Florida ports serve as the embarkation point for more cruises than anywhere else in the world. The best cruises from Florida—particularly out of Miami, Port Everglades (in Fort Lauderdale), and Port Canaveral (near Orlando)—make it easy to visit islands throughout the Caribbean as well as destinations further abroad.
In addition to serving as the launching point for numerous blissful sailings, Florida provides cruise passengers with the option of tacking on a few days at the beach or some time at the theme parks, making it an idyllic place to start or end your next cruise.
While the Caribbean is by far the most popular destination for cruises from Florida, sailings through the Panama Canal (typically in spring and fall) and longer winter sailings such as multimonth world cruises and itineraries to South America also embark from Florida ports. Some routes travel from Florida up the Eastern Seaboard to Canada and across the Atlantic as cruise ships reposition for the spring and summer to the Mediterranean.
Here are our picks for the best cruises from Florida.
1. Western Caribbean with Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Suggested itinerary: 10-day “Heavenly Sunsets” itinerary in February 2025, from $6,299 per person (fares include unlimited excursions and round-trip airfare)
On Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ recently launched “world’s most luxurious” ship, the 746-passenger Seven Seas Grandeur, passengers cruise in high style—and with such extravagant accoutrements as a 1,600-piece art collection—from Miami to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands. On the all-balcony, all-suite ship, check out the Picassos and the enameled, 18-karat white-gold Fabergé egg created especially for the ship (the only permanent Fabergé egg at sea)—that is, when you’re not indulging in included fine dining and beverages at venues such as a steak house, a French restaurant, and an Asian-fusion outpost. The onboard Culinary Arts Kitchen provides hands-on classes from pro chefs. During a port visit in Port Royal, Jamaica, a Bob Marley Cultural Experience shore excursion visits the famed musician’s former home and the museum’s One Love Café (there’s bound to be an uptick in interest fueled by a new movie about Bob Marley, One Love, that debuts this month).
2. Circumnavigate South America with Cunard
Suggested itinerary: 52-night “South America Discovery” cruise in January 2025, from $9,405 per person
Next January, Cunard Line’s 2,061-passenger Queen Victoria will spend nearly two months circumnavigating South America round-trip from Fort Lauderdale, for a true “wow” factor cruise. The sailing will bring guests to Caribbean countries, including Turks and Caicos, Barbados, Aruba, and the Bahamas, in between visits to several ports in Brazil (with an overnight in Rio); Uruguay; Argentina (with an overnight in Buenos Aires); around Cape Horn, Chile (including views of the PIO X and Amalia glaciers); Peru (with an overnight in Callao near Lima); Ecuador; and through the Panama Canal. On board the ship, dress up for a glitzy gala complete with a live big band in the Queens Room ballroom, play darts in the Golden Lion Pub, and sip the cruise line’s extensive cocktail selection at the Gin & Fizz bar in the dramatic multilevel Grand Lobby.
3. Immersive Caribbean cruise with Azamara
Suggested itinerary: 14-night “Eastern Caribbean Voyage” in November 2024, from $2,423 per person
Spend Thanksgiving on Azamara Cruises’ more intimate 680-passenger Azamara Onward while visiting 10 Caribbean countries in two weeks. The comprehensive sweep through the islands embarks in Miami and sails to the Dominican Republic, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, and the British Virgin Islands (Virgin Gorda). That’s a lot of countries to check off your lifetime list. The Azamara roster also has shorter and longer sailings. Embrace the ship’s social, country club–like atmosphere, and indulge in treats such as a classic martini and filet mignon at the Prime C steak house. On shore, book excursions to slide and swim the 27 waterfalls of Damajagua while in Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, and see the creative side of St. Maarten on an island art tour. Complimentary AzAmazing Celebrations highlight local culture, such as a Bajan carnival event featuring a traditional drumming Tuk band on Barbados.
4. Eco-friendly Central America sailing with HX Expeditions
Suggested itinerary: 11-night “Tropical Waters and Remote Island Communities in the Caribbean” cruise in September 2024, from $3,909 per person
HX Expeditions (formerly Hurtigruten Expeditions) is sailing its 500-passenger Roald Amundsen from Miami to Colon, Panama, visiting remote island communities along the way. As you explore Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Panama, you’ll spend time in UNESCO-protected nature areas such as the Belize Barrier Reef, Colombia’s Seaflower Biosphere Reserve, where you may spot iguanas and electric blue lizards, and Panama’s Coiba National Park, one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. There’s also the opportunity to snorkel around Panama’s Zapatilla Island, which was featured on the TV show Survivor. The ship features an infinity pool and further impresses by lowering its carbon footprint with hybrid-electric engines that allow it to run for several hours on batteries.
