Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal: Your One-Stop Guide

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Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal is now the busiest cruise port in the world. In 2022, this popular Florida cruise port served 4,072,396 cruise passengers and for the first time, it overtook PortMiami.

This modern cruise port currently has six main cruise terminals to smoothly serve tens of thousands of embarking and disembarking cruise passengers every day. 

If you’re cruising out of Port Canaveral for the first time, or have not sailed out of the port recently, we’ll fill you in on all the details you need to know, including the huge new CT-3 building.

We outline each of the terminals, locations and amenities. We also cover which cruise lines use terminals at Port Canaveral and give easy directions for how to get there. All you have to do is book your cruise, follow our directions, and have a fabulous luxury cruise experience.

Award-winning Port Canaveral Cruise Terminals

As well as being the busiest cruise terminal in the world, Port Canaveral was also voted the Best U.S. Cruise Homeport. It received this prestigious award as part of Cruise Hive’s Annual Cruise Ship Awards. This annual event recognizes the best of the best in the cruise industry. 

As the popular port has been awarded “Best Homeport” for three consecutive years in a row, and there are many reasons for this top-ranking status:

  • Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal is easy to reach by road and air.
  • It has excellent facilities, including a wide choice of cruise parking options. As well as parking garages serving each terminal, there are also offsite cruise parking companies with a shuttle service to and from the port.
  • There are many hotels near Port Canaveral offering Cruise, Park and Stay packages for cruisers at reasonable cost. These include complimentary shuttles, a night’s stay and parking for the duration of your cruise.
  • Port Canaveral has an ideal climate for winter cruises around the Caribbean, Bahamas, Transatlantic, East Coast of Mexico, and further afield.
  • Port Canaveral cruise terminal is conveniently close to Orlando theme parks, Cocoa Beach, Kennedy Space Center, and other top tourist destinations for those who want to enjoy a pre- or post-cruise stay.

Navigating Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal Locations

There are currently six Port Canaveral Cruise Terminals along the North and South sides of the channel. There are three “A” Terminals along the north side of the channel (Terminals 5, 6 and 8) and three “B” Terminals along the south side (Terminals 1, 3 and 10). 

Port Canaveral also hosts the Victory Casino ship that departs from Terminal 2 twice a day.

The port’s north side has three large turning basins for these huge ships to turn around before exiting past Jetty Park and into Canaveral Bight and the Atlantic Ocean.

Port Canaveral, Florida
Port Canaveral, Florida (Photo Credit: YES Market Media)

From the SR-529, take Exit 54A for the A terminals and use Exit 54B for the B terminals.  

Here’s a detailed breakdown of each Port Canaveral cruise terminal facility and which cruise companies use which terminal. However, it’s important to note that cruise terminal assignments can change, the cruise line may use different terminals for various sailings, or may make changes over time. 

Cruise Terminal #1

The address for the terminal is 9050 Discovery Road, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920.

Located between terminals 3 and 10, Cruise Terminal 1 was specially built to accommodate some of the largest cruise ships in the world, including Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas. Cruise Terminal 1 is right next to The Cove, which features restaurants and refreshments.

This SMART terminal covers 188,000 square feet. It has over 1800 parking spaces with automated payment machines just a short walk from the ship. You can go from vehicle to vessel in around 8 minutes! Luggage can be deposited at the parking garage, where it is transported by a huge covered conveyor directly to the ship to be scanned, security checked and loaded.

Cruise Terminal 1
Cruise Terminal 1 (Credit: Port Canaveral)

Expedited check-in desks are on the ground (first floor) level of the terminal with scanning stations, U.S. customs desks and passport control. Elevators, ramps and escalators transport cruisers and their hand luggage to the second floor where they will go through the check-in process. 

The waiting area has 1,800 seats and monitors to keep cruisers updated with information about the boarding process. A separate VIP area has comfy sofa seating for a further 250 guests. The terminal has 160 security cameras, energy-efficient lighting, and many more features.

Cruise Terminal 1 has two covered elevated gangways for embarking and debarking passengers to use. These automated movable walkways connect with the second-floor loading bridge of the passenger terminal. There is also a separate gangway and processing area for the ship’s crew.

Allure of the Seas at Port Canaveral
Allure of the Seas at Port Canaveral

This relatively new cruise terminal is used mainly by some of Royal Caribbean’s biggest cruise ships, including Harmony of the Seas, Wonder of the Seas and Independence of the Seas. Adventure of the Seas and Allure of the Seas were added to the Port Canaveral home fleet in late 2023, along with Voyager of the Seas from 2024.

Cruise Terminal #3

220 Christopher Columbus Drive 

Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal 3 has been recently redeveloped and is used mainly by Carnival Cruise Line. It is on the port’s south side next to Jetty Park Viewpoint and closest to the channel exit. 

