A Travellerspoint blog

You Can Make A Difference As You Travel

So, we always want more. What about the billions of folks in the world that would love to have some or any. This is not a plea to feed the world hunger movement. However, this may provoke a little thought as it did with me.

Somehow, I get several TriviaHive questions emailed to me daily. I'm not quite certain how they began a few months back, but they've become fun, interesting and from time a bit of food for thought. I keep going back to one a few days ago. The information in the answer read "Did you get up this morning and grab a latte and muffin on your way to work? You may have already spent more than what 80% of what the world's population lives on each day. Yep. 80% of the world lives off of less than $10 per day. But half the population lives off of even less than that--$2.50! Now that's something to buzz about! Source: DoSomething.org".

As we were touring Fort Santiago, Portobelo, Panama, our tour guide began taking us through the poverty ridden village nearby. As we strolled to a nearby church and a few other sites in the village, a little girl of perhaps 5 or 6 years old, shadowed me. I had noticed earlier just how poverty stricken the area was and the conditions that existed. I'm sure that she was cautioned, because she never spoke a word to me until prompted. I would glance at her and she would simply hold up a wrist band made of wooden beads, offering them to me. I'm not sure whether they were made locally or imported from a foreign country like Taiwan or China. Somehow, it really didn't matter. I asked her how much money and in a nervous yet confident voice informed me that it was a dollar. I handed her a 5 dollar bill as she handed me the wrist band in exchange. She then began to offer change when I softly said no, shaking my head a little from side to side. She went running off shouting mama, mama to a rather tired but happy looking lady sitting not too far away with a huge smile on her face. That little girl was so happy, you would have thought that I handed her a hundred bucks or so. Perhaps in retrospect, I did.

As you travel, I hope that you can make a little girl or boy happy for a day. It may change their life. At least provide a brighter outlook on life. Please make a difference.

Look around, if you have "something", "anything", you may want to pause, be grateful and thank your maker.

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Posted by Cpt_Ron 10:00 Comments (0)

Thanks for Listening to Tropical Waves Radio

I Had to Shut it Down

It is with great sadness that the decision was made to take Tropical Waves Radio off of the streaming internet waves. I put a good bit of work in bringing you lesser known artists through a popular artist mix. A mix with a tropical flair along with a bit of country rock & reggae.

I've recently learned that Sony Music has a lawsuit against Radionomy. I had two artists and only about a half dozen songs that played very infrequently that were acclaimed Sony Music artists. However, I decided that even as a remote possibility, I cannot afford a personal legal battle.

However, after a little additional research, and the fact that this was not disclosed to me while I was working on my station, I made the difficult decision to delete my weeks and months of work building Tropical Waves Radio.

I only found out when TuneIn took removed my station. I emailed them asking why, only to receive the brow raising news of the pending legal action. If there were other stations that you were listening to on TuneIn that disappeared, the reason is more than likely the same. TuneIn shut down every Radionomy station. I encourage you to continue to support TuneIn. However, be your own judge with Radionomy. For me, I'm removing Radionomy everywhere.

It was a great learning experience in setting up the station. I now appreciate even more, the work that is done to bring pleasurable listening .

For those that did catch a tune here and there, I humbly thank you for listening. Perhaps Tropical Waves Radio will return to the internet waves again someday.

CHEERS!

Posted by Cpt_Ron 06:04 Comments (0)

Cruise Ship Personnel Took His Power Strip?

You may have heard of the cruise lines confiscating booze from those attempting to smuggle spirits onboard. But, what about power strips? #headscratch

I've been on several cruises to date and on four different cruise lines. After the first cruise, I quickly learned the value of having additional power outlets in the cabin aboard. This has become even more valuable today than it was in the year 2000 when I took to the seas as a cruise rookie.

Even though I park the cell phone in the cabin safe for the duration of the cruise, except for certain ports of call, there is still plenty of need for prime outlet time. Ladies, I'm not referring to shopping when I mention the phrase outlet time. I'm simply referring to the time needed to recharge the many electronic devices that we are all accustomed to using on vacation.

In addition to the occasional recharge of our the cell phone, we have other things that require charging during our cruise. You have the infamous tablet that one uses for either playing a game or reading a book while you relax on your balcony, by the pool, ashore on the beach or that semi-secluded place that you managed to locate onboard. There are other devices that require recharge time as well, like cameras, portable music devices, Bluetooth listening devices and replacement batteries for all mentioned items.