5. Family-friendly Mexican Caribbean cruise on ‘Disney Treasure’
Suggested itinerary: 7-night western Caribbean cruises, from $6,973 for an adult and two kids sharing a cabin
The big news out of Disney Cruise Line in 2024 is the December arrival of the 4,000-passenger Disney Treasure, the sixth ship in the fleet, which will be running on cleaner-burning liquified natural gas and cruising the Eastern and Western Caribbean. If you have youngsters who are fans of the Disney Pixar animated feature Coco, the sailing in the Western Caribbean is the way to go. From Port Canaveral, sail for seven nights to Mexico, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, and the cruise line’s own Bahamas island CocoCay. The ship has a Coco-themed restaurant inspired by the movie and its characters. And the Coco theme continues on the Mexican island Cozumel, where a chocolate tasting and workshop is paired with hands-on learning about alebrije, fantastical folk-art sculptures and the inspiration for Dante, Miguel’s spirit guide in the film. Adult-only areas of the ship include a Haunted Mansion–themed bar based on the Disney theme parks’ attraction.
6. Choose-your-own Caribbean adventure with Explora Journeys
Suggested itinerary: 7-night A Journey from Miami to San Juan itinerary, from $4,050 per person; or 14 nights from $7,650 per person
The recently launched Switzerland-based luxury line Explora Journeys, with its resortlike ships Explora I and the upcoming Explora II each carrying about 740 passengers, cleverly does nonrepeating seven-night Caribbean itineraries, so depending on how much time you have, you can cruise for a week and fly home from the Caribbean or stay on board another week and return to Miami, without repeating ports of call. For example, sail from Miami to San Juan in Puerto Rico and visit Anguilla, Saint Martin (Marigot), Guadeloupe, and Dominica and fly home—or stay on for the next cruise and add St. Barth’s, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, and the British Virgin Island (Virgin Gorda). The ships are posh playgrounds designed for couples and multigenerational families, with four pools (one for adults only), activities such as pickleball, 18 restaurants and lounges, and a cushy club for kids ages 6 to 17.
We recently reviewed what it’s like sailing on the Explora I.
7. Eastern Seaboard and Canada with Viking
Suggested itinerary: 15-night “Canada & the Atlantic Coastline” itinerary in April 2024, from $11,295 per person
Viking sails from Fort Lauderdale to Toronto as its state-of-the-art, 378-passenger expedition ships, Viking Polaris in April 2024 and Viking Octantis in April 2025, reposition from Antarctica to the Great Lakes for the summer season. On this itinerary, you’ll spend time in Charleston, New York, Quebec City, and Norfolk, Virginia, while visiting wild areas along the Canadian coastline. That might include kayaking or hiking Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island, searching for seals and birdlife on uninhabited Brion Island, exploring the rugged beauty of Trois-Rivieres in Quebec, or sailing through the legendary lochs and canals of the St. Lawrence Seaway. The ships, with their sleek Scandinavian decor, are designed to combine traditional cruising and expedition adventures, with guests boarding Zodiac boats from an enclosed marina, called the Hangar. A pair of six-passenger submarines allow for underwater views.
Fran Golden is an award-winning travel writer who has sailed on some 170 ships to destinations around the world.
Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
As an avid traveler and cruise enthusiast, I have explored various cruise destinations around the world and have a deep understanding of the cruise industry. My passion for cruising has led me to embark on numerous voyages, experiencing different cruise lines, itineraries, and onboard activities. I have firsthand knowledge of the ports, destinations, and cruise experiences that make a voyage unforgettable.
Now, let's delve into the concepts used in the article about the best cruises from Florida.
Cruise Ports in Florida: Florida serves as the embarkation point for numerous cruises, particularly from Miami, Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, and Port Canaveral near Orlando. These ports offer convenient access to a variety of cruise destinations, making Florida a prime location for cruise departures.
Cruise Destinations: The article outlines various cruise itineraries, including voyages to the Caribbean, Panama Canal, South America, Eastern Seaboard, Canada, and the Atlantic Coastline. Each destination offers a unique and exciting experience for cruise passengers, from exploring tropical islands to immersing in cultural and scenic wonders.
Cruise Lines and Itineraries: The article features several cruise lines and their suggested itineraries, such as Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Cunard Line, Azamara Cruises, HX Expeditions, Disney Cruise Line, Explora Journeys, and Viking. Each cruise line offers distinctive experiences, from luxury cruises with included excursions to family-friendly adventures and eco-friendly sailings.
Onboard Experiences: The article highlights the onboard experiences and amenities offered by the featured cruise lines, including luxury accommodations, fine dining, cultural excursions, eco-friendly initiatives, family-friendly activities, and immersive itineraries. The emphasis on onboard experiences adds depth to the overall cruise journey, making it more enticing for potential passengers.
Cruise Pricing and Inclusions: The article provides pricing information for the suggested itineraries, showcasing a range of options from luxury cruises to more affordable voyages. Additionally, it highlights inclusions such as unlimited excursions, round-trip airfare, and themed experiences, offering insights into the value and offerings of each cruise package.
By incorporating these concepts, the article effectively portrays the diverse and captivating world of cruising from Florida, catering to a wide range of traveler preferences and interests.