Miami, Florida, is something of a cruise crossroads. Many cruise
lines embark their guests here, and it’s also a destination stopover for
cruisers sailing down from ports like Galveston, New York or New Jersey on
the way to the tropical paradises of the Caribbean.
And it’s an interesting city. Many people – in America and all over the world –
have Miami pegged as the retirement capital of the USA, with a population
largely consisting of seniors from the East Coast metropolises, spending their
twilight years in paradise, and their Latino service personnel. The city, when
it is considered at all, is often regarded as one huge vacation resort – a kind
of residential extension of Disneyland for the over-sixties.
When you arrive in Miami and need transportation to get to a seaport, hotel or
any other destination contact Meteor Car Service.
They offer inexpensive and reliable car service
in Miami and all of South Florida.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Miami is one of the most young,
vibrant and dynamic cities in the USA. For starters, if you’re young and
energetic, you can have a great night out in the city. If your cruise is
departing from Miami, it could be a good idea to arrive a couple of days early
and enjoy two or three evenings soaking up the vibe in one of the many cool
bars and clubs. Whatever kind of music you like dancing to, you’ll find it
here. Being where it is, Miami is as much of a cultural melting-pot as New
Orleans, further west. You can enjoy everything from flamenco and tango to hip
hop, trance and garage in the city’s fantastic clubs. If you enjoy the funky
fusion of Latin and techno sounds, you might consider visiting Bongos on
Biscayne Boulevard. This super-venue is owned by Latin American songstress
Gloria Estefan, and you can eat, drink, dance and party the night away to
superb DJs or the resident salsa band.
If you want to go a little further up market still – with no
disrespect to the glorious Ms. Estefan – you could pay a visit to Opium. “Pay”
is the operative word here. Opium is among the coolest of the cutting-edge
clubs in the city, and its services don’t come cheap. However, if you have the
resources you can eat fantastically well here, and, when your stomach has
settled a little, dance the night away to some of the biggest DJs in the world.
If your idea of a thrill is to risk your shirt on the roulette wheel, then
Miami also has a great deal to offer you! It’s a city of casinos, many of which
seem to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For a sample of the
authentic casino experience, try Casino Princessa by Bayfront Park. Casino
Princessa has a marvelous unique selling point – the establishment isn’t a
building, but a luxury yacht! She sails every day at 12.30pm and 7.30pm, times
which should fit comfortably in the itineraries of most cruisers. And if you
don’t feel like gambling, you can enjoy yourself on the yacht’s sun deck,
sipping a cocktail as you take in the fantastic ocean views.
If your idea of a great night out is a little more sedate, or
you’re traveling with kids, there are plenty of other things for you to do. A
stroll down Lincoln Road can be great fun. It’s a tremendously lively area –
during the day it’s home to street entertainment of all kinds, and in the
evening its many restaurants serve up some wonderful freshly-cooked local food.
It’s also the site of the Lincoln Road Farmer’s Market, which takes place every
weekend. You can buy all kinds of things at the Market, from fresh fruit and
nuts to locally-produced handicrafts.
If you’re traveling with kids, make a point of visiting the
The Seaquarium overlooks Biscayne
Bay, and gives families a chance to see some of the wonders of the deep
up close. Sea lions, killer whales, manatees and dolphins are all on display –
you can even join in one of the regular swimming with dolphins events, and find
out about one of the most remarkable of all marine species, first-hand!
If you’re still convinced that Miami is simply a haven for seniors and
hedonists, you might think about having a night at the theatre. The city is one
of the leading centers for drama in the southern USA, and offers a wealth of
opportunities for those who want to take in a show – everything from classic
Broadway musicals to classics such as the works Ibsen, Shaw and Shakespeare are
on offer. The Actor’s Playhouse in Coral Gables, for example, is one of the
most highly-regarded theatre companies in the country.
Who would have thought of traveling to
Miami to soak up some culture? In so many ways, the real Miami differs
from the city of popular imagination.