You’ve booked your Disney Cruise and are looking forward to your vacation. Now, how are you going to get to the port? Listed below are different methods of transportation for passengers headed to Port Canaveral.
FLYING INTO ORLANDO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
The Disney Cruise Line Air Program offers two convenient options to suit your vacation plans.
- Flexible Fares provide the convenience of customizing your flight schedule, with an extended payment and cancellation option.
- Restricted Fares let you confirm the best available non-refundable, airline-published airfare offered by Disney Cruise Line at the time of booking, while still receiving the peace of mind of booking your flights with the Disney Cruise Line Air Program.
Depending on your point of origin, we recommend flying in the day prior to your cruise departure. This removes the worry of missing the ship’s sailing if there are flight delays.
There are a number of sites for checking airline fares, including Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline, Kayak, and Yapta. On most travel sites, you can sign up to be alerted when discount fares are available. You should also check the official airline website because you might get better pricing and flight times by booking directly with the airline.
Keep checking on your flight even after it’s booked. Airlines are known to change flight numbers and times. They are supposed to contact you when they make changes, but you need to be proactive in case they don’t. The sooner you notice a change the sooner you can contact the airline if this change doesn’t work for you. Before calling, check the airline’s website to see what your new options for flights might be. Don’t wait for them to suggest something. Tell them the option that works best for you. In addition, you might find that your fare has decreased.
If you’re flying in on embarkation day, you need to make sure that you leave enough time to get to the ship. Final boarding is at 4:00 p.m. and no one is allowed to board after that time. The port is approximately an hour’s drive from the Orlando airport, but you’ll also need to factor in the time it will take to get your luggage and to get to your transportation. Morning flight arrivals are recommended.
Disney recommends on departure day that you not book a flight before 11:30 a.m. There are times when the ship is delayed at the port and you run the risk of missing your flight. Rushing to get to the airport is not the way to end your Disney cruise vacation.
DRIVING YOUR OWN VEHICLE
If you are driving, you’ll need to park your vehicle near or at the port. One option is to arrive a day early and park at your hotel for the duration of the cruise. Most of the hotels in the area will provide shuttles to the port. Even factoring in the cost of the hotel stay, you may be able to save money this way, as opposed to parking at the port. As we noted above, we recommend flying in a day early so you’re not worried about making it to the ship on time. Rushing to the terminal is no way to start a relaxing cruise vacation.
Parking at Port Canaveral currently runs between $68 for a 3-night cruise and $136 for a 7-night cruise, but prices are subject to change at any time and updated details can be found on the Port Canaveral website. You are required to pay as you enter the lot.
There are also off-site parking lots available, which offer shuttles back to the port. One thing to consider with any option that requires a shuttle is the additional cost of tips, plus the additional time that will add to your embarkation/debarkation process. Since you will have your own car, you may not be on as tight of a schedule as if you were flying, so that option may work out well for you.
The second option for getting to Port Canaveral would be to rent a car. You might want to make some stops between the airport and the port, or maybe you’ve had a rental car during the Disney World portion of your vacation. No matter the reason, a rental car can be a great option. If you will be keeping the car to use again at the end of your cruise, you can look into the various parking options mentioned above. Or, you can return the car to one of the rental car agencies near the port and take a shuttle back to the terminal. If you need a car after your cruise, the car rental agencies have shuttles near customs that you can take to their office to rent your car.
LIMO/TOWN CAR SERVICES
While this might seem like more of a luxury, if you have a bigger group it can actually be a really economical option. We recommend FL Tours, a sponsor on our sister site, wdwinfo.com. We have found them to be reliable and very convenient.
In addition to limos (seat 6-8) and town cars (seat 4), vans (seat 10) are also available. We recommend using a van when traveling with more than one family. The vans have plenty of room and by the time you split the cost between everyone in the group, it’s fairly inexpensive. One thing to remember when choosing the type of vehicle is the amount of luggage you will be bringing. One other great thing about using a town car company instead of renting a car is that car seats are often free of charge. With a rental car, you can pay up to $50 per car seat, so this can be a large savings for a family with multiple children needing car seats.
The convenience of a town car service can’t be beat. The car will pick you up right at the door of your hotel, cruise ship, or airport. The driver will help you with your luggage and with some companies, you may even be able to schedule a grocery store stop for supplies.
DISNEY CRUISE LINE TRANSFERS
Ground transfers between Orlando International Airport and Port Canaveral are available for purchase. Airport transfers are available on embarkation and debarkation days only, for the cost of $39 per guest (subject to change at any time). Guests can call (800) 951-3532 to add ground transfers in advance, as only a limited number may be available for purchase upon arrival. You can also reach out to your Dreams Unlimited Travel agent. Private transportation options are also available.