Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from Cruising Musings!

Happy Thanksgiving 2A Tile
by Ronspassionfordesign


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

We Love Sunsets at Sea

I think most people who cruise value the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful sunrises and sunsets at sea.  Here's one of the sunsets at sea that we enjoyed on our last cruise. (View is from our balcony...  you can see the railing in the picture.)

Friday, November 11, 2011

By the Tracks Mousepad from

Thank You, Veterans

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

And Ecstasy Makes Seven

Carnival Ecstasy
by Night Tracks (creative commons)
The Carnival Ecstasy sailed into her new home port of Port Canaveral on Monday night. And now, there are SEVEN ships home ported at Canaveral year round.  (Plus the Norwegian Sun, which homeports there half of the year.)

This is good news for the suffering local economy, as estimates that the addition of another ship at the port may generate as many as 400 "direct" jobs, and pump millions into the local economy annually.

And it's good news for cruisers, as the ship will broaden options for those cruising from Port Canaveral, offering four and five night voyages to The Bahamas.

There are two choices of four night itineraries, departing on alternating Thursdays:
  • Nassau, Sea Day, and Freeport
  • Nassau,. Half Moon Cay, Day at Sea

Five night itineraries, departing Mondays and Saturdays, also offer two options:
  • Freeport, Nassau, Half Moon Cay, and a Day at Sea
  • Nassau, Freeport, Key West, Sea Day
Related Articles:

Tropical Storm Sean

Subtropical Storm Sean formed in the Atlantic early this morning, about halfway in between The Bahamas and Bermuda, and rather quickly transitioned into Tropical Storm Sean.

Bermuda is now under a Tropical Storm Watch. 

Related pages:
Nationa Hurricane Center
2011 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Journal.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Nautical Tote Bags for Cruising, Beaching it, and Travel

Along with a good selection of other nautical totes and travel bags available elsewhere on the web, some of the canvas cruise totes from CruiseReady on Zazzle are being featured in the article Nautical Totes and Cruise and Travel Bags.

The article also includes three general cruise packing tips that experienced cruisers will be all too familiar with, but that may be of use to those new to cruising.

If you're getting started on your Holiday gift list, you may find some ideas for that special person on your list who loves ships and the sea, traveling, or just a great day at the beach.

Other Articles of interest in this series include

Thursday, October 20, 2011

MV Freewinds

Here's a photo I took of the MV Freewinds several years ago in Barbados.

A little bit of her history:

She sailed the Caribbean, under charter to Commodore, as the Boheme from 1968 - 81, and was the first ship to sail a year-round seven night itinerary from Miami.

Between 1981 and 1985, she was under new ownership, but was again chartered out in 1982-83 for South American itineraries.

Following a refit, she again homported in Miami in 1984, and then in St. Petersburg until late 1986, when she was sold.

Today, she is owned and run by companies connected with the Church of Scientology, and is used as a floating platform for their educational programs.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Custom Cruise Themed Postage

Cruise lovers can spice up their routine mailings with cruise themed postage stamps like these from CruiseReady on Zazzle:

Deck Level View Postage stamp Let's Cruise Custom Postage stamp
Ship in Sepia Postage stamp View from The Aft stamp

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Have You Been To Cozumel?

Have you been to Cozumel?  It's an incredibly popular port of call on Western Caribbean cruise itineraries. 
If you haven't been there (or even if you have) you might enjoy browsing this selection of Pictures of Cozumel, with a little dose of facts and information about Cozumel sprinkeled in.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Friendly Cruise Forum

Looking for cruise information?  Find real chat from real cruisers, along with cruise reviews and more at CruiseLineFans

So, whether you're new to cruising, or a seasoned veteran, you can probably find something to interest you on this site.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Discovery Day in The Bahamas

Bahamas Beach and Palm Tree printCruising Detination:  The Bahamas 

Bahamas Beach and Palm Tree by mljacobs10

In The Bahamas, the first landing of Columbus in the  New World is still celebrated on the original date of the actual landing, October 12,  and is called Discovery Day.  (In the US, the second Monday in October is now designated as the official federal holiday.)

Did you know that Columbus and the men of the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria first came ashore in The Bahamas?  It is known that it was ONE of the islands of The Bahamas, but exactly which one is still being debated. 

Whichever one it was, The Bahamas are certainly a beautiful place, and if you happen to be there on October 12, you can celebrate Discovery Day in lieu of Columbus Day.

I do love visiting our close neighbors off the southest coast of Florida, and I've gathered some Pictures of The Bahamas for you to enjoy.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fun Cruise Buttons and Magnets

Have some fun on your next voyage, with cruise buttons and magnets!

