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    The Last Story of the Great Ships – Cruising History
    Articles, Blog

    The Last Story of the Great Ships – Cruising History

    December 8, 2019

    Now a cherished hotel, museum and tourist attraction in Long Beach, Calif. the Queen Mary is the world’s most celebrated ocean liner (that did not meet with disaster). It measures 81,000 gross tons and has a length of 1,019 feet with a beam of 118 feet. Construction on the mighty ship initially known as “534” began at the renowned John Brown and Company shipyard at Clydebank, Scotland, in late 1930. On Sept. 26, 1934, it was launched by namesake HRH Queen Mary. Thousands braved torrential rain to watch as the giant Cunard liner slid into the River Clyde. As built, it carried 776 Cabin (later named First) Class, 784 Tourist (later named Cabin) and 579 Third (later named Tourist) Class passengers. Queen Mary’s maiden voyage from Southampton to New York commenced on May 27, 1936. That August, it won the Blue Ribband from the French liner Normandie for fastest crossing. Normandie took it back in 1937 but in 1938, lost it permanently to the Mary, which set a new average speed record of 31.6 knots in August 1938. After the outbreak of World War II, the Queen Mary and running mate Queen Elizabeth were fitted to carry an average of 15,000 troops. With speeds that exceeded most U-boats and escort craft, the two giant Cunarders were credited by Winston Churchill with shortening the war by a year. They continued their trooping and repatriation duties until 1946. During this phase of its career, the Queen Mary was nicknamed “The Grey Ghost.” The Queen Mary returned to trans-Atlantic passenger service on July 31, 1947. The Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth maintained weekly crossings for the next two decades. Despite being surpassed in size by the twin-funneled, 83,000-gross-ton Queen Elizabeth and in 1952, losing the Blue Ribband to the SS United States, the Queen Mary would reign as the most popular and beloved ship in the world until the jet airplane brought down the curtain on trans-Atlantic travel in the early 1960s. The Queen Mary’s 1,001st and final crossing took place in September of 1967. It was sold to the City of Long Beach for $3.5 million and departed on a 39-night delivery cruise around South America. In December 1967, the Queen Mary triumphantly arrived in California with a 310-foot pay-off pennant flying overhead and four London double-decker buses on the aft decks. For the next three years, the ship underwent a $72 million transformation for a new role as an hotel, convention center and tourist attraction. Most of the machinery was removed for exhibition spaces, holes were cut into the side for new permanent gangways and a metal box was built around the remaining propeller. In 1971, the ship was opened for public tours and in December of 1972, the hotel and restaurants were also opened. Since becoming a California-based tourist attraction, the Queen Mary has been used as a the occasional Hollywood set, most famously for the 1972 Irwin Allen disaster movie, “The Poseidon Adventure.” Now classified as a building, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. Visitors touring the Queen Mary take the elevators to level four and embark on the Promenade Deck’s original teak-lined, glass-enclosed port promenade. The Queen Mary’s pre-computer age wheelhouse has most of its original brass equipment, including beautifully polished, museum-quality Siemens double-headed telegraphs and twin Brown Brothers steering wheels, as well as Kelvin compasses. Few things are more appealing to the eyes of a ship-lover than the majestic, black-topped orange/red funnels of the Queen Mary, especially from the perspective of the bridge wing. In between the myriad ventilators, deck houses and trio of funnels, there are areas of open space on Sports Deck for sunning and brisk walks in the sea air. Sun Deck has a fully encircling teak walkway underneath a canopy of lifeboats and davits. The rare and now-endangered teak was restored in recent years by carefully cutting thin strips out of the original planks and laying them atop less exotic wood. The Verandah Grill was the legendary former first-class a la carte dining room located on Queen Mary’s aft Sun Deck. In the Long Beach conversion, this once-exclusive venue was turned into a hot dog stand. In recent years, the room was restored and is now largely used for private functions. The glorious maple burr and cedarwood paneled Observation Bar fronts an entire deck of public spaces and restaurants on Promenade Deck. The semi-circular space has a stepped-up terrace overlooking the cocktail bar. The room was recently used as a backdrop in the blockbuster Hollywood film, “The Aviator.” The Main Hall was the Queen Mary’s first-class foyer and shopping arcade and features paneling in oaknut, chestnut and elm burr. One of many highlights in the exquisite Main Hall is the sculpted plaster frieze by Maurice Lambert atop the center shop. The soaring Queen’s Salon is the former first-class lounge. If the 30-foot-tall central ceiling looks familiar, that’s because it inspired the set that went topsy-turvy in “The Poseidon Adventure,” where a number of extras and a Christmas tree plunged into the glass fixtures. This is a view of the first-class lounge in the 1950s with its posh armchairs, settees and burled wood tables, all since replaced with convention-friendly furnishings. The unicorn mural above the marble fireplace conceals a movie projector that gave the room a dual function as a cinema. The Queen Mary Hotel is accessed by taking the elevator to level three. Passageways in the Queen Mary Hotel feature exquisitely polished burled maple and walnut woodwork. Original former first-class staterooms such as this deluxe outside are paneled in lustrous woods and have many vintage fittings, such as Bakelite punkah louvre ventilators and Deco fans. Original rooms should be requested at the time of booking. Many people strongly believe that the Queen Mary is haunted. One of the ship’s most popular attractions is its “Haunted Encounters” tour that takes visitors to areas that have been the site of reported paranormal activity. Placards around the ship recount such sightings. No longer in use, the former first-class pool area is part of the “Haunted Encounters” tour. There have been repeated sightings of a ghostly little girl here. Located on R Deck, the recessed central dome over the Grand Salon, formerly the first-class dining room, soars some 27 feet. The columns and veneers are made of Brazilian peroba wood, which glows in both the incandescent lighting and daylight emitted through portholes on either side of the room. Here is a view of the room in its 1950s heyday when it was a haven of sea-going glamour. Today, it is used for an elegant Sunday brunch and private functions. Macdonald Gill’s famous trans-Atlantic mural on the forward bulkhead has been often imitated but never duplicated. Two crystal ships once traced the actual positions of the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary during their crossings. Reached from ground level by the stern of the ship, what is now called D Deck features the Queen Mary Story, a museum dedicated to the history of the Queen Mary and other trans-Atlantic liners. Giant, beautifully-constructed cutaway models of the Titanic and the Normandie are two key attractions. Also on display is what remains of Queen Mary’s vast power plant. The main engine control panel, shown here, and one engine room were left intact. Of the four massive bronze screws that drove the Queen Mary at record-breaking speed, only the aft/starboard survived. It can be accessed via the large box that was fitted to the ship in the Long Beach conversion. This is one of many spots where paranormal “sightings” have been witnessed. The SS United States is the largest, fastest and arguably greatest American passenger ship ever built. After 47 years spent in various backwaters from Virginia to Sebastopol, Tuzla (Turkey), and finally Philadelphia, the ship is now in the hands of the SS United States Conservancy, a dedicated team of preservationists seeking to find it a new home and purpose. In its heyday, the United States was a familiar sight on the Hudson River, its massive stacks and knife-like bow symbols of American pride. Cunard’s Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth and, of course, White Star Line’s Titanic are the only ocean liners that have eclipsed the United States’ fame. The 53,330-gross-ton United States was designed by William Francis Gibbs, America’s foremost naval architect. Gibbs created a ship that could be modified with little effort into a Cold War trooper capable of carrying 15,000 soldiers. Fortunately never called into war duty, the United States carried 1,928 passengers in three classes (First, Cabin and Tourist) and 900 crew. United States was ordered in 1950 and completed in 1952 by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company. The ship was assembled in sections in a graving dock, much as modern cruise ships are built today. For decades, its underwater hull and machinery were considered classified and could not be photographed. The $78 million liner broke the trans-Atlantic speed record on its July 4, 1952, maiden voyage, achieving an eastbound average speed of 35.59 knots (41 mph). Affectionately nicknamed “The Big U,” the vessel could reportedly reach a top speed of 38.3 knots. It is shown here on its triumphant arrival in New York harbor. Its most opulent space was the first-class restaurant with its double-deck, domed ceiling and imposing glass fiber reliefs by Gwen Lux. Although considered austere by many, the ship’s interiors, designed by Dorothy Marckwald and composed of fireproof elements of brushed steel, linoleum and etched glass, were years ahead of their time. The airplane, union strikes and high operating costs put an end to the United States’ career in 1969. The ship was laid up at Newport News, where it sat until being sold to Seattle-based developer Richard Hadley in 1978. A new cruise service was announced and brochures were published but nothing came of the venture. Meanwhile, the SS United States’ cash-strapped owners decided to sell the ship’s fittings. In 1984, the old liner was opened up to thousands of curious visitors before its interiors were auctioned off. The United States was sold in 1990 to new owners who had it towed to Turkey and later the Ukraine for removal of asbestos and other toxic materials prior to a planned return to service. In 1996, it was towed back to the U.S. and berthed at Philadelphia’s Packer Marine Terminal. In 1996, the completely gutted ship was moved to its current location and through the efforts of the now defunct SS United States Foundation and the SS United States Conservancy, “The Big U” was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, although nothing came of plans to rebuild the ship. In 2003, the United States was once again put up for sale. Outbidding scrap merchants at the 11th hour, Norwegian Cruise Line bought it in the hopes of rebuilding it for their NCL America division. Unfortunately, this never came to pass and in 2011, it was once again put up for sale. Although scrappers offered double the price, NCL agreed to sell the United States for $3 million to the Conservancy in March of 2011. Kept afloat and intact with contributions from members, local philanthropist Gerry Lenfest and even Crystal Cruises (who considered purchasing and rebuilding it in 2016), the foundation continues to seek out a new static role for the ship. Although the United States looks dishearteningly weathered after spending more than four decades in waiting, the decay is largely cosmetic. Made of aluminum, the two massive funnels were deliberately oversized to make the United States instantly recognizable from a distance and to give it the impression of “power and grace” intended by architect William Francis Gibbs. Peeling paint and superficial rust aside, the grace and beauty of the ship’s architecture is unparalleled. Far ahead of its time, the United States was built with an aluminum superstructure that was fused to the steel hull in a special process that averted the corrosive effects of marrying the two incompatible metals. All but the graceful shell of the wheelhouse, where luminaries like President Eisenhower and John Wayne once visited, was auctioned off in 1984 or later stripped away in the Ukraine. The United States’ upper decks feature tiers of graceful, open promenades including a fully encircling promenade