Port Canaveral is one of the fastest growing cruise ports in the world and is the 2nd busiest cruise port in the United States. For that very reason, parking can be an issue. Here are some Port Canaveral cruise parking costs and tips for making everything a breeze.
Port Canaveral Parking Costs
The current rate for parking at Port Canaveral is $17.00/Day. Remember that this includes your day of departure and day of arrival. So a 7-day cruise out of Canaveral will set you back $119.
One of the main benefits of parking at Port Canaveral and not off-site is that the parking facilities are secure and patrolled 24 hours a day. And of course, there is the convenience of being able to walk straight from your vehicle to the ship without the need for a transfer.
It’s stress free, aside from the cost that is. If you’d like a cheaper option and don’t mind an extra trip, keep reading.
The above image from the Port Canaveral website gives a breakdown of the parking cost depending on the duration of your cruise.
Parking is free for the disabled if the vehicle is equipped with things like ramps, lifts, etc. If you have a Florida Toll Exemption permit parking is also free at the port.
(Keep reading below the hotel section to see hotels near Port Canaveral that offer free parking and shuttle services as a part of accommodations as well.)
Arriving at Port Canaveral at the Right Terminal
Be sure to follow the signs as you get close to the Port Canaveral cruise parking area. There can be up to 6 ships in port at the same time and your GPS may not know exactly which terminal you need for the right ship.
Your ship will be berthed either on the north or south side of the harbor. The electronic signs will tell you where to go for your specific ship and which exit to take.
There are 7 cruise terminals at this port, and you can use the below as a general rule of thumb for where your ship will be berthed. Still follow the signs for when the below has changed.
- Terminal 1: Used by Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line
- Terminal 6 and 10: Used by Carnival Cruise Line
- Terminal 8: Used by Disney Cruise Line
Disney also has a dedicated terminal, used exclusively for their ships. Disney offers shuttle services to and from the airport as part of the cruise package deal. These buses are impossible to miss as soon as you walk out of the baggage claim at Orlando International Airport.
When should I arrive at Port Canaveral for my cruise?
The port is busiest between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm so some travelers try to avoid these times. That being said, check with your cruise line because some bookings state at which time you should arrive to spread out the arrivals of passengers and make the boarding process as seamless as possible. If you arrive too early you may be told to wait.
Video on port layout, directions, transportation, lodging, restaurants and more…
See our list of 67 cruise tips from veteran cruisers here for more tips on parking, packing, planning and more.
Which airport do I fly into for a cruise out of Port Canaveral?
This was my first question when I booked a cruise out of Port Canaveral. There simply isn’t a major airport conveniently located near the port. So which airport do I fly into, and how do I get to the port from there?
There are 5 airports to choose from that are within about an hour drive of the port. You can see them in the image below to get an idea of their proximity.
The most commonly used airport for cruises is Orlando International Airport (MCO) which is a 45-minute drive from the port. The advantage here is that there are many shuttle services available.
Unlike many cruise ports, Port Canaveral does not have an airport within a short drive. So flights to the Orlando area will involve a shuttle service of some kind.
We recently decided to book a shuttle transfer through Go Port Canaveral, and it made the process simple and straightforward. For a shuttle bus for two adults from the airport to the cruise port and back again was around $60.
Where to Book your Pre-cruise Hotel
If you plan on booking a pre-cruise hotel you basically have two options. Either stay near the airport or near the cruise port. This decision may depend on when your flight comes in, but some prefer to be as close to Port Canaveral as possible in the morning to make for a lighter travel day.
Note: Some shuttle services from the airport to Port Canaveral only operate until the afternoon, so if your flight is after 6pm you would have to wait until the next day to utilize these services. In this case, I would recommend someone with a late flight find a hotel near the Orlando airport.
Next, let’s check out some hotels near the airport and near the cruise port…
Hotels Near Orlando International Airport
One advantage of flying to MCO for a Port Canaveral cruise is the abundance of hotels offering free shuttle services to and from the airport.
We stayed at a Hampton Inn which provided free shuttle service to the hotel and was a little over a mile away. But while we were waiting for our bus to pick us up we saw shuttles for La Quinta, Holiday Inn Express, Ramada, Marriott, Country Inn and Suites, Double Tree, and a myriad of others. Just remember to tip your driver if you choose one of these free shuttle services.
