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!

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. 

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