Port Canaveral Tips for Florida Cruises

What you need to know about embarking from Port Canaveral, Florida for your next cruise vacation to the Caribbean.

Port Canaveral might just be the perfect terminal for your next cruise vacation. Why? It is within easy driving distance of three airports, Disney World, Cape Canaveral, and the Kennedy Space Center.

Also, this port boasts of some of the easiest terminal navigation and ship boarding, as well as top customer service in the industry. Consider adding these renowned destinations to your vacation before or after the cruise to create fun times and happy memories.

How to Get There

Two major airports offer close flight service for the area: Melbourne International (MLB, 20 miles south) and Orlando International (MCO, 45 miles west). A third airport, Orlando Sanford International (SFB), is about an hour north.

From MLB, The Space Coast Area Transit (SCAT) offers easy trolley and bus rides to and from the port. You may also want to reserve a shared door-to-door shuttle service with The Melbourne Airport Express.

From MCO, you can readily arrange shuttle bus service (30 passengers) with one of five companies running between the airport and cruise port. Taxis and private car services charge a flat rate and generally require reservations.

If you are driving your own vehicle, Port Canaveral offers secure parking facilities close to the terminals and ships. (No shuttle needed between parking and boarding.) Their lots are patrolled 24 hours/day, and have porters to assist with loading and unloading luggage. Rates appear to be approximately $20/day for standard vehicles; decreasing with longer stays. One convenient option is to prepay for parking online.

Photo By: Russell Otway

Who Sails from Port Canaveral

As of publication, five major cruise lines depart from this port on Florida’s east coast: Carnival, Disney, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Victory Casino Cruises. There are multiple ships and a full yearly schedule of departures conveniently located HERE at the official Port Canaveral website.

What Can I Expect at My Cruise Terminal

Port Canaveral prides itself on ‘hassle-free’ cruise vacations. Updated facilities; close parking; and exceptionally adept staff make this embarkation/debarkation point a favorite among regular cruisers. You can also enjoy air-conditioned waiting areas and plenty of food and drink options prior to board.

Arrive early and stop by the Exploration Tower while in port for activities, movies, exhibits, and stunning views. You can explore the 12,000-year history of the area including native cultures, pirates, shipwrecks, orange groves, space travel, and other interesting topics. This is a fun destination in itself.

Also Read: Top 5 Things to See When Cruising South Florida

Interesting Tidbits

Port Canaveral has supported the space program throughout its history. Vessels from here retrieved Alan Shepard’s space capsule in 1961. In 1965 the Canaveral Lock opened passage for Saturn rockets. And, the port recovered boosters at sea during the space shuttle program.

Three of the world’s largest and most advanced cruise ships (the Carnival Magic, Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, and the Norwegian Epic) all sail from this port to over 20 destinations in the Caribbean.

It is the ‘world’s 2nd busiest cruise port in multi-day embarkations’.

You can find outdoor fun in Port Canaveral’s waterfront parks. Beachcomb, splash in the surf, sport fish, enjoy wildlife (the Great Florida Birding Trail runs through here), and even camp in the area. It’s a whole vacation 2.0 that can be combined your cruise!

OK, fellow map-nerds, here’s what you have been waiting for PORT CANAVERAL official map.

Angela Minor
Angela Minor
Enchanted with cruising from my first voyage in the Bahamas on the SS Emerald Seas to Alaska’s Inside Passage. Professional freelance writer and published indie author. Find out more about us here.


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