SHORT TAKES

Port Report: Cruise Terminals Across the U.S.

Think getting on a cruise is tough? These five drive-up ports make it easy.

Baltimore
Port of Baltimore's Cruise Maryland Terminal, 10 minutes from downtown Baltimore, operating year-round (800/638-7519, cruisemaryland.com).

Google Map

Cruise Lines: American Cruise Lines, Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International.
Regular Departures to: The Caribbean, New England, and Canada.
Sample Itinerary: Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas departs in August, with five-night itineraries to Bermuda. The same ship also does nine-night sailings in September with stops in Bar Harbor, Maine, and Nova Scotia. The ship has a huge six-story atrium, and the dining room is decorated in a lavish art deco style.
Parking: There are three lots next to the terminal with 1,500 spots total; it's $15 per night including taxes, and you can prepay.
Latest News: The remodeled Cruise Maryland Terminal (which opened in 2006, the Port of Baltimore's tricentennial) has more than doubled its cruise offerings since last year. And in April, Carnival inaugurated year-round service from the port; Royal Caribbean will begin year-round service in 2010.

Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Port Canaveral, about an hour from Orlando, operating year-round (321/783-7831, portcanaveral.com).

Google Map

Cruise Lines: Carnival Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean International.
Regular Departures to: The Caribbean and the Bahamas.
Sample Itinerary: Seven nights on the Disney Magic with stops in Key West, Grand Cayman, and Castaway Cay (Disney's private island), departing August through April 2010. Included in the itinerary is a classic character breakfast, or go for the adult-exclusive dining.
Parking: The six-level parking area is next to the cruise terminal and costs $15 a night, including taxes.
Latest News: Royal Caribbean launched one of its biggest ships in the Freedom class here in May. Carnival's Dream—the line's newest and largest ship at 130,000 tons and holding 3,652 passengers—will make its permanent home here in December. Norwegian Cruise Line is coming to the port in 2010, and Disney will add two new ships—Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, in 2011 and 2012.

L.A.
The Port of Los Angeles World Cruise Center, Pacific Cruise Ship Terminals, 25 miles outside of downtown L.A., in San Pedro, operating year-round (310/514-4049, portoflosangeles.org).

Google Map

Cruise Lines: Celebrity Cruise Line, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean International, Silversea, The Yachts of Seabourn.
Regular Departures to: Alaska, Australia, Hawaii, Mexico (Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, and Ixtapa are some of the stops), the Panama Canal, and elsewhere.
Sample Itinerary: Seven-night cruises on Princess's Sapphire Princess (with the nightlife-friendly Club Fusion) go to the Mexican Riviera, with stops in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas, and leave September through May.
Parking: More than 2,500 spaces available; it's $12 per night, including taxes, with a complimentary shuttle to the terminal area.
Latest News: Royal Caribbean recently moved its 3,114-passenger Mariner of the Seas to the port. The 964-foot Disney Wonder will move here in 2011.
And Nearby Is... If you have your heart set on sailing Carnival, you can catch a ship in the neighboring Long Beach Cruise Terminal, the cruise line's L.A. base. Parking is a little more expensive, at $15 per night including taxes.

With cruise lines like Carnival and Disney in service at drive-up ports across the country, a cruise may be easier than you think.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

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