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Never sailed out of Canaveral, so what's the drill??


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My wife and I are Diamond Plus so we've sailed a lot, but NEVER out of Port Canaveral. Is it best to stay in Orlando, or stay closer to the port? What's the best approach to ground transportation? We're not going to rent a car, assume there are many options for shuttles? What's the best approach? Appreciate any tips the community can provide. Thanks!

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we sailed out of port canaveral once and took an uber from the airport hyatt. it probably wasn't our favorite overnight stay (compared to our usual florida beach/pool scene the day before) but the cruise itself was great, so the logistics lift was more on our end, than anything.

staying orlando when we went was a no go as it was spring break time + super expensive -- so it was most cost effective for us to just stay in the airport and save on multiple transpo fees.

it was very easy to get the uber, and it's really cool to come over the A1A and see the ship waiting for you. my dad loved that the space station was right there too.

i feel like there was less hustle and bustle than the usual florida ports (everglades + miami), so it was a real nice treat + easy boarding.

you are going to have a great time!

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I have sailed out of Canaveral a lot. Airport and most anything is at least an hour away from port. It will be cheaper to stay at a hotel closer to airport, but it might even out with cost of Lyft/Uber/GoPort/any other cruise transportation.  Last time I stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites Cape Canaveral Cruise Port, they have shuttles to the port for $8pp, might be $10 now as this was earlier this year. The Hampton was actually walking distance, if you are brave enough to combat the express way, to port; with a Lyft being about $13+ tip.

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As someone who lives in the area I would personally recommend staying at Cape Canaveral before your cruise as the area is better than staying in Orlando. There is a service at this port called Go Port that offers a hotel package that offers airport transportation and cruise transfers for pre cruise stays.

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Before I lived in the area I used to stayed in the Orlando area the night before when I used to fly in.  Like most major cities you'll find the abundance of airport hotels in major cities leads to reasonable rates while the few hotels available in the port area often result in higher rates.   One way or another you have to pay to get from Orlando when flying in.  Pay the day before or pay the day of the cruise doesn't make a difference yet can save from you paying again the morning of the cruise.

Hotel and car rentals shuttles in the area have been asked not to start port service until 11am so depending on arrival plans that can work against you.  

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We've sailed from Port Canaveral more than any other port.  We've found the area extremely easy for servicing and accessing the cruise industry. 

Our easiest choice is to spend the night (or nights) prior to the cruise in a Cocoa Beach motel.  Transportation is easy and readily available, and the day of the cruise will not require a rush. 

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We did a cruise out of Port Canaveral in March and we opted for a couple of nights at the Orlando airport hotel (Hyatt Regency). We did this for a number of reasons, one of which was all the restaurant and shopping at the airport, even if it is a little expensive. We just wanted a different experience and we had a late night flight, so wanted to get to bed as quickly as possible. I will say it made for a different experience. It was especially fun, in an odd sort of way, to see all the stressed out travelers - parents with children in tow, people obviously running late, etc. I think sometimes when we travel we forget what an experience it is.

We then took an Uber to the port (left airport at about 8am), dropped our luggage with the porters (about 9 am for an 11 am boarding time) and then walked over to the Grills Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar for breakfast. We have family in the area and they met us there for breakfast. This was an awesome start to the cruise. We were able to watch the ship as it got prepped and ready for us.

Having said all that, the next time we cruise out of Port Canaveral, we'll likely stay near the port on the way out. Lots of opportunities. I'm considering the Holiday Inn Club Vacations Cape Canaveral Beach Resort, but since we don't have the next cruise planned yet, it will depend on many factors. There are also many Hiltons and Marriotts near there.

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I just got back from my first time cruising from Canaveral.  I'm the person who ignores Matt's advice and flies in the day of on the first nonstop flight of the morning, so I can't comment on overnight staying. 

However, we did use GoPort for transportation to/from the cruise pier from the airport and I would definitely recommend it.  It was quick and easy to check in and the wait for the next bus was only a few minutes.  It's $29.99 per person each way.  The only downside was our pier was the last one to offload on embarkation (terminal 5) so it added about 30 mins to the ride to drop off at 3 others first.  Coming back was only from the terminal we disembarked at so it was quicker.

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