Thursday, February 26, 2015

THE HISTORY OF THE CUNARD BUILDING

Editor's Note: As Cunard marks its 175th year, here's another chapter in their history. This one is about the history of the Cunard Building in Liverpool, posted here from their press release:




"Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson and Cunard Director Angus Struthers hoisted a specially-commissioned 175 Flag above the Cunard Building at the Pier Head in Liverpool on Feb. 20.


Cunard Director Angus Struthers and
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson
"Cunard celebrates the 175th anniversary of the departure from Liverpool of its first ship in 2015 and the Cunard Building, its former Headquarters from 1916 to 1967, will play a key role in the celebrations planned to mark this milestone anniversary. The Building, one of the famous “Three Graces” on the Pier Head waterfront, a UNESCO World Heritage site, will mark its own 100th anniversary in June 2016.

"Angus Struthers, Cunard Director, comments:

“The Cunard Building was designed to convey gravitas as a land-based representation of the Cunard ships themselves: solid, reliable, elegant and impressive. For almost 100 years the Building has remained just that and although Cunard moved to another home in 1967, the Building has remained a true statement to the shared history of the company and Liverpool. It is therefore very fitting that the Three Queens of the Cunard fleet will salute the Cunard Building when they gather on the Mersey on 25 May 2015.”

"The Cunard Building, now one of the “Three Graces” on Liverpool’s magnificent World Heritage Site Pierhead, was built on the site of George’s Dock. Divided into three sites by the extension of Water Street and Brunswick Street, it was destined to become one of the most famous waterfronts in the world.

'HARMONY' MAY BE WORLD'S BIGGEST

Harmony of the Seas (Royal Caribbean)
While we are on the subject of size, Royal Caribbean may up the ante with its third Oasis-class ship, Harmony of the Seas. According to reports, it will surpass its sister ships and claim the largest cruise ship title when she launches in 2016.  Among other things, it will feature new multi-story water slides. The "WOW" keeps coming from Royal.
Artist rendering (Royal Caribbean)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

SNEAK PEEK AT BRITAIN'S 'BRITTANIA'

When it comes to biggest cruise ship bragging rights, in America we have Oasis of the Seas. Across the Pond, the UK is about to have Brittania, the biggest ship built for the British market. Come take a look-see in this preview on the Daily Mail website

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

BIG BAND BALL TO MARK 'QE'S' BIRTHDAY

What better way celebrate a ship's birthday than a Big Band Ball? That's how Cunard is marking the fifth birthday of Queen Elizabeth during a special sailing Oct. 2-7, 2015.

On Oct. 3, the eve of Queen Elizabeth’s 5th birthday, guests will enjoy a "classic black tie gala dinner with a specially crafted commemorative menu to mark the occasion. Then they will be welcomed to the Queens Ballroom by the ship’s 14 piece band, as it strikes up hits from some of the most successful artists of the era including Glenn Miller, Ted Heath, Count Basie and Duke Ellington." Guests will gather for a midnight countdown to Queen Elizabeth’s official birthday.

The five-night cruise will also feature one of the UK’s best tribute 60s acts, The Overtures, as well as historian Eric Flounders, who will lecture on the history of Cunard.



PIC COMPARES 'TITANIC' AND MODERN CRUISE SHIP

Check out this comparison of Titanic and a modern cruise ship posted by Classic Pics on Twitter. Fascinating! -- Gerry

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A NICE DAY TO VIEW VINTAGE YACHTS

The Waterfront in West Palm Beach was the setting Saturday for the 2015 edition of the Palm Beach Vintage Regatta, an event first held in 1917. There were over 20 vintage yachts on display, and we had a great vantage point as guests in the Braman Motorcars hospitality tent. A special bonus was hopping a ride on a sailboat. Capt. Scott, winner of one of the races held that day, gave us a tour on the Intracoastal. Thanks to Braman, Capt. Scott and the yacht owners who shared their prized possessions with the rest of us.