What is the closest hotel to the airport? Hyatt Regency is right inside the airport (literally inside) so the only shuttle service required is your two legs. It’s a very convenient option for those wanting to simplify things. Just stay at the Hyatt and take the shuttle straight to the port in the morning.
Hotels Near Port Canaveral
Note: The hotel urls below contain affiliate links that may provide this site a commission should you decide to purchase.
If you plan on driving to the port the night before your cruise, I highly recommend booking a cruise near the port that offers “park and cruise” packages. Some will even offer a “fly, snooze, park, and cruise” packages so you can book it all through the hotel.
There are 5 hotels within 2 miles of Port Canaveral that have received good ratings from previous guests.
- Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Port Canaveral, FL — This is the closest hotel to the port (1 mile), although the next two on the list are only a stone’s throw away. Country Inn & Suites is a 2.5 star hotel that has an 8.2 out of 10 user review score on hotels.com. A full breakfast is included, along with free parking and WiFi, and a cruise shuttle is provided. Rates start around $155 a night. Check out this Country Inn & Suites Here.
- Homewood Suites by Hilton Cape Canaveral-Cocoa Beach — A 3 star hotel, just a mile away from Port Canaveral. Homewood offers a “Park, Stay, and Go” package which provides free on-site parking for one car during your cruise and round trip complimentary shuttle service for two to/from Port Canaveral. Shuttles leave at 9:45 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. each morning. This hotel enjoys a 9.2 out of 10 user review score on hotels.com. A free breakfast and cruise shuttle service is provided. There is also an outdoor pool. Rates start around $250 a night. Check out this Homewood Suites here.
- Residence Inn by Marriott Cape Canaveral Cocoa Beach — Another 3 star hotel right next to the two hotels above, so about a mile away from your ship. This hotel scores an 8.6 out of 10 user review rating on hotels.com. A free continental breakfast and Wifi are provided, along with cruise shuttle services. Rates start around $352 a night. Check out this Residence Inn here.
- Radisson Resort at the Port — This is a full-service resort that offers “park and cruise” packages as part of your accommodation. Guests love the pool at this Radisson. This is a 3 star hotel with an 8.2 out of 10 user review rating from hotels.com Just over a mile from the port, this Radisson offers free WiFi and a great location. Rates start around $130 a night. Check out this Radisson Resort here.
- Holiday Inn Club Vacations Cape Canaveral Beach Resort — 1.5 miles from Port Canaveral, Holiday Inn Club is a 3.5 star hotel with an 8.0 user review rating from hotels.com. From this hotel you can actually get a great view of the cruise ships going by. Free WiFi and parking are available, along with a great free water park for the family. Rates start around $270 a night. Check out this Holiday Inn Club here.
Let’s simplify your Port Canaveral cruise experience
If all the above sounds a bit too complicated, let’s make it simple. You booked a cruise out of Port Canaveral. Check. Now you just need to fly to Orlando, get a hotel, book a 45-minute shuttle to the cruise port, and book a shuttle for the way back to the airport, right?
That’s where Go Port Canaveral comes in. With snooze and cruise packages you can get all that booked under one roof.
We just used this service for a cruise out of Port Canaveral and found the entire process very simple. We were picked up from Orlando International Airport at 10am at the designated zone. They run buses from 10am until the afternoon. The 45-50 minute bus ride was a great time to talk with fellow-passengers and just relax.
We recommend you tip the driver when you arrive at the port, especially if you have some luggage carted below the bus.
Being picked up from the port after the cruise was super convenient as well. Just find the person with the red Go Canaveral shirts and they will find your name listed, give you a number, and off you go.
To Sum it All Up
Port Canaveral is not the most convenient cruise port to sail out of if you’re not from the area (I still love sailing out of Cape Canaveral by the way). But with these tips above it should make the process a lot easier. Just do all the prep-work ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about it when you get into “cruise mode”.
If the Port Canaveral cruise parking price is too high for your liking, there are many park and cruise options in the area. Just remember that you will still need to take a shuttle service to the port from the parking area (usually provided but a tip is customary), and the parking area may not be as secure as the port.
If you’re wondering what other ships are sailing out of Port Canaveral on your cruise dates you can check out the port’s calendar here.
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