Tag: Cruising

A Truth About Hawaii Spoken in Jest?

A Truth About Hawaii Spoken in Jest? Photo by mcgilljp via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by mcgilljp via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Yup, I have to admit, I’m among those who laughed at the harsh Saturday Night Live sketch that has Hawaiian officials in a huff, as discussed by fellow World Hum blogger Pam Mandel. The Gallup Well-Being Index recently ranked Hawaii as the second happiest state in the nation, after Utah, but my limited experience with the state (three visits) introduced me to more hostility than happiness. I’m actually a little afraid of Hawaiians. I understand that they have reason to be pissed off, what with their paradise being paved over with hotels and low wages and all. It’s a problem with tropical paradises everywhere. So I’m not passing judgment, really. I’m just saying.

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Morning Links: The Cuba Travel Showdown, Pirates and More

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Global Warming Tourism: The Rising Sea Level Slideshow!

Global Warming Tourism: The Rising Sea Level Slideshow! Photo by mrlin via Flickr (Creative Commons).

Florida’s Key West as well as the Maldives, Tuvalu and the islands of Pate and Ndau in the Lamu Archipelago off the Northern coast of Kenya are among eight places that rising sea levels due to climate change will soon make uninhabitable, according to a provocative slideshow at Treehugger.

I hope this doesn’t start a trend in “climate-change cruises.”

Time Travel to Honolulu

It’s politically incorrect, not entirely accurate historically, and oddly, the producers chose to intersperse “Aloha Oe” with “The Skater’s Waltz” in the sound track. But the boards are huge, the leis are fluffy and plentiful, and the footage of Waikiki Beach? Wow, it looks nothing like what I saw last year:

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Ryanair Joins the Cruise Game

Ryanair Joins the Cruise Game Photo by jon gos via Flickr (Creative Commons)

The king of low-cost carriers has joined forces with Costa Cruises and will now be offering discounted bookings with the Italian company through the Ryanair website, the Telegraph reports. “Ryanair and Costa Cruises will reduce the cost of traditionally expensive cruise holidays and bring greater choice to those looking to beat the recession and take advantage of these great value cruise holiday packages,” said a representative for the Irish airline.

There’s no word on whether Costa will start nickel-and-diming passengers as a condition of the deal. Charges for the lounge chairs on deck? Pay-by-weight at the buffet? A steadfast refusal to offer assistance, compensation or even a refund of the measly 15 pounds you paid for your ticket after a last-minute cancellation by the airline? (Not that I’m bitter.)

Morning Links: JetBlue Fare Refunds, America’s Emptiest Cities and More

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Recession Hits Antarctica (Is That Good or Bad?)

Trips to the (melting) frozen continent can cost anywhere between $8,000 and $30,000, a prohibitive amount in today’s crisis economy of failed banks and indebted consumers. That may explain the projected 7,000-person drop in visitors between the 2007-08 season (which registered a record high of 46,000 people) and the current 2008-09 season, which the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) predicts will bring in around 39,000 people.

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Six Ways Travel Can be Helped by the Recession

Contemplating and celebrating the world of travel

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Margaret Atwood: Author, Birder, Cruiser

Turns out that Margaret Atwood—the acclaimed author of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Alias Grace” and “The Blind Assassin,” among others—is also a serious nature-lover. Atwood will be cruising the Scottish isles this spring as a guest lecturer on board the M/V Andrea; this press release notes that she is a “keen birder” and the current co-president of the Rare Bird Club. Who knew?

Morning Links: Sex and Romance in Rio, Chaos in Bangkok and More

sydney opera house Photo of Sydney Opera House by Corey Leopold, via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo of Sydney Opera House by Corey Leopold, via Flickr (Creative Commons)

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Seven Great Time-Lapse Travel Videos

Jim Benning sifts through YouTube's accelerated videos to find the seven best

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Morning Links: Stilwell Road, the Delta Queen and More

Tajikistan Photo by David Raterman

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Morning Links: India Security, Peruvian Shamans, Las Vegas and More

Morning Links: Post-War Comics, Notorious Airport Restrooms, Year-End Round-Ups and More

Cruise Ship Runs Aground in Antarctica

The 122-passenger ship is reported to be taking on “minimal” water and leaking fuel after running aground on the Antarctic Peninsula. No one is injured and help is on the way, but the incident is sure to bring back memories of last year’s cruise ship sinking and renew concerns about tourism in Antarctica.

The QE2’s Final Hurrah

Before she is remade into a floating hotel in Dubai, the Queen Elizabeth 2 is taking a farewell journey. She recently pulled into the port from which she launched 41 years ago. The Daily Mail reports on the trip, and features a series of photos of the ship as it sailed home one final time.

The Dangers of Cave Tubing in Belize

Photo by Beemans via Flickr, (Creative Commons).

A 52-year-old woman on a Carnival cruise drowned yesterday while on a shore excursion in Belize. She was tubing on the Caves Branch River—in what some say were questionable conditions—when, according to one account, she was swept under a rock. Reports USA Today: “A local news station in Belize, Channel 7 News, reports that most local tour companies that operate on the Caves Branch River had canceled their trips Wednesday due to poor conditions.” Obviously, her trip wasn’t canceled.


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Arthur Frommer on Cruise Prices: ‘I’ve Never Seen Such Bargains’

“[T]his fall, the discounting of cruise prices is more frequent and substantial than ever,” Frommer writes. “I’ve never seen such bargains.” Noteworthy: Even “upscale” cruise lines such as Celebrity are offering great deals, including $359 for a five-night Caribbean cruise.

The ‘Art’ of the Cruise Bath Towel Creature

Photo by Klobetime via Flickr, (Creative Commons).

Speaking of the excesses and absurdities in cruising, USA Today has published a series of reader photos of cruise towel creatures—probably best appreciated after a few Slippery Nipples or Fuzzy Navels with Cocopuff or Mojo Mike.

Harper’s Makes David Foster Wallace Stories Available Online

Classy move, Harper’s. Here’s the list. Our favorite, “Shipping Out,” is here. It’s about Wallace’s experience on a Celebrity Cruises voyage in the Caribbean. Among the writer’s post-cruise observations, sure to put a knowing smile on the face of anyone who’s ever taken such a cruise: “I now know the precise mixological difference between a Slippery Nipple and a Fuzzy Navel”; “I have met Cruise Staff with the monikers ‘Mojo Mike,’ ‘Cocopuff,’ and ‘Dave the Bingo Boy”; “I have dickered over trinkets with malnourished children”; and “I have learned what it is to become afraid of one’s own cabin toilet.”