Cruises from Port Canaveral
Just a few decades ago, passengers couldn't take cruises from Port Canaveral – there weren't any. But now this bustling port on the east coast of Florida offers a home to three major cruise lines with a total of six cruise ships. Most sail to the Bahamas and points farther on longer cruises. Also, Port Canaveral is a 90-minute drive from Walt Disney World and other Central Florida theme parks; that's why Disney Cruise Line berths two ships there. Here's a closer look at the cruises from Port Canaveral:
Cruises from Port Canaveral: Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival was one of the first cruise lines to berth ships at Port Canaveral. The Sensation offers 3- and 4-night cruises to Nassau and Freeport in the Bahamas. The ship has can hold 2,052 passengers, with a staff of 920. The larger Dream (3,653-guest capacity, 1,369 staff members) sails for 7 days at a time to Nassau and Grand Turk; Cozumel, Mexico; Isla Roatan, Honduras; Belize; and Costa Maya, Costa Rica.
Cruises from Port Canaveral: Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean sails two ships out of Port Canaveral. The Monarch of the Seas' 3-night cruises make port in Coco Cay and Nassau, as do its 4-night cruises. It has a staff of 814 to serve up to 2,744 passengers. The Freedom of the Seas offers two 7-day itineraries: Coco Cay-Charlotte Amalie, U.S. Virgin Islands- Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Labadee, Haiti-Ocho Rios, Jamaica-George Town, Cayman Islands-Cozumel, Mexico. The Freedom of the Seas can hold up to 3,634 passengers and a staff of 1,400.
Cruises from Port Canaveral: Disney Cruise Line
The parent company of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and a whole panoply of princesses sails the 2,400-passenger Disney Magic on 7-week cruises to St. Maarten; St. Thomas-St. John; and Castaway Cay, Disney's own private Caribbean island in the Bahamas; or Key West-Grand Cayman-Cozumel-Castaway Cay. The brand-new-in-2011 megaship Disney Dream can accommodate up to 4,000 passengers with a staff of 1,458 on 3-, 4- and 5-day itineraries to various ports in the Bahamas. The Dream features high-tech accoutrements and the AquaDuck, a 765-foot-long enclosed water coaster that partially extends over the side of the ship. The Dream's sister ship, Disney Fantasy, is expected to replace the smaller Disney Magic in 2012 at Port Canaveral.
Photo by Gerard Walen