on Sun Deck. Even the decking was made of a fireproof, concrete-like compound in lieu of traditional teakwood planking. All true trans-Atlantic ocean liners had a glass-enclosed promenade and the United States was no exception. This is the starboard first-class promenade in an aft-facing view. The first-class public rooms were located directly inboard of the promenades on Promenade Deck. Only the shell remains of the First Class Ballroom, which was recently used as a backdrop for the Colin Farrell action flick “Dead Man Down.” The bar was built for the movie and is not an original fixture. This is the lovely First Class Ballroom in its heyday. It had a square footprint but looked elliptical, thanks to a circular dome and four curved etched glass screens depicting sea life. Portions of these screens are now onboard Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Infinity. Note also the propeller blade and glass-topped tables. Far aft, Promenade Deck continues with open deck space, the forward portion of which was reserved for first class. Removed to prevent unnecessary drag on the United States’ overseas tow, the four bronze screws were placed on the ship’s afterdecks. Of the two that remain, one is on aft/port Promenade Deck. On Upper Deck, large open spaces have been cleared of everything but the ducting, some wiring and the support beams. This is the section where some of the ship’s finest first-class suites were located. With names like The Duck Suite and The Red Suite, these lavish apartments had spacious sitting areas and separate bedrooms. Standard First Class Cabins were also very spacious and well-appointed. This one has twin portholes and a long dresser. Long-since-removed accommodation and reception areas were located on Main Deck. This is one of the original builders’ stencils that were exposed when the ship was gutted. The once-magnificent First Class Dining Room is located on midships A Deck. Even its empty framework is impressive. Note the table base mounts in the decking. Hopefully, there will be more to the story of one of the mightiest ships to ever grace the seas. One of the most successful trans-Atlantic liners and cruise ships of all time, the Queen Elizabeth 2 is currently in Dubai awaiting the next phase of its long career. Also known as the QE2, it replaced Cunard’s venerable Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. The 963-by-105-foot ship was built by the John Brown and Company shipyard at Clydebank, Scotland, and launched by HRH Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 20, 1967. After fitting out and delays due to a damaged turbine, the 65,863-gross-ton ship finally entered service in May of 1969. When powered by its original steam engines, QE2 could achieve a top speed of 32.5 knots. With its pencil-thin funnel and sleek lines, the ultra-modern QE2 was a dual-purpose ocean liner and cruise ship. Its original capacity was for 564 first-class passengers, 1,441 tourist-class passengers and 1,400 for one-class cruising The antithesis of its traditional predecessors, it had wide expanses of open deck and two outdoor pools that were especially popular in warmer climes. The QE2’s trendy, modern interiors were at the time described as “Bond Street meets Twiggy” and a complete departure from the polished nickel, burled woods and ornate trappings of the original Queens. This is the two-story Double Room, which was later converted into the ship’s showroom. In 1972, the first of many alterations saw the addition of a block of penthouse suites atop the ship and the elimination of an observation bar. Over the years, the QE2’s profile and layout would undergo many changes. In 1975, it embarked upon the first in what would become an almost annual tradition of world cruises. In 1982, QE2 was requisitioned for trooping service in the Falklands War. Helipads were built atop the stern and the public areas were turned into dormitories. When it returned to regular service the following year, the funnel was painted in Cunard’s orange and black colors and the hull was painted dove gray. In 1983, the unpopular gray was switched for a more traditional black hull color. By this time, QE2 was beginning to experience increasingly frequent mechanical problems. Further refits at this time saw the installation of an all-weather Magrodome over the stern pool and more interior modifications. In 1986/7, QE2 was sent to Hamburg for its most extensive refit to date. At that time, the original steam power plant was replaced with MAN B&W diesels, new propellers were added, yet more alterations were made to the interiors and the distinctive funnel was enlarged. The now one-class, 70,327-gross-ton, 1,777-passenger QE2 was faster and more economical than ever, capable of a new top speed of 34 knots. QE2’s outer decks have seen many changes over the years but there are still plenty of teak-covered nooks and open spaces where guests can sunbathe or curl up in a deck chair under a wool blanket. The ship’s tiered afterdecks have been home to an ever-evolving scenario of open air pools, Magrodomes, tennis courts and putting greens over the years. Although QE2 never had an enclosed promenade, the ship does feature a traditional teak-lined boat deck with solid mahogany cap rails where guests can enjoy a walk in the sea air. Passengers enter via the circular Midships Lobby, which was distinguished by its sunken seating area, dramatic lighting and futuristic fiberglass pillar. The murals and burled veneer were added in the 1994 conversion. Perhaps the grandest of the QE2’s public spaces, the Queen’s Lounge still retains its dramatic columns and honeycomb ceiling, although the furnishings and decor have evolved significantly with time. Throughout the ship’s career, this room was the elegant setting for afternoon tea. The bottom level of the former Double Room was converted into a show room and its balcony has been a shopping gallery throughout the ship’s latter-day career. Another latter-day addition, the popular Yacht Club is a ballroom and lounge located near the stern of the ship. One space that never changed throughout the ship’s career is the double-deck Theater, once the realm of guest lecturers and movie screenings. Although the QE2 eventually became a one-class ship, its dining options were anything but. Guests occupying the most expensive suites had exclusive access to the legendary Queens Grill, considered by many to be one of the finest restaurants ever put to sea. Almost as legendary as the Queens Grill, the Princess Grill was also for the exclusive use of suite guests. Note the original steel-framed chairs and bronze statues. As more suite accommodation was fitted to the ship, the Britannia Grill was added as a complement to the Princess Grill. All three current Cunarders — the Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria — have Queens and Princess Grills. Non-grill guests were assigned one of two traditional restaurants, depending on their stateroom category. Shown in its final incarnation, the Caronia Restaurant was originally the Columbia Restaurant and, like the rest of the ship, has undergone many alterations over the years. At the bottom of the dining tier, the Art Deco-inspired Mauretania Restaurant has also undergone several name changes and decorative styles. QE2 was built with two indoor pools that were handy on cold or stormy Atlantic crossings. Eventually, one of the pools was converted into a spa. One of the ship’s most distinctive features was its huge library and bookstore featuring a vast collection of nautical books. In latter years, QE2 featured a Heritage Trail filled with important Cunard artifacts such as this bas-relief from the first Queen Elizabeth. Sadly, these treasures left Cunard’s realm when the ship was sold by the Carnival Corporation in 2008 to Nakheel, a Dubai-based company that planned to rebuild it into a stationary luxury hotel. When Nakheel’s expensive and drastic conversion plans were crushed by the global economic downturn, rumors of the QE2’s possible scrapping began to circulate. Subsequent plans to convert the ship into a five-star hotel in either Singapore or Hong Kong seem to have stalled and the ship remains “as is” at Dubai. The boats and davits were removed in 2016. Now better than ever following a massive refit in 2016, Cunard Line’s 2,961-guest flagship Queen Mary 2 measures 151,800 gross tons. Although the term “ocean liner” is used to describe many of today’s cruise ships, the QM2 is a bonafide dual-purpose liner and cruise ship. What distinguishes a liner from a cruise ship? The 1132-by-135-foot QM2 has a long, tapered bow meant to cut through all types of seas, a reinforced hull with a relatively deep draft of 33 feet and powerful Wartsila diesels that can drive its four pods at a maximum speed of 30 knots (much faster than most cruise ships’ average of 22 knots) The QM2 was built by Alstom-Chantiers de l’Atlantique at Saint Nazaire, France. The shipyard, originally known as Chantiers de l’Atlantique, produced some of the world’s most famous liners, including the Ile De France (1927), Normandie (1935) and France (1961). Today, the yard is now part of the STX Europe conglomerate. Since 2006, instead of Manhattan’s well-known midtown Hudson River cruise terminals, the QM2 has used Brooklyn’s Red Hook Cruise Terminal as its New York base. The facility is located across from Governor’s Island and also hosts the ships of Princess Cruises. Our tour begins with the QM2’s outer decks. There is an open platform on Deck 11 with a forward-facing view over the long prow. This view, looking aft from midships Deck 13, faces the funnel, a foreshortened version of the iconic QE2’s, with wind scoops designed to push exhaust skyward. The QM2 has acres of open teak decks. One of the most appealing features of the QM2 is its beautifully terraced stern, which is shown from the vantage of Deck 12. The impressive architecture of QM2’s forward superstructure, partially inspired by that of the Queen Elizabeth of 1940, can be enjoyed from the wedge-shaped upper level of the fo’c’sle on Deck 7. Deck 7 is fully encircled by a teak-lined promenade, one of the ship’s most popular features. The Commodore Club is a gorgeous bar with alcoves to either side that overlook the bow from the vantage of Deck 9. Named for two past Cunarders, the Carinthia Lounge is a brand new space added in place of the underused Wintergarden in 2016. The vast and recently revamped Canyon Ranch Spa on forward Deck 7 has a large thalassotherapy pool. The completely restyled Queens Grill is the legendary dining venue for residents of the ship’s top Duplex, Penthouse and Queens Suite accommodation. The Princess Grill, shown facing aft, is located on the port side of aft Deck 7. It is the posh dining venue for the QM2’s Princess Suite accommodation. Located on forward Decks 6 and 5, the dual-level Illuminations Planetarium is a QM2 exclusive. In addition to being used for high-tech projections of the stars and planets on its retractable domed ceiling, it doubles as a lecture hall and cinema. The Royal Court Theater is located on forward Decks 6 and 5 and is the main showroom featuring Broadway-style shows, celebrity guest lecturers, musicians and comedians. It was enhanced with a new LED backdrop and proscenium in 2016. A stylized bronze medallion of the QM2 crossing the Atlantic is the centerpiece of the ship’s Grand Lobby. The Chart Room Bar is largely inspired by a similar space on the QE2 and is one of the QM2’s most elegant lounges, boasting oversized furnishings, a tall ceiling and a frosted glass panel of the Atlantic Ocean. Spanning Decks 1, 2 and 3 and offering two seatings for dinner, the Britannia Restaurant is the QM2’s main dining venue and takes its decorative inspiration from the first-class dining room aboard the first Queen Mary. The open-seating Britannia Club Restaurants, both located aft of the Britannia, are reserved for guests in Britannia Club staterooms. The Empire Casino is located on the port side of Deck 2 between the Royal Court Theater and the Britannia Restaurant. The Golden Lion Pub can be found on the starboard side of Deck 2, just forward of the Britannia Restaurant. It serves up one of the best pub lunches at sea. Queens Suites feature a separate sitting area, a bedroom and a large balcony. All have been refreshed with new soft fittings and furnishings. Slightly smaller Princess Grill suites have also been refreshed with new soft fittings and artwork. Sheltered Balcony staterooms are located in the ship’s hull and have queen beds that can convert to two twins, a separate sitting area and a veranda with a solid steel railing.

