Florida Cruise and Stay: Orlando
By Liz Jarvis | 18 Jul 2013
Orlando remains one of the most popular holiday destinations for us Brits – and adding a cruise on to your stay gives you the best of both worlds. Editor of Cruise International, Liz Jarvis, offers top tips for your pre- or post-cruise stay
Things to do
Since the nearest beaches are an hour away, the main attractions here are of course the theme parks. There are five parks at Walt Disney World (disneyworld.disney.go.com), including Magic Kingdom, home to New Fantasyland, plus two water parks. At Universal, there are two theme parks, and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (complete with Hogwarts). Or you can enjoy the water slides and rides at Aquatica (aquaticabyseaworld.com).
Another great thing to do in Orlando (although you may want to do this post-cruise) is shop – visit the Premium Outlets mall on International Drive and you’ll find loads of shops selling designer bargains, including Kate Spade, Victoria’s Secret and Ann Taylor.
Nearby Daytona is home to the NASCAR track and there are lots of driving experiences on offer. There’s also a great beach. Port Canaveral is on the Space Coast, and a visit to Kennedy Space Center is a must for anyone interested in space travel.
Where to eat
Seafood lovers should head to Lee & Rick’s Oyster Bar; Jiko in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has African-inspired specialities; while cosy Chatham’s Place is where the locals eat.
Where to stay
If you’re going to be spending time at the theme parks then one of the onsite hotels is best, as you’ll get special guest privileges. At Walt Disney World, the Victorian-style Disney’s Grand Floridian is excellent, or Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is fun. While at Universal, the luxurious Loews Portofino Bay hotel (loewshotels.com) is an astonishing replica of the Italian fishing village. Alternatively there are lots of hotels on International Drive to suit all budgets.
Port: Port Canaveral
How far from airport? 1 hour
Cruise lines that go from there: Carnival, Disney, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean
For more information got to visitorlando.com
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