One of the most often asked questions I get about accessible travel concerns parking. More specifically, free parking for disabled travelers at Florida cruise ships ports.
And to be honest, there is a lot of misinformation floating around the internet about the subject. So here’s the skinny.
Florida state law requires that free parking be maintained at cruise ship terminals only for passengers who have vehicles with ramps, lifts, hand controls or State of Florida toll exemption permits. That is the minimum law, but there’s no statute prohibiting the ports from offering free parking to a larger class of people.
Such is the case with the Miami Seaport, which allows disabled passengers with a valid placard to park for free. You need to fill out a form and show your placard when you enter the lot.
All other Florida ports only offer free parking for passengers who have an adapted vehicle. This means a vehicle equipped with a ramp, a lift, hand controls or a State of Florida toll exemption permit.
There are no similar regulations for any other states.
Again, Miami is the ONLY port that offers this extra accommodation. And as far as I know, no other cruise ports are considering adding this perk.
But hey, if you’re cruising out of Miami and you have a placard, you’re good to go. Just remember to tell the parking attendant on your way in.