    Disney Wonder Cruise Ship Tour Update 2016 (After Makeover) – Disney Cruise Line
    Articles, Blog

    Disney Wonder Cruise Ship Tour Update 2016 (After Makeover) – Disney Cruise Line

    December 8, 2019

    Originally unveiled in 1999, Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Wonder underwent a massive makeover in the fall of 2016. At 83,308 tons, the Disney Wonder is relatively modest in size compared to some of the latest mega-ships. It holds just 1,754 passengers at double occupancy. With all berths filled, it can accommodate about 2,700. The hub of Disney Wonder’s top deck is its family-friendly Goofy’s Family Pool area. The area is flanked by two whirlpools and a stage and dance floor. The Goofy Family Pool area also is home to a giant, 24-foot-wide LED screen that plays current and classic Disney films throughout the day. Teak tables and chairs can be found overlooking the water on Deck 9 near the main Goofy Family Pool. Located just aft of Disney Wonder’s two funnels on Deck 9 is a second pool area dedicated to children that was completely reinvented during the ship’s makeover. Now called the AquaLab, it’s home to a freshwater pool, water slide and watery play area. One of the most notable new features on the top deck of the Disney Wonder is the AquaLab’s spiraling water slide, Twist ‘n’ Spout. The Twist ‘n’ Spout water slide begins at the back of one of the Disney Wonder’s two funnels. The Twist ‘n’ Spout water slide ends in a long yellow run on Deck 9. The AquaLab features squirting pop jets and other watery features that were added during the ship’s makeover. Dory’s Reef is a protected area of the AquaLab reserved for the smallest toddlers. One of the many kid-friendly touches on the Disney Wonder is the rack of children’s life jackets available for use at the AquaLab pool area for no extra charge. Located near the back of the Disney Wonder is a third pool zone called Quiet Cove that is for adults only. Quiet Cove has a four-foot-deep main pool and two whirlpools. Quiet Cove is reserved for passengers who are at least 18 years old. The whirlpools in the Quiet Cove area are covered for protection from the sun. The Quiet Cove pool area has an elegant feel that comes in part from its rows of upscale lounge chairs with plush cushions. Located at Quiet Cove, Signals is an adults-only outside bar. Signals offers a range of beers on tap including Blue Moon and Shiner Bock. Just around the corner from the Quiet Cove pool is the Cove Cafe, a specialty coffee outlet. Cove Cafe serves up hand-made espresso drinks as well as alcoholic drinks. The bases of Disney Wonder’s two crown-topped funnels are inspired by the triple stacks of the famed, 1930s era SS Normandie. At the very front of Disney Wonder is the Wide World of Sports Deck, which features a basketball court. Open space at the top of the Disney Wonder on Deck 10 offers rooms for lounge chairs. Just off the AquaLab kiddie pool area is a small quick-serve food outlet called Daisy’s De-Lites. It offers paninis, salads and fruits during the day. One of the most popular spots with children on Deck 9 is Eye Scream, which dispenses soft serve ice cream available at no extra charge. The hub of Disney Wonder’s interior is the Lobby Atrium, which underwent a major transformation during the ship’s 2016 makeover. The overhaul of the Lobby Atrium included the removal of one of its two sweeping staircases and the addition of a new chandelier. The Lobby Atrium still is home to the Disney Wonder’s iconic statue of Ariel from the Disney movie The Little Mermaid. The popular Disney character provides inspiration for the space that can be seen in its carpeting and chandelier. The new chandelier in the Lobby Atrium takes its inspiration from the flower that Ariel from Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ wears in her hair. Nods to the movie run through the Lobby Atrium space. A comfortable seating area is located at the base of the Lobby Atrium along a wall of giant porthole windows. A small seating area is located on Deck 4 overlooking the Lobby Atrium. Disney Wonder’s largest public space, the 977-seat Walt Disney Theatre has unobscured sight lines and state-of-the-art sound and lighting. Just outside the Walt Disney Theatre is Preludes Bar, a semi-circular alcove where passengers gather before shows. Located on Deck 5, the 278-seat Buena Vista Theatre shows Disney animated and action movies throughout the day, many in 3D. Located on Deck 3 between two of the Disney Wonder’s three main restaurants is the Promenade Lounge. Home to live entertainment, the Promenade Lounge has a small stage and dance floor. Open to families with children, the Promenade Lounge also features seating along large circular windows overlooking the sea. Located on Deck 4, Animator’s Palate is one of three ‘rotational’ dining venues where passengers share the same table with the same wait staff each night in a different restaurant. Disney Wonder’s Animator’s Palate now is home to the same Animation Magic show found on other Disney ships. Animator’s Palate received significant upgrades during the Disney Wonder’s makeover although the basic look remains the same. Passengers draw figures on place mats at Animator’s Palate that then appear on wall screens during the Animation Magic show. One of the biggest changes during the makeover of the Disney Wonder was the addition of Tiana’s, a restaurant that takes its inspiration from the movie The Princess and the Frog. Tiana’s has a New Orleans supper club vibe and features live music from a band playing jazz, blues and swing. Occupying the space that formerly housed the Parrot Caye restaurant, Tiana’s now has a stage for live music. Designed to appeal as much to adults as to kids, Disney Wonder features an adult-only entertainment district called After Hours. Giant portholes with seating line a stretch of Deck 3 in the After Hours area. Filling up more than a third of Deck 3, the After Hours area includes a revamped nightspot called Azure. Taking its inspiration from the sea, Azure features wave-like wall and ceiling decor. This is the stylish bar at Azure. Also part of the adult-only area is the Cadillac Lounge, which received a significant overhaul during the Disney Wonder makeover. Home to live piano music nightly, the Cadillac Lounge offers Cadillac-themed furnishings. Little touches in the Cadillac Lounge include side tables shaped like tires. The bar in the Cadillac Lounge. After hours features a new English-style pub called The Crown and Fin. The Crown and Fin serves up a wide range of beers as well as other drinks. Located on Deck 4, the D Lounge is a nightclub and entertainment area that is open to the entire family. Revamped during the Disney Wonder makeover, the D Lounge features games and activities during the day. The D Lounge has a small stage and dance floor. Disney Wonder also has an extra-charge, adults-only Italian eatery called Palo. Located on Deck 10, Palo is open for brunch and dinner for a cost of $30 per person. Venetian ceramics lines the entryway to Palo. In addition to its three main restaurants, Disney Wonder has a casual buffet eatery called Cabanas on Deck 9 just outside the AquaLab kiddie pool area. Cabanas is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A signature of Disney ships is complimentary sodas available in the Cabanas eatery as well as at a station near the ship’s pools. Art Nouveau flourishes on the Disney Wonder extend to its elevator banks. A Mickey hand signals the floor location for elevators on the Disney Wonder. Like other Disney ships, Disney Wonder has a lovely, teak-lined promenade that wraps all the way around the vessel. Disney Wonder’s promenade features traditional teak lounge chairs topped with comfortable cushions. The Disney Wonder was built near Venice, Italy by Fincantieri, an Italian state-owned shipbuilding company that has built dozens of cruise ships in recent years. Cabins on the revamped Disney Wonder have been redesigned with new, nautical decor and more usable space, including elevator bed frames that provide space for storing empty luggage. In keeping with Disney Wonder’s family focus, many of the cabins on the ship include large sofas that can convert into an extra bed. Balcony cabins on the Disney Wonder cabin feature a sitting area with a television. Balcony cabins on Disney Wonder have a desk area with a deck phone that can be used around the ship. Nightstands in cabins feature flexible electrical outlets that can accommodate both U.S. and European-style plugs. Sketches for classic Disney films such as Pirates of the Caribbean are among the art in Disney Wonder cabins. In another family-friendly twist, most cabins on Disney Wonder have two bathrooms. In addition to a bathroom with a sink and toilet, there is a bathroom with a sink and tub/shower. The dual bathroom structure allows multiple members of larger families to get ready in the morning at the same time. Concierge cabins and suites on the Disney Wonder come with upgraded Elemis toiletries. A built-in hair dryer is one of the amenities found in cabin bathrooms. Disney Wonder cabins have large, built-in wardrobes. Built-in wardrobes in Disney Wonder cabins feature space for hanging clothes, a safe and life jackets. Disney Wonder cabins have miniature refrigerators that are not stocked. The makeover of the Disney Wonder included a major overhaul of the ship’s Oceaneer Club for children. Among the additions: A new area called Marvel Super Hero Academy. The Marvel Super Hero Academy area will feature appearances by such Marvel characters as Black Widow. The Marvel Super Hero Academy area also features displays of iconic Marvel objects. Also new at the Oceaneer Club is a ‘Frozen’-themed area called Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post. An animated Oaken sometimes makes appearances in the window to the sauna at the back of the Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post. Among little touches in the Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post are little wooden figures of Anna and Elsa from the movie ‘Frozen.’ Oceaneer Club also has a two-story area themed to the Disney-Pixar movie ‘Toy Story’ called Andy’s Room. Andy’s Room has a slinky-themed slide and other larger-than-life features. Another area of the Oceaneer Club is themed around Disney stories. It’s a Small World Nursery on Deck 4 is open to children ages three months to three years. Located on Deck 9 near the main pool areas, Edge is a club exclusively for tweens. Also getting an upgrade during the overhaul of the Disney Wonder was the Senses Spa & Salon. The Senses spa offers 13 treatment rooms including three designed for couples. Couples treatment rooms on Disney Wonder include a sitting area with whirlpool that overlooks the ocean. The Senses spa has a full-service salon that includes a barber area for men. Professional studio sessions can be arranged for families and groups at Shutters, the Disney Wonder’s portrait studio on Deck 4. Kiosks on Deck 4 display photos taken by ship photographers that can be purchased during a sailing. A pair of shops loaded with Disney merchandise can be found just outside the Walt Disney Theatre on Deck 4. Princess outfits are among the offerings at Mickey’s Mainsail, one of the shops on Disney Wonder. Clothing, toys and other souvenirs also are available at the Disney Wonder shops. Gyro, hamburgers and brats to go are on offer on Disney Wonder’s top deck at Boiler Bites. Pizza also is an option on the top deck of Disney Wonder at Pinocchio’s Pizzeria. Located near the Goofy’s Family Pool on Deck 9 is Sulley’s Sips, which serves up smoothie’s for an extra charge. Disney Wonder has self-serve lauderettes on several cabin decks. Detergent is available for $1 a box at the self-serve lauderettes on the Disney Wonder.

