Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Treat - and a Travel Alert

Monarch of the Seas at Port Canaveral
Cruisers sailing on this Friday's sailing of The Monarch of the Seas may have an extra special treat, courtesy of NASA. 

The  Space Shuttle Endeavor is scheduled to lift off on its final mission - ever - at 3:47 pm.  Aim to be on board by 2 pm at the latest for a premium view of an event of a lifetime.  Be sure your camera is in your pocket, purse, or carry on.  You won't want to miss the opportunity to capture this historic event.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Expect unprecedented traffic on your way to the port.  If you are driving in the day of the cruise, be advised that you would be wise to allow an absolute minimum of  two to three extra hours of drive time from any direction.  And, truthfully, it's difficult to say if even that will be enough. The roads will be all jammed, especially the Beachline from the airport all the way to the port.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Port Canaveral to EXPAND with New Terminal, Berths, Dredging

Mariner of the Seas at Terminal 10 (2004)
HooRay!!! Port Canaveral in about to go into expansion mode.  Yesterday, the Port Authority gave their go-ahead for a new Cruise Terminal to accomodate the Carnival Ecstacy, and also a new berth at Terminal 10,  which is where the Royal Caribbean ships currently dock.  The Carnival Dream also uses Terminal 10, as do some other ships when making port calls here.

Now, here's a little tidbit that was only a mention in the article in Florida Today - also approved was a dredging project  ". . . that will help the port accommodate the largest cruise ships." 

Right now the three largest cruise ships that call Port Canaveral home are:
  • Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas - 154,407 g.t.; length-1112';  passenger capacity - 3646 - 4375
  • The Carnival Dream  - 130,000 gt; length -1004'; passenger capacity - ~ 3600-4000
  • The Disney Dream - 130,000 g.t.; length - 1115'; passenger capacity - ~ 4000
 Sure sounds like some real possibilities of good things to come for the Space Coast from the cruise industry!

More about Port Canaveral's Two Dreams.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Another Hurricane Season Approaches

Hurricane Epsilon (2005) from space. (NASA public domain photo)

Unbelievably, the beginning of the 2011 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season is only 45 days away.  This month, experts once again called for an above average season in terms of tropical activity, with a greater chance than last year of a US landfall.
HURRICANE SEASON for the Atlantic Basin:  June 1 - November 30
Peak activity is usually August - October 

Last year, Hurricane Alex didn't appear until almost the end of June.  And, in 2007, Subtropical Storm Andrea was named on May 6!  So, who knows when Arlene - the first name on this year's list - will arrive?  No one, really. 

The list of the names that will be used this year is the same list that was used for the hyperactive 2005 season, except for the FIVE names from that year that were retired. To see this years list, including the five new names, which ones they are replacing, and why, see  Atlantic Basin 2011 Hurricane Names.   Here's a hint:  Hurricane Katrina.

Pre-season reminders:
1 - Check your supply of betteries.
2 - Make sure your NOAA Weather Alert Radio is in good working condition.
3 - Where are your important papers and data?  Can you easily grab them for evacuation?
4 - Review your evacuation plans.  Don't forget to include your pets!
5 - Check seasonal cruise prices.  (It's often cheaper to cruise during peak hurricane season)