While Disney Cruise Line utilizes 9 different departure ports around the world, if you’re near our home base in Burlington, North Carolina you will be interested in Disney cruises leaving from Florida’s Port Canaveral.
Port Canaveral is an easy transfer from the Orlando International Airport, and you can always fly down the morning of your cruise and use Disney’s own transportation.
Since we are within a day’s drive of Port Canaveral though, many of our clients choose to drive. If you have a family of five like we do, a drive down becomes especially appealing considering the added cost of five flights to Orlando. We almost always drive.
It’s about a 10 hour drive from the middle of North Carolina to Port Canaveral.
If you do drive down, we always recommend coming in the night before.
You can always try it the day of, but we value our nerves and sanity and always drive down for a cruise with a day to spare. Remember, you’re on vacation. You need to relax and limit those possible stressors like worrying about whether you’ll miss the cruise!
The question then becomes: Where should you stay the night before?
You’ll certainly want a great deal – something modest so as to not show up the cruise, but something safe, clean, and preferably fun.
While there are a number of hotels immediately adjacent to the port, we recommend looking about a 10 minute drive south to Cocoa Beach.
The prices of the hotels close to the Port are sky high, because of location and because they all offer stay, park, and ride deals. These allow you to spend the night before your cruise, leave your car parked at the hotel during the cruise, and the hotel will ensure you have a ride to the Port and a ride back when the cruise is over.
Many of the hotels in Cocoa Beach also offer this same service.
We think the service isn’t necessary, however.
While the parking rates at the Port can be a little bit higher than some of the park & ride deals at the hotels, convenience is a huge factor for us, and there’s no more convenient spot in the area to park than at the Port.
Plus, think about the day you return from the cruise. Wouldn’t you rather be in the car and on the road as quickly as possible without having to catch a ride back to the hotel?
What do we do, and what do we recommend to our clients driving to and departing from Port Canaveral?
Leave home as early as you can – we shoot for around 3:00am (though it’s always closer to 4:00 before we leave)…the kids are asleep and they stay quiet and peaceful until we’re half way through South Carolina and the sun comes up.
That’ll put you in the area of Port Canaveral around early to mid-afternoon.
We always book a room at the Comfort Inn & Suites in Cocoa Beach, and spend the afternoon hanging out on the beach.
Give it a try.
Our perfect place to stay the night before a Disney Cruise:
The Comfort Inn & Suites in Cocoa Beach
It’s relatively inexpensive, has easy access to the beach, it’s charmingly retro, and is about a 10 minute drive from the Port.
We would be happy to help you with any of these arrangements.
So, go ahead and
Relax…you CAN get there from here!