As you know we like to feature our Beyond the Parks articles which introduces you to Orlando area activities that are not theme parks. While fun, Orlando is so much more than that. Today we talk about Cruise Ship Watching in Port Canaveral, Florida.
If you’re visiting Orlando and want something different to do than definitely consider Cruise Ship watching. It’s an experience filled with excitement, amazement and tons of fun! Only an hour from Orlando, Port Canaveral is a hub for Cruise Ships such as Disney Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruises and seasonally, Norwegian Cruise Line.
Take your pick of one of these 3 delicious restaurants where you can enjoy some delicious cuisine while watching the ships cruise on by.
Their menu features a variety of delicious seafood options like, Conch fritters, tuna, shark bites, mussels, oysters and much more. They also feature live musical entertainment every weekend.
Grills was built right on the water’s edge of Sunrise Marina and serves Breakfast Lunch Dinner & Dessert in an authentic Florida Style. The feature a unique Lionfish menu which contrary to popular belief is not poisonous, but a delicious, white flakey fish. They offer a vast variety of fresh seafood, sandwiches and sushi.
If you plan to visit either one of these restaurants on a Saturday or Sunday, the best time to arrive is around 3:30pm. Though the ships don’t begin their parade out to sea until approximately 4:30pm, to get an outdoor table next to the water, an early arrival is important and will increase your chances to snag a good outdoor.
A smaller and quieter restaurant/seafood market, Seafood Atlantic gives you the same views as Grills and Fishlips but with fewer people and fabulous fresh fish. You can even buy fresh fish or seafood at the little market and pack it in ice for your drive home.
Jetty Park is one of the most sought after points of interest in Brevard County. A 35 acre park at your fingertips offering a variety of activities . You will have to pay an entrance fee ($15 for non-resident), but it’s well worth it. Once inside the park, follow the winding path until you get to the parking area. Park, grab your camera/smart phone and head towards the pier.
Jetty Park has campgrounds, a beach, fishing pier, concessions and is also currently developing a new Cruise Terminal. The best spot to watch the ships are from the fishing pier.
What Time Do Ships Sail Away From Port Canaveral
Your best bet is to check the websites for Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Disney to find out the sail away times. But do it a week before you plan to go to Port Canaveral. If you wait until the day of the cruise to check the departure times, they will have been removed from the cruise lines’ websites.
Generally speaking, the cruise ships leave from Port Canaveral beginning about 4:00 pm. If you’re heading out to Jetty Park, it’s about a 15-20 minute walk from the parking lot to the end of the pier.