If I am correct the tranfer's are the best way to get to Port Canaveral. Though I am not sure of the information if you wanted to rent a car, but for a taxi I know it is very expensive. When I went to my cruise on the Fantasy in Dec 00 we used the tranfers as they were the cheepest way for us. Carnival charged us 30 pp for round trip.
i have never read where anyone is flying into "melbourne" airpoirt. it's closer than orlando - and with every plane if there are people who are going on a cruise, they take them to the pier. it is $35 per person one way. i would rather pay that for a shorter ride than from orlando. we are flying into melbourne and should be at the pier and hopefully on the boat by 12:00 noon !!! or as soon as carnival will allow as our plane gets in melbourne at 10:00 a.m.
We used to live in FL & drove from Tampa to the east coast all the time. I think you should allow about an hour & l/2 just to be safe incase there is traffic. 3 hours is way too long unless traffic absolutely stops for a long time for some reason.
I went on the Fantasy in October and we used a company called Omni Trans in Orlando. I made reservations ahead of time. They charged 6 of us 110.00 round trip. He was there waiting for us when we got off the ship.
If you can connect with anyone else that needs a shuttle it may be a better price. Good luck.