In the different travel forums I visit, I find a lot of people asking questions about what to do or where to go the day before leaving for a cruise that departures from either Fort Lauderdale or Miami. I believe that being stuck in a hotel for hours watching bad cable movies is no way to start a wonderful vacation, so I have created a list of places you can go for fun the day or night before your cruise.
Since I live in South Florida, I am very familiar with all these places and I have been to every single one of them, so my recommendations are first hand.
Bayside is a beautiful marketplace in Downtown Miami. You can find everything in there from free live music, to restaurants, shops and nightclubs. There are also a couple of party boats that take you out to the intercostals waters for two hours. From these boats you can see Star Island where many famous artists such as Gloria Stephan, Julio Iglesias and other have their homes. If you want to experience latin cousine, Bayside is the place to go. They have several Cuban, Brazilian and Argentinean restaurants right by the water. Their prices are very reasonable. American food is also available. The place is kids friendly and full of fun. The place is very safe, however you shouldn’t wonder around the downtown area at night. Bayside is right next to the Port of Miami. Most shops close around midnight, but the nightclubs and restaurants are open until 1:00 AM.
Bayside Market Place is also open during the day.
Miami has several places you can visit during the day, and they are all relative close to the Port of Miami.
In a very creative way, Carnival Cruise Line got itself a lot of free press and advertisment when it built the world’s biggest beach ball and released it on the streets of Dallas (maybe it is true what they say about everything being bigger in Texas)
Anyway, CCL broke the previous records with its 10 meters in diameter ball, and it was officially registered in the Guiness Book
I leave you with a video of the world’s biggest beach ball
Have you ever booked a cruise only to find out later on that a fellow passenger paid much less than what you did for the same cruise and even the same category and cabin type?
There are several myths among cruise fanatics regarding how to save money on a cruise. The most common one is to wait until the last possible minute to get a great deal on a cruise, based on the idea that cruises will lower the price of unsold cabins as the embarkation date approaches. This might have been true in the past, but as cruises have become more and more popular and security measurements increased greatly post 9-11, the reality is that those last minute special have almost disappeared completely.
What many people don’t realize is that every cruise line provides travel agents with specials codes that allows them to get additional discounts for their clients. If you have an honest TA, he/she will use those codes to save you money. On the other hand, if your TA is more interested in a big commission rather than getting you a cheaper cruise, you are out of luck.
Booking codes usually translate into big savings. For example, sometimes Costa Cruise has kids free special cruises, where up to 2 children can cruise for free when accompanied by two paying adults (except for port fees and taxes) But unless your TA enters the code KIDS when doing the booking, chances are you won’t benefit from the offer. Other times, there are special codes for past guests or military personnel and their families.
The following table gives you a list of current discount codes for the most popular cruise lines.