There hasn't been that much terminal traffic in a single day since the old record was set on March 20, 2010, when 53,365 passengers embarked and disembarked, officials said.
This time, the ships setting sail for the Caribbean were the Oasis of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Carnival Miracle, Grand Princess, Crown Princess, Eurodam and MSC Poesia.
They arrived between 4 and 6 a.m. and got under way again between 4 and 7 p.m.
Richard and Lisa Hayes, of New Port Richey, returned from their 10th cruise but it was the first for their sons Chandler, who turned 16 Saturday, and Mitchell, 12. They waited "hours" to get off the Liberty of the Seas.
"They said to expect delays but didn't say why," Lisa Hayes said. "It would have been nice to know [because] we could have stayed on the ship a while longer."
Sari Hochberger and fiance Mickey Bar were heading home to New York after a five-day Caribbean cruise aboard the Liberty of the Seas. Hochberger said Port Everglades had seemed just as busy as when they departed.
"I was expecting it to be a lot busier than it was," she said. "It was pretty busy and there were some lines but nothing that stopped us from doing what we wanted to do."
Tony Zumpano and Jeannine Leblanc were boarding the Eurodam for a seven-day trip to Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos, St. Thomas and the Bahamas.
"I noticed a lot of people and thought there would be more delays than this but it's moving very smoothly," Zumpano said. "I'm very impressed, actually."
The Grugeon family from Philadelphia was making the same trip aboard the Eurodam.
Justin Grugeon was impressed by the number of cruise liners in port all at once.
"I don't remember seeing this many ships or ships this big," he said. "You pull up and you see some of the ships and it looks like they slapped two of them together, they're just so big."
Broward Aviation officials estimated 500,000 travelers would pass through Fort Lauderdale
International Airport from Monday to Monday during Thanksgiving week.
Cruise lines will sometimes adjust their itineraries to accommodate holiday travelers during Thanksgiving, Christmas and Spring Break, according to the port's cruise service manager Karen Rech.
"It's planned usually about a year and a half in advance, maybe two years," Rech said. "We see the ships trying to get in here right before the holidays so they can have their holiday cruises."
All parking garages were full.
"We had a lot of people driving in," Rech said. "We haven't seen that in a long time."
Taxis were doing a brisk business, too.
About 555 cabbies picked up passengers at terminal 18, another 350 at terminal 29 and more than 400 at terminals 21 and 25 combined, Rech said.
"I've seen way worse," Kathy Grugeon said. "[These] guys are handling the traffic well."