If you plan to spend the night before embarking on your cruise, or you are planning a few days vacation in Miami before or after, it is wise to choose a hotel that offers either free or reasonably priced parking and a shuttle service to the Port of Miami. Cruise parking at the port itself costs $20 per day. If someone is bringing you to the terminal and wants to wait with you, the charge is $7. Any instance where a car remains overnight is considered long term parking. Cruises in the current itineraries all fall under Long Term Parking. If you do choose to leave your vehicle at the Port of Miami, they accept all major credit cards and cash payments for parking. You do not have to reserve a space ahead of time as there are nearly 6,000 parking spaces, but there is no valet parking service.
Rates do vary for larger vehicles, for example vans, RVs and any vehicle with a trailer. An RV costs $40 per day for long term parking. With so many excellent deals on cruises out of Miami, it is a significant extra cost to use the Port of Miami’s parking facilities, but there are a number of other alternatives.
The Port of Miami also offers a shuttle service for passengers and operate one vehicle which is wheelchair accessible. The shuttle picks up at the parking garage or parking area and will drop you at your cruise terminal.
If you are flying into Miami and have no need for a rental vehicle, the taxi fare is $24 from Miami International Airport to the cruise terminals.
The Red Roof Inn has a great deal called “Park, Sleep and Fly” which costs $5 a day and comes with a complimentary shuttle service to and from the Port of Miami. If you stay just one night at the Red Roof Inn then the service is complimentary and totally free (apart from the tip for the bus driver!)
The La Quinta Inn at Miami Airport also offers the same kind of deal and is very reasonably priced for an overnight stay. You want to stay in La Quinta East or West (as things stand right now, the north has low ratings), but research the neighborhoods a bit.
If you want peace of mind, pay a little more for a better hotel and leave your vehicle in a secure gated access parking area at the Hampton Inn (Blue Lagoon). It will run you about $200 per night, depending on season and day of the week but Miami Cruise parking is free and they have a shuttle to the Port of Miami for $10 a person.
As a word of caution, certain areas of Miami do have a high crime rate, so be very careful where you stay and where you choose to leave your car – make sure you get the most secure parking you possibly can, and never leave any valuables visible inside the vehicle. Also be aware that temperatures in the summer can reach well over 100 degrees inside a vehicle. Both for crime reasons as well as in terms of heat, it is important to consider closely what you are leaving in the car.