Miami, Florida

Location:

The Dante B. Fascell Port of Miami is a seaport located in Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida, United States. It is connected to Downtown Miami by Port Boulevard, a bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway. The port is located on Dodge Island, which is the combination of three historic islands (Dodge, Lummus and Sam’s Islands) that have since been combined into one. It is named in honor of 19 term Florida Congressman Dante Fascell.

As of 2011, the Port of Miami accounts for 176,000 jobs and has an annual economic impact in Miami of $18 billion. It is the 11th largest cargo container port in the United States. In 2010, a record 4.33 million passengers traveled through the Port of Miami. One in seven of all the world’s cruise passengers start from Miami.

Sightseeing:

Although favored by climate and geography, Miami remained a remote tropical village of frame houses until Henry Flagler installed his East Coast Railway there in 1896 and turned his hand to community development. In fact, the fabulous city of Miami Beach was created out of a mangrove swamp!
Sprawling across 2,054 square miles of land, Miami is a huge and cosmopolitan city. Attracted by year-round warmth and sunshine, thousands of visitors pour into the area with the hope of capturing a little sun and relaxation.

Greater Miami’s list of attractions is long and varied, the city really does have something for everyone! Some of the more popular attractions are Viscaya Museum and Gardens, Little Havana, Museum of Science and Space Transit Planetarium, and the Miami Metro Zoo. Biscayne Boulevard is a prime spot for shopping. It features the Bayside Marketplace- a shopping experience in the Tropical style. Shopping is also excellent at the Cocowalk shopping and entertainment complex.

A trip into Everglades National Park is a unique sightseeing experience. Multiple boardwalks lead out over the watery area and signs and displays identify and describe the flora and fauna that you may encounter. At Flamingo there are sightseeing boat trips, and naturalists who conduct nature walks along the shore.

World-famous South Beach, located on the southernmost part of Miami Beach, attracts a colorful mix of visitors to its Art Deco surroundings. Celebrities, artists, and International super models have all been found to frequent the trendy boutiques, restaurants and art galleries which make up South Beach.

Miami offers a grand array of activities geared towards enjoyment! Visitors can experience deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, golf, tennis, scuba diving, and of course, swimming and boating. Miami has all the ingredients for one of the best vacations Florida offers.

Shopping and Food:

Bayside Marketplace is within walking distance from the terminal.

Bal harbor Shops is an upscale open-air shopping mall in Bal harbor, a wealthy suburb of Miami, Florida, known internationally for its collection of luxury retail.

Currency:

The official U.S. currency is the United States dollar (symbol: $). ATM’s everywhere.

Major credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard are widely used and accepted, even for transactions worth only a few dollars. In fact, in some cases, it may be the only way to make a transaction. Note to overseas visitors: Prices of goods and services always seem lower than they really are, as taxes and gratuities are seldom included.

Most states have a sales tax, ranging from 2.9% to nearly 10% of the retail price; 4-6% is typical. Sales tax is almost never included in posted prices (except for gasoline, and in most states, alcoholic beverages consumed on-premises), but instead will be calculated and added to the total when you pay.

Tipping in America is widely used and expected. While Americans themselves often debate correct levels and exactly who deserves to be tipped, generally accepted standard rates are:

  • Full-service restaurants: 15-20% (Often this is the only income of the wait(ress). Tips are either left in cash or you can add it to the credit card slip) Note: Few restaurants add an automatic service charge, in which case it is up to you how much you tip extra. Check your bill!
  • Taxi drivers, hairdressers, other personal services: 10-15%
  • Bartenders: $1 per drink if inexpensive or 15% of total
  • Bellhops: $1-2 per bag ($3-5 minimum regardless)
  • Hotel doorman: $1 per bag (if they assist), $1 for calling a cab
  • Shuttle bus drivers: $2-5 (optional)
  • Private car & limousine drivers: 15-20%
  • Housekeeping in hotels: $1-2 per day for long stays or $5 minimum for very short stays (optional)
  • Food delivery (pizza, etc.): $2-5, possibly more for very large orders

Communication:

The U.S. has no official language at the federal level, but English is by far the standard for everyday use. Several states have declared their official state language as English. Spanish is also official in the state of New Mexico, where it is widely spoken; French is official in Louisiana and the Hawaiian language is official in Hawaii, but neither approaches the use of English and are official for primarily historical reasons.

Emergency 911

Opening Hours and Holidays:

In major metropolitan areas like New York and Los Angeles, many drugstores and supermarkets are routinely open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, while department stores, shopping centers and most other large retailers are typically open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and often with shorter hours on Sundays – generally 11 a.m. or noon to 5 or 6 p.m. On holidays, the tendency is to remain open (with the exception of the most important holidays like Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day where stores are generally closed)

  • New Years Day (January 1) – most businesses closed; hangovers from parties the previous night, football parties. Primarily a secular holiday, and the major celebration occurs the previous night.
  • Martin Luther King Day (third Monday in January) – many government offices and banks closed; diversity-awareness programs.
  • St. Valentine’s Day (February 14) – no significant closures; romantic evenings out.
  • Presidents Day (third Monday in February) – (also Washington’s Birthday) – many government offices and banks closed; few observances, many stores have sales.
  • St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) – no significant closures; Irish-themed parades during the day, and parties in the evening. Travelers may want to be wary of the drunken revelry and associated drunk driving crackdowns.
  • Easter (a Sunday in March or April) – few significant closures; Christian religious observances.
  • Passover (timing somewhat similar to Easter; lasts a week) – Jewish religious observances.
  • Memorial Day (last Monday in May) – most non-retail/tourism businesses closed; some patriotic observances; extensive travel to beaches and parks; traditional beginning of summer tourism season.
  • Independence Day / Fourth of July (July 4) – most businesses closed; patriotic parades, fireworks after dark.
  • Labor Day (first Monday in September) – most businesses closed; extensive travel to beaches and parks; traditional ending of summer tourism season.
  • Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – Jewish religious autumn holidays.
  • Columbus Day (second Monday in October) – many government offices and banks closed; few observances.
  • Halloween (October 31) – no significant closures – trick-or-treating and costume parties in the evening.
  • Veterans Day (November 11) – many government offices and banks closed; some patriotic observances.
  • Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday in November, unofficially the Friday and weekend after) – most non-retail businesses closed; family gatherings, on Friday major Christmas shopping begins.
  • Christmas (December 25) – most businesses and restaurants closed the evening before and all day; exchanging gifts, Christian religious observances. If you need food from a restaurant, your best bet will be hotels and Chinese or Indian restaurants. People from non-Christian religions often go to the movies and eat at Chinese restaurants on Christmas.
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Place Categories: Cruise Ports

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