Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A First for Port Canaveral Cruise Port

On September 20 of next yeaar, the Norwegian Sun will leave the white cliffs of Dover behind as she departs for Port Canaveral, Florida, USA. She'll arrive in her new home port 15 days later, on October 5, 2010., stopping along the way at the Island of Gurnsey; Waterford, Ireland; La Caruna, Spain; and Ponta Delgada in the Azores.

So, what is the great significance of this sailing, other than, at the end of it, Port Canaveral will get another great cruise ship for cruisers to sail on? This will be the first time EVER that Port Canaveral will be the US destination port for a TransAtlantic sailing. That's rignt - England to the US, terminating at our own Port Canaveral! It's another first for one of the world's fastest growing cruise ports. We look forward to welcoming Norwegian Cruise Lines back to Port Canaveral!

This little news tidbit brought to you by

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Andres Downgraded

Andres has weakened and has been downgraded to a Tropical Drpression.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hurricane Andres

Andres has become the first Hurricane of the EPAC Hurricane Season.
As of 8 PM, eastern time -
Location: About 70 Miles W of Manzanillo,MX, and heading NW at 13 mph
Maximum Sustained Winds: 75 mph, with higher gusts. CATEGORY 1
Minimum Central Pressure: 988 mb

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tropical Storm Andres

Overnight, the first named storm of the Eastern Pacific (EPAC) Hurricane Season made its debut south-southeast of Manzanillo, Mexico. As of 5:00 this morining, Tropical Storm Andres had maximum sustained winds near 50 mph, and was tracking to the west-northwest, away from land, but is expected to turn towards the Baja peninsua.

The Carnival Splendor, and Royal Caribean's Mariner of the Seas normally call at the ports of Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta on Tuesdays through Fridays of their week long Mexican Riviera itineraries. As of now, it looks as though Andres' itinerary may include those same ports this week. Passengers aboard those two ships may be in for some rough seas and / or possible itinerary changes.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Watching the Cruise Ships Sail

Yesterday, we paid a short visit to Jetty Park to see an Atlas V rocket leave earth on its mission to the moon. Because of the heavy cloud cover, we didn't SEE the rocket launch so much as we HEARD it. But, since the launch was scheduled for within the 5:00 hour, we also got to see two ships sail down Port Canaveral's ship channel as they set out on their weekly Thursday sailings. First, the Disney Wonder (aove) sailed past us, in a bit of a hurry to get out to sea before the rocket blasted off.

The rocket launched in the third one second launch window at 05:32 PM, and we did get a quick glimpse of the bright ball of light before it disappeared into the thick cloud deck. Of course, the sound of rocket's roar trailed the sight by some seconds, and went on and on afterwards, thrilling the crowd that was gathered along the edge of the water. With the overcast conditions, it's bearly discernable in the picture at right, but look for a bright dot just above the little rise. Even this close to the launch site (about 8-10 miles), you really needed binoculars on this particular day.

With the launch over, the Carnival Sensation was free to begin her T hursday run, just a little later than usual. So, it wasn't long before she sauntered down the channel on her way out to sea, filled with happy cruisers on their way to the Bahamas.

We headed for home, impressed once again with the intellectual might that is NASA, proud to be citrizens of a country that accomplishes such great things, and silently wishing the cruisers on the two ships a hearty "Bon Voyage."

Brought to you by Binoculars from www.CruiseReadyStore.com

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cruisers Today May Be Treated to a Launch

If you are sailing on the Disney Wonder or the Carnival Sensation, out of Port Canaveral today, you may be in for an extra treat.
NASA's unmanned Atlas V rocket, bound for the moon, may be lifting off right around sailing time this afternoon.
There are three possible very brief launch windows between 5:00 and 6 PM this today. The first is at 5:12 PM, and the last is at 5:32 PM. At this hour, there is a forecast 60% chance of weather conditions being favorable for launch. The powerful rocket is positioned on the pad at launch complex 41, which is about 8 miles north of the seaward end of the ship channel.
NOTE TO JUNE 18 Port Canaveral Cruisers:
Keep your eyes peeled for a spectacular event, courtesy of the fabulous folks at Kennedy Space Center!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cruise NCL? Get some free Pepsi, or Win a Cruise for Two

Looks like Norwegian Cruise Line will be ditching Coke and switching to Pepsi as their on board soda. Although the cruise line's website still lists Coke products as being the available beverages for the all you can drink soda package, that is apparently slated to change to read Pepsi products instead. I have been unable to find out exactly when this change will actually take place, but it seems pretty certain that it WILL take place, in light of a couple of special promotions that are already underway:

1. FREE ON BOARD SODA PACKAGES. Use promo code PGPOP when booking an NCL Cruise from now through October 15, 2009. Valid on sailings through 2010.

