Each weekend during cruise season (November – April), the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) fills with hundreds of travelers who have nowhere else to go.
During a cruise, it’s all about “Sit back, relax, take a swim, have a drink.” But when the cruise is over, passengers are rushed ashore early in the morning so the ship can be readied for the next wave of guests, who begin boarding mid-afternoon.
That leaves thousands of passengers with lots of time between getting off the ship and getting on a plane home. And while some people use that time to go to the beach or tour the city, most just head straight to the airport and hang around.
In most parts of FLL, travelers aren’t allowed to pass through security until shortly before their flights. So it’s no wonder that the airport’s tropically-themed Corona Beach Bar, pre-security in the baggage claim area of Terminal 1, has gotten so popular.
There are umbrella-topped tables, palm trees just outside the window and, during cruise season, live music. Off-season it seems to draw plenty of locals and frequent travelers: according to an airport spokesperson, the bartenders know the regulars by name.