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BEFORE YOU GO

Review: Port Canaveral Cruise Sailaway at Fish Lips

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If you’re doing a pre or post-cruise stay in Port Canaveral and are looking for a spot to watch the ships sail away, it’s worth swinging by local hot spot Fishlips Water Front Bar and Grill. And if, once you arrive, the view seems familiar, it probably is: This happens to be where the Port Canaveral webcam is set up. Watching from home might be the next best thing to being here, but when you’re actually at the restaurant, you get not only the view but some great seafood, too. I first visited in 2010, and I’ve been a repeat customer ever since.

Quick Facts

  • Location: 610 Glen Cheek Dr, Cape Canaveral, Florida 32920
  • Type of Food: Seafood, chicken, and steaks
  • Hours: 11 am to 1 am

Getting There

Fish Lips restaurant is located right on the waterfront at Port Canaveral.

If heading to Port Canaveral on 528, take the Terminal B exit. (The Terminal A exit will put you in the general vicinity of the piers used by Disney and Carnival cruise lines, and there isn’t a particularly great location here from which to watch the ships sail away.) If you miss the exit, you’ll have to head down the road a bit and make a U-turn.

Fish Lips is a blue and yellow building, and there’s plenty of parking available directly across the street.

Atmosphere

This is most definitely a place best described as “festive.” Live bands play most weekends, and they also regularly feature events like trivia contests and even the game most beloved by cruisers: Bingo. The staff is friendly and there’s a tiki bar on the upper deck. While dining is offered both upstairs and downstairs, if you’re here for the views, grab a table at the tiki bar.

Food

If you can’t find something to nosh on at Fish Lips, you’re probably not hungry. The menu is sort of a Greatest Hits compilation of crowd-pleasing items like wings, chowders, sandwiches, and the like. Seafood lovers will definitely need several visits to work their way through the menu, a feature of which is the restaurant’s award-winning chowder. Another don’t-miss item? The Cajun Angels, which are bacon-wrapped shrimp with a mango dipping sauce. The Gauchos Flatbread is topped with shaved ribeye, sundried tomatoes and chimichurri sauce. And if you’re thinking of getting cheese sticks, skip the Italian variety and order up the jalapeño ones. The menu also offers a soup and salad option that’s a great value at $10.

Over time, I’ve eaten my way through a good portion of the menu, and it’s never disappointing. A cool touch: The food is served in wooden baskets with lids, thus assuring it’s fresh as can be (and piping hot) when it arrives at your table.  You can view the entire menu here.

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Viewing

Cruise ships normally leave the dock between 4 and 5 pm,  and it takes them about 15 minutes to reach Fish Lips. You’ll want to get there early, because it fills up pretty fast. If you’re not able to snag a table, no worries; you’ll still have a great view of the big ships. But if you’re not planning to actually eat, grab a drink at the tiki bar and hang out by the deck’s railing as opposed to taking a table. Let the folks who are going to be not only eating, but tipping the hard-working wait staff have the tables.

Tips

  • While you can eat anywhere in the restaurant, if you want to view the ships, head upstairs. Why? Sometimes there are shrimp boats docked in front of the restaurant blocking the view from the first level.
  • Grab an outside table early; they fill up fast.
  • If you’re enjoying a drink at the bar and don’t plan to stay long, pay your tab before the ships sail past. Otherwise, you’ll be trying to pay at the same time as all the other ship watchers.
  • Bring your camera, as you’ll definitely want to share pictures of the huge ships sailing so incredibly close to where you’re perched!
  • The upper deck has a flight of stairs that will take you directly down to the sea wall.
  • Keep your eyes peeled while waiting for the ships. Every time I’ve visited Fish Lips, I’ve seen dolphins putting on a show for anyone who happens to be watching.

Have you ever been to Fish Lips?

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BEFORE YOU GO

Navigating Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port (Port Everglades)

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If you’ve sailed from the Fort Lauderdale cruise port, you know how busy it can get. Especially during the winter cruise season, sometimes there are 12 ships embarking cruise guests at the same time. Recently, the cruise port received major upgrades.

Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, and Princess Cruises sail from the port on a seasonal or year-round basis.

Getting to Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port

Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port

The Port Everglades Cruise Pier is accessible from interstate 95 and 575. There are three entrances into Port Everglades.  The 17th Street Causeway entrance which is located at Eisenhower Boulevard, State Road 84 entrance located just off of US 1, and the I-595 East entrance.

