This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

Standing on a hill 500ft above sea level and staring down at the water in front of me, I’ll admit there was a brief moment when I wondered what on earth I was doing.

Seconds later, after a gentle push, I was flying through the air at up to 50mph harnessed to a zip wire above the perfect white sandy beaches of Haiti. At more than 2,500ft long, the Dragon’s Breath flight line is the world’s longest of its type over water, but any initial fear I had dissipated as I took in the view.

From that height our normally majestic cruise ship, Freedom of the Seas, looked like a toy boat against the picture perfect Labadee bay and, despite my initial reservations, I was almost disappointed when I landed at the bottom with a clatter.

During the past week, I’d been spoilt for choice with adrenaline-pumping activities: I’d hurtled through the sky on a broomstick with Harry Potter, fought aliens with the Men in Black, gone rock climbing, watched an ice show, and had still found time to relax in a hot tub, soaking up the warm Caribbean sun. By way of explanation, I was travelling on a Cruise and Stay holiday with Virgin Holiday Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.

After spending a couple of high-octane days at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida, we hit the high seas on board the

Freedom of the Seas.

I consider myself to be one of those independent traveller types and this was the first package holiday I had been on in years. But you know what? I loved every second of it - both on land and at sea. Our trip began at Universal Orlando Resort, which is like a country in itself. There are two theme parks - the Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida, three on-site hotels and numerous restaurants, bars and shops.

We stayed at the Loews Royal Pacific Hotel which provides plenty of entertainment for children and is only a short water taxi ride from the theme parks. Fully refreshed after a night’s sleep, we started at the Islands of Adventure which is divided into six themed areas - Marvel Super Hero Island, Toon Lagoon, Jurassic Park, The Lost Continent, Seuss Landing and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

There are thrilling rides (Spider-Man), more soothing offerings (The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Rail Ride) and plenty of shops and

The promenade on board the Royal Caribbean International ship, Freedom of the Seas

Loews Royal Pacific Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort, Florida 10 Life Begins

Main photo: Hogwarts in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure, Universal Orlando Resort

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36