Florida Cruise Port Alerts Passengers on Parking Impact

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Port Canaveral has alerted cruise guests of road construction areas that are impacting how to reach parking for select cruise terminals at the very busy port.

Terminals 5, 6, 8, and 10 are the most impacted, and with busy holiday cruises coming up in the next few weeks, all travelers to and from Port Canaveral should be allotting extra time for possible parking challenges.

Road Construction Impacts Traffic and Parking at Port Canaveral

Port Canaveral has reached out via social media to alert cruise guests of road construction on the port’s north side that is impacting how guests can reach several terminals to park for their cruise.

The ongoing road construction projects are to improve traffic flow and create additional parking structures at the port, but in the meantime, traffic redirects are necessary to accommodate heavy equipment and construction operations.

Digital signage, on-road directions, and sheriff’s deputies are all on hand during busy days to direct traffic to luggage drop off points, ride share areas, and the correct parking areas for each specific cruise terminal.

Which Ships Dock Where?

At this time, only the ‘A’ terminals are impacted – 5, 6, 8, and 10. In general, Terminal 5 is for smaller Royal Caribbean ships, while Terminal 6 is designated for smaller Carnival Cruise Line vessels. Terminal 8 is Disney Cruise Line’s terminal, while Terminal 10 is Norwegian Cruise Line’s terminal.

While the designations for which cruise line docks where are usually upheld, in emergency situations or when unexpected obstacles occur, different cruise line’s ships may occasionally dock at different terminals.

It must be noted that the largest ships – such as Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class Allure of the Seas and Wonder of the Seas as well as Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras – dock at Cruise Terminal B; in Cruise Terminal 1 and Cruise Terminal 3, respectively.

These terminals are not affected by the road construction at this time, though heavy traffic can be troublesome at any of the cruise terminals on busy days with multiple ships in port.

Avoiding the Worst Traffic

The best way that cruise passengers can avoid the worst of the traffic and possible parking difficulties is to arrange alternative transportation to the port. For guests who fly in to central Florida before their cruise, shuttle services are available from the airports, or they can arrange ride share services.

Many hotels near Port Canaveral also offer stay-and-shuttle packages, or even stay-and-park packages with shuttle service to the port for guests driving in from several hours away. Several local parking centers are also available.

Cruise travelers local to Port Canaveral may want to investigate carpooling with other guests to minimize traffic as well.

It is also important for cruise guests to adhere to the cruise arrival time windows they selected through their cruise line at check-in. These windows are designed to more efficiently process passengers and avoid overcrowding in the cruise terminals.

Port Canaveral Cruise Ships
Photo Copyright: Robert Michaud / Shutterstock

Sticking to arrival appointment times will also ensure that guests debarking ships have a smoother route to return to their cars and leave the port area before more guests arrive to board the ships. To further ease congestion, passengers may want to select later arrival appointment times.

When traffic is difficult, it is important that all guests remain patient with port personnel and authorities directing traffic. Having cruise documentation, such as boarding passes, available will help ensure directions to the proper parking area and cruise terminal, minimizing any need for backtracking.

Port Canaveral is the world’s busiest cruise port, and continues to shatter passenger records with nearly 7 million guests moving through the port in the 2023 financial year.

With more cruise lines than ever homeporting from central Florida, traffic congestion will become more frequent. Port Canaveral is working to proactively mitigate the issue by beginning parking construction problems now, rather than years later, after traffic has been built to unsustainable levels.

While this does mean more difficulties in the next few months while construction is underway, the new parking and smoother traffic flow will be very welcome once the projects are complete.

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