Proper identification such as a driver’s license or passport is required and your vehicle may be subject to search.

  • I-95 south, take Exit #26 to I-595 East. Exit 12b, to Port Everglades.
  • I-95 north, take Exit #24 to I-595 East. Exit 12b, to Port Everglades.
  • I-75 north or south, take Exit #19 to I-595 East. Exit 12b, to Port Everglades.
  • On the Florida Turnpike north or south, take Exit #54 to I-595 East. Exit 12b, to Port Everglades.

Alternative Transportation

If you’re flying into the Fort Lauderdale airport for your cruise you can get a taxi, Uber, shuttle service, or take advantage of the cruise line transfer service that is available for purchase when you book your cruise.

  • Uber: $12-$16
  • Taxi: $20
  • Cruise Line Transfer: check with your specific cruise line

If you’re flying into Miami and cruising from Port Everglades, expect a 45 minute to an hour transfer. Like Fort Lauderdale, you can take advantage of a cruise line transfer, shuttle service, or an Uber. A taxi is by far the most expensive way to transit between the two locations.

Parking Prices

Parking fees at the Fort Lauderdale cruise port are some of the cheapest in Florida and are charged on a per-night basis. The parking garages are multilevel and are secured. Each parking garage at the cruise terminal has crosswalks to the corresponding cruise ship.

  • $15 per day for regular cars and trucks
  • $19 per day for oversized vehicles

Alternative Parking 

There are park and cruise hotels in the area that let you park your car in their lots if you purchases a night pre or post-cruise. One of the hotels that I use when I drive to Fort Lauderdale is the Hilton Garden Inn Airport Cruise Port. This property offers a charter bus service that will take you to and pick you up from the cruise pier.

You can also park your car off-property at a reduced price set by the company. Each park and cruise location will vary in price and will offer a shuttle to drop you off at your designated cruise terminal.

Tips

  • If you’re driving to the cruise pier and want to experience less crowds, consider boarding later. Most cruisers try to be the first passengers on the ship. By giving yourself extra time to get to the cruise pier and not rushing, the embarkation experience will be much more pleasant.
  • In my experience of flying into the Hollywood-Fort Lauderdale International Airport, taking an Uber has been the most economical way to get to the cruise port. If you’re considering Uber, use promo code ydhf9 for $5 off your first four rides.  You can even enter the code before you use it.

Do you have any tips for sailing from the Fort Lauderdale cruise port?

Featured photo via Port Everglades

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BEFORE YOU GO

4 Freeport Day Pass Cruise Resorts

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If you’re docked in Freeport, Bahamas, you might want to check these resorts out if you don’t want to be near the hustle and bustle of all the places most of the other cruise passengers will be.

1. Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach

viva wyndham freeport

Located just 25 minutes away from the cruise port, this resorts features a white sand beach, pools, a Jacuzzi. There’s also land sports like a trapeze and tennis, as well as water sports like kayaking and snorkeling.  They offer unlimited food and drinks, which includes alcoholic beverages.  There’s also programs for kids, and activities for adults throughout the day as well.  This resort has a little bit of everything, so you’re sure to find something for everyone.

Cost: US $89 adult; $55 child

Website: resortforaday.com/Viva-Wyndham-Day-Pass-Freeport-Excursions

2. Grand Lucayan Resort

grand lucayan resort freeport

Grand Lucayan Resort in Freeport, Bahamas.

Located about a 20 minute ride from the cruise port, the Grand Lucayan Resort features a white sand beach and a fresh water swimming pool.  There is a kid’s center as well as activities for the adults throughout the day.  They also offer spa and massage services on site.  One thing to remember is to budget for your food and drinks – those aren’t included in the price.  There are water sports you can do as well, but those are also an additional fee.  If relaxing on the beach sounds like your kind of day, then this resort would be a good, affordable choice.

Cost: US $20 adults; $11 child

Details: https://cruiseradio.net/grand-lucayan-resort-day-pass-option/ 

3. Paradise Cove Beach Resort

Located in the Bahamas Beach/Deadman’s Reef area, Paradise Cove Beach Resort offers day passes for all travelers, including cruise passengers.  In fact, it has direct access to the reef right off the beach.  As a bonus, roundtrip shuttle service is complimentary from the cruise pier when you buy a day pass package.  A day pass includes the use of either snorkeling gear, kayaks, and paddle boards, unless you purchase an all-inclusive – then you have the use of all three.  Also included is a lounge chair, lunch, and one rum-based drink.

