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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Interesting Video - Silver Whisper Transiting the Cape Cod Canal

I was looking through some YouTube Videos and I found this nice video of the SilverSea Cruises luxury cruise ship Silver Whisper transiting the Cape Cod Canal. See as the Sliver Whisper squeaks under a bridge during the transit.


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Friday, October 21, 2016

Scenic Cruises Provide More Details on Their New Exploration Yacht - Scenic Eclipse.

We’d like to introduce you to the Scenic Eclipse.  The world’s first discovery yacht.  The point on the map where luxury meets discovery.

Launching on August 31, 2018, Scenic Eclipse will embark on her maiden voyage from Istanbul to Venice before sailing to The Americas, Antarctica, Europe and The Mediterranean; and the Arctic and Norwegian Fjords.

Designed to deliver a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience for just 228 guests, Scenic Eclipse take ocean cruising to a whole new level – marrying luxury, discovery and safety, and giving guests the opportunity to explore above and beyond  what was previously unimaginable.

Luxury Suites:  From the moment you step on board you will be surrounded by unparalleled luxury.  From opulent suites and 5-star on-board amenities, to attentive service and world-class cuisine, your every wish is granted on Scenic Eclipse.  Akin to the finest hotels in the world, your time on board will be one of the greatest luxury experiences you’ll ever have.

All-Inclusive Luxury:  Scenic Eclipse takes ocean cruising to a whole new level of luxury and elegance.  Your time on board will be one of world-class indulgence and absolute discovery.  From the ultimate spa experience to the spacious lounges and bars, outdoor terraces, pool and jacuzzis, not to mention the theatre and of course your own private verandah, the luxurious wonders on board Scenic Eclipse never cease.

Discovery Adventures:  Scenic Eclipse lets you go beyond the horizon.  From local tours to Zodiac, kayak, snorkeling, scuba diving, helicopter and submarine excursions, guests can enjoy exclusive access to locations larger ships can’t reach.  Experience unique  moments that showcase natural spectacles, superior hospitality and the natural wonders of the world.

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Royal Caribbean's New Harmony of the Seas - Details.

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas - Currently the largest Cruise Ship
Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas - Currently the Largest Cruise Ship

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas is the world’s largest cruise ship with a bold and unexpected lineup of thrilling experiences found nowhere else on land or at sea. Harmony combines the distinct seven-neighborhood concept that sister-ships Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas are known for, with some of the most modern and groundbreaking amenities, including imaginative dining, unparalleled entertainment and the latest technology, such as VOOM, the fastest internet at sea. From the Ultimate Abyss, a thrilling 10-story tall slide, to unparalleled entertainment including Broadway’s hit musical Grease and high-diving, acrobatic performances in the iconic AquaTheater, world-class dining in venues ranging from Jamie’s Italian Cuisine by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver to Wonderland, a unique whimsical culinary adventure for the senses; and robot bartenders, there is an adventure for guests of all ages onboard Harmony.

Harmony of the Seas spans 16 guest decks, encompasses 226,963 gross registered tons, carries 5,479 guests at double occupancy, and features 2,747 staterooms. For more information about Harmony, please visit

 Harmony of the Seas Ship Profile and Statistics
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
Ship Type:Cruise Ship
Line Class:Mainstream
Year Built:2016
Deck Quantity:16
Passenger Capacity:5,400
Gross Tonnage:226,000
Length:1187 ft
Beam:154 ft
Speed:23 knots
Inside Cabins:496
Outside Cabins:2,210
Number of Crew:2,394

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Godmother Search for Royal Caribbean's New Harmony of the Seas
Godmother Search for Royal Caribbean's New Harmony of the Seas
After receiving nearly one thousand motivating and heartfelt nominations from across South Florida, three standout candidates have been selected as finalists in Royal Caribbean International’s search for an educator who is inspiring the next generation to dream big, think differently and challenge the status quo. On Oct. 24, one finalist will be named the winner, and honored as Godmother of Harmony of the Seas, the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ship, during an official naming ceremony on Nov. 10, 2016. The South Florida-based cruise line also will award a $25,000 grant to the winner’s school or non-profit organization, funding education initiatives that further her mission to inspire the local community’s youth.

“We’ve seen an overwhelming response from the community with an outpouring of exceptional nominations from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.  It is an honor to be able to recognize such inspiring educators for the work they do to make a positive impact on our youth,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “These three upstanding individuals have demonstrated unwavering passion and dedication, going above and beyond the classroom to make a huge difference in the community. We thank everyone who participated by recognizing our many heroes in education; they are leading the way in inspiring our youth to dream big, and that’s work we all can be proud of.” 

