Although most people tend to focus on the destination or activities available in port, your ship choice may make or break your vacation. Some cruises are known for being family friendly, while others are better suited for a romantic gettaway or singles escape. Each cruise line has its own personality, so you’ll want to be sure to choose the right atmosphere for you. There’s also a lot of variety among ships when it comes to onboard facilities. These days you can enjoy everything from fine dining and spa treatments to zip lining and water slides, all while still at sea! With the vast array of amenities and itineraries each cruise has to offer, you’re bound to find a boat that sparks your interest. Just be sure to match your preferences with a fitting ship. That way you can make the most of your vacation time, both at port and on the open ocean.
Parking at the port is extremely convenient, but it will cost you. Rates are $17 per day. For seven days of parking you’ll spend nearly $120. Luckily, there are a number of independent lots located within a few minutes of the port that are considerably cheaper. Your options run about $10 per day, which is a considerable discount off parking at the port. As well, these independent lots offer free shuttles to the port, so you can get right to your ship conveniently. Extra details on Port Canaveral cruise parking.
Cruising is a vacation value, for sure, but driving to your cruise is a money saver as well. Not only are you saving money on airfare and bag fees, but you have the opportunity to save on parking too. Hotels in many ports offer some sort of “cruise and stay” package where you can park your car at the hotel for the duration of your cruise for free provided you’re staying there at least one night before or after you sail. Some hotels even offer free or discount shuttles to and from the cruise terminal. In Port Canaveral, nearly a dozen hotels — from Holiday Inns to Best Westerns to Four Points by Sheraton — offer cruise and stay packages. Spend a few minutes online looking for packages at hotels near your cruise terminal and you’ll find similar arrangements no matter where you depart.
Admittedly, I’ve only sailed Disney Cruise Line from Port Canaveral, and I’ve always found the process to be easy and straightforward. If you are taking the Disney transportation from the airport, you’ll leave your luggage before boarding the motor coach at the airport. Once you arrive at the port, you’ll be directed through security, then will travel upstairs to the check in area. The Disney terminal is so well appointed, and it really gets you in the spirit of traveling with Disney. There are three separate check-in areas. One is for first-time cruisers, one is for Castaway Club silver and gold members, and one is for concierge guests and Platinum Castaway Club members.
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