2. Sip - Save- Refresh Sweepstakes. WIN A FREE CRUISE for two to Alaska or Europe, including airfare. Details available on a dedicated website: http://www.pepsisipsaverefresh.com/

Brought to you by Cruise Ready Store

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Oasis of the Seas takes 'Passenger' on Sea Trials

Three days of Sea Trials began on Monday for Royal Caribbean's 220,000 gt new build, the Oasis of the Seas.

The Sea Trials:  During these three days, the ship, due for her inaugural sailing in early December, will undergo tests of speed, handling, maneuverabioity, endurance, stopping, and something known as 'seakeeping.' Seakeeping is intended to take a measure of the level of probable passenger comfort due to the ship's handling of the 'motion of the ocean' in various sea conditions.

The "Passenger:"  No small amount of speculatoin has been generated by the fact that the Oasis has an unusual 'passenger' on her sea trials. It's a blimp shaped balloon tied to her stern. From what Richard Fain (RC'i's chairman) has said, the balloon is, tself, undergoing a sea trial of sorts. It may or may not come along with the big ship when she goes intoi actual service, but it's an idea being tested.

Fain has given the idea a less than 50% chance of making it through the final cut. If it does, and if an optoin for a 'ride' in the balloon (as speculation has it) becomes a reality, it could be quite a draw for thrill seekers.

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Happy Birthday, Harry!

Cruising Musings would like to take this opportunity to wish a Very Happy Birthday to Harry Cottreil, our young British friend. Why? Because he's a very nice fellow, and he turns 15 today.
What does Harry's birthday have to do with cruising? I'll explain THAT in a short article about him next week, complete with a photo that he was kind enough to send me this morning. BUT, FOR NOW -

Happy Birthday, Harry!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Considerations for Cruising During Hurricane Season

A few days ago, I promised a slightly expanded version of a few very basic tips for cruising during hurricane season found on my Tips for New Cruisers page.
As promised, here they are:

1 - KNOW that there are for possible trade-offs for those cheaper fares, so be prepared for them.

2 - ARRIVE at your port city EARLY (at least a day early.) When there’s an active storm, the port authority could close down the port and order all ships to sea hours early. You don't want to be left at the dock in a strange city with a mean storm approaching... you might even find that you're stuck there, and that hotel rooms are scarce, due to local evacuation orders.

3 - ALWAYS buy travel insurance. Don't even think about going without it.

4 - Cruise flexibily. ACCEPT the fact that the captain WILL divert the ship’s course to keep you safe. This may include substituting an alternate port, or missing one or more ports entirely. So, if you have your heart set on a certain port,don't count on getting there with absolute ceertainty via cruise ship during hurricane season. If you feel your vacation will be a disaster because you couldn't go to X place while it was under siege by hurricane or tropical Storm Whomever, you aare setting yourself up for possible disappointment.

5 - BE PREPARED prepared for your cruise to end a day earlier or later than scheduled - or to end up at a different place than you originally sailed from – and make travel arrangements to your home that can be adjusted accordingly. Again be flexible. It may not happen at all, but it could, so make travel plans that can be changed fairly easiy if it should become necessary.

6 - Take along plenty of your favoirte remedy for the ill effects of the motion of the ocean. There's a chance you'll experience more of that during the season than at other times. I usually tuck a couple of packs of a natural remedy, like ginger candies in my suitcase. Eventhough I don't normally need them, someone I'm sailing with might.

These hurricane season cruising basics brought to you by

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hurrcane Season is here - officially

Today, June 1, is the official start of the Atantic Basin Hurricane Season. It runs through November 30. Let's all make of official good wish for today one for a safe hurricane season, with a fewer than average number of storms, and no landfalling major hurricanes.