Consumers are encouraged to visit through October 14 to cast their vote for the finalist they feel is the most inspiring and making the biggest impact on South Florida’s youth. The three educators chosen as finalists are:

  • Brittany Affolter, Manager, Teacher Leadership Development, Teach for America Miami-Dade
Brittany Affolter was inspired by her teachers to leave an unhealthy home, attend college, and become an educator. To help pay it forward to others like her, Brittany now trains teachers at 14 low-income schools in Miami-Dade County, serving more than 500 students. In her spare time, she tutors her former students, is working to become a mentor for children in foster care, and completing her masters in educational leadership. At just 23 years old, Brittany’s accomplishments are many and include starting the first-ever robotics and coding after-school program while teaching at Miami-Dade County public schools as a Teach for America corps member, and engaging her students to author a book about making the world a better place, which received attention from the White House and major sports organizations, such as the Miami Dolphins football team.
  • Katherine O’Fallon, Magnet Coordinator, New River Middle School
Katherine (Katie) O’Fallon has been sharing her passion and knowledge for marine science with middle school students since 2006, and quickly learned that her greatest joy came from the wonder in a child’s discovery of their passion for marine science. She strives to inspire students to immerse themselves in the underwater world, and apply what they learn by getting involved in their local community.  Exposing her sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students to environmental issues, Katie fosters stewardship and encourages them to be proactive in preserving and protecting their local habitat. She hosts multiple coastal clean-ups, engaging everyone from students and parents, to faculty and community partners; and organizes a variety of daily field experiences for students, including snorkeling trips in Fort Lauderdale and the Keys, shark-tagging with Nova Southeastern University and trips to local state parks. One of Katie’s newest and most innovative projects is the school’s remotely operated vehicles (ROV) program, where students learn and hone their skills in both the marine and engineering disciplines.
  • Anike Sakariyawo, Physical Science Teacher at Miami Norland Senior High School
Anike Sakariyawo has taught various grade levels for more than 13 years, and is currently the physical science teacher lead for the ninth-grade students at Miami Norland Senior High School. Anike’s passion for education extends beyond the classroom and standard school schedule; she is the founder of Seeking Education Empowers Knowledge (S.E.E.K.)   ̶   a local non-profit that aims to empower teenagers, parents, teachers and the community. S.E.E.K. serves over 1,000 at risk youth in urban and rural areas with unique programming such as digital literacy, robotics, coding, electricity basics and how to create a product and a business plan. Each year, she holds the “Get Hip & Fit Fair” in July on Miami Beach for more than 500 kids from Miami-Dade and Broward County non-profit organizations, and also works with student volunteers to feed and clothe the homeless each month.

For more information on each of the finalists as well as the role of Royal Caribbean godmothers, past and present, visit

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Royal Caribbean Orders New builds from Meyer Werft Tuku Yard
Royal Caribbean Orders New builds from Meyer Werft Tuku Yard

The newest class of ships from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and introduce the use of fuel cell technology, ushering in a new era of shipbuilding that will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The ships will join the fleet of Royal Caribbean International, an industry leader in innovation and breakthrough ship design.

RCL said that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with shipbuilder Meyer Turku for the new class of vessel under the project name "Icon." The vessels will be delivered in the second quarters of 2022 and 2024. In the meantime, the company said, it will begin testing fuel cell technology on an existing Oasis-class ship in 2017, and will also run progressively larger fuel cell projects on new Quantum-class vessels being built in the next several years.

Royal Caribbean is already known for making steady progress on energy efficiency and reduced emissions through such technologies as air lubrication, which sends billions of microscopic bubbles along the hull of a ship to reduce friction, and AEP scrubbers, which clean exhaust gases before they leave the ship. Use of the new technologies will result in much cleaner emissions, as they produce no sulfur and significantly reduce the production of nitrogen oxides and particulates.

“With Icon class, we move further in the journey to take the smoke out of our smokestacks," said Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. "We are dedicated to innovation, continuous improvement, and environmental responsibility, and Icon gives us the opportunity to deliver against all three of these pillars."

“Our guests expect us to push every envelope we can,” said Michael Bayley, president and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean International. "And on this new class of ship, we began by challenging ourselves to find a new approach to power and propulsion that is safe, reliable, and more energy-efficient than ever before." Bayley added that exciting and innovative new guest experience elements of the Icon class design will be revealed later in the development process.

