that has a jetty that you can go on to watch the ships leave. Be there around 4pm. The park us $6 per car. It's a lot of fun! - MarkWiggam

Explore All Member Reviews of Fort Lauderdale

6. Airport Information 

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) is the closest airport to Port Everglades, just over three miles away. The airport services several airlines all around the world. Typically the trip from the port to the airport only takes about 10-15 minutes, but we recommend factoring in potential traffic to your timing. The airport has provided the following resources for cruise passengers on options for getting between the two locales:

  • Use a pre-arranged transport service from the cruise line - This option must be pre-arranged with your cruise line before you travel. Generally, you will have a driver waiting for you at the airport with a sign at the baggage claim area. 
  • GO Airport Shuttle - Offers shared van-style rides at $11 per person to Port Everglades. A van will hold a maximum of 10 passengers. GO Airport Shuttle also offers private car rides from the airport to the port for $40 (for up to 4 travelers per car). 
  • Taxi - Taxicabs are available right at the airport to take you to Port Everglades. The total trip cost is approximately $12, based on meter reading. 

Miami International Airport (MIA) is located just 30 miles from Port Everglades. It is a larger airport that services more airlines and international destinations. It typically takes just 30-45 minutes to get between the airport and the port. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that you will travel through two metropolitan areas complete with a lot of traffic to get in between the destinations. Here are the options for transport between Miami International Airport and PortMiami:

  • Cruise Shuttle - These shuttles take cruisers directly from the airport right to the port. As the cruise line organizes them, they will transfer your luggage right to the ship. The price of this option will depend on your cruise line. 
  • Taxi - Will take you from the airport to port or vice versa. Price is dependent on meter reading. 
  • Uber or Lyft - Pricing for Uber and Lyft rideshares will depend on demand and timing. Typically starts at around $75 and goes up from there.
  • Private Transportation - Pricing for this option will vary. Many travelers choose to arrange a private car service as there is a guarantee that they will be at the airport/port on time and will have help with luggage transport. 
  • Independent Shuttle Services will take you from/to the airport or port at a low, flat-rate cost. 

Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) is further away, at approximately 60 miles to the north of the port, but can be less congested getting between the airport and cruise port. Consider this airport as flights may be attractively priced compared to other South Florida options. While there are several transportation options between PBI airport and the cruise port, the most popular choices are:

  • Uber or Lyft - Pricing for Uber and Lyft rideshares will depend on demand and timing. Typically starts at around $65 and goes up from there based on time of day and size of vehicle needed.
  • Taxi - Will take you from the airport to port or vice versa. Price is dependent on meter reading. 
  • Tri-rail provides rail service transportation between West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale and Miami with stops at many locations. The Palm Beach International Airport is accessible by Tri-Rail from the West Palm Beach Tri-Rail station at 203 South Tamarind Avenue. Port Everglades is accessible via the stop at Fort Lauderdale Airport. You will need to take a taxi or Uber/Lyft to the port from the train station. For more information on Tri-rail, click here

7. Parking Information 

Driving right to Port Everglades for your cruise? Here’s what you need to know about directions and parking options:

Port Everglades is easily accessible from all major highways in the area: 

  • From I-95 South - Take Exit #26 to I-595 East. Exit 12b, to Port Everglades.
  • From I-95 North: take Exit #24 to I-595 East. Exit 12b, to Port Everglades.
  • From I-75 North or South: take Exit #19 to I-595 East. Exit 12b, to Port Everglades
  • From the Florida Turnpike north or south: take Exit #54 to I-595 East. Exit 12b, to Port Everglades.
  • Already in Fort Lauderdale? The 17th Street or State Road 84 entrances may be more convenient.

There are three entrances to Port Everglades: 

  • 17th Street, located at Eisenhower Boulevard
  • State Road 84, located just east of US 1, located at Spangler Boulevard
  • I-595 East, located at Eller Drive
  • Each entrance has a security checkpoint where cruise guests ages 18+ must provide a Government-issued photo ID and cruise documents to enter the port.

On-Site Parking Information:

  • Port Everglades does not accept reservations or pre-payment for on-site parking. The port offers over 4,000 parking spots and several surface lots. Parking areas are illuminated and include 24-hour security. 
  • Fees: 
    • $15 per-day maximum for each car or $19 daily max for oversized vehicles 
    • $3 for 0-1 hours
    • $6 for up to 5 hours, and then $1 per hour up to daily maximum
  • Learn more about on-site parking options for Port Everglades at: https://www.porteverglades.net/cruise/parking/

Off-Site Parking Options: Several privately-owned lots offer inexpensive parking right near Port Everglades. These lots include features such as a shuttle to the port from the lot and monitored security. Here are a few off-site parking options to consider: 

  • Park ‘n Go - Save up to 70% on parking. Offers valet parking only, and guests will be required to leave keys with the lot. 
  • Park by the Ports FLL - Offers secure, inexpensive off-site parking near Port Everglades. 
  • Gold Coast Cruise and Fly - Less than 1 mile from Port Everglades and offers valet parking and shuttle service right to the port. 

Read More:

10 Best Things to do in Fort Lauderdale

Explore All Cruises From Fort Lauderdale

 

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