There are many reasons why cruises are great vacations—like waking up in a new destination from one day to the next and having your pick of adventures made for the whole family. Royal Caribbean ships also happen to set sail from a variety of cities to more than 240 destinations across 61 countries, and plenty of those cities double as the world’s most popular vacation spots. That makes for the perfect opportunity to combine a cruise to places like Alaska, the Caribbean, Mexico and more with a few days in a U.S. city such as Miami or Los Angeles.
When you sail from a place you love or have always wanted to explore, you can easily extend your vacation before or after your cruise—no additional flights required! Whether it’s taking in the vibrant streets of New York City, paddleboarding at any one of Miami’s iconic beaches or visiting the Hollywood hotspots in L.A., you can have your pick of cruises and cities at any time of the year.
Tempted to combine the best of a land and cruise vacation in a popular U.S. city? Read on for the five top places to extend your getaway:
Every week, there’s a cruise sailing from Miami, Fort Lauderdale or Port Canaveral (Orlando), Florida, and all three are top-rated destinations. Miami is famous for its nightlife in places like Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, where you can enjoy live music and foods from around the world along a vibrant promenade lined with restaurants, bars and lounges, just across the ocean. Plus, it’s on the doorstep of Everglades National Park, a 1.5-million-acre wetlands preserve.
Only hour away, there’s Fort Lauderdale. The city has been called the Venice of America because of the eateries and shops built along its canals. Port Canaveral, near Orlando and about a four-hour drive or 45-minute flight from Miami, offers about 40 square miles of amusement parks, restaurants and other adventures. Wherever in Florida you land, there’s fun to be had in spades.
For the best of the tropics and bustling cities, browse the cruises departing from Miami (or any of the other two popular towns in Florida) here.
From Broadway’s renowned productions to Manhattan’s Central Park, to historic neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens, the experiences in New York City run the gamut. The Big Apple offers everything: must-see landmarks—like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, featuring a collection of more than 2 million pieces of artwork, and the Statue of Liberty—and musical hotspots like Harlem, the birthplace of jazz, and Greenwich Village, where Bob Dylan brought folk music back in 1961 (there are several Dylan-inspired walking tours). And don’t miss the variety of cuisines, including New York-style pizza, family-owned Jewish bakeries and Chinatown dim sum restaurants.
Get there: From Cape Liberty, New Jersey (about 40 minutes away from NYC), there are four- to 14-night cruises that sail to the Caribbean or New England and Canada.
Pro tip: Oasis of the Seas offers its own piece of the City that Never Sleeps—the Central Park neighborhood, home to more than 20,000 plants, winding walking paths, restaurants, shops and more. In fact, it’s one of seven neighborhoods on board.
Hit up the Big Apple and the Caribbean or New England and Canada on a cruise sailing from the New York area.
One of the most iconic cities in the U.S., Los Angeles is known for many things: It’s home to Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard, and it’s packed with different foods, art and cultures. The metropolitan city also boasts almost 300 days of sunshine each year. Quintessential L.A. sights and experiences range from riding the Ferris wheel at Santa Monica Pier to surfing at Venice Beach, to hiking the nearby trails of Mount Baldy, the third-highest peak in Southern California. Film and TV buffs can enjoy the city’s popular tours of film studios and locations, like Griffith Observatory, featured in movies like “La La Land”; and Union Station, a beautiful train station where hundreds of films (think: “Seabiscuit”) have filmed.
Get there: From L.A., jump on three- to seven-night cruises to destinations like Catalina Island, California; Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, Mexico; and the Mexican Riviera.
Pro tip: With The Blaster aqua coaster—the longest waterslide on a cruise ship—and the first standalone blow-dry bar at sea, Navigator of the Seas is the ultimate getaway sailing from L.A. for a short weekend trip or longer.
Discover places like Mexico and enjoy L.A. when you sail on a cruise from the City of Angels.
Combine laidback urban life and Pacific Northwest wilderness—that’s Seattle. It’s also your jumping-off point for a cruise to Alaska. Between Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, Seattle is often called the Emerald City for the plentiful evergreen trees that go as far as the eye can see. As for urban experiences, the city has a strong coffee culture—it’s the birthplace of Starbucks—and it’s known for fresh-caught seafood at places like the renowned Pike Place Market, where the fishmongers tossing fish back and forth is a famous sight. Additionally, in neighborhoods like Belltown, craft beer fans can indulge in tastings at bars and craft breweries like Pike Brewing Company (with its own brewing museum).
Experience Seattle before or after your cruise on the West Coast.
Galveston, Texas, has more than 30 miles of beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, adventures like kayaking and a historical district filled with Victorian architecture. It’s also less than an hour away from Houston, one of the state’s major cities, which has attractions like Space Center Houston—NASA’s interstellar museum—and the nearby Johnson Space Center, a leading science and space exploration facility. Back in Galveston, the town’s shores are dotted with boutiques and locally owned restaurants that serve up Tex-Mex cuisine, like fajitas and chili con queso, and fresh seafood caught in the Gulf. Plus, there’s the treasured Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier—originally constructed during World War II and rebuilt after a hurricane in the 1960s—where midway games and family-friendly thrills stretch out over the waterfront.
Get there: From Galveston, you can hop on a four- to seven-night Western Caribbean cruise to destinations like Cozumel, Mexico, and George Town, Grand Cayman.
Pro tip: New to Galveston is Allure of the Seas, the first Oasis Class ship to call Texas home. It’s got adventures for the whole family, like a Central Park neighborhood, a dedicated program for kids called Adventure Ocean and the signature AquaTheater entertainment venue.
Discover Galveston and the western Caribbean on a cruise.
With a few extra days of fun before or after your cruise, you can also seamlessly make your hotel reservations directly with Royal Caribbean based on your cruise and preferences. How’s that for easy vacation planning?
These are just a few of the popular U.S. cities you can visit by taking a Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska, the Caribbean and even private island destination Perfect Day at CocoCay. Find all the places and cruises you have to choose from here.