Full Information to Cruising From Port Canaveral



Whereas Miami would possibly take the title of “Cruise Capital of the World,” many individuals don’t understand that Port Canaveral close to Orlando is true with it when it comes to recognition. In complete, the port sees greater than 4 million passengers every year (with a file 4.6 million in 2019, probably eclipsed in 2023), making it among the many busiest cruise ports on the planet.

Port Canaveral sign and tower
Port Canaveral is without doubt one of the busiest and hottest cruise ports in America. Right here’s what to know earlier than you sail from the spot.

In the meantime, the port continues to develop. With a brand new terminal lately constructed to serve Carnival’s largest ship (Mardi Gras), the capability of Port Canaveral merely retains rising. All instructed, every year sees a whole lot of cruise ship departures from the port. That’s to not point out the ships that dock right here throughout their cruises to permit passengers to go to close by Orlando.

However as with all main port, first-time cruisers (or those that merely haven’t visited lately) could have a number of questions on crusing. That will help you out, we’ve lined all the pieces you want to find out about cruising from Port Canaveral, together with tons of details about parking, terminals, navigating the port, and rather more.

Have extra questions on Port Canaveral? Tell us within the feedback under.

Quick Info

  • Distance from Orlando Airport: 45 miles
  • Variety of Cruise Terminals: 6 (plus one on line casino ship terminal)
  • Passengers Carried Every Yr: ~5 million
  • Cruise Ship Dockings Every Yr: ~ 800+

Port Location

Map showing location of Port Canaveral and Orlando Airport
Sitting about 45 minutes from the airport in Orlando, it’s a little bit of a drive. Nonetheless, it’s a straight shot and comparatively straightforward to get to with plenty of transportation choices. Map information: Google

Port Canaveral is positioned in jap central Florida, roughly a 45-60 minutes from Orlando. Simply south of the well-known Kennedy Area Heart, the world surrounding the port presents so much to see and do inside minutes. Close by are the cities of Cocoa, in addition to Cocoa Seashore and Titusville.

The port itself is a big, “L-shaped” advanced with plenty of cruise terminals on the far western edge. As well as, there are cruise terminals alongside the southern finish of the port.

Map of Port Canaveral Terminals
A complete of six cruise terminals are positioned at Port Canaveral. Views of Terminal 1& 3 are under on this article. Map information: Google

Whereas every terminal has a barely completely different deal with, they’re all in the identical advanced. When you plan to drive in, you should use the next deal with for navigation:

9241 Charles M Rowland Dr
Port Canaveral, FL 32920

As soon as within the port space, you’ll see signage directing you to every particular person cruise ship in port that day.

In case you are flying into the Orlando space, then the possibilities are good you’ll be spending a while within the space, maybe on the quite a few points of interest and theme parks. Listed below are the distances and instances to get to Port Canaveral from plenty of in style spots within the area.

  • Orlando Airport: 45 miles | 45 minutes
  • Disney World: 67 miles | 1 hour quarter-hour
  • Common Studios: 60 miles | 1 hour
  • Downtown Orlando: 55 miles | 55 minutes
  • Kennedy Area Heart: 18 miles | half-hour
  • Cocoa Seashore: 5 miles | 10 minutes

Undecided get the Port Canaveral from Orlando? We define your decisions under.

Attending to Port Canaveral (Transportation)

The unhealthy information about Port Canaveral is that it’s not extraordinarily handy to get to if you’re flying into or staying within the Orlando space. The excellent news? There’s a thriving trade that caters to cruise passengers, together with transportation choices to get you forwards and backwards between Orlando and the cruise terminals.

On our Port Canaveral transportation page, we’ve lined the principle transportation choices in depth. Beneath, we hit the highlights of how one can get to the port.

If driving to the port, there’s loads of signage to direct you the place to go. It’s useful to have a passenger navigate whereas the driving force focuses on the highway, which might twist and switch within the port space.

Driving to Port Canaveral
When you reside within the space, then driving to the port is handy. Driving permits you to arrive everytime you need and head dwelling in your schedule with out ready on anybody else. As nicely, given the gap between Orlando and the port — together with the variety of issues to do within the space — driving is particularly good as a straightforward option to get round.

When you do drive, remember you’ll have to park your automotive. Parking on the port is handy, however prices $17 per day. There are impartial heaps which can be cheaper. See extra particulars in our parking part under.

Unbiased Shuttles
Not driving? As we talked about earlier, there’s a complete trade that’s popped up catering to cruisers. Living proof: There are a variety of corporations providing shuttles forwards and backwards between Orlando and Port Canaveral. Essentially the most handy place to catch one in all these shuttles is from the airport, nevertheless many will pickup from different spots like Disney. Anticipate to pay $40-60 per particular person roundtrip for the shuttles, which isn’t unhealthy contemplating the gap.

