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holiday. And it is a sensational way of celebrating a honeymoon, birthday or any other special occasion. Spend an energy- busting time in the theme parks, trekking through the national parks, kayaking in the Everglades or diving in the ocean, and then board a cruise and sail away. How about fi ve nights from Fort Lauderdale to Belize and the Mexican island of Cozumel before heading back to Florida? Or a week from Miami to the Caribbean, stopping at Half Moon Cay, St. Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk? If a theme park isn’t your cup of tea but the kids still want to meet Mickey Mouse, then book a Disney cruise. The famous mouse and his pals provide all the entertainment on ships sailing from Port Canaveral, just over 50 miles from Orlando.


The beauty of cruises is that they are


mainly all-inclusive, so guests know what they are paying for up-


front. Extras tend to include drinks, tips and excursions. If considering a cruise in or out of


Disney Cruise Lines is one of the cruise operators to sail out of Port Canaveral (facing page) while Celebrity Solstice (above) is another visitor to Florida waters


a Florida port, then remember you can also take advantage of the wide variety of excursions. Shoppers can fi ll their bags at Sawgrass Mills if going in or out of the nearby port of Fort Lauderdale. Miami has something for everyone from seeing wildlife at Jungle Island or Zoo Miami to the Art Deco buildings of Miami Beach, including the beautiful house of designer Gianni Versace on Ocean Drive. Tampa has its own theme park, Busch Gardens, and is another city fortunate enough to be surrounded by glorious beach resorts you won't want to leave. That, too, makes booking a cruise out or into Florida attractive. Fabulous beach resorts have accommodation for all budgets, from villas and apartments to fi ve-star hotels. Either make the booking yourself or leave everything to a holiday company at home.


They will sort out your whole itinerary including fl ights, the stay in Florida and the cruise. All you have to do is fi nd your sea legs! •


Having lunch with an astronaut and seeing Space Shuttle Atlantis at the astonishing Kennedy Space Center on Port Canaveral’s doorstep.


Leaving time before a cruise to enjoy watersports, fi shing, hiking, biking or playing a game of golf near Jacksonville port.


Taking a stroll on South Beach Miami to see all the ‘beautiful people’ on one of the most famous stretches of sand in Florida.


Checking out excursions your cruise line offers and booking them before you leave home so you don’t miss out.


Saving money on a cruise and hotel by choosing a ‘cruise and stay’ package offered by main tour operators.


Getting a late deal bargain if you don’t mind where you cruise to and haven’t got fi xed holiday dates.


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