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What Is The Best Time Of Year To Take A Cruise From Fort Lauderdale?

Fort Lauderdale during sunset

Discover the allure of Fort Lauderdale, often dubbed the Venice of the United States, thanks to its picturesque waterways and canals that wind through the city. This sunny destination boasts sandy beaches and a warm climate, making it a sought-after spot for sun-seekers and beach lovers alike. Water enthusiasts will find a paradise here, with activities like boating, deep-sea fishing, waterskiing, and snorkeling readily available. On land, adventure awaits at the Everglades National Park, where hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities abound.

Port Everglades, one of the busiest cruise ports globally, welcomes millions of cruise passengers annually. While in the area, take a stroll down the vibrant Las Olas Boulevard, relax on the pristine beaches of Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, explore the diverse marine life at the Everglades, or cruise along the city’s charming canals. The dining scene in Fort Lauderdale is exceptional, featuring a plethora of seafood options and world-renowned chefs offering cuisine from across the globe. Additionally, the city boasts premier shopping destinations, catering to everything from rare antiques to high-end fashion labels. With its proximity to stunning beaches, the Everglades, and a rich cultural scene, Fort Lauderdale is a top-tier tourist destination. If you’re embarking on a cruise from Port Everglades, you’ll find a range of hotels conveniently located near the cruise port for a comfortable stay before or after your voyage.

Aerial view of Fort Lauderdale beach

Optimal Time for Exploring Fort Lauderdale, Florida 

Fort Lauderdale Beach, also known as Las Olas Beach, truly shines from December to April, making it the prime season for cruising, which peaks from November to April. During this time, the weather is mild and delightful, with temperatures ranging from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Given its popularity, especially during the holiday season, it’s wise to secure your hotel accommodations well in advance.

Spring, in particular, offers a vibrant array of activities in Fort Lauderdale and South Florida. This season marks the beginning of the festival calendar, featuring events such as the Fort Lauderdale Air Show, Las Olas Art Fair, and the Tortuga Music Festival. Winter also boasts its share of festivities, including Christmas on Las Olas and the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade. While cruises depart year-round from Fort Lauderdale, the summer and fall months tend to be wetter, coinciding with the hurricane season from June to November. Summers are characterized by hot and humid weather, with temperatures often exceeding 90 degrees. Nonetheless, between May and September, you can indulge in activities like deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, and various other water sports. While the weather may not be as pleasant between May and November, this period does offer better hotel rates. Additionally, there are exciting events such as the Wilton Manors Halloween Experience and the Hollywood Beach Latin Festival in August.

Boats docked in a port

Navigating to Port Everglades 

For those heading to Port Everglades, knowing the three entrances can simplify your journey. The Northport entrance, conveniently situated near various shops and eateries, is accessed via the 17th Street Causeway at Eisenhower Boulevard.

Another option is the Midport entrance, located at State Road 84 off U.S. 1, which is particularly convenient for travelers staying at airport hotels. For those coming from I-595 East, this route leads directly to the port, serving as the gateway to Southport.

To ensure a smooth arrival, travelers can input the official address, 1850 Eller Drive, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316, into their GPS devices for precise directions.

Fast moving airport shuttle

Transportation Options to Port Everglades


Accessible via major highways like I-595, I-95, and I-75, as well as U.S. 1 and Florida’s Turnpike, Port Everglades is easily reached by road. It stands out as the sole cruise port in the United States situated next to an international airport, providing a convenient travel option for cruise passengers flying in.

Situated just a 10-minute drive away, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport offers close proximity to Port Everglades. For travelers driving to the port, various routes are available depending on the point of arrival.

Upon leaving the airport’s car rental area, follow the signs directing you to U.S. 1 North, leading to Port Everglades and Eller Drive. Travelers heading to terminals 1 through 4 can continue on U.S. 1 North and exit onto 17th Street. From there, take the 17th Street Causeway for direct access to the port. Miami International Airport is approximately 27 miles south of Port Everglades, while Palm Beach International Airport lies about 50 miles to the north.

Taxi – Uber/Lyft 

To reach Port Everglades from various Fort Lauderdale locations, including the airport, taxis offer a convenient transport option. Accepting major credit cards, most taxis make the journey easy. Alternatively, ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are also available, offering slightly cheaper fares compared to taxis. These services can be accessed from the airport and other points in and around Fort Lauderdale, providing a flexible and cost-effective way to travel to the port.

Airport Shuttles 

Airport shuttles provide convenient transportation between airport terminals and the port, ensuring a seamless journey for travelers. One such shuttle service is the Go Airport shuttle, which operates frequent connections every 15 to 20 minutes using comfortable, air-conditioned vans.

