Coming into South Florida for a cruise? Consider arriving a few days early to explore

So, you are going to take a cruise out of Miami or Ft. Lauderdale to the Caribbean? Have you considered coming into South Floridar a few days early to explore the city, the beaches and all of the area attractions? It is a way to make your trip even more enriching.

Whenever we go on a cruise departing from Europe, we always go in a few days early to explore the city we are leaving from…be it Barcelona, Rome, or London. Same for Asia. Those days before the cruise are always wonderful…and they allow us to wind down a bit before we board the ship. When we do get on board, we are fully ready to enjoy all aspects of the cruise.

Miami and Fort Lauderdale are both part of a fascinating area. In reality, they are only 30-40 minutes apart. Southeastern Florida is a real melting pot. I hate to us that cliché, but it is so true. Everywhere you hear people speaking different languages. Their skins are of many different hues. They are wearing all types of clothes. (Oh my, ALL types of clothing. The people-watching here rivals that in Vegas!) But they all seem to be enjoy being here. This applies to the locals as much to the visitors.

There are a couple of ways to explore this area. One is to explore the larger area. This might mean doing a series of day trips: To the Everglades, to South Beach, to the Zoo and other attractions, or heading south to the Keys. Or you can do something a bit more concentrated, like we are this week, just staying in and exploring Miami Beach.

I have been coming to Miami Beach for years, but usually for meetings at its first-class convention center. I can tell you all about the hotels around the CC and restaurants, too. But I hardly knew anything about Lincoln Road (except where to eat) and I had NEVER set foot on the beach.

Dee and I have only been here one day and now I have walked Lincoln Road from end to end, sampled many nifty restaurants (and more to come), and taken a great walk on the beach. And I still have tonight and one more day here. Today was shopping day, tomorrow is beach day. The weather is cooperating and we are blessed. And I never realized so many other people vacationed here in the summer!

Next time you plan a cruise, do plan to arrive early. You won’t regret it.

About Cynthia Boal Janssens

Cynthia Boal Janssens is the editor and chief blogger for She is a former national president of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). She has sailed on over 40 cruises all over the world.
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