Travel tips for cruises out of Port Canaveral, Florida. A full guide to make sure you know what to do when it comes to parking, rates, nearby hotels and essential details.
Port Canaveral is the second busiest cruise port for passengers after Port of Miami, serving over 4.5 million passengers each year. After expansion of the port facilities in 2004, Port Canaveral cruise port became one of the busiest cruise ports in the world.
The port handles on average 10 ships per day, which includes container ships, naval support ships, naval submarines, bulk cargo ships and cruise ships from several top cruise lines. It also handles over 11 million barrels of oil per year and has a direct pipeline to Orlando International Airport.
Being close to Orlando, Cocoa Beach and the Space Coast attractions, Port Canaveral is a popular choice for departing on cruises. If you want to extend your cruise experience by staying in the area for a few days, a Cruise-and-Stay hotel package with free cruise parking can save you money. In the winter, this area is particularly popular due to the dry sunny climate and there is plenty to see and do.
Our article covers everything you need to know about cruising from Port Canaveral, cruise parking onsite and off-site, hotel cruise parking, disabled parking at Port Canaveral, and plenty of useful tips for getting to the Port Canaveral cruise terminals. Our comparison of cruise parking rates will also save you money!
Port Canaveral cruise terminal is located 50 miles east of Orlando and 214 miles north of Miami on Florida’s East Coast. It is just 17 miles from Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center.
he cruise port is easy to reach via the east-west SR 528, SR 520 and SR 50 which connect with the north-south US-1, Interstate 95, the Florida Turnpike (toll) and Interstate 4.
There are 6 cruise terminals numbered 1, 2, 5, 6, 8 and 10. Check out the map of Port Canaveral cruise terminals to see where your cruise ship is located. The channel leading into the port is 400 feet wide, 3.5 miles long and about 44 feet deep.
Much of the revenue generated by the port comes directly or indirectly from the cruise lines. Cruise parking makes up 18% of the gross income, making it a significant part of the port income.
Rest assured, if you are going on a cruise out of Port Canaveral and need cruise parking, the port is fully equipped to provide a smooth and efficient experience from car, hotel or airport to the ship, and vice versa.
Port Canaveral is the home port of several cruise ships operated by Carnival, Disney, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines.
The port’s 7-story Exploration Tower provides over 550,000 sq.ft. of exhibition space, a 72-seat auditorium, café, gift shops, and superb views from two observation decks – one enclosed and one outside.
Visitors wanting to view cruise ships arriving and departing can visit Jetty Park. Owned by the port, it is a popular attraction in the area with a fishing pier, fishing charters, beach and picnic area.
There is an access fee for vehicles entering the port. If you choose off-site parking, the $5 fee is usually added to your total parking fee.
Cruise parking charges are always calculated per day or part day. If you are taking a 7-day cruise from Saturday to Saturday, for example, you will pay for 8 days parking to cover the part days of your arrival and departure.
Orlando International Airport (MCO) is 45 miles west of Port Canaveral cruise port. Take the North exit from the airport. It is a direct and easy drive along SR 528 and SR 410. Tolls will apply and the journey takes about 45 minutes. Once in the port, follow signs to the Cargo Piers and Cruise Parking Lots.
Melbourne International Airport (MLB) is 25 miles south of Port Canaveral. Travel north on US-1 then east on SR 528 for 10 miles, crossing the Indian River, Merritt Island and the Banana River to reach the cruise terminals at Port Canaveral.
Sanford International Airport (SFB) is 60 miles northwest of Port Canaveral. Exit south from the airport on the Central Florida Greenway (toll road 417) and travel south before joining the SR 528 east to Canaveral Cruise Port.
The rate for onsite Port Canaveral Cruise parking at the port is $17 per vehicle or RV, per day or part day. You will also be charged for your day of arrival and day of departure.
By staying further from the port and using a shuttle, you can save up to $96 on cruise parking for a 7-day cruise! Off-port cruise parking prices range from $5.95 to $10.95 per day. Lots of Honor offers additional discounts to veterans, first responders and their accompanying families.
For cruises in excess of 4 days, the cheapest option is Go Port Canaveral. They offer free cruise parking for up to 15 days and just charge for the shuttle transport.
Disabled travelers meeting certain criteria can obtain free parking at the official cruise terminal parking lot.
The most convenient cruise parking at Port Canaveral is onsite at the official cruise terminal parking lot. It is just a short walk from the cruise ships, so there’s no need to arrange shuttle transport or taxis to and from the cruise ship.
However, you will pay a higher parking fee ($17 per day) for the convenience. Payment is made onsite by credit card.
Port Canaveral cruise terminal parking includes a point where drivers can drop off their baggage and/or passengers. From there, porters will assist with heavy baggage. Drivers will then be directed to a parking facility nearby.
On your return post-cruise, you can walk to the onsite parking lot with your baggage, or the driver can retrieve the vehicle and pick up passengers and luggage from the terminal entrance.
