Monday, May 25, 2015

CUNARD MARKS 175 YEARS AT LIVERPOOL

Today was truly a red letter day for Cunard. The three Queens, Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, gathered in Liverpool to mark the cruise line's 175th anniversary. From Cunard:

"At midday on 25 May, Cunard’s current fleet will become the largest ships ever to sail in formation on the Mersey when all three Queens perform a meticulously planned series of manoeuvres to mark the company’s 175th anniversary and to salute Liverpool, its spiritual home, where the company began in 1840. The ships will perform a ‘river dance’ against the backdrop of Liverpool’s Three Graces, a world heritage site which includes the Cunard Building, the company’s headquarters from 1916-1967. Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to gather on both sides of the river to watch."

Here's the video, and congratulations to Cunard. Here's a toast from Cruising Squared for another 175 years!


'CRUISE CONTROL' DETAILS SHIP RECORDS

This week the website ProPublica debuted a new site devoted to cruise ship health and safety records, Cruise Control. On it, users can search a "database of over 300 ships that make port in the U.S. You'll be able to see their health and safety records going back as far as 2010, as well as their current position and deck plans." Worth checking out.


FOOD TRUCK NIGHT AT THE PALM BEACH ZOO

This way to the tacos! (All Photos/Cruising Squared)
Cruising Squared made a return trip to the Palm Beach Zoo on Saturday May 24 for the Braman Motor Cars Food Trucks at the Zoo event. Not only was a chance to sample some of Palm Beach's best mobile meals (we opted for the tacos), but also an opportunity to view some animals up close and personal,including a cockatoo, a tortoise, a reptile and a python. If you haven't been, you should go. It's well done and both people and animal-friendly.And thanks to Braman for providing another memorable outing. -- Gerry and Pam



A lemur has his own private food truck


These lemurs are just waking up
This reptile says "Stop and be friendly."

And here's a cockatoo that knows what to do when the camera is rolling:

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

'WORLD CLASS BAR' DEBUTS ON 'ECLIPSE'

World Class Bar on Eclipse  (Celebnrity)
Cruising Squared is always in search of the perfect cocktail. Somebody has to do it, right?

That search may soon lead us to the new World Class Bar aboard Celebrity Eclipse (where we fondly remember the French martinis from the launch party). Celebrity Cruises and Diageo Global Travel Americas have partnered to launch the world’s first permanent World Class Bar. It debuts on Eclipse, and will soon be a fixture on the four other Solstice-class ships.

Committed to delivering a high-end drink experience, it will featured exclusive drinks, such as:

· MYSTIC KETEL ONE – a unique ritual serve, this tropical cocktail is made with Ketel One Vodka. A specially designed kettle cools the mixture of strawberries, pineapple, aloe vera, lime juice, ginger liqueur and Ketel One and releases a vapor.

· ZACAPA OLD FASHIONED – rich Zacapa 23 Rum is mixed with angostura bitters and a dash of chocolate mole for a twist on one of the classics, as Zacapa elevates the “Old Fashioned” to the next level.

· CELEBRITY No. TEN – a refreshing cocktail made with unique Tanqueray no. Ten gin, fresh raspberries, a dash of bitters, lemon juice and crème de violette and topped off with ginger ale.

You can stop now ... you had us at vodka.  --Gerry


MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THE KEY LIME FEST


We have found the best key lime pie anywhere in -- where else? -- the Florida Keys. If you too are a key lime fanatic, get ready for the annual Key Lime Festival. Here are the details from this delicious press release:

"Fans of sweet Key lime pie can salute the Florida Keys' signature dessert and the tiny fruit that inspired it Thursday through Saturday, July 2-4, during the annual Key Lime Festival. Events include a Key lime pie-eating contest, a wacky talent show and samplings of Keys-distilled rum flavored with the tangy lime.

"Believed to have originated in Key West in the late 1800s, Key lime pie was designated Florida's official pie in 2006 by the state legislature. Its primary ingredients are condensed milk, egg yolks and the juice of the tiny yellow Key lime, with the creamy filling typically nestled in a graham cracker crust and topped with whipped cream or meringue.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

PASSPORT SCANNERS MAY SPEED EMBARKATION

Name the three parts of cruising you like the least. For me, it's getting on the ship, getting off the ship and the dreaded safety drill. Something that may ease the process for the first two are new automated passport scanners, now deployed at the Vancouver cruise terminal. You can read more about it here. Let's hope they will be coming to a cruise terminal near you soon. -- Gerry

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

BEHIND THE SCENES OF 'DEVINLY DECADENCE'

The restaurant is called "Devinly Decadence," taking its name from celebrity chef Devin Alexander, known from the TV show "The Biggest Loser." You can experience her "flavor-first" cooking aboard Anthem of the Seas. This week's video has more. My question? Why do I watch these right before lunch?


Friday, May 8, 2015

10 SURREAL DESTINATIONS

Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park in Nagano, Japan (TripAdvisor)
TripAdvisor is out with their "10 of the most surreal places on earth" list. Sorry -- nothing from Florida qualified, even if we do produce some of the weirdest news in the country. But check out the list and you may find some additions to your own bucket list, like a trip to see Japan's snow monkeys. Brrr. I bet that water is c-c-c-cold. -- Gerry

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

'WE WILL ROCK YOU' FEATURED ON 'ANTHEM'

British rock is alive and well, thank you very much, on Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas. The long-running show, "We Will Rock You," has taken center stage on Royal's newest cruise ship. As Lionel's father might say on the BBC show, "As Time Goes By," -- "Rock on!"

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR OF 'CARNIVAL VISTA'

Carnival's newest ship, Carnival Vista, is set to begin service in just about a year: May 1, 2016. But if you want a sneak peek at what's coming your way, come aboard this virtual tour. After it's over, you won't want to leave.



AND THE WORLD'S BEST ISLAND IS ...

TripAdvisor is out with their Top 10 Islands in the World, 2015 Edition. The good news is you don't have to go that far to experience their number one rated island paradise. It's right in our Caribbean neighborhood: Providenciales, in the Turks and Caicos. It has the usual suspects: Miles of sugary white sand, turquoise waters, upscale resorts ... so what are we waiting for???

AVALON EXPANDS RIVER THEME CRUISES

By popular demand, Avalon Waterways has expanded its offerings of theme river cruises. Here's the latest lineup of what's available:



Wine Appreciation Cruises:
Travelers learn what to look for in a good wine with help from distinguished wine authorities, visits to wine villages and tastings galore.

· Burgundy & Provence – March 21 and October 23 & 27, 2016 departures
· Grand France - March 21, October 18 & 22, 2016 departures
· Rhine & Rhône Revealed – October 22, 2016 departure
· Canals, Vineyards & Paris – October 25, 2016 departure
· The Blue Danube Discovery – October 30, November 2 & 5, 2016 departures
· Grand Danube Cruise – October 26 & 28, 2016 departures

Beer Cruises:
A visit to Europe is even better when it includes a discovery of their famous beers.

· Danube Dreams – March 30, 2016 departure
· Essential Holland & Belgium – April 12, 2016 departure
· The Blue Danube Discovery – November 9, 2016 departure

Culinary Cruise:
Travelers will enter a food lover’s paradise in northern France on this foodie-themed departure.

· Paris to Normandy’s Landing Beaches (or Grand France option) – March 22, 2016 departure
· Grand France – March 22, 2016 departure