Will your cruise leave from Port Canaveral and you are wondering how best to get there from Orlando? If so, read on for all the info!
What and where is Port Canaveral?
With over 4 million passengers in 2022, Port Canaveral is the world’s busiest cruise port. Located on Florida’s East Coast the port is about 50 miles from Orlando’s MCO airport, the most common air hub for getting to Port Canaveral.
How to get from Walt Disney World to Port Canaveral for your cruise
What could be more fun than spending some time at Walt Disney World? Following it up with a cruise, of course! Be it with Disney’s own cruise line (something still on my bucket list) or with any other, Port Canaveral is less than an hour from Orlando and can easily be combined. But how do you get between the two?
Your Options for getting from Orlando to Port Canaveral
There are four main ways to transfer between Walt Disney World (or the Orlando Airport) and Port Canaveral:
- (Rental) Car
- Shuttle arranged by cruise line
- GoPort shuttle
- Rideshare like Lyft or Uber
Let’s look at the different options and their pros and cons:
1) Drive yourself in your own or a rental car
Driving can be a good option as it gives you the most flexibility and is the easiest if you have a lot of luggage.
If you are staying in the Orlando area and anyway have a rental car this is probably the easiest solution – just drive over to the port and drop it off there.
Of course, if you have your own car in Orlando driving will be easy but you do have to pay (potentially quite a bit) for parking.
Renting a car for the day just to drive over is another possibility. Car rental prices can vary hugely but I would guess that this isn’t necessarily the most affordable option for single travelers but may well be worth it if you are several people, need flexibility, or have loads of luggage.
2) Cruise Line Shuttle
Your cruise line will likely offer a transfer directly between airport and port. If you are flying in on the day, I would definitely choose this option if you are flying in on a flight booked via the cruise line.
If you are flying independently, I would recommend you fly in at least the day before – nothing worse than missing the boat (or the ship in this case)!
You will have to make your way from your hotel to Orlando’s MCO airport on the day if you are in Orlando prior to your cruise. Don’t forget to factor the cost for getting to the airport into your decision! Unless of course you are staying at Walt Disney World and continuing on with a DCL cruise – in which case I would definitely take the Disney shuttle!
The price for this transfer to Port Canaveral will depend on your cruise line but will likely be a bit higher than an independent shuttle service (I believe it was around $40 on my cruise).
3) GoPort Shuttle
GoPort offers regular shuttle services from the Orlando airport (and some surrounding airport hotels) to your terminal at Port Canaveral. There are a number of shuttles (usually running from 10 am to 12:30 pm) per day. The fee for this service is $29.99.
Aside of the slightly lower price this service has the advantage that it is offered every day with a cruise ship at Port Canaveral. So you may be able to transfer from MCO to Port Canaveral a day or two before your cruise if you want to stay near the beach instead of in Orlando (as long as some ship is leaving Port Canaveral that day).
Of course just with a cruise line transfer you will have to find a way to get to MCO which may cost more than the shuttle itself!
4) Rideshare like Lyft or Uber
Using Uber or Lyft gives you more control over your trip than the shuttles. You can go earlier or later, won’t have to sit next to strangers (other than the driver of course), and there is no chance of missing your shuttle.
And the price is surprisingly inexpensive. Considering I paid over $40 for an Uber from MCO to my hotel near Walt Disney World (in the middle of the night), I was surprised to see that a ride all the way from the hotel to Port Canaveral was around $80, significantly cheaper than I expected.
For a solo traveler, a shuttle will probably be less expensive but if you are at least two people, have a lot of luggage, want to travel earlier or later than the regular shuttle times, or if getting to MCO will be expensive/time-consuming a ride-share may be best.
So what is your best option to get from Walt Disney World to Port Canaveral?
Like so often, it depends but my recommendation would be:
- If you have a rental car anyway: drive to the port
- If you fly in on the day of the cruise: cruise line shuttle or GoPort
- If you are a solo traveler already in Orlando: GoPort will probably be your cheapest option
- If you are staying far from the airport, are two or more people, need flexibility timewise, or have a lot of luggage: Uber/Lyft will probably be best for you
Whichever transfer option you choose – I hope you have a great cruise!