Tag: Ships

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How to Go Yacht-Spotting on Fort Lauderdale's Intracoastal Waterway

October 23, 2014 at 2:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

The mere mention of Fort Lauderdale conjures up thoughts of sand between toes, endless beaches, and spending most of the day simply relaxing. While the city does offer some of the best spot to work on your tan, the ballers head a bit more inland, to the Intracoastal.

Starting from the impressive beach-side marina of Bahia Mar Yachting Center, we hitched a ride with the Gondolas West boat canal tour for some yacht-spotting. Our gondola boat was humble, but could be packed with any light nibble or libations for floating by all those yachts and waterfront mansions.

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Crazy Cruise Fees That Should Be Thrown Overboard

October 16, 2014 at 8:15 PM | by | Comments (2)

CruiseCritic yesterday reported the delightful, wholly unexpected news that Royal Caribbean is dropping the $25 corkage fee on BYO-bottles of wine at their onboard restaurants.

Now, for example, if you board with a special bottle you're intending to drink in celebration on your cruise, you're welcome to do so without finding a hidden fee later. The policy is thus:

"Passengers are allowed to bring two bottles of wine or Champagne (up to 750 ml each) onboard at embarkation. Previously, they could drink the contents free of charge only in their staterooms. Additional bottles brought onboard or purchased in port are confiscated and returned to the passengers on the last day of the cruise."

The old corkage fee is hardly the only ridiculous extra onboard. Here are a few other exorbitant cruise ship fees we'd like to see eliminated:

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You Won't Believe What Showed Up on This In-Flight Map

August 27, 2014 at 10:11 AM | by | Comments (0)

Twitter user @nycsouthpaw was onboard the notoriously lengthy Hawaiian Airlines nonstop flight from New York-JFK to Honolulu yesterday, when he noticed a little something special within the seatback entertainment moving map:

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Why the Newest Cruise Ship's Flashiest Amenity Isn't Everything It Promises

August 14, 2014 at 4:49 PM | by | Comment (1)

Ice-skating rinks. Rock-climbing walls. Planetariums. Mini golf courses. If it seems like cruise ships have it all, that's because they must cater to the whims of thousands of travelers with differing interests, all with the single goal of a good time.

Starting this November, that good time will be enhanced by yet another cruise line first, as Royal Caribbean debuts the 4,900-passenger Quantum of the Seas and her extendable arm viewing capsule, the "North Star." This contraption, which lifts passengers up and over the ship for a 360-degree view, would be a lovely little mid-ocean joyride, if only the key promotional rendering wasn't so misleading.

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Out to Sea But Not Off the Grid: How to Save on Cruise Ship WiFi

July 29, 2014 at 2:22 PM | by | Comments (3)

At-sea WiFI is a beautiful thing, but this beauty doesn’t come without a price tag. Cruise ships around the world have offered connectivity from sea to shining sea for several years thanks to Inmarsat’s satellites buzzing about in space, and yet the cost of using even one hour of internet is shocking and, dare we say it, turning travelers away from oceangoing vacations.

There is hope, however; onboard a recent transatlantic voyage of Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, we hooked onto an internet signal every day, at all hours, from all over the ship, despite our location of “somewhere in the North Atlantic Ocean,” and came away with scores of ideas on how to keep those WiFi costs down while still logging on:

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The Era of the Megaship is Hardly Over

July 24, 2014 at 10:16 AM | by | Comments (0)

Good news for those looking to take a cruise on as big a ship as possible, as there will soon be two new vessels from which to choose thanks to those over at Norwegian Cruise Line.

The company has plans to add a pair of new ships to their fleet, and each should have room for around 4,200 passengers. Meyer Werft shipyard over in Germany are in charge of putting all the pieces together and, when it’s all said and done and christened, these big bad boats will cost just over $2 billion.

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Eastbound or Westbound: That is the Transatlantic Question

June 25, 2014 at 12:37 PM | by | Comments (0)

Paris, London, Tokyo, Sydney...a list of world capitals may make for a respectable "places visited" list, but don't consider it complete without time spent on the open ocean. To be specific, we're talking about taking a transatlantic crossing, sailing between Southampton, UK and New York, NY.

We've already done the math to discover that going by Cunard's RMS Queen Mary 2 ocean liner is half the cost of flying Business Class, but now to face the biggest decision: eastbound or westbound?

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Fleet Week Returns to NYC with Ship Tours and Aerial Displays

May 20, 2014 at 1:40 PM | by | Comments (0)

Anchors aweigh! After budget cuts necessitated that Fleet Week NYC go on hold for 2013, the week-long event is returning for 2014. Starting tomorrow (May 21) through May 27, New York's waterfront and tourist centers will be crawling with the Navy, Coast Guard and Marines as their ships welcome the public.

