Does Carnival Cruises Have Free Parking?



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There are a lot of small extra costs that you need to bear in mind when budgeting for a cruise, and a lot that you need to plan as well. An example for both is your transport to the ship and for your return journey home – if you’re planning on driving, what do you need to do, and can you park for free?

Aerial view of a Carnival cruise ship docked at a bustling port, with the ship's distinctive red funnel standing out against the sprawling industrial backdrop and calm blue waters.

Well, I’ve got some bad news if you were hoping to enjoy free parking for your Carnival cruise – but don’t worry, with this guide, I’ll take you through all the options available and help you find the ideal solution.

Carnival Doesn’t Have Free Parking

There is no free parking option at the cruise terminals when sailing with Carnival. Every terminal has on-site parking, but there’s a daily charge for leaving your car there – starting from $16.50 per day for the ports most regularly used by the cruise line.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to park for free when cruising with Carnival, but the terminal car parks are the most convenient option. You drive into the secure garage, and then you can just walk to the terminal. You’ll often find luggage valet services close to the parking terminals too so you don’t even need to wheel your suitcases around for long.

That convenience comes with a price though. Here’s a breakdown of the main Carnival departure terminals and the costs involved:

Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal Parking

Aerial view of a Carnival cruise ship docked at Port Canaveral, Florida, with the vast expanse of the port infrastructure visible in the background, illustrating the scale and operation of a major cruise ship port.

Parking at Port Canaveral costs $17 per day, plus tax – so it’s actually just over $18 per day. This includes arrival and departure days, so for a 7-night cruise, you’ll pay for 8 days of parking at a total cost of $144.16. 

Reservations are not required, so you can just turn up and leave your car. You’ll pay when you leave. Cash isn’t accepted. You’re asked to drive to the cruise terminal to drop off your bags before you park your car.

Cheaper parking is also available if you choose one of the off-site car parks, many of which have free shuttles to the cruise terminal.

Miami Cruise Terminal Parking

A stunning aerial shot of two Carnival cruise ships docked side by side in the Port of Miami, their blue and red funnels iconic against the picturesque backdrop of Miami’s coastal waterways and bustling marina life.

Parking at Miami costs $22 per day, which works out at $176 for an average 7-night cruise (again, you need to pay for both your arrival and departure days, even if the total time ends up being less than one day).

You don’t need to reserve parking in advance, and Carnival guests should park in Garage D as it’s opposite the terminal.

An interesting note – Miami’s parking costs more for Royal Caribbean than it does for Carnival and other cruise lines. So you’re saving more on parking as well as on the cruise fare, on average anyway.

New Orleans Cruise Terminal Parking

Parking at the Erato Street cruise terminal in New Orleans costs $25 per day, so for a 7-night cruise, you’ll pay $200 including your arrival and departure days. 

There’s a dedicated offloading area on the first floor of the parking garage where you can drop off your checked bags before you go and park. You need to have your boarding information to hand to be able to enter the parking garage, and you can pay for your parking via cash or card.

Alternatively, you can park from $14 per day at nearby car parks that have free shuttles.

Galveston Cruise Terminal Parking

The Carnival Jubilee cruise ship majestically sails near Galveston, Texas, highlighted by the warm glow of sunset, with the island's waterfront and marinas creating a picturesque backdrop.

There are several parking options available at Galveston cruise terminal, for Carnival guests. Rates vary depending on demand and on whether you choose the garage of an open lot. Prices vary between $16.50 and $22 per day. A shuttle is provided for anyone using the Economy Lot. You do need to reserve your spaces in advance for this port.

Seattle Cruise Terminal Parking

A vibrant view from a cruise ship of downtown Seattle's skyline, punctuated by the iconic Great Wheel Ferris wheel on the pier, set against a clear blue sky, showcasing the city's blend of urban and recreational spaces.

Parking at Seattle Cruise Terminal costs $27 per day, making it one of the most expensive ports to park at. For a 7-night cruise, you’ll pay $216 in total.

There is a free shuttle to make it easy to get to the terminal once you’ve parked your car. You don’t need to make a reservation unless you’re arriving in an RV, which has higher costs of $40 per day.

3 Ways to Get Free or Cheap Parking

There are some ways you can get free car parking for your Carnival cruise, and failing that, you can definitely pay less than the cruise terminals charge. Here are the best options for keeping parking costs to a minimum:

1. Hotels with Parking

If you’re driving a longer distance to get to the port, it’s often best to book a hotel stay for the night before you sail. That way, you won’t miss the cruise if there are any delays on your journey.

Many hotels in the busiest cruise ports will offer park-and-cruise packages, including free or discounted parking for the length of your cruise if you only stay for one night. You’ll often get a free shuttle service to the port too, although even if you don’t, paying for a taxi is still likely to be cheaper than having to park at the port.

Search for “*city* hotels with cruise parking” online and you should find some good options. Make sure you’re clear when you book that you want that package though.

2. Off-Site Car Parking

There are always car parking options near the terminal you can book if you want something cheaper. They won’t be free, but you should be able to find deals that are often half the price of parking at the terminal itself.

However, some of these might be open lots, so be careful. It’s always best to book a parking garage, ideally one where you’ll be on a higher level. Some Carnival guests in South Carolina once returned to flooded cars after storms – and these were the official car parks at the terminal! So whenever you use any parking, try to get a garage space.

3. Free Parking for Disabled Guests

Many of the cruise terminal car parks will offer free parking to guests with disabilities, but typically you’ll either need to be a disabled veteran of the state in which you’re parking, or you’ll need to be using a vehicle that’s adapted for your needs, such as with a ramp. 

Guests with hidden disabilities or with limited physical disabilities that don’t require adapted vehicles will still have to pay full price for their parking. And typically you’ll need to book a disabled space too, even at the car parks where reservations aren’t needed.

Pros and Cons of Terminal Parking

Parking at the terminal for your Carnival cruise has pros and cons. While it’s not free, it might be worth paying the extra.

Pros of Terminal Parking

  • It’s more convenient – once you’re parked you can walk to the terminal, or board a quick shuttle
  • Most cruise terminals have sheltered parking
  • You can drop your luggage off before you park at most terminals
  • Once you disembark, you don’t have to travel far to get to your car

Cons of Terminal Parking

  • It’s more expensive
  • You can’t always guarantee a space, if reservations aren’t accepted
  • It’s busy, especially on disembarkation day, and it can be slow to get out of the parking lot/garage

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Final Word

Parking at the cruise terminal for your Carnival cruise is never free, and there aren’t really any free options unless you’re disabled. Hotels might offer free parking nearby but only if you pay to stay with them.

There’s no clear best option for Carnival cruise parking – it depends on whether you’re happier to spend more to be as close to the terminal as possible. It’s also worth considering public transport since you’ll often get shuttle services from the airport or train stations, while taxis can be cheap otherwise.

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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