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DeeBerry

Port Canaveral -Norwegian Gem, Nov 3rd 2018

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Question: I didn't book any cruises at port Canaveral.  Is it worth getting off the ship to get there myself or spend time at Coco beach? I may just enjoy the pool, weather permitting if it's a nay.

 

If it's worth it, I may research the port to look at my options.  I heard there are plenty of taxis or Ubers. Believe it or not, I still didn't download the UBER app or know how to use it!

 

Sorry if this has been already answered.

 

TIA

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You can ask in the Florida Departures Board (closest to a port of call forum).

 

Personally, I'd skip Disney and Universal. Too long of a drive for the time.

 

If you are into space, you could always go to Kennedy Space Center. Its worth a visit.

 

Otherwise, I'd probably enjoy the day on the ship.

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6 minutes ago, 1025cruise said:

You can ask in the Florida Departures Board (closest to a port of call forum).

 

Personally, I'd skip Disney and Universal. Too long of a drive for the time.

 

If you are into space, you could always go to Kennedy Space Center. Its worth a visit.

 

Otherwise, I'd probably enjoy the day on the ship.

Thanks.

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Since there will be a ton of kids on the cruise, take advantage of the ship when they get off. We’ve sailed this week with our kids several times, DH gets off the ship with them in Florida, I stay on the ship.

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31 minutes ago, mjkacmom said:

Since there will be a ton of kids on the cruise, take advantage of the ship when they get off. We’ve sailed this week with our kids several times, DH gets off the ship with them in Florida, I stay on the ship.

Thanks.  I didn't know about the kids until I read it here.  Sounds like staying on the ship is a good plan. 

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some of us think there is plenty to see, do and enjoy in the greater Cocoa Beach are ..... and frankly I'm hurt when folks disparage where I live

 

here's a list of some things to do ... it is a bit old and I'd check any links b4 I got my heart set . . .. 

 

We think there is a lot to do near the Port - even Disneyworld and other theme parks are just an easy hour away by road!


Kennedy Space Center:
One of the most popular shore excursions. I always see a line of KSC buses waiting on each ship! So you can expect a crowded day at KSC. There are ways to manage your day in order to avoid lines at the top attractions – I am planning to write it up in a separate note.

A private return shuttle to Kennedy Space Center averages between $80 and $120 roundtrip for 2 people (total) plus 20% tip. If you self-drive, the parking costs are $10. 

Beach:
During winter months and if Port 
Canaveral is the first stop when sailing from NY for example, the beach is what a lot of people want! I totally understand and highly recommend to walk over to Jetty Park. The beach there is wide with some wave action and life guards are on duty. You can rent chairs and umbrellas and some beach toys (beach chair/umbrella rentals for 2 people are about $15 a day). The beach café is pretty good too! 
http://www.jettyparkbeachandcampground.com/

If you want to go to the beach near restaurants/bars, try the Cocoa Beach Pier area - http://www.cocoabeachpier.com/ or further down near Coconuts on the Beach. Cruise ship shore excursions go to Shepard beach (near Ron Jon) so do not go there if you want to avoid your fellow passengers! 


It may be best to rent a car and visit just Downtown Disney (a free Disney-like experience but be aware it is mostly restaurants and shops) and perhaps a lesser-known place like Gatorland. I will think more about this and perhaps write a separate note about Orlando options. 

Activities (other than Orlando and Kennedy Space Center):
The best activities around Port 
Canaveral
 are beach or nature-based but there are very good museums too. Manatees, gators, airboats, learn to surf, kayak, hike, etc. are on offer. Airboats are a lot of noisy fun!
Pre-arrangements/bookings are crucial. 

