Port Everglades has issued a warning to cruise guests traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday week and up through early December to expect traffic delays and consider making ride share or public transportation arrangements to the port if possible, as parking will be limited.
Heavier-than-normal traffic is expected from Monday, November 20 through Friday, December 1, and will impact a total of 35 ships from various cruise lines.
Port Everglades Warns of Heavy Traffic
Cruise passengers setting sail or returning to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in the next few days need to be aware of high traffic expectations and possible delays. The cruise port has issued a warning to alert guests of potential difficulties.
“With the influx of cruise guests traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday, port users and visitors should expect traffic delays from Monday, November 20th to Friday, December 1st,” the announcement reads. “Motorists are encouraged to allow for additional drive time. Taxi and shared-ride services are encouraged as parking will be limited.”
Passengers are also encouraged to have their photo identification and cruise confirmation, such as a boarding pass, available as they approach the security checkpoints to keep traffic lines flowing smoothly and minimize delays.
Many Ships Impacted
Through one of the busiest travel seasons of the year, a total of 35 cruise ships will be impacted by the expected heavy traffic from November 20 through December 1.
This includes vessels from Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Viking Cruises, Silversea Cruises, and Azamara Cruises. Several days are likely to be exceptionally heavy, when there are multiple ships in port at once.
For example, on Monday, November 20, five cruise ships are at Port Everglades: Ruby Princess, Liberty of the Seas, Silver Shadow, Celebrity Silhouette, and Disney Dream. This is actually the day that Disney Cruise Line will officially sail from its new Port Everglades terminal for the first time, so there may be even more traffic covering that celebratory event.
Likewise, on Thursday, November 30, six ships will be in port: Viking Sky, Ruby Princess, Celebrity Silhouette, Celebrity Equinox, Azamara Onward, and Disney Dream.
The Busiest Day of All
By far, the busiest day is likely to be Saturday, November 25, with seven ships scheduled. In port will be Princess Cruises’ Sky Princess and Emerald Princess, Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas, Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam, Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Reflection and Celebrity Apex, and Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Dream.
All seven ships are having turnovers – debarkation of one sailing and embarkation of another – in Fort Lauderdale that day. Combined, the means approximately 50,000 cruise travelers will be moving through the port on Saturday when both incoming and outgoing cruises are considered.
This does not include traffic generated by port employees, cruise ship crew members, supplies being moved to and from all seven ships, and normal cargo operations of the very busy port.
To avoid the heaviest traffic and possible delays on November 25 or throughout the holiday season, cruise travelers should consider selecting later embarkation appointments to arrive at the cruise terminal after debarkation has concluded, or if leaving their own cruise, debarking early before later crowds arrive.
Using ride share services such as Uber or Lyft, or arranging for shuttle or taxi services can also help guests avoid much of the traffic or anxiety over scarce parking spaces. Families or groups cruising together will also want to consider whether carpooling is a possibility if they plan to drive to the port.
The holidays can be an amazing time for a cruise vacation. By being aware of potential traffic snarls at the terminal before or after the cruise, travelers can take steps to minimize stress and worry and simply enjoy their getaway as they celebrate this special time of year.