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Artemis Launch Saturday: Mariner Question


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So for those of you who have sailed on launch day out of Port Canaveral I have a question for this Saturdays 2pm scheduled launch. Has anyone experienced issues/delays getting to the Port via bee line with the thousands gathering to watch a launch? Any traffic control mitigations in place (forced alternate routes) due to the congestion? Thanks in advance. 

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37 minutes ago, billdauterive said:

Going to the port wasn't an issue. It was the other side coming back that was a mess.

Perhaps, but this Saturday is certainly going to be interesting for anyone attempting to make it to the terminal for Mariner of the seas.

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2 hours ago, FLTraveler said:

Thanks for the heads up about this! I am sailing on Mariner on Saturday and hadn't even registered that the launch was rescheduled to coincide with boarding times. I will definitely be planning a slightly earlier departure.

Good luck & leave nice and early for this one.  

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Please let us know how you do getting to the Port on Saturday.    I was just watching the local news, and it said they are predicting around 400,000 expected to come out to watch the launch.  I don't know how accurate that will prove to be, but I would plan on MORE than a "slightly earlier departure".  Good luck, and enjoy your cruise on Mariner!

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19 hours ago, tonyfsu21 said:

So for those of you who have sailed on launch day out of Port Canaveral I have a question for this Saturdays 2pm scheduled launch. Has anyone experienced issues/delays getting to the Port via bee line with the thousands gathering to watch a launch? Any traffic control mitigations in place (forced alternate routes) due to the congestion? Thanks in advance. 

I was fortunate enough to score a seat on NASA property to view the scrubbed Launch on August 29.  Since this was going to NASA rather than the cruise port, your mileage may vary, but here are the travel times I experienced.

  • We departed the DoubleTree hotel in Orlando near the UCF campus on busses at 3am.
  • At approximately 3:45am we encountered very heavy traffic at US1 and S.R. 405.  Arrived at NASA property at 4:45am

On the way back:

  • We boarded our bus as soon as the launch was scrubbed and tried to depart about 9am.  Traffic was heaviest while still on NASA property, but we encountered traffic off and on all the way to Orlando.
  • We arrived at the DoubleTree hotel about 11:30am

Please note that we drove state route 50 out of Orlando rather than the direct route to the airport on route 528

I hope this answers your questions!

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Tack on top of the traffic due to the launch, there are 4 ships (including Mariner) in port that day. Oy vey - the traffic.... 

traffic impact GIF

@tonyfsu21 We will be in the Beachline parking lot, too. Guess I will need to pack my patience and leave early.

BTW - Go Noles!!!  And FYI - Playmakers on Sunday 9/4 @  7:30 p.m. for the FSU Watch Party!!

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We debarked Mariner on the 29th. Had originally planned on leaving around 9ish, nothing on my to-do list until 4:30

The ship advised everyone depart by 8:30. Suite concierge suggested to carry our luggage. He met groups to walk us off before 7, we were in a group about 7:15. Port employees said we were debarking much faster than normal days.

Traffic entering and leaving the port wasn’t bad but lots and lots of vehicles on the shoulders. 

 

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2 hours ago, Ron Rico said:

Tack on top of the traffic due to the launch, there are 4 ships (including Mariner) in port that day. Oy vey - the traffic.... 

traffic impact GIF

@tonyfsu21 We will be in the Beachline parking lot, too. Guess I will need to pack my patience and leave early.

BTW - Go Noles!!!  And FYI - Playmakers on Sunday 9/4 @  7:30 p.m. for the FSU Watch Party!!

Enjoy & Go Noles! My parents will be sailing Mariner & my family & I will be watching from Playmakers on Freedom of the seas! They are leaving South Florida at 5am because we have local sources that mentioned a cluster F of traffic by 9am headed East towards PC. They don’t mind arriving to the port extremely early at all for this trip. 

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6 hours ago, Laray said:

Please let us know how you do getting to the Port on Saturday.    I was just watching the local news, and it said they are predicting around 400,000 expected to come out to watch the launch.  I don't know how accurate that will prove to be, but I would plan on MORE than a "slightly earlier departure".  Good luck, and enjoy your cruise on Mariner!

Wow, that's insane. Yes, we're now planning a very early departure--but fortunately, we have an early check-in window, so even if we're late for that, we should still be okay. I will definitely report in on Saturday!

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The great thing about the Beachline is that it's a limited access toll road so there isn't a lot of cars getting on and off mile after mile.

The terrible thing about the Beachline is that's it's a limited access highway and when there is a wreck you can sit for hours because there is no where to go for miles and miles.

