Tips for First-Time Port Canaveral Cruisers

Tips for First-Time Port Canaveral Cruisers

You’ve booked your first cruise out of Port Canaveral, and you’re counting down the days until departure. While cruising, in general, is pretty simple, it can be overwhelming for those who’ve never sailed before. With that in mind, here are a few tips when sailing out of Port Canaveral.

General Info About Port Canaveral

Port Canaveral is located in Brevard County on Florida’s Space Coast. The closest major city is Orlando, which is about 45 miles directly west of the port. Be sure to check out our Port Canaveral Cruise Guide which has everything you need to know about the area, including parking, airport information, dining, and things to do.

Don’t Fly on the Day of Your Cruise Departure

Our team at Sail Port Canaveral recommends flying in at least one day prior to your cruise departure. Therefore, if there are any delays, such as a cancellation or luggage problems, you will have enough time to reach your ship in time. Keep in mind that cruise lines do not hold the ship if you’re running late, and in the event you miss your departure time, you will have to arrange transportation to the first port destination.

Booking your pre-cruise stay on Florida’s Space Coast doesn’t have to be a hassle. Trust our team at Sail Port Canaveral to find the best price and accommodations for you.

CALL US TODAY!  321.783.8655

Arrive at Your Departure Port Ahead of Schedule

Whether you’re flying or driving in, it is recommended that you arrive at least one day early at your departure port. We already covered potential flight delays above, but for those driving, you don’t want an accident, car trouble, or even bad weather to delay your arrival. Not to mention the stress that will cause before you set sail. 

Most travelers arriving early take part in a Park, Stay & Cruise package or a Fly, Stay & Cruise package. These packages are designed to take care of everything you need pre-cruise such as airport transfers, hotel accommodations, parking, and cruise transfers. Our team can help you choose the best package for you and your needs. Fill out the form on those pages and tell us about your trip. 

Plus, there is so much to experience on Florida’s Space Coast before your cruise. Check out the 3 Fun Things to Do Near Port Canaveral.

Have a Parking Plan

Perhaps you are within commuting distance and just need to park your car before your cruise. Don’t arrive without a plan! Port Canaveral is the world’s busiest cruise port, and with thousands of passengers coming and going in one day, having a parking plan is wise.

Sail Port Canaveral offers a Park & Cruise package, which includes round-trip cruise transfers for up to four people. However, we have an extensive overview of all your parking options here.

Board Later to Board Faster

As previously mentioned, Port Canaveral is the busiest port in the world. Most ships wrap up disembarkation by 10 a.m. and are ready to accept new passengers shortly after. 

Cruise ships require all passengers to be on board no fewer than one to two hours before the scheduled departure, which is always in the late afternoon or early evening. While you and thousands of other passengers are eager to get on the ship, if you delay your boarding time to 1 or 2 p.m., you will miss the rush and get on board faster. You will still have enough time between your arrival and the cutoff time for all passengers.

Bring a Carry-On for the First Day

A cruise carry-on bag is essential for the first day of your cruise since it can take several hours for your luggage to be delivered to your cabin. What kind of items should be in this carry-on? Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Passport and wallet
  • Medications
  • Anything valuable (i.e. jewelry)
  • Pool wear
  • Change of clothes
  • Toiletries

Ideally, you will want to include anything that is of value or that you can’t be without for a few hours. You will be enjoying all that the ship has to offer while you wait for your luggage to arrive, which is why it’s important to include a change of clothes and/or pool wear.

Plan Your Return Flight for the Afternoon

One question we get asked a lot is, “What time should my return flight be?” Most ships start disembarkation at 7 a.m. and are done by 10 a.m. 

There’s no guarantee that you can be off the ship at its earliest time. And the airport, whether that’s Orlando International (MCO), Sanford International (SFB), or Melbourne Orlando International (MLB), is approximately 45 minutes away. Not to mention security at MCO usually has long wait times. We recommend that you take an afternoon flight to ensure enough time. 

Follow Sail Port Canaveral on Instagram to discover more insights.

Share This Blog :

Port Canaveral on a Budget – Eat, Stay & Play Affordably

Port Canaveral on a Budget – Eat, Stay & Play Affordably

You’ve booked your Port Canaveral cruise, and now you’re planning to arrive early to ensure you don’t miss the boat. That’s wise as there are many factors out of your control such as traffic accidents, delayed flights, and weather. 

However, as you start to consider the cost of a hotel, airport transfers, or cruise parking, it all starts to add up. Not to mention dining and entertainment prior to your departure. Luckily, you can visit Port Canaveral on a budget and still have a fantastic pre-cruise stay with plenty of affordable options.

Here’s a look at 3 tips to do Port Canaveral on a budget

1. Book a Pre-Cruise Vacation Package

Whether you’re flying or driving, there are options for you that include everything you need for one packaged rate. Our team here at Sail Port Canaveral is committed to getting a package that suits not only your needs but also your budget.

  • Fly, Stay & Cruise: For those flying into Orlando International Airport  (MCO), this package provides round-trip transportation from the airport to your hotel accommodation to Port Canaveral the next morning. These packages start at $259/night.
  • Park, Stay & Cruise: For those driving to Port Canaveral, this package provides one-night hotel accommodations, parking for the duration of your cruise, and transfers to/from the port. These packages start at $189/night.

    By bundling everything together, you have automatic savings built in. Plus, you eliminate the stress of figuring out the rest of the details such as transfers, rental cars, and parking options once you’re in town.

    Tell us about your trip and our team at Sail Port Canaveral will be in contact with you.

2. Take Advantage of Free Things to Do

From culture to exploring nature and hanging beachside, you’ll find that no matter what time of year you visit, these free things to do will set the tone for your cruise vacation. 

One question we get asked often is, “Do I need a rental car?” To put it simply, no. Depending on where you stay, everything you need will likely be on-site at your hotel or within walking distance. If not, Uber and Lyft are available in the area.

The beach is always a top choice for travelers. Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach are the closest beaches to the port, and throughout the area, you can experience the beach culture with free (or low-cost) activities such as the Kelly Slater Statue at the entrance of Downtown Cocoa Beach or the Florida Surf Museum, where admission is only $3 per person. 

