Thursday, May 16, 2024

What To Do In Port Canaveral Cruise Stop

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Rodney S Ketcham Park

Port Canaveral & Jetty Park – an unexpected stop!

Get up close and personal with local wildlife at Rodney S. Ketcham Park, which is an official stop on the Great Florida Birding Trail. Bring along a pair of binoculars and scout the area for brown pelicans, great blue herons, snowy egrets and many more species of bird. The park also features a picnic pavilion, observation deck, boat ramp and nonmotorized boat launch, as well as fishing spots for those with a pole and some bait.


Learn To Surf At Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach is the surf capital of the East Coast. Beginner and expert surfers alike enjoy Cocoa Beach for its many surf-themed shops, restaurants, and bars. Cocoa Beach is home to the original Ron Jon Surf Shop the largest surf shop in the world. If youve always wanted to learn to surf, Cocoa Beach is the place to do it. Youll find warm temperatures year-round. Check out this page to learn more about surfing lessons at Cocoa Beach.

Take A Private Tour Of The Daytona Speedway

Dubbed “The Great American Race,’ the Daytona 500 runs annually at the Daytona International Speedway. For the past six decades, the race has served up plenty of heroic figures, performances to remember and once-in-a-lifetime moments.

Exclusive to Norwegian cruise guests, the Private All Access Tour allows you a rare opportunity to explore the track from an insiders vantage point. Youll get to explore the Start/Finish line and the pit stalls up close.

What are some of your favorite things to do in Orlando and Port Canaveral?

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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 the editor and creator of, a solo traveler cruising the world on waves and wheels. I hope my articles and photos entertain, advise and inspire you to travel the world without flying. Take a breath stop for a meal and a glass of wine along the way.

In Crystal River You May Swim With Manatees And Dolphins

Snooze n Cruise at Port Canaveral

Manatees may be found in abundance at Crystal River, Florida, and swimming with these gentle giants is a fantastic experience. Manatee season begins on November 15th, so dont miss out!

Dolphins can occasionally be spotted swimming alongside manatees. When visiting this area in the winter, this would be an excellent day trip.

Please remember that between November 15th and March 31st, watercraft use limitations apply.

There is also a lot of natural beauty in the area. Visitors to the world-famous Crystal River Springs State Park can go hiking or bicycling along gorgeous routes that take them through natural Florida flora and fauna.

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Top Things To Do Near Port Canaveral Florida On A Cruise

Serving as both an embarkation port and a port of call, we have just put together our list of the Top Things to Do Near Port Canaveral, Florida on a Cruise.

As one of the biggest cruise ports in the world, Port Canaveral, Florida hosts ships from a variety of cruise lines. Serving as an embarkation port as well as a port of call on some Bahamas cruises, you might be wondering what activities there are to enjoy while visiting this area. You are in luck, as we have just put together our list of the Top Things to Do Near Port Canaveral, Florida on a Cruise.

Watch Ships As You Sip At Fishlips Waterfront Bar

Relax with a drink and watch the other cruisers head into or out of Port Canaveral

Dine alfresco at Fishlips Waterfront Bar and Grill, located near Port Canaveral, where you can enjoy classic beach fare with a waterfront view. The patio and sun deck at Fishlips give you a front-row seat to watch cruise ships enter and leave port.

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Things To Do In Cape Canaveral Before Your Cruise Sets Sail

Pro tip: Head to Port Canaveral a day early to spend some time exploring Floridas Space Coast before you set sail

Before you board your cruise from Port Canaveral, spend some extra time enjoying the areas many hotspots.

If a Caribbean cruise is in your future, its likely youve already started counting down the days until you set sail. But why wait until you leave shore to start your vacation? Rather than feeling rushed and stressing over the details of your ships departure, get to your cruise port a day early and take that extra time to enjoy some of the many great things to do in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Port Canaveral Visitors Center

Best Cruising Tips: Best Way From Orlando Airport to Port Canaveral

The Florida Space Coast tourism office is a great place for even more, in-depth, information about all the attractions and events along this stretch of the Florida coast.

LOCATION: 4300 Brevard Avenue, Suite 150, Cocoa, FL 32922

PHONE: 1-321-433-4470 or toll-free in the USA 1-877-57-BEACH

HOURS OF OPERATION: Please call to confirm the office is open.

For the Official Space Coast Visitors Guide click here to sign up to receive one by mail or instant download.

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To Start Youll Want To Rent A Car For The Day

There is an Avis location in Cape Canaveral, about 10 minutes from the port.Reserve a rental with them and theyll pick you up at the ship and go to their rental location. When you return your car, theyll drive you back to the ship. This is a great way to explore Floridas Space Coast and Cocoa Beach at your own pace and visit some out of the way places and interesting in this area.

