FLORIDA Discount Car Rentals

Cruise Ship Car Rentals for the Port of Miami

The cruise ship lines arriving in Miami dock at the Port of Miami.

The Port of Miami is located approximately 5 miles from downtown Miami and approximately 8 miles from Miami International Airport (MIA).

From the pier, you can reach the Bayside shopping center on foot. If you just want to get into downtown, taxis line up on the main road in front of the dock. The taxi loading area is clearly marked.

If you wish to explore the Miami and surrounding areas in more detail, you will need a rental car. At this time, there are no car rental agencies with offices or pick up locations at the pier itself. Almost all of the national brands do provide courtesy pick up and drop off service to and from the pier to their pick up locations. At this time, Budget rent a car seems to be the only exception.

If you want to book the car rental direct, you can find great rates on the Thrifty (Brand T) link found on our home page. Type in MIA in the location box and it will offer you seven options. The last option says “Miami Cruise Ship Pick Up Only”. Select this location and input your dates, select a car and enter your personal data. You will get a confirmation from Thrifty immediately. In Miami, you do not have to call for courtesy shuttle service. The shuttle runs by the taxi pick up zone in front of the pier every 40 minutes. The bus is white and has the Dollar and Thrifty logos on it. It will take you back to the Thrifty pick up lot where you can rent your car.

Suggestions for activities when in Miami include:

• Miami’s South Beach. This waterfront district is known for its art-deco style architecture, interesting shops, and great restaurants. You can wonder around by yourself (the district is framed between 6th to 23rd Streets and Ocean and Lenox Avenues) or take a self-guided art-deco walking tour. Maps and information to take the self-guided tour can be obtained at the Art Deco District Welcome Center at 1001 Ocean Drive.

• Explore Key Biscayne. Key Biscayne is an island connected to Miami via two bridges and the Rickenbacker Causeway ($1 toll). Places to explore in Key Biscayne include the Miami Seaquarium (4400 Rickenbacker Causeway), Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Recreation Area (1200 S. Crandon Boulevard), and the Virginia Key Beach Park (4020 Virginia Beach Drive). Virginia Key Beach Park was closed but reopened in 2008 after an $11-million renovation. This 83-acre park includes picnic tables, shoreline restaurants, new playgrounds for the kids and even a miniature railroad.

• For wine enthusiasts, there is an interesting winery worth checking out in Miami. The Schnebly Redland’s Winery, (30205 SW 217th Ave, Homestead – (888)717-WINE). This winery features a $1.5-million tasting room where you can sample from various vintages. It’s worth the time to view the press deck where the harvested fruit is turned into juice and eventually becomes wine. There is live music and extended hours on Saturday and Sunday. Open 10 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday, 10 am to 8 pm Saturday, and noon to 7 pm on Sunday.

• Little Havana Walking Tour. Dr. Paul George will guide you through Little-Havana, pointing out the significance of South Florida bungalow architecture, the Tower Theater, old-fashioned hand rollers at a cigar factory, and more. Visit Cuban Memorial Boulevard and observe the monuments that speak to the exile presence in Miami. Se the home if Miami’s first mayor. ((305)375-1621, www.hmsf.org). The tour costs $25.