Let's not forget other things that require electrical power while these things are charging. Things like hair dryers, clocks (yes some folks take clocks so as not to miss an onshore excursion), radios, music players and speakers just to mention a few.

Other than the outlet(s) in the bathroom, your have one, perhaps two but rarely three outlets per stateroom. This is not nearly enough outlets (power, not shopping, ladies...stay with me here) for two folks, let alone if you are traveling with a teen or two.

So, I pack a power strip with 4 or 5 places to plug in devices. It's a power strip that is either new or perhaps a year or two old and I rotate charging items as required so that everything either has power when called upon or is fulled charged as needed. Bottom line, they were always an agency rated strip with a circuit breaker included and in safe working condition.

I've never had an issue with packing them in my suitcase. A close friend of mine returned from a cruise on one of the largest cruise ships in that company's fleet and they confiscated his power strip. A piece of his luggage did not show up at his cabin door the night of his embarkation. He asked about it and had to go down below normal guest decks to retrieve his luggage. He was asked to open his bag to remove it. When he pulled out the strip, he was instructed to hand it over. Get this, they took the power strip, but left a three outlet extension cord which is far less safe than the power strip.

The cruise line provided a check tag so that he could pick up his power strip from a huge pile of them at the end of the cruise. When he went to do so, he located his power strip, but there was no tag on the power strip. They made him show his passport so that he could walk away with his power strip. #shakemyhead He noted that there was a lady there picking up her power strip, but also picking up a full size iron (not a travel iron) that was confiscated. Now that one, I understand.

Has this happened to you? What have you had confiscated either as you board or after your boarded? #whatisnext

Posted by Cpt_Ron 10:28 Archived in USA Tagged cruise power luggage charge confiscate power_strip ectronics Comments (0)

HDTV Cam Update

Big Changes Since My Last Update

There have been quite a few cameras added since my last update. Camera upgrades at some locations have been completed and not only ship tracker added to each site, but option of air traffic tracker on a few.

By the way, HDTV is actually PTZtv. If there is an activity in the area of the cam, these folks will zero in on it when they aren't watching ships or aircraft coming or going. Things like parades, concerts, fireworks and weather events. Speaking of weather events, you will see these cams used by The Weather Channel from time to time.

Rather than go into lengthy discussions about each camera, I'll just provide you a current list. You can click on the links from here to view them. You will want to check them all out, but you will definitely find Maho Beach entertaining. Enjoy them!

Cruise Ports
Port New York
New York Harbor
Port Bermuda
Port Canaveral
Port Tampa
Port Everglades
Hyatt Pier Sixty-Six SW
Hyatt Pier Sixty-Six SE
Port of Miami
Key West Harbor
Port Nassau
Port St. Maarten
Port Aruba

Beaches
Atlantic City
Pompano Beach
Marriott FLL Beach
Hillton FLL Beach
MAHO Beach SXM ~ St. Maarten (You'll enjoy this airport and low flying aircraft over the beach)

Other Cams
New Jersey Wildlife
Morgan Hill ~ California
Kitty Cat Cam

Posted by Cpt_Ron 15:29 Tagged landscapes sunsets_and_sunrises mountains beaches bridges buildings skylines people sky snow night planes boats fish boat new_york wildlife beach travel vacation photo hotel bus california airport ship cruises cat bridge atlantis cruise sand sail port costa caribbean dock camera paradise weather skyline parrot tropical bar carnival wave harbor excursion disney key_west relaxing dolphin yacht bahamas cabin captain palm airplane atlantic_city miami nassau inlet tanker cruise_ship sailboat tampa cam everglades hilton palm_tree marriott hyatt departure princess cargo bermuda norwegian aruba lauderdale celebrity tug cunard family_travel sxm new_jersey cruiser aida ncl canaveral hdtv web_cam sail_away docked video_feed container_ship tug_boat harbor_pilot police_boat fire_boat sunsets_and_sunrisesbon_voyage ships_horn disembark embark embarkation port_hole porthole royal_caribbean norweigan holland_america cruise_industry onshore port-of-call port_of_call maho_beach cruise_lines_association bon_voyage norwegian_cruise_lines port_miami msc st._maarten tampa_bay air_spotting pompano sixty_six morgan_hill kitty_cat kitty_cat_cam twc the_weather_channel Comments (0)

SS Norway

The End of the Great Ocean Liner Era

In 2003, there was a boiler explosion and she was removed from service. She was owned & operated by Norwegian Cruise lines for just over two and a half decades, but actually entered service as the SS France n 1962. She then was operated by the French line CGT (Compagnie Générale Transatlantique) and sailed Transatlantic between Le Harve & New York.