Click here to see our article on port transportation to see an inventory of shuttle corporations providing rides to the port.

Resort Shuttles
With so many lodges round Port Canaveral, there are a number of that may present a plum service — they are going to choose you up on the airport with a shuttle, take you to the resort, after which offer you a experience to the cruise port. Whenever you return, they are going to provide the identical in reverse. It’s a pleasant perk for these flying in and planning to remain at a resort the night time earlier than their cruise.

You can see our full list of hotels with airport and cruise shuttles here.

Different Modes
Concerned about different modes of transportation to Port Canaveral like taxis, Uber/Lyft, and cruise line shuttles? They will all get you to the port, however are usually costlier and/or much less handy than the methods listed above. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to examine all of your choices on our Port Canaveral transportation page.

Motels within the Cruise Port Space

Hotel in Port Canaveral
With the city of Cocoa Seashore close by, there are quite a lot of locations to remain close to the cruise port. Practically all will provide some type of shuttle service to the terminals.

Given the placement of Port Canaveral — about 45 minutes from the Orlando Airport and an hour from the town correct — it’s a good suggestion to move to the world the day earlier than your cruise and keep the night time. That approach there’s no rush on embarkation day and you’ll loosen up earlier than your cruise begins.

And Cocoa Seashore, proper subsequent to the port, presents a ton of choices on the place to remain and issues to do. Many lodges embrace shuttles to the port and/or cruise parking, making them particularly enticing for cruise passengers.

Listed below are just a few lodges within the space which can be close to the port:

You can see a more complete list of hotels here. For probably the most half, the lodges close to the port are well-known, respected chains. Practically all may have a shuttle out there to take you to the cruise port. 

Issues to Do Close to the Port

One of many good issues about Port Canaveral is that the port advanced and the encompassing space have plenty of issues to do close by.

Royal Caribbean ship in Port Canaveral
There are many eating places on the port, together with many by CT 1, providing you with an ideal view of Royal Caribbean ships in port.

Eating places
Within the port space are a number of eating places that sit proper on the water. Not solely are you able to get a chew to eat or one thing chilly to drink, however you can too have a first-rate spot to see the ships in port. When you aren’t crusing, then the cruise ships additionally move proper in entrance of you as they head out to sea. Locations to eat embrace Grills Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar and Fishlips Waterfront Bar & Grill (together with many others).

Exploration Tower
Whenever you arrive on the port, you’ll be able to’t miss the tallest construction within the space that appears just like the sail of a ship. It’s the Exploration Tower — an remark deck with displays concerning the port space on every flooring. It presents an ideal view of the world and a novel vantage level the place you’ll be able to see all of the ships in port.

Kennedy Area Heart
After all, being on Cape Canaveral you’re proper close to the Kennedy Space Center. Right here you’ll be able to see rockets launch (in the event that they match your schedule) or go to the middle to rise up shut an private with NASA’s historical past with tons of displays. They even have the retired area shuttle Atlantis on show for guests.

Cocoa Seashore
If you are headed to the seashore in your cruise, why not get it began early? Cocoa Seashore is only a brief distance from the port. There you’ll be able to hit the seashore or discover the world the place there are a ton of vacationer actions, outlets, and eating places. Try the world close to the Cocoa Seashore pier for one of the in style hangouts.

Cruise Terminals

All instructed, Port Canaveral has six terminals that serve cruise ships, together with Terminal 3, which is the latest addition that was constructed in the course of the pandemic.

Terminal 1 & 3 Port Canaveral
Terminal 1 is dwelling to Royal Caribbean, whereas Terminal 3 presents service for Carnival. Map information: Google

Situated on the south financial institution of the port and to the east of many of the different terminals, CT1 is dwelling to Royal Caribbean. There’s a small retail space and a parking storage proper on the terminal. When you’re into ship recognizing, there are eating places proper close to the terminal that can provide you an up-close have a look at the ship in port.

Cruise Terminal 3 is dwelling to Carnival Mardi Gras — the cruise line’s largest class of ship up to now and the primary in North America to run on cleaner-burning LNG. The terminal is the most important single venture within the port’s historical past and measures a staggering 185,000 sq. ft. It additionally features a parking storage proper subsequent to the terminal.

Situated within the northern a part of the port, CT5 is dwelling to Royal Caribbean ships. As with different ports, a parking storage is only a few steps from the cruise terminal.

Terminal 6
Whether or not you wish to sail Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, MSC, Disney or others, all of them sail from Port Canaveral.