Lone Cabbage Fish Camp

Explore Castries The Islands Capital

When cruising to St. Lucia, ships dock at Castries which is the capital city. Cruise ships dock at either Pointe Seraphine which is a 20-minute walk to the center of the town or at La Place Carenage which is at the center of the town.

One of the things that you should do in the city is to visit Castries Market, found in the town center in the iron warehouse with bright orange roofing. Here you can peruse and shop for unfamiliar tropical fruits and familiar ones like bananas.

Or maybe not so familiar as St. Lucia boasts of 127 varieties of bananas, its actually the islands main fruit. You can also shop Caribbean spices, island-made chocolate, and rum.

Browse all the St. Lucia souvenirs online from Amazon right here.

Right next to the open-air fruit market is the handcrafts market where you can shop for hand printed silk garments, Carrabelle batik, straw items, and wooden items.

After leaving the market, you can visit the nearby Derek Walcott Square. Named after the famous poet who was awarded a Nobel peace prize for literature in 1992. Opposite the square is St Lucias cathedral a plain old church on the outside but bearing the most beautiful murals and old decor on the inside.

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Dolphin And Whale Watching

Another magical thing about this tropical oasis is the 3000 feet deep ledge that has the most stunning sightings of whales and dolphins.

Book a Whale watching tour and enjoy a once in a lifetime experience in a whale watching ride along the ledge to Soufriere. Once at the French capital, you can take a vehicle ride back to Marigot Bay or Castries. This serves as a great two in one tour of the island.

Things To Do At Port Canaveral

Port Canaveral

The Rocket Garden is just one of many sites to see at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, not far from Port Canaveral

If you arrive before your scheduled boarding appointment or have some time to kill before your shuttle, you have options.

Several waterfront restaurants cluster in the space near the terminals, with a handful serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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Where To Stay In Port Canaveral Before A Cruise

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Anyone that has been on a cruise before will tell you that the most annoying part of the experience is getting to the port and back again. Do you fly or do you drive? Do you arrive the day of or the day before? Where is the best place to leave your vehicle while you are on the ship? There are so many decisions to make. After our most recent cruise, this will never again be a difficult decision to make. The Radisson Resort is the best place to stay in Port Canaveral the night before your cruise, and heres why

Disclaimer: We were hosted by the Radisson Resort at the Port. However, as always, all opinions are my own.

Check out our other hotel reviews of the Renaissance Charleston, and the Beau Rivage in Biloxi.

Getting Around Port Canaveral

Your options for getting around the cruise terminal area in Port Canaveral will depend on both which terminal you are departing from and what youd like to do.

If youre in terminal 1 or 3 then youll be able to walk to some activities like Jetty Park, the Cove, and Exploration Tower. To head out to Cocoa Beach you can also catch the local beach bus .

From the other terminals, youll need transport such as a rental car shuttle, or pre-arranged ride with a shuttle company like Cocoa Beach Shuttle, or a taxi/Uber/Lyft to get around the near vicinity.

To get out to Orlando, it would be best to rent a car for the day. We have personally done this and found it an effective way to visit things further afield like Kennedy Space Center. The rental car agencies have shuttles that will get you back and forth from the cruise terminals to their office to pick up the cars pretty quickly.

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Port Canaveral Parking Options

The Cruise Terminal 3 parking garage under construction

For the most convenient parking option, the lots at the terminals are definitely the easiest to access, but come with a hefty price tag of $17 per day.

The cruise pier lots arent your only option. There are several companies, all within one to 10 miles from the port, which offer secured lots and roundtrip transportation to the piers.

These include Cruisetime Parking, Go Port, Park N Cruise, and Canaveral Cruise Parking. Each of these park-and-ride lots ranges in price from $6.95 to $10.95 per day, and sometimes have specials and discounts available.

Closer to the port at only two miles away is Park Port Canaveral, which advertises a standard rate of $10.95 per day.

Port Canaveral Cruise Guide: What You Need To Know

French Drain for Tourist, What else can you do in Florida, Port Canaveral, Cruise Lines

Located on Floridas east coast, Port Canaveral is the closest cruise port to Orlando and its world-class theme parks and entertainment options.

In addition to its premium location, this Central Florida port is easy to access and simple to navigate. Over the years, the port has been known to host many of the newest ships, most notably from Disney Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line.

One of the worlds most popular cruise ports, Port Canaveral sees millions of guests each year. In 2019, over 4.8 million multi-day cruisers sailed from the port.