Meet on Lido Magnet magnet Hey Captain button
 Wear a cruise name badge, or humorous button, or put a cute magnet or stateroom door marker on your cabin door.
Bon Voyage to Me! button I cruise . . .Therefore Magnet magnet

You'll find the cruise magnets and buttons shown here, plus lots more, at CruiseReady on Zazzle.
Ocean Waves Cruise Name Badge button Ocean Liner Stateroom Door Marker magnet
Related article:
Here's a link for my Squidoo Lens about Fun Cruise Buttons.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

What are some of the Dining Options on Cruise Ships?

Food on Cruise Ships is a really big deal, with a LOT of it being available.  the bigger the ship, the more food there is, in more places, and in an ever greater variety.
From the main dining room to the buffet, to snack bars, and specialty restaurants, there's someting for everyone. 
See just what the big deal is in this article about food on cruise ships, complete with mouth watering photos of some of the fare.

Related Articles:
Cruise Sea Days
Read All About It - Cruises
The Higginbotham's Affordable Vacation Included a Cruise

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Treat for Cruise History Lovers

I've been perusing a very interesting website this morning, and wanted to pass it along, in case there are others out there who might also enjoy. It's a real treat for anyone who enjoys maritime history.

It's Cruising the Past and has an amazing amount of information, including pictures and video about the great passenger ships that have sailed into history. The header of the site proclaims that it's an "Award Winning Cruise Ship, Ocean Liner, Travel, and social History Website."

Cruising the Past certainly has my vote, and if I had an award to give it, I would!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

iPhone and other Cases for Cruisers

These have been the four most popular iPhone cases this month at CruiseReady on Zazzle:

Personalized Anchor iPhone 4 Case speckcase Stingray iPhone 4 Case speckcase
Anchors Aweigh Personalized iPhone 4 Case speckcaseSensation Personalized Phone Case speckcase

Those shown above are for the iPhone 4.  Designs also available for the iPhone 3, the iPad,  the iPod touch, all by Speck and Doodle Speakers.  
Take your personal favorite along with you on your cruise, and cruise in style.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

More Cruise Gear from CruiseReady on Zazzle

Cruising Multicolor bag

Cruising! Multicolor design line of cruise gear from CruiseReady on Zazzle.  These are just a couple of examples . . .
Thereare lots of different items available in this design.
Cruising Multicolor keychain Cruising Multicolor mug
Cruising Multicolor on wh hat Multicolor Cruising Creeper shirt

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Thirty-Four Years Ago Today

The Love Boat came to life thirty four years ago today.  

Captain Stubing and
the rest of The Love Boat Cast

On September 24, 1977, the TV series The Love Boat began airing.  It was set aboard the Pacific Princess, which was frequently used in filming, as was her sister ship, Island Princess.

Running for nearly 10 years, it inspired many people to take their first cruise.  The final episode aired in May of 1986.

Oh, yes, there were re-runs, too. 

A friend - and fellow member of Cruise Line Fans - actually cruised on Island Princess while segments of The Love Boat were being shot.  He graciously gave me his permission to use some of his wonderful photos in my article, Love Boat, Starring Pacific Princess and Island Princess.  If you were a fan of The Love Boat shows, you might enjoy the article.

Note - Other ships used for special episodes included Royal Princess, Sun Princess, Royal Viking Sky, and Stella Solaris.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Life Ring Themed Cruise Gear

Check out this great life ring themed cruise gear at CruiseReady on Zazzle:

Life Ring Personalized Cruise Shirt shirt Life Ring Personalized Cruise Cap hat

Custom kid's cruise shirt (also availble in adult styles)
and Custom Hat for Group or Family Cruise
Life Ring Personalized Tote Bag bag Life Ring Women's Deck Shoes kedsshoe
Tote Bag and Ladies' Shoes
(children's lace up keds also available)
Life Ring Stateroom Door Marker magnet Life Ring Cruise Name Badge button
Stateroom Door Marker
and Name Badge

Cool, huh?  This is just one of many designs available at CruiseReady on Zazzle.  And there's a whole range of other products, too - including postcards, custom postage, mugs, mousepads, iPod Touch Cases, just to name a few.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

St. Kitts and Nevis

A Day in Paradise print

Have you cruised to St. Kitts?  Then you may be interested to know that the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis will be celebrating Independence Day this coming Monday, September 19.  Twenty-eight years ago Monday, the two island Caribbean nation became independent.

I haven't been there yet, but look forward to the day when I can.  (I hope)
Meanwhile, I really enjoyed putting together this page showcasing Pictures of St. Kitts and Nevis on various products by the artists of Zazzle - from wall art to mousepads, mugs, and totes, to iPhone cases.

Some Related Articles:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

UPDATE: Port of San Juan

The Port of San Juan has re-opened.

