Hello fellow cruisers! We love cruising and have many times. Tips on sailing out of Port Canaveral :
1. Fly in to Orlando airport the day before the cruise and stay at one of the Orlando airport hotels. Don't risk flying in the same day of the cruise because of flight delays and cancellations could make you late or even worse miss the ship! Also this way you have a good night sleep and rested up for the cruise. (You will need to be rested!)
2. Use a shuttle service to get there and back. It's cheaper and less stressful than driving, renting a car, chance of getting lost, paying tolls, paying parking, paying high gas prices and fighting traffic.
3. Don't have anyone at your hotel set up shuttle service for you! They have a little racket going on to where they call a illegitimate person to take you and get a cut back for it, which you are the one really paying. It's also illegal! The 2 hotels that have had the most complaints is the Sheraton suites @ Orlando airport and the Orlando airport Marriott. These hotels may be fine to stay at, but don't let them talk you into getting the shuttle service for you. Save yourself and simply go online to a search engine and search "port Canaveral cruise shuttle service". There you will find a list of legitimate shuttle service companies that you can deal with directly. We found this out the hard way when we let the bell man / front desk set up the shuttle transportation for us and got ripped off and also left stranded at the port trying to find another way back. Don't let this happen to you!
4. If you plan on flying out the same day the cruise comes back, do not have a departure time before 1pm. Allowing plenty of time to get off the ship and the nearly 1 hr. travel time back to the airport. Not to mention the time the airport requires you to be there before your flight.
5. Last but not least, Don't over pack! You won't need half of what you bring and it will only clutter up your already small cabin. Plus it's a big hassle lugging it all around on your trip.
I hope this helps you have a more enjoyable cruise. After all, it's all about having fun and a good time!