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I live directly across the river from the Artemis pad in Titusville. SteverK's description of his/her trips from the UCF campus to NASA usually only takes 45 minutes to an hour at worst. We travel to that area frequently for shopping and eating. An hour and forty-five minutes at 3am is absurd even if the roads were taken over by zombies. A two hour and thirty-minute drive back at 9am in what should have been "against" traffic (people living in Orlando and driving into work at NASA/etc.) would make most people here foam at the mouth. Plan accordingly - people will be packing the roads and viewing areas BEFORE the crack of dawn. Treat it like 495 around DC - you know it will be a disaster, give yourself plenty of time, and drive defensively.

If you are fortunate to have boarded your ship before the launch time, AND it actually launches, you'll have a tremendous seat at a historic event. It will shake your teeth. Supposed to be as loud as a jackhammer (depending on humidity, winds & rocket science gods). Enjoy.

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This is directly from the Port Authority:

Port Canaveral Releases Plan for 
September 3 Rescheduled Artemis Launch

Public parking on Port will be highly limited 
Visitors and guests are advised to plan accordingly

 image.png.8ab16d72fd116e448f5d98c9fdbf36eb.png
(Photo: NASA)

Port Canaveral, FL – September 1, 2022 – Port Canaveral today released its plan for access to the Port during the launch of NASA’s Artemis 1 from Launch Complex 39B at the Kennedy Space Center north of the Port. The launch is currently scheduled for Saturday, September 3rd with a two-hour launch window opening at 2:17 p.m. and lasting through 4:17 p.m. 

Visitors hoping to watch the launch from Port Canaveral are advised that parking at the Port on launch day will be highly limited.

Cruise guests, vendors and employees heading to the Port for any ship sailings that day should plan for extra driving time with higher-than-normal traffic volumes expected on all roadways in and around Port Canaveral. 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW (See below for more details)

•    Port Canaveral is open.

•    Jetty Park opens at 7:00 AM and will remain open until capacity is reached.

•    Parking at The Cove is for business patrons only.  Lots will remain open until capacity is reached. 

•    All cruise terminal parking garages and surface lots are reserved for cruise passengers’ parking only.

•    No parking /viewing alongside SR 401 or George King Boulevard.

•    SR 401 bridge will not open for vessel transits from 11:00 AM until 6:30 PM.

•    No drone photography will be permitted from the Port without prior approval of CPA’s Public Safety and Security Department.

 image.png.a1939e4375fa8bc8a2bb6adbf7cb7c65.png
(Map: Canaveral Port Authority)

Electronic signs on State Road 528 and A1A and on Port Canaveral roadways and intersections will advise motorists of road restrictions, as well as when parking capacity has been reached at designated parking areas.  Brevard County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) deputies will monitor traffic, control key traffic intersections, and enforce parking on and around the Port. 
 
Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) traffic advisory map
image.png.6fed4c8e123175c015711d3179d6a58a.png

(Map: Space Coast TPO)

BCSO deputies will be patrolling the Port to enforce parking restrictions. The BCSO Marine Units will patrol the Port waterways. 

Canaveral Fire Rescue will have EMT’s roving Port-wide to assist and treat where needed.  

Brevard Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will monitor county traffic and will be sharing the Port traffic plans.

JETTY PARK – OPENS 7:00 AM

•    Parking is limited to electronic passholders. Parking passes must be purchased in advance. No cash or credit card transactions are allowed at the entrance booth.

•    Lot will close when 100% vehicle capacity is reached.
•    Walk-ins or bicyclists will be allowed to enter the park until capacity is reached.
•    After the launch vehicles departing Jetty Park will be directed by BCSO deputies onto Shorewood Drive towards N. Atlantic Blvd. 
 
BOAT RAMPS PARKING
•    Freddie Patrick Boat Ramps and Rodney S. Ketcham Park Boat Ramps vehicle and trailer parking will be open and available to boaters on a first-come, first-serve basis until capacity is reached. 

•    Boat Ramps parking lots are exclusively for boater vehicles and trailers using boat ramps. 


COVE PARKING FOR RESTAURANTS AND BUSINESSES

•    Parking lots in the Cove dining district (see parking map) are for the exclusive use of Cove merchant patrons. 
•    Lots will close when maximum vehicle capacity is reached.
•    A private invitation only viewing event is being held for 3,000 guests outdoors on the lawn of the Exploration Tower. Parking for the event will be controlled by the event organizer; no public parking will be available in the area.

 
TRAFFIC IN AND AROUND THE PORT
•    Exploration Tower and parking lot are closed for construction

•    All cruise terminal parking garages and nearby surface lots are open for cruise guest parking only.
•    No parking allowed on George King Boulevard, SR 401, or any Port roadways.
•    No parking on unpaved lots or grassy surface areas.

•    NO parking allowed on State Road 528 median – entire length

•    SR 401 will be open to vehicle traffic heading to the Port’s northside cruise terminals and cargo operations and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station checkpoints.   