Proper subsequent to CT5, this terminal is dwelling to Carnival. It’s additionally in the course of the northern a part of the port, giving nice views of another cruise ships in port on embarkation day.

As you would possibly count on given the comparatively brief distance to Disney World in Orlando, Disney Cruises has a big presence on the port. CT8 is the Disney terminal, the place you’ll discover its ships embarking to take households on cruises to the Bahamas and Caribbean.

The final cruise terminal on the western facet of the port is CT10, which serves Norwegian ships and MSC. From right here it’s a virtually straight shot down the channel and out to sea.

Dropping Off/Choosing Up Passengers

Are you taking somebody to the cruise port? Or perhaps you’re choosing up somebody after their trip? That may save some huge cash in parking charges, and make it a lot simpler for them to begin their cruise.

Dropping off passengers at Port Canaveral
In case you are driving somebody to the port or choosing up, simply comply with the indicators to the loading space in entrance of the terminal.

When you do plan to drop off or choose up, then simply know that it’s a comparatively easy idea. Simply comply with the indicators to the suitable terminal. From there, you will notice indicators pointing you to the drop-off and pick-up areas, that are clearly marked.

The process is very similar to the airport. You may pull up, let passengers out and so they get their luggage. In all, it ought to solely take you a couple of minutes.

One phrase of warning — the port space (particularly the western terminals) could be a bit complicated to get round. There are many indicators, but additionally a number of twists and turns. It’s useful to have a passenger to concentrate on the signage to direct you the place to go whereas driving.

Parking for a Port Canaveral Cruise

In case you are driving into Port Canaveral, then there’s the query of what to do along with your automotive if you are in your cruise. Given the scale of the port, there are a variety of parking choices. We cowl all of your choices on our Port Canaveral cruise parking page — together with costs and places. Beneath, we cowl the principle choices — parking on the port, impartial heaps, and lodges with cruise parking.

Official Port Parking
In search of probably the most handy parking on your cruise? Look no additional than the official port parking. Every terminal has a parking storage that’s proper at their respective terminals. In different phrases, you’ll be able to park and be on the terminal. When it’s time to move dwelling, you’ve gotten solely a brief stroll again to your automotive. Most garages provide greater than 1,000 areas, which means there are many spots.

Parking garage at Port Canaveral
Every cruise terminal options loads of parking, actually steps from the ship. It’s probably the most handy possibility by far, however prices $17 per day.

It it laborious to beat the comfort of parking proper at your ship. The port fees $17 per day for many autos (card solely, no money). Outsized automobile parking can be out there.

One factor to notice is that the storage fees for days of arrival and departure. Say you’ve gotten a three-night cruise that departs Friday afternoon and will get again Monday morning. On this case, you’re charged for 4 days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday), despite the fact that your ship will get again very first thing Monday morning.

When you’re a disabled cruise passenger you then could possibly park for free at the port. In case your automobile has lodging resembling ramps or lifts, or you’ve gotten a Florida Toll Exemption allow, or a Disabled Veteran plate from Florida, then you will get free parking. When you suppose you is likely to be eligible, then name the port at 321-783-7831 for extra particulars.

Unbiased Parking Tons
One of many nice issues about crusing from Port Canaveral is that there are a variety of impartial parking heaps close to the cruise ships. The heaps is probably not proper on the port, however they’re shut and provide shuttles. Better of all, they provide cheaper parking charges that may be round $10-12 per day (and in some circumstances even inexpensive).

Just like the cruise port, these heaps normally cost by the day as a substitute of the night time. So a three-night cruise may have you paying for 4 days of parking, even if you happen to get your automotive again early within the morning.

Motels with Cruise Parking
A pleasant perk with such a vacationer hotspot is that there are quite a lot of lodges competing for your online business. And as a cruise city, which means many lodges in Cape Canaveral will mean you can park your automotive when you cruise in return for an evening’s keep. Generally parking is free, however normally it’s a part of a bundle or an additional cost every night time. Motels may even arrange a experience to the port for you.

Normally parking on the resort is even cheaper than parking at impartial heaps. That stated, if you happen to don’t plan to remain in a resort earlier than you journey, the added expense of an evening’s keep isn’t well worth the financial savings on cheaper parking. You may see our full list of Port Canaveral hotels with parking here.

Examine-In & Safety

Able to get in your ship? Earlier than you’ll be able to board, you’ll should undergo two issues on the port: safety and check-in. The excellent news is that each are comparatively straightforward.

As you attain the port, the very first thing you’ll do is drop any checked luggage with a porter earlier than you enter the terminal constructing. These luggage might be taken, loaded on the ship, and arrive at your cabin later within the night. You don’t should test any luggage if you happen to don’t wish to. It merely makes it simpler to board the ship than having to hold all of your baggage round.