“Our partnership with RCL has created a number of groundbreaking ship classes, such as Oasis, Celebrity Solstice, Quantum, and Mein Schiff, and we are grateful that Royal Caribbean is again  giving us the opportunity to partner with them on a new class of ships,” said Jan Meyer, the CEO of Meyer Turku.

The switch to LNG provides further momentum for the technology, which has begun making significant inroads in the maritime industry. "Increasing the commitment to LNG makes it easier for suppliers to make their own infrastructure commitments," said Fain. "As more ships are built for LNG, the number of ports that support it will grow." The Icon ships are expected to run primarily on LNG but will also be able to run on distillate fuel, to accommodate occasional itineraries that call on ports without LNG infrastructure.

The introduction of fuel cells represents another dramatic step forward for the maritime industry, which has only made limited experiments using the technology. "We believe fuel cells offer very interesting design possibilities," said Harri Kulovaara, RCL's chief of ship design. "As the technology becomes smaller and more efficient, fuel cells become more viable in a significant way to power the ship's hotel functions. We will begin testing those possibilities as soon as we can, and look to maximize their use when Icon class debuts."

Kulovaara said RCL had been eyeing fuel cells for nearly a decade, and believes the technology is now at a stage of development that justifies investment. "There is a long lead time for Icon class, and we will use that time to work with Meyer Turku to adapt fuel cell technology for maritime use." Kulovaara said that additional regulatory standards would also need to be developed for the technology.

Because of the long lead time, Kulovaara said that many Icon design elements are in early stages. The Icon ships would likely accommodate approximately 5,000 passengers, he said, but details are still being worked out.

Icon is the first new ship class announced by RCL since Celebrity Cruises' new Edge class, which debuts in 2018. The company is also expanding its fleet with new Oasis- and Quantum-class ships for Royal Caribbean International. Fain said the new ships are in line with RCL's strategy of moderate capacity growth.

This order is contingent upon the completion of contractual conditions, including documentation and financing.  Final contracts are expected to be completed by year end. Based upon current ship orders, projected capital expenditures for full year 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 are $2.4 billion, $0.5 billion, $2.6 billion, $1.5 billion and $2.0 billion, respectively. Capacity increases for 2016 through 2020 remain unchanged and do not include potential ship sales or additions that the company may elect to make in the future.

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Monday, October 17, 2016


Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Bliss to Sail Seasonally From Alaska
Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Bliss to Sail Seasonally From Alaska

Norwegian Cruise Line will once again pioneer a new era of Alaska cruising beginning June 2018, as the company announced today that its next new vessel, named Norwegian Bliss, will be the first cruise ship custom-built with features and amenities for the ultimate Alaska cruise experience. Norwegian Bliss will cruise to America’s Last Frontier from Seattle and will be the first Norwegian Cruise Line ship to make its debut in the Emerald City. 
At a ceremony held at Port of Seattle’s Pier 66, Norwegian President and CEO Andy Stuart shared the exciting news, alongside Port of Seattle CEO Ted Fick and Port of Seattle Commission President John Creighton.
“Norwegian was the first cruise line to begin cruising to Alaska from Seattle in 2000 and it’s only fitting that we bring our newest ship, Norwegian Bliss, directly to this incredible location,” said Andy Stuart, President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Alaska is one of the top destinations for our guests to explore and we are thrilled to be the first cruise line to offer our guests the opportunity to experience this coveted destination aboard a brand new, state-of-the-art cruise ship custom designed for Alaska, the first of its kind to ever debut in Seattle.”
The third ship in the line’s Breakaway-Plus class, Norwegian Bliss is designed with features and amenities to offer guests the ultimate Alaska cruising experience.  At approximately 167,800 gross tons and accommodating 4,000 guests, the ship will be constructed at MEYER WERFT in Papenburg, Germany and scheduled for delivery in Spring 2018. 
After a transatlantic cruise and a Panama Canal transit through the new locks, the ship will sail north along the West Coast, reaching Seattle for the start of the summer cruising season.  Norwegian Bliss will sail weekly seven-day Alaska cruises each Saturday from Pier 66 in Seattle, offering guests the premier way to see America’s last frontier, while also providing all of the innovative features, entertainment, signature dining and onboard experiences that Norwegian Cruise Line is known for around the globe. The ship’s itinerary will feature calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, British Columbia, along with scenic glacier cruising.
            Continuing Norwegian’s tradition of decorating each ship’s hull with signature art, Norwegian has also announced that the world’s premier marine life artist, Wyland, has been commissioned to design the hull artwork for Norwegian Bliss.  Known for his iconic whale murals, marine life paintings and sculptures, Wyland has inspired generations to be passionate about the importance of marine life conservation. The enormous extent of Wyland’s public artworks, his award-winning art galleries and his non-profit foundation’s community service projects have made him one of the world’s most recognized and beloved artists. His engaging and beautiful design for Norwegian Bliss’ hull art will be revealed later this month. 
            To further enhance the overall guest experience for cruisers from Seattle, Norwegian’s parent company, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, has entered into a groundbreaking 15-year agreement with the Port of Seattle to collectively invest $30 million to upgrade the Pier 66 facilities. From expanding the guest check-in space by 300% to more than 150,000 square feet to a new VIP lounge with expansive views of Elliott Bay and the addition of two new elevated passenger boarding bridges to provide easy and comfortable passenger boarding, the new amenities will provide guests with the perfect send-off to start their Alaskan adventure. 
“The Port of Seattle is proud to partner with Norwegian Cruise Line as we work to bring people from around the world to see the great Pacific Northwest from Seattle to Alaska,” said Port of Seattle CEO Ted Fick.  “Our long relationship together is evident in this historic and unprecedented 15-year lease here at Pier 66.”
Norwegian Bliss will feature amenities and interactive experiences that will excite and inspire, and more details on the ship’s accommodations, dining and onboard offerings will be shared in the coming months. The ship will be available for reservations in January 2017. 

