Voted Best Transportation Service in Cape Canaveral & Cocoa Beach!
Voted Best Transportation Service in Cape Canaveral & Cocoa Beach!
Voted Best Transportation Service in Cape Canaveral!

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

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