    Articles, Blog


    December 7, 2019

    The most credible threat to U.S Navy surface
    combatants like destroyers and supercarrier comes from the anti-ship missile. One of the most potent anti-ship missiles
    is the Brahmos missile. The BrahMos cruise missile is produced by
    India-based BrahMos Aerospace, set up in 1998, and is a joint venture between India’s Defense
    Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia. India is an ally of US and Indo-American relationship
    has been getting stronger in the last decade. But this is not the case with Russia which
    is a rival. In this video Defense Updates, analyzes if
    U.S Navy can defend against Brahmos missile? Let’s get in the details. Brahmos weigh in at 3000 kg, has a length
    of 8.4 m and diameter of 0.6 m. It has a solid fuel rocket booster for the
    first stage and liquid-fueled ramjet for the second stage. Brahmos can be launched from aircraft, land
    installations and warships. It is being tested for induction into submarines
    also. A hypersonic version of the missile, BrahMos-II,
    is also presently under development with a speed of Mach 7-8 to boost aerial fast strike
    capability. It is expected to be ready for testing by
    2020 Brahmos is currently considered to be one
    of a most deadly anti-ship missile. The reason is its unique features. Let’s check them. 1. It has a supersonic speed of Mach 3 or 1 km
    per second providing very little time to intercept. 2. Brahmos uses a 300 kg Semi-Armor piercing
    warhead and also has very high Kinetic energy since Kinetic energy is directly proportional
    to the square of velocity. Brahmos actually has about 9 times the Kinetic
    Energy of conventional subsonic missile like Tomahawk. The combined destructive force of massive
    warhead and kinetic energy is lethal for even the biggest surface combatants. Brahmas has been known to break ships in half
    in several tests. 3. It can perform S maneuvers in final stages
    of flight.The missile basically doesn’t move in straight line, making it very hard
    to intercept. 4. There are lots of redundancies in the guidance
    system – right from the INS, GPS, GLONASS and GAGAN making it hard to jam. 5.The accuracy of around 1 square meter makes
    it apt for a precision strike on high-value targets. 6. Russia is a signatory of the MTCR (Missile
    Technology Control Regime) and India was not. According to the MTCR guidelines Russia could
    not help or jointly develop a missile with a none MTCR nation, whose range is more than
    300 KM. This is why Brahmos range had to be limited
    below 300 KM initially. But last year India has entered MTCR and both
    countries are now working to increase the range to 600 km. The excellent range will enable it to be launched
    from standoff distances. The best defense against the Brahmos missile
    is to destroy the launch platforms before the missile could be launched. The diverse launch platform makes this task
    difficult but not impossible. Once the Brahmos gets launched successfully,
    it’s a totally different ball game. The normal procedure is to direct fighter
    jets from nearby aircraft carriers towards the incoming missile and shoot it down. But this is not a viable option against Brahmos
    because of its Mach 3 speed. US Navy will mainly depend on the onboard
    weaponry for defense and there are 3 of those. 1. The Medium range defense is provided by Evolved
    Sea Sparrow Missile which is quad packed and has a range of 50 km range. 2. RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile is present
    for point defense in U.S supercarrier and not on destroyers. These have a speed of Mach 2 and range of
    9 km. 3. Phalanx CIWS is a close-in weapon system is
    present for last-ditch defense. It has 3,000 rounds/minute rate of fire and
    has a maximum firing range of 3.5 km. For the analysis, we are considering a salvo
    of 8 Brahmos, half of what a new generation of Russian frigates carries. There are potentially 2 scenarios. 1. Solitary warship like an Arleigh Burke-class
    destroyer is targeted. 2. A U.S Carrier Battle Group is attacked. When a warship is alone and not having AWACS
    cover then the BrahMos will be detected at about 35-40 km from the ship when it is in
    its sea-skimming terminal phase and on the verge of employing evasive S maneuvers. The warship will have 35 – 40 seconds to react. The 2 layer defense of Arleigh Burke theoretically
    be able to defend against all missile but practically it may be able to intercept only
    3-4 of the missile. It is highly likely that the warship will
    be knocked out. A U.S Carrier Battle Group always has an AWACS
    cover and Brahmos will be most likely be detected at around 150 km range. The flotilla will have around 150 seconds
    to react. The Carrier Battle Group with multiple destroyer
    and frigates travel in such a formation that supercarrier is not directly in the line of
    fire. The ships will also be able to coordinate
    the defenses. In this case, the outer layer of destroyer(and
    frigates) will be able to intercept most of the missiles or could also maneuver to take
    hits to protect the supercarrier. Still, it is not impossible that 1-2 may sneak
    in and home in on the supercarrier. The 3 layer defense of the supercarrier may
    be able to take those out all of those on some occasions and may not on some other. So, it is difficult to predict and results
    will vary but the potential of Brahmos can be judged by the fact that few of these launched
    in salvo has the capability to challenge multi-billion dollar warships of the U.S Navy.

