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Cruises to Palm Beach

Port of Palm Beach (Photo:Sean Pavone/Shutterstock)

About Palm Beach

As most mega cruise ships that homeport in Florida embark from Miami or Fort Lauderdale, the Port of Palm Beach remains in the shadows of its fellow ports to the south. The Palm Beach area, however, is a dazzling destination in its own right, with plenty to do before boarding a cruise or upon your return.

The port's history dates to 1915, including a car ferry service to Havana, Cuba, after World War II. Although true-blue, multiday cruises with luxurious amenities sailed from Palm Beach to the Bahamas in the '70s and '80s, its passenger services have since dwindled to casino cruises and budget day trips. Multiday cruises returned to Palm Beach in 2009, when Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line's Grand Celebration made it a homeport, and for several years it remained the sole option for cruising out of Palm Beach. In 2018, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line expanded its fleet to include Grand Classica, which now also homeports in Palm Beach. Both ships sail the same two-night Bahamas itinerary.

The second-largest county in Florida, Palm Beach consists of several notable cities including Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Wellington, Jupiter and West Palm Beach (the largest of the group). Known as a sophisticated playground for wealthy vacationers, Palm Beach has no shortage of lavish golf courses, high-end shopping areas and eclectic restaurants. The area contains 47 miles of Atlantic coastline, as well as the Intracoastal Waterway, which makes it ideal for sport fishing, scuba diving, parasailing and other water sports, as well as a number of family-friendly beaches.

No matter how long you're in town, exclusivity is part of Palm Beach's appeal. You'll be glad you aren't sharing the port with thousands of cruisers disembarking from other ships.


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  • 2 Night
    Cruise to Palm Beach

    Leaving:
    Palm Beach
    Visiting:
    Nassau, Palm Beach ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line
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    • Itinerary
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    2 Night Cruise to Palm Beach Route (Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Palm Beach
    • Day 2
      Nassau
    • Day 3
      Palm Beach
    Ship Details

    Grand Classica - Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line

    Pros

    Beautiful ship with large, comfortable lounges, live music and impressive stage shows

    Cons

    Only 10 cabins have balconies, and food in the complimentary venues is mediocre

    Bottom Line

    A great, quick getaway option for anyone who is short on time or cash

    Reviews

    Grand Classica Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.5
    Value4.5

    -- Updated by Gina Kramer, Editor Stepping onto Grand Classica is a little lik...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    TravelbyNatalieK
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    No complaints
    Read More
    Terrawolf
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Slightly Disappointing
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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  • 2 Night
    Cruise to Palm Beach

    Leaving:
    Palm Beach
    Visiting:
    Freeport, Palm Beach ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    2 Night Cruise to Palm Beach Route (Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Palm Beach
    • Day 2
      Freeport
    • Day 3
      Palm Beach
    Ship Details

    Grand Celebration - Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line

    Pros

    Prices are low, and schedules are flexible, making them ideal for short, last-minute getaways.

    Cons

    Smaller ship size means limited options for entertainment and dining.

    Bottom Line

    Casual, unpretentious, relaxing and cheerful fun for all ages and budgets.

    Reviews

    Grand Celebration Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value5.0

    Grand Celebration is a throwback to old-school cruising, drawing on many of the concepts that m...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    bat_critic
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Will go again, here are some tidbits of info
    Read More
    manishahollis30
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Will never take cruise with cruise line again!!!!
    Read More
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  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Palm Beach

    Leaving:
    Barbados
    Visiting:
    St. George's, Tobago Cays ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Star Clippers
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Palm Beach Route (Star Clippers)
    • Day 1
      Barbados
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      St. George's
    • Day 4
      Tobago Cays
    • Day 5
      Kingston
    • Day 5
      Bequia
    • Day 6
      Martinique
    • Day 6
      Palm Beach
    • Day 7
      St. Lucia
    • Day 8
      Barbados
    Ship Details

    Royal Clipper - Star Clippers

    Pros

    A classic clipper ship whose sails aren't just for show; it's powered by wind, when possible

    Cons

    Minimal entertainment venues and planned activities

    Bottom Line

    A good choice for adults seeking the ambiance of an old-fashioned sailing ship

    Reviews

    Royal Clipper Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Royal Clipper is an ideal ship for people who aren't big on cruising, but adore sailing. Billed...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Smilingvillager
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Great sailing/cruise adventure
    Read More
    Off2seeAlaska
    Sail Date Sep 2019
    Wonderful Italian Adventure
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  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Palm Beach

    Leaving:
    Barbados
    Visiting:
    St. Lucia, Dominica ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Star Clippers
    View Deal
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    • Itinerary
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Palm Beach Route (Star Clippers)
    • Day 1
      Barbados
    • Day 2
      St. Lucia
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Dominica
    • Day 4
      Antigua
    • Day 5
      St. Kitts (Port Zante)
    • Day 5
      South Friars Beach
    • Day 6
      Terre-de-Haut
    • Day 7
      Palm Beach
    • Day 8
      Barbados
    Ship Details

    Royal Clipper - Star Clippers

    Pros

    A classic clipper ship whose sails aren't just for show; it's powered by wind, when possible

    Cons

    Minimal entertainment venues and planned activities

    Bottom Line

    A good choice for adults seeking the ambiance of an old-fashioned sailing ship

    Reviews

    Royal Clipper Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Royal Clipper is an ideal ship for people who aren't big on cruising, but adore sailing. Billed...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    ElandMar
    Sail Date Jun 2019
    Highlights and disappointments
    Read More
    Smilingvillager
    Sail Date Mar 2019
    Incredible Sailing Adventure
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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More about Palm Beach

Why go to Palm Beach?

