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What Cruise Ships Leave From Fort Lauderdale


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Courtenay Prewitt



Fort Lauderdale, often referred to as the “Venice of America,” is a popular departure point for cruise ships. With its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and vibrant atmosphere, it’s no wonder that many people choose to start their cruise vacations from this sunny city. Whether you’re a first-time cruiser or a seasoned traveler, Fort Lauderdale offers a convenient and exciting departure port.


Located in South Florida, Fort Lauderdale is home to Port Everglades, one of the busiest cruise ports in the world. Port Everglades acts as a gateway to the Caribbean, Mexico, and other desirable cruise destinations. Its close proximity to major airports and highways makes it easily accessible for both local and international travelers.


In this article, we will explore the cruise options available from Fort Lauderdale, the popular cruise lines that operate from the port, the various cruise destinations you can embark on, and the embarkation process in Port Everglades. We will also highlight some of the attractions near the port that you can enjoy before or after your cruise.


So get ready to set sail from Fort Lauderdale and embark on an unforgettable cruise adventure!


Port Everglades

Port Everglades, located in Fort Lauderdale, is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world. It serves as the gateway to the Caribbean, Bahamas, and other popular cruise destinations. Spanning over 2,000 acres, this bustling port is not only a hub for cruise ships but also a major cargo port.


The port features state-of-the-art facilities and amenities to ensure a seamless embarkation process for cruise passengers. It has multiple terminals equipped with customs and immigration services, baggage handling facilities, and parking areas for both short-term and long-term stays.


Port Everglades is well-known for its efficiency and organization. It has implemented advanced technology systems to streamline the embarkation and disembarkation processes, minimizing wait times and ensuring a smooth experience for travelers. Additionally, the port has a variety of dining options, duty-free shopping, and other services to cater to the needs of passengers.


Another advantage of Port Everglades is its close proximity to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, which allows for easy transportation to and from the port. Many hotels in the area also offer shuttle services to the port, making it convenient for passengers to reach their cruise ship.


Overall, Port Everglades offers a top-notch experience for cruise passengers. Its efficiency, modern facilities, and excellent connectivity make it a popular choice for those looking to start their cruise vacation from Fort Lauderdale.


Popular Cruise Lines

Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades is home to a wide range of cruise lines, catering to various tastes and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly experience, a luxury journey, or an adventure-packed itinerary, there’s a cruise line for you. Here are some of the popular cruise lines that operate from Fort Lauderdale:

  • Royal Caribbean International: Known for its innovative ships and exciting onboard activities, Royal Caribbean offers an incredible vacation experience. From thrilling water slides to Broadway-style shows, this cruise line has something for everyone.
  • Carnival Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Line is famous for its fun and lively atmosphere. It offers a diverse range of entertainment options, including live music, comedy shows, and themed parties. Families and young adults will find plenty to enjoy onboard.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line is known for its “Freestyle Cruising” concept, which allows passengers to dine and enjoy activities at their convenience. With a wide range of dining options, spacious staterooms, and exciting entertainment, Norwegian offers a flexible and enjoyable experience.
  • Princess Cruises: Princess Cruises is synonymous with elegance and sophistication. With its refined atmosphere, gourmet dining, and exceptional service, Princess Cruises offers a luxurious experience for those seeking a more upscale vacation.
  • Holland America Line: Holland America Line caters to those looking for a classic cruising experience. With its elegant décor, culinary excellence, and enriching activities, this cruise line appeals to mature travelers who appreciate a more refined ambiance.
  • Celebrity Cruises: Celebrity Cruises focuses on providing a modern luxury experience. From its stylish accommodations and gourmet dining options to its unique itineraries, this cruise line offers a sophisticated journey for discerning travelers.

These are just a few examples of the cruise lines that depart from Fort Lauderdale. Each cruise line has its own unique features, onboard amenities, and itineraries, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your preferences and travel goals. No matter which cruise line you choose, you can expect to embark on a memorable adventure from this vibrant port.


Cruise Destinations

Embarking from Fort Lauderdale opens up a world of exciting cruise destinations. Whether you’re dreaming of exploring the Caribbean’s pristine beaches, venturing to exotic Central or South American destinations, or even cruising through the Panama Canal, the options are endless. Here are some of the popular cruise destinations you can explore from Fort Lauderdale:

  • Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale is the perfect starting point for Caribbean cruises. From the Bahamas to the Eastern, Western, and Southern Caribbean islands, you can visit renowned destinations such as St. Thomas, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Jamaica, and many more. Discover stunning beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and immerse yourself in the unique culture and flavors of the Caribbean.
  • Bahamas: Just a short cruise journey away from Fort Lauderdale, the Bahamas offer a tropical paradise with crystal-clear waters, beautiful beaches, and exciting activities. Explore the capital city of Nassau, visit the famous Atlantis Resort, or relax on the stunning shores of Freeport or Great Stirrup Cay.
  • Mexico: Embark on a cruise to Mexico and experience the rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes of this diverse country. Visit popular spots like Cozumel, with its incredible underwater world for snorkeling and diving, or explore the charming town of Progreso on the Yucatan Peninsula.
  • Central America: Discover the natural wonders and ancient ruins of Central America on a cruise from Fort Lauderdale. Sail to countries like Costa Rica, Belize, and Honduras, where you can immerse yourself in lush rainforests, explore Mayan ruins, or go on thrilling adventures such as zip-lining or river rafting.
  • South America: For those seeking a more immersive and adventurous cruise experience, South America offers a wealth of opportunities. Set sail to destinations like Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay, and explore the stunning landscapes of Patagonia, visit vibrant cities like Rio de Janeiro, or embark on an expedition cruise to the remote and pristine regions of the Antarctic Peninsula.