    Shipping Container Types LCL FCL Import Export Business Logistics Supply Chain International Trade
    Articles, Blog

    Shipping Container Types LCL FCL Import Export Business Logistics Supply Chain International Trade

    December 6, 2019

    When exporting goods overseas, there are many different
    shipping methods to consider. It mainly depends
    on the overall packing sizes, total cubic measurement or total weight
    of the goods to be shipped. The most popular shipping method
    all over the world is the 20-foot shipping container. There are three main methods
    to shipping goods overseas: by FCL cargo,
    Full Container Load, by LCL cargo,
    Less Than Container Load or by Breakbulk Shipping. Full Container Load shipping is used when exporting
    a full container of products. These are predominantly
    shipped in 20-foot and 40-foot long
    enclosed shipping containers. Our IncoDocs chart below displays
    the most popular shipping containers used and includes container measurements,
    weights and door sizes for each. Dry Cargo containers are made
    in 20-foot and 40-foot lengths. The standard is a 20-foot,
    General Purpose container, a 20-foot GP. These containers can also be made
    as a High Cube container which have an increased height
    to hold more cargo. Refrigerated containers
    or reefers are made in the same sizes
    as dry cargo containers. These refrigerated containers
    are designed for the transportation
    of temperature-sensitive cargo. They allow everything from meat, fruit,
    vegetables and dairy products to chemicals and pharmaceuticals
    to travel across the world. Open Top containers are also made
    in 20-foot and 40-foot lengths. They don’t include a roof
    which allows the transport of bulky or heavy cargo
    that either won’t fit through normal container doors
    or require a crane for efficient loading. Flat Rack containers
    are unique shipping containers that consists of only a flatbed
    and have either fixed or collapsible ends on the container
    or no ends at all. They are designed to ship products that won’t fit into a general purpose
    or open top container. These flat rack containers
    allow transport of oversized, out of gauge
    and odd-shaped cargo. LCL cargo is another form
    of shipping method used when shipping smaller
    amounts of cargo. It will be used when the overall size
    of the goods for export is not big enough to fill
    a 20-foot container. When LCL shipping is used, the goods are still loaded inside
    20-foot and 40-foot shipping containers and they are transported
    exactly the same way. However, the LCL cargo is loaded inside
    a shared shipping container along with other parties’ cargo
    to fill the container which is called a consolidated
    shipping container. The freight cost is charged out depending
    on the overall product size or weight. It will be charged out per cubic meter
    of cargo or per metric ton in weight, whichever is greater. Breakbulk Shipping
    is used to ship oversized cargo that will not fit
    inside shipping containers. Any cargo that exceeds length,
    width, height or weight restrictions can be shipped by breakbulk cargo. The cargo is loaded on top of the deck
    of the vessel by crane. Large machinery, boats and steel
    are examples of goods that are exported around the world
    by breakbulk cargo. When exporting your products overseas,
    you will need to provide your freight company
    with detailed shipping documentation that includes the shipment type
    and shipment details. You can use IncoDocs
    to quickly and easily create all of the shipping documentation required
    to export your goods overseas. Try it for yourself. Go to and start
    your free trial today.


    Massive kitemare off the coast of Marocco – Ep99 – The Sailing Frenchman

    December 6, 2019

    All right, pretty good start we’re going Right, let’s start to look at the options. We have costal wind at the moment. It’s just the effect of the land
    which is warmed up by the sun The wind will be changing soon though. So we need to see a bit of options and for these we have time zero so as we see all the fleet here, moving And yeah, we’re not bad, we’re here,
    one here, two here, Not too bad so far, but you know, it’s a one month race, so much can go wrong then The weather, so that’s the weather
    that we’re gonna have soon Hisham, one month at sea what do you think? Looking forward to it, unless when I’m seasick But you won’t be right, you have your sea legs already from last race Alright, welcome to the doldrums We are right out of Portugal The first day and which has become a kind of weird area west of Gibraltar not much wind we placed ourselves not too bad, I think light wind, spinnakers helming smoothly and hopefully this afternoon we get some higher pressure This area here, see wind is coming in this area So we should benefit from this
    but let’s see how it turns out What are you up to Manuel?
    Can I help you? No you can’t
    No ? OK That’s a good thing so could you, have you been able to tighten it maximum or yeah, there’s a bearing it’s something inside, stuffing So this is actual footage from my bunk,
    I’m not even enhancing the sound, just wait for it… It’s the spinnaker sheet going through a low friction ring, and it’s like this every 30 seconds Have a good night This is not my hat It’s one of the maintenance guys that forgot it. I feel like I’m selling drugs in the desert Good morning Hugo, did you bought that hat or were you given it? It’s Blake’s He forgot it It just never stops All right, so it’s day three into the race,
    we left three days ago from Portugal We’re about like 500 miles into this journey, and we’ve been doing pretty good so far, sticking along the the Moroccan coast,
    gave us a good advantage. We are with a group of 5 boats, still such a long race It’s hard to say it if we we’re first or last, but we’re definitely not last, we are towards the front of the fleet, which is pretty good Yeah, everyone is working their ass off. So it’s pretty good. It’s starting to get warm as we go south A 100 miles away from Canaries now. Last time I came here was with my boat and just had the best time there.
    It’s sad not to stop and see my friend José Still a long race, still lots of things, working with daily problems But so far, the boat’s moving.
    So we hope we continue to do this way, getting really good at helming with spinnaker,
    so that’s nice I’m able to stay here in the nav station just do a bit of tactics and just overviewing the sail, it’s really nice. It’s going well You’ll see in the next day we should have more wind coming, as we pass Canaries and then we’ll go for the scoring gates. Scoring gate is just like 2 marks, 2 virtual marks, somewhere and the first boat to pass these two marks gets 3 points the second boat 2 points and the last boat one point and all the rest going through the gates gets nothing So it’s always good to go for these extra points like we did on first leg getting second on this ocean sprint so yeah, we’ll try to go for this Hi Josh, how are you doing ?
    We gybed, we are 1.6nm from Sanya Nice, good job What do you say a lot when you are at the helm?
    Bare away, head up, stop flogging, trim, trim trim….etc HeyJohn what does bare away mean ? which way ? Bare away, or the other way It’s left or right, 50/50 That’s our problem I think At that point we had been three or four days at sea and we had just passed the Canary Islands Making our way towards the Cap Verde and the scoring gate that was just north of it We were constantly under spinnaker our code 2 was up and we were doing good speed So good that we were in the lead with Visit Sanya, Jorge’s boat Sometimes second, sometimes first, switching places But the afternoon right after that watch I was having a nice nap in the sail locker when I felt the boat slowing down and some shouting starting I always keep my life jacket when I have a nap, so I jump on deck and can only witness the inevitable It’s there, the mother of all wraps. The spinnaker, because of mistakes from the helmsman got wrapped not only around the forestay,
    but also around the inner-forestay No way to solve this from deck Within seconds, I had the climbing harness on, and the crew swept me up the mast Started a now and off battle to enwrap our code 2, me from the top and the crew from the deck We eventually got it back on deck with only minor damage and within minutes we had our code 3 up and we were racing again But this one and a half hour at reduced speed made us lose quite some ground on Sanya and allowed Quingdao to come back to our level. This one mistake definitely played a huge role in the rest of that race So again, lessons learned, never ever let down your guard Never get complacent and never stop trying to do things better and faster

    Seven Seas Mariner Cruise Ship Tour – Regent Seven Seas Cruise Line
    Articles, Blog

