So you’re looking to take a cruise during your Sunshine State visit. But which one do you choose?

Cruises, offered by a number of cruise lines, depart year-round from Florida. They put to sea and ports of call from a variety of Florida ports, including Port Canaveral, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

You'll want to narrow it down a bit, by selecting your port of departure, date, type of cruise and other factors. Most cruise company websites can help, with nifty search tools so you can zero in on exactly what's right for you. 

As an example, here are just four cruise experiences from Florida (and there obviously are many more choices) that we selected, by category. 

The Family Fairytale

Disney Cruise ship at Port Canaveral cruise port

A Disney Cruise Ship docked at Port Canaveral

- Nathan Forget [CC BY 2.0 (] via Wikimedia Commons

It’s no secret that anything Disney equals family fun. So when QT with the family is the trip goal, Disney Cruises tops our list.

From live shows that rival Broadway productions, to character experiences, themed deck parties with fireworks, exciting pool areas, and destinations like Hawaii, Alaska, Europe, and even their own private island, there’s no shortage of magical memory-making.

Parents can also share some quiet time with a visit to the spa, shops, nightclubs and lounges, and delicious restaurants. Disney cruises depart from the Port Canaveral cruise port, and the Miami cruise port.

What’s included?*

  Stateroom, casual dining, snacks, entertainment, pools, room service, excursion to Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas.

What’s not included?

Specialty dining, select adult activities, spa treatments, most gratuities, Wi-Fi, non-Castaway Cay shore excursions.

The Love Boat

Crown Princess cruise ship leaving Fort Lauderdale

Crown Princess cruise ship leaving Fort Lauderdale.

- Gobucks2 via Flickr

Through the years, Princess Cruises has been known to offer unforgettable experiences and fantastic getaways for couples. There’s a ton of romantic options to choose from, but our pick is the Crown Princess.

Its size minimizes crowds, and provides a more intimate, cozy atmosphere. It also features two adult-only pools, decadent dining options including a gastro pub, indulgent spas, and many exotic destinations to choose from. With casinos, nightclubs, and shows, there’s plenty of entertainment on board too. Catch Princess Cruises from the Fort Lauderdale cruise port.

What’s included?*

Stateroom, casual dining, snacks, entertainment, pools, fitness center, room service, gratuities (daily charge per person).

What’s not included?

Specialty dining, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments, specialty fitness classes, Wi-Fi, laundry.  

The Party Boat

two cruise ship at Florida's cruise port

If your Florida vacay is a bachelor/bachelorette party, college graduation, birthday, or just a let-loose trip, you’ve come to the right paragraph. It can be tricky to find liners that cater to more adult groups, but if nightlife, casinos, shows, and bars are your must-haves, look no further than Carnival Cruises.

From the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, to poolside deck parties, a comedy club, and even an on-board DJ academy, it truly feels like the party never ends (its name is carnival, after all). Many ships also offer adult-only sun decks, so your group can sip on umbrella drinks undisturbed. The entire line has great options that sail from the Fort Lauderdale cruise port, as well as the Miami, Jacksonville, and Port Canaveral. Looking to leave from the Tampa cruise port? Catch Legend, one of our top picks.  

What’s included?*

Stateroom, casual dining, snacks like soft-serve and pizza, pools, most entertainment, fitness center.

What’s not included?

Specialty dining, alcoholic beverages, IMAX theaters and specialty activities like Trampoline Park, spa treatments, room service, gratuities, Wi-Fi, laundry.

The Adventure Venture  

Calling all thrill-seekers and do-it-alls. If you’re on the hunt for a cruise ship with endless fun, Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas is for you.

Ziplining, rock climbing, aqua theater shows, dance classes, a science lab and surf simulator, scuba certifications, its own escape room, the tallest slide at sea, wine tastings, Broadway productions…you name it, Harmony’s got it.

As one of the world’s largest cruise ships, Harmony of the Seas departs from the Port Canaveral cruise port, and is great for families, friends, reunions, or anyone looking to keep the adventure going. It’s no surprise it was named Best Cruise Ship at the Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards.  

What’s included?*

Stateroom, casual dining, snacks, most entertainment, all pool activities including slides.

What’s not included?

Specialty dining, alcoholic beverages, shore excursions, laundry, Wi-Fi, arcade, gratuities.

Family time, couple time, party time, any time: Florida’s cruise options are wide-ranging, for lots of memory-making. Ready to set sail and explore what’s beyond the Sunshine State shore?

*Included items and activities may vary by ship. Double-check with the ship’s webpage for detailed information.

Want to know about things to do near your cruise port? Check out: What to Do Before or After Your Cruise


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