Living in NC its an easy drive south on I 95 to Port Canaveral.  In the past I would leave about six am.  I arrive at the hotel in Cocoa beach.  Tired from the drive I just checked in have a have a few beers and dinner.  Then get up the next day to start the beginning of the cruise process.  My last two cruises Ive booked my hotel on the beach for 3 days and enjoy a mini vacation before the cruise.  For me it extends the trip and fun.  Sure it costs about an extra 300 but since I prepay everything over time its not a big deal.  If you can do it Id say go for it.  Any thoughts?