Carefree Cruising

Brightline’s new partnership with MSC Cruises helps travelers start their vacation a little early.

One of the benefits of living in South Florida is the ease of cruising. More than a dozen cruise lines operate out of Port Miami, meaning Palm Beachers are just a short drive away from embarking on a high-seas adventure. But what if you could start that dream vacation a little early by forgoing the headache of I-95 traffic and the pain of hauling luggage?

Brightline—a regional high-speed train service currently in the process of rebranding to Virgin Trains USA—recently partnered with MSC Cruises to offer a “Train to Port” package (starting at $95 for two passengers) that includes Brightline tickets, garage parking, luggage services, and a Lyft ride to Port Miami. Here’s how it works: Palm Beachers would park at the West Palm Beach Brightline station, check their bags, and then enjoy the train ride south to the Virgin MiamiCentral station. Once there, they’d use a code to obtain a free Lyft ride directly to Port Miami, where their luggage will be waiting for them in their MSC Cruises stateroom. The service is also available for those departing from Fort Lauderdale or who wish to park at MiamiCentral.

Brightline at Virgin MiamiCentral station. Courtesy of Brightline

MSC Cruises boasts two ships, Seaside and Armonia, that operate out of Port Miami year-round; in season, its Miami-based fleet also includes Divina and Meraviglia (the latter is a new addition as of Fall 2019). Headquartered in Switzerland, MSC Cruises is a global cruise line with destinations around the world. Out of Miami, it offers itineraries that include stops in the Caribbean, Cuba, and the Antilles.

PBI was recently given a tour of MSC Seaside, which features a design that honors its oceanic ambiance and pays homage to its port city. The Miami Beach Sundeck, for example, is the perfect spot to sip a tropical drink and take in the Miami skyline prior to sailing. Garner an even more impressive view from the ship’s sky bridge, complete with a see-through floor. Feel like a true South Beach VIP by becoming a part of the MSC Yacht Club, which acts as a ship within a ship, providing private lounges and pool areas as well as concierge and butler services. Other high-end highlights on MSC Seaside include specialty seafood, steak, and Asian restaurants, and an authentic Balinese spa with a menu of heavenly vinotherapy treatments.

Those sailing on lines other than MSC Cruises can take advantage of the “Train to Port” Brightline package, sans luggage service, with prices starting at $65 for two passengers. More information can be found at

MSC Seaside. Courtesy of MSC Cruises

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