Sunday, January 28 will be a busy day at PortMiami not only because there will be multiple cruise ships in port, but also because of the upcoming Miami Marathon. The race’s route crosses through downtown Miami and near the cruise port, which could cause traffic snarls and delays for travelers trying to reach their ships.
Carnival Cruise Line has alerted guests to the possible backups and is urging travelers to ensure they have ample time to reach the port for their boarding appointment, but at this time there are no expected delays or changes to embarkation.
Miami Marathon May Impact Cruise Port
The Miami Marathon will be run on Sunday, January 28, 2024, with various road closures in downtown Miami and near the cruise port that could impact traffic flow for cruise guests.
Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald has reached out to guests to alert them to the possible traffic congestion, urging that all travelers allow sufficient time to reach the cruise terminal on schedule for their arrival time appointments.
“We are asking guests to allow ample travel time to ensure prompt arrival within their pre-selected terminal arrival appointment,” Heald said. “All guests must be on board according to the final boarding time indicated on the boarding pass.”
There are no changes to embarkation times for the three Carnival cruise ships that will be in port on Sunday – Carnival Celebration, Carnival Conquest, and Carnival Horizon – and the ships will depart on time as scheduled. Because traffic backups will likely affect how easily guests can reach the cruise port, leaving early to travel to the port will be essential.
“Please do make sure you give yourself that extra time to get to embarkation,” Heald urged.
Carnival Celebration is scheduled to depart at 4 p.m. for a 7-night Eastern Caribbean sailing, while Carnival Horizon will also leave at 4 p.m. for a 6-night Western Caribbean cruise. Carnival Conquest will depart PortMiami at 5 p.m. for a special 14-night Southern Caribbean itinerary.
Miami Marathon Impact
Two races are being run on January 28, the full Life Time Miami Marathon as well as the associated half marathon. Including runners as well as spectators, vendors, and volunteers, more than 25,000 people participate in the two races.
The full marathon begins at 601 Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami, and the course includes various roads in downtown Miami as well as the Macarthur Causeway and out onto Miami Beach.
The half marathon follows the same route as the full marathon, but breaking off from the full route in downtown Miami to reflect its shorter distance. Start times for the both races range from 5:55 a.m. to 6:45 a.m.
Road closures will be managed along the race course from 5 a.m. until 2 p.m., with local police departments on site to manage traffic and assist vehicles through gaps of runners. Because gaps can vary, traffic backups and delays are expected.
Cruise guests should plan alternate routes around the marathon path and start location if possible, or else allow extra time as they head toward the cruise port. Using ride share services or shuttles can also help minimize local traffic congestion.
Other Ships Possibly Impacted
While Carnival Cruise Line has the most ships in Miami on the day of the marathon, guests sailing with other cruise lines may also be impacted by the traffic congestion.
MSC Cruises’ MSC Divina, Norwegian Cruise Lin’s Norwegian Encore, Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady, and Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas will all be in port on Sunday. Guests booked on any of those vessels should similarly plan extra travel time to reach their ships within arrival appointment times.
When all seven ships in port are accounted for with both debarking and embarking guests, as many as 57,000 cruise travelers may be moving through PortMiami on Sunday.