...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

FLORIDA SCORES 6 BEACHES IN THE TOP 10

St. Pete Beach (TripAdvisor)
Florida beaches score again. TripAdvisor's most recent Traveler's Choice Top 25 Best Beaches in the United States listed six Florida beaches in the top 10:

1. Siesta Beach, Siesta Key, Florida
2. St. Pete Beach, St. Petersburg, Florida
5. Pensacola Beach, Pensacola Beach, Florida
8. Clearwater Beach, Clearwater, Florida
9. St. Augustine Beach, St. Augustine, Florida
10. Beach at Panama City, Panama City Beach, Florida

That list aside, it's pretty hard to go wrong at any beach in the Sunshine State. -- Gerry

CLASSIC YACHTS ON DISPLAY IN PALM BEACH

If you live in South Florida, don't miss your chance to see vintage yachts up close and personal at the Palm Beach Vintage Regatta, set for Saturday, Feb. 21, 12-5 p.m. at the downtown West Palm Beach waterfront. More than 20 antique and classic yachts will be on display, and the event is free and open to the public. Check out their Facebook page, or visit their website. Cruising Squared is planning to attend, so expect a complete report. -- Gerry

Monday, February 16, 2015

BERMUDA CRUISE FOR $50? YES -- IN 1938

Credit: Bernews website
A round-tip cruise to Bermuda for $50? You must be kidding ... or we're back in 1938. Sorry folks -- it's the latter.

Bermuda news website Bernews posted this article about a travel brochure from 1938 that "urges vacationers to make their way to the island promises cruises that are the 'smart thrifty way to Bermuda,' with round trip tickets starting at only $50. The brochure, which details passage aboard the Eastern Steamship Lines’ Acadia, offers regular round-trip fare of $50, a ‘Live Ashore in Bermuda Plan’ for $58, a six day cruise for $60, a seven day cruise for $67.50, and an eight day cruise for $75, with 'living aboard ship in Bermuda' covered in the respective prices."

We knew it was too good to be true! -- Gerry


Sunday, February 15, 2015

ENTER TO WIN A PRIVATE JIMMY BUFFETT CONCERT

Attention all fans of singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett. Here's some news you don't want to miss:

"Fans of singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett can vie to attend a free private concert in Key West, the island widely credited with inspiring his signature sound, by submitting their 'dream set list' for the April 1 show.

"Tickets are not available for purchase, but instead 100 pairs are to be given away to entrants of the set list contest at www.margaritaville.tv. In addition, one lucky fan is to win an all-expense-paid trip for two to Key West to attend the exclusive show.

"Buffett is to perform the 27 songs that earn the most votes during the concert at Key West's historic San Carlos Institute, where he and his Coral Reefer Band played in the 1970s."

Here's more from the press release:

"The internationally acclaimed entertainer lived and wrote in Key West during some of his most productive years, and the island is believed to be the inspiration for tunes including his smash hit Margaritaville.

"As well as peppering his song lyrics with frequent Key West references, Buffett established his first Margaritaville Store and Margaritaville Café on the island. He also maintains a recording studio overlooking the former shrimp docks.

"Contest entries will be accepted through March 2, 2015. Winners are to be selected in a random drawing and notified by email."

DISNEY WORLD: SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

Travel with the Grandparents
By Bob & Sandy Nesoff
Members: North American Travel Journalists Association
American Society of Journalists and Authors
Special to Cruising Squared


It’s always magic in the Magic Kingdom.
 Cinderella and her magical coach, is helped
 by her footmen as she exits the horse drawn carriage.
 (Photo by Sandy Nesoff)
Visionaries usually become that way through trial and error. Often it ends up as more error than trial.

The Disney theme complex in Central Florida is the antithesis of that thought. What began in Anaheim, California on July 17, 1955 as Disneyland has grown into a small nation of its own. And is operated more efficiently, economically and peacefully than virtually any other country on earth.

Just 16 years later, on Oct. 1, 1971, the beginnings of the vast complex called Walt Disney World opened to the public. Record breaking crowds from around the world streamed into the park. They were greeted with an amazing tree house, pirates, tropical birds and shows featuring the animation and animatronics that foretold the future of entertainment.

The visitors continue to this day, making the Disney Florida complex arguably the most famous vacation destination in the world.

Friday, February 13, 2015

CHECK OUT THESE 10 QUIRKY RESTAURANTS

Who doesn't love a quirky restaurant? TripAdvisor does, and has their list out of "10 of the quirkiest restaurants in the world." This is one list that lives up to its name. Like the Paris eatery that serves wine in baby bottles ... or the German place where the food arrives on roller coasters. Cjeck it out and get your quirk on! -- Gerry