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Getting to Port Canaveral

Updated: Apr 21

Day 1: Royal Caribbean | Harmony of the Seas and Port Canaveral


My parents and my son are about to experience their first cruise! We started our day at 3am for our 6am flight to Orlando. As we packed the car, I became a little unsure about how our stuff would fit in our mid-size SUV rental car in Florida. We had three large suitcases and a stroller plus several smaller bags. I looked into upgrading our car, but an upgrade wasn’t available. I thought, we’ll figure it out.


We arrived at Park Place, my airport parking lot of choice, and proceeded to load into the airport shuttle with all our stuff. The shuttle took us to the side of the airport and it was a short walk up to ticketing. We saw one giant line and were relieved when this line was for Delta. I then saw an equally long line for Frontier. As soon as we lined up, the lady in front of us in line told us that the flight to Florida had been cancelled. My immediate thought was, “Good thing we aren’t going to Florida, we’re going on a cruise!” Eventually my brain caught up because we were indeed headed to Florida. My next thought was, “Maybe she’s wrong.” I looked to the flight board and saw it here too. Flights are cancelled all the time so I wasn’t worried.


The line was long and I had a tired and cranky family with me. It was already feeling like a long day. I immediately called Frontier Airlines to see what options were available because I thought this would be faster than waiting in line. I was right! A Frontier Airlines employee promptly picked up the line, and I thought, YESSS, we’re going to indirectly cut to the front of the line. The next available flight was at 4pm which perked up my mood, but then the rest of that sentence came out…tomorrow. A flight out tomorrow afternoon at the same time as we’re supposed to be leaving port was not going to work.


Frontier Airlines is just one airline. There would be plenty of other options with different airlines, I thought. Wrong. Yesterday’s ice storm and snow showers had cancelled a lot of flights yesterday so things were still backed up. The next available flights with other airlines weren’t until the afternoon and were also about $750 per person. We were worried about further cancellations and didn’t like the idea of missing the cruise. So, we wheeled our three large bags, stroller, tired toddler, and numerous other bags back out the door we came. We waited for a shuttle, rode back to our car, loaded it up again, and began our 15 hour drive to Florida.


I’ve taken a lot of road trips in my life, but this was my first long-haul with a four-year old. I took the first shift driving and made it two hours before my sleep deprivation was catching up to me. Everyone else slept while I drove so we switched drivers. We stopped at a McDonalds for coffee and a bathroom break and continued on our journey. We made as few stops as possible, but still ended up tallying 3 hours of stopping. Gas here, Walmart run for snacks there, dinner as well.


It was nearing 11pm when we finally pulled into our hotel in Port Canaveral. I had booked a hotel rate that included a shuttle to the port. The package also included parking for the week which was amazing since we now had my car to park while we cruised! My son was a champ for the road trip too!


Sunset in Florida
Adventures by Our Cruise

About the Author

Amaris is the owner of the Ohio-based travel agency, Adventures by Amaris. Her love for travel began at a young age when she traveled to her parents' home countries of England and Mexico. She continued traveling in High School by participating in a People to People program to Italy, France and Monaco. In college, she spent six weeks in Europe studying abroad and traveling. She visited Spain, Portugal, England, Wales, Ireland, Vatican City, and Italy in a whirlwind summer. Through her adult life she continues to make traveling a priority with her family. Her young son is autistic so navigating the world of traveling with an autistic child brings on new adventures. Her travel resume includes Mexico, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Panama, Costa Rica, Haiti, Jamaica, Colombia, and Cayman Islands. She is an expert in planning family vacations across the world from Disney World to Europe to worldwide cruises.




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