Port of Miami
1015 N. America Way
Miami, Florida 33132
Phone: (305) 371-7678
Paving the way for other Florida seaports to come on strong, the Dante B. Fascell Port of Miami-Dade (honoring the late South Florida congressman serving in the U.S. House from 1955 to 1993) was first on the passenger cruise scene, quickly establishing itself as the Cruise Capital of the World.
Each year nearly 4 million cruise passengers sail from Miami, most often to sparkling ports of call in the Caribbean, but also to far-flung destinations including Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. In 2003, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Dawn made waves, for the first time in the Port of Miami’s history using Miami as a port of call on a consistent basis. Port call tour options include sojourns to Parrot Jungle, the Everglades, golfing, deep-sea fishing, shopping sprees, and Art Deco/Lincoln Road experiences.
Now ranking eighth among the nation’s top seaports, the Port of Miami got its start when business tycoon Henry Flagler extended his East Coast Railroad to Miami in 1896. Shortly thereafter, Flagler funded construction of the Port of Miami and began collecting dockage fees. The following year brought passenger cruise service to Nassau. In 1915, city officials authorized plans for a public terminal, turning basin and channel deepening project, and the Port of Miami became a primary hub for shipping to South Florida. Passenger service to Baltimore and New York began in the 1930s, followed by inauguration of cruise service to Havana, Cuba in the 1940s, and subsequent control of port operations by the U.S. Navy during WWII.
In 1956, Dodge Island was annexed for port expansion. In 1968, the Port of Miami set a record with four maiden voyages in a single month and celebrated dedication of a $5 million cruise terminal. In 1976, Miami became the first port in history to log more than one million cruise passengers in a year, with that pace quickening to a record 1.5 million in 1980 when terminals 8 and 9 swung open. Other milestones include the 1992 ribbon-cutting for the elevated, five-lane bridge linking Port berths and the mainland, and the 1996 installation of decorative bridge lighting to provide a glowing nocturnal landmark for Miami’s skyline.
Eyes were again agog in 1999 when terminals 3, 4 and 5 got a major facelift to accommodate Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas, at that time the largest cruise ship ever constructed, with first-time at-sea amenities including no less than a full-size basketball court, an ice-skating arena, and a rock climbing wall.
Today’s Port of Miami progress is reflected in $170 million of construction projects geared toward upgrades and modifications, including new cruise terminals, remodeling of two existing terminals, two additional multi-level parking garages, access road reconfiguration, and a security gateway complex.
The Port of Miami lies several miles east of Miami International Airport where taxis, rental cars and shuttles are readily available near the baggage claim. When driving, take I-95 north or south to I-395. Follow directional signs to the Biscayne Boulevard exit. At Biscayne Boulevard, make a right. Go to 5th Street, which converts to Port Boulevard near the American Airlines Basketball Arena. Make a left and go over the Port bridge. Follow directional signs to designated terminal. Port of Miami parking for cruise passengers is payable prior to embarkation, and both cash and credit card payments are accepted.
For pre- and post-cruise adventure, here’s a sampling of hotel, dining and attraction options near the Port of Miami:
Joe’s Stone Crab
Joseph Weiss - the "Joe" of Joe’s Stone Crab - came to Miami in 1913 for relief from asthma, and the rest is Miami stone crab history. During crab season (October through May), Joe’s serves the finest, with melted butter or mustard sauce, plus creamed spinach and sweet potato fries. Key lime pie stars on the dessert board. Count on long waits. Next door is Joe’s Takeaway. 227 Biscayne Street, Miami Beach. (305) 673-0365
Shula’s Steak House
The former Miami Dolphin head coach, guiding the NFL team to 1972’s perfect 17-0 season, also has scored as a restaurateur. Shula’s, with menus hand-painted on footballs, specializes in certified Angus Beef, including the 48-ounce porterhouse steak. Shula’s is also in Miami Lakes and Fort Lauderdale Beach. 5225 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach. (305) 341-6565
Art Deco Center
The Miami Beach Art Deco area encompasses more than 800 historic buildings from the 1920s/1930s. The term was coined in 1968 by historian Bevis Hillier to describe flat roofs, smooth stucco walls and a distinctly modern look making most Art Deco buildings easy to spot. The Miami Design Preservation League’s Ocean Drive Welcome Center offers tours, and self-guided tours are aided by cassette rental. Trendy Ocean Drive makes an ideal starting point for a 10-block stretch of pastel-splashed hotels, cafes, shops, restaurants and clubs. Miami Design Preservation League, 1001 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. (305) 672-2014
Everglades Safari Park
For some 35 years, Everglades Safari Park has provided a “river of grass” showcase, with several ways to observe the Everglades, including an Airboat Ride, Alligator Show, and a Jungle Trail. Airboat ride guides are familiar with Everglades history, vegetation, and wildlife. The Alligator Show provides interactive opportunity, and a Jungle Trail leads to an Alligator Farm with more than 400 American alligators, a crocodile exhibit, and a replica of a Chickee Village. 26700 Tamiami Trail, Miami. (305) 226-6923
Parrot Jungle Island
Replacing the circa 1936 Parrot Jungle and Gardens, the $47 million Parrot Jungle Island is a natural for pre- or post-cruise adventure. The 18.6-acre park, between downtown Miami and South Beach off MacArthur Causeway, is home to some 3,000 exotic animals and 500 plant species, with stage shows, jungle trails, a petting farm and more. Jungle Theater puts guests "face-to-beak" with parrots and macaws. Everglades Habitat recreates the "river of grass." Reptiles , including a rare albino alligator, await in the Serpentarium. The Lakeside Café overlooks Flamingo Lake. 111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami. (305) 258-6453
For more on where to stay, what to see, where to dine, and what to do, visit:
|Related Links:||Port of Call Guide CruiseGuide Cruise Ship News by CruiseGuide Guide to Port of Key West Guide to Port Everglades||Guide to Port of Palm Beach Guide to Port of Tampa Guide to Port Canaveral Guide to JAXPORT Miami Lodging|
|Other Links:||EventGuide Miami DiningGuide Miami||AttractionGuide Miami NightGuide Miami|
PortOfCallGuide Port of Miami, Metropolitan Networks and PortOfCallGuide Network are registered service marks of MetroGuide.com, Inc.
All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
To Contact MetroGuide.com, Inc.: Click Here.