Cruise Port Transportation: Understanding Your Most Common Options

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If you have decided that the time is right to venture out on your first cruise ship vacation, you're probably immersed in the planning stages already. One thing that you need to prepare for is the fact that, with most cruise lines, the airport is going to be some distance from the port. You may have to travel as much as a couple of hours by car to get to the port city. Here are a few of the options that you should think about when you're looking for a solution to get you where you need to be.

Rental Car

There's always the option to book a rental car at the airport, which is usually the most popular choice for those looking for a little bit of freedom to wander. However, booking a rental car does leave you with the quandary of whether to pay for it for the duration of your cruise (so that you have a car when you get back), or to negotiate with the rental car company to pick it up somehow on the day that you board the ship. This can be complicated and costly, so it may not be the most viable solution.

Hired Car

A limousine or other car service may be a better option if you don't want to deal with the rental car return hassle. The only downside to this kind of service is that, if you're getting in a couple of days before the ship departs, you may need to rely on a taxi service or other local transportation to get around if you want to see the sights. However, with a hired car, you'll pay a flat fee for your airport transportation to the port city, and then you can book another car to take you back to the airport when you're ready to depart.

Airport Shuttle

In most major airports, there's a shuttle service that will take passengers to the nearby port city destinations. Remember that cruise ship ports are busy, active destinations, so the airports see a lot of tourist activity for these ports. It's only reasonable for them to work with the cruise ship companies to arrange shuttle services. 

You can call ahead to reserve your spot on a shuttle service where you can get transportation from the airport to your destination. Just remember that you may have to wait for the shuttle to arrive if your flight gets in some time before the next shuttle runs.

These are the most common choices for port city transportation before a cruise, but they aren't the only choices. Call ahead to your destination and ask about any other transportation options that might be available. It also helps to be specific about the location when searching for information, for instance, by searching for "Port Canaveral transportation."