The Cheapest Way From the Airports to the Port of Miami (Just $2.25 Per Person)

Miami is without a doubt the cruise capital of the world. It’s not unusual to have a half-dozen (or more) cruise ships in port on a busy day. Meanwhile, passengers come from all over the United States — and the world — to sail from the port.

Of course, that means many people are flying into the area for their cruise. And with two major airports — Miami International and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International — that means lots of people need to know how to get to the cruise port once they land.

To be sure, you have a number of options, which we have covered in detail here. For most people, we suggest using a rideshare company like Lyft or Uber. We’ve found these to be convenient and cheaper than taking a taxi cab.

That said, it can still be pricey to get to the cruise port. For example, a Lyft from the Fort Lauderdale airport to the port area in Miami can easily cost $40 one-way (although up to four people can ride for this amount). Add in a round trip and the optional tip, and you can spend $100 just getting to and from the cruise ship.

The good news is that there is a drastically cheaper alternative, although it is not as convenient or as quick. Still, if you want to save your cash then you can use public transportation to get to the Port of Miami, whether you are coming from the Miami airport or Fort Lauderdale. In fact, you can get there for as little as $2.25 per person. Here’s how…

The Cheapest Way to the Miami Cruise Port from the Miami Airport

If you fly into Miami, then it’s pretty simple to get to the port for cheap. Once you arrive at the airport, you’ll want to take the Metrorail (Orange Line) to Brickell. At the Brickell station you’ll then get on the free Miami Trolley (Coral Way route) that goes to the port.

Step 1: The Metrorail station is located near the rental car center at the Miami airport, which is some distance from the actual terminals. To get there you’ll want to get on the MIA Mover, which takes you to the rental cars. Simply follow the signs in the airport to the MIA Mover Station. It’s free to ride.

Step 2: Once you arrive, you’ll look for the Metrorail. You’ll take the Orange Line, which ends at Dadeland South. Because the airport is the last stop on this end of the Orange Line, you don’t have to worry about catching a train going the wrong direction.

The train costs $2.25 per person each way. You’ll ride the train to the Brickell station, where you will want to get off. The Orange Line runs about every 15 minutes during the week and every 30 minutes on weekends.

Step 3: After arriving at the Brickell station, you’ll want to walk downstairs to the Miami Trolley (Coral Way) stop. Because this stop is in the middle of the route, it’s important to make sure that you are headed in the right direction. You want the stop that is on the west side of the train station, near the Publix supermarket. Here is a picture of the stop:

Miami trolley stop
Source: Google Maps

The trolley is free to ride and runs about every 20 minutes. Note that it does not run on Sunday.

The route takes you right to the Port of Miami, including a stop right in front of the cruise terminals.

To summarize, here is the route you will take:

  1. MIA Mover at Airport –> Rental Car Center/Metrorail Train Station (Free)
  2. Orange Line –> Brickell Station ($2.25)
  3. Miami Trolley (Coral Way Route) –> Port of Miami (Free)

Depending on when you leave and the schedules, expect it to take about an hour or more to get to the port.

The Cheapest Way to the Miami Cruise Port from the Fort Lauderdale Airport

Flying into Fort Lauderdale to cruise from Miami? No worries, you can still use public transport to get to your ship. It will take an extra step, but only costs about $6-7 per person each way. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: First, you’ll take the Tri-Rail, the regional train that runs up and down the South Florida coast. At the Fort Lauderdale airport, you’ll make your way to the ground transportation area and look for the free FLA-1 Commuter Connector headed to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport Station at Dania Beach. This bus makes a loop between the airport and the Tri-Rail station and runs about every 15-20 minutes on weekdays and twice an hour on weekends.

Step 2: Once at the Tri-Rail station, you’ll need to purchase a one-way ticket for the train. The train charges based on the number of zones you travel through. In this case you’ll go from the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Airport Station to the Metrorail Transfer Station in the next zone. That is a two-zone ride, which costs $3.75 per person on weekdays and $5.00 per person on weekends. Trains depart every 20-30 minutes during the morning and evening rush, and once an hour during the middle of the day on weekdays. Trains depart hourly on weekends.

Step 3: After you board the train heading south, you’ll want to ride until you reach the Metrorail Transfer Station (about 30 minutes). Here, you’ll end your ride on the Tri-Rail and look to board the Green Line Metrorail. On the Green Line you’ll want to head south, in the direction of the Dadeland South stop. Fares are $2.25 per trip and you’ll want to buy your fare card at the vending machines before you board. Once aboard the Metrorail, you’ll ride to the Brickell station.

Step 4: After arriving at the Brickell station, you’ll want to walk downstairs to the Miami Trolley (Coral Way) stop. Because this stop is in the middle of the route, it’s important to make sure that you are headed in the right direction. You want the stop that is on the west side of the train station, near the Publix supermarket. There is a picture of the stop above.

The trolley is free to ride and runs about every 20 minutes. Note that it does not run on Sunday. The route takes you right to the Port of Miami, including a stop right in front of the cruise terminals.

To summarize, here is the route you will take:

  1. FLA-1 Commuter Connector at airport –> Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport Station at Dania Beach for Tri-Rail (Free)
  2. Tri-Rail –> Metrorail Transfer Station ($3.75/$5.00)
  3. Green Line –> Brickell Station ($2.25)
  4. Miami Trolley (Coral Way Route) –> Port of Miami (Free)

Saving Money On Your Way to the Cruise Ship

In total, you can see that you will save a lot of money if you use these routes to get to the cruise port. The trip from Fort Lauderdale to the Miami cruise port runs about $6-7 per person, compared to $40-45 for a Lyft or Uber. Still, we know it can be intimidating to ride on public transportation when you aren’t familiar with the process or where to transfer.

For many people, it will be worth the extra money to find direct transportation to the port (especially if traveling on a Sunday when service is limited). For others, however, you can save some serious cash using this cheap way to get to the cruise port.

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