There are three locations on the Island of Phuket where cruise ships dock. During the high season of November through to April, most cruise ships would dock near Patong Beach – the island’s busiest area, buzzing with street vendors, beach-goers and spectacular nightlife, and the passengers would be taken ashore by tenders. There are no tourist facilities at the pier at all, but the beach is metres away and you would be immediately surrounded by taxi drivers, tour organisers and various other hawkers.
During the Monsoon season May – October, the shops would dock at the deep-sea port of Ao Makarm, the Deep-Sea Port of Phuket, about 8 km or 18 min by car from Phuket Town. When the ships overnight in Phuket, normally they would dock at Ao Makram and you would be taken to Patong Beach via a tender. The port is also about 50 min drive from Phuket International Airport, 43 km away. The port is lacking passenger facilities, however recently plans for a passenger hall and landscape improvement have been revealed by the Thai government. There are taxis waiting to pick up tourists from the pier, however make sure you practise your negotiating skills, as prices normally start quite high. There are “turf wars” between taxi companies in Phuket and normally you can pick up cheaper taxis, tuktuks and minibuses from just outside the port entrance.