Carnival warns guests of heavy weekend traffic in home port

Miami cruise ships
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Carnival Cruise Line has contacted guests booking weekend cruises from PortMiami to alert them to potentially heavy traffic in downtown Miami due to the Ultra Music Festival, taking place March 24-26.

This could potentially affect a number of weekend Carnival cruises, as well as other cruise ships sailing from Miami during festival dates.

Heavy traffic expected

Guests sail on carnival ships from PortMiami this weekend can experience significant downtown traffic congestion, and the cruise line has emailed travelers to alert them to potential difficulties.

“As you prepare for your cruise, we would like to inform you that the City of Miami will be hosting the Ultra Music Festival downtown from Friday, March 24 through Sunday, March 26, 2023.” the email explained. “As a result, there will be numerous road closures and more than normal traffic in and around the city.”

Credit: EQRoy/Shutterstock

Guests are urged to allow sufficient time to travel to the cruise terminal in order to arrive within the pre-arranged arrival time windows as diverted traffic, congestion and road closures are likely to cause delays.

If driving, Carnival encourages guests to use the PortMiami Tunnel to avoid downtown. Guests using ridesharing can also suggest this route to their drivers for the most efficient service.

Travelers who bought airport transfers from Carnival Cruise Line are contacted individually, as their transfer times can also be affected by the excessive traffic. “We will remain in close contact with our transport provider throughout the embarkation day.” said the email.

Affected Ships

With PortMiami the second largest passenger cruise port in the worldseveral Carnival ships are likely to be affected by the increased traffic during the festival weekend.

while only Carnival Conquest will be in PortMiami when the festival opens on Friday March 24th, Saturday and Sunday are both busier days. Carnival Sunrise And carnival spirit are both docked on Saturday while carnival horizon and the cruise line’s newest ship, carnival celebrationwill be in port on Sunday March 25th.

Carnival Conquest cruise ship in Miami
Photo Credit: JHVEPhoto/Shutterstock

In addition to Carnival ships, ships from Royal Caribbean International, MSC Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Norwegian Cruise Line and Seabourn are also scheduled throughout the weekend.

Sunday will likely be the most challenging day for port traffic as eight different cruise ships will be in port including the Oasis class oasis of the seas And carnival celebrationas well as Norwegian encorethe largest ship by gross tonnage in Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleet.

Traffic avoidance options

Cruise travelers have several options to avoid some of Miami’s worst traffic during festival weekend.

Using shuttle services, public transportation, or carpooling with other cruise guests can help minimize traffic, or guests can adjust their route for arriving at the cruise port to avoid the worst of traffic jams. Additional time will be required to navigate through road closures and account for traffic delays.

Mardi Gras cruise ship in Miami
Photo Credit: Felix Mizioznikov/Shutterstock

In order to make arriving at the port as easy as possible, travelers should check which terminal their ship will be docked at before arriving at the port, so that they can better adjust the lanes to be used and learn which parking structures or parking lots are most convenient .

However, it is important to note that ships do not always return to the same terminal at the end of a cruise that they may have used to embark.

Above all, it will be crucial for guests to be patient with traffic difficulties and not frustrate port staff or cruise ship crew members. While arrival may be more difficult, guests will still be able to enjoy a fabulous cruise vacation!

About the festival

The Ultra Music Festival is an outdoor electronic music festival that started in 1999. The event is held annually at Bayfront Park, just off Port Boulevard in downtown Miami and less than a mile from cruise terminals.

The three-day festival drew a total of 165,000 visitors in 2022 and, along with the bands themselves — typically more than 100 groups or artists during the event — as well as vendors and service personnel, can bring a significant crowd to downtown Miami.

The festival was so successful that international festivals made their debuts as well, and the event has been nominated for numerous awards, winning Best Festival at the 2018 International Dance Music Awards.
Carnival Cruise Line Miami

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