    Seven Seas Mariner Cruise Ship Tour – Regent Seven Seas Cruise Line

    December 6, 2019

    Luxury line Regent’s 700 passenger Seven Seas Mariner, recently emerged from a major makeover in dry dock that brought significant changes to cabins and public areas. The 709 by 93 foot Seven Seas Mariner was the world’s first all-suite, all balcony cruise ship when it debuted in 2001 and still is considered one of the most luxurious vessels afloat. Originally built for Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, which became Regent Seven Seas Cruises in 2006, the Seven Seas Mariner was constructed at the Chantiers de L’Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France. The Seven Seas Mariner’s main pool deck received upgrades during the overhaul of the ship that included new mosaic tile work. The teak-lined main pool deck is home to three whirlpools in addition to a salt water main pool. Lounge chairs surround the main pool on three sides. Among luxury touches on the Seven Seas Mariner, lounge chairs are covered in plush towel-like fabric during the day. More lounge chairs are located along the sides of the ship’s top deck. Located at the front of the the Seven Seas Mariner on Deck 12, the Observation Lounge offers sweeping views over the bow of the ship. The Observation Lounge was completely revamped during the recent overhaul of the Seven Seas Mariner with rich ivory, ebony and white tones. The stylish, back-lit bar at the Observation Lounge. Located mid-ship on Deck 5, the Mariner Lounge is one of the vessel’s hubs for nightly entertainment. The Mariner Lounge offers comfortable seating and views of the ocean. The bar at the Mariner Lounge. A grand piano in the Mariner Lounge is the site of nightly live entertainment. Another hot spot on the Seven Seas Mariner is the Stars Lounge, located mid-ship on Deck 6. The Stars Lounge features comfortable seating and ocean views, and at night turns into the ship’s nightclub. This is the bar at the Stars Lounge. Also revamped during the overhaul of the Seven Seas Mariner was the Horizon Lounge, located at the back of the ship on Deck 6. The Seven Seas Mariner has a central Atrium that serves as a interior hub for the ship and is home to reception and destination desks. Glass elevators soar through the eight-deck-high Atrium. The main stairway in the Seven Seas Mariner’s Atrium has a curvy, modern design. The 580 seat Constellation Lounge is the main showroom on Seven Seas Mariner and features plush seating with unobstructed views. The main restaurant on Seven Seas Mariner is Compass Rose, which serves European-inspired Continental cuisine. Like all the restaurants on Seven Seas Mariner, Compass Rose is available at no extra charge. Among several specialty restaurants on the Seven Seas Mariner is Prime 7, an elegant steakhouse serving prime cuts of beef as well as seafood options. Fine wines on display for diners in a glass case are among the allures of Prime 7. Freshly renovated in rich gold and blue tones, Signatures is a reservations-required, 84 seat French specialty dining venue on Deck 6. Coffee and snacks are available around the clock on Deck 6. Located on Deck 4, a small casino offers blackjack, roulette, stud poker, mini-craps and slot machines. The Seven Seas Mariner’s casino opens when the ship is at sea. The small slot machine area in the Seven Seas Mariner’ casino. Every suite on the Seven Seas Mariner was refreshed during the recent makeover with new furnishings, upholstery and custom-milled carpeting. Here, a Deluxe Veranda Suite — the most common of the ship’s 350 rooms. At 301 square feet, including the balcony, the Seven Seas Mariner’s Deluxe Veranda Suites are among the largest standard cabins at sea. In addition to a bed area, they feature a separate sitting area with a sofa, table and desk. Every Seven Seas Mariner suite opens up onto a private balcony. Bathrooms in Deluxe Veranda Suites are lined in marble with stone countertops. Deluxe Veranda Suite bathrooms have large walk-in showers. The toilet area of a Deluxe Veranda Suite bathroom. Deluxe Veranda Suite bathrooms feature L’Occitane toiletries. A built-in vanity desk is located just outside the bathroom in Deluxe Veranda Suites. Even the smallest rooms on the Seven Seas Mariner such as the Deluxe Veranda Suite feature walk-in closets. Walk-in closets in Deluxe Veranda Suites offer a private safe. A small table next to the bed in Deluxe Veranda Suites features a phone. Electrical outlets in Seven Seas Mariner suites accept both U.S. style and Europe style plugs. Miniature refrigerators in every suite are stocked with complimentary sodas, beer and water. All Seven Seas Mariner suites come with DVD players. An outdoor promenade on Deck 6 offers passengers a chance to stroll in the open air. The back third of the Seven Seas Mariner’s top deck area is devoted to activities such as shuffleboard, golf putting and croquet. Deck-top activities include a putting green with artificial turf. Golf clubs and balls are available around-the-clock on deck. Seven Seas Mariner also features a golf driving range station on Deck 12 for practicing swings. A netted-in tennis court is located at the back of the ship. An area for croquet and bocce also is located on the sports deck. Bocce balls are available for play on the Bocce court. Day beds in a shady area atop the Seven Seas Mariner. The Seven Seas Mariner features a stylish, contemporary decor, as can be seen in this view of an elevator hall. The Seven Seas Mariner library is located on Deck 6 and offers a large selection of fiction and non-fiction hardbacks that can be borrowed during sailings. The Seven Seas Mariner library also stocks a wide variety of games. Passengers also will find a large selection of movies on DVD in the library that they can borrow to play in their suites at no cost. Next to the library on Deck 6 are two card rooms that double as a conference space. The unusually large card rooms are used for everything from bridge lectures and tournaments to corporate meetings. Cabin decks feature complimentary, self-serve laundry rooms with washers, dryers and ironing tables. Duty free shops located on Deck 7 of the Seven Seas Mariner offer Regent Seven Seas Cruises logo wear, jewelry, perfumes, swim wear, designer resort wear and precious stones. Among the luxury touches on Seven Seas Mariner are complimentary shore excursions, which can be arrange at the Destination Services desk located on Deck 5. The reception desk is located on Deck 5. A concierge desk located at the bottom of the central Atrium on Deck 5. The Seven Seas Mariner is home to an extensive art collection, including this piece located just outside the Horizon Lounge. The hallway leading to the Horizon Lounge boasts circular windows looking out over the sea. Another small outdoor seating area on the Seven Seas Mariner is located on Deck 6 just outside the Horizon Lounge. The pool grill, located near the main pool, features a buffet area with fruit, salads and other items. A desert table at the outdoor Pool Grill. Fruit salad and other snacks at the open-air Pool Grill, which is located just steps away from the pool. A seating area at the open-air Pool Grill, which serves burgers, fish sandwiches and other made-to-order grill items. A seating area on Seven Seas Mariner. A buoy atop the Seven Seas Mariner.

    MSC Preziosa Cruise Ship Tour – Mediterranean Shipping Company Cruise Line
    Articles, Blog

