In this article I explain how you can park for FREE during your cruise from Port Canaveral!
With ship-side parking at the cruise terminals costing $17 per day (including the days of arrival and departure), many folks are looking for budget-friendly parking near the Port. In another article I talk about the CHEAPEST off-site parking near Port Canaveral (Read Here), but FREE parking is even better!
Can I just park in the streets near Port Canaveral?
I know some cruisers try to avoid paying for parking by leaving their vehicles in the parking area near the restaurants close to Terminal 1, but this is a bad idea! The police and port security look for unoccupied vehicles and you will be ticketed! Please forget about trying to avoid the inevitable!
OK, IS FREE parking really available?
Several Cocoa Beach offer FREE parking when you book a Snooze and Cruise package!
I know what you’re thinking – the parking is not really free; the hotel simply charges more for the room to recover the parking costs! Actually – not true!
When you price the room and compare the regular rates versus the package rate, you may notice a very small difference in price ($20-$40 or thereabouts). The difference is the cost of the two-way transfers from the hotel to the cruise terminal and back (normally for 2 people).
What is the average cost of transfers to and from Port Canaveral?
On average, shared hotel transfers cost between $5 and $10 per person each way. That’s not too bad for 1 or 2 people. For 3 or more people it makes sense to look at Uber or Lyft.
Transfer costs are shown in this table:
OK, where’s the catch?
No catch, but there are several things to consider.
- If you plan to drive in on the morning of your cruise then my FREE parking suggestion is not an option. When arriving from far away, consider spending the night before your cruise in Cocoa Beach instead of towns along your route!
- You must use the shared hotel shuttles meaning you have fixed departure times and the transfer is NOT PRIVATE! The shuttle van may stop at a few terminals before your drop off.
- Some homework is required! You have to calculate and compare the cost of the Park, Snooze and Cruise packages versus the regular room rates. Then subtract the cost of the two-way transfers to see if your parking is FREE!
- Pick your hotel carefully! Only the hotels listed currently offer FREE parking and some dates may be unavailable.
- Hotel parking is not as secure as parking at the Port or at gated off-site parking lots.