Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades consistently rank as one of the three busiest cruise ports in the world, with millions sailing from the south Florida port every year. Commonly recommended here and on other cruise information websites: coming into town a day early to wake refreshed for what can be one very long first day of sailing. That just makes sense and also provides a buffer of safety in travel plans to allow for flight delays that could cause us to miss embarkation as the ship sails off without us. Apparently many cruise travelers do just that and stick around after, making the return to real life a bit easier.
In a recent survey, sixty-two percent of the cruise passengers sailing from Port Everglades stayed at least one night prior to their cruise vacation, staying an average of 3.4 nights, and 21 percent planned to stay an average of 2.6 nights after their cruise.
“This study validates what we have long known – that our local economy benefits from the cruise industry. But, we are seeing that hoteliers are taking advantage of the opportunities that having a cruise port in their backyard offers,” said Chief Executive & Port Director Steven Cernak.
Interestingly, the survey also revealed expenditures before and after the cruise to be nearly identical, cruise travelers planned to spend more on land tours after the cruise than before the cruise ($80 before, $133 after), perhaps to kill time before afternoon flights. A sign that more cruise travelers than ever before are coming in early or lingering after: new hotels.
“Just look at the number of new hotels that have opened around Port Everglades in recent years and the creative pre- and post-cruise vacation packages offered on Sunny.org in the Cruise & Play section,” suggested Cernak.
Nine cruise lines and more than 40 cruise ships sail from the South Florida seaport including: Balearia’s Bahamas Express (ferry), Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Seabourn and Silversea Cruises.
Learn more about Port Everglades and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Area
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau encourages pre- and post-cruise vacation stays through its “Cruise & Play” section on the sunny.org website. The “Cruise & Play” section features as list of hotels offering shuttle service to and from the cruise port and airport, as well as deals on hotels, attractions and special discounts available just by showing your cruise card or cruise documents. In addition, travel agents have the opportunity to become certified Greater Fort Lauderdale experts with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Specialist program, offered in conjunction with Travel Agent Academy.
Explore our library of information on Pre- and Post-Cruise hotels