View Full Version : Driving from Orlando to Port Canaveral

02-04-2005, 12:18 AM
Hi all. I am taking Amtrak from Wisconsin to Orlando. People have advised me to rent a car and drive to the port. This is tempting, especially as our train doesn't leave until 6 PM on the day we return to port, and with a car we would have better means of kiliing all that time.

However... I am basically a small town girl. Where I live your major traffic hazards include Amish buggies and farm tractors on the road. What would it be like driving from the Amtrak depot ( on a street called Sligh and near a hospital area) to Port Canaveral? What are the speed limits? Does anyone obey them? How thick is the traffic? We would be arriving Friday midday, should Amtrak be on time, to take a 7-day cruise that both departs and returns on a Saturday.

02-04-2005, 05:15 AM
You may well find Orlando traffic to be overwhelming and prefer the alternative of shuttle, taxi, or limo. Traffic is always heavy and is complicated by the tourist traffic ~ people who are lost & looking for signs, (so not paying proper attention to the roads) but driving very fast to get to their vacation destination.

02-04-2005, 10:17 AM
I actually donít think it would be that much of a problem, even if you are not an experienced city driver. Yes, like other cities, Orlando can be very busy but if you are arriving mid-day, you would avoid the rush hour and be away from the city quickly.

There is a Hertz desk located at the Amtrak station in Orlando and it remains open until 6:00 PM daily. For trains arriving later, they arrange to have somebody waiting for you or will pay for your taxi to the Orlando airport Hertz terminal
Once you have your car, it is real easy to follow the signs to Interstate 4, (I-4) which you would take for 7 to 10 minutes then merging onto the Beeline Expressway # 528. Once on 528, you stay on this all the way to Port Canaveral. The roads are well indicated and as far as speed limits go, I find that police with radar heavily control the 528 stretch and motorists are actually cautions of speed limits. The limits on this road will vary from 55 to 70 MPH. Once you arrive in Canaveral the Hertz dealership is 5 mile past the ports and easy to find as there are no turns required. The dealership will bring you to the ship and pick you up at the ship on the return as well.

I personally find the value of renting a car greatly outweighs the bus service. First it can be cheaper depending on the amount of people traveling and most of all you have total flexibility. If you do any amount of road travel at all I donít think you will have any problems. This route has minimal turns or road changes and is well indicated. I find that having a good map with detailed turns (Yahoo maps) makes it real easy to drive in this area.

If you have any problems or hesitations and would like further info, send me a private message and I would be happy to help you further,

02-06-2005, 09:19 AM
I have 2 really divergent opinions here. Would a third person care to comment? I'm not a bad driver-- at 50 years of age I've never had a collision or a moving violation-- but I am frightened of driving in busy traffic and big cities. I drive in Madison occasionally and on I-39 and I-90/94, but do not attempt to drive in either Milwaukee or Chicago. On the other hand, last summer I tool a cab from the Amtrak station in Washington, D.C., and was scared out of my mind. The driver was clearly under the influence of something, talked non-stop, (I learned he was a disbarred attorney) and at one point made a U-turn in the middle of traffic. Actually, that experience is one reason that I'm considering a rental car. I've taken the DCL shuttle twice before from the airport to the hotels and then from the hotels to the ships, and I don't remember the traffic being all that bad, but we weren't travelling exactly the same route I would from the depot. Another issue is that with Amtrak, there's every possibilty we could arrive in the middle of the night. Yeah, I'm a coward, especially with my precious cargo in the backseat. Could someone who's familiar with the upper midwest possibly compare this drive to Madison, Milwaukee, or Chicago driving?

02-06-2005, 09:35 AM
If you have driven in Chicago this is a piece of cake! I lived in Milwaukee for 4 years and had to drive through Chicago to get much of anywhere when I went to visit family out east. We have driven in Orlando and it really isn't that crazy. I think if you have a good map to get from point A to point B you should be fine.


02-06-2005, 09:36 AM
I Say Go For it ..

one it will allow you to go some where to use the time you have and traffic is not bad at all.. compared to Boston..

you will be fine signs easy to read and follow..

peter :moped: :moped: :moped: