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With its beautiful beaches, pulsating nightlife, and culture-filled neighborhoods, Miami is one of the most popular destinations in the United States. Visitors from all over the world flock here to enjoy its Art Deco buildings and romantic palm tree-lined streets filled with fantastic restaurants before embarking on cruises from Miami.
Known as the cruise capital of the world, Miami’s convenient location and year-round beach weather make it the perfect jumping-off point for a tropical vacation. Whether it’s a short cruise to the Bahamas or a longer sailing around the islands of the Caribbean, Miami is an exciting departure port for an unforgettable cruise.
Tropical bliss awaits in the Bahamas, where you’ll spend a day lounging on powdery white sand and dipping in warm turquoise waters. Sample some of the best rum in the world, feast on the freshest of seafood, or go snorkeling in the Caribbean Sea, where you’ll see colorful schools of fish and sea turtles.
In Nassau, relax under a palm tree at Cable Beach, or spend a fun-filled family day at the Atlantis Resort, where you’ll find water slides, lazy rivers, and a stunning aquarium filled with exotic underwater species.
Discover ancient ruins and pristine beaches on cruises from Miami to Costa Maya and Cozumel. See Costa Maya’s natural wonders, like the Seven Colors Lagoon and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. On the island of Cozumel, melt your worries away at heavenly beaches like El Cielo and Playa Palancar. Swim with dolphins, or head to the mainland to explore the fascinating ruins of Chichen Itza.
Embrace the kitsch of Key West, a quirky coastal town in Florida with a fun, laidback attitude and excellent snorkeling opportunities. Paddle around its mangroves on a kayak, dive into its coral reefs rich with marine life, and finish off your day in the sun with a refreshing slice of the city’s famous key lime pie.
Walk around Puerto Plata’s bustling Malecón boardwalk, which is full of restaurants, bars, and friendly street vendors. Take pictures in front of colorful colonial buildings located in the town’s historic districts. Ride a cable car—the only one in all of the Dominican Republic—up to the top of Mount Isabel de Torres and enjoy unrivaled views of this charming port city.
Cruise to the Caribbean aboard Celebrity Silhouette or Celebrity Summit, luxurious ships where you’ll enjoy impeccable service and endless entertainment. Savor world-class cuisine in our onboard restaurants, enjoy exhilarating performances at our state-of-the-art theater, and rest and recharge at The Spa. Spend your days lounging under the sun, snorkeling in crystal-clear water teeming with fish, and exploring historic architecture and forts. After a busy day in port, unwind in luxuriously appointed accommodations or visit one of the exciting bars or lounges onboard, where you can dance the night away. During a Miami cruise aboard Celebrity Silhouette or Celebrity Summit, you won’t have to lift a finger—just sit back and enjoy the trip of a lifetime.
The state-of-the-art terminal at the Port of Miami is designed to quickly move people through check-in and onto the ship. The port is located less than 10 miles from Miami International Airport. Taxi services, rideshares, shuttles, and limousine services are available to take you to the cruise port. If you’re driving to the Miami cruise terminal, long-term parking is available. You’ll also find taxis waiting outside each terminal as well as car rental agencies. To get between the port and the main attractions of Miami, such as South Beach, you’ll need to arrange transportation or take a local bus. To make it easy for you, you can book shore excursions the day you disembark from your cruise that take you from the port to some of Miami’s top sites, like the Everglades National Park and the Art Deco District, and then to the airport.
To see some of the finest Art Deco architecture in the city, head to the Art Deco District in South Beach, which was constructed in the 1930s. It features over 800 buildings of different designs with creative geometric motifs, making it the largest grouping of Art Deco architecture in the world. These historically significant buildings are the perfect backdrop for your Instagram feed.
To truly experience the culture of Miami, you should explore the city at night. Many of Miami’s most popular nightclubs are in South Beach, located on the tip of Miami Beach. The white-sand coastline provides a gorgeous setting for the hip clubs, restaurants, and hotels that have made Miami one of the hottest nightclub areas in the world.
If you’re a beach lover, head to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. It’s located on Key Biscayne and has some of America’s most beautiful beaches, along with hiking trails that lead to views of Miami’s downtown skyline. A big draw for travelers to the park is the historic lighthouse, where you can take a tour with a guide on select days of the week.
Little Havana is the epicenter of Cuban culture in Miami. A walk down Calle Ocho will give you a good taste of all that Little Havana has to offer, from cuisine to bars and souvenirs. Visit El Credito Cigar Factory, where you can see how they roll cigars in Cuba. If you really want to experience the Latin culture in Little Havana, time your cruise from Miami so you can be in Miami before or after your sailing on the last Friday of the month. On this day each month, a street party is held in Little Havana called Viernes Cultural that features an array of music performers, dancers, Cuban cuisine, and theater performances.
Miami is located close to Everglades National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The best way to fully comprehend the rich nature and wildlife of the Everglades is to take an airboat tour with a knowledgeable guide who will tell you about the history of the Everglades and point out its most popular feature: the many alligators that call it home. When the guide starts telling you about some of the stories surrounding these prehistoric looking creatures, we won’t blame you if you scoot a little bit farther from the edge of the boat.
Due to its wet, humid climate, gardens in Miami are able to prosper into lush, beautiful landscapes. One of the highlights of the Miami garden scene is the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, where you’ll find an Italian-style mansion surrounded by manicured gardens adorned with lovely sculptures and a view of sparkling Biscayne Bay.