Fleet Week is a chance for New York City to recognize the contributions of the US military around Memorial Day, and also to appreciate the city's advantageous location on a beautiful harbor. Events include fighter jet flyovers and other aerial displays, ship tours, live music performances, special days at the city's ballparks and, of course, hoards of sailors in their dress whites carousing on their best behavior around town.

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By Sea or By Air: Comparing the Costs of Transatlantic Travel Today

May 19, 2014 at 5:06 PM | by | Comments (2)

In one day, approximately 8,100 travelers fly one-way between New York and London. The journey from one airport to the other, with the stretch of the Atlantic Ocean between, takes 7 hours, during which time the luckiest passengers will manage to squeeze in a nap between tiny meals. In one year, that's nearly 3 million winging their way, one-way, through the clouds between continents.

In one week, 2,620 travelers sail between New York and London onboard Cunard's ocean liner, the Queen Mary 2. In 2014, as she celebrates her 10th Anniversary, she'll transport 23,580 via 9 westbound transatlantic crossings full of black tie evenings, three lavish meals daily, proper afternoon teas, splashes in pools, Canyon Ranch spa treatments, lectures by notable personalities, walks around deck in the sea breeze, and stargazing nightcaps on balconies before tucking into bed.

That's 3 million in the sky versus 23,500 on the seas, and you can double those totals to approximate roundtrip travel. Crossing the Atlantic by ship is indeed a niche option these days, and it's a rarefied experience in more ways than one. Still, it is first and foremost a mode of transportation—the QM2 is a real ocean liner, not a cruise ship, after all—and the small self-selecting group to chose an ocean liner over an airplane are actually getting the deal of their lives.

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How to Follow Along with the Queen Mary 2's 10th Anniversary Voyage

May 9, 2014 at 12:41 PM | by | Comments (0)

There's more than one way to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Although flights between New York and London fly nearly hourly, a far more rarified experience is to travel between continents via ocean liner. It's hardly a thing of the past; Cunard's three ships regularly feature transatlantic itineraries of seven days at sea. In fact, we're aboard one at this very moment.

Today is especially important, as the voyage begins what is...
... The 10th Anniversary transatlantic crossing of the Queen Mary 2
... A rare rendezvous in Southampton for all three Cunard ships: Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth. This is a grand send-off to the QM2 on her anniversary, complete with a 10-minute fireworks departure (one minute for each year of service so far), and an early preview of the excitement for next year, which will mark the 175th for Cunard Line.
... A royal visit. HRH The Duke of Edinburgh will preside at the anniversary ceremony onboard the QM2. You may know him better as Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, who herself christened the ship in 2004.
... The lead-up for another big event, next week. On May 16, when the QM2 arrives into New York Harbour, she will turn around and leave again, back across the ocean for Southampton, completing a round-trip anniversary. New Yorkers can watch her leave in the evening of May 16. Best views can be had from the Staten Island Ferry or Red Hook, Brooklyn.

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Float from Maine to Nova Scotia on a New Overnight Ferry Route

May 8, 2014 at 11:08 AM | by | Comments (0)

Just a few months ago we filled you in on the awesomeness that is the new ferry service planned between Maine and Nova Scotia, and now we have a little more information about when things will start cruising across the Atlantic just shy of the Bay of Fundy.

The back and forth between Portland, Maine and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia will all happen thanks to the Nova Star Ferry, beginning on May 15. Now that departures and arrivals are finally on the schedule, travelers can now view the ferry fares.

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Is Wes Anderson Scouting a Cruise Ship for His Next Movie?

May 2, 2014 at 12:29 PM | by | Comments (0)

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of Cunard's Queen Mary 2, a modern cruise ship of classic style, from a company that's been in the business of ocean travel for 174 years. For such a momentous occasion, Cunard is peppering the year's sailings with special events and visits by honored guests, including Wes Anderson, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola.

With the filmmakers and actors onboard, passengers will have the opportunity to participate in multiple film screenings, plus a Q&A session in the ship's Royal Court Theatre. Book ASAP; this is all happening soon, on the June 13 eastbound transatlantic crossing from New York to Southampton, England. Prices for the sailing start from $1,298 per person, which covers almost everything for 7 days at sea.

To tell the truth, we're quite hopeful that Anderson is using the trip for a secret, secondary purpose of location scouting for his next film. After all, he is already a fan of Cunard's transatlantic crossings, having sailed on one of the Queen Elizabeth 2's final voyages several years ago.

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