Additionally, Space Coast Fun Guide has a variety of coupons for things to do in the area including airboat rides, Cocoa Beach helicopters, and museums.

3. Save on Food Costs

All throughout the Port Canaveral/Cocoa Beach area, there are budget-friendly restaurants, many of which run specials each night.  Here’s just a sample of some of the offerings. 

  • Longdoggers Cocoa Beach: Enjoy 49-cent peel and eat shrimp every Sunday. Dine-in only. View more here. 350 W Cocoa Beach Causeway, Cocoa Beach | 321-613-0002

     

  • Shark Pit Bar & Grill: Happy hour takes place daily from 3 to 6 p.m. and on Thursdays and Fridays, enjoy $2 tacos. View more here. 4001 N Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach | 321-868-8952

     

  • Sand Bar Sports Grill: Wing It Wednesday has 50% off 8 wings with every purchase of any draft pitcher. View more here. 4301 Ocean Beach Blvd, Cocoa Beach | 321-799-2577

Plus, there’s a variety of coupons available on Space Coast Fun Guide for places like Rusty’s Seafood & Oyster Bar, Squid Lips, and more.

If you have kids traveling with you, here’s a quick rundown of restaurants offering kids eat-free specials:

  • Cocoa Beach Fish Camp Grill: Kids eat free with a purchase of a regular price entree. Valid Tuesday, 5 to 9 p.m. View more here. 5602 N Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach | 321-613-4020

     

  • Gator’s Dockside Port Canaveral: Kids eat free with every paying adult. Valid Tuesday, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Plus, they have other specials taking place throughout the week such as all-you-can-eat wings on Monday. 683 Dave Nisbet Drive, Port Canaveral | 321-783-5136

     

  • Denny’s Cocoa Beach: Kids eat free every Monday and Tuesday, from 4 to 10 p.m. with every adult entree. View more here. 1245 N Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach | 321-783-4005

     

  • Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Merritt Island: On Tuesdays, kids eat for $3.49 when an adult entree is purchased. View more here. 1450 N Courtenay Parkway #36, Merritt Island | 321-455-666

Booking your pre-cruise stay on Florida’s Space Coast doesn’t have to be a hassle. Trust our team at Sail Port Canaveral to find the best price and accommodations for you.

CALL US TODAY!  321.783.8655

It’s also important to highlight that many area hotels offer complimentary continental and/or buffet breakfast to their guests. Confirm with your hotel’s website or by calling them directly. 

*Please note that deals and promos are subject to change without notice.

As you can see, a pre-cruise stay in Port Canaveral is filled with budget-friendly options for a great vacation. Join our email list to learn about upcoming deals and promotions.

Share This Blog :

Port Canaveral Cruise Parking Options

Port Canaveral Cruise Parking Options

Port Canaveral is the busiest cruise port in the world with more than 4 million passengers a year. It’s the closest port to Orlando, and it’s just under 10 minutes from Interstate 95, making it easy to access from the north and south. 

Popular cruise lines such as Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and MSC Cruises sail out of this port. On any given day, you could have up to five ships sailing out, and for that very reason, parking can get…well, congested. No need to fret! We’re taking a look at your Port Canaveral parking costs, options, and FAQs.

Booking your pre-cruise stay on Florida’s Space Coast doesn’t have to be a hassle. Trust our team at Sail Port Canaveral to find the best price and accommodations for you.

CALL US TODAY!  321.783.8655

How much is cruise parking at Port Canaveral?

At the time of this writing (August 2023), parking at Port Canaveral is $17/day, which includes your day of departure. A four-day cruise will cost $68, while a seven-day cruise will cost $119. 

Parking on-site at Port Canaveral offers the convenience of walking straight from your vehicle to the ship without a need for transfer. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, keep reading.

Do I need a reservation for Port Canaveral cruise parking?

If you’re planning on parking on-site at Port Canaveral, no reservations are needed. Keep in mind that cash is not accepted but all major credit cards are. Since they do not take reservations, you can not prepay for parking at Port Canaveral.

If you’re planning on parking off-site, most places require advanced reservations with payment, and most options offer discounted rates and specials.

What off-site parking is closest to Port Canaveral?

There are many off-site parking options available throughout the area; however, the closest off-site parking is Park Port Canaveral. They are located within two miles of the Port Canaveral cruise terminals and offer a safe, secure surface parking lot with 24/7 security patrol. 

Their prices are guaranteed to save you at least 30% off the port’s parking rates.  Plus, a complimentary 5-minute shuttle with curbside drop-off at your ship’s terminal. Additionally, Sail Port Canaveral offers Park & Cruise packages, which provide a few options for you to choose from.

Is my car safe to park off-site?

Most off-site parking options provide 24/7 surveillance and/or security patrol. Be sure to check their website or call to confirm prior to booking as every option does not provide this service.

Is there free cruise parking at Port Canaveral?

We have found that there are quite a few hotels in the area that offer complimentary parking for the duration of your cruise. This is usually a special offer that includes a one-night accommodation prior to your cruise departure, perfect for those who want to arrive early and avoid any potential delays. 

Not sure if you need to arrive early? Here are 10 reasons why you need to arrive early. Trust us, you don’t want to miss out on the fun offered here on Florida’s Space Coast. 

The following hotels are currently offering a free cruise parking promotion; however, these offers mentioned below do not include shuttle service to/from the port.

    • Four Points by Sheraton Cocoa Beach: Located in the heart of Cocoa Beach, this hotel is approximately 5 miles from Port Canaveral. When you book this package, you will receive complimentary parking (limited to 5 days) in its covered 5-story garage with 24/7 security. Shuttle transportation can be arranged upon request. Book here.

    • SpringHill Suites Cocoa Beach Cape Canaveral: This all-suite hotel opened in the summer of 2020 and is located minutes from Port Canaveral. You will receive free cruise parking for the duration of your cruise, limited to 5 days. Book here.

    • TownePlace Suites Cocoa Beach Cape Canaveral: This hotel is the newest property close to Port Canaveral and is an all-suite hotel just minutes from the cruise terminals. This offer includes free parking for up to 5 days. Book here.

