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Royal Caribbean Cruises Travel Tips

Norwegian Cruise Line can require proof of vaccination after ruling
  • A brand name that you know and can trust.
  • Industry master, with over 50 years of experience and operation in the cruise line sector.
  • They provide an incredible travel experience to all ages and have amazing amenities to help heighten your experience.
  • Rock walls, surfing, and even waterparks to offer you something unique that you won’t find on any other cruise ship.
  • Simply unpack and settle in once, then relax into your stateroom for the remainder of your trip.
  • Our fast processes for embarkation and disembarkation give guests even more time to explore and allow for quicker access to the ship to reach anything you may need from us or your room.
  • Incredible staterooms and suites to offer you the most relaxing experience while onboard.
  • Incredible personalized experience designed to provide a family-like atmosphere.
  • The industry’s most knowledgeable cruise managers and guides, providing you with the best guided experiences in the cruise market.
  • Varied excursions available including everything from walking tours to guided biking tours, hikes, and more.

Reaching The Florida Cruise Port In Miami

More than five million passengers each year start their cruises from the Miami cruise port, making it the busiest cruise port in the world. Indeed, it has been dubbed the Cruise Capital of the World. In addition to very popular Caribbean itineraries, you can also sail on cruises stopping throughout Latin America, and youll also find cruises departing for Europe.

If you fly into the Miami International Airport, the distance to the Miami cruise port is 10 miles . The distance to the Miami port from the Orlando airport is 230 miles . And, the distance to the Miami cruise port from the Fort Lauderdale airport is 30 miles .

Porters At Disembarkation Ports Wont Wait With You Once You Exit The Terminal

This is something that may not be obvious to everyone. It certainly wasnt obvious to me at first.

When you are leaving your cruise ship, there will usually be porters with luggage carts running around to help you collect your luggage from the discharge area. They will wait with you in line and walk with you through customs. The porters will walk you all the way to the curbside pick-up or the taxi line. But they will not continue to wait with you once you have stepped foot outside the terminal.

They will deposit your luggage at the curb and return inside.

So why is this worth mentioning? If you have a significant amount of luggage, it is yet another reason to arrange for a ride ahead of time.

You dont want to have to struggle with your luggage through a long taxi line nor is it ideal to have your luggage deposited near the front of the line to wait for you when you are dozens of people deep in the line. The terminal areas in the major Florida cruise ports are very busy, and it is not a comfortable feeling to have all of your luggage beyond arms reach.


Florida provides great opportunities for kicking off your fun-filled family vacation. And, incorporating these simple steps in your advanced planning will help you sail off and return smoothly.

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Port Canaveral History And Overview

Located one hour east of the Walt Disney World Resort, Port Canaveral is a naval, cargo, and cruise port. While in operation for nearly 70 years, it didnt have a cruise terminal until 1982. Since then things have grown a lot, with Carnival establishing it as a home port in 1990, followed by DCL in 1998, and Royal Caribbean in 2000. Now around 4.5 million cruisers sail from Port Canaveral each year, making it the second busiest cruise port in the world, between PortMiami and Port Everglades .

As the port has developed in the past fifteen years, new terminals and other facilities have been constructed. This has allowed for more comfortable embarkation and debarkation of larger ships and better parking options covered parking is important in the Florida sun. Additionally, theyre adding infrastructure required for Liquefied Natural Gas to allow for refueling of Disneys new LNG ships, the new Carnival Mardi Gras, and other more eco-friendly vessels. The increase in the ports popularity has also led to nearby development of hotels, restaurants, and attractions to better accommodate cruise guests before and after their voyages.

Reaching The Florida Cruise Port In Tampa

The Hottest Winter Cruises Departing from Orlando

What about Tampa? The Tampa cruise terminal is less busy than its sister cruise ports. For one thing, because of logistics, the largest cruise ships cant sail from that port. But nevertheless, in 2018, traffic for the Tampa cruise port hit over 1 million passengers for the first time.

The distance from the Tampa airport to the Tampa cruise port is 10 miles . The distance from the Orlando International Airport to the Tampa cruise terminal is 86 miles .

As for the other two major Florida cruise ports, flying into Tampa does not provide much of a viable option, unless you really have as one of your goals exploring more of the state of Florida. The distance from Tampa International Airport to Port Everglades is just under 4 hours and the distance to Miami is about 4 hours and 15 minutes.

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Carnival Cruise Lines: 3

One complaint cruise ship passengers might have is that they do not get to experience more of the night in ports of call. On the Carnival Sensation, this will not be a concern. The ship is scheduled to make port in Nassau at noon and stay for 18 hours. You will have plenty of time to have a romantic midnight diner or dance until 4 a.m. with the others on the island.