In addition to the Go Airport shuttle, passengers arriving at Miami International Airport have several other shuttle options available. These include the Metro Shuttle Service, Florida Shuttle Transportation, Port of Miami Shuttle, and the Florida Express Bus, offering a variety of choices to suit different preferences and budgets.

Furthermore, some cruise lines offer dedicated shuttle services from both Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Miami International Airport. These dedicated shuttles cater specifically to cruise passengers, providing a hassle-free way to reach the port and begin their cruise vacation with ease.

Hotel Shuttles 

When planning your stay in Fort Lauderdale, consider the convenience of hotel shuttles. These shuttles offer a seamless connection between various accommodations in the area and Port Everglades. Most hotels near the port offer complimentary shuttle services to and from the airport, making your travel experience smoother. If you’re staying overnight at one of these hotels, you can also enjoy the added benefit of shuttle services to the cruise port, ensuring a hassle-free start to your journey.

Public Transportation & Rail Access to Port Everglades 

For travelers seeking convenient and eco-friendly ways to reach Port Everglades, public transportation offers a viable option. The Number 40 bus service, connecting downtown Fort Lauderdale with the port, serves as a practical choice for visitors staying in the city center or cruising from Northport. Additionally, the Sun Trolley provides an efficient and affordable means of access to the port, enhancing the overall travel experience for passengers.

Rail transport further enhances connectivity to Fort Lauderdale, with Virgin Trains USA (formerly Brightline) offering services from Miami and West Palm Beach. This rail service not only benefits local travelers but also provides a seamless connection for tourists arriving from other parts of Florida. Furthermore, the Tri-Rail commuter train system plays a vital role in linking Fort Lauderdale with Miami-Dade County and Palm Beach County, offering passengers a convenient and comfortable journey to their destination.

For those traveling from other parts of the country, Amtrak operates nationwide trains that stop at Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale stations. This extensive rail network provides travelers with a convenient and efficient mode of transportation to reach their desired destination. Upon arrival at the station, visitors can easily access the port area using taxi or ridesharing services, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free travel experience.

Signage of a parking area

Explore Hassle-Free Parking Options at Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port 

Embarking on a cruise adventure from Fort Lauderdale? Simplify your journey with convenient parking solutions right by the terminals. Whether you’re sailing away from Terminal 2 or Terminal 29, there’s a parking spot waiting for you within walking distance.

For those boarding at Terminal 29, where parking is scarce, worry not. A complimentary shuttle links you directly to the Palm Parking Garage, ensuring a seamless transition from your vehicle to the ship.

Accessibility is paramount. Rest assured, designated spots for passengers with disabilities are available in all parking areas, guaranteeing smooth accessibility via crosswalks and elevators.

If you’re sailing from Terminal 2 or Terminal 4, Heron Parking Garage offers ample space with up to 1,818 slots. Accessing Terminal 2 is a breeze with a convenient elevated bridge equipped with moving walkways. Just keep an eye out for the orange signs guiding your way.

Meanwhile, the Palm Parking Garage boasts 1,966 spaces catering to terminals 19, 21, 25, 26, and 29. Should you find yourself at Terminal 29, hop on the free shuttle for a quick ride to your vehicle parked at the Palm Parking Garage. Additional surface parking is available at Terminal 18, accommodating 600 vehicles, while Terminal 19 provides 400 surface parking spaces.

Whether you’re in for a short visit or a day-long adventure, hourly and daily parking options are at your disposal. Rates are reasonable, ensuring you won’t break the bank while enjoying your cruise. Plus, with maximum daily rates capped, you can focus on creating unforgettable memories on the high seas.

Accommodations along Fort Lauderdale areaAccommodation Options Near the Port 

For convenient lodging near the port, consider the Port Everglades area near the 17th Street Causeway. Here, you’re not only close to your cruise ship but also near Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. With stunning views of the Intracoastal Waterway, hotels in this area offer easy access to 17th Street’s diverse array of restaurants and shops. The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port, and Pier Sixty-Six Hotel and Marina are all within a ten-minute walk of Port Everglades, along with the Embassy Suites by Hilton Fort Lauderdale.

If you have an early flight home or arrive late, staying in hotels surrounding Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport might be ideal, especially if you’re planning a short stay before or after your cruise. This area, only a 15-minute drive from the beach and ten minutes from the cruise port, is well-connected and convenient for exploring the city. 

For those wanting a coastal experience, Fort Lauderdale Beach is an excellent choice. From affordable hotels to luxury beach resorts, this area caters to all budgets. Plus, you’re steps away from world-class water activities. Known for its art galleries and nightlife, this family-friendly area also boasts a wide selection of restaurants and shops. 