This huge terminal covers 185,000 square feet, handles 10,000 pieces of luggage at any one time, and costs $155 million to build. It was specifically designed to serve as homeport to Carnival’s huge Mardi Gras cruise ship, which carries 6,500 passengers. 

The new CT-3 terminal is the largest single-construction project ever at the port. The work included dredging of the port, bridge work, upgraded berth construction for larger ships, road widening, and several new buildings, including a new cruise parking garage onsite.

Terminal 3
Terminal 3 (Credit: Port Canaveral)

This state-of-the-art terminal was completed in 2020 and adjoins a dedicated 1,800-vehicle parking garage with elevators and a drop-off point for luggage and passengers. The third-floor parking garage is dedicated to handicapped parking and those who need special assistance with step-free access to the second floor of the terminal.

Worth Reading: Port Canaveral Cruise Parking: What You Need to Know

The terminal includes the latest high-tech features to enable U.S. Customs and Border Control to scan thousands of cruisers and their luggage faster and more efficiently.

There is a smooth security and check-in process using screens within the Embarkation Hall. The waiting area has restrooms and 1,200 airport-style seats and benches. It includes phone charging points. There is a 500-seat VIP area with more space and luxury seating around a bar. 

Covered walkways transport cruisers along ramps between the terminal building and the ship. When debarking, there is a huge luggage hall with stainless steel tables, increasing the required space for thousands of bags. 

Cruise Terminal #5

The terminal address is 9245 Charles M. Rowland Drive. This older cruise terminal at Port Canaveral is now used mainly by Norwegian Cruise Line ships and Marella Discovery. It has on-site parking for 1,200 vehicles.

Cruise Terminal 5
Cruise Terminal 5 (Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks)

Cruise Terminal #6

Guests can locate the terminal at 9241 Charles M. Rowland Drive. Carnival Cruise Line mainly uses Cruise Terminal 6. Carnival Glory will also be home-porting out of Port Canaveral starting in Spring 2024.  The terminal has onsite parking for 1,200 vehicles.

Cruise Terminal 6
Cruise Terminal 6 Far Back (Photo Credit Ihor Koptilin)

Cruise Terminal #8

The cruise terminal is located at 9155 Charles M. Rowland Drive. Cruise Terminal 8 is used by three Disney cruise ships. It’s the ideal home port for these ships, being so close to Orlando theme parks for a combined Disney-themed vacation and cruise. The terminal has parking for 1,500 vehicles.

Disney's Cruise Terminal 8
Disney’s Cruise Terminal 8 (Photo Credit: fitzcrittle)

Cruise Terminal #10

This terminal can be found at 9005 Charles M. Rowland Drive, Cape Canaveral. Terminal 10 is primarily used as a home port by MSC cruise ships, including MSC Divina and MSC Meraviglia. MSC Seaside will join them for part of the 2023 season. The MSC Seashore cruise ship arrived in November 2023.

MSC Seaside in Port Canaveral
MSC Seaside in Port Canaveral (Photo Courtesy: Port Canaveral)

Some Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) cruises also sail from Terminal 10. Norwegian Jade and Norwegian Epic will join Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Getaway in 2024. The terminal has parking for 2000 vehicles.

The remainder of the port’s north side is off-limits as it accommodates the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the U.S. Army Transportation Base and the Container Port.

Which Cruise Lines Use Port Canaveral as a Homeport?

All the main cruise lines use Port Canaveral as their homeport for some of their ships. These include Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, and Royal Caribbean International.

Port Canaveral is currently homeport to 20 ships, including Carnival, Disney, MSC, Norwegian (NCL), Royal Caribbean and Marella Cruises. Carnival Cruise Line is the longest of any of the cruise partners and has been sailing out of Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal since 1990.

Cruise Ships in Port Canaveral, Florida
Photo Credit: Robert Michaud / Shutterstock

In 2024, Princess Cruises will begin to homeport the iconic “love boat” cruise ship, the Caribbean Princess, at Port Canaveral. It will offer Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. 

In total,  Port Canaveral offers easy access to more than 50 destinations, including the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Eastern and Western Mexico. Other cruise lines visit Cape Canaveral as a port of call. These include Costa Cruises, Cunard, Oceania, P&O, Tui, and Regent Seven Seas.

Restaurants and Amenities for Passengers at Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal

The Cove is located between Terminals 1 and 10. It is just off George King Blvd at Port Canaveral cruise port. The Cove has several restaurants serving the B cruise terminals on the south side of the port. These include Fishlips Waterfront Bar and Grill, Rusty’s Seafood and Oyster Bar, Gators Dockside Sports Pub, Subway, Rising Tide, and Grills Tiki Bar.

