Well, if you live far enough away you can find a hotel room for about the same cost...with free shuttle service!
We decided we'd rather get in the day before, stay in a hotel, see Cocoa Beach and pay about the same at the hotel that we would pay for the port parking. Lots of hotels near the port have "park and cruise" specials so that you can leave your car for free at the hotel and take their shuttle to the pier.
If you are from nearby, I'd say some nice friends or relatives could drop you off!
Carnival Elation March 11
Carnival Imagination Sept 07
Carniival Sensation Dec 06
RCI Sovereign of the Seas Sept 06
Carnival Miracle Sept 05
Carnival Glory Sept 04
Carnival Fantasy Jan 04