Port Everglades (Ft. Lauderdale) is located in Southern Florida along the Eastern Atlantic coast, just north of Miami.coast. The port essentially serves ships from all of the major cruise lines, and is probably now the premier cruise port in Florida, although Miami still holds the current record of passenger count. However, I would expect to see Port Everglades surpass Miami in 2011.
Flying in: Passengers that fly in typically come from Ft. Lauderdale International or Miami International airport. For the Ft. Lauderdale airport, getting a taxi or shuttle is easy as it is only a couple of miles away. Miami International is some 30 miles to the south, so pre-planning your shuttle is advised.
Terminal 18 parking
Driving: There are really several choices here. Parking is available at the terminals for $15 to $20 per night, at an off-site facility between the airport and cruise terminal called Park-N-Go for $8 to $12 per night, or a hotel Park-And-Cruise package. The way these work is that you stay the night prior at the hotel, then you can park your car free or for a reduced charge at the hotel. Most hotels also provide shuttle service for a nominal fee, however, for some reason, in contrast to ports such as Port Canaveral, hotel shuttles are usually only one-way (on the day of departure). You will have to find your own taxi ride back to the hotel.
Sometimes the parking lot at your particular cruise terminal will be full. In those situations, you can usually park at another terminal, and if it is too far to walk, they have shuttles that will transport you to your ship.
The Park'N Go facility provides a shuttle to the ship and back. You can usually reserve a lower rate at Park'N Go if you book on-line prior to your departure. Of the three different methods we have used at Fort Lauderdale (terminal parking, Park'N Go, hotel parking), Park'N Go has been the easiest, and I highly recommend it.
Getting to the port, especially on a weekday can be a challenge if you are not used to big-city freeway driving. I-95 and the Florida Turnpike are the two major methods of getting to Ft. Lauderdale. If you use the turnpike, you have to pay a toll - but it's usually less congested than I-95.
Port Everglades is a large facility, and there is also plenty of parking at the cruise terminals. Even if the parking near your terminal is full, you can park at another parking location at the port as shuttles are running between the parking areas and the various cruise terminals. If you decide to drive to Port Everglades, you may wish to download a map from the Port's website.
Arriving by Bus: If you live in Florida, a charter bus service called Cruise Connection of Florida provides transport from 23 or so Florida cities to both Ft. Lauderdale and Miami cruise ports. Generally the bus pickup points do not have parking available, so you need to find your own transportation to and from the bus pickup point in your city. However, Ft. Meyers does have an available parking facility at the pickup point. Check with the Cruise Connection website for availability (a link is provided below).
Hotel Parking: As stated above, many hotels in the area provide free or inexpensive parking on their premises, and shuttle to the cruise port, usually up to 7 days (or more at an extra expense). One exception is the Hampton Inn in Plantation, Fl, about 6 miles from the cruise port. They will allow you to park there for up to 30 days for extended cruises.
Generally, you call the hotel after you clear customs for your ride (they won't wait for you if you are not at the curb). However, you can wait up to an hour - depending on the hotel and where the shuttle is. Waiting for a shuttle or the convenience of an immediate taxi ride to take you back to the hotel is up to you. One exception is the Park'N Go operation. They typically have multiple shuttles waiting in reserve in the holding area to pick you up. You can typically go from the pick-up area at the ship to your car in less than 15 minutes. This is probably the best method if you are in a hurry to get home (other than parking at the terminal itself).
Area Attractions: The Everglades is adjacent to Ft. Lauderdale, and the attractions include Everglades Airboat Rides, Swamp Buggy Rides, and day cruising around expensive waterfront homes in the Ft. Lauderdale area.
Port Everglades WebCam
Hamption Inn - Plantation, Fl (offers round trip shuttle service).
Hampton Inn - Hollywood Beach
Hilton Garden Inn Ft. Lauderdale Airport-Cruise Port
Cruise Connection of Florida (Charter Bus)
Ft. Lauderdale Attractions