    MSC Preziosa Cruise Ship Tour – Mediterranean Shipping Company Cruise Line

    December 6, 2019

    MSC Cruises’ 2013 built MSC Preziosa was ordered by the Libyan government as the cruise ship Phoenecia but when the deal collapsed, the 139,400 gross ton, 550 million euro ship was completed for MSC. Built by the STX shipyard at St. Nazaire, France, the Preziosa is a nearly identical twin to the 2012 built MSC Divina and is the fourth in the line’s Fantasia-class platform. The 1,092.5 by 124.7 foot ship carries 3,502 guests and 1,370 crew. MSC Preziosa can be immediately distinguished from its sisters by the massive Vertigo waterslide that extends over the starboard side of the ship. The ship was christened on March 23, 2013, at Genoa in a gala event that included the slightly smaller MSC Splendida and the mid-sized MSC Opera. During the ceremony, all three vessels lined up and shared whistle salutes with glowing orbs on their bows. A highlight of the festivities was a mini-concert conducted by renowned soundtrack composer Ennio Morricone, including well-known songs ranging from “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” to the theme from “The Mission.” Sophia Loren is MSC Cruises’ official “marina,” or godmother. The 78 year old screen icon took the stage and cut a ribbon that sent a magnum of champagne into the ship’s starboard bow. At the actual moment of the MSC Preziosa’s christening, the custom-built pavilion alongside the ship was showered in confetti. The gala event concluded with a fireworks display that lit up the entire city of Genoa. The MSC Preziosa boasts an exclusive 138 guest haven atop the forward superstructure called the Yacht Club. The Yacht Club has its own private outdoor lido area with a swimming pool and two Jacuzzis on Deck 18. The Yacht Club has plenty of open sunning space protected from high winds by glass screens. There is an al fresco bar and casual dining area adjacent to the Yacht Club’s sunning space on Deck 18. This is a view overlooking the midships pool area from the aft portion of the Yacht Club. The Yacht Club has a double-level lobby on Decks 17 and 16, linked by a gold Swarovski crystal-studded staircase. The Yacht Club staircase is crowned with a dome skylight. A small library is adjacent to the Yacht Club lobby and concierge desk on Deck 16. The Top Sail Lounge overlooks the bow from Deck 16 and is the exclusive domain of Yacht Club guests for snacks, continental breakfast and elegant tea as well as evening cocktails. Yacht Club Family Suites are especially wide and feature a small living room near the balcony. Yacht Club Deluxe Suites are similar to standard balcony cabins but come with all sorts of Yacht Club perks such as a pillow menu, stocked mini-bar, complimentary bottled water, butler and concierge service, priority embarkation and disembarkation, complimentary meals in the Le Palmeraie specialty restaurant and more. This is a walk-in closet in a Yacht Club Deluxe Suite. Yacht Club suites have marble-topped bathrooms with tub, shower and plenty of storage space. Yacht Club guests are provided with special amenities, including soap, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer and shower caps. This is the balcony of a standard Yacht Club suite. Yacht Club guests dine at the elegant, exclusive, Moroccan-inspired Le Palmeraie restaurant on aft Deck 15. Le Palmeraie settings include custom chargers and starched linens. The Vertigo waterslide is accessed from a platform in the aft portion of the ship’s funnel. The water park on aft Deck 16 features the Doremi Castle, a dunker, fountains and a slide for tots. The Top 18 Exclusive Solarium, a large adults-only space on midships Deck 18, features rows of deck-chair seating, a Jacuzzi platform and cabanas for two. This a view overlooking the midships pool area from the Top 18 Exclusive Solarium. On aft Deck 15, the Garden Pool is surrounded by an “infinity” basin. The Playa Pool area includes a large all-weather family pool and three Jacuzzis on Deck 14 under a sliding glass-and-steel dome. Balconies overlook the Playa Pool on either side of Deck 15 The Playa Pool Bar is located on the starboard side of Deck 14. The open-air midships Aqua Park Pool on Deck 14 has two adjacent Jacuzzis, dancing fountains and an “island” of deck chairs. Two long, open-air promenades span either side of Deck 7. On the port side of Deck 16, the Galaxy Lounge is a panoramic observation lounge and disco. Sky and Stars is a meeting and conference room on Deck 16 adjacent to the Galaxy Lounge. An F-1 simulator is also located on Deck 16 and provides guests an opportunity to virtually sample some of the world’s most challenging race courses. A 4-D cinema is next to the F-1 simulator on aft Deck 16. Doremiland is a children’s playroom on aft starboard Deck 15. Il Graffito is the teen center and club on aft port Deck 15. The Aurea Spa is the MSC Preziosa’s state-of-the-art spa on forward Deck 14. A beauty salon is located on the starboard side of the Aurea Spa. There is even a small barber shop adjacent to the beauty salon. Named for herbs and flowers, the 19 treatment rooms in the Aurea Spa offer a wide variety of therapies. This is the relaxation room in the Aurea Spa, where guests can unwind before and after treatments and massages. In addition to the sauna (shown), the Aurea Spa has steam rooms, a Laconium, a Frigidarium and a Turkish bath. The gymnasium in the Aurea Spa has cardio machines, spinning bikes, a stretching area, weight machines and free weights. Sheathed in angular aluminum panels, the Platinum Theater has excellent sightlines, spans three decks and is home to the MSC Preziosa’s big productions. “Wonderland” is one of the shows devised specifically for the MSC Preziosa, combining breathtaking acrobatics, dance and music with an international theme. Two full decks of public rooms follow the Platinum Theater on Decks 7 and 6. The El Dorado piano bar is located on Deck 7 aft of the forward vestibule and surrounds a grand staircase leading to the casino, directly below. The Green Sax Jazz Bar has a midcentury modern theme and is a favorite venue for cabaret and jazz-themed musical performances. Located on the port side of Deck 7 adjacent to the Green Sax Jazz Bar, the Sports and Bowling Center is both sports bar and a la carte snack and burger bar. A pair of 10-pin bowling alleys and video games are in the forward portion of the Sports and Bowling Center. Il Cappuccino is the specialty coffee bar overlooking the atrium on Deck 7. There’s no better way to start the day than with a freshly brewed cappuccino at Il Cappuccino. The bottom portion of the MSC Preziosa’s atrium spans Decks 5, 6 and 7. The spectacular space has two panoramic elevators and a pair of helix-shaped, Swarovski crystal-festooned staircases. Each of the Swarovski crystal landings on the atrium stairs is reported to have cost between 2,500 and 3,000 euros. A large photo gallery continues on the starboard side of Deck 7, aft of the atrium. The appropriately named Safari Lounge features leopard-patterned carpeting and is at the aft end of Deck 7. The cabaret lounge and bar is the second largest showroom on the ship and a popular night spot. The Millennium Star Casino is a huge gaming space on Deck 6, just aft of the Platinum Theater and directly below the El Dorado Lounge. Roulette, poker, blackjack and a vast array of slots are available here. A large video-game room is located off the aft/starboard corner of the Millennium Star Casino. Little changed from the original layout and North African theme intended for the unrealized MS Phoenecia, the Phoenecian Plaza is a combination cafe, gelateria, piazza, live entertainment and shopping venue on midships Deck 6. The Diamond Bar and Library overlooks the starboard Deck 6 level of the atrium. La Caramella is one of many specialty shops found aboard the MSC Preziosa. It is the “go to” place for snacks and candies on Deck 6 aft of the atrium. At the base of the atrium on Deck 5, there are two reception desks. This is the less-used station on the starboard side. The MSC Preziosa is equipped with Wi-Fi in most public spaces and staterooms but for those without their own laptops, there is the Cybercafe on the port side of Deck 5. The popular Preziosa Bar is located on the starboard Deck 5 corner of the atrium. Adjoining the Galaxy Disco, the Galaxy Lounge on Deck 16 is a handsome bar and a la carte extra-tariff eatery featuring Mediterranean fusion specialties. Here is a sampling of appetizers offered in the Galaxy Lounge. On Deck 14 near the midships pool, there is a venue selling hand-packed Italian gelato. The first of two adjacent casual buffets open from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., the Inca is located directly aft of the pool area on Deck 14. The Inca and neighboring Maya are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and feature Mediterranean-themed cuisine such as cured meats and cheeses. MSC is known for its excellent pizza and each day, the Inca and Maya provide several types to choose from. The salad bar has a selection of fresh greens and veggies that can be embellished with pre-mixed dressings or extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The similarly appointed Maya follows the Inca, spanning the width of the ship on aft Deck 14. La Locanda is a pizzeria, tapas and snack bar on Deck 7 that also serves up wine, beer and cocktails. Affiliated with the popular New York Italian restaurant of the same name, Eataly is an 80 seat extra tariff a la carte dining venue and market on Deck 7. In addition to a menu with 18 specialties, Eataly offers a wide variety of sauces, pasta, olive oil and other Italian specialties for sale. Ristorante Italia is an upscale, 24 seat, extra-tariff specialty restaurant adjacent to Eataly on Deck 7. It features dishes made with ingredients sourced through the Slow Food Foundation — created to protect small producers and to preserve the quality of local produce. The Golden Lobster is the larger of two main dining venues aboard the MSC Preziosa. Its two levels are connected by a grand staircase linking Decks 5 and 6. L’Arabesque is the second, smaller main dining venue and is located in the far aft portion of Deck 6. This is an authentic pesto ravioli appetizer served in L’Arabesque. Standard Balcony cabins are handsomely furnished and feature rich color schemes and king- or twin-bed configurations. Here is another view of a Standard Balcony stateroom. Standard bathrooms have self-contained showers and plenty of shelves for toiletries. Ocean View cabins feature large picture windows and are configured with one king bed or two twins, as shown. Interior cabins are quite spacious and most have unfolding upper berths. This Interior cabin is specially configured to accommodate wheelchair guests. Wheelchair-access staterooms are modified with open shower spaces and reconfigured controls. MSC provides shampoo and shower gel in environmentally-friendly dispensers versus disposable plastic bottles.

    Seungjae drops his daddy’s USB into a fish tank!…”I’ll rescue you!” [TROS/2017.08.20]
    Articles, Blog

    Seungjae drops his daddy’s USB into a fish tank!…”I’ll rescue you!” [TROS/2017.08.20]

