Choosing Miami as the departure port for a Carnival cruise means you’ll have a vacation packed with fun in the tropical sun, before or after you set sail. Cruises from Miami range from a weekend getaway to The Bahamas to a 12-day Southern Caribbean voyage. Wherever your destination, the delights of the “Magic City” will entice you to extend your vacation a day or more to see its splendid sights. Here are the top 7 reasons why you should choose a Miami cruise for your next vacation:
1. The Brand New Carnival Horizon Sails From Miami
Celebrating her maiden voyage, the incredible 1,062-foot, 3,960-passenger Carnival Horizon will set sail from Europe and New York before arriving to her home port in Miami to travel to exotic destinations across the Caribbean. And while beautiful port destinations such as Cozumel, Ocho Rios, and Grand Cayman all make a Carnival Horizon voyage so tempting, the brand new ship adds immeasurably to the appeal.
Fun-seeking families, romantic couples and groups of friends all are amply catered to on Carnival Horizon. Exclusive to the ship is Dr. Seuss WaterworksTM, a zany onboard water park boasting a twisting water slide inspired by the Cat in the Hat and the Fun Things side-by-side racing slide. There’s more fun to be had up in the air on the SkyRide®, a bike-like racing track suspended high above the deck. You’ll certainly work up an appetite, so head to Guy’s Pig and Anchor Smokehouse and Brewhouse for delectable slow-smoked meats served with classic barbecue sides.
Upgrade your experience by booking one of the Carnival Horizon’s Havana staterooms or suites, with direct access to the members-only Havana Bar and Pool by day. Cruising with kids? Opt for a Family Harbor stateroom or suite, which comes with in-room games and movies, access to the Family Harbor Lounge, and a night of complimentary babysitting.
2. Sunning and Strolling in South Beach
Before or after you cruise to the Caribbean, spend a day in Miami enjoying one of the most famous beaches in the world: South Beach. You’ll certainly want to hit the soft, golden sand and soak up the party atmosphere, so put down a beach towel and spend some hours people-watching at this ever-buzzing locale. It’s packed year-round with locals and visitors from all over the world, including many people jogging and rollerblading along the paths of the beachfront in Lummus Park.
3. Admire the Art Deco District
If you can tear yourself away from the sand and sea in South Beach, spend time exploring the Art Deco District, a neighborhood of remarkable architecture, chic boutiques and stylish bars. The elegantly designed and immaculately maintained landmarks of the historic district are a photographer’s dream. The district’s Art Deco structures together hearken to a bygone era and catch your eye on every corner, and don’t forget about the stunning structures that are also found along Ocean Drive between 11th and 14th streets.
4. Get a Taste of the Tropics in Little Havana
The historic heartland for Miami’s influential Cuban community is Little Havana, a neighborhood brimming with the culture and cuisine of the island. Wander along Calle Ocho, Little Havana’s main thoroughfare, and whet your appetite by sampling tropical juice at a fresh fruit stand; steaming Cuban coffee and a croqueta or sweet pastry at a sidewalk cafe. Walk it all off at Domino Park, where you might watch, or join, the old-timers shuffling their tiles.
5. Meet ‘Gators and More on an Everglades Airboat Tour
Everglades National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site off the southern tip of Florida, is only an hour from Miami, so taking a tour of the wildlife-filled wilderness reserve is definitely doable before or after a cruise. The best way to explore the waterways, bays and mangroves of the national park is by taking an airboat tour, which will take you zipping through unspoiled habitats in search of alligators, crocodiles, manatees and more than 400 species of birds.
6. Swim and Soak in Style at the Venetian Pool
There’s no more unique swimming spot in Miami than the Venetian Pool in Coral Gables. The pool was created from a former rock quarry in 1924 by diverting 820,000 gallons of natural spring water from an underground aquifer. The pool is made especially delightful by its gorgeous Mediterranean-inspired landscaping, featuring grottoes, waterfalls, coral rock formations and swaying palm trees. The Venetian Pool is notable as the only swimming pool to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Unpack your swimsuit and take the first of many vacation dips in the pool in this remarkable watery attraction.
7. Experience Miami’s Major Animal Attractions
Animal lovers who are setting sail from Miami won’t want to miss the chance to visit the city’s major animal attractions like the aquarium, where you’ll meet dolphins, sharks, manatees and more; and a zoological theme park, home to some of the rarest animals on Earth. Admiring creatures native to the tropics, such as pink flamingos, playful monkeys and colorful macaws, will get you ready to head to the Caribbean and see amazing wildlife both on land and in the water.
Make the Most of Miami
With all the incredible things to see and do in Miami, a cruise out of its port is like taking two vacations in one. There’s no better way to begin or end an unforgettable adventure than hitting the beach, touring the city and taking in the natural side of South Florida, while also embarking on an international voyage of a lifetime.
Note: Onboard activities, shore excursions, and dining options may vary by ship and destination.