With my cruise getting closer I’ve been doing my research on what there is to do in both Miami and each Caribbean destination that I’m visiting, the more I’ve been reading the more excited I’ve got, and it’s finally starting to sink in that I’m actually going to the Caribbean…… excited 🙂

And it’s got me thinking Miami is the main home of many Caribbean cruises, there are bound to be so many people out there like me who don’t know where to start. My only experience is when I went there when I was 17, we had a family holiday to Orlando and then Fort Myers and drove down to Miami for 1 night. The ocean took my breath away, it was the first time I remember seeing a sea that really did look like it did in the pictures, along with all the Art Deco buildings and cool looking oceanfront bars and I swore that one of these days I would return………fast forward many years and voila my dream is about to come true

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So I guess the first must see has got to be what Miami is famous for and that is the beach. Beach culture is at the heart of Miami, from the well known South beach to the lesser know Sunny Isles, Crandon and Biscayne just to name a few. Each one has a different atmosphere attracting both the rich and famous to us ordinary people on holiday. Take in the soft white sand, the glittering turquoise water or perch yourself on a lounger and do what we do best and people watch, take in a bit of surf, or how about a salsa dance, roller blading along the promenade or watch the beautiful people shimmy along in their heels…you never know who you might spot on this famous landmark

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Leading on from the beach the second must see has got to be Ocean Drive, situated again in South beach this long promenade of boutiques, trendy cafe bars, loud cocktail bars all set amongst a colourful set of art deco buildings, and perhaps the most famous Gianni Versace’s mansion, I have literally stood on the steps of where he was shot all those years ago, whether that is something to shout about I don’t know but it certainly put the area on the map and turned his house into a tourist hotspot for visitors

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Miami is a shoppers haven, from the smaller boutiques in the lesser known areas, to the main shopping streets of Lincoln road, the huge indoor shopping malls or the outlet malls on the outskirts of the city. Miami is a shoppers delight and so many people I know actually have had to buy an extra suitcase to bring home all their purchases, and who can blame them with prices up to half the cost of the UK especially for any American brands

To take in something completely different and again something I would say you have to see when your there is to take a trip to Everglades national park. My main memory of this when I was younger was the alligator boat trips where they take you out to feed the alligators. Now on any nature related trip that I’ve ever been on I’ve seen nothing so didnt have high expectations, blimey was i wrong, there we were gently swaying along when our guide took a large pole with the biggest piece of steak I’ve ever seen and quite happily dangled it up in the air over the edge of our boat, well the next minute a huge alligator emerged from the water and literally jumped out of the water and bit it right off. I got some cracking photos and this will stay with me always, so if you get the chance this really is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but maybe one I wont repeat

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Music is Miami’s passion, so many famous artists come from here, but each community has its own musical history, and music venues are on every corner, from the Reggae beats to Salsa music, Latin beats in Little Havana, Rock music in Little Haiti, there’s Jazz clubs to the huge American Airlines arena that hosts global artists, and I can’t not mention the man himself Mr Worldwide Pitbull is the epitomy of Miamis music scene, so much so he has been invited to be Godfather to the brand new NCL ship Escape.

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But the one thing I think I am most looking forward to is sailing out on my cruise cocktail in hand head off into the unknown watching Miami’s spectacular skyline get smaller and smaller, because then I know my holiday has really started

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There are so many more things to see and I’m sure I won’t get to do them all but and if there is another must see that I want you to all know about then I’ll tell you all about it. However if there is something else that I definately shouldn’t miss I would love to hear it


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