Pros: The Port of Palm Beach is small and easy to navigate.

Cons: Facilities are somewhat archaic and industrial, offering few amenities.

Bottom Line: The Port of Palm Beach offers cruisers little beyond the essentials, unless they venture into town.

Palm Beach Cruise Port Facilities

The Port of Palm Beach (1 East 11th Street, #600, Riviera Beach, FL 33404) is just over 8 miles north of Palm Beach International Airport in the small city of Riviera Beach. Within the marina district, there's not much to see or do. The terminal lacks dining facilities or gift shops, but there are vending machines and an ATM. The area immediately surrounding the port isn't the safest and, besides warehouses and shipyards, you'll only find some fast-food restaurants, kayak rentals and a dive operator. The best bet for nearby dining, internet and shopping options near the port is to drive along Blue Heron Boulevard or 45th Street. However, visitors are widely advised to take the short drive into downtown Riviera Beach to find restaurants, shops, water sports and other creature comforts, rather than exploring the port itself.

Cruisers with a bit more time to spare should consider visiting some of the surrounding cities, as well. The main tourism hub of West Palm Beach is located 5 miles south of the port and features dozens of excellent dining options, a bustling theater and arts scene, a weekly green market, weekly live performances on the waterfront, gorgeous views of the Intracoastal and more. It's an excellent area to while away a few hours walking the palm tree-lined streets.

Good to Know

"Dolphin" appears on many restaurant menus in the area, and it can be worrisome to some visitors. As a heads up, they are not talking about Flipper: It's a nickname for mahi mahi, a white flaky fish that is absolutely delicious.

The ritzy feel of West Palm Beach can give tourists a false sense of security. The city is mostly safe, but not immune to pickpocketing, so keep your belongings close.

Getting Around

From the Airport: The easiest choice for cruisers embarking in the Port of Palm Beach is flying into Palm Beach International. The small airport is served by most major airlines and has a few buzzworthy amenities: a putting green, a spa and a children's play area.

Super Shuttle offers shared ride shuttle services between the airport and the cruise port for around $15 per person, with discounts for more than one passenger traveling together.

Taxis are widely accessible, both Uber and Lyft are active in the area, and most major hotels offer a courtesy shuttle. Public transportation (Palm Tran) is available, however travel times from the airport to the cruise port average around 90 minutes.

Alternatively, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport offers a wider variety of flight options and is about an hour's drive south of the port. Affordable one-way car rentals can be found at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood airport. Or, you can rent a car for the duration of your cruise (which might make sense for a low rate and just two days) and use the valet service that is available through the cruise line. Passengers can hop on the Tri Rail to West Palm Beach and transfer to the bus system. Public transportation is not an ideal way to reach the Port of Palm Beach from Fort Lauderdale. Those taking this option should allow extra time: The trains are frequently delayed.

In the Palm Beach Area: Palm Tran is the public bus system that services the Palm Beach area. Fares are $2 one way, or $5 for an all-day pass. Those visiting downtown West Palm Beach can also hop on the complimentary trolley that stops at most major tourist attractions.

On Foot: Walking around downtown West Palm Beach is a wonderful way to spend the day. (From the cruise port, West Palm Beach is about a 10-minute drive.)

By Taxi: Taxis are plentiful, cheap and metered. Be sure to ask whether the credit card machine is working prior to entering the cab; many drivers like to pretend it is broken.

By Bike: West Palm Beach has a bikeshare program called Skybike with more than 14 locations and affordable rental rates. Pickup and drop-off locations are visible and easily accessible up and down the main strip.

By Water: Palm Beach Water Taxi offers shuttle transportation to and from Peanut Island -- an 80-acre waterfront county park in the Lake Worth Inlet -- for $12 round trip; children under 3 are free.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

U.S. dollars are used and, while credit cards are accepted almost everywhere (including parking meters), ATMs are also readily available.

Language

English is primarily spoken in the Palm Beach area, but visitors will likely encounter some Spanish-speaking natives during their visit.


Palm Beach Cruise Reviews

Grand Celebration
manishahollis30
Sail Date: Jan 2020
I love west palm beach will be back again...Read More
Grand Classica
burhamc
Sail Date: Mar 2019
Quick check-in. No issues at all. No long lines. The only downside besides the 4 hour drive was the $20 night parking, but at least it was valet....Read More
Grand Classica
justjay87
Sail Date: Nov 2018
the port was very eco friendly and I do not have any complaints...Read More
Grand Celebration
tpullen
Sail Date: Jan 2019
A great way to spend 3 hours with new friends in the sand, sun and surf...with Piggies!!!...Read More
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