Cost: A beachgoer pass is $32. For snorkeling, kayaking, or paddle boarding, it’s $40. An all-inclusive package is $75.

Website: www.deadmansreef.com

4. Bahamas Cruise Excursions

photo: Memories Beach Resort

Bahamas Cruise Excursions’ Memories Beach Resort has the best of both worlds: fun for families, as well as peace for couples looking to escape.  Located across from Port Lucaya, the resort’s day pass includes unlimited drinks at multiple bars on property, a full buffet lunch, beach chairs, wifi, and more.  There are also snacks at their sports bar, a café, and an ice cream bar, so you won’t go hungry!  For those that prefer to take in a pool as opposed to the ocean, the resort also features a pool complete with a swim up bar, pool chairs, and staff for anything you might need.

When it’s time for fun in the sun, the pass includes water toys as well.  This means you have free use of kayaks, paddleboats, Hobie Cats, and more.  There’s also a gym, tennis court, and as a bonus – kids and teens activities and blues as well.  You really can’t be bored here!  The day pass is for 9am to 5pm and works well with most cruise ship arrival times.

Cost: $84.50 for 13 years old and up; $42 for kids 3-11; toddlers 2 and under are free.

Website: bahamascruiseexcursions.com/FreeportResortPass

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BEFORE YOU GO

7 Quiet Places on a Cruise Ship

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Cruises are full of fun and adventure, including epic excursions like ziplining through a Jamaican jungle or parasailing over the open ocean. But sometimes vacation calls for some simple rest and relaxation, too. There are plenty of places on a ship to find peace and quiet.

1. Spa

On any ship, the spa is the pinnacle of calm and quiet. While almost every ship comes equipped with a sauna and steam room free of charge, you can also unwind even further by booking a spa appointment like a massage, acupuncture session, or facial.

norwegian escape spa cruise

Norwegian Escape spa

2. Library

Often overlooked, the ship’s library is a great room for escaping the hustle and bustle. Full of books and board games, it’s the perfect place for a quiet retreat. And if you’re lucky enough that your ship’s library has windows, you can enjoy the ocean views during your downtime.

Photo credit: Carnival

3. Inside on a port day

If you’ve ever stayed on the ship on a port day, you know that it can look like a ghost town. With everyone off and exploring the port of call, there’s no better time to take advantage of a quiet and nearly empty ship. Plus, you’ll get incredibly fast service at the bar!

4. Your room

While many say to get out and enjoy the ship, that argument could depend on what type of room you’ve booked. Balcony rooms, especially unique ones like aft balconies or cove balconies, offer the perfect excuse to stay in, bask in the sun on your own private piece of deck, and enjoy the serenity.

5. Adults-only deck

Carefree and quiet, the adults-only deck on a ship usually comes with extra comfy lounge chairs, a private bar, and a hot tub or two. If you’re looking to skip the sounds of the live steel drum band or the crowds from the hairy chest contest, this is easily one of the best places to enjoy the sun on the ship.

6. Secret decks

Believe it or not, you can always find a “secret” deck on any cruise ship. These are decks that are tucked away or rather difficult to get to, meaning almost no one uses them. For example, on many of Carnival’s ships, cruisers rarely take advantage of the solitude and open air on deck 3, which is directly under the lifeboats. Though you may not get the sun, you can enjoy plenty of peace and quiet – accompanied of course by the calming sounds of the ocean passing beneath. Many ships also have “secret” decks toward the front of the ship which many people don’t think you can access, so study your deck plans before you go to find out how to get to these.

7. Private lounges

Some ships have private lounges for certain stateroom categories, such as the Havana Lounge on Carnival Vista or The Haven on some Norwegian ships, to elevate your private, customized cruise experience. Also, some cruise lines reserve private lounges and even private restaurants on their ships for their most loyal cruisers, but you’ll have to have rewards with them already to get those benefits.

Where is your quiet place on a cruise ship?

quiet places cruise ship travel

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Hi, this may be of interest to you: Review: Port Canaveral Cruise Sailaway at Fish Lips. This is the link: https://cruiseradio.net/review-port-canaveral-cruise-sailaway-at-fish-lips/