I love the Maimi Port. It is new, fresh, quick to the airport, rental cars close by. State of the Art facility!! Still working on the roads, but it is coming together nicely!
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What is your favorite Port and why?
Ah .. you speak of ports for departure. When I hear port I think of it as a midpoint of a cruise. And with that said my favourite port at the moment would be Kings Warf Bermuda. But that will probably change next cruise when we find some other beautiful port.
Tampa Bay---In April 2011 we sailed from Tampa on the Ryndam heading for Europe, never had been in Tampa before. When we arrived, the day before our cruise departure, the transfer people met us at the gate and took us down the terminal a bit, put us on an elevator going up to a super great room, we stayed smack dab in the middle of the airport, 360 degree panoramic view. We had no idea, thought that as usual we would wait on a bus until everybody else arrived then head downtown to a hotel.
Next real neat experience there was the sail-away, in the late afternoon after a quick and uneventful check in. Quietly and slowly sailing through those narrow channels heading for the Gulf with all the good people on shore waving, in front of their homes, us bon-voyage. Very memorable port.
Ft Lauderdale-----Is okay too, since it is so close to the beach area where many good hotels and eateries are. Guess though it depends upon the terminal your ship gets. Regarding over-seas ports, our first criteria is to get one where we can fly into non-stop from the US West Coast, same on return. No way do we want to run the far away terminal, far away gate, security and immigration gauntlet at Heathrow or Charles De Gaulle, for change of flights. Wife has arthritis which makes it worse trying to move distances, forget promises that you can get a wheel chair, etc. We always book business class anymore to try and get around this drama, but still a nightmare.
Embarkation is Miami. Terminal is open, airy and was a breeze to go through the boarding process.
To visit: Half Moon Cay- a absolute paradise.
I've heard good things about Tampa. We'll probably cruise out of there next. So far Miami has been a great port to sail out of. We love the night life there the day before we cruise and the hotels are very nice! Hotels are very close to port which is nice.
I like sailing out of San Pedro, CA. The Princess staff there is very efficient. Nice terminal that’s easy to get in/out.
We've Sailed 4 times from Ft Lauderdale, and 1 time from Miami. Our experiences in Ft Lauderdale have ALWAYS been excellent. However, our experience in Miami was lackluster at best.
We've always sailed from Terminal 18. We have found the large number of Check-in counters to cause a VERY speedy check in process, with the only time we stopped moving to be at the counter, and then again at the departure lounge.
We were unimpressed with Miami for several reasons, however, we were sailing from Terminal J(the opposite side of the island from all of the other cruise terminals, and right next to the RCCL Headquarters building) so my opinion is slighty skewed. We'll be sailing from Miami again next year, so we will have to see how that goes!
Phillipsburg, St Maarten:
I'm more of the relax in the shade, and enjoy the warmth kinda person than the need to see the sights and rush type. Phillipsburg seemed to have the nicest people, and least pushy sales folks of the islands we have been to
However, we do like to spend at least a full night or two at a hotel pre-cruise. To me Miami hotels are great but it is like being in the middle of Manhattan, all hustle and bustle, whereas in FLL you are pretty much on the beach within easy walking distance of multiple good eateries.
Agreed. We always spend at least the night before in a hotel, and this past cruise we also stayed the night after. It allowed for an easier transition back to real life.
I've departed out of Los Angeles, Galveston, Seattle and Vancouver. Of those, I like Seattle for the scenery and Galveston for convenience (I live 30 minutes from the port).
As far as ports of call, I like Skagway and Ketchikan for the scenery, variety of excursions, quaint feel of the town and the secure feeling I have when I'm in a US port as opposed to a Mexican or Caribbean port.
We have cruised out 7 home ports. Best to worst with rating.... Tampa 10 Port Canaveral 10 Ft Lauderdale 9 Miami 8 San Juan 7 New Orleans 6 Charleston 3