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P. 131: Disney Wish "Grand Hall" details teased!

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Just saw this, I wonder if the lines will start paying in time in future after this little stunt!

 

http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-27538764

 

A Norwegian bailiff has impounded one of the world's biggest cruise ships because of unpaid pilot fees.

 

The 150,000-tonne Independence of the Seas was stopped in the town of Alesund because Royal Carribean, the ship's owner, didn't pay its 2013 fees, national broadcaster NRK reports. The Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) says the money - about 600,000 kroner (£60,000, $100,000) - should have been paid in October. The money was reportedly paid within an hour of the seizure and the cruiser is now free to sail on.

Edited by TPDave
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Last week my parents decided to surprise us with our second cruise this year. Wow! After sailing with Holland America twice before and loving every moment of it, my parents decided to settle on sailing the Veendam from Boston up to Quebec. We initially considered staying with the ship back to Boston making it a 14 day affair, but because of time constraints and the fact that it's still frigid up there, we opted for the weeklong trip and Quebec-Montreal stopover instead.

 

The ship itself is pretty much the same design as the Ryndam. Small and intimate, however, there were parts of the ship that definitely felt worn down (mostly on the exterior in the less frequented parts of the ship). The back of the ship had a huge Jumbotron, but because of the nasty weather, it was left unused. The boat rocked pretty hard on the high seas, but once we hit the rivers, it was relatively calm out.

 

Nightly entertainment was solid at best. I've seen better shows at Busch in some cases. One of the actors had an annoying voice. The guest stars were phenomenal. We had a local band play traditional Gaelic music the second night and a master pianist the fifth night. Both actually got standing ovations. The ship played first run movies all week as well - none of the obscure stuff that the Ryndam had, which was nice.

 

Service was a bit of a miss, especially after stellar service we got from the other two HAL ships we did (and I'll throw in the three Carnival sailings we did as well). The housekeeping staff and the entertainment staff were the only ones that really showed the extra effort. Everyone else was nice, but nobody went out of their way to know our names or any of the extra little things that make these trips better.

 

The ports of call were great. This was the first cruise where we actually left the port for everything. One thing I love about these northern ports is that they're located just out of town, so you don't have to travel far to see everything. My biggest problem with this trip was the cruddy weather we got. Of the seven days on the boat, we only had 2 sunny days.

 

Bar Harbor ME - A lovely little tourist town. We missed out on going to Acadia, but did check out Bar Island (and nearly got stranded due to the rolling tides). We ended up walking barefoot through frigid water just to get off the island - it was a memorable experience indeed. Next time I should pack water shoes in case we do get stuck so we get to see more of the island. There's a walking tour that goes around town along the waterfront which has a breathtaking view of the ocean. The town has the usual touristy stuff. Small and charming indeed.

 

Halifax Nova Scotia - Prince Charles and Camilla were in town for Victoria Day and they did a cool meet and greet right outside the cruise terminal. The tugboats along the water put on a special show for them too. That was awesome. We walked the boardwalk along the harbor and into the heart of downtown. The old fortress (because we have to climb a fortress every time we cruise) provides a fantastic view of the entire city from above and it's in a pretty good location next to the hockey arena. A beautiful city.

 

Sydney Nova Scotia - This is basically a smaller Bar Harbor. The cruise terminal has a museum and a craft fair inside and the worlds largest fiddle right outside. The city itself doesn't have much outside of a few random historic sites. Next time we visit, I'm taking a tour outside the city.

 

Charlottetown Prince Edward Island - if you combine the big city feel of Halifax with the small town charm of the other two ports, you get Charlottetown. We saw the Parliament building, the theater, and a beautiful cathedral. I also scored a vintage CNE postcard with the wooden coaster in one of the antiques shops. At port, there isn't much outside of a craft market and a few gift shops, but there's tons to do in town. Hopefully we'll see more next time.

 

Quebec City (overnight) - One of my favorite stops on this trip, we went to Quebec last October, but that trip was a complete bust. This time we walked all over the city seeing everything we could in the two days we had. Old Quebec is beautiful. Like the small towns we did, it's definitely charming. The downtown has its fair share of cool things to do too. Walked into the Parliament building, which is nice, but I'd recommend going on a tour to see the whole thing. We also walked along the battlefield park on the river and went through the holy door of the Notre Dame cathedral, which apparently only opens once every 20 years for special events. Checked out the Chateau Frontenac, but it's just a fancy hotel with a view. Overall, loved it - can't wait to come back soon!

 

Did a side trip to St Anne's Cathedral the day we walked off the boat. It's a beautiful setting and a lovely attraction, but the stuff around it gives off a tourist trap feel.