Around mid 2008, she was dismantled at the ships’ graveyard; the beaches of Alang.

Read more in Malcolm Oliver's Cruiseblog.

Posted by Cpt_Ron 15:03 Tagged new_york travel ship cruise norwegian ncl ss_norway norwegian_cruise_lines ss_france le_harve port_miami Comments (0)

Paradise Beach

In my travels, I’ve found quite a few splendiferous beaches. Beaches where I did not want to depart from and several I just have to return to. There are even some I would consider calling paradise. A beach that I’ve recently visited is actually named Paradise Beach and is located on the island of Cozumel, Mexico.

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Just a short taxi ride from the cruise port on Cozumel, our group of seven was soon lounging beachside. The whispering palms overhead created ample protection from the soon to be hot sun.

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After we made our mid-morning claim on our beach-side lounge chair, we were promptly visited by a very efficient server where we were charged $12.00 per person. Two dollars was for the daily chair rental and the balance was to be applied to a food & bar credit. The fee for relaxation was no problem as we soon ordered an iced down bucket of Sol beer, nachos and quesadillas.

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There were a plethora of beach toys available, but we felt more like lounging than playing. It’s a beautiful area to relax, complete with a huge pool and a full service bar nearby. One can even lounge on a chair at pools edge where the pool water covers the chair bottom, lending to a cool lounging spot in the sun.

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At beach-side, you will find a cool, shaded tiki hut bar. I sat at the bar sipping a great tasting frozen rum mango beverage. I attempted to strike up a conversation with a couple of resident macaws. I’m uncertain if it was what I said, or perhaps the language barrier, but they were unwilling to share Paradise Beach secrets with me.

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Beyond this bar, one can stroll through a well manicured grassy area surrounded by palm trees, flowers and vegetation indigenous to the area.

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Even with a bit of coral in the Caribbean waters between Cozumel and the Yucatan Peninsula, we had a great time lounging there in the warm, calm water.
It was early April and we had the place pretty much to ourselves even up until we left mid afternoon. With the gorgeous view, the efficient wait staff, the fantastic amenities all for reasonable prices, it’s agreed, not only was this a relaxing day well spent, we all felt that it was a Paradise Beach.

Posted by Cpt_Ron 00:04 Archived in Mexico Tagged beach cruise port paradise parrot pool tropical bar relax cozumel palm_tree paradise_beach Comments (0)

HDTV Cruise Port Cams Provide Cruise Fix ~ Update

Web Cameras Stream Live Ship Arrivals & Departures Daily

Update to this blog entry; more cameras, upgrades and extras added.

A fourth location was added at Port Miami. This camera provides views of cruise ships and terminal traffic inbound and outbound at Port Miami from a relatively high view point.

A camera was also added to gain a unique view of Port Everglades high near the top of the Hyatt Marina Hotel, and is labeled Fort Lauderdale. From this camera, all ships in port can be viewed. Fort Lauderdale airport, Fort Lauderdale skyline and the Miami skyline can also be seen at times.

The Hyatt Marina Hotel also has a bonus camera where a Panoramic view of Fort Lauderdale to the North of the port may be viewed. The link is found at the lower right of the Fort Lauderdale camera view labeled "North East Cam". There is no direct link for this camera, but when you click the link, you will be switched to that camera.

Several upgrades to most locations have been made since my original post. Some noticeable and others perhaps not. Things like better cameras or better weather covers, both providing clearer views.

Sound was added to Port Canaveral which makes sail-away there even more enjoyable. Do you know what a Disney ship horn sounds like? Check it out sometime. You will especially enjoy it if you're a Disney fan. Kids will find it delightful! They will probably want to watch every sail-away at Port Canaveral.

If you follow Port Fever or one of the camera location on Facebook, the scheduled departure for all ports is usually posted.

Marine traffic was added to the New York cam. Speaking of the New York cam, have you seen the statue of Liberty on this cam as ships sail past? How about the Freedom Tower at night, nestled in the lights of the New York skyline?

Enjoy the cams!

