Cruising out of Florida? Why not make the most of your holiday  with our Florida Cruise and Stay packages

Whether you are traveling as a Family, a couple or as friends, Florida has so much on offer for everyone. Of course, Orlando is the home to the famous Walt Disney World theme parks, but only a short drive away you can find some beautiful beaches!

Approximately 45 minutes east of Orlando, you will find Cocoa Beach. This is a much quieter area than Orlando and is home to Port Canaveral, where many major cruise lines offer Caribbean cruises from, and also the Kennedy Space centre at Cape Canaveral, NASA’s launch complex. The Atlantic ocean offers great surfing conditions and if like me, you are not a Surfer, its just as fun to watch!!

Cocoa beach is a great place to stay before or after a cruise for a couple of nights. I would recommend no more than 4 nights here, but is definitely a nice place to cruise from.

cocoa1
Cocoa Beach

Another great place only 90 minutes from Orlando is Tampa. This is on the Gulf side (West) offering fantastic beaches! Also, Home to Busch Gardens, the famous water park! I have taken a 5 night cruise from here with Royal Caribbean on the Jewel of the Seas. I would say the two main places are downtown Tampa and also Tampa Bay. You can find some wonderful restaurants in the Bay area as well as some wonderful scenery. Downtown tampa offers a great nightlife as well as some brilliant shopping. Again, I would recommend no more than 4 nights here as I think you would see everything in this time.

Not far from Tampa, you will find Clearwater Beach. This truly is a beautiful place and its hard to believe your not on a Luxurious island somewhere in the world. Boasting beautiful tropical surroundings it really is stunning! I would describe this to be a relaxing place to travel unlike the big busy City of Orlando and the crazy nightlife of Miami.

Clearwater Beach
Clearwater Beach

 

When you do travel to Florida I would ALWAYS recommend you hire a car. Everything is so spread apart it could cost you in public transport. I have found having a car gives me the freedom to explore other places close by. There are little gems to be found all around Florida, one of which is Marco Island. This is located in the Southwest of Florida, on the Gulf side (West). If you would like the relaxing atmosphere of Clearwater Beach, then this place is for you. The highlights are the white sand beaches and the fantastic dining options you will find here.  I personally would call it a ‘fisherman’s village’ as fishing is abundant here – giving you fresh seafood everyday.

With Marco Island being southwest, it would be quite a long drive from Orlando, so it is somewhere to visit when you are in the south, such as Miami or Fort Lauderdale.

Marco Island
Marco Island

Florida Keys are located 90 miles north of Cuba and start only 15 miles south of Miami. As with Clearwater Beach and Marco Island, these are the most tropical beaches I have found outside of the Caribbean. They are islands, joined together by one long road! How cool?

Many of the keys offer some fantastic Fishing, Scuba Diving and Snorkelling opportunities. I haven’t managed to do the drive from the beginning to the end as of yet, this is on my list of things to do. I did stop at Key West on a cruise not too long ago and I absolutely loved it! The easy paced lifestyle just hooked me from the moment I got ashore.

Map of the Florida Keys
Map of the Florida Keys

 

Miami and Fort Lauderdale are a 4 hour drive from Orlando. Virgin Atlantic and British Airways both offer non-stop flights from Heathrow to Miami. Thomas Cook have recently announced the new route between Manchester and Miami as of April 2015. Many 2+ night cruises are offered from ports in both places with pretty much every major cruise line.

Beaches and fantastic in both places but the best thing about both is the Nightlife. You really do dance the night away in the clubs or the stunning ocean front bars. Both are very appealing to American Spring breakers so it can get very busy/rowdy in the summer Months. Spring break is the whole month of March through April every year. Not only can it get very busy, but just like the school holidays in the UK, prices can shoot up through the roof.

TOP TIP: cruises out of Miami or Fort Lauderdale of less than 7 nights in the Spring break period will pretty much be, a ‘Party Boat’. Due to the fantastic value of cruising, it works out better to get a cruise rather than stay in a hotel and you get to visit another country also.

As well as nightlife, Miami has the art deco district which is great to see and Fort Lauderdale has the Everglades, where you will find fantastic wildlife. Be sure to take an airboat swamp ride – This is brilliant, but beware, the smell is horrible. I spend most of the ride with my nose hidden inside of my t-shirt.

I try to travel out to Florida as much as possible and I will be next there in March 2015.

I will have more blogs on places in Florida, so keep checking for updates.

If you are planning your Florida Cruise and Stay, or have any questions, please contact me directly on 0161 798 2512


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