If you're taking a Caribbean cruise from Miami, there are many reasons why you may want to book a rental car. Depending on your pre- or post-cruise plans, you may want to spend a few days exploring South Florida or simply get to and from the airport.
There are no on-site rental car offices at the Miami cruise port, but you have several options nearby. Taxis and shuttles are available to bring you from the pier to nearby rental car locations.
Which car rental location is best can depend on whether you fly into Miami International Airport or another airport such as Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport or Orlando International Airport.
Rental Car Options: Miami Airport to Miami Cruise Port
Will you be in Miami just for the cruise or will you also spend a few days pre- or post-cruise exploring the area?
Just in Miami for the Cruise
If you just need to get between MIA and the Miami Cruise Port, you are better off taking a taxi, Uber or Lyft between the airport and the cruise terminal. Currently a taxi ride costs a $27 flat fee per ride, not per person. So taking a taxi both ways will run you $54 plus tips.
Even if you got a dirt-cheap one-day deal on a rental car at MIA, you'd need to drop off the car at a rental car location near the port and then take a taxi or Uber or Lyft to the port anyway. And, of course, it would make zero sense to rent a car to get from the airport and then park it at the cruise port while you're on the cruise, as you'd be paying not only the price of the rental car but a steep parking fee at the port. Overnight parking at the cruise port costs $22 per day, which is $154 for a seven-day cruise.
Pre- or Post-Cruise Exploring
If you're coming to Miami for a cruise but also to explore the area before or after you sail, it makes sense to rent a car at Miami International Airport, since you can avoid a one-way drop-off fee.
Car rental companies run regular shuttles between the Port of Miami and the Miami Airport rental facility. To take advantage of this service, all you need is your rental confirmation. Be sure to book your rental car in advance so you can access your reservation from the rental car app.
When you book your rental car, be sure to indicate that you'll need to take the shuttle from the port to the airport. It's always a good idea to call your rental company to confirm. Avis, Budget and Hertz run shuttles every 15 to 20 minutes on days that ships come into port, while some companies, like Alamo, only pick up at the port when they have a confirmed renter arriving.
Rental Car Options: Fort Lauderdale or Orlando Airport to Miami Cruise Port
If you are taking a pre- or post-cruise road trip or to need to get to one of the Florida airports outside of Miami, it makes sense to book a car at a rental car location near the port. You will likely pay a one-way drop-off fee, but you'll get the convenience of picking up your car near the port and hitting the road.
Major rental car brands have locations within a few miles of the port but not all offer shuttle services to get you between the rental car location and the port. Be sure to choose a pickup location near the pier.
Rental Car Locations Near Port of Miami
Many rental car companies have locations in downtown Miami but these firms provide shuttle service to and from the port:
Alamo: Multiple locations near Port of Miami. Alamo can provide a free shuttle service but you need to call ahead to request it.
Avis: Dedicated location for cruise passengers near Port of Miami. Free shuttle service to and from pier.
Budget: Dedicated location for cruise passengers near Port of Miami. Free shuttle service to and from pier.
Hertz: Dedicated location for cruise passengers near Port of Miami. Free shuttle service to and from pier.