What are the best ways to get from the Orlando Airport to Port Canaveral?
Port Canaveral is the BUSIEST cruise terminal in the world. In 2022 alone, over 4 million passengers came through the port for their vacation.
Five cruise lines encompassing 15 ships operate from Port Canaveral: Disney Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and MSC Cruises.
With this many cruises leaving every week, LOTS of people fly into Orlando every day who need to get to Port Canaveral. It’s about a 45-minute to an hour drive from the Orlando Airport (MCO) and can be longer if there is traffic. Almost everyone wants to know the different ways to make this journey!
Below, I will detail seven ways you can go from the Orlando Airport (MCO) to Port Canaveral. No matter what your situation, you should be able to find an option that fits your needs. I tried to consider all scenarios, such as whether you need car seats, have a large party, budget options, private rides, etc.
Lastly, make sure to check out option #7 if you plan on getting to Orlando BEFORE the day you embark.
Orlando Airport to Port Canaveral:
Option #1: Take a shuttle from Orlando Airport to Port Canaveral
One of the most popular ways to get to the cruise terminal is to use a shuttle service. Most companies either use a motorcoach bus or a large van to get you from the airport to Port Canaveral.
The rates are charged per person. If you are traveling in a small group, this typically makes this option a bit less expensive than others.
But one of the disadvantages of a shuttle is that you will be sharing a ride with other people. You will likely have to wait until your bus or van fills up before leaving for Port Canaveral. Or you will have to wait for a pre-determined departure time.
When it comes to shuttles, you have two options.
First, you can book transportation directly with your cruise line.
Here is a summary of the four most popular cruise lines that operate out of Port Canaveral:
- Disney Cruise Line: The cost is $45 per person each way or $90 roundtrip. Transportation is only available on embarkation and debarkation day. You will ride on a large Disney bus. No car seats are provided. Call 800-951-3532 to reserve your spot.
- Royal Caribbean: You can book a transfer directly with them, but you must call 1-800-327-6700.
- Carnival: They offer motorcoach transportation on embarkation and debarkation day. To book or find out prices, call 1-800-327-9501 or log in to My Cruise Manager and look for “Airport Transfers.”
- Norwegian Cruise Line: To book your transfer between the airport and Port Canaveral or find out rates, log in to MyNCL or call 800-327-7030.
Second, you can book a shuttle with a third-party company.
Here are two different shuttle companies that operate from the Orlando Airport. The biggest advantage to using one of them is they are typically less expensive than booking through your cruise line.
- GoPort: The cost is $29.99 per person each way. You can also book a transfer from many Orlando hotels to Port Canaveral if you decide to come early.
- Cortrans Shuttle Service: Departure times from MCO are 10:15 am or 11:15 am. They can also pick you up at a hotel. The cost is $30 per person each way.
A third-party shuttle is usually the least expensive option for solo travelers or small groups since you pay per person.
But, since you are sharing the shuttle with many other people, the trip to Port Canaveral will take the longest compared to other options. First, you have to wait until your pre-determined ride time. Even if your flight arrives early, you have to wait.
You may also make other stops on the way to the cruise port, such as dropping off other riders at a hotel.
If you have young children, just be prepared to keep them entertained as you make your journey!
Option #2: Hire a PRIVATE car service to Port Canaveral!
Do you know the people at the airport holding a sign for someone near the baggage claim? These are typically private car services waiting to take their clients wherever they need to go!
Before you skip this option as a way to go from the airport to Port Canaveral because it sounds too expensive, please keep reading. I think it’s a great solution for many families, but often ignored.
First, let’s go over a few of the advantages that most private car services offer:
- No sharing! The vehicle is ONLY for your group. That means you don’t have to wait for other riders or a pre-determined departure time.
- They will meet you directly at the airport, often with a sign with your name on it, ready to take you DIRECTLY to Port Canaveral. No waiting for a shuttle, rental car, or taxi.
- Help with your luggage.