These are just a few examples of the many cruise destinations you can discover from Fort Lauderdale. Whether you prefer beach relaxation, cultural immersion, or thrilling adventures, there’s a cruise itinerary that will fulfill your travel desires. So pack your bags, choose your dream destination, and set sail from Fort Lauderdale on an unforgettable cruise journey.


Embarkation Process

Embarking on a cruise from Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades is a straightforward and well-organized process. Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to expect during the embarkation process:

  1. Arrival at the Port: Once you arrive at Port Everglades, you’ll need to follow the signs to the appropriate terminal for your cruise line. Most cruise lines have designated check-in areas within the terminal building.
  2. Check-in and Documentation: At the check-in area, you’ll be required to present your cruise documents, such as your passport, boarding pass, and any necessary visas. Cruise lines may also ask you to complete health questionnaires or provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or testing.
  3. Security and Baggage Screening: After you’ve checked in, you’ll proceed through security, which includes a baggage screening process similar to airport security. Be sure to pack any essential items, medications, and valuables in your carry-on bag, as checked luggage may take some time to be delivered to your stateroom.
  4. Customs and Immigration: Depending on your destination, you may need to go through customs and immigration procedures before boarding the ship. This typically involves presenting your travel documents and answering any necessary questions from the officials.
  5. Boarding the Ship: Once you’ve completed the necessary procedures, you’ll be directed to the gangway to board the cruise ship. The crew members will guide you through the process and provide any additional information you may need.
  6. Orientation and Safety Drill: Once aboard the ship, you will be required to participate in a mandatory safety drill. This drill familiarizes you with important safety procedures and the location of emergency exits, lifeboats, and other safety equipment.
  7. Settling In: After the safety drill, you can start exploring the ship and getting acquainted with its amenities. Take the time to locate your stateroom, unpack, and familiarize yourself with the ship’s layout.

It’s important to arrive at the port with plenty of time before your scheduled departure to allow for a smooth and stress-free embarkation process. Many cruise lines recommend arriving at least a few hours before the ship’s departure time to ensure you have enough time to check in and go through all the necessary procedures.


Overall, the embarkation process in Port Everglades is designed to ensure the safety and comfort of all passengers. By following the instructions from the cruise line staff and complying with the required procedures, you’ll be ready to start your cruise adventure in no time!


Attractions Near Port Everglades

If you have some extra time before or after your cruise from Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades, there are plenty of attractions and activities in the area to explore. Here are some popular options:

  • Fort Lauderdale Beach: Just a short distance from the port, Fort Lauderdale Beach offers miles of golden sand, crystal-clear waters, and a lively atmosphere. Relax on the beach, take a dip in the ocean, or stroll along the vibrant beachfront promenade lined with shops, restaurants, and bars.
  • Las Olas Boulevard: Located in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Las Olas Boulevard is a must-visit destination. This charming street is lined with boutiques, art galleries, cafes, and restaurants, making it perfect for shopping, dining, and soaking up the local culture.
  • Everglades National Park: If you’re a nature lover, consider taking a trip to the Everglades National Park. This unique ecosystem is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including alligators, birds, and manatees. Explore the park on an airboat tour, hike the nature trails, or take a scenic drive through Shark Valley.
  • Flamingo Gardens: Located just a short drive from the port, Flamingo Gardens is a botanical garden and wildlife sanctuary. Walk through lush gardens, catch a glimpse of local wildlife, and learn about the native plants and animals of South Florida.
  • Museum of Discovery and Science: Ideal for families, the Museum of Discovery and Science offers hands-on exhibits, interactive displays, and an IMAX theater. Explore topics ranging from space exploration to Florida’s unique ecosystems, and be entertained by live animal shows and interactive exhibits.
  • Sawgrass Mills: If shopping is on your agenda, make sure to visit Sawgrass Mills, one of the largest outlet malls in the United States. With over 350 stores, including designer brands and luxury retailers, you’re bound to find great deals on fashion, accessories, and more.

These are just a few examples of the many attractions near Port Everglades. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, immerse yourself in nature, explore cultural sites, or indulge in shopping and dining experiences, Fort Lauderdale has something for everyone.


Remember to plan your time accordingly and consider transportation options when exploring these attractions. Local taxis, rideshare services, and organized tours are available to help you make the most of your time in Fort Lauderdale.



Embarking on a cruise from Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades is an exciting and convenient way to start your vacation. With its bustling port, wide range of cruise lines, and proximity to stunning destinations, Fort Lauderdale offers an unforgettable cruise experience.


From the moment you arrive at Port Everglades, you’ll be greeted with efficiency and organization. The embarkation process is seamless, allowing you to quickly settle in and start exploring your cruise ship. Whether you choose a family-friendly cruise line, a luxury voyage, or an adventure-packed itinerary, there’s an option that suits your preferences and travel goals.


Once your cruise is over, don’t rush off just yet. Fort Lauderdale and its surrounding attractions have plenty to offer. Whether you want to relax on beautiful beaches, explore vibrant city streets, connect with nature, or indulge in shopping and dining experiences, the area has something for everyone.


So, whether you’re seeking sun-soaked Caribbean beaches, thrilling adventures in Central America, or a luxury journey through South America, start your cruise from Fort Lauderdale and set sail to incredible destinations. The memories you make and the experiences you have will be the highlight of your vacation.


Book your cruise from Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades today and let the journey begin!