Original Post

New York at Night; a capture from PTZtv live streaming New York Harbor Webcam.
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Posted by Cpt_Ron 20:21 Archived in USA Tagged boat new_york vacation photo ship bridge cruise live sail port costa dock camera skyline carnival balcony wave harbor trip disney dolphin yacht cabin captain palm inlet tanker cruise_ship sailboat cam everglades palm_tree departure princess cargo lauderdale arrival celebrity tug cunard family_travel cruiser streaming aida canaveral hdtv web_cam sail_away docked video_feed container_ship tug_boat harbor_pilot police_boat fire_boat sunsets_and_sunrisesbon_voyage ship_horn ships_horn disembark embark embarkation port_hole porthole royal_caribbean norweigan holland_america Comments (0)

Why Do I Love Cruising?

Why Wouldn't I Use My Valuable Vacation Time To Cruise?

I love cruising because I unpack once upon embarkation, I'm able to visit worldly places each day and my hotel travels with me. As an added bonus, my shipboard amenities, meals & entertainment are mainly included. Cruising can be as busy or relaxing as I want it. Why wouldn't I use my valuable vacation time to cruise and simply love it?

Posted by Cpt_Ron 09:11 Tagged travel vacation hotel ship cruise relaxing relax cruise_ship Comments (0)

CRUISE VACATION

Why Is A Cruise Vacation Better Than A Land Vacation?

CRUISE FACT: Cruises give travelers the convenience of packing and unpacking once, the comfort of a “home away from home” for the duration of the trip, but also the opportunity to visit a multitude of destinations on one vacation.

When I recently looked at planning a trip to Italy with a group of friends, we discovered that a cruise in the Mediterranean was not only the most cost effective way to see Italy, but it was the most time effective.

Through our time study while planning, it didn't take us long to realize that while cruising the Mediterranean, traveling from port-of-call to port-of-call, our floating hotel traveled while we slept.

In twelve days, of our cruise, we were able to visit a majority of the popular coastal cities of Italy. We left from and returned to Civitavecchia. Italy. We were able to visit Naples, Pompeii, Positano and ride along the Almafi coast, two days in Venice (overnight there was a treat), Livorno, Pisa, Florence, Rome & Vatican City on the mainland. On Sicily, we were able to visit Messina, Syracuse, Tiromina and the volcano Mt. Aetna.

Then, there were bonus cities in countries that we hadn't planned, nor would we have seen if we would not have opted for the cruise as a way to visit Italy. We visited Dubrovinik in Croatia. What a lovely country and the people were marvelous. Barcelona, Spain found us grabbing a taxi and toured the entire city. While stopping at Cannes, France, we were able to visit the area of the film festival. From there, we visited Nice & the ancient walled city of Eze in France and the country of Monaco.

We even had three entire days at sea to relax on this cruise to enjoy our ship and regroup from the hurried tour pace that we had planned.

Although most of us were fairly comfortable visiting a foreign country, it was still nice to come back to our safe haven. Our "home away from home."

With all of the places that we visited, our luggage had gained a good bit of weight. But then, because of the good food available around the clock, so did we.

Enjoy you cruise!

Oh and for your excursion planning, contact us R&R Xcursions (rrxcursions.com). We can hook you up with a wonderful person to book your cruise as well.

Posted by Cpt_Ron 18:12 Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises night travel vacation ship cruises cruise port tour trip excursion mediterranean planning visit cruise_ship plan travel_agents tour_guide itineraries tips_and_tricks family_travel sunsets_and_sunrisesbon_voyage quality_tour_assistance tour_asistance cruise_industry group_travel onshore xcursion small_group port-of-call port_of_call shore_trip r&r_xcursions rrxcursions.com bon_voyage Comments (0)

Travel Smart: More Americans go on cruises

BY ELLEN CREAGER DETROIT FREE PRESS TRAVEL WRITER

And to think it all started with the Love Boat.

About 1 in 4 Americans -- 78 million of us -- has taken a cruise, a new survey by Cruise Lines International Association finds.

Our favorite cruise itineraries? The Caribbean is still No. 1, followed by Alaska, the Bahamas, Hawaii, Bermuda and the Mediterranean.

One other interesting tidbit: People who plan cruises tend to use a travel agent; about 68% of us did.

That's wise because cruise lines pay the travel agents' commissions, not the customers. And agents know where the good rooms are.

Posted by Cpt_Ron 18:05 Tagged boats boat cruises alaska cruise caribbean bahamas mediterranean hawaii cruise_ship bermuda travel_agents survey itineraries americans cruise_industry cruise_lines_association cla Comments (0)

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