- FREE car seats! Most companies include at least one car seat in the package.
How much does a private car service cost from MCO to Port Canaveral?
It depends on which company you select, but the average cost is around $225 one way. Typically, you will get a discount for booking roundtrip.
I don’t think a private car service is much more expensive than the other transportation options on this list. Especially if you consider some of the other benefits you receive and factor in the time you will save and the stress you won’t have. 🙂
If you want a private car service, check out Quicksilver Tours and Transportation.
Quicksilver offers several incredible benefits and is highly recommended. If you book with them, you can expect your driver to be waiting at baggage claim with your name on a sign. They even monitor if your flight is late. 🙂
They offer the following vehicles, depending on your specific needs:
- Town Car or Luxury Sedan – Holds up to 4 passengers and is the least expensive option.
- Vans – Up to 10 passengers! Great for big groups as everyone can split the cost.
- Luxury SUVs that hold up to 6 passengers.
In addition, if you want, they offer a FREE 20-minute grocery stop on the way to Port Canaveral, just in case you forgot something. On most cruise ships, you can also take one bottle of wine/champagne per passenger. And did you know you can also bring non-perishable snacks, bottled water, or soda? (Please check with your specific cruise line for what’s allowed)
Not to mention, you also get a FREE car seat with Quicksilver.
This is the view as you check out with Quicksilver Transportation.
If you decide to use Quicksilver, please mention Resort Rat as you check out. It helps support my site, along with helping Quicksilver keep track of how their customers find them. Thank you. 🙂
Option #3: Take an Uber or Lyft to Port Canaveral
As you can imagine, a popular way to go from the Orlando Airport to Port Canaveral is to use a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft.
Unfortunately, I can’t give you an exact price for how much it costs to go from the airport to Port Canaveral using a rideshare since the prices constantly change depending on the day and time.
Also, the price changes drastically based on how big of a vehicle you require.
For example, here were the costs and options to go from MCO to Port Canaveral on a random Thursday morning.
Remember that these prices are ONE WAY! You must also consider using a rideshare to get back to the Orlando Airport.
The prices don’t look so bad if you require a smaller vehicle. But if you need something larger for your party’s luggage, booking an UberXL or UberXXL becomes more expensive. It’s even pricier if you require a car seat. Also, please note that it says, “Prices are lower than usual.”
One advantage of taking a ride share to Port Canaveral is that you won’t have to wait long for your ride.
At almost any time of day, you should wait less than 5 minutes for your driver!
Once you collect your baggage and walk outside to the curb, you can be on your way to the cruise port a few minutes later. No waiting for a shuttle bus or standing in line for your rental car!
Where can I find the rideshare pickup at the Orlando Airport?
Don’t worry, it’s really easy to find!
First, you need to pay attention to your Terminal. MCO has three terminals: A, B, and C.
- Terminal A: The rideshare pickup is on Level 2 (Arrivals) unless it’s between 9:00 pm and 2:00 am, then it’s on Level 3.
- Terminal B: The rideshare pickup is on Level 2 (Arrivals) unless it’s between 9:00 pm and 2:00 am, then it’s on Level 3.
- Terminal C: The rideshare pickup is on Level 6.
Once you are on the correct level and outside by the curb, you should see signs showing where to stand for “Ride App Pickup.” The Lyft app even shows you which door to meet your driver based on the Terminal.
The biggest disadvantage to using a rideshare is you can’t plan it ahead of time, and the cost isn’t fixed. You have to trust that once you get to MCO, you can use the app to order a vehicle and find the correct pickup location.
Also, the costs can increase drastically due to “surge pricing.” If you arrive in Orlando on a Saturday or Sunday morning, you can almost guarantee the prices will be higher than what you see above because so many other people are arriving for their cruise.
If you have never used Uber or Lyft, you have to be comfortable with a stranger driving you in their car that is not part of a traditional company.
I know many people would rather take the certainty of one of the other options on this list.