The new modern Port Canaveral cruise parking facilities can accommodate larger vehicles and RVs. Onsite Port Canaveral cruise parking lots are secure and patrolled 24/7.
Disabled cruise passengers will find the official Port Canaveral cruise parking is extremely convenient and wheelchair-friendly. Special disabled parking spaces are available close to the ship walkway.
N.B. If you choose to park off-site with Lots of Honor or Park n’Cruise, you can also rent a mobility scooter for onboard use for the duration of your cruise for $20 per day.
You can save money by choosing off-site cruise parking away from the port. All the following Port Canaveral cruise parking lots include a free shuttle to the cruise port.
Park n’Cruise has a fleet of 8 shuttle buses to efficiently transfer cruisers between the parking lot and the ship. In business since 2011, this reliable company charges $10.95 per day parking which includes free shuttle transport for up to 4 passengers. Extra riders are charge a one-time $5 fee for the return trip. You can also rent a mobility scooter for onboard use for the duration of your cruise for $20 per day.
Park Port Canaveral offers secure cruise parking just a 5-minute shuttle ride from Port Canaveral cruise terminal. Prepaid parking starts at $10.95 per day and the shuttle is free.
Lots of Honor provides cruise parking near Port Canaveral and a complimentary shuttle bus to and from the port. They offer a cheap daily rate of $9.50 for parking at their secure parking lot plus a $5 port access fee. However, if you are a veteran or first responder, you get a special discounted rate.
They also offer free parking for World War II veterans and a special rate of $8.95 per day for veterans, first responders and their families. Mobility scooter rentals are available for onboard use for the duration of your cruise at $20 per day.
Optional extra services include a temporary car cover for $10 to protect your car from the Florida sun.
Cruisetime Parking at Port Canaveral charges $8 per day for pre-booked parking and the shuttle for up to 4 cruisers is free. Extra passengers are charged a one-time fee of $5. The price rises steeply to $18 per day for same-day reservations. The secure parking lot is on Merritt Island and the journey time is around 15 minutes to the port.
Named after the nearby state road location, 528 Port Cruise Parking offers a range of parking rates depending upon the length of time you need to park with them. Advertised prices start from $5.95 per day for longer stays, plus a one-time port access fee of $5.
Parking for a typical 7-day cruise is $60.60, which works out at $6.95 per day/part day. Parking fees include a free shuttle ride for up to 4 passengers and extra passengers are charged a one-time fee of $6. The lot has perimeter fencing and security monitoring 24/7.
Go Port Canaveral has a slightly different method of charging for cruise parking. It could work out cheaper for single travelers and those taking a longer cruise of up to 15 days.
They offer a Port Canaveral cruise parking package which includes free parking for any length of cruise. They charge $9.95 per person each way for the shuttle.
So, a couple taking a 4-night cruise pay just $39.80 for their shuttle (2 people each way). However, a couple taking a 10-day cruise pay the same rate, which works out at just $3.98 per day.
Located at 2080 N. Atlantic Ave in Cocoa Beach, the company has air-conditioned shuttle buses and a secure parking lot. What’s more, you park your own car and keep your keys with you. The staff has no access to your vehicle at any time.
There is no covered cruise parking near Port Canaveral. However, Lots of Honor offers a temporary car cover for $10 to protect your car from the Florida sun.
If you are taking a cruise from Port Canaveral, you might want to extend your vacation by spending a few days pre- or post-cruise in a hotel. You can enjoy Cocoa Beach, tour the Kennedy Space Center and visit Orlando theme parks. By choosing a hotel that offers Park-and-Cruise packages, it can be surprisingly cost-effective.
Country Inn and Suites by Radisson is the closest hotel to Port Canaveral with cruise parking. Prices are from $112 and includes a free hot breakfast, Wi-Fi, pool and free shuttle to the port as part of your Stay and Cruise package.
Close to Cocoa Beach pier, Best Western Cocoa Beach offers packages from $135 that include cruise parking and free shuttle transport for 2 guests. Additional guests are charged $14 each for the return shuttle transport.
Holiday Inn and Suites has excellent amenities including heated outdoor pool and spa, fitness center and complimentary breakfast buffet to set you up for the day. Prices for Cruise and Stay packages are from $191 and include shuttle transport.
Just off I-95, Budget Inn Cocoa has Park-and-Cruise rates from $60. It includes free Wi-Fi, free HBO, pool and has an IHOP onsite. There is shuttle transport to Port Canaveral for a nominal fee.
If you’re taking a short 3-4 day cruise or traveling as a group, check out 528 Port Cruise Parking.
If you are taking a longer cruise as a couple, Go Port Canaveral is definitely the cheapest option. It offers free parking for up to 15 days and you just pay $9.95 each way per person for the shuttle – an unbeatable total of $39.80.
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If you want the most convenient cruise parking at Port Canaveral, pay more and enjoy the convenience of parking a short walk from the ship with the official Port Canaveral Cruise Parking.
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