Disclaimer - I do not endorse any of the companies/establishments listed and I have no relationship (personal or business) with them. My list is just a starting point of different activities so please do your own research! However, we’ve had have positive experiences with many of the listings below and are constantly trying new ones! 

a) Sunward Tours - 
http://www.sunwardtours.com They can arrange just about any activity
b) FunDay Tours - 
https://www.facebook.com/funday.tours Work primarily with pre-formed groups such as shore trips but check them out anyway
c) Segway Tours - 
http://spacecoastsegwaytours.com/ will guide you around the port
d) Airboat rides – There are several but most shore excursions go to Midway - 
http://www.airboatridesatmidway.com/ or Lone Cabbage - http://www.twisterairboatrides.com/ . To get away from the crowds, try Grasshopper -http://www.airboatecotours.com/ , Old Fashioned Airboat Rides - http://airboatrides.com or Switchgrass -http://switchgrassoutfitters.com 
e) Kayaking to see manatees and wildlife - Adventure Kayak - 
http://kayakcocoabeach.com/, Fin Expeditions -http://www.finexpeditions.com for Cocoa Beach’s Thousand Islands. Also Calypso - http://calypsokayaking.com at Manatee Cove not far from Kennedy Space Center. Note – from November to March the Manatees prefer warmer water in other areas and may not be seen regularly around Canaveral.
f) Learn to Surf. Cocoa Beach Surf Company - 
http://cocoabeachsurf.com/surf_lessons_camp.html or Ron Jonhttp://www.ronjonsurfschool.com are solid representatives of the surf school companies
g) Air Force Space and Missile History Center – 
http://www.afspacemuseum.org/historycenter/ The history of the launch areas around Canaveral. Very informative.
h) Warbird Museum – 
http://www.vacwarbirds.net/ If you love aviation then this is the place to go. Lovingly maintained by volunteers (mostly ex-armed forces). It is an amazing museum.
i) Police Hall of Fame – 
http://www.aphf.org/museum.html More interesting than most expect. Various exhibits of the history of major crime as well as impressive though very sad memorial. 
j) Astronaut Hall of Fame - 
https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/t...l-of-fame.aspx is part of the Kennedy Space Center experience but in a different location.
k) Brevard Zoo and Treetop Trek - 
https://brevardzoo.org/ 
l) Shopping - Dinosaur Store and Museum - 
http://dinosaurstore.com/ and Ron Jon Surf Shop -http://www.ronjonsurfshop.com/ Fun for kids old and young!
m) Wildlife Parks - Jungle Adventures – 
http://www.jungleadventures.com - An old-time Florida animal park. Not fancy but friendly and interesting. Larger than Expected. Shore excursions often combine the Jungle and a Midway Airboat ride in the same package. 
n) Boat rides on the Banana River to see wildlife including manatees (not many around during Nov and Apr). Start with Island Boat Lines - 
http://www.islandboatlines.com/ and also Wild Side Tours http://wildsidetours.com/
o) Forever Florida - http://foreverflorida.com a really adventurous safari with swamp buggy rides, ziplines, etc! A bit far unless you have car.
p) Cocoa Beach Skatepark - 
http://cocoabeachskatepark.com/ Certainly unusual for cruisers but a seriously fun and safe skatepark for the cool kids in your family if they packed skate boards! Open at 4pm during school days so plan accordingly so they can skate for 2 hours or so before returning to your ship.
q) Brewery – Florida Beer Company - 
https://www.facebook.com/FloridaBeerCompany
 a very good tour and tasting arrangement! Close to the Port.
r) Sightseeing – Some cruisers prefer more leisurely excursions and most ships offer affordable hourly hop-on, hop-off bus trips to Cocoa Beach and Cocoa Village. Passengers can explore the areas on foot and return to the ship when they want. The beach buses stop between Ron Jon Surf Shop and Shepard Park in Cocoa Beach (for a typical East Coast Florida beach and surf experience). From there they offer constant bus shuttles to the north end of Riverfront Park in Cocoa Village (for a historic downtown experience). You can easily do the same in private using a rental car or taxis/shuttles (watch the costs though). SCAT buses (Route 9 and the 520 connector) will be cheapest but will take much longer. 

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