Option #4: Take a traditional taxi from MCO to Port Canaveral
Yes, it is still possible to take a normal taxi! Some people like this option because they trust a taxi more than a driver from Uber or Lyft since the taxicab is associated with a local company. And as you can see above, there are A LOT of taxis waiting for you at the Orlando Airport!
To take a taxi from MCO to Port Canaveral, you must head to the taxi pickup area. The location depends on your Terminal.
- Terminal A: Ground Transportation Curb (Level 1) in spaces A22-A25
- Terminal B: Ground Transportation Curb (Level 1) in spaces B30-B34
- Terminal C: Arrivals Curb (Level 6)
Since flat fares are prohibited by law in Orlando, the taxi driver can’t tell you the exact price to get to Port Canaveral. All fares are determined by the meter inside the taxi, which depends on the total length of the trip. And the rate is the same, regardless of how many passengers you have (up to 9).
However, it’s estimated that a one-way taxi ride from the airport to Port Canaveral will cost around $130.
Many taxis have car seats available, especially some of the bigger vans, so this is a great option if you have toddlers.
Here are a few taxi companies that operate from the Orlando Airport. There should be plenty of taxis available when you arrive, but you can also schedule one ahead of time if that makes you feel more comfortable.
Option #5: Rent a car and park it at Port Canaveral.
If you don’t like any of the options so far, you can always rent a car to get to Port Canaveral!
Since Orlando is one of the world’s biggest markets for rental cars, every major rental car company operates here.
In addition, Enterprise, Hertz, and the other big carriers are located right at the airport on Level 1 in Terminals A and B and Level 4 in Terminal C. This means you don’t have to deal with an additional shuttle to get your rental car! 🙂
One big advantage of renting a car is that you have complete freedom for your vacation to go wherever you want before and after your cruise. You should definitely consider a car rental if you plan to visit other places, such as Disney World, Universal, SeaWorld, or other areas around Orlando.
But renting a car is probably the most EXPENSIVE option.
First, you have to consider the cost of the rental car per day. The rates change drastically depending on the time of year (Spring Break is very expensive) and the type of vehicle you rent (larger is pricier). $75 – $100 per day is an estimate.
Second, you must factor in the cost to PARK your car at Port Canaveral. On-site parking costs $17/day, including the day of arrival and departure.
There is also off-site parking, which has a cheaper per-day rate. These companies offer shuttles to transport you to and from the terminal.
You can also get a ONE-WAY car rental from MCO to Port Canaveral (and vice versa).
This means that you rent the car out at the airport and drop it off at the car rental facility at the cruise port. While this is convenient, you will pay extra for a one-way car rental.
You must also factor in the cost of getting BACK to the Orlando Airport. You will either need to do another one-way car rental or use one of the other options on this list.
Renting a car gives you complete freedom. I think it’s a great option if you plan on visiting the Orlando area before or after your cruise. I know many people will use one of the other options on this list to get to Port Canaveral but then rent a car after the cruise for a few days, dropping it off at the airport before they leave.
Honestly, the options to incorporate a rental car into your trip are endless. It just depends on your exact plans. 🙂
Option #6: Ride in a party bus or limo from the airport to Port Canaveral
Are you going on a cruise for a bachelorette party, wedding, family reunion, or other celebration? Or do you have a really large group?
If so, why not start your trip the BEST possible way by taking a party bus or limousine? 🙂
You can have one of these vehicles pick you up right at MCO. And if you have a large party, it’s not even that expensive if everyone splits the cost! Seriously, check out rates with a local company HERE.
It’s not even a problem if toddlers are in your group, as you can request car seats when you book.
Option #7: Take a shuttle from your HOTEL to Port Canaveral.
Whenever we go on a cruise, we ALWAYS fly in the day before the ship embarks. I never want to worry about our flight getting delayed and run the risk of missing our entire cruise.