•    The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Road Rangers will be patrolling I95 and SR 528 to assist motorists with vehicle breakdowns and accident support. 
 

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1 hour ago, candmfox said:

I live directly across the river from the Artemis pad in Titusville. SteverK's description of his/her trips from the UCF campus to NASA usually only takes 45 minutes to an hour at worst. We travel to that area frequently for shopping and eating. An hour and forty-five minutes at 3am is absurd even if the roads were taken over by zombies. A two hour and thirty-minute drive back at 9am in what should have been "against" traffic (people living in Orlando and driving into work at NASA/etc.) would make most people here foam at the mouth. Plan accordingly - people will be packing the roads and viewing areas BEFORE the crack of dawn. Treat it like 495 around DC - you know it will be a disaster, give yourself plenty of time, and drive defensively.

If you are fortunate to have boarded your ship before the launch time, AND it actually launches, you'll have a tremendous seat at a historic event. It will shake your teeth. Supposed to be as loud as a jackhammer (depending on humidity, winds & rocket science gods). Enjoy.

Thank you for sharing this great information. I'm dreading the traffic, but having never been to a launch before this will be amazing if it launches.

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13 hours ago, candmfox said:

I live directly across the river from the Artemis pad in Titusville. SteverK's description of his/her trips from the UCF campus to NASA usually only takes 45 minutes to an hour at worst. We travel to that area frequently for shopping and eating. An hour and forty-five minutes at 3am is absurd even if the roads were taken over by zombies. A two hour and thirty-minute drive back at 9am in what should have been "against" traffic (people living in Orlando and driving into work at NASA/etc.) would make most people here foam at the mouth. Plan accordingly - people will be packing the roads and viewing areas BEFORE the crack of dawn. Treat it like 495 around DC - you know it will be a disaster, give yourself plenty of time, and drive defensively.

If you are fortunate to have boarded your ship before the launch time, AND it actually launches, you'll have a tremendous seat at a historic event. It will shake your teeth. Supposed to be as loud as a jackhammer (depending on humidity, winds & rocket science gods). Enjoy.

Nice! You live in a prime location or viewing.  We are thinking of going to Shiloh's but it will depend on when we wake up and how bad 50 is.  Kids insist they can deal with traffic and waiting.  Parking is my main concern.

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Yep. Bummer! I live about 55 minutes away from the port (on a normal day) and we left an hour early to account for traffic. Google sent us on back routes, so it actually ended up only taking about an hour and ten minutes to get here--but they announced that it was scrubbed while we were on our way, so that probably figured into it. We never encountered the river of people I was worried about.

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1 hour ago, FLTraveler said:

Yep. Bummer! I live about 55 minutes away from the port (on a normal day) and we left an hour early to account for traffic. Google sent us on back routes, so it actually ended up only taking about an hour and ten minutes to get here--but they announced that it was scrubbed while we were on our way, so that probably figured into it. We never encountered the river of people I was worried about.

We never saw the tons of people either, although we were able to view it from NASA property and weren't going to the cruise port. More people may have been on their way, but it was scrubbed 3 hours before the launch window opened. 

According to news reports,  the next window is on a few days but it's most likely delayed until the last half of October 

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The current window is open until I believe Tuesday but they've already announced they're not going to attempt in there. Next window technically runs 19 Sep-4 Oct but there's a manned flight scheduled for the 3rd and they won't mess with that. Looks likely for the window opening 17 Oct now.

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As of right now this launch is now targeting a late October launch attempt with most of the windows being early in the morning (around 2-4 in the morning). 

This means that it should not be a problem for passenger traffic at the port until the Oct. 23rd launch attempt as it will start to impact disembarking passengers. The biggest impact from this launch will be right after it take off or scrubs as hundreds of cars are all going to be trying to head back towards Orlando. If you are embarking any of those days and are coming to the port, you should not have a major problem. I was at the port for last Saturday's launch attempt that had at L- of 2:17 pm and the port was not congested with vehicles even with four cruise ships being in port. BCSO did a great job making sure the traffic was able to flow in and out of the cruise terminals smoothly. 

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As of this morning, it appears that NASA is targeting either 23 or 27 September for the launch pending resolution of the issue. The 23rd (Friday) there are 3 ships in port and the 27th only has one ship (Oasis) doing a port stop so not as crowded as previous attempts. If it does go, hope the launch windows are friendly to those sailing!

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The launch window continues to be a moving target. 

According to reports in the media (https://www.npr.org/2022/09/09/1121917791/nasa-eyes-late-september-for-its-next-attempt-to-launch-the-artemis-moon-mission) the rocket could launch as early as September 23.

They did repairs on the pad and are performing tests. There's a major test planned for this weekend, so we probably won't know any more until then 

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