Once back on the ship, enjoy a sea day, something less common on shorter cruises, to make the most of what the ship has to offer. So if you want to take in a show, test your luck in the casino or just relax by the pool, there is time to take it all in on this long weekend cruise.

Carnival Cruise Lines

What Time Do Ships Sail Away From Port Canaveral

Your best bet is to check the websites for Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Disney to find out the sail away times. But do it a week before you plan to go to Port Canaveral. If you wait until the day of the cruise to check the departure times, they will have been removed from the cruise lines websites.

Generally speaking, the cruise ships leave from Port Canaveral beginning about 4pm. If youre heading out to Jetty Park, its about a 15-20 minute walk from the parking lot to the end of the pier.

Spur of the moment visit? Call the cruise lines for the sail away times.

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Cape Canaveral Port Statistics

Note: Port’s FY runs from October 1 through September 30 .

In FY2017, the cruise port handled 4,52+ million passengers . The number of multi-day passengers was 7,1% increase over 2016. Statistics showed that just in March 2017, the number of visiting cruiseship tourists was 469,847. This was the Port’s 1-month record and a 19% increase over March 2016. Port’s FY2017 total revenues were USD 47,4 million .

For FY2018, the seaport reported a record year with USD 103,75 million in total revenues . Cargo and cruise shipping volumes were also an all-time high. The number of handled cruise ship passengers increased by 7,7% – to 4,568431 million. Port’s handled cargo tonnage increased by 6,9% – to 6,404944 million tons. Port’s total economic output was USD 3,9 billion with around 32650 jobs supported including 17200 port workers .

For FY2019, the port had ~5% growth in revenues from cruise shipping. By homeporting operations Port Canaveral is currently ranked the world’s 2nd-busiest cruise port with handled in 2019 total 4,634154 million passengers .

For season 2019, the cruise port reported a record berth booking with estimated 4,7+ million passengers.

Port Canaveral Cruise Guide

Carnival’s Mardi Gras arrives at Port Canaveral ahead of Saturday departure

Millions of passengers stop by Port Canaveral each year, the cruise port located in Orlando, Florida. Major cruise lines such as Carnival, Disney, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean frequent this port. These ships primarily cruise to the Bahamas, the Caribbean and the Panama Canal. The port itself also features many family-friendly attractions nearby, making it a good place to extend your trip before or after a cruise.

A must-see is the Kennedy Space Center, an original NASA Launch Operations Center where launch operations for the famous Apollo, Skylab and others were held. The site features educational experiences, dining, an IMAX theater, and shuttle launch simulations. For more interactive fun, stop by the Exploration Tower, which has seven floors of games, exhibits, and an observation deck at the very top.

If youre looking to optimize your beach time before heading off to the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean, Cocoa Beach is a popular spot. Its home to the original Ron Jon Surf Shop, where you can take surf lessons, or just soak in the warm temperature.

Lastly, no stay at Port Canaveral would be complete without a day trip to Walt Disney World. Some cruise lines even offer motorcoach transfer to the parks, so you wont need to worry about transportation. When youre just miles from the Happiest Place on Earth, visiting this park is a must, especially when travelling with kids!

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What Airport Should You Fly Into To Save Time And Money

Each of these Florida cruise ports has at least one major airport within an hours drive. But sometimes the most obvious airport may not actually be your best option for kicking off your cruise.

Depending on where you live, the price for air tickets may be cheaper if you fly to a nearby city and drive the remaining distance. You can often find affordable shuttle services to cover that distance. Or, you may find that taking a car service or renting a car still yields overall cheaper travel costs. Also, if you investigate options at other Florida airports, you may find more convenient travel times to fit your schedule.

If you do exercise your option to fly to an alternative airport for your cruise, make sure that you make prior arrangements for a ride to take you from the airport to the other city.

Disney Cruise Shuttle From Disney World To Port Canaveral

You can also use the Disney bus transportation option if you are staying at a Walt Disney World Hotel Resort. The cost is the same at $39 per person for a single trip.

If you are a Disney World hotel you will leave your luggage outside your hotel room for it to be picked up at around 8 am. The next time you see it will be when it is delivered to your Disney Cruise Stateroom.

The buses leave Disney World hotels from around 11 am to 11.30 am. You will get specific instructions when you check in to your Disney Hotel.

The bus takes quite a while to get to the Disney Cruise Port. Usually, the journey time will be around 90 minutes. The reason for this is that the bus may make a number of stops at other Disney Resorts on the way.

If you take a Disney Cruise bus from a Disney World Hotel you will most likely be one of the later guests to arrive in the cruise port. This is a big disadvantage of taking the Disney Cruise Port bus transportation.

We like to get on to the cruise ship as soon as possible. Taking the Disney Cruise bus option is convenient. However, it does mean that you will lose some time on the ship. For some, this isnt a big deal as the convenience overcomes this issue.