    December 6, 2019

    Children are running at this elementary school. Which family is visiting here? It’s Jiyong and Seungjae. (He knows how to salute.) Long time ago, this used to be dirt. This is the school I used to attend. I have memories of when I was his age. I wanted to share my memories with him. Hello. I’d like to look at a student record. One moment, please. May I look at these graduation albums? This is my graduation album. – Graduation album. / – When you graduate, the daycare will give you one, too. All these children must be old now. (He’s reminiscing the past.) (Grinning) We were in the same class. I was close with him even in middle school. (Who is Jiyong’s close friend?) (Wait, who is this?) (god, the representative idols of the 1990s.) The leading idol members, Hoyoung and Jiyong were from the same class. That’s amazing. (Son Hoyoung, the smile prince) He’s just as cute as he was back then. My picture… I had just woken up from sleep. I wasn’t very happy. Even when he was young, he kept a straight face. (He always has a straight face.) Find me. (Young Jiyong) Let’s see. (He picked someone with confidence.) (Your dad is right here.) Try again. Guess where I am. Look from the start. Where’s Dad? (He scans carefully.) – Is that me? / – This. – Is that me? / – Yes. You got it right. You got it right in just two tries. I was young enough to be your brother here. Is he handsome? Let’s close it now. Let’s close it now. Let’s close it now? Did you study well? Me? I was pretty smart during elementary school. – How well did you do? / – I did very well. Good. (Dad, you’re so boring.) (It’s time to check his student record.) (Serious) Seungjae, come look. I’m surprised, too. This is what the teacher wrote. “He’s brave and very high-spirited.” “He’s confident about everything.” (That sounds familiar.) (He’s cheerful and enthusiastic.) This is what my sixth-grade teacher said. “He’s cheerful with leadership skills.” “He likes to spearhead projects.” It’s similar to what your teacher said. Look at what it says here. “School president for the first semester”. (School president) (Mr. Perfect) Not only is he handsome, he was school president. That’s worth boasting about. Is it that surprising? When I was in elementary, I was very different from how I am now. I realized it again. Let’s go. Wow, it’s hot. – I want to sit here. / – Do you want to sit? – Yes. / – Isn’t it super hot? What are you doing? It’s called hopscotch. They’re leaving. Do you want to try? I’ll show you. You can copy me. (Cameraman Seungjae is at work.) (His jumps are clean.) – Shoot me, okay? / – Okay. (He answered okay, but he’s shooting others.) Seungjae. (He’s having fun playing an old game.) Then you have to pick up the rock, okay? (Jiyong is excited.) Watch me. (Ripping) – What do we do? / – Seungjae. – Gosh. Did his pants rip? / – Can you still see? – Yes. / – Wow, it’s Superman! (It’s The Return of Superman!) (Right now, he’s down-to-earth.) I want to go. Seungjae. (He’s torn up just like his pants.) I didn’t know what to do. My pants… There were so many crew members. (A complete mess) There were a lot of kids, too. I caught an ant. Seungjae, my pants ripped so we should go home. Let’s go play at the playground. Seungjae, let’s go. – Your dad wants to go. / – Come on, let’s go. I have to change. Seungjae, come on. I don’t like you. Bye, guys. My dad’s pants ripped! – Seungjae. / – What’s that? My dad’s pants ripped! He’s driving me crazy. No, we have to go. Come on. Let’s go. Come on. Come on. What’s wrong? I want to play… You should go with your dad. – Seungjae, go with him. / – Let’s go. – Let’s follow him. / – No, no. – Let’s go. See you. / – Bye. Bye, Seungjae. – Come visit again. / – Let’s go. (Will we ever be able to come back?) We have to run to the car, okay? – Okay? / – This… This… (It’s a stationary store.) I have so many hurdles. Seungjae. If you walk to the car, I buy you three. Not three. Why not? I’ll buy you one if you go to the car. (This is my chance!) Are you buying that? Fine. Here. My dad’s pants ripped. (He makes sure everyone knows the news.) Where did it rip? – Back here. / – Back here? You have to run now, okay? – You promised. / – Okay. (Even if he tries hard to hide it,) (it’s pretty obvious.) (Even if a veil covers it) Run. Okay. (I twinkle, it’s obvious) – I’m tired. / – Are you? We’re almost there. (I want to play some more.) (Sorry, Dad.) Hey. Hey. (All he can do is laugh.) Seungjae. (He wants to cover everyone’s eyes today.) Run. Seungjae. (Teasing) (I caught you.) – Let’s hurry. / – Why? – To the car. / – Why? (They’re finally at their car.) – Okay. / – Are we going home? Yes, we’re going home. (We’re sorry we couldn’t protect you.) (He gave up in order to seat his son.) (Poor Jiyong) It’s so hot. Dad, did your pants rip? Yes, they ripped. Why did you run away with my bag? My dad’s pants ripped! (Jiyong had no idea then…) Hey! You punk. (Giggling) Seungjae… – Let’s stay up all night. / – Okay. I can’t sleep because of you. Did something happen to them? What are you doing, Dad? I’m making something. I see. I’ll come back after I pee. – Can you go by yourself? / – Yes. – Really? / – Yes. – I’ll help you. / – It’s okay. Then I’ll come watch. (He gets ready to pee by himself.) Be careful. (Seungjae wants to do things by himself.) Wow, Seungjae. You’re a big boy now. (He’s giving a lot of compliments.) – Aren’t you proud? / – Yes. You must be so proud. (It’s Seungjae’s crawling performance.) (I’m like a turtle) (Here I crawl!) (He’s a big boy now.) Is it night now? Yes, it’s nighttime. (Jiyong is in his working mode.) (Climbing) Watch me. (Dad, watch me.) (He can’t hear Seungjae.) (He’s closing the laptop.) Let go. No, no. (Play with me.) Seungjae. (I’m so upset.) Your nose. What? What’s wrong? What made you sad? (Teary) Go play with your animals. I’ll come play after I finish this. Just this? Yes. Just after this. (Sneaking) Dad, here’s alcohol. That’s garbage. (Have some of your favorite drink.) That’s garbage. Put it back. I can change the color of this. How? I’ll show you magic. Look! I changed the color. What is that? This one looks like alcohol. – Does it look like it? / – Yes. Drink it. No, this is empty. Put it back. Put it back, please. (Crashing) Seungjae. (This is full of things Dad likes.) Dad, drink this. (This won’t do.) I’ll take out the garbage. You shouldn’t play with garbage. (Mad) Where are you going? You’re always angry. Am I always angry? That’s not true. You keep bringing out the garbage. You’re making me throw it out again. – I’ll take these out. / – Okay. (Jiyong goes to take out the trash.) Seungjae, where are you going? You wouldn’t, would you? (He promised to play after he’s done.) (Jiyong’s document is open.) (Let’s see…) (He’s reading the numbers.) (Shall I start working?) (I look just like Dad.) (After a minor hesitation, he’s on a roll.) (Slamming) (The document is being edited.) (There’s a lot to do.) (At that point…) (Jiyong gets a call.) (No way…) – Hello? Hello? / – Yes. Hold on. Isn’t this Mr. Ko’s phone? Yes. Hold on. Is this Seungjae? Hold on. Hello. Hello, Seungjae. Where is your dad? He’s upstairs. Then I’ll call back later. Hold on. – I’ll call back later. / – Hold on. Come visit with yummy food. – Is your dad not back yet? / – No. Tell your dad I’ll call back later, okay? – Okay. Hang up. / – Bye. (What are you doing this time?) (It looks like he wants to put it in his pocket.) (He gives up and returns to work.) (Jiyong has no idea.) (He’s recycling.) (He’s getting rid of the drink bottles.) (He drank a lot of alcohol.) I hope you don’t think of me as a drunk. There are so many. (Here’s another reason to drink.) (Did he finish?) What’s this? (He found a USB.) (You should remove the portable disc safely.) (He removed it unsafely.) I’ll save you. (Where is he going with the USB?) (The fishbowl?) Goodness! No, Seungjae! Are you okay? I’ll save you. Did you think it was a fish? You have to go in the water now. Swim. You have to swim. (You better hurry back.) Hey, Micky. Jiyong, you have to hurry back. – Hello. / – There he is. Where are you going for vacation? I think we’ll have to take different dates this time. (Your vacation just went out the window.) Seungjae. I put the fish in the tank. The fish was always in the tank. I put in a dead fish. What dead fish? Come look. (He’s approaching the horrible scene.) Hey! Did you put this in here? Hey… (He can’t talk from the shock.) Why did you put this in there? – Is this a fish? / – Yes. Is it a fish? What do I do if it doesn’t work? Hold on. (I’ll revive it.) Give it to me. (Please, please, please…) What do I do if it’s broken? I’ll be in trouble. (He shakes it.) (He taps it.) (He looks troubled.) (He can’t believe it.) (Why are you drying the fish?) (The fish is dry now.) What’s this? – Did you touch this? / – Yes. (Oh my gosh!) (Oh my gosh!) (It’s gone.) (He connects the USB with very little hope.) (Nervous) Hold on. Hold on. Let go. (Why is he laughing?) It works. Seungjae, it works. (Korea’s technology is excellent.) The technology is great. Seungjae. (Happy) I answered your phone. Did you answer my phone? What did you say? I told her to bring ice cream. Did you tell her to bring ice cream? – Seungjae. / – Yes? If the people I work with call me, should you answer the phone? – I won’t do it again. / – Good. Seungjae. Let’s say you were working on a puzzle, then I threw the pieces and ran away. – How would you feel? / – Bad. – You would feel bad. / – Yes. This is the same thing. – Don’t do it again. / – Okay. Give me a kiss. I was upset because you scolded me. You were upset because I scolded you? I see. Don’t do that, okay? Gosh, I am exhausted. – I’m going. / – Where are you going? (He escapes.) (Why does the day seem so long today?) (Moving stealthily) (Seungjae found something.) (This is) (what Dad used to clean the house.) (Carefully) My goodness. Seungjae, not again. What are you doing? (Surprised) (I am cleaning your legs.) (You have hair on your legs.) (A hair removal service for the tired dad) Hey! (He punishes Seungjae right away.) Seungjae. (Running away) Should I do the same to you, too? Should I stick it on your eyebrows? Don’t stick it on my eyebrows. I will stick it on your hair. I will stick it on your hair. You won’t stick it on my hair, right? I will. Don’t do that. That won’t do. You should go to bed earlier than me. I will put you to sleep first. Okay? – No. / – Okay? No. Let’s go to sleep, Seungjae. (They play around even when they lie down.) Let’s go to sleep. (Jiyong and Seungjae have a peaceful night.) (Jiyong and Seungjae have a sleepless night.) (Seungjae goes outside.) Seungjae, where are you going? (He picks something up from the living room.) (Approaching) (His shoulders shake from laughing.) (Laughing) I… (Even he finds it hilarious.) I came to stick it on your hair. (Sticking) (Laughing) (My stomach hurts from laughing.) Was it that funny? I will pull out your hair. – Seungjae. / – Yes? Let’s stay up all night today, okay? I’m too apprehensive to go to bed. Let’s stay up all night today, okay?

    Ice fishing ** FAIL ** and Benny Hill Parody to boot
    Articles, Blog

    Ice fishing ** FAIL ** and Benny Hill Parody to boot

    December 5, 2019

    If you haven’t pieced it together by now, don’t worry, neither did we. A fish hooked into buddy’s line, but went unnoticed. It swam around hooked under the ice tangling up ALL of our lines. We ran around not knowing who was next ….and now the Benny Hill Parody!