40th (Ruby) Wedding Anniversary Cruise
Cocoa Beach via Port Canaveral - Florida - USA
DAY 24 - 28th Feb 2018, Landed Port Canaveral, Florida, USA for Cocoa Beach
It was our 40th Wedding Anniversary treat, what you might call our Ruby cruise! We have been to Cocoa Beach & the Kennedy space centre with the boys in August 1997 so we decided to take the ships free shuttle bus to Cocoa Beach to have a paddle and a bit of a look around. The weather was good To see more of our previous trip CLICK HERE . We walked on the beach and the board walk and had a nice relaxing view of the sea and beach from the boardwalk seats. Met a few nice people off the ship and a few Americans. We had a long look around the famous Ron Jon's surf shop and saw the Fawlty Towers Motel before catching the shuttle back to the ship. Sadly as a port there is not much on offer at Port Canaveral. If you would like to read the detailed BLOG of the trip including the Captain's log please CLICK HERE
Revisited Cocoa beach and Ron Jon's Surf Shop that we had last been to in 1997
Your guide to Port Canaveral
Located along North America’s ‘Space Coast’, Port Canaveral is surrounded by long golden beaches and areas with names such as ‘Satellite Beach’ and ‘Apollo Beach’. Many visitors flock here to see the spectacle of a shuttle launch and also to visit the famed Kennedy Space Centre.
Situated midway on the east coast of Florida,
60 miles south of Daytona, Port Canaveral is sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Banana River on a spit of land comprising Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach.
Cape Canaveral, in what is now Brevard County, was quite a small community, the earliest record being in 1856 when 30 to 40 families formed the community of “Canaveral” near the present city. In 1890 the area north of the city was known as “Artesia” but all the area was incorporated as “Cape Canaveral” on 4 June 1962, at a meeting of 200 freeholders. Cape Canaveral is, of course, now known world wide for its Space Centre, just north of Port Canaveral.
Jetty Park Beach (one mile) offering restrooms, showers, picnic pavilions, a fishing pier with rod rentals and a snack bar serving food, soft drinks and draft beer. Cocoa Beach Pier (four miles), and Cocoa Beach (six miles), have refreshment stalls, showers and changing facilities. There are 57 miles of public beach stretching south of Port Canaveral to Sebastain Inlet.
An 27 hole municipal golf course is situated in Cocoa Beach Country Club, ten miles away at the end of IVlinuteman Causeway, where is it is possible to hire clubs and carts Tel. 321 868 3351.
The Savannah’s Country Club is thirteen miles away Tel. 321-455-1375 where clubs are also available for hire. There are 929 other golf courses in Florida.
Jet-ski and powerboat rentals are available at Cocoa Beach. Fishing is available on the inshore rivers, Banana and Indian Rivers, with Charter Guides who provide everything needed to fish for trout, redfish, snook and tarpon. Also deep-sea fishing is available out of the Port.
Taxis are widely available everywhere. Some shuttle services operate between the port and the airport.
Kennedy Space Centre
Occupying some 140,000 acres of land on North Merritt Island this ‘spaceport’ saw the launch in July 1969 of the vehicle Apollo/Saturn V which achieved Man’s dreams landing on the moon, a considerable achievement when one realises that the first rocket was fired on the range on July 24 1950. The displays in the Visitors’ Centre change frequently, and among the many interesting exhibits in the Hall of History are: the Apollo space ship used in the US/USSR rendezvous in space, a Mercury and Gemini space craft, a Lunar Rover, the Skylab multiple docking adaptor and a small piece of moon rock. The value of the rock is considered to be higher than that of any mineral or precious metal found on earth owing to its scarcity value.
Attractions at the centre include the Complex 39 Observatory Gantry where visitors can get a bird’s eye view of the shuttle launch pads; the International Space Station Centre, a triumph of technology where visitors can experience how to sleep, exercise and function as an astronaut; A new 3-D IMAX movie theatre; a ‘Heroes and Legends’ attraction encompassing the US Astronaut Hall of Fame; and an extensive tribute to the now retired shuttle programme, including the legendary Atlantis, now proudly on display. The Visitors’ Centre opens at 8.00am every day.
The Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Complex offers a variety of ticket options, available for purchase online and at the visitor complex when you arrive. Advance purchase for add-on enhancements, including special interest tours, is recommended. Purchasing tickets online and printing them out before arrival allows visitors to enter the visitor complex directly, www. kennedyspacecenter.com/info/tickets
Brevard Zoo, Melbourne
This zoo features native Florida animals, Latin American species and Australian species. It also features a “Paws-On Interactive Zone” where children (and adults) can race against an alligator, climb through a giant honeycomb, arm wrestle a gorilla, and venture inside a blue whale.
Tel. 321 254 9453.
Situated south of Port Canaveral and Cape Canaveral, Coca Beach became self governing in 1925, a month after it was sold for $1,300,000 by Gus Edwards to a New York syndicate. The population was then 250. Today the population is about 12,000 and now boasts a 218 acre recreation complex which includes ten floodlit tennis courts, handball courts, an Olympic swimming pool and an 27 hole Golf Course.
Many of the houses are situated on the winding streams and creeks that lead into the Banana River, and many residents are able to fish direct from their front lawns. The Banana and Indian Rivers are noted for their salt water trout, and the waterways in this area boast native wildlife ranging from wading birds to dolphins.
Lying between the quaintly named Banana River and Indian River, Merritt Island is approximately 40 miles long, and at the northern end seven miles wide, tapering to a point in the south.
In 1828 a Colonel Thomas Dummitt came to the area known as North Merritt Island, to be followed eleven years later by a General Merritt, who received the Island under a grant from Spain.
Permanent settlements were made after the Armed Occupation Act of 1842, many descendants of the original settlers are still residing in the area.
By 1843 hostilities with the Indians had lessened, but due to a resurgence six years later, the Merritt Island settlers were evacuated to the St Augustine - Jacksonville area.
The primary economy of the island was based on cattle, pineapples, sugar cane and, at a later date, citrus fruits. The settlers traded with Indians who visited the island by boat and with other settlements up and down the river, such as City Point, Sharpes and Williams Point, only accessible by riverboats.
Before the establishment of Cocoa, the nearest market centre was Titusville, then known as Sand Point, and from here products from the island were sent by rail to northern cities or by ship to Savannah and Charleston.The island is now a National Wildlife Refuge.
South of Cocoa, on the mainland, Rockledge is the oldest winter resort on the east coast of Florida.
First established in 1837, the area was named after the ledge of coquna rock outcropping along the Indian River.
The first post office was established in a log cabin in 1876 and owing to the rapidly expanding tourist business two hotels were built, the Indian River Hotel with rooms for 400 guests, and the Plaza Hotel accommodating 300 guests. In 1886 Rockledge had three stores, two hotels, two sawmills and one church. Cocoa
To the west of Merritt Island, on the mainland on the other bank of the Indian River lies the town of Cocoa. The first settlers arrived in the area around 1860, and according to records the first commercial building, a general store, was erected around 1881 by BC Willard. Portions of this building originally faced the Indian River. The settlement was originally called Indian River City but this was considered unacceptable by the US Postal Authorities who claimed that it was too long for use on a postmark.
The decision by the US Postal Authority was first heard in the Willard Store and naturally caused much discussion in an endeavour to find a new name. Eventually, it is said the name “Cocoa” was selected from a box of Baker’s Cocoa that had only recently been delivered to the store. In downtown Cocoa is a restoration of the old village with cobblestone streets, antique street lamps and many interesting shops. Cocoa is approximately half an hours drive from Port Canaveral. x
Walt Disney World
Some twenty miles south west of Orlando and approximately 60 miles west of Port Canaveral, this 27,400 acre development area is visited by millions of people a year and is regarded as the world’s single most popular tourist attraction. Many visitors come to see the heart of Walt Disney World the Magic
Kingdom, but there are many other attractions like the Epcot Centre and the Disney - MCM Studios Theme Park.
