Cruises: Cruise offerings run the gamut from world cruises to traditional seven-night Caribbean vacations and day-trips to the Bahamas. Port Everglades is the home port of more than 52 ships of Celebrity, Costa, Crystal, Cunard, Discovery, Holland America, Imperial Majesty, Mediterranean Shipping, Orient, Princess, Radisson Seven Seas, Regal, Royal Caribbean International, Royal Olympic, Seabourn and Silversea cruise lines, as well as the ships of two daily cruise operators, SeaEscape and Discovery Cruises.
Getting there: Port Everglades is about five minutes from the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport. Cruise line buses meet passengers at the airport; arrangements must be made in advance. The port has three passenger entrances: Spangler Boulevard, Eisenhower Boulevard and Eller Drive. To get there from Interstate 95 south, take S.R. 84 east toward Marina Mile Road. S.R. 84 becomes Spangler Boulevard.
Parking: The garages offer parking for $10 per day; handicapped parking and shuttle service is available. Passengers must present identification to armed guards posted at each entrance.
Overnight: Nearby lodging choices include Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Hotel (954-626-1700), Fort Lauderdale Marina Marriott (1-800-433-2254) and Marriott's Harbor Beach Marriot Resort and Spa (954-525-4000).
Dining: Bimini Boatyard & Grill in Fort Lauderdale (954-525-7400) is a casual waterfront café with California cuisine; Darrel & Oliver's Bistro 17 (in the Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Hotel, 954-626-1700) is an upscale Mediterranean restaurant; Burt & Jack's Restaurant at Port Everglades' Berth 23 (954-522-5225) serves gourmet dinners.
Information: Port Everglades Department of Broward County, 954-523-3404; www.broward.org/port; Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, 954-765-4466
Port of Miami
The port has the largest year-round cruise fleet in the world, serving 3.4 million passengers annually from eight terminals.
Cruises: Travelers can choose from three-, four-, seven-, 10- and 11-day cruises that sail to the Bahamas and the Caribbean as well as to Latin America, the Far East and Europe. It is home to nearly 20 cruise ships of Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International.
The 2002 fleet will include: Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Spirit, Carnival Triumph, Carnival Victory, Fascination, Paradise, Carnival Legend and Imagination; Celebrity Cruises' Horizon and Mercury; Norwegian Cruise Line's Norway and Norwegian Dream; Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Majesty, Norwegian Sea, Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Sun; Royal Caribbean International's Brilliance of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas, Majesty of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas.
Parking: Parking is available at all terminals for $10 per day for cars or $20 for RVs. Credit cards are accepted.
Getting there: From I-95, take I-95 south to I-395. Follow the signs to the Biscayne Boulevard exit. Go right on Biscayne Boulevard, and continue to Fifth Street, which becomes Port Boulevard. Take a left and go over the bridge; follow signs to your terminal.
Overnight: Options include the New Casablanca on the Ocean (305-868-0010); Best Western on the Bay Inn & Marina (305-865-7100).
Dining: Oggi Caffe (305-866-1238) serves Italian fare; Shuckers Bar & Grill (305-866-1570) is a popular eatery for sports fans and features a casual menu; 1444 Coffee Shop (305-374-5778) serves coffee drinks and has a varied menu.
Information: Port Authority, 305-371-7678; co.miami-dade.fl.us/portofmiami/; Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, 1-800-933-8448.
Port of Tampa