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BEFORE YOU CRUISE

Cruise Port Parking: Four Ways to Save

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cruise port parking lot Flying to a cruise port isn’t cheap, but either is cruise port parking. When you tally up the fuel, wear on the car  and those dreaded port parking charges, it starts to add up. While I can’t help you with the fuel or wear and tear on your vehicle, I can give you some options on how to avoid paying upwards of $20-per day to park your car at cruise pier.

Here are four tips for saving on cruise port parking:

Stay and Cruise Packages. Why not bundle your cruise with an overnight stay at the port you drive to? A lot of port hotels will offer you a parking for the length of your cruise by having you purchase a pre- or post-night cruise stay at their property. These hotels usually have a shuttle service (most complimentary) to get you to your ship. Plus staying relieves the extra stress of embarkation or rushing home after debarkation.

Off-site Parking. The off-site lots are usually half the price of the cruise pier and offer gated lots that are under 24 hour surveillance. United Airport Parking at Miami offers parking for seven-nights for $49.94 and a free shuttle — parking at the port would be $140.

Use message boards. Popular websites like CruiseCritic , Meet On Cruise, and Cruise-Addicts have roll-calls that allow cruise passengers to virtually meet each other before their sailing. It’s possible to connect with a guest in your area and see if you can carpool or split the parking fee. This of course is at your discretion. This also can work for guests on other ships at the same port who have to same itinerary (the same 7-nt Sunday to Sunday sailing).

Facebook Friends. Facebook has over 900-million members on it. Put a post on your Facebook page asking if any of your friends live in the area of your cruise ship. If they do, chances are they’ll let you park your car there for the cruise – and if they’re really nice, they’ll bring you to the port. It may sound shameless but it doesn’t hurt to ask. That’s what friends are for, right?

These options aren’t for everyone and some may prefer the convenience of parking at the port, it all depends on your budget.

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