    • Cocoa Beach Suites: Cocoa Beach Suites is an all-suite hotel located in the heart of Cocoa Beach, Florida, and just 2 blocks away from the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy complimentary parking for up to 5 days. Book here.

Additionally, booking a Park Stay & Cruise package with Sail Port Canaveral bundles your room, parking, and cruise transportation at one price. This simplifies the process and eliminates the need to arrange additional transportation on the day of your cruise departure. 

When it comes to parking for your Port Canaveral cruise, have a plan. Whether you choose to park on-site, off-site, or arrive early and partake in a Park Stay & Cruise package, decide early on what you want to do. And if you’re not sure what option is best for you, fill out our form here and let our team assist you.

Share This Blog :

Staying in Port Canaveral Before Your Disney Cruise

Staying in Port Canaveral Before Your Disney Cruise

You’ve booked your dream vacation, and the last thing you want is to miss your cruise because of circumstances outside your control. If you’re running late because of a delayed flight, car trouble, or even weather, they will not hold the ship’s departure so you can make it. The only way to ensure your timely arrival is to arrive at least one day prior. 

If you decide to arrive early for your Disney Cruise, that means you need to figure out where to stay and how to get to the cruise terminal. There are so many choices that it can be overwhelming to decide which is right for you and your family. 

There are many hotels located in the Port Canaveral area that offer Fly, Stay, and Cruise packages bundling airport transportation, lodging, and cruise transfers into one. And there are many that offer Park, Stay, and Cruise packages bundling cruise parking, lodging, and cruise transfers into one. 

Don’t worry about how or where to book those packages. We’ll cover that below. Let’s start with why you should choose Port Canaveral as your pre-cruise destination. 

Why Choose to Stay in Port Canaveral and Not Orlando?

Many visitors who sail on Disney Cruise Line want the full Disney experience and choose to book their pre-cruise stays at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. While there’s technically nothing wrong with that, you can have the best of both worlds when you stay on Florida’s Space Coast

Instead of waking up to the hustle and bustle of Disney, imagine waking up to a slower pace where you can walk the beach, breathe in the fresh air, and grab complimentary breakfast at your hotel before you head to the attractions. 

Rumor has it that if you’re taking a Disney Cruise, there’s enough magic on board that you don’t have to squeeze in the parks, too. However, if the parks are a must-have, you can’t go wrong staying beachside. It’s more cost-effective, it’s serene, and there are endless opportunities to discover authentic Florida. Whether you’re wanting to learn how to surf, witness a rocket launch, or taste Florida’s fresh seafood, there’s something for everyone here. Check out the 3 Fun Things to Do Near Port Canaveral to learn more about some fun experiences.

Not to mention, on the morning of your cruise departure, you’ll be just minutes from Port Canaveral. If you choose to stay in Orlando, be aware that you do risk accident-related traffic on S.R. 528, which can come to a standstill at times and may not clear in time for your cruise departure.

Post-Cruise Visit to the Attractions

On the morning of your cruise departure, all passengers are off by 9 a.m. Instead of heading home or sitting around at the airport, cruise experts recommend booking a late return flight and spending the day at one of Orlando’s theme parks. It’s a great way to squeeze in some additional fun before you head home.

Booking Your Pre-Cruise Stay on Florida’s Space Coast

Figuring out where to stay and other logistics like cruise parking, hotel shuttles, and airport transportation can be overwhelming, especially if you have never been to the area before. Our team at Sail Port Canaveral is here to help you make the most of your pre-cruise stay. 

We are a one-stop solution for booking your pre-and post-cruise accommodations. Fill out this form, and we will contact you to make arrangements that cover your pre-and post-cruise lodging and transportation needs. 

All our packages include Port Canaveral hotel accommodations such as TownePlace Suites, SpringHill Suites, Four Points by Sheraton, and Radisson Resort at the Port. All these hotels and many others in the area are located 10 minutes or less from the port. Our packages also include cruise transfers. Airport transfers and cruise parking are also available. We take care of it all so you don’t have to worry about a thing. 

It might seem like a good idea to not arrive early to avoid an additional expense, but life happens. Cars break down, flights get delayed and luggage gets lost. You don’t want to miss your cruise because of it. Book the stay. You won’t regret it.

Booking your pre-cruise stay on Florida’s Space Coast doesn’t have to be a hassle. Trust our team at Sail Port Canaveral to find the best price and accommodations for you.

CALL US TODAY!  321.783.8655

Share This Blog :

7 Things to Do Around Port Canaveral on a Rainy Day

7 Things to Do Around Port Canaveral on a Rainy Day

Ah, Florida! Home to beautiful beaches and sunny weather…well, most of the time! Here in Florida, there’s a dry season (November – March), and there’s a wet season (April – October), where it rains almost every day. 

Many cruise travelers choose to arrive early for their Port Canaveral cruise and book a Stay & Cruise package. After all, you don’t want to miss your cruise because of a missed connection or a car-related problem. But don’t let the rain stop you. Just because it rains a lot, this doesn’t mean you will be rained out on your vacation since it usually doesn’t last all day. 

However, there are times when a storm lingers or dampens outdoor fun for the rest of the day. Keep in mind that here on Florida’s Space Coast, home to Cocoa Beach and Port Canaveral, during the wet season, it typically rains in the afternoon, so it’s best to get outside in the morning. 

Don’t let the weather stop you from having fun. Here’s a look at things to do around Port Canaveral on a rainy day. 

1. Museum of Dinosaurs & Ancient Cultures

The museum is located at the Dinosaur Store and throughout this 20,000-square-foot area, you will discover exhibits featuring the Devonian, Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous authentic fossils, cast skeletons, and true-to-life dinosaurs in their natural habitats. The ancient culture mezzanine features hundreds of original artifacts from Egypt, China, Mesoamerica, and Tribal Africa. 

Plus, the Dinosaur Store has an interactive Adventure Zone that features live reptiles such as gators and snakes. This whole area is perfect for family fun, especially on a rainy day!

