Wade the Gringo

Monday, December 13, 2010

Weather Shakes Up Royal Caribbean Cruise, Causes Minor Injuries - Royal Caribbean International

Weather Shakes Up Royal Caribbean Cruise, Causes Minor Injuries - Royal Caribbean International
Cruise News
Home > Cruise News > Weather Shakes Up Royal Caribbean Cruise, Causes Minor Injuries

December 13, 2010


Weather Shakes Up Royal Caribbean Cruise, Causes Minor Injuries

Were you on the cruise? Send us your photos and stories.

Updated, 5:30 a.m. EST -- Several passengers were injured early Sunday morning when Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas hit rough weather on its way to the port of Alexandria, Egypt.

According to a statement from line spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez, large waves and heavy winds caused the ship to list several times, injuring about 30 passengers and damaging some of the vessel's public spaces.

A handful of Cruise Critic members are onboard and have been providing first-hand accounts on the boards.

dirtgirl was in her cabin during the ordeal: "I was flying back and forth. My roomie managed to brace herself. The beds were sliding back and forth!! Broken glass everywhere as everything on it went flying. Tables and chairs upended." She also added that the "Gym is in shambles - Ellipticals looked like monkey bars; spin bikes everywhere. Only wine, beer, and soda available at the Centrum bar and Schooner bar. Casino closed, shops closed. No one allowed out on upper decks."

Member jimbo5544 says his son and daughter-in-law are celebrating their honeymoon onboard. "They said all computers had smashed in internet cafe and Grand piano smashed into wall. Much broken glass all over ship, Windjammer closed."

Later in the day, dirtgirl posted that the "staff have been going non-stop to clear the areas. The amount of work they have done to keep us all fed is amazing. The Windjammer was a disaster area this morning. That it was open for limited dinner service was incredible . . . Venues are being reopened. The Casino is up, and everyone was in the Schooner Bar tonight having a good time."

She added in her post that Royal Caribbean has given each cabin a $200 onboard credit ($400 for suites).

pussywillow6 offered this information from her daughter, who works in the ship's onboard spa: "You can't even begin to imagine the damage on the ship, its awful. ... Windows, showers, mirrors, the hairdressing basins have all smashed... The whole ship is wrecked... Grand piano smashed through a window.....There were passengers running around with life jackets on, people screaming, all the spa girls were panicking...... its really horrible!"

Member Feelin'_Nauti drew our attention to this video on NBC, which involves interviews with passengers onboard

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tacogirl Blog Specials - Belize Vacation Packages, Belize Travel Deals | tacogirl.com



Tacogirl Blog Specials - Belize Vacation Packages, Belize Travel Deals | tacogirl.com
Tropic Air: Get a 10% Tropic Air Discount off the regular rate of any Tropic Air Flights listed on their website. Email tacogirl with the dates you want to fly – Tropic Air Flight times you want and and names of people flying to get the discount. Tropic Air is the largest and most experienced airline in Belize and offer over 180 daily scheduled flights throughout Belize and Flores, Guatemala [please note Guatemala City to Flores is not eligible for tacogirl special only Flores to international]
.

Paddling through paradise

Paddling through paradise

Paddling through paradise


By Jim Cochrane, Postmedia News December 11, 2010

Hanging upside down in our overturned sea kayak, we were desperately trying to remember our guide's recent instructions-- "Pull the 'Oh s --t' tab and if you can't find it, punch out your spray skirt with your knees."

This was the part that I secretly feared when my wife, Kathryn, and I planned our trip to Belize.

It was clear from the information on the Island Expeditions website that we would be tipping our kayaks, escaping and eventually getting back in as part of our trip, but being in my 70s, sporting a hip replacement and having never kayaked before, I was a bit apprehensive. But, under the watchful eyes of the staff, we were successful in righting our kayak and climbing safely back in. Whew.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Man apologises for stealing jerked chicken from employer - Breaking & Current Jamaica News - JamaicaObserver.com

Man apologises for stealing jerked chicken from employer - Breaking & Current Jamaica News - JamaicaObserver.com