 

Montreal (yesterday) - Another amazing city, I caught a quick glimpse of Goliath from the Molson factory. Even though I've visited twice before, this city never gets old. Revisited St. Joseph's Oratory, which is a must for anyone visiting, then hung out around the botanical gardens and the Olympic park. The gardens were slammed from the tulip festival and we didn't wanna wait in the four hour line to get tickets. Couldn't walk into the stadium at the park either because everything was locked down so we took our photos and left.

 

Overall, I really enjoyed this trip even though I didn't walk off the boat choking from tears like I did the other trips. I'll definitely do it again in a heartbeat (even with Holland America). Now my folks are considering a third cruise this year. It's gonna be quite the year for trips.

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The Norwegian Jewel was also in Belize with us, as was an un-pictured Princess Ship.

by CoasterCarl » Thu May 22, 2014 7:33 am

 

Hey everyone!

 

I'm going on my first cruise this summer on the Norwegian Gem! Do you guys have any tips or comments about the Norwegian Gem and Norwegian Cruise Line I should know about?

 

For CoasterCarl and anyone else looking for a first hand experience for Norwegian, Here is a review from my Christmas 2013 Norwegian Dawn Western Caribbean Cruise. As for a little background, I have been on 7 prior cruises, 3 with Princess, 2 with Royal Caribbean, 1 Costa, and 1 Carnival.

 

Embarkation Day: Arrival to the Port of Tampa was easy and we arrived early enough to beat the lines to enter the terminal. There was some concern over this as previous cruises had reported delayed entry and boarding due to the cruise no longer being closed loop or something along those lines. Once past security, we we quickly checked in and received our room keys and boarding group. At 11:30 or so, boarding group 1 was called after the suite guests had gone on board. Once on board, we took a quick look around the atrium, and a map of the ship to get an orientation, then headed to the buffet for lunch. Good selection and was delicious. After 1, cabins were ready, checked them out, did the muster drill, then sail away. Going under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge was a neat experience. Dinner was Lobster and filet, and was amazing.

 

Day 2: First sea day, and there were plenty of activities to do all day long. The cruise staff was always out and about engaging passengers everywhere making sure they all had a great time. Went to a martini tasting event and for $15 we got six half sized, strong martinis. Dinner was at La Cucina, and I was able to try two main entrees, both selected by our server, and they were great. I left so full I thought I would need a wheelbarrow. The rest of the night we just walked off our massive meal, and hit up the casino.

 

Day 3: Isla Roatan. Christmas Eve. Arrived into port and hired a private driver. One of the sketchiest things I have done. Our driver was well dressed and very professional, however his Pontiac Vibe had definitely seen better days and he took us through some shady areas on the island. We made it back safe and sound. Afterwards we relaxed until dinner in the main dinning room. The only truly bad experience on board, and very little had to do with the waitstaff. The pager system had failed to charge the pagers, so there was a massive back up of people waiting to be seated. Lots of rude passengers pushing and shoving, crowding the hostess, etc. We had one elderly woman faint on us, and instead of clearing room, people tried to push past the scene and take her spot. I will give the hostess credit to maintaining her calm and friendly demeanor the entire time. Dinner service was slow, but it all was great, so no complaints ad I'm vacation and have nowhere to go. We had a perfect couples game show, and this isn't a not-so-newly-wed game. If they offer it, see it. Its almost as fun as the Quest. Maybe more. It was that fun.

 

Day 4: Belize City, Christmas Day. Tender port with the longest tender ride ever. But the tenders are really fast so not so bad. Being Christmas day, most local stores were closed so not much to comment on there. Returned to the ship early and enjoyed the nearly empty pool and 85* weather. Dinner was at Moderno Churrascaria, the Brazilian Steakhouse. Everything tasted amazing, especially the grilled pineapple. Only downfall we thought was the slow service from the meat bearers. Later we went to see the Second City show and were not all that impressed by them. The adults only show was marginally better, but only for the more adult material being used. Did find out they closed the hot tubs for cleaning promptly at 12 midnight.

 

Day 5: Costa Maya. Started off with a rainy morning, but we had a private excursion to Maya Chan to go to and rain wasn't going to stop that. Highly recommend this excursion. $60 pp, and includes unlimited food, alcoholic (strong) drinks, snorkeling, sea kayaking, and a palapa to enjoy your day in. And they limit the number of visitors so its not crowded, but it is a very bumpy ride to get there. Busy night activities wise, including the comedian, deal or no deal and more that I cant remember, so it was a quick meal at Blue Lagoon Cafe, which is decent for a quickish snack. Had an enjoyable night.

