The Canaveral Port Authority released a video slamming offsite cruise parking vendors a year ago.
The video, eventually pulled because it was a ‘misunderstanding,’ led cruise passengers to believe that offsite lots were unsafe and irresponsible.
The Port Authority also tried to squeeze out the offsite parking lots by imposing a five-dollar entry fee and unsuccessfully trying to raise it to $50 when dropping off cruise passengers at the Port.
Was the smear campaign because Port Canaveral built new parking garages and occupancy was as low as 50% last year? Or could it be that the local government can’t compete with private enterprise, so the rules were changed?
“I draw the analogy to airport parking. You can park in the airport-sponsored lots which are often closer and usually more expensive. Or you can do your homework and find an offsite lot for less money. It might be a little farther away, but good ones will have security and reliable shuttle services,” said Cruise Radio listener Kristin Smith.
Park N Cruise, one of the many offsite cruise parking lots in Cape Canaveral, has been around for about two years and told us their lot is very secure and is nothing like the Port Canaveral video portrays. “We’re fenced, locked, gated, have 24-hour video security, and maintain a relationship with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Department,” said an employee of Park N Cruise. “In two years, we’ve never had a security issue,” he said.
How do the parking fees add up if both options are safe and responsible?
If you park at the pier for a seven-night cruise, the Port Authority charges a flat rate of $120. Park N Cruise has a seven-night rate of $50.80, fees included.
“It’s ridiculous what they charge for parking at the port. So if the offsite cruise parking lot is cheaper, I would certainly park at the offsite,” said a resident of Cape Canaveral.
It is important to remember that not every park and cruise lot is the same, and passengers should always research before reading a “cheap parking” sign off the interstate. Do your research; be smart and aware of what you’re getting for your hard-earned dollars.