Many visitors come to see the heart of Walt Disney World - The Magic Kingdom, dominated by Cinderella’s story-book castle, but there are three more theme parks within Disney World: Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as well as two water parks; Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon.
Main Street, USA
An authentic replica of a “Main Street”, railway station and turn of the century buildings, gabled and turreted, lining both sides of Main Street and surrounding the Town Square.
Exotic tropical flora and fauna fill the cool glades and sun baked trails of Adventureland. Here you may see the Swiss Family Robinson tree-house, waterfalls and trailing vines on a Jungle Cruise, or you may take a voyage with the Pirates of the Caribbean to their secret treasure trove.
Here you will see scenes from America’s frontier history. Big Thunder Mountain is an unmissable rollercoaster.
Liberty Square depicts the colonial atmosphere in the New England Style. The Haunted Mansion has fearfully realistic ghosts and goblins, calculated to give nightmares to the fainthearted. Grown-ups will
be fascinated by the auto-animatronics in the Hall of Presidents, bringing the past to life.
This is the most fantastic fantasy in all the Magic Kingdom, from a trip in a gigantic spinning teacup at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party to the Fairytale Garden, or a ride on Cinderella’s Golden Carousel.
Also to be seen are such memorable Disney characters as Peter Pan, Dumbo the flying elephant and of course, Mickey Mouse and his girlfriend Minnie.
This is dominated by the Space Mountain, with displays of space age technology inside and a fantastic coaster ride simulating race through space, not for those of a nervous or delicate disposition. However, this land is a glance at things to come, with a chance to see what it would be like to take place in a mission to Mars or pilot a StarJet into space.
The Epcot Centre
The Epcot Centre - conceived by Walt Disney as the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow - has two main attractions. Future World and World Showcase.
Here you come face to face with the wonders of tomorrow. You can discover the Wonders of Life, and be miniaturized by Disney’s high tech theatre technology or propelled through the human body during Body Wars, a high space race against bacterial invasion.
Eleven nations around World Showcase Lagoon offer you cultural cavalcades of food, music merchandise and interesting people.
The myths and legends of the Vikings come to life at Maelstrom in the Norway Section. You’ll get an incredible view of the French countryside. Discover the magic of the casbah in Morocco, enter the Temple of Heaven in China and see the Forbidden City and the Great Wall then await to be suprised with lots more to see in the many other highlighted countries.
The centrepiece of The American Adventure is an inspirational multimedia, multi-dimensional tribute to the American dream.
Disney - MGM Studio Theme Park
As an alternative main attraction at Walt Disney World Vacation Resort, the Disney - MGM Studios Theme Park will take you back to the world of Hollywood in the 1940’s and bring you right up to date with the latest film and TV productions.
Meet the talent scouts, budding starlets and gossip columnists, cop and cabbies of Hollywood Tinsel Town in its heyday. Travel down Hollywood Boulevard to the famous Chinese Theatre where the great stars of the past are immortalised with footprints and handprints in cement.
The best shopping centre is the Merritt Square Shopping Mall, approximately 20 minutes drive from Port Canaveral and located on Merritt Island. There are over on hundred shops catering, 13 restaurants in a food court and a movie theatre in an area of about 600,000 square feet. Opening times are 10.00am- 9.00pm Monday to Saturday, Noon-6.00pm Sunday.
The nearest is Cape Canaveral Post Office, 8700 Astronaut Blvd about half a mile south of the port entrance, Tel .7833163. Hours are Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm and Saturday 9.00am to 12.00pm.
The unit of currency is the US dollar ($), divided into 100 cents.
Notes: $1,5,10,20, 50 and 100.
Coins: 1c (penny), 5c (nickel), 10c (dime) and 25c (quarter).
Calling the UK
Most pay phones can be used for international calls using coins, credit cards or phonecards (available from post offices and kiosks). To telephone the UK, dial 011 then 44, followed by the area code (omitting the first 0) and the subscriber’s number.
All-purpose emergency telephone number: 911