With a leisurely boarding window that began hours ahead of the "official" time of 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., we were able to wake at a reasonable hour, finish packing and leave our Hartford, Connecticut-area home at 9:30 a.m. for the drive to Boston, which takes just two and a half hours with a pit stop on the MassPike. We met Carnival Glory passengers who had driven from Connecticut, Pennsylvania and all parts of Massachusetts, taking advantage of the drive-to convenience of cruising out of Boston. (Note: Carnival sailings from Boston resume in June 2013; late summer and early autumn 2012 New England/Canada cruises depart from New York City.)
Cruiseport Boston is located just off the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90): You can set your GPS for the cruise passenger parking garage address: 12 Drydock Avenue, Boston, MA. But we actually found it easier to use these easy-to-follow directions to the cruise terminal, which is located directly across the street from the parking garage. The parking rate is $16 per day (as of 2012) for ticketed cruise passengers, and Visa, MasterCard and cash are accepted.
When we arrived, the parking garage was full, but we were immediately directed by parking staff to the Cruiseport Boston Cell Phone Lot at 22 Fid Kennedy Avenue, where the parking fee was $60 for our five-night cruise, payable by cash or credit card. A complimentary shuttle bus pulled up to transport us to the cruise terminal shortly after we parked. And, when we returned from our Carnival Glory cruise, the long line waiting for parking lot shuttles moved remarkably quickly, and drivers helped us load our luggage for the quick, quarter-mile trip to our car.
When our car wouldn't start (horrors!) after sitting in the lot for a week, we feared we'd have a long wait for AAA, but a Carnival security staffer at the lot was quick to offer his own vehicle for a jumpstart. A tip and a grateful "thanks," and we were on our way.
For those flying into Boston (compare Boston flight prices at Kayak.com)for a cruise ship departure, the terminal is just four miles from Logan International Airport: a 10-minute cab ride. If you need to stay overnight prior to sailing, two hotels convenient to the Cruiseport are the Hyatt Regency Boston (compare prices) and the Seaport Boston Hotel (compare prices): my favorite place to stay in the city.