The Disney cruise bus experience is good overall. They play Disney movies on the television so it helps get you in the Disney vacation mood!

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Similar to being on a cruise ship, you can always ask other if you can share their unfilled 6-seat table, especially at Grills. Since you cant just homestead a table, I suggest that you enjoy a late lunch, early dinner or a couple of appetizers and drinks.

Once the ships begin their procession through the channel and out to sea, people will quickly move to the fence to take the best photos. Do the same.

Cruise From Port Canaveral Florida

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Located in central Florida, Port Canaveral is close to one of the most popular vacation destinations in the United States. Various amusement parks, beaches, and other attractions make a pre- or post-cruise trip perfect for the whole family. Several major cruise lines such as Carnival, Disney, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean leave from Port Canaveral, Florida.

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Smaller Florida Cruise Ports

And, to complete the list, we should also mention that Florida hosts two smaller cruise ports with much more limited service. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Carnival Cruise lines had one ship sailing from the Jacksonville cruise port. And, the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line had short two-night cruises from the Palm Beach cruise port to the Bahamas.

The Jacksonville Airport is about 12 miles from the Jacksonville cruise port. The closest alternative city would be Orlando, where the airport is about 2 1/2 hours away from the Jacksonville port. Likewise, the Palm Beach International Airport is about 12 miles to the Palm Beach cruise port. But, since it is much farther south than Jacksonville, it is also readily accessible from Miami, which is about an 1 1/2 hour drive, and Fort Lauderdale, which is about an hour and 10 minutes.

A Destination In Itself

You should always arrive at your embarkation port city at least a day early so why not extend your trip and enjoy the place youre sailing from? Florida has many nice beaches, but as a Florida native, I think the Cocoa Beach area has the most relaxing strips of sand and water around. The area is also home to the famous Ron Jon Surf Shop, as well as a fantastically named hotel.

The Space Coast, as its often referred to, feels very old Florida, with small inns, no massive resorts or loud clubs, and a somewhat retro feeling. This extends a bit outside the area as well, and if you prefer something larger or generally more fancy resorts, but still a less hectic feel than Miami Beach, nearby Melbourne may be just what youre looking for.

Finally, whether staying in the area for a day or a week, there are a couple of restaurants right at Port Canaveral: Fishlips and Grills. If cruise ships are sailing out while youre there, you can enjoy a meal or some drinks while watching them sail by. This can also be a good spot for breakfast the day of your cruise, letting you take in the morning ocean air with a view of your ship.

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Directions To Port Canaveral The Cove And Jetty Park

From Orlando, simply drive east on SR 528, affectionately called the Beachline. Watch carefully for road signs to Port Canaveral, as Florida notoriously lacks in good road signage.

When you finally and excitedly see cruise ships across the water in front of you on your left, stay to the right. Youll soon want to exit from 528 onto A1A South. Merge briefly onto A1A south and stay to your right for the exit. At the stop light, go left under the overpass. Follow George King Blvd and look for overhead signs to The Cove. You can enter the Cove area on either Flounder St. or Glen Cheek Road.

Heading to Jetty Park? Continue on George King Blvd and keep going to the end. Follow the signs for the campground.

Theres plenty of free parking at the Cove. With a 3:30 arrival, parking is easy.

Enjoy and have fun as you watch the ships sail away from Port Canaveral and out to sea!

Im editor and creator of and a solo traveler who cruises the world on waves and wheels. As an avid cook, I collect recipes along the way from ships and places. I hope my articles, reviews, news and photos entertain, advise and inspire you to try solo travel and see the world without flying. Take a breath stop for a meal and a glass of wine along the way.

Port Canaveral Cruise Tip

World’s largest cruise ship departs Port Canaveral

If you plan to book one of the best cruises from Port Canaveral, youre going to want to reserve the best pre and post arrangements to complete your vacation. Whether youre flying or driving in, Go Port has you covered with a variety of Fly Snooze Cruise and Snooze Park Cruise hotel packages, affordable cruise transportation options, as well as Port Canaveral cruise parking with transfers. After booking your cruise, visit to easily book a package that meets your travel needs.

Get the Inside Scoop from Go Port

Stay up-to-date with the latest Port Canaveral cruise news and travel tips!

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Cruise From Port Canaveral

Cruises from Port Canaveral, Florida

Cruises from Port Canaveral, Florida are abundant and are a great option to get away on a cruise vacation. Cruises from Port Canaveral range from 3 to 9 days and sail to the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Guests taking a cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida might enjoy a pre or post-cruise packages and take advantage of the many theme parks, water parks and shopping opportunities that the area is so well known for.

Those lucky enough to live within driving distance can also get some great last minute cruise deals when they cruise from Port Canaveral.

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