Arriving a day or a few days early also lets you explore the Orlando area. There is no shortage of things to do with Disney World, Universal, and the Kennedy Space Center nearby.
Many hotels near Port Canaveral offer a shuttle to the cruise terminal from the hotel. This is a great option if you want to get to Orlando the day before and not worry about your flight on embarkation day.
Many hotels also offer overnight parking if you rent a car or drive yourself. So you can leave your car at the hotel and take the shuttle on the day your cruise leaves.
Here are just a few of the many hotels that offer shuttles and parking. Inquire directly to find out about their current “Park and Cruise” rates for shuttles and parking.
- Best Western Cocoa Beach – Their shuttle costs $10 per person. Parking is also $10 per night.
- Residence Inn by Marriott
- Four Points by Sheraton Cocoa Beach
If you like this option, you just need to figure out how to get from the Orlando Airport to a hotel that provides a shuttle! Luckily, pretty much every option on this list should work!
How do I get from a Disney World Resort to Port Canaveral?
As you can imagine, many people decide to go to Disney World before leaving on a cruise.
Luckily, there are many options to make this journey. My advice is to read the following article:
- 6 Ways to Go From Disney World to Port Canaveral. (Coming Soon!)
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the BEST way to get from the Orlando Airport to Port Canaveral?
The best option depends on your unique circumstances.
- Shuttle service: Cheapest option for solo travelers or small groups.
- Private car service: Best for people who want a private ride that is waiting for you.
- Uber/Lyft: Best for procrastinators who didn’t line up any other options. 🙂
- Taxis: Best for people who don’t like Uber and Lyft!
- Car rentals: Best for people staying in the Orlando area pre-cruise or post-cruise.
- Party bus or limo: Best for celebrations or large groups!
- Shuttles from hotels: Best for people who arrive before embarkation day.
How long is the drive from the Orlando International Airport to Port Canaveral?
The distance between MCO and Port Canaveral is approximately 45 miles (72 km). The drive should take about 45 minutes to an hour, assuming there is not much traffic.
What is the best way to travel from Orlando Airport to Port Canaveral if I need a car seat?
If you have toddlers, I know it is VERY important to find transportation to Port Canaveral that includes a car seat. So here is a brief rundown of everything the above options can provide:
Private Car Service:
- Car seats should be no problem if you hire a private car service. Just make sure to let the company know what you need prior to arrival.
- Luckily, it’s super easy to request a vehicle with Uber that has a car seat you can use. While in the Uber app, look for the Uber Car Seat options.
- Uber Car Seat vehicles only provide ONE car seat. Also, there may be limited availability for an Uber Car Seat vehicle, so it’s possible you will have to wait for one at MCO.
- It’s also very easy to bring an inflatable car seat, so you don’t have to pay extra for one of these Uber vehicles. Check out some of the best options here on Amazon.
- As of this writing, Lyft does not have the option to request a vehicle with a car seat. Therefore, you must bring your own car seat to travel with Lyft.
- Car seats are not required when riding a large motor coach bus.
- However, if you take one of their shuttle vans, you can request to have as many car seats as you need.
- Many taxi vans have a car seat if needed, but it’s not guaranteed.
- If you decide to rent a car, you can also rent car seats or boosters from your provider for an additional daily cost.
- To save some money, you can also bring your own. It’s also very easy to bring an inflatable car seat, so you don’t have to carry your large, heavy one from home. Check out some of the best options here on Amazon.
Just so you know, rideshares and taxis are exempt from child passenger laws in Florida.
So it is completely up to you to determine if you require a car seat. Below is what the current law states:
(6) The child restraint requirements imposed by this section do not apply to a chauffeur-driven taxi, limousine, sedan, van, bus, motor coach, or other passenger vehicle if the operator and the motor vehicle are hired and used for the transportation of persons for compensation.”
What questions do you have about traveling from the Orlando International Airport to Port Canaveral?
Please leave a comment below! I will do my best to research and find you an answer.