 

Day 6: Cozumel. I have been here enough times that I normally don't get off except to go to senior frogs, but decided to do atv's last minute and well worth it. However my day was getting cut short as a fever was starting to develop. Did manage to make it Teppanyaki that night. By far the best I have ever had, and wish my fever didn't want to spring into full gear at that exact moment to enjoy more of it. Called an early night and finally broke the fever.

 

Day 7: At Sea. Lazy day. I did get to play some Bingo, didn't come close to winning, and was kinda disappointed by the jackpots available. Final dinner was in the main dinning room again and was as good as every other time. The quest was the night's entertainment and as always a great way to close out a cruise.

 

Day 8: Debarkation: Debarkation and customs was a breeze. We chose to walk off when we were ready, and that was when we were told we absolutely could not stay any longer. We then spent the day at the Tampa Aquarium and then returned to Daytona.

 

Overall the cruise was an absolute blast! I would rank it second overall, just behind my 5 day Liberty of the Seas cruise. Food is subjective, but I found the dinning rooms to be perfectly acceptable, and the specialty restaurants to be worth the surcharge. Now that Norwegian has the Ultimate dining package, I will buy that to try more of them next time I cruise with Norwegian. The Staff was excellent, always a warm smile and "hello, how are you?". Our room steward was on top of every request and made sure to greet us by name every day. As with any vacation, how you spend your time will reflect on your experience. Overlooking minor petty things, like small amounts of rust (Actual complaint I over heard), will greatly enhance your experience. I will cruise Norwegian again and will be glad to answer any questions that I can through my experience.

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Atrium

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Downtown Tampa with a Carnival Ship in the safest place it can be, Tied up to the dock.

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The Dawn docked in Isla Roatan

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Bow art of the Norwegian Dawn as seen from the Tender.

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An ad just showed up on Facebook for a "win an eight-night singles cruise" contest on Carnival. Hmm--I imagine a cruise during which you had to avoid zombies, werewolves, vampires, and raptors for a week might be more terrifying, but I doubt it.

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An ad just showed up on Facebook for a "win an eight-night singles cruise" contest on Carnival. Hmm--I imagine a cruise during which you had to avoid zombies, werewolves, vampires, and raptors for a week

Sounds about accurate from what I've heard.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
An ad just showed up on Facebook for a "win an eight-night singles cruise" contest on Carnival. Hmm--I imagine a cruise during which you had to avoid zombies, werewolves, vampires, and raptors for a week might be more terrifying, but I doubt it.

 

I wonder how many people on that cruise will be wearing PBR t-shirts. I didn't realize that PBR actually had t-shirts until my last Carnival cruise....

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  • 4 weeks later...

Time for another Costa Concordia update.

 

Looks like they are almost ready to refloat and remove the ship.

 

All sponsons now in position. Technicians set to start testing all systems before refloating the wreck.

 

 

Installation of the last sponson, P1, on the port side of the wreck of the cruise ship Costa Concordia has been completed as planned this afternoon. Now, ahead of authorization from the Monitoring Observatory, technicians can start to test all the systems for the final refloating of the Concordia.

 

 

“Following installation of the last sponson, we can start the countdown to refloating and final departure of the wreck from Giglio Island,” said Costa Crociere CEO Michael Thamm. “Now all our energies are focused on the successful conclusion of this unprecedented engineering challenge to respect a precise commitment: remove the Concordia wreck as soon as possible, in compliance with the highest environmental and safety standards.”

 

 

A total of 30 sponsons have been positioned on the two sides of the Concordia. When the refloating operation begins, the sponsons will be gradually emptied of ballast water by means of a pneumatic system thereby providing the necessary buoyancy to refloat the wreck. At the end of this operation the wreck will have a draft of approximately 18.5 meters. The Concordia will then leave Giglio Island and be taken to Genoa, for dismantling and recycling.

 

Update from the 3th of july.. so we might see something happen in the next week...

source: http://www.theparbucklingproject.com/article/85/Costa_Crociere:_installation_of_all_sponsons_completed,_ten_days_to_possible_refloating

Edited by Hhappy
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They've released underwater footage of the ship as it is now.

At the end there is some spectacular video of the half submerged atrium,

it's amazing to think that nearly all of the atrium was submerged prior to the righting of the wreck!

 

[youtu_be]

[/youtu_be]
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www.cnn.com/2014/07/14/world/europe/costa-concordia-salvage/

 

Here is an update from CNN, The ship has been successfully been refloated.

 

Giglio, Italy (CNN) -- The last time anyone saw Russel Rebello alive, he was near the stern of the Costa Concordia, helping passengers into rescue boats.

But the 33-year-old waiter from India never escaped the doomed cruise ship. And he's the only victim of the 2012 shipwreck whose remains haven't been found.