2. Cocoa Beach Surf Company

The Cocoa Beach Surf Company is your one-stop shop for beach and cruise essentials. Hailed as the World’s Largest Surf Complex, you can pick up some beach gear including beach toys, clothes, and one-of-a-kind souvenirs. Everyone will love watching the fish swim in their 5,600-gallon aquarium and grabbing a bite to eat at the Shark Pit Bar & Grill. There’s also a Starbucks on-site, ready to fuel your day.

3. Florida Surf Museum

The Florida Surf Museum preserves and documents the unique history and culture of Florida Surfing. Located inside Ron Jon Surf Shop’s rental building, guests can experience the heritage of surfing and the traditions of the surfing community. This intimate space is a great option for those quick afternoon storms that roll in and are done in 30 minutes.

4. Escape Cocoa Beach

With four rooms to choose from, each game is a real-life adventure perfect for couples, families, and small groups. All Escape Cocoa Beach’s escape room activities take about an hour to complete and are a great way to entertain and pass the time. You will solve puzzles, crack codes and uncover hidden gems as you work together to escape the room in under an hour.

Booking your pre-cruise stay on Florida’s Space Coast doesn’t have to be a hassle. Trust our team at Sail Port Canaveral to find the best price and accommodations for you.

CALL US TODAY!  321.783.8655

5. Exploration Tower

Although it is temporarily closed due to maintenance, the Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral is a top experience. There are seven stories of fun and adventure with interactive exhibits and activities that everyone can enjoy. Each floor has a unique theme, inspired by the culture of Florida’s Space Coast such as space, maritime, and nature. The Exploration Tower is expected to re-open in 2023.

6. Carib Brewery Taproom - 321 Lime House

Located just minutes from Port Canaveral, Carib Brewery’s Taproom – 321 Lime House is a great place to taste craft beer and limited releases while enjoying live entertainment, fun games, and brewery tours. Plus, daily events are taking place such as Trivia Thursday and Open Mic on Friday.

7. Stumpy’s Hatchet House

If you’re tired of escape rooms and bowling alleys, Stumpy’s Hatchet House in Cocoa Village offers an exciting atmosphere and something new to try for those seeking adventure. This location is also next to many restaurants, bars, and quaint shops in Historic Cocoa Village. Grab a bite to eat at one of the area’s many restaurants and head over to Stumpy’s for some indoor fun!

Honorable Mentions :

  • Route 7 Adrenaline Warehouse
    Just 35 minutes south of Port Canaveral, this indoor entertainment venue has an arcade, indoor go-karts, laser tag, ropes course, and much more that’s sure to entertain your group. 

  • Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum 
    Here you will see 50 warbirds under covered hangars and learn stories of the aviators that piloted them. This is a one-of-a-kind experience about 20 minutes north of the Port.

  • Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
    Organized into Mission Zones where attractions and tours are grouped by chronological era, you can get an up-close, hands-on feel for the story of humans in space. Most attractions are located inside, but you may get a little wet walking between buildings.

  • American Police Hall of Fame
    The Museum, through interactive displays, simulators, and nearly 11,000 artifacts, educates the public about the history and current trends in American law enforcement. Located in Titusville, this is about 25 minutes away from Port Canaveral.

Share This Blog :

Port Canaveral Cruise Guide: What You Need to Know

Port Canaveral Cruise Guide: What You Need to Know

With more than 4 million cruise passengers setting sail out of Port Canaveral, it’s a bustling port offering access to the Caribbean and beyond. It is the closest port to Orlando, about 45 minutes from Orlando International Airport and about 10 minutes from Interstate 95. 

If you’re planning a cruise from Port Canaveral on Florida’s Space Coast, it’s important to know about the port’s parking options, closest airports, and transportation options. Not to mention, the many hotels that offer Stay and Cruise Packages for those looking to arrive the day (or days) prior to their cruise departure. 

Plus, there are activities and restaurants near the port that you don’t want to miss. In this guide, we’ll take a look at all these important details to help ensure a smooth experience before and after your cruise.

Port Canaveral Parking

Many Port Canaveral cruisers drive themselves there since the port is easily accessible. The port itself offers parking, and there are independent parking lots nearby. Plus, some hotels offer cruise parking. Regardless of which option you choose, we recommend you book a spot early.  

Official Port Canaveral Parking
 

Parking onsite at Port Canaveral is available only directly adjacent to each of Port Canaveral’s cruise terminals. Once you park at your cruise terminal’s designated parking area, simply take a short walk to your ship; no need for shuttles. All parking facilities are convenient, secure, and patrolled 24 hours a day. Please note that no cash is accepted. For the latest daily rate, please click here.

Independent Parking Lots
 

There are many independent parking lots surrounding the port that offer parking at discounted rates such as Port Parking Space and Park Port Canaveral, which is actually the closest offsite parking to Port Canaveral at just 1.5 miles away.

Hotels that Offer Cruise Parking
 

Many hotels in the Port Canaveral area will offer complimentary parking for the length of your cruise as part of their Park, Stay and Cruise packages. This package typically includes a one-night, pre-cruise accommodation, parking for the duration of your cruise, and shuttle service to the port. Additional nights can be added if you want more time on Florida’s Space Coast.

There are many hotels throughout the area that offer these packages, but here are just a few:

Hotels Close to Port Canaveral

Florida’s Space Coast has a variety of places to spend the night prior to your cruise vacation. There are many hotels in the Port Canaveral area that are less than one mile from the port. Cocoa Beach is another town about 5 miles south that offers beachfront stays with beautiful ocean views. 

If you plan to arrive early, it is recommended that you partake in a Stay and Cruise Package at one of the many hotels. Check out the packages and the hotels here.

Airports Close to Port Canaveral

Port Canaveral is located in Brevard County on Florida’s Space Coast. The closest major city is Orlando, which is about 45 miles directly west of the port. 

If you’re looking to fly in for your cruise vacation, you have a few options. 

