Booking the cruise of your dreams is one thing; working out how you’re going to get there is another. If your next adventure on the open seas sets sail from Miami Dade Cruise Port (miamidade.gov), you’ll want to make sure you’re there on time, but also that you don’t overspend on the boring stuff. Miami is one of the busiest ports in the world, which means that parking comes at a premium. One of the alternatives to extortionate parking lots is choosing from one of the nearby park and hotels. You can explore Miami, start your vacation sooner and park for less, what’s not to love?
Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, Florida, Beach, Waterfront
The Advantages of Park and Cruise Hotels
If you’ve spent a lot of your hard-earned cash on a cruise, you don’t want to chance missing it. Traveling to the port on the same day you set sail can be risky and an unnecessarily stressful way to start your holiday. If you choose a park and hotel, you can rock up the day before at your leisure and then enjoy a relaxing evening safe in the knowledge that you’re right where you need to be. What’s more, it even gives you a chance to explore the modern metropolis and cultural treasure trove that is Miami, meaning you get to start your vacation even sooner than you’d planned.
The other big advantage of a park and hotel is the cost. If you park at the Port of Miami’s official car park, on Dodge Island across the bridge from downtown, you’ll be coughing up around $22 per day. It soon adds up, if you are on a seven-day cruise, you’ll be looking at spending over $150 that you can no doubt think of plenty of better uses for. The secret with park and hotels is that they will slash their parking costs if you stay with them for at least one night before you head off. While every hotel will charge a little something for you to park your car for the duration of your cruise, the total cost isn’t dissimilar to the parking charges alone elsewhere.
The Best Cruise and Park Hotels in Miami
As the concept of park and hotels isn’t a new idea, there is no shortage of hotels to choose from. Some are so close they have bay-view rooms, others are right on the beach, and many have stunning pools and rooftop bars. Read on for some of the best cruise and park hotels that will give you a taste of Miami as well as somewhere to park your wheels.
DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Hotel Biscayne Bay
Choose this hotel for the perfect location, right in the heart of downtown Miami, yet only a few short miles for PortMiami. The hotel has its own shopping plaza with everything you could want along with a large outdoor pool. If you want convenience and an easy-going start to your vacation, then look no further. What’s more, for a more cultural experience, you have the Adrienne Arsht Center and the Frost Science Center both within walking distance.
When you book a package at the DoubleTree Biscayne Bay, you’ll get a room with a balcony, breakfast, valet parking for up to eight nights and a ride to the port on the day your cruise sets sail. And that’s no ordinary balcony; most come with an awesome view of the bay, so you’ll feel like you’re cruising before you even leave dry land. The DoubleTree isn’t the cheapest park and hotel, but if you want everything on your doorstep, then look no further.
Clarion Inn and Suites Miami Airport
An excellent choice for longer voyages, Clarion Inn’s park and cruise package offers free parking for up to two weeks. And, if you’re lucky enough to be out on the open seas for even longer, additional parking is only $8 per day. You’ll need to pay for your transfer to the port, but a regular shuttle service is provided at around $10 per person. While the hotel isn’t in the centre of town, it is right by Miami Beach, the chilled neighborhood of Coconut Grove and the Sawgrass Mills Outlet Mall, so you won’t have to venture far for entertainment. In fact, for a bit of cultural aviation history, the impressive Curtiss Mansion is just a short walk away.
Hilton Garden Inn Miami Airport West
If you want to stay at a great hotel, but don’t want to splash as much cash, it’s well worth considering staying closer to the airport. The Hilton Garden Inn has spacious rooms, great restaurants, and an outdoor pool and hot tub to help you cruise straight into relaxation mode. Meanwhile, if you want to go and explore, downtown Miami and South Beach are only a few minutes' drive away.
The Hilton’s ‘park, snooze and cruise’ package, includes seven days free parking, a one night’s stay at the hotel and a free shuttle transfer to PortMiami on departure. If you’re staying for more than a week, the hotel can extend your parking for just $5 per day, making the hotel a good shout for a longer cruise.
Hampton Inn Miami Blue Lagoon
Another airport-based hotel with its own ‘park, sleep and cruise’ package, the Hampton Inn offers excellent value for money. The package includes bed and breakfast, your transfer to PortMiami and parking for up to ten nights. The standard package is for two people, so if you’re bringing the family with you, make sure you pick the right option when you book. The hotel is modern and clean, has its own outdoor swimming pool and is known for its piping hot breakfasts. The Blue Lagoon area, quite literally a lagoon, creates a welcome oasis amongst the soaring Miami skyline. If you venture out of the hotel, there is a great shopping center within walking distance and, of course, the vibrant nightlife and glorious beaches of Miami a short drive away too.
Hilton Miami Downtown
Another great option within spitting distance of the port is the Hilton Miami Downtown. The hotel is a little less expensive than the DoubleTree, but still packs a punch. The hotel is modern and fits perfectly with the fresh Miami style. Many of the rooms look out over the port, and the outdoor pool and bar boast panoramic views over Biscayne Bay. The Hilton is conveniently connected to the free Metro Mover light rail system so, if you want to explore, you’ll be downtown before you know it. Book to stay at the Hilton on a ‘park and go’ package and you’ll get a modern room to stay in, parking for up to seven nights and a free shuttle to the cruise port.
Nothing beats being well-rested the day before your cruise sets sail - and with these six great hotel options, you’ll may even forget why you came down to Miami in the first place.