Port Canaveral, looking east


  • Royal Caribbean : 9050 Discovery Rd., Port Canaveral, FL 32920
  • Carnival : 32 George King Blvd., Port Canaveral, FL 32920
  • Carnival : 9245 Charles M. Rowland Dr., Port Canaveral, FL 32920
  • Disney : 9155 Charles M. Rowland Dr., Port Canaveral, FL 32920
  • Norwegian : 9005 Charles M. Rowland Dr., Port Canaveral, FL 32920

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Helpful Tips For Cruising From Port Canaveral

Sailing from Port Canaveral on a cruise? You are definitely not alone. Millions of passengers board ships in the port that head from the Bahamas to the Caribbean to Mexico. In fact, its right behind the Port of Miami as the titleholder of the worlds busiest cruise port.

If youve never sailed from the area before, then you might be wondering what to expect when you cruise out of Port Canaveral. As a bustling and fast-growing port complex, there is a lot for you to know before you head to your ship.

From what to do, to where to park, to navigating the port, we have all the ins and outs of important details to know regarding the central Florida port.

Independent Lots Offer Cheaper Parking Options

Finally, if you dont plan to stay at a hotel and you dont qualify for free parking, you can still save big on parking at Port Canaveral. Independent lots have sprung up around the port, offering parking for as little as $40 per week. These rates can save you a ton of money on your parking fees, which you can either save or put towards more fun on your cruise. To see more about where to park for a Port Canaveral cruise, click here.

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Things To Do In Port Canaveral On Your Next Cruise

Although cruising is a vacation in and of itself, if you are cruising out of Port Canaveral and have a day or two before or after your cruise, youll find a surprising number of things to do.

Port Canaveral is just one hour from Orlando, a city that has a lot to offer travelers – from adrenaline-packed theme parks to nature preserves. Also near to Port Canaveral is the Kennedy Space Center, which offers visitors a variety of opportunities to learn about space.

Here are some great things to do before or after a cruise from Port Canaveral.

Make Chocolate From Pods To Bar

11 Things to Know About Port Canaveral Cruise Parking

Enjoy St. Lucias cholate experience. Visit restaurants such as Hotel Chocolat to experience a tree to bean to bar chocolate workshop. Create your own chocolate from scratch and enjoy it. Or take the popular chocolate tea, which is nothing like hot chocolate, but hot water added to grated chocolate stick with sugar.

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Port Canaveral With Kids

Located east of Orlando International Airport on Charles M Rowland Drive in Cape Canaveral, the Port Canaveral cruise port sees up to 4 million cruise passengers each year.

Carnival Cruise, Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Lines cruise ships call Port Canaveral home port.

The majority of ships departing from Port Canaveral follow a 3, 4, 5 or 7 night Bahamian or Caribbean cruise itinerary.

With Kennedy Space Center as a neighbor and Orlando theme parks like Walt Disney World and Universal Studios just a short drive away, families looking for a land and cruise vacation will love cruising from Port Canaveral.

Port Canaveral Address: 9005 Charles M Rowland Drive, Cape Canaveral, FL, 32920

Distance from Nearest Airport: 45.1 miles from Orlando International Airport

Contents & Quick Navigation

Port Canaveral Cruises Travel Tips

  • Bring warm clothes, but also pack layers. No matter what time of the year that you’re visiting Port Canaveral, it’s going to be quite warm during the day. However, it can cool off at night, so dress accordingly.
  • Make use of the free cruise shuttle services from the airport and from your hotel, if it includes them. This is a great way to get to and from the port to take your cruise.
  • If you don’t have to, don’t bother driving to Port Canaveral. It costs a whopping total of $17 per day to park at the port, so that can really add up depending on how long your cruise is.
  • Explore the area near the port if you’re interested in finding some amazing food. There are a multitude of great restaurants here!
  • Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, because you’re going to need it. There are beautiful beaches near Port Canaveral, and it’s almost always sunny.

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The Florida Key Lime Pie Company

You will need to refresh yourself during your exciting day at Port Canaveral, and you cant go wrong at the Florida Key Lime Pie Company. From fresh key lime pie to homemade ice cream, cheesecakes, local Florida craft beer, rum cakes, gator jerky, tropical wines, hot sauces, marmalades, salt water taffy, and other treats, this colorful store has something to tempt everyones taste buds. And dont miss your free sample of their signature key lime pie!

All your Key Lime Pie needs can be found on Amazon right here.

Always Arrive In Port Canaveral The Night Before

Carnival Pride stop at Port Canaveral – Day of leisure

There are entirely too many what-ifs to risk arriving in Port Canaveral on the day of your cruise. Whether flying or driving we never recommend arriving the day of embarkment. What if your flight is delayed? What if there is a major traffic accident and the roads are blocked? No one wants to miss the boat so arriving the day before is advised.

Now that youve decided to stay in Port Canaveral the night before your cruise, where do you stay? And what about parking and transportation the next day? The Radisson Resort at the Port is the answer to those questions!

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