For many passengers, they probably envision safety like going to the airport — lengthy strains, invasive searches and tight guidelines on liquids. Cruise safety is extra relaxed.

As you enter the constructing, you’ll have somebody test your boarding paperwork. You’ll then place your luggage on an x-ray machine when you stroll via the steel detector. Until one thing comes up, that’s it. From there you head to check-in.

Nowadays many cruise strains have on-line check-in, which hurries up the method. If checked-in on-line, you merely have your paperwork checked and end up any final points that have to be cleared earlier than you board. You then stroll your option to the ship and your room keys might be ready for you at your cabin door.

Usually there are dozens of brokers working, making the road transfer rapidly. As soon as on the agent’s desk, you’ll arrange your onboard spending account (if you happen to didn’t already on-line), get your room key after which head to the ship. That’s all there’s to boarding your cruise.


Disembarking in Port Canaveral is comparatively straightforward. The port makes use of facial recognition, which means you stroll off the ship, take a photograph, after which you’re in your approach.

One of many humorous issues about cruising is that whereas everybody can’t wait to get on the ship to begin their trip, they’re simply as wanting to get off the ship when it arrives again in port. And as a serious and fashionable cruise port, the disembarkation of the ship at Port Canaveral is normally easy and comparatively fast given the variety of passengers on a contemporary cruise ship.

Whenever you get again to Port Canaveral, you’ll have the choice of carrying all of your luggage off the ship your self, or setting out the bigger luggage to be picked up and introduced ashore by the porters. Many individuals decide to simply carry all luggage themselves as this implies you might be among the many first group to get off the ship.

When you depart the ship, you’ll enter the terminal and choose up any baggage that you just had the porters carry off the ship forward of time. You’ll then enter the road to be checked again into the nation by customs brokers. All instructed, the method will fluctuate in size of time relying on just a few components — most notably the variety of brokers working to course of the ship and if there are automated kiosks.

If crusing with a passport, terminals have kiosks that mean you can rapidly take a photograph, and as soon as confirmed by way of facial recognition, head in your approach. When you have a delivery certificates, then count on to attend in line to satisfy with a Border Patrol agent to assessment your paperwork.

As soon as cleared, merely head out the doorways to search out your floor transportation. If utilizing a shuttle service or if somebody is choosing you up, be sure you make plans on the place you’ll be picked up earlier than you get again to port. This can make it a lot simpler and quicker to get out of the port space after disembarking.

Steadily Requested Questions

What Concerning the On line casino Cruise Terminal?
Not each cruise ship that calls Port Canaveral dwelling heads to the Caribbean or Bahamas. Victory Casino Cruises operates out of CT2, subsequent door to CT3 (the brand new Carnival terminal). The on line casino ship runs two each day journeys (most days) to out-of-state waters the place playing is authorized.

On board you can see slot machines, dozens of desk video games, sports activities betting, a buffet and extra. Contemplating that playing is localized to just a few spots in Florida, the on line casino ship is an enormous draw for these trying to get their repair for just a few hours. For more details on the Victory Casino Cruises, see our article here.

What’s the Most cost-effective Place to Park?
As we talked about above, parking on the port itself is handy, however runs $17 per day. The cheapest spot we’ve found is parking with CruiseTime Parking. They really mean you can park for as little as $10 per day. That fee is significantly lower than what the port fees, although you don’t get the comfort of parking proper on the ship.

What’s the Most cost-effective Option to Get to the Port?
Because of the competitors between shuttle corporations, there are a variety of cheap choices to get between Orlando and the cruise port. A resort with a shuttle will probably be the most affordable total approach assuming you propose to remain anyway. Different shuttles might be round $40-60 roundtrip. See our article on inexpensive transport options here.

What’s the Earliest I Ought to Schedule a Return Flight?
Many individuals fly into Orlando for his or her cruise. That leaves the query of when must you schedule the flight again dwelling? Cruise ships return to port early within the morning (6-7 a.m.), after which it may well take 2-3 hours for everybody to get off the ship. Meaning you will get off the ship and in your approach wherever between 8-10 a.m. in lots of circumstances. After all, you then have a forty five minute experience to the port, adopted by safety screening.

That’s why we propose not scheduling a flight again till after 1 p.m. Sure, you could possibly get to the sooner, however it will permit loads of time in order that it’s not a mad sprint to catch your flight. It’s additionally useful in case you have TSA PreCheck as the massive variety of households flying from Orlando can imply lengthy safety strains.

Extra on Crusing From Port Canaveral:

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Complete Guide to Cruising From Port Canaveral


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