If you are arriving in Orlando a day prior to your cruise where is a good place to stay and how to you get to the port the next day. I know that if you arrive the morning of your cruise the ship lines provide buses to the port.
Be sure to sign up for a bus transfer with the cruise line ... it will take you right to the pier in Port Canaveral, a ride that sometimes takes up to an hour. It's very inexpensive and convenient.
There are probably hundreds of hotels in Orlando, and I can't personally recommend one over another. But I use a discount hotel service --www.hotelnetdiscount.com -- which lists hotels by city with discounts and good maps. You can book online easily after picking a hotel that meets your price range.
It really depends what you want to do while you're in Orlando. There are a number of hotels near the airport, including a very nice Hyatt right in the main terminal. The Orlando airport hotels are on the east side of town and are the closest to Port Canaveral. All hotels will have a nice pool so you can get started on that vacation tan.
However, if you want to visit any of the tourist attractions such as Universal Studios, Disney, etc. your best bet is to stay on the southwest side of town in either the International Drive area (Universal) or in Lake Buena Vista (Disney). There are hotels in a wide range of prices in both of these areas.
The least expensive way to get to Port Canaveral is by cruise line transfer. You should be able to hook up with this transportation on the day of the cruise at the airport or some of the hotels that your cruise line uses for its pre-cruise packages.