Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ships Come and Go at the Port

Monarch of the Seas at Port Canaveral

Port Canaveral is gaining a new home ported ship next weekend, and will be losing one next year.

First, Saturday's gain
The New Disney Fantasy will be officially welcomed to Port Canaveral with a Sail-a-bration at Jetty Park next Saturday.  The Sail-a-bration is timed to see the Fantasy off on her 'maiden' boyage from the port, and will include prizes and entertainment.

I'm sure a good time will be had by all.  We've attended these Sail-a-brations in the past, and they're fun. 


Saturday, March 31, 4:00pm to 6:00 pm
Jetty Park
Admission: Non-perishable food item for the Central Brevard Sharing Center

Now, the Sadder News
Royal Caribbean has announced that they will be transferring the Monarch of the Seas to the Pullmantur fleet next year.  So, Port Canaveral will be losing their Sovereign Class ship.    

Her final sailing as a Royal Caribbean ship will be on March 29, 2013.

Even sadder is that no replacement ship for the Monarch has been announced.  However, the Port and Royal Caribbean are reportedly "in discussions" regarding the line "retaining a two-ship presence" here.

Oh, yes, please!
And can we have a Vision or Radiance class ship?  Or, maybe even a Celebrity ship?  OR BOTH?

Cruise Line Fans - Forum for Cruisers

If you're an avid cruiser, and enjoy interacting with like-minded souls, you should check out Cruise Line Fans, a friendly forum for cruisers.

And if you're new to cruising, or just considering taking your first one, you're sure to find lots of helpful advice there, too.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

One Month and Counting

"Titanic Sinking," (PD-US, PD-1923)
by German maritime artist, Willie Stower

A month from now, we'll be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic.  You'll be hearing plenty about the fateful voyage of the luxury ocean liner between now and then. 

Chances are, you'll be party to some conversation, somewhere, during which the subject may come up.  It's timely, and it's an historical event with which many people are utterly fascinated.  If you'd like to familiarize yourself with some of the details, you might want to browse through several easy to read articles about several different aspects of what happened during and as a result of the events of the night of April 14 - 15, 1912, beginning with Pictures of the Titanic

For example - is it just a myth that the band went down with the ship, and played until the end?  No, not really!  They did go down with the ship, and played until they could no longer.   Wallace Hartley and the Titanic Band were hailed as heroes.

Do you know the name of the ship that came to the rescue of the 700+ passengers who survived the sinking of the Titanic?  Captain Rostron of the RMS Carpathia pushed his ship to her limits to get her swiftly to the site of the tragedy.

Related Stories:

Who Was the Captain of the Titanic?
Captain Edward John Smith, 62, was Master of RMS Titanic. He was not only highly respected within the maritime community, but admired by passengers who had s...
Sister Ships of the Titanic
Everyone knows the story of the sinking of the Titanic, but not everyone knows that the RMS Titanic was one of a trio of sister ships that also included the ...
Books About Titanic for Kids - New Releases
Why books about Titanic for kids? Everyone is interested in learning more about Titanic these days, and that includes kids. It's been 100 years since Titani...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Farewell, Pacific Princess

Star of The Love Boat Sold for Scrap

The Pacific Princess in 1987 (public domain photo)
Pacific Princess, star of the Love Boat TV series, has been sold for scrap, according to news sources. 
It's a sad day for fans of the Love Boat, and for anyone who cruised on Pacific Princess, or the other ship that was occasionaly used in filming, the Island Princess.
It happens...  We'd like to think that our favorite ships will go on forever, but that simply cannot be. 

She was reportedly sold for scrap for about $3.3 million, to an unnamed demolition company, based in Turkey.

Farewell, Princess.  You were well loved, and will be long and fondly remembered. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Side by Side

Radiance of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas,
docked side by side

I am SO ready to cruise! 
It will be a while, though . . .

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sometimes, in the Wake of a Tragedy

Tragedies at sea cause us to take a closer look at some of the factors involved, and to make changes.   Admitted, it's a reactive process, but that's reality.

So far, two changes - regarding mustering and saluting -  have been made following the sinking of the Costa Concordia.

There had been a muster drill scheduled for the morning of January 14, 2012.  But, the emergency occurred on the evening of the 13th.  Passengers who had not yet been required to assemble at their assigned muster stations to recieve their safety briefing lacked crucial information.  Yet,  Concordia was in compliance with regulations requiring that muster be held in the first 24 hours.  

It's now required that Muster Drill be performed before departure. This new rule was put into place by  Cruise Lines International Association, the European Cruise Council and the Passenger Shipping Association.

As you can read in a story in the New York Times, last week the government of  Italy passed a law banning cruise ship salutes of islands and coastal towns.  Captain Schettino was performing a close sail by or salute to the island of Giglio when the Costa Concordia got too close, and tragedy ensued.  In a salute, the officer at the helm is basically deviating from the planned course, and coming close to land.  This had been being done, on occasion, apparently in order for the ship to 'wave' to those on shore, to give the passengers a closer view, and to generate a little publicity.

Remind you of anything?  Yep.  Titanic immediately springs to mind.

A century ago, the world became accutely and painfully aware that, even though RMS Titanic carried more lifeboat 'seats' than required by law, she still had  enough to accomodate only about 1/3 of her possible passengers + crew.  Though slightly over 700 Titanic survivors were rescued by RMS Carpathia, the lifeboats weren't even filled to capacity.   Following the convention of women and children first, many men stood by while seats went unfilled.  After Titanic, the lifeboat laws were changed.