  • Melbourne Orlando International Airport (MLB) is located about 40 miles south of Port Canaveral. This airport has limited carriers which include Allegiant, American, Delta, Sun Country, & More
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO) is located 45 miles west of the port. It is the state’s busiest airport with more than 19 million passengers a year, and as a result, there are more carriers and flight times available to choose from.
  • Sanford Orlando International Airport (SFB) is 60 miles northwest of Port Canaveral. Similar to Melbourne, they have limited carriers which include Allegiant, Flair, Swoop, and Sun Country. 

There are many ways to get to Port Canaveral from all airports listed above, including shuttles, rideshare services, and taxis. Shuttle services like Cocoa Beach Express cost approximately $50 round trip per passenger. Ridesharing services like Uber will cost $60 to $90+ one way, depending on the option you choose. Taxis will run you about $120 one way.

Restaurants Close to Port Canaveral

The Cove at Port Canaveral is the area’s entertainment and dining district. Here you can meet the locals as you sit waterside, enjoy great eats and see boats (or even cruise ships) pass by.

  • Grill’s Seafood Deck: Grill’s has a unique island atmosphere with live entertainment. Enjoy a great meal or grab a drink and relax while watching the fishing boats come in and hang their catch. It’s a casual restaurant that serves seafood dishes, sandwiches, and salads. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Fishlips Waterfront Bar & Grill: This casual waterfront dining restaurant has a downstairs plus a covered patio, indoor sports bar, and sun deck with a Tiki bar upstairs. From hot burgers and cold beer to fresh fish and fine wine – Fishlips Waterfront Bar & Grill in Port Canaveral has something for everyone. Open for lunch and dinner.
  • Rusty’s Seafood & Oyster Bar: Dive into raw or steamed oysters, peel-and-eat shrimp, seared ahi tuna, buffalo wings, and snow crab legs all with a great view of the port. The environment is casual and relaxing. Open for lunch and dinner.
  • Seafood Atlantic: Here you can enjoy the freshest local seafood possible without owning a boat! Whether you have a Local Fish Sandwich or a Bucket of Clams, you will experience the best fresh local Florida seafood. Open for lunch and dinner. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
  • Rising Tide Tap & Table: Overlooking the Exploration Tower, this restaurant offers 60 craft beers on draft and specializes in Street Tacos, Stone Baked Pizzas, Smash Iron Burgers, and Handcrafted Cocktails. Enjoy fabulous sunsets and live music on the weekends on the lakefront deck.

Things to Do Near the Cruise Terminal

No matter what your interests may be, the Port Canaveral area has something for everyone. From beaches and out-of-this-world experiences to nature and arts & culture, an unforgettable time awaits you. 

  • Rocket Launch: In 2022, there were 57 rocket launches that took place, and in 2023, there are 80+ rockets projected to launch from here. Planning a trip here likely means you may be able to time it around a launch, but if you can’t make a launch, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is just 20 minutes away. Here you’ll be inspired to dive into the past, present, and future of space travel.
  • Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventures & Zip Lines: Located just a few miles south of Port Canaveral, this park offers seven different trails separated by three levels of difficulty to choose from. All ages, strengths, and adventure levels will enjoy this opportunity to challenge your fears while enjoying the Florida sunshine.
  • Museum of Dinosaurs & Ancient Cultures: This indoor museum in Cocoa Beach showcases hundreds of artifacts and fossils from around the world. Explore authentic artifacts from Egypt, China, Mesoamerica, and Tribal Africa.
  • Cocoa Beach Surf Company: Before you set sail, stop by the world’s largest surf complex and get all your beach essentials. Offering over 1,500 surfboards, one-of-a-kind clothes, beach rentals, and more, Cocoa Beach Surf Company also features the Shark Pit Bar & Grill with its 5,600-gallon Shark & Exotic Fish Tank and an all-new Starbucks.
  • Historic Cocoa Village: Visitors love Historic Cocoa Village which is home to incredible restaurants such as Ossorio, Thai Thai, and Villa Palma. Plus, boutique art galleries like Carolyn Seiler Studio and shops with one-of-a-kind clothing and souvenirs.

Ultimately, Port Canaveral offers a great experience for cruisers. There is a range of convenient parking options, a wealth of activities to enjoy before you set sail, and comfortable pre-cruise accommodations via Stay and Cruise packages.

Need help arranging your pre-cruise stay? Our team of reservations agents is available to assist you.

CALL US TODAY!  321.783.8655

Share This Blog :

6 Hotels Near Port Canaveral with Shuttles & Parking

6 Hotels Near Port Canaveral with Shuttles & Parking

Congratulations! You’ve chosen Port Canaveral as the gateway to your next cruise vacation. Whether you’ve been to Port Canaveral before or this is your first time sailing from here, booking a pre-cruise or post-cruise stay on Florida’s Space Coast is a great choice. 

While you may consider staying in Orlando prior to your cruise, Port Canaveral is only 45 minutes from Orlando International Airport and about 10 minutes from Interstate 95. Choosing a hotel close to Port Canaveral will help you get to your cruise easily and eliminate any worries of missing the boat, especially on the morning of your cruise departure. 

Fortunately, there are many hotels nearby that offer shuttle services and cruise parking via their Stay and Cruise Packages (and Fly, Stay, and Cruise for those of you flying in). These packages are designed to handle all your pre-cruise needs including parking and transportation transfers.

Booking your pre-cruise stay on Florida’s Space Coast doesn’t have to be a hassle. Trust our team at Sail Port Canaveral to find the best price and accommodations for you.

CALL US TODAY!  321.783.8655

What’s included in a Stay and Cruise Package?

Depending on where you stay, your Stay and Cruise Package may vary ever so slightly. There are many hotels throughout the Port Canaveral area that offer these types of packages. Our reservations team here at Sail Port Canaveral is ready and able to help you find a hotel package that suits your needs.

Here’s what cruise packages generally include:
  • Fly, Stay, and Cruise: This includes a one-night, pre-cruise accommodation, round-trip airport transportation from/to Orlando International (MCO), and shuttle service to the port.

  • Park, Stay, and Cruise: Enjoy a one-night, pre-cruise accommodation, parking for the duration of your cruise, and shuttle service to the port. Additional nights can be added if you want more time on Florida’s Space Coast.

  • Park and Cruise: These types of packages typically include parking for the duration of your cruise and shuttle service to Port Canaveral.

Port Canaveral Hotels with Shuttles

The good news is that almost all hotels within two miles of Port Canaveral (and beyond!) offer a shuttle service to the port. The following hotels all offer some variation of Stay and Cruise Packages; however, if you just need a shuttle service, here’s a look at the top Port Canaveral area hotels:

  • Radisson Resort at the Port: For those who do not book one of their four cruise packages that include shuttle service to and from the port, there is a shuttle available for $6 per person one way. This can be reserved at the front desk upon your arrival.

    The Radisson Resort at the Port is a top choice for cruise travelers. It’s located just over a mile away from the port, and its amenities are impressive including its top-rated pool.

  • TownePlace Suites: This hotel is the newest property close to Port Canaveral and is an all-suite hotel just minutes from the cruise terminals. For cruisers who do not book a cruise package, their shuttle is $10 per person one way. Reservations can be made the night before your cruise with the front desk. A complimentary breakfast buffet is also available.

  • SpringHill Suites: This all-suite hotel opened in the summer of 2020 and is located minutes from Port Canaveral. For those who do not book a cruise package with them, their shuttle service is $10 and can be reserved with the front desk.

Port Canaveral Hotels with Parking Options

In addition to the hotels mentioned above, the following hotels in the Port Canaveral area offer parking accommodations for the duration of your cruise vacation.

  • Four Points by Sheraton Cocoa Beach: Stay in the heart of Cocoa Beach adjacent to Ron Jon Surf Shop and Cocoa Beach Surf Company. Four Points by Sheraton Cocoa Beach is the only hotel that offers covered parking with 24/7 security, about 5 miles from Port Canaveral. Parking is $12.95 per day (prices are subject to change). This rate includes parking for one car and a shuttle for up to 4 people.

  • Cocoa Beach Suites: While this all-suite hotel offers a variety of Cruise Packages, those who may be driving in and looking to save money on parking can park at one of their sister hotels –  Four Points by Sheraton and Radisson Resort at the Port.  Parking is only $12.95 daily (prices are subject to change) and includes parking for one car and a shuttle for up to 4 people.

  • Hampton Inn Cocoa Beach: Located about 5 miles away in Cocoa Beach, this hotel is close to Cocoa Beach Surf Company where you can get any last-minute cruise essentials you may need. Cruise packages that accommodate parking and shuttle service are available, but for those who want to forgo a cruise package, you can park here for $15 a day.

Booking your pre-cruise stay on Florida’s Space Coast doesn’t have to be a hassle. Trust our team at Sail Port Canaveral to find the best price and accommodations for you. Click here to learn more about the Stay and Cruise Packages.

Share This Blog :

5 Free Things to Do Before Your Port Canaveral Cruise

5 Free Things to Do Before Your Port Canaveral Cruise

Port Canaveral on Florida’s Space Coast may be home to the world’s busiest cruise port, but it is also a charming beach town with authentic Florida and family-friendly charm. Nearby cities such as Cocoa Beach and Titusville offer a wealth of activities for you, and there’s something for everyone here that’s easy on the budget. 

From culture to exploring nature and hanging beachside, you’ll find that no matter what time of year you visit, these 5 free things to do before your Port Canaveral cruise will set the tone for your cruise vacation. You’ll be glad you arrived early and enjoyed all the area offers.

The top 5 free things to do in and around Port Canaveral:

1. Discover Historic Cocoa Village

This 150-year-old area about 15 minutes from Port Canaveral is full of character and charm. During the day, visitors can check out historic buildings, one-of-a-kind storefronts, and local eats such as River Road Coffee & Popsicles, Ossorio, and Ryan’s Pizza & Pub. Not to mention, Cocoa Village’s Riverfront Park is home to a splash pad and playground for kids to enjoy. You may even see some locals walking their dogs as Cocoa Village is very pet friendly.

At night, this quaint district comes to life. From painting a masterpiece at Painting with a Twist and theatre shows at Cocoa Village Playhouse to trivia and karaoke nights at the Village Idiot Pub, there’s something for just about everyone. The Village Biergarten serves authentic German food with live music most nights while Villa Palma serves authentic Italian and craft cocktails with live music. There’s no charge to walk around the area, and there is complimentary parking available. Swing by and discover why strolling the streets of Cocoa Village is an enjoyable experience. 

600 Florida Ave #104, Cocoa, FL 32922 | VisitCocoaVillage.com

2. Play at the Beach


Kick off your shoes and walk the sunny shores of Florida’s Space Coast. Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach are the closest beaches to the port. 

There are four locations in Cape Canaveral that provide Mobi-Mats for those who need assistance getting on the beach. What’s a Mobi-mat® you may ask? Mobi-mat® is a portable and durable mat system that is designed to provide accessibility to beaches, parks, and other outdoor locations for individuals with limited abilities. These beaches are free to peruse, and there is no charge for parking at Cape Canaveral beaches (except Jetty Park.)

Cocoa Beach is home to the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier. It’s centrally located and provides all the amenities you need for a great day at the beach including volleyball courts, lifeguards, onsite showers, and dining options. Some amenities at the pier are complimentary to use; however, there is a charge for parking.  Lori Wilson Park is one of the few public beach access points left in Cocoa Beach that provides complimentary parking. There are free showers and restrooms on-site, too.

Not up for the beach but want to explore the beach culture? Check out the Kelly Slater Statue at the entrance of Downtown Cocoa Beach. Who is Kelly? He is an 11-time world champion surfer who grew up in Cocoa Beach. Or check out the Florida Surf Museum for $3 per person. Cocoa Beach Surf Company is also a great spot to grab some last-minute cruise essentials or take a look at their 5,600-gallon fish tank, which is complimentary and part of the store’s ambiance.

3. Take a Sip at Carib Brewery


Located just a mile from Port Canaveral, Carib Brewery produces 28 different styles of ales, lagers, and ciders. The tap room, also known as the 321 Lime house, overlooks the production area and is a great place to unwind before your cruise vacation. They have daily events such as Run Club on Monday (free beer if you participate!), Trivia on Thursdays, Open Mic on Fridays, and live music on Saturdays. Happy Hour takes place Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. Admission is free. 

