Orlando’s Gaylord Palms: Like A Cruise Ship On Land

Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center (GP) is in Kissimmee, Florida at the doorstep to Epcot, Walt Disney World, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, SeaWorld and other Central Florida attractions.  Looking to visit one before your cruise ship sets sail from Port Canaveral?  The location of the resort works well and is about 40 minutes from the port.  Looking to totally avoid the razzle dazzle wonder of the theme park capital of the world?  You can do that too as the Gaylord Palms Resort is much like a cruise ship, albeit a bit bigger.

A Massive, Themed Property
Even Royal Caribbean‘s giant Oasis-class ships are no match in size for the 63-acre Gaylord Palms complex.  Complete with everything from shopping to entertainment, a water park and even a 24-hour FedEx office,  the Gaylord Palms makes for a great quiet place to rest after an extra-active cruise or get in the right frame of mind before.  They even have a Spa, Salon and Fitness Center.

Relâche Spa & Salon, one of only two spas in Orlando designated in 2012 as a Four Star Spa by Forbes Travel Guide and awarded Best Spa by Orlando Home & Leisure Magazine, offers an extensive menu of services featuring several signature massages and salon treatments exclusive to Relâche, as well as the skin reviving Intraceuticals Oxygen Facial Treatment.

Relâche Fitness Center, designed by Life Fitness, offers a full array of cardio, strength, functional and free weight fitness equipment.  Large floor to ceiling windows provide beautiful views of our resort area and LCD personal viewing screens and HDTV monitors provide entertainment options during workouts!  The fitness center is accessible 24 hours a day with room key access.

There will be no need to go off property for meals either, a reasonably priced assortment of restaurants and dining venues is right on property

  • Wreckers Sports Bar, Key West-inspired neighborhood sports bar and entertainment venue featuring a two-story, 37’ sports screen and more than 50 HDTVs.
  • Old Hickory Steakhouse, nestled within the mysterious ambiance of the Everglades atrium, features All Natural Black Angus Beef and handcrafted artisanal cheeses, complemented with an award-winning wine list.
  • Sunset Sam’s, a Key West Grill, and its towering 60-foot sailboat, features New World Floridian cuisine in a fun and festive setting.
  • Villa de Flora, Mediterranean chef’s table offering a fresh and ever-changing, seasonal buffet menu and a delectable Sunday Brunch. ShrekFeast interactive character dining, for “kids” of all ages, is offered seasonally.
  • SORA, a modern sushi bar and lounge. Featuring eclectic, fusion inspired cocktails and handcrafted drinks.
  • SandBar, poolside bar and grill serving up American favorites and ice cold beverages.
  • The Cocoa Bean, the neighborhood coffee bar and market, offers on-the-go bistro fare for breakfast, lunch or dinner – along with a selection of beer and wine.
  • In-Room Dining, offers the finest prepared meals with the freshest ingredients to be enjoyed in the comfort of your hotel room.

There are plenty of activities on site for those who really must get out of their nicely-appointed room and do something.  This is Florida after all and a tourist area too so Gaylord Palms has their characters as well.

DreamWorks Animation films as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Puss in Boots and Madagascar featuring seasonal interactive experiences that include special character breakfasts and fun poolside activities.  Unique Christmastime experiences are added during the holidays.

On-site Recreation and Golf options include:

  • South Beach Pool,  an adult-only, ultra-chic oasis featuring a sophisticated design lined with tropical palms, poolside cabanas and a dedicated cocktail bar
  • Cypress Springs Family Fun Water Park, an Everglades inspired, multi-level tree house with four twisting waterslides, gurgling springs, and an oversized water tipping bucket jam-packed with non-stop interactive fun featuring  Madagascar Crack-A-Lackin’ Pool Parties and  Splash ‘N’ Screen poolside movies
  • Coquina Lawn, 10,000 square feet of green space perfect for private events or enjoying the fresh air and Florida sunshine
  • Close-by Golf- Located nearby and recognized as one of the top 30 courses in the state of Florida by Golf Digest, Celebration Golf is the official golf course partner of Gaylord Palms Resort.

On-site Shopping Includes:

  • Brighton® Collectibles – women’s accessories and gifts
  • Mallory Square Market – gifts, travel accessories, snacks & sundries
  • Marketplace News and Sundries – featuring books, magazines, souvenirs, health and beauty aids
  • PGA Tour® Shop – best-selling golf apparel and merchandise
  • Island Paradise – featuring Florida resort wear and an endless collection of timeless gifts
  • Alligator Alley – Florida inspired apparel, stylish accessories and souvenirs


How To Make It Work
While a great idea, not much is written about including a hotel stay in the Orlando area before or after a cruise.  Oddly, it’s a lot easier than one might imagine and can actually save travel funds over using airport to cruise port transfers of most types.

  • Rent a car at the Orlando Airport that can be dropped in Cocoa Beach where the rental car company will shuttle you to Port Canaveral. Avis and Budget both do this.
  • Select nice accommodations, like one of 1,400 deluxe hotel rooms or a number of suites and presidential suites and make it an event, not just a place to stay for the night.

See more of the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center here-