A popular attraction in Miami for families is Zoo Miami, where you can see over 3,000 animal species. Kids have a chance to feed giraffes, rhinos, and camels, as well as play in the splash pads. Rent a Safari Cycle to navigate the expansive grounds of the zoo.
Miami Seaquarium is another fun outing in Miami that is centered around animals, only here you’ll see ocean mammals. The Seaquarium features a variety of species, including bottlenose dolphins, crocodiles, and sea lions. Children will love the fact that there’s an onsite play structure (the Salty’s Pirate Playground) and a touch pool where they can feel the silky skin of stingrays. Visitors of all ages will be wowed by the Sea Trek Reef Encounter, an underwater walking path through the aquarium.
Miami’s food scene is a fusion of international flavors, but you’ll find a particular Latin flair going through many of the dishes. While in Miami, there are some dishes that stand out from the rest, and five you should try are:
Arepas: This popular South American food item is also popular in Miami. It infuses cheese into a flattened, folded pastry, which is then cooked until the dough turns golden.
Ceviche: With the close proximity to the sea, you can find a variety of ceviche in Miami, which typically mixes cold seafood with any number of ingredients from fruit to salsa.
Chicharrones: If you’re a meat-lover, you can’t miss trying chicharrones in Miami, which are pork skins that are deep-fried and have a salty aftertaste.
Florida Stone Crab: If you’re visiting between October and March, try the local seafood delicacy of stone crab, served chilled on ice. The meat of the stone crab claw is known for its tenderness and hint of sweetness.
Cuban Sandwich: This iconic Miami dish is a sandwich made with Cuban bread. In between the slices of bread, you’ll find a pile of delicious ingredients like roasted pork, baked ham, gooey Swiss cheese, dill pickles, and yellow mustard.
When it comes to drinks, you’ll likely be able to find your favorite libation at one of the many bars and nightclubs lining the streets of Miami Beach. However, if you want to try a local specialty, look for a mojito or a Miami Vice.
The culture of Miami has been largely influenced by the influx of immigrants to the city over the past 80 years, giving it an intriguing multicultural scene that extends to the arts, music, beach, and nightlife. You can find Latin flair throughout the city before departing on one of our cruises from Miami, along with a distinctly Caribbean vibe, especially when you’re in the Little Havana and Little Haiti areas of the city. Beach bars intermingle with nightclubs, and the laidback lifestyle mixed with the ritzy nightclubs that attract the rich and famous from all around the world create an interesting dichotomy.
It’s not hard to find places to shop in Miami, but if there’s a particular type of shop you’re after, certain areas of the city are best. The Design District of Miami is known for its art galleries and high-end boutiques.
For clothing, you’ll find designer boutiques at Bal Harbor, and more clothing stores along Collins Avenue or Lincoln Road in Miami Beach. You’ll also find some shopping with an international flair in Little Havana or along historic Española Way in Miami Beach.
For jewelry and local crafts plus more fashion and trinkets, the Miami Fair Trade Marketplace is a great place to shop both for the variety and because you can be assured that souvenirs were made in fair and safe working conditions.
For a fun shopping mall experience with a quintessential Miami vibe, head to Bayside Marketplace. This mall has open-air walkways leading to over 100 shops. At this mall, you’ll also find restaurants and bars, street performers and live music, and even a launchpad for boat tours along the Miami coastline.
Bargain shoppers who love a great deal on luxury finds will enjoy a day of shopping at Dolphin Mall, which is an outlet mall located close to Miami International Airport.
You have four main options for public transportation in Miami: the Metrobus, the Metrorail, the Metromover, and the trolley. The Metrobus is a bus system that runs all around the Greater Miami area, and the Metrorail runs from the north to the south end of Miami with stops in downtown.
The free Metromover covers downtown Miami and Brickell. It is a fully automated shuttle that runs on electricity. The Metromover also connects with the Metrorail and Metrobus at downtown stations. For traveling around Miami and Miami Beach, trolleys offer free services with many routes available.
For private transportation, taxis and rideshares are popular ways to get around Miami. Make sure you’re hailing a licensed taxi, which should have written that it’s a taxi cab on the side of the car and display the license for the driver and the taxi’s rate card inside the vehicle.
Miami International Airport (MIA)
If you’re embarking on one of our cruises from Miami and you don’t live within driving distance to the port, there’s a good chance you’re flying into Miami International Airport (MIA). Upon landing, you can get local information at the airport, where you’ll also find a bank, post office, pharmacy, baggage storage, ATM, and car rental companies.
If you’re flying in the night before your cruise (which we recommend to accommodate for possible flight delays), check with your hotel if they offer a shuttle from the airport. Otherwise, you have plenty of other options, including a 24-hour Super Shuttle van service, taxis, and buses. If you’re going straight to the cruise port from MIA, you can take a taxi to the cruise terminal or take the cruise shuttle bus that you can purchase tickets for through Celebrity Cruises.
The currency accepted in Miami is the U.S. dollar, and you’ll be able to find ATMs dispensing U.S. dollars all over the city. Tipping is very common and expected in Miami, especially in restaurants, bars, and taxis. A common tip for restaurants, taxis, and most other services is 15% to 20% of the total amount.