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

In The Video Mood - Part 7 - Synopsis of the Life of the Queen Elizabeth 2 - QE2

I saw this video and I knew I had to share it with visitors. This video is a synopsis of the life of Cunard Line's Queen Elizabeth 2. The QE2 was built in 1969 and sailed for Cunard until 2008. Her primary itinerary was transatlantic cruises between New York and Southampton.

Currently the liner is tied up in the backwaters of Dubai - awaiting her next assignment. Plan to covert her into a floating hotel and entertainment center in Dubai or Asia have fallen through.  Reports indicate that the pristine liner is receiving less care and upkeep now that her full time maintenance staff has been reduced.

It was also stated that there was a clause in her purchase agreement that stated she could not be resold for 10 years. If true that contract will expire in the next 2 years.

Hopefully the liner will find employment again. I hope you enjoy this video.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

In the Video Mood - Part 6 - Visit to the Decaying S/S United States

I found this video on a recent visit to the S/S United States. The United States was once the pride of the American Passenger fleet. She was laid up in 1969 and had not sailed since.  The United States has had various owners over the years - all with hopes of restoring her to her glory.

Now the United States is owned by the United States Conservancy - which is actively trying to find a funder / buyer / partner for the decaying liner to help restore her to her former glory.

Within the last year high end cruise operator, Crystal Cruises, had expressed an interest in the great liner and  restoring her for luxury cruises. Crystal expected to invest over $800 Million dollars to restore / modernize the vessel and bring her up to today's standards.  After an extensive evaluation, it was deemed that the S/S United States needed entirely too much work and there were some design limitations which made her unsuitable for their needs. Crystal Cruises has since abandoned the project but has offered to fund her layup costs for the next year.

The ship remains tied up in Philadelphia awaiting a further fate. Unfortunately, based on this video, the ship is is in severe disrepair and hopes of finding an investor with deep pockets to convert the ship into a usable state seem slim.

The conservancy is currently paying $60K per month to maintain the liner at its current berth. It is being considered having the vessel towed to New York and berthed at a Brooklyn pier, free of charge, until next steps are determined. The owner of the pier is hoping the United States could be eventually restored a stationary hotel, entertainment and restaurant venue combined with other attractions developed on the Brooklyn waterfront.

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Monday, October 10, 2016

In a Video Mood - Part 5 - Launching and Life of Home Lines Homeric of 1985

Although this video is comprised of still photographs - it represents how much ship construction has progressed in a short time. This video shows the launching on Home Line's Homeric of 1985. Built by Meyer Werft, she was the first major cruise liner built by the shipyard. Today the cruise ships are built in a covered dry-docks and floated out upon completion.

Notice in the photos - the ship is constructed on land, outside and slid into the water upon launching. It is really an interesting series of photos. In addition, the graceful and sleek lines of the new Homeric are quite evident in the photos showing her in her Home Lines days.

She was later sold to Holland America and Lengthened and renamed the Westerdam and subsequently sold to Costa Cruises and became the Costa Europa. She is currently (on charter) sailing for UK's  Thomson Cruises as the Thomson Dream. 

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