Brewery Tours are available Monday through Friday from 3 to 4 p.m. Let their team walk you through the process and see how they make grain into a brew. The tour also includes an immersive tasting with six beers of your choice. 

200 Imperial Blvd, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920 | CaribBreweryUsa.com

4. Go Out of this World at Space View Park


Florida’s Space Coast is home to Kennedy Space Center, where rockets are being launched on the regular. There were 57 rocket launches in 2022, and in 2023, there are 80+ rockets projected to launch from here. If you can’t make it for a launch, there are other ways to explore Space history on the Space Coast. 

Space View Park in Titusville is north of Port Canaveral and close to Downtown Titusville. This is the first and only park in America that honors astronauts and those who helped America lead the world in space exploration. Throughout the park, you can walk through the history of space and compare your handprints to those of Mercury astronauts. This park is free to visit and will help whet your appetite when it comes to all things space. 

8 Broad Street, Titusville, FL 32796 | Space View Park

5. Take a Swim and Splash Around


Guests staying at one of the area’s hotels that offer Stay & Cruise Packages will love the option of taking a dip in the pool before they set sail. The Radisson Resort at the Port has an expansive pool with a waterfall. Plus, a smaller, kid-friendly pool, hot tub, and poolside restaurant. There’s really no better way to start a vacation than to take it easy poolside.

The city of Cape Canaveral offers a complimentary splash pad to both residents and visitors. Cape Canaveral City Park splash pad is open Monday – Saturday at 10 a.m. Closed Sunday. Additional splash pads are located in Cocoa Village, Sand Point Park in Titusville (close to Space View Park), and Avenue Viera.

With all the fun and free things to explore before your Port Canaveral cruise vacation, consider arriving early and taking part in one of the area’s many Stay & Cruise Packages. Kick off vacation early and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Booking your pre-cruise stay on Florida’s Space Coast doesn’t have to be a hassle. Trust our team at Sail Port Canaveral to find the best price and accommodations for you.

CALL US TODAY!  321.783.8655

Share This Blog :

10 Reasons to Arrive Early For Your Port Canaveral Cruise

10 Reasons to Arrive Early For Your Port Canaveral Cruise

There are many reasons why cruisers love sailing from Port Canaveral. It’s easy to access, it’s modern, and it’s home to some of the world’s best cruise ships that sail the Caribbean. 

However, most people arriving for their Port Canaveral cruise arrive early to take part in the area’s many amenities, attractions, and sub-tropical climate. As you prepare to set sail from Port Canaveral, take a look at some of the top reasons why you should arrive early for your Port Canaveral cruise.

1. Easy Access to Port Canaveral

For those arriving early and taking part in a Stay & Cruise Package, Port Canaveral is just 10 miles from Interstate 95 and provides access to those traveling from the south or from the north. State Road 528, also known as the Beachline Expressway, runs directly from Orlando to Port Canaveral. It also connects to I-4 and the Florida Turnpike, a gateway to Orlando’s theme parks.

International passengers have a choice of airports within easy reach of the cruise terminals. Cruisers can book a shuttle bus or utilize a car rental with cruise parking at nearby parking options. Airports to consider include:

  • Orlando International (MCO) 45 miles west
  • Melbourne Orlando International (MLB) 34 miles south
  • Sanford International Airport (SFB) 61 miles north
  • Daytona International Airport (DAB) 75 miles north

2. Gateway to Space


Did you know that Port Canaveral is only 13 miles from Kennedy Space Center? Make plans to tour the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for an out-of-this-world experience where you’ll be inspired to dive into the past, present, and future of space travel. Get up close to the space shuttle Atlantis, view launch pads, and get a hands-on feel for the story of humans in space including the Apollo Era’s Saturn V rocket. 

Plus, in 2022 there were 57 rocket launches that took place here, and in 2023, there are 80+ launches scheduled. Be sure to check the Kennedy Space Center events calendar to see when the next launch will take place. It could take place while you’re setting sail, or if it launches before or after your cruise vacation, take in the launch at the beach. Jetty Park, Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier, and any public beach in Cape Canaveral are all great viewing venues.

3. Discover Natural Florida


The area surrounding Port Canaveral is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the western hemisphere. From flowing waterways and amazing wildlife to the Canaveral National Seashore, there’s no shortage of nature to explore. 

Take an airboat ride through the St. Johns River where you may see alligators, snakes, and other wildlife. Hop on a Space Coast Eco Tour along the Intracoastal Waterway to see manatees, dolphins, and wading birds. Canaveral National Seashore is the longest stretch of undeveloped Atlantic coastline in Florida and is home to thousands of species of plants and animals, including nesting sea turtles from May 1 through October 31.

4. Take Part in Recreation


There’s a wide variety of activities for visitors to enjoy before or after their cruise. We’ll cover all the beach activities at another point below, so here are a few options close to Port Canaveral:

  • Golf: The Cocoa Beach Country Club is a public facility that welcomes residents and guests to the area alike. Located about 9 miles from Port Canaveral, the course boasts three courses – Dolphin, Lakes, and River – featuring 27 holes and 41-50 sand bunkers per course.
  • Fishing: Cast your line from the shores of Cocoa Beach or rent your gear at the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier and fish off the pier. Or if you’re up for a bigger adventure, check out a fishing charter from Port Canaveral. Most charters offer full and half-day fishing experiences
  • Rent Bicycles: Head to Cocoa Beach Surf Company and check out their selection of beach cruisers and E-bikes. Rentals start at $10 for four hours. Make sure you ask about locks, baskets, child carriers, and other accessories you might need on your adventure!
  • Aerial Adventures: Test your skills on Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventure’s seven different trails, separated by three levels of difficulty. The all-new ZIPDROP takes you over 40 feet up, climbs over the guard railing, and takes a step off! It’s the ultimate leap of faith and will make for one unforgettable memory.
  • Parasailing: Before you set sail, see one of Florida’s most exquisite shorelines as you soar above the Atlantic Ocean with Cocoa Beach Parasail.

