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When it comes to sailing out of Miami, even though I live in Jacksonville, Florida, chances are you’ll catch me flying because it’s quicker and port parking. Recently I was sailing from Miami on Carnival Ecstasy and caught a flight into Miami the morning of departure.
Did you know 96% of all visitors to Miami arrive by air?
While the Miami airport is fairly easy to navigate, here are some Miami Airport tips I’ve learned during my travels there:
1. Give yourself extra time. It’s not recommended to fly in the morning of your cruise because anything can happen between the time you arrive at your airport and the time you touch down in Miami.
2. Carry cash. So I learned this the hard way, even though it’s 2014, not all cabs take credit cards in Miami. I saw someone get into a cab and was basically kicked out because the cab driver did not accept cash. When I asked the taxi stand about it, I was informed that cabbies don’t like to use their credit card machine because it costs them a fee.
3. Have travel insurance. I spoke with a family on our ship that came from different destinations. The parents were coming from the Midwest and the kids were coming from a college in Boston. The kids made it, the parents didn’t. It was an expensive flight to fly both parents to pick up the ship midway through the voyage. InsureMyTrip has a great article on why cruisers should purchase travel insurance, click here.
4. Use a cruise line transfer. If you want to make sure you make the ship, just use the cruise line transfer from the Miami Airport to PortMiami, it’s $32 round-trip. This way if you get stuck in those traffic filled highways from the airport to the cruise port, you’re safe.
5. No Duty Free. I learned this one the hard way. Duty Free stores can only be used for guests traveling from Miami to an international destination. You can not roll into a Duty Free shop when you get off your airplane thinking you will buy a bottle of wine to bring onboard the cruise ship. It won’t happen.
6. Crowd sourced travel apps. GateGuru or foursquare are awesome crowd sourced smartphone apps that give honest reviews and tips of the airport. I have learned where the strongest wifi, the best place to get a drink and the quietest place in the airport is to make a phone call. I swear by both foursquare and Gate Guru and they are both in my travel folder in my iPhone.
7. Use the air train. If your terminal has an air train, jump on board and take it to baggage claim our to the airport exit. It will be a lot easier on your feet and you’ll escape the hustle and bustle.
I am not the biggest fan of Miami International Airport but when I have to get to Port Miami, it’s a lesser hassle than flying into Fort Lauderdale.