Port Closings - T.S. Maria

Tropical Storm Maria
   With Tropical Storm Maria approaching, ports in the northeastern Caribbean are closed or will be closed to incoming vessels.

The Port of San Juan went to condition Yankee last night, which closes the port to incoming traffic.  It is likely that they will move into condition Zulu in the coming hours, and order all ships over a certain gross tonnage out to sea.

Currently due in to the Port of San Juan on Sunday are Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas, and the Carnival Victory.   At this time, Tropical Storm Maria is forecast to be passing to the north of San Juan on Sunday.  

As you can see from the attached satellite image, Maria covers a whole lot of  real estate .  Tropical storm force winds extend out some 200 miles from the center.  However, the NHC tells us that the northeast side of the storm is the worst.  While Puerto Rico may get some awfully bad weather, looks like it could have been worse.  Maria could have taken a more southerly route.

Niether RCCL or CCL has announced changes in  disembarkation / embarkation for tomorrow's scheduled sailings  - YET.  They may or may not have to.  It all depends on Maria.

Royal Caribbean is advising passengers scheduled to sail on Sunday to "monitor the Royal Caribbean website and their airlines for any additional updates regarding the storm and the status of the port."  Carnival cruisers should be monitoring the situation as well.

Royal Caribbean is stationing Guest Assistance Agents in baggage terminals B and D at the San Juan Airport.

The itinerary of the Oasis of the Seas has also been adjusted because of the storm.

Related Articles:

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ultra-Luxury Cruise Line to Move Ships to Miami

Seven Seas Voyager
Regent Seven Seas Cruises will make the Port of Miami its homeport beginning next year, making the move from Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades.

Oceania Cruises, the luxury line also owned by RSSC's parent company, Apollo Management, is already based in Miami.

Together with Oceania, the Seven Seas ships will sail from Terminal J.  As of now, word is that the dedicated use of this terminal, which is newly rennovated, will be for the Oceania and Regent Seven Seas.

Apollo Management also owns a 50% stake in Norwegian Cruise Line.

* PHOTO -  curated from WikiMedia commons under Creative Commons license

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hurricane Irene - Wednesday, Aug 24

Hurricane Irene, having strengthened to a Major Hurricane, is making her way through The Bahamas today.  With maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour, the large Category Three storm is running the length of The Bahamas, and  virtually every one of the nations 3,077 islands, cays, and islets will be affected.

Residents on New Providence, where Nassau is located, have been boarding up, and shelters have been opened.  A bit farther to the north, similar preparations are, do doubt, taking place in Freeport on Grand Bahama Island, and on the Abacos to the east.

In the small island chain of the Berry Islands, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is battening down and evacuating its private island of Coco Cay.

CRUISE NEWS:  To date, at least 15 cruise ship itineraries have been altered to avoid the monster storm.

Related Articles:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tomorrow is National Aviation Day

Tomorrow is set aside as National Aviation Day in the United States.  August 19 was chosen as a day to honor the development of aviation because it is the birthday of one of our great early aviators, Orville Wright. 

NOAA Hurricane Hunter in flight
(public domain photo)
As my own contribution to National Aviation Day, I would like to invite you to read my tribute to some folks who do some amazing work in the air today - Hurricane Hunters.  Here's the link to the article I wrote about them:  Hurricane Hunters - Heroes Flying into the Eye of the Storm

There's a place for your comments near the end of the article.  Why not take a moment to add your own note of thanks to these modern day aviation heroes?

Monday, August 15, 2011

About Cruise Ship Swimming Pools

Here's a link to a little article I wote about Cruise Ship Swimming Pools that my readers might find interesting.

It includes a pretty amazing video showing acrual breakers in the pool as a ship sails through high seas.  This, alone, is really quite something!

I'd love your thoughts on the article linked above...  there's a place at the bottom for your comments, and your visit and comments would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Peak Hurricane Season is upon us

Hurricane at Lake Worth Beach print
Peak Hurricane Season for the Atlantic Basin historically kicks in sometime in the first half of August. 
FYI- the Atlantic Basin includes the Atlantic Ocean the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico
Photo: Hurricane at Lake Worth Beach by heatherlacroix

So, here we are in the very beginning of the peak of the season, climatologically speaking.  What will this peak season bring?

If you're considering taking a cruise, this is certainly a time of year when you can get a pretty good deal... if you are willing to take the (relatively low) risks associated with cruising during hurricane season.  Check out the deals!

For homeowners who live in hurricane country, you know the drill:  check your hurricane supplies and family evacuation plans.  Make sure your NOAA Weather Radio is in good working condition and that you have plenty of extra batteries.  And, if you haven't already done so, prepare for the worst case scenario with insurance, a go-bag, and provisions to protect your windows.  Don't forget hurricane preparedness for your roof, either. 

