Contributor Level: Second Mate

Looking for best port in FL

I am a seasoned traveller and have been on 6 cruises. I have not sailed since I was I was younger. I now have a family of my own and we live in Orlando, FL. I know port canaveral and Tampa are closest but looking to see the difference in parking, port fees, etc. that may not be an upfront cost I can prepare myself for. Since this my wife's first cruise I need to make sure she enjoys while not breaking the budget. Been looking for some guidance in websites but they are either bias or can't find the answers. Looking for a cruise for less than $250 PP and 4 days or less (preferably Carnival, Royal Caribbean, or Norwegian).

Long story to question. Is paying the extra rate, distance from Orlando, and ship really worth the extra cost?

Tags: Miami Florida Ship Port

5 Answers

Contributor Level: Third Mate
Parking is easy in Port Canaveral, you can park right at the port: 3-day, $60; 4-day, $75; 5-day, $90, and 7-day, $120 for vehicles up to 20 feet in length. For vehicles longer than 20 feet, the rates are $104, $130, $156 and $208 respectively.

In Tampa, 7 day parking at the port is $105, valet parking is $125, and oversize vehicles is $210. 5 day is $75, 4 day is $60, 14 days is $210. Tampa has an entertainment and shopping complex called channelside nearby:

Parking at port of Miami is $20 per night. There is lots to do in the Miami area if you want to sightsee or spend days pre and post cruise.

Port Everglades parking is $15 per night. This port has been voted the world's best cruise port. Lots to do, and convenient to FLL or to drive in.

The best way to choose your port if you're open to any, is to find the ships that you really want to go on, what itineraries you like best, and then compare the prices and options on each possibility. I'm happy to help you decide, if you'd like some travel agent assistance.
Contributor Level: Third Mate
I am not a travel agent but have cruised with Carnival 20 times. I personally prefer Jacksonville port as parking is easy (prices are pretty much the same at the ports) and the cruises are reasonable. Rather than pay for parking at the port my husband and I get a hotel room for one night (we drive in from Atlanta) and they keep our vehicle until we return as part of the deal, just ask the hotel. We get some extra rest, plus breakfast and parking which is a nice start to our vacation. Look for "park and cruise" hotel packages when searching if you deside to try that. My husband and I like the Carnival Fascination as it is easy to navigate and not one of the "Super sized" ships, prices are best when booked in advance (1+ year or call to get a last minute a few weeks prior and take any cabin they have very cheap). Like I said, I'm not a professional, just my humble opinion. Hope it helps! Enjoy your trip!
Contributor Level: Third Mate
I totally agree about the park and cruise packages at hotels. They are definitely a great way to go to save the parking money. You want to make sure the shuttle to the port is included in the room price too.
Contributor Level: Third Mate
Thanks! I forgot to mention that. Our hotel included "round trip" shuttle service which saves money. Some hotels only offer one way shuttle so double check before booking. Thanks 855GR8TRIP !
Contributor Level: Purser
Miami port is good


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