It’s a modest record compared to other ports but Baltimore saw off 210,549 cruise passengers in 2010 on 91 cruises, an increase from 2009 where 167,235 passengers departed on 81 cruises.
It’s really convenient to cruise out of your home city but you do pay a small price for that convenience. Most of the cruises departing out of Baltimore go to the Eastern Caribbean, Bermuda, or the Bahamas. For those cruises, you spend at least two days at sea, four if you intend to go to the Eastern Caribbean. If you absolutely love spending time on the cruise ship, then those cruises are perfect for you. I personally lose interest after about a day at sea. There’s only so much you can gamble, eat, and lounge around and after a day or two I really get sick of it.
The tradeoff is that you can either spend that time on the cruise trip or spend that time traveling down to a port of call that’s closer, like Miami. Instead of spending two days at sea, you spend the days traveling and spending a little bit of time in the port. It’s a tricky tradeoff because traveling is probably going to be more expensive that taking the days at sea, from a fixed cost perspective (not counting drinks, gambling, etc.), and traveling is going to be more stressful as you make connections, deal with airport security, and other hassles associated with travel.
In general, I prefer flying and then cruising but it’s really up to personal preferences.