Pre-Cruise Tagalong


When my wife’s parents come down to go on a cruise we like to make a point to see them. This time was no exception. We had planned for months to pick Jody and Carl up at the airport and head for Port Canaveral and Cocoa Beach. We were going to be staying at the Radisson Resort at the Port for the night and drop them off at their cruise line the next day. I really had no idea how much fun that it would end up being. It turned out to be one of the best two days in recent history. What follows are the events that made this such a great short family getaway.


Our day started out by heading to Orlando International Airport at around 8am. We of course had to get our Starbucks Coffee while waiting. I always have to stop off at Disney’s Earport for a quick look around. After a quick greeting of Christina’s parents we all headed down to baggage claim and headed for the Port!

When we arrived at the Radisson Resort we immediately went to check in even though it was only around 9:30am at this point. Jody and Carl’s room was ready but we were told that ours would be ready shortly. We decided to head up and check out their room and put our bag in their room until ours was ready. Their room was a very nice two room suite. I was very impressed with the space in their suite which was complete with a huge Jacuzzi tub in the bedroom and a kitchen area with a refrigerator, microwave, and enough cabinet space to live there comfortably for weeks. Our room was just a standard room so we were in awe of their nice accommodations for the night.

We went to McDonalds for breakfast and I had a less than impressive experience at this McDonalds but after filling out a survey online I received a phone call later that day that came with an apology and making amends for the experience that I had. I appreciated the great customer service and quick response from them on this matter. After breakfast we headed over to Port Canaveral because we saw that one of the Disney Cruise Line ships was docked. We were very excited. Christina and I had never seen a Disney Cruise ship in person before. After getting a little lost we finally found our way to the Disney Terminal. We were able to park in the parking garage and walk up and down the sidewalk in front of the terminal and take pictures of what we came to find out was the Disney Magic. We also saw the Royal Caribbean ship Enchantment of the Seas.

After some time at Port Canaveral we went back to the hotel to see if our room was ready. They ended up upgrading our room for free so we ended up with a room identical to Jody and Carl’s room. We were excited at the time and it was a very nice thing to do but we found out before the stay was done that maybe we would have been better off with two queen beds instead of the king. Christina, I, and both boys ended up sleeping on the one king bed and it was not the most comfortable thing. It also presented a problem with a 21 month old to have a Jacuzzi tub with water faucets that he could reach in the bedroom, constantly turning the water on and off when we were in the room. But the hotel room was amazing despite the few issues that we had due to the age of our youngest child.

We took just a few minutes to settle in and Jordan changed into his swimming trunks and we headed to Cocoa Beach. It was only a few minutes down the road and we came to a huge Ron Johns Surf Shop with parking and beach access. We parked and did some shopping before heading onto the beach. This was really Cameron’s first time to the beach. He had gone to the beach in Ft. Lauderdale last year before another cruise that Jody and Carl were going on but he was just a baby. Cameron and Jordan played on the beach and made a sand castle. It was a beautiful day and there was a great breeze so the beach was tolerable even for me. After spending a few hours on the beach we decided to head back to the hotel and get ready for our dinner at Fish Lips.

Fish Lips is a great restaurant, right on Port Canaveral, that you can eat and watch the cruise ships leave the port. You have the chance to wave goodbye to everyone and see just how massive these ships really are. They even have a web cam affixed to the restaurant that you can view from home any time. We were really there for this experience but found that the food was absolutely delicious as well. I had shrimp tacos that were out of this world! We enjoyed our dinner as we saw the Disney Magic and Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Sea leave the port. We even got to hear the amazing “When you Wish Upon a Star” horn of the Disney Magic. I’m not going to lie I got emotional when I heard it.

All of this would have been enough to call this a great day but we weren’t done yet. After dinner we headed back to the hotel to swim and relax. We had heard that there was going to be a rocket launch that evening so we went online to see where a great place to see the launch would be. It turns out that the very beach that we were on that day was a good place to see the rocket launch. Since we knew where that was and knew that there was parking we headed over. We got to see a rocket launch from the beach. You could hear the rocket and it was a fantastic sight to see it shoot through the sky. After the rocket launch we decided to find somewhere to get ice cream. We first stopped at a very interesting place that had ice cream but was also serving Chinese food and was a little market. We all thought it was a bit strange but thought we would give it a try. We were greeted as we came in but then no one took our order as we stood there for five minutes so we left. As we were leaving they said goodbye. It was a very strange experience. On the way back to the hotel we came across an ice cream place that made homemade ice cream. The customer service was top notch and the ice cream followed suit.

Now our great day had come to an end and it was time to get some much needed sleep. The next morning we dropped Jody and Carl off at the Port for their cruise and Christina, Jordan, Cameron and I headed home but not before driving by the Kennedy Space Center just for fun. It was a wonderful day and a half that really none of us expected. Next time I will be much more excited for the Pre-Cruise Tagalong but hopefully next time we can board the ship with them and continue the fun!



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