Hollywood Beach is another great destination for sun, sand, and water. Although slightly farther from Port Everglades, the cruise port is still easily accessible from this high-end neighborhood. Hollywood Beach is home to outstanding resorts with easy beach access and the Hollywood Boardwalk, along with excellent restaurants and lively nightlife. Margaritaville at Hollywood Beach is a popular family-friendly resort choice, and there’s also the Diplomat Beach Resort Hollywood, part of the Curio Collection by Hilton.

The area around Las Olas Boulevard near Downtown Fort Lauderdale, situated between Hollywood Beach and the Atlantic Ocean, offers great restaurants and interesting shops within walking distance of hotels. With bars, clubs, movie theaters, and canals, you’re at the heart of ‘The Venice of America.’ This neighborhood is also home to the Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale, the Museum of Discovery and Science, and Stranahan House Museum. 

Busy streets at night

Top Shopping Spots Near Port

Fort Lauderdale has you covered with a variety of shops to fit any style and budget. Just a short drive from Port Everglades, you’ll find 17th Street, perfect for quick shopping trips or if you’re staying nearby. This area offers everything from hotels to pharmacies, banks, restaurants, cafes, and shops.

Downtown Fort Lauderdale is a shopping haven, while Fort Lauderdale Beach and Hollywood Beach boast fantastic boutiques. The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale is about a 20-minute bus ride or 15-minute drive north of the port, offering a world-class shopping and dining experience.

For a unique shopping experience, head to Las Olas Boulevard, known for its boutique shops, cozy cafes, and top-notch restaurants. You can reach both The Galleria and Las Olas Boulevard by using the Greater Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi system.

If you’re willing to venture a bit further, Dania is home to Antique Row, with over 100 dealers selling antiques and collectibles along Federal Highway. The Design Center of the Americas in Dania offers interior designer studios and furniture showrooms, located at the intersection of I-95 and Griffin Road.

For more shopping options, head west to Westfield Broward in Plantation, just a 20-minute drive from Port Everglades. This expansive shopping center features over 80 shops and restaurants, along with a 12-screen cinema. For even more shopping, check out Sawgrass Mills, one of the largest shopping malls in the United States, with nearly 400 retail outlets and restaurants, located a bit further west.

Fort Lauderdale beachfront

Attractions in Fort Lauderdale 

Discover the vibrant sights of Fort Lauderdale, where each destination offers a unique experience:

Las Olas Boulevard: Immerse yourself in the tropical allure of this bustling boulevard, boasting an array of shops, galleries, clubs, and dining spots. Explore its welcoming courtyards and soak up the lively atmosphere.

Fort Lauderdale Beaches: With 23 miles of sandy coastline, the city is a beach lover’s paradise. Choose from Hollywood Beach, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Deerfield Beach, and Hillsboro Beach. For a more secluded experience, head to Dania Beach or dive into adventure at Pompano Beach, known for its 18 fascinating shipwrecks.

Bonnet House Museum and Gardens: Step back in time at this oceanfront property, showcasing the charm of a 1920s-era home. Wander through the property’s art displays and explore the gardens, a rare example of South Florida’s native barrier island habitat.

Museum of Discovery and Science: Dive into a world of science and discovery at this family-friendly museum. Explore hundreds of interactive exhibits, catch captivating live demonstrations, and experience the thrill of flight simulators and an IMAX theater.

Intracoastal Waterway: Embark on a journey along this 3,000-mile waterway, connecting the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Meander through the city and the Everglades, offering easy access to a variety of water activities and attractions along its 300 miles of inland canals.

Sawgrass Mills & Recreational Park: Experience the essence of the Everglades with a boat tour through alligator habitats and a visit to a reptile zoo. After your adventure, indulge in a shopping spree at Sawgrass Mills, home to nearly 400 shops and restaurants, perfect for bargain hunters.


When planning your cruise from Fort Lauderdale, consider the optimal time to visit for the best experience. From December to April, the weather is mild and delightful, ideal for exploring the city’s attractions and enjoying outdoor activities. This period also coincides with the peak cruising season, offering a wide range of cruise options and itineraries to choose from.

To enhance your travel experience, various transportation options are available to reach Port Everglades conveniently. Whether you prefer driving, taking a taxi, using ridesharing services, or opting for airport shuttles, there are plenty of choices to suit your needs. Additionally, hotel shuttles and public transportation provide seamless connections to the port, ensuring a hassle-free start to your cruise vacation.

For accommodations near Port Everglades, consider staying in the Port Everglades area or near Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. These locations offer easy access to the port and a range of hotels to suit different preferences and budgets. Whether you’re looking for a coastal experience or easy access to shopping and dining options, Fort Lauderdale has a variety of accommodation options to enhance your pre or post-cruise stay. Plus, with Bluefoot Pirate Adventures offering thrilling marine tours and excursions, your time in Fort Lauderdale is sure to be unforgettable!