5. Hit Up the Beach


Nearby Cocoa Beach is an authentic beach town, home to small waves and endless activities. The sunny shores are perfect for sunbathing, building sand castles, or playing beach volleyball at locations such as the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier

For those looking to splash around in the water, there’s a reason why Cocoa Beach is the Small Wave Capital of the World. This is your chance to learn how to surf, or at least try boogie boarding. Don’t have a board? No worries! Places like Cocoa Beach Surf Company have board rentals starting at $15 for four hours. They also offer rentals for wetsuits, beach chairs, and umbrellas, in case you don’t want to travel with your beach gear. 

Lastly, there are four Cocoa Beach access points guarded with lifeguards: Alan Shepard Park, Lori Wilson Park, Minutemen Causeway, and Cocoa Beach Pier.

6. Top Dining with Florida Flavors


The Cove at Port Canaveral is home to some of the best dining on Florida’s Space Coast. Most restaurants there overlook the water where you can see cruise ships departing and fishermen bringing in their fresh catch. While the menus vary from place to place, most menus focus on seafood or feature local cuisine you can’t miss. Restaurants like Grills, Fishlips, and Rusty’s have live music on select nights, helping you set the tone for your upcoming travels.

7. Make Room for Art & Culture


Art galleries, museums, and antique shops are sprinkled throughout the area close to Port Canaveral. Cocoa Village, about 20 minutes away, is home to murals, art galleries, and Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse. Downtown Cocoa Beach is home to the Kelly Slater Statue by Cocoa Beach artist Tasha Drazich. Plus, there are Instagram-worthy murals and an art gallery, Studios of Cocoa Beach, where you can view art and take a workshop

The Museum of Dinosaurs and Ancient Cultures in Cocoa Beach contains two floors of exhibits on dinosaurs and ancient human cultures. Perfect for kids and adults alike. Close to there is the Florida Surf Museum. The museum produces exhibits exploring the history and evolution of surfing and is only $3 per person to visit.

8. Year-Round Events


There are many family-friendly and cultural events that take place throughout the year. Check out the official Space Coast Events page often to see what’s happening during your stay. In the meantime, keep these events that take place every year on your radar.

 

9. Orlando Attractions


Port Canaveral is just under an hour from Orlando and its many theme park attractions. Many cruisers love to stay beachside, where they can have a slower start to their day before they make their way to Sea World, Universal, or Disney.

10. Hotels Near Port Canaveral with Parking and Shuttles


Most hotels within two miles of Port Canaveral (and beyond!) offer a shuttle service to the port. Whether you book a Stay and Cruise Package or you just need a shuttle service, here’s a look at some hotels offering this service:

Booking your pre-cruise stay on Florida’s Space Coast doesn’t have to be a hassle. Trust our team at Sail Port Canaveral to find the best price and accommodations for you.

CALL US TODAY!  321.783.8655

Share This Blog :

3 Fun Things to Do Near Port Canaveral Before Your Cruise

3 Fun Things to Do Near Port Canaveral Before Your Cruise

You’re setting sail from the world’s busiest cruise port—Port Canaveral. With thousands of passengers coming and going from the port on any given day, it would be wise to arrive prior to your cruise to avoid missing the boat. Waking up in Port Canaveral on the morning of your cruise departure will ease your mind. 

But if you’re arriving early on a Stay and Cruise Package, what fun things are there to do near Port Canaveral? Well, let’s take a look at three fun things to do.

1. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex


For an out-of-this-world experience, look no further than the Kenedy Space Center. Here you’ll be inspired to dive into the past, present, and future of space travel. The complex is divided into Mission Zones where you can get an up-close, hands-on feel for the story of the humans in space including the Apollo Era’s Saturn V rocket and Space Shuttle Atlantis. Plus, the newest exhibit, Gateway Now, invites you to see the visionary designs paving the way for human deep space travel while discovering the current cutting-edge space exploration innovations from NASA and commercial partners.

Opening at 9 a.m., it’s easy to spend an entire day exploring the Kenedy Space Center.

2. Find Your New Favorite Beach


Florida’s Space Coast is made up of 72 miles of beaches. Close to the port, you have pristine beaches to the north at the Canaveral National Seashore, and to the south, you have the bustling surf culture of Cocoa Beach. Not to mention, Jetty Park is a great place to relax and wave to cruises departing from Port Canaveral. 

Many cruise travelers love visiting the historic Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier. From fishing and beach rentals to gift shops and live entertainment, the pier has it all. Enjoy views from 800 feet over the Atlantic Ocean as you drink and dine at any of the four bars and restaurants on location. 

Don’t want to travel with your beach gear? We don’t blame you. Cocoa Beach Surf Company offers rentals including beach chairs and umbrellas, surfboards and wetsuits, and much more.

3. Explore Your Wild Side


About 25 miles south of Port Canaveral is the Brevard Zoo. Voted as the No. 3 zoo in North America by USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice awards, you simply can’t skip this zoo while you’re in town. It is home to more than 900 animals representing more than 195 species from Florida, South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Plus, the Paws On Splash Pad area for kids is a hit. 

The Museum of Dinosaurs & Ancient Cultures in Cocoa Beach showcases hundreds of artifacts and fossils from around the world. Explore authentic artifacts from Egypt, China, Mesoamerica, and Tribal Africa. This museum is indoors and provides relief from Florida’s heat. 

And if animals and artifacts aren’t your things, you can explore your wild side at Port Canaveral’s Cove. This dining and entertainment district in Port Canaveral has oceanfront dining where you can sample some Florida flavors at places like Grills and Rising Tide Tap & Table, and if you’re feeling adventurous, deep sea fishing will provide you with an unforgettable experience.

So what are you waiting for? Make sure you arrive early for your Port Canaveral cruise, book a Stay and Cruise package, and enjoy one of the many activities Florida’s Space Coast has to offer.

Booking your pre-cruise stay on Florida’s Space Coast doesn’t have to be a hassle. Trust our team at Sail Port Canaveral to find the best price and accommodations for you.

CALL US TODAY!  321.783.8655

Share This Blog :