We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Best restaurant to watch the cruise ships depart

Virginia
Level Contributor
3,776 posts
249 reviews
Save Topic
Best restaurant to watch the cruise ships depart

One more question before our vacation - we plan on hanging out at Port Canaveral to watch the ships depart, but which restaurant is best for this? Normally we eat at Grills, but would like to try another spot on this trip.

Mentioned in this post
Port Canaveral
Port Canaveral
269 Reviews
Port Canaveral, FL
Paddle Board or Kayak Eco Manatee Tour
48 Reviews
US$75 per adult
Free Cancellation
Cocoa Beach Comedy Club Admission
3 Reviews
US$13 per adult
Transportation to Cocoa Beach from...
US$55 per adult
Free Cancellation
9 replies to this topic
Cape Canaveral...
Destination Expert
for Key West
Level Contributor
7,725 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Best restaurant to watch the cruise ships depart

We've been to several - Rusty's, Fishlips, Baja, Milliken's Reef but we still think Grills is the best. We like to sit at the tiki bar or an outside table and feel there really is no better atmosphere with live music playing, great bartenders and servers and delicious food. These days we most often watch the ships go out from our balcony but we still go to Grills weekly. :)

Mentioned in this post
Milliken's Reef
Milliken's Reef
902 Reviews
Cape Canaveral, FL
Cocoa Beach, Florida
Destination Expert
for Cocoa Beach
Level Contributor
2,651 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Best restaurant to watch the cruise ships depart

I prefer the food at Grills, but the deck at Rusty's. If you are looking for an alternative, Milliken's Reef is also good, more upscale, but Rusty's deck is still better. All have live entertainment at some times.

Edited: 29 August 2017, 01:13
Mentioned in this post
Milliken's Reef
Milliken's Reef
902 Reviews
Cape Canaveral, FL
Virginia
Level Contributor
3,776 posts
249 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Best restaurant to watch the cruise ships depart

Excellent! I'll check out your suggestions before we leave. Looks like Sunday will have the most ships going out. Are there larger crowds when the ships are going out? We normally just go for dinner, and haven't timed it with a cruise ship leaving port.

Melbourne, Florida
Destination Expert
for Melbourne, Florida
Level Contributor
17,147 posts
111 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Best restaurant to watch the cruise ships depart

I thinks the crowds have more to do with time of day and if any events are going on at the port. Its just a popular place to go. I guess because we see them all the time we don't think about it that much. Also you have a few charter boats coming in to port in the afternoon and more people will be around then as some get off the boat and go out to eat or people come there just to watch them unload there catch.

Cocoa Beach, Florida
Destination Expert
for Cocoa Beach
Level Contributor
2,651 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Best restaurant to watch the cruise ships depart

Yes, I would say that Saturday and Sunday afternoons are more crowded than most other days. Of course, weather also makes a difference on the decks. Just try to get there a little early so that you have some time to get the table you want. As Born says, if there is an event at the port, there will also be bigger crowds at the restaurants.

Note that any ship using Terminal 1 (on Sundays, that would usually be the huge "Oasis of the Seas") will not pass by the aforementioned restaurants because it berths east of their outdoor decks. However, there are usually 3-4 ships going out on Sunday, and I once saw six. Even if your table isn't right next to the railing/windows, many people walk closer to the water to wave at the passengers.

Edited: 29 August 2017, 20:45
Level Contributor
227 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Best restaurant to watch the cruise ships depart

I have eaten and watched the ships leave from all the restaurants at the port. They all have good food and have a close up and beautiful view of the ships leaving. Some start leaving at 4:00pm thru 5:00pm so make sure you are there before 4:00pm. Milliken's is the first restaurant they go by and Grills is the last one they pass. They all have outside seating and usually have bands playing outside especially on the week end.

Edited: 30 August 2017, 13:43
Virginia
Level Contributor
3,776 posts
249 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Best restaurant to watch the cruise ships depart

Thanks for all of the tips! I'm so excited to leave tomorrow to visit our "other" home! Hoping to knock quite a few things off the bucket list on this trip.

1 post
2 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Best restaurant to watch the cruise ships depart

This sounds like something fun to do. I can't actually "go on a cruise" as I get sick when I am around crowds of people. We are looking for something fun to do and gourmet food on my husbands 63rd birthday next week. The day after Thanksgiving. Glad you posted this. I learned something, since I am from Hawai'i (the Big Island) and have not been here that long yet.

Melbourne, Florida
Destination Expert
for Melbourne, Florida
Level Contributor
17,147 posts
111 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Best restaurant to watch the cruise ships depart

Antoinette, Welcome to Trip Advisor, this is a great site to find info and plan things. The port is great but also look at Cocoa Village as an alternate or in addition to your day. Nice little bars, shops and restaurants there too.

Mentioned in this post
Cocoa Village
Cocoa Village
433 Reviews
Cocoa, FL
Reply to: Best restaurant to watch the cruise ships depart
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted