Florida Guide > Cruising
A short cruise as a side trip.
A mini cruise makes a great side trip in the middle of your vacation in Florida.
A cruise lasting about 3 nights would be enough to give you a samll taster and you will return to your vacation villa and frantic pace of the parks feeling quite refreshed.
If you are staying in the Orlando area the nearest ports are Tampa or Port Canaveral. A bit further is Fort Lauderdale and then of course Miami.
So I would start looking at cruises from the first 2 of these first and there are bound to be a selection to choose from.
If you are on a budget and like to party then look at the Carnival Cruise website; we have found that they offer great value with surprisingly good food. A few years ago the meals were pretty dreadful but they have worked hard to remedy this and the cuisine is as good as most now.
Feel like splashing out? then what better than a Disney cruise with their plethora of character greetings around the ship and the wonderful Disney only Castaway Bay where you can swim, snorkel, cycle or just laze on the clean sands.
So when should you book? I would say start looking a month in advance and try to catch the bottom price. If you are flexible about your start date this will help a lot.
You can either go onto each individual cruise line website or use someone like Vacations2go. Carnival insist that you cannot get cheaper than their own site prices but other sites get round this by offering O. B. C What is that? well it is on board credit and although the cruises are pretty much fully inclusive you do have to pay for alcoholic drinks, bingo, gambling and computer use.
I have noticed that other sites DO often offer Disney cruises at below the
If you are a homeowner then you can apply for resident discount where applicable and the proofs are the same as for the theme parks.
You can park your car at the port for a reasonable sum or book your car hire in 2 halves. However, there is a sting in the tail if you do the latter. Since you dock early in the morning your car hire company will want to charge you for an extra day so factor that in.
One last thing, you will be glad to know that the dress code on these cruises is pretty relaxed and apart from no shorts or flip flops at dinner (for either sex) and no vests for the men they are not strict. And in fact I have seen all 3 of the aforementioned items worn on formal night. If you want to get dressed up, go ahead; some do.
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