Investigators hope that could change soon. By midday Monday, the ship was floating again, Costa Crociere CEO Michael Thamm said.

Salvage crews began the arduous task of trying to refloat the ship on Monday morning so they can move it to the Italian port of Genoa to be dismantled.

It's been more than 2½ years since the ship ran aground off Italy's Giglio Island with more than 4,200 passengers aboard, killing 32 people in a disaster that drew global attention.

 

And it's been 10 months since salvage teams rolled the 114,000-ton vessel off the rocks in one of the most complex shipwreck recovery efforts ever undertaken.

But there's still more work to be done.

"We are not at the end, but we are at a critical moment," Giglio Mayor Sergio Ortelli told reporters.

For 10 months, engineers have been hard at work, attaching metal boxes to either side of the ship.

After draining water from the boxes, they had to pump compressed air into its place to get the ship to float.

It was a dangerous and tricky procedure. The ship is rotting, and there's a real risk the bottom of it could give way.

By lunchtime Monday, the ship had been moved 20 meters (about 66 feet) as part of an initial 30-meter (98-feet) shift to the east.

Officials told the media that a problem with the cable, described as "nothing serious," meant it would take another few hours to move the vessel the final 10 meters.

After 30 meters, the ship will be anchored and operations will cease for Monday.

 

After the ship is anchored, the riskiest part of the operation will be over until the vessel gets moved off the island. The 20-meter shift had already dramatically changed the appearance of the wreck from land.

Officials said the Concordia's stern had been raised four meters (13 feet) and the bow two meters (about 6.5 feet).

On Tuesday, five steel hollow boxes, or sponsons, will be lowered, and divers will begin attaching more chains and cables to help reinforce the bottom of the boat.

Then the full refloat begins, lifting the Concordia, deck by deck, clearing any debris along the way.

Once the ship is completely floated, it will be towed -- slowly and carefully -- 240 kilometers (150 miles) to Genoa.

Italian Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti told the media that the operation marked the closure of a dark moment in Italy. He said it would have been too dangerous to leave the Costa Concordia in the same position for another year.

"We could have dismantled the Concordia in situ, but they chose to take the more expensive, riskier route to tow it away to save the environment of Giglio," Galletti said.

Officials said it's likely the towing process won't start for days due to port restrictions. It will take five to six days for the ship to reach Genoa, officials said.

 

Thamm, the CEO, called the operation "the most daunting salvage ever attempted on a ship of its size."

He added that the cost of the project has already exceeded 1 billion euros -- not including the refloat, the anticipated transport to Genoa or the dismantling.

Since the wreck two years ago, 24 metric tons of debris -- including furniture, dishes, food, personal effects and ship parts -- have been recovered from the seabed.

While salvage crews continue efforts to deal with the wreckage, Francesco Schettino, the ship's captain, is on trial on charges of manslaughter, causing a maritime disaster and abandoning ship with passengers still on board. He denies wrongdoing.

Search teams thought they had found Rebello's remains in October. But the body divers found turned out to be that of Maria Grazia Trecarichi, a Sicilian who was on the cruise to celebrate her 50th birthday with her 17-year-old daughter, who survived.

Costa-Concordia-009.jpg.bc2fcd9d9305a5acfb2c59adc1dea2d6.jpg

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I haven't really been following this since the parbuckling back in September. Did Carnival just walk away from this and letting the Italian government foot the bill?

 

No, Costa/Carnival, or more technically their insurance company, is paying for it (about $2 billion):

 

http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/07/06/italy-concordia-costs-idINL6N0PH0EO20140706

 

http://www.tradewindsnews.com/weekly/340755/Costa-Concordia-claim-climbs-by-257m-after-Genoa-gets-scrap-job

Edited by ahecht
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An ad just showed up on Facebook for a "win an eight-night singles cruise" contest on Carnival. Hmm--I imagine a cruise during which you had to avoid zombies, werewolves, vampires, and raptors for a week might be more terrifying, but I doubt it.

 

Some of these are so good, they should be used for their contest ads!

 

http://s2.quickmeme.com/img/6c/6cc34c22785c0356c3b7d9e2c3da92c57550635d1b95dd13d23797882fda2420.jpg

http://s2.quickmeme.com/img/17/17acec0f24cbbbbce90033b15b1f016830ee84c3714ab1d4833df146a865cbd3.jpg

http://s2.quickmeme.com/img/b2/b2d2ec10a5dcce44a43b119ea98b344379032857cede53838e88913e31abb842.jpg

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Sounds like RCCL went and copied NCL's Freestyle dining. Not that there's anything wrong with that - if anything, that makes the Quantum class more appealing. And having them depart from China means maybe it'll justify me going there for once!

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