All that being said ... here's hoping the predictions for this season being an above average one, and of a high probability of major US landfalls (plural) doesn't come to fruition.

Stay safe, every one!  If you're cruising this season, Bon Voyage to you.  And if you are, or aren't... be prepared for the worst, but hope for the best!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jamaica!

Thursday of this week, August 4, is Independence Day in Jamaica.  The island country, located west of the southern tip of Haiti and south of the eastern end of Cuba, has been fully independent since 1962.

Here is a little article I wrote:  Pictures of Jamaica.  As the name indicates, it focuses on quite a few pictures of Jamaica.  Some of them are really beautiful, and others are just kind of fun images. This week would be a good time for you to enjoy them!  The pictures are collected from selected artists and photographers who show and sell their work at Zazzle

Some day, I'd love take a cruise that stops at Kingston, the capital, on August 4, just to see for myself  how Jamaicans celebrate their country's birthday.   My daughter and I visited Grand Cayman on that crown colony's birthday, and enjoyed a very special day in the midst of the celebrations in Georgetown.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Nautical Fashions for Cruising

Have you ever thought of wearing nautical themed fashions or accessories when you go on a cruise?  It's not so far fetched ... 
For example, a gentleman mightwear a nautical themed tie to dinner one night.  A lady might enjoy having an anchor pendant necklace.
Or, how about a cute T shirt or nautical outfit for your young cruiser?

Anchors Aweigh Necklace necklace Sensastion Stripe - Gry tie
Anchors Aweigh Necklace and Sensastion Stripe tie 

Here are several sites you might enjoy.  There are some nice ideas for nautical themed cruise wear and accessories on these three pages:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Last Week Was Quite a Week

Space Shuttle Atlantis
(public domain image from NASA) 

Last week was quite a week. Things were happening all over the globe, and not all of them pleasant.  Last week, there were significant developments in manned space flightnature,in Nature , and sadly, in Norway.


Space Shuttle Atlantis retured to earth for the last time. The good news is, she brought herself and her crew home safely. The bad news is that she'll never do it again. Nor will any other shuttle. NASA's manned space flight program has been scuttled. And along with it, thousands of jobs, and the space dominance of the U S of A. It was a sad day.

We had THREE named storms at one point in the week: Tropical Storms Bret and Cindy in the Atlantic and Hurricane Dora in the Pacific. The good news is that NONE of them made landfall. The (maybe) not so good news is that it was a very active week for the tropics, and no one knows if this was a foreshadowing of things to come. The NHC and other organizations sure think it will be an active season. You can see their 2011 Hurricane Season Predictions here.

The Royal Palace in Oslo
was not attacked
(public domain photo)
There was horror and terror in a place that is usually known for its peaceful environment - Norway. 
A madman set off a bomb in central Oslo then proceded to a youth camp being held on an island.  There, dressed as a policeman, he shot and killed at least 84 young people.
There is NO reason for civilized human beings to behave this way towards one another.  Unlike the work that NASA does, it's NOT rocket science.  Just be nice to everyone. 
Today, we are holding the people of Norway in our hearts.  They have our deepest sympathies and most fervent prayers.

The past week was not one that will soon be forgotten for several reasons... but Norway is uppermost in our minds right now. 

It's my sincere hope that the week ahead will bring different ... and much happier news. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cruise Alert - NCL Files for IPO

Soon, U.S. Wall Street investors will be able to buy stock in Norwegian Cruise Line.  The company has filed for an Initial Public Offering to sell $250 million in common shares on the New York Stock Exchange.   No word yet (that I saw) on what their symbol will be.  (NCL is already in use by Nuveen Insured California Premium Income Municipal Fund.)

This will mean that the three main players in the U.S. cruise market will now be on the ticker.

The cruise line has said it also has plans for listing on the NASDAQ, as NCLH.

Wonder if NCL will be offering discounts or OBC's to stockholders?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Six Years Ago Today: Hurricane Dennis

Six years ago today, Hurricane Dennis was assaulting Navarro Beach, Florida.  Dennis was the first Major Hurricane to make landfall on our own shores during the record-setting 2005 Hurricane Season.  There were 28 named storms that year - the most ever for a single season.

Hurricane name lists are on a six year cycle, so the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane names are the same ones that were used in 2005,  except for the names of the five storms that were so devistating their names were retired for good.

2005 was also the year of Hurricane Katrina, and some may have forgotten the year, but no one has forgotten how horrifying she was. So many lives were changed . . . 

So far, knock on wood, this year hasn't been a repeat of 2005, even though many of the names will be the same.  On the same date in 2005, we were already up to the 'D' name on the alphabetical list.  This year, we've only seen the 'A' storm - Arlene.  

Word from the National Hurricane Center today is that "TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS."  Here's hoping our luck holds! 

Related Stories: