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Taking the train to your cruise is the new hot trend to combine a land and sea vacation

Brightline train

Getting to your cruise ship is the part of the planning process no one relishes planning, but it's gotten a whole lot easier in Florida.

In a state not well known for public transportation, Brightline's new high-speed train service between Central and South Florida has become a breath of fresh air for residents and tourists alike.

Brightline offers daily service between Orlando and Miami, with a few stops in-between. This means an easy and convenient way to get to and from Port Everglades and Port Miami for a cruise.  Even Port Canaveral is in play with a short drive (although a new station closer is coming).

Princess car

Princess Cruises announced a new partnership with Brightline that highlights how much the cruise industry is leveraging this innovative way to get around, and it's compelling a lot of people to rethink their vacations.

Whether someone is flying to Florida or a resident, Brightline's train service allows for an easy way to to your ship, and early adopters who tried the train are raving about how much better the experience is.

Station to stateroom service

Princess car on Brightline

While Princess Cruises isn't the first cruise line to partner with Brightline, they are the first line to integrate the experience better.

The idea is to take passengers from "station to stateroom" by making the process so much easier.

On designated Princess Cruises trains from Orlando or West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale, you can reserve your baggage delivery service at the station, and it will be taken onto the train and brought to your ship and delivered to your stateroom.


Then when you get to Fort Lauderdale, Brightline offers complimentary round trip shuttle service provided by Princess Cruises to Port Everglades.

Plus, with the discount code PRINCESS15, you can get 15% off your Brightline fare. 

This partnership highlights a convenient way to get onto a Princess ship, and it's likely no coincidence that Princess is the line to offer this considering its President is John Padgett.  

John Padgett as President of Princess Cruises

Mr. Padgett previously worked at Walt Disney World, where he introduced Magical Express.  This was a first-of-its-kind luggage and bus service offered exclusively to Walt Disney World resort guests that was quite popular.

Like Magical Express, Rail & Sail service with Brightline makes it simpler to get families on their way and onboard.

Land and sea choices


With a reliable and convenient way to get around Florida by train, vacationers have new options.

Travelers can get to Orlando and then take the train the rest of the way, which may end up saving time or money.  As an example, people driving from Atlanta stop in Orlando to take the train and reduce the driving requirements.

Plus, having a train means vacationers can add a theme park visit from Central Florida to a cruise ship journey. 

Convenience is king in the vacation industry, and making it easier to enjoy a land and sea vacation in one trip without paying a fortune is something cruisers will look for more and more.

Less hassle

Brightline cars

Brightline's service reduces congestion and problems associated with driving to your cruise port.

A normal drive between Orlando and Miami can take just under 4 hours by car, but there are variables that impact how easy or difficult the ride can be.  Traffic, thunderstorms, road construction, and bad drivers all contribute to making the drive problematic.

While driving is likely cheaper, the convenience of the train cannot be understated. This is especially true of tourists who are unfamiliar with the roads and unwilling to rent a car.

The only way I cruise from South Florida

Brightline seat

Ever since Brightline opened service from Orlando in September 2023, I've taken the train exclusively on a number of occasions.

Having taken the train a dozen times, it's transformed a mundane and tiresome trip into an opportunity. Besides not having to worry about driving conditions, I can be more productive by utilizing the complimentary high-speed internet available onboard.

Plus, there's food and drink service offered too.  It's complimentary in the upgraded Premium seats and charged a la carte in the Smart (economy) seats.

Fort Lauderdale station

The trains are clean and the staff friendly. I did have one unfortunate incident out of Brightline's control when a bridge was stuck open, but the experience has been reliable on almost all my trips.

It's significantly less of a hassle than flying, and more enjoyable than driving. My kids look forward to the train rides far more than the car, since they can stream content on their devices, enjoy snacks, and have bathroom access.

Princess' new partnership highlights the way the overall cruise vacation experience can improve through a mutual understanding.

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