Port Everglades

Royal Caribbean helping to test Federal programs aimed at reducing wait times for cruise passengers


Royal Caribbean is working with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to launch Automated Passport Control and Mobile Passport Control programs that are designed to expedite customs processing for eligible travelers arriving at Port Everglades.

Photo by Marc-Andre Mireault

The Sun Sentinel is reporting that the new programs are being tested this summer, with passengers arriving on Oasis of the Seas in Terminal 18 able to use new passport kiosks in the cruise terminal.

With Automated Passport Control, qualified inbound travelers can use kiosks to submit their travel documents and customs declaration forms before speaking to a customs officer. They must have U.S. or Canadian passports, or be an eligible Visa Waiver Program international traveler.

U.S. and Canadian citizens with smartphones can opt to use the free Mobile Passport Control app to complete their customs declaration form prior to arrival. The mobile passport app is expected to launch in late July.

Port Everglades is the first cruise port in the United States to test these passport kiosk and mobile app programs.

Where to watch cruise ships in Fort Lauderdale


One of the largest cruise ship ports int he world is Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale and if you are not lucky enough to be on one of these cruise ships, the next best thing is to watch them leave!  Blog writer Michael Poole shares where to watch the ships leave if you want to see them in Fort Lauderdale.

More often than not, if you are sailing on a cruise, you arrive to the departing city the day before to avoid any unplanned delays.  That’s exactly what I did on my last cruise on Oasis of the Seas out of Fort Lauderdale.  

Once I arrived to Fort Lauderdale, I reached out to my good friend, Emmy Schaffer, about the best place to watch ships sail out of Port Everglades.  I’ve always seen pictures of people on rocks at the beach waving bon voyage to the ships, but honesty had no clue how to get there. 

Almost all the cruise ships sail between 4:00pm – 5:30pm, so I’d recommend arriving no later than 3:00pm. 

The cross streets you want to look for are South Ocean Drive and Anchor Drive SE 20 ST.  You can also look for Everglades House condos, as they are on the same block. 

Once you arrive there are only a few meter parking spots on the right side, so get there early.  We had to circle around a few times and lucked out getting one, but it was almost 4:00pm. 

Now that you are parked, you are going walk back towards the street signs and look for a black gate.  This gate gives you access to the public beach and is not locked.  Upon entering the beach you will see a long walkway and then you want to turn right when you pass the ally. 

Now you will see a large section of rocks to the right and this offers the best views for watching ships sail away. 

Just a warning don’t get to far out, because the water will splash up on you, in fact I got soaked! 

This is such a great way to get even more excited about your upcoming cruise, if that’s even possible at this point. 

If you have any questions about how to get here please leave them in the comments section below.  

Getting to your port: Fort Lauderdale


Royal Caribbean is investing more and more cruise ships in Fort Lauderdale these days so if you're looking to get to Port Everglades (the cruise ship terminal in Fort Lauderdale), here's a quick guide to getting there easily.

Royal Caribbean currently operates a few cruise ships out of Port Everglades including Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas and Vision of the Seas.

Photo by Marc-Andre Mireault


Port Everglades is pretty easy to get to via car thanks to a number of major roads that connect to highways. 

If you're driving from outside of Fort Lauderdale (elsewhere in Florida or out of state), you can get easily to the main entrance of Port Everglades via U.S.1, I-95, State Road 7 (441), Florida's Turnpike, Sawgrass Expressway and I-75.

You just need to look for an exit to I-595 East straight into the port (I-595 becomes Eller Drive once inside the Port).

From Fort Lauderdale International Airport (5 miles):

  • Exit the airport and follow signs for I-595 East/Port Everglades. Continue to the last exit on I-595 East and follow the signs to Port Everglades.
  • This will automatically take you to the Port Everglades security entrance.
  • From there, follow the directional signs for your designated ship's pier terminal.

From Miami International Airport (30 miles):

  • Take 836 East to I-95 North.
  • Exit I-95 North at 595 East.
  • Follow 595 to the end; then follow the Port Everglades signs.

From Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL)

If you are flying into Fort Lauderdale and want to go straight to your cruise ship there are a few options for you.  The airport is very close to the cruise terminal via U.S. 1.

The quickest and arguably simplest option is to take a taxi from the airport and have them drive you to the port.  Taxi fare will cost you about $10 to $15.

There are also other shuttles and private car/limousine services available to purchase.  Shuttle services can be cheaper, especially with larger parties but may take longer.  Private sedan/limousine service will be more elegant than a taxi but cost more.

From an area hotel

If you are staying at a hotel near Port Everglades, many hotels and resorts near the port offer complimentary shuttles to the port.  Check with your hotel about if one is available and how to sign up for it.  

Some hotels require advance sign up and/or a specific pick up time to be brought to the airport.  

In addition, many area hotels offer parking for the duration of your cruise for a fee or included in your hotel price.

Royal Caribbean Transfers

Royal Caribbean offers a bus service of its own (called transfers) to bring you to the port from Fort Lauderdale Airport as well as Miami International Airport.

Royal Caribbean offers transfers in one way increments (you can book two one-ways to create a round trip).  At last check the cost was $29 per person, each way for a transfer from either Fort Lauderdale or Miami airports to Port Everglades.

To purchase a Royal Caribbean Guest Transfer or for additional information consult your travel agent or the Royal Caribbean reservations department at 1-800-327-6700.

New $605k art work debuts in Port Everglades Cruise Terminal


Port Everglades Terminal 18, home to Roya Caribbean' Oasis of the Sea and Allure of the Seas, has a brand new piece of art on display.

"Cruising School", a public art installation by Washington, D.C., sculptor Larry Kirkland can now be viewed by the 12,000 cruise guests that pass through the terminal each week.

The artwork is made up of 300 painted aluminum fish suspended from a swirling oval bracket attached to the ceiling, which cast shadows on the walls when they rotate.  The art cost $605,000.

Cruise passenger traffic up at Port Everglades 2.4%


Port Everglades, home to Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, saw its cruise passenger numbers jump 2.4% up in the third quarter compared to the same period last year.

Port Everglades Director Phil Allen is happy about the results, “These trends show the resilience of the nation’s cruise market and the importance of the cruise industry to South Florida.  In a tough economy, cruising offers guests affordable vacationing options."

Photo of the Day: Allure of the Seas docked in Port Everglades


Photo by Jessica Gomez

Photo of the Day: Oasis of the Seas in Port Everglades


Photo by Vladimir Nikanorov

Port Everglades port traffic up 25%


Port Everglades, Florida is the home to Royal Caribbean's flagships, Oasis and Allure of the Seas and the last quarter of 2010 saw cruise traffic up 25% to 1.17 million cruise passengers.

This is great news for not just Royal Caribbean but the cruise industry as a whole because it shows the industry has rebounded nicely from the recession, thanks in part to new ships like Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas or Oasis of the Seas.  Locals in Fort Lauderdale area are happy as well as that means more cruise passengers spending money in the local area before and after their cruises.

In addition, port revenue for the first fiscal quarter was at $37.5 million, a level that exceeds the previous first fiscal quarter peak of $30.6 million in 2008.

Fort Lauderdale looking to take advantage of cruise business


The city of Fort Lauderdale, home to Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, is seeing increasingly large growth in terms of the amount of passengers that pass through the city on their way to a cruise and the city is looking to capitalize on the big business.

In just two years, Port Everglades will become the busiest cruise port in the world and city officials want to get as many of those millions of cruise passengers to stay in their city and spend money locally.

To get things going, city officials agreed in principle earlier this week to start a new bus service to take people from cruise ships into Fort Lauderdale before they take their flights home from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.  Routes would run to downtown and the beach.

How big of a number are we talking here?  It's expected to exceed 3.5 million passengers per year once Allure of the Seas starts regular cruises and many more will follow as a result of a recent deal with Carnival cruise line that will bring an additional 25.5 million cruise passengers over the next 15 years.