Read Also: Amazing Things to Do in Port Canaveral

There is also an Exploration Tower at Cruise Terminal B as part of the 200,000 sq. ft. retail, dining and entertainment space. This 7-story landmark has interactive exhibits and observation decks along with a theater, cafe and gift shop to explore before you sail away.

Restaurants and Amenities at Port Canaveral
Restaurants and Amenities at Port Canaveral (Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks)

The landmark black-and-white Canaveral Lighthouse is nearby. Built in the 1800s, it offers tours with superb views for those willing to climb eight floors to the top. 

Located near Terminal 3, Jetty Park is a 4.5-acre sandy park and beach that offers excellent views of cruise ships arriving and departing. You can also view NASA rocket launches from here. The park has a fishing pier, pavilions, playground, a concession stand and a bait and tackle shop.

Getting to Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal

From I-95

If you are traveling to Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal from South Florida, North Florida or the northern states, the best way to reach the port is on the I-95, which runs north-south down the East Coast.

  • From I-95: Take exit 205 East.
  • Join SR-528 East toll road (Beachline Expressway).
  • Drive 11.5 miles east.
  • Exit onto SR-401 North.
  • Drive one mile north, then exit right and follow signs to the Charles M. Rowland Drive and Cruise Terminal Drive.

From Orlando (MCO) International Airport

The journey from Orlando Airport to Port Canaveral is about 45 miles and takes at least 45 minutes for the trip. The best way to drive from Orlando to Port Canaveral Cruise Terminals is on SR-528 (Beachline Expressway), a toll road. 

  • Take the North Exit out of the airport.
  • Keep right following signs for SR-528 East toll road (Beachline Expressway).
  • Head east on SR-528.
  • After crossing over the I-95, drive a further 11.5 miles.
  • Exit onto SR-401 North.
  • Drive one mile north, then exit right and follow signs to the Charles M. Rowland Drive and Cruise Terminal Drive.

Getting to the Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal

Located in Brevard County, midway down Florida’s East Coast, Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal is just 46 miles east of Orlando International Airport. The SR-528 toll road, also known as the Bee Line or Beachline Expressway, makes the journey quick and easy, taking motorists less than 45 minutes to go from city to coast.

Port Canaveral, US Homeport
Photo Credit: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock

Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal is a mere 15 miles from Junction 205 on the I-95. This major interstate runs for almost 2000 miles from Miami in Southeast Florida to the Canadian border in Maine. If you’re driving to Port Canaveral for your cruise, you’ll probably drive part of the journey on one of the two highways mentioned above.

If you’re flying into Florida in preparation for your cruise departure from Port Canaveral, there are several international airports within easy reach of the cruise terminal. These include:

  • Melbourne International Airport (MLB) – 28 miles from Port Canaveral Cruise Port
  • Orlando (MCO) International Airport – 46 miles
  • Sanford (SFB) Airport – 65 miles
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood (FLL) International Airport – 196 miles
  • Miami (MIA) International Airport – 214 miles

See a NASA Rocket Launch from Port Canaveral Cruise Port

Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal takes its name from Cape Canaveral, one of the most well-known barrier islands along Florida’s East Coast. The cruise port is immediately to the south of Cape Canaveral, better known as the home of the NASA Kennedy Space Center.

Falcon 9 Rocket Launch from Cape Canaveral
Falcon 9 Rocket Launch from Cape Canaveral

You can actually see the famous rocket launch site from the Exploration Tower in Port Canaveral. Check the KSC events calendar, as you may have the chance to see a satellite or rocket launch during your visit to Cape Canaveral Cruise Terminal.

Cruises regularly depart from Cape Canaveral cruise terminal to Bermuda, The Bahamas, Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean itineraries, Transatlantic, and other destinations for cruise vacations further afield.

Sustainable Environmental Initiatives at Port Canaveral

Port Canaveral continues to expand, but it does so in the context of sustainable tourism. The surrounding waters are a haven for marine life, including endangered manatees, plants and migratory birds.

For over 30 years, Port Canaveral has managed a water quality monitoring program. All stormwater at the Port is treated for nutrient reduction and is then discharged as clean water into Canaveral Harbor rather than the Banana River. The new terminals all use low-energy lighting.

Future Plans for Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal

Port Canaveral continues to expand with proposals for a new cruise terminal that would open in late 2026 on the port’s south side. 

Those plans were revealed in an amended five-year capital budget plan by Canaveral Port Authority commissioners. The new terminal will cost an estimated $175 million. The move comes as Port Canaveral anticipates the addition of several new cruise ships to the homeport lineup in late 2024.

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