Bannister Island Resort · Caribbean Island Brokers

Bannister Island Resort
Bannister Island is a truly unique business opportunity in Belize. As the only island resort in the country specifically designed to serve the growing cruise ship industry, Bannister has virtually no competition. The island is located just outside of Belize City and offers a true taste of the Caribbean for its guests. It is perfectly placed only 9 miles east-southeast of Belize City, 2 miles from the Belize Barrier Reef, and 2.5 miles from the cruise ship moorage.
This is an island that needs to be visited in person to fully appreciate its beauty and to see the business in action. Bannister Island Resort offers its guests spectacular beach break parties and special events.
Guests currently enjoy the following facilities on the island: over 600ft of beautiful beach, excellent for swimming and snorkeling, live bands on most days, 3 bars, a restaurant, kayaking, paddle boats, self piloted zodiacs that are a thrill to ride, kids play area, gift shop, kiosk-candy shop, hair braiding, volleyball, shuttle ball and other beach games. The island is protected by the reef, so the beach and swimming area in front of the island is usually calm. The beach has a very gentle slope that allows the guests to walk out nearly 100 feet before it begins to get deep.
The business has contracts with many of the major cruise ship operators such as Carnival, Princess, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, as well as few independent private operators producing a substantial net profit for the owners.
The island is approximately 3 acres and is fully self-sufficient. A 21 K.W. generator provides power to the island's facilities and the reverse osmosis desalination system produces plenty of fresh water from the sea. There is also an environmentally friendly septic system.
Additional on site facilities are:
Male and female bathrooms and a separate disabled access bathroom.
Accommodations for onsite staff and caretakers in 3 units.
A complete restaurant capable of handling the demands of a very active business.
2 docking areas, one being dedicated to staff and supplies, the other to guests.
Several palapas scattered around the island
Barbecue area
Several paddle boats and sea kayaks
The business also has fantastic future potential with a full 30% of the island still undeveloped. This would provide ample space for overnight accommodations or a full dive operation. This could also open the doors to weddings, special occasions and events that could be fully operated directly and exclusively from the island.
The terms "unique" or "one of a kind" tend to get thrown around a lot in the real estate business, but this island resort business truly meets and exceeds expectations.
More pictures of Bannister Island can be found here.
Sales Price $1,950,000 US

Discount Cruise Vacations Specializing in Caribbean Destinations

Discount Cruise Vacations Specializing in Caribbean Destinations

World's largest cruise liner has a twin - Yahoo! News




World's largest cruise liner has a twin - Yahoo! News
World's largest cruise liner has a twin


Slideshow:Worlds Largest Cruise Ships
By MATTI HUUHTANEN, Associated Press Matti Huuhtanen, Associated Press – Fri Oct 29, 9:40 am ET
HELSINKI – The second in a pair of the largest cruise liners in the world — an extravagant behemoth spanning nearly four football fields, with a 3-D move theater, an open-air central park and room for 8,300 people — set sail Friday for its new home port in Florida.
The Allure of the Seas, which cruised out of the shipyard in Turku, southwestern Finland where it was built, faces its first big test Saturday, when it must squeeze under a Danish bridge, just one foot (30 centimeters) taller than the ship — even after its telescopic smokestacks are lowered.
The gigantic vessel is the sister ship of the Oasis of the Seas, which was also delivered to Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines last year with a price tag of about $1.5 billion. The Allure of the Seas is in the same price range, said Juha Heikinheimo, managing director of STX Finland, which constructed the vessel.
Like its twin, the Allure of the Seas spans 1,200 feet (360 meters) from bow to stern, and its height from sea level is 236 feet (72 meters). It weighs 600 tons — 12 times more than the Eiffel Tower.


It can accommodate 6,300 passengers and some 2,000 crew, and has dozens of restaurants, cafes and bars along a promenade shopping street that includes a park with living trees and numerous plants. The ship boasts a two-deck high dance hall, a 1,380-seat theater and an ice skating rink, numerous pools, spas, gyms and a rock climbing wall.
It names the Rising Tide Bar as one of its showpieces — an elliptical restaurant platform accommodating 50 customers that ascends and descends a vertical distance of 32 feet (10 meters) between the central park and promenade.
The ship's home port will be Fort Lauderdale in Florida, where it is expected to arrive in a few weeks.
Click image to see Worlds Largest Cruise Ships slideshow
AP
Like the Oasis of the Seas, it is scheduled to pass under the Great Belt Fixed Link off the Danish coast. Last year, the other ship passed below the bridge with less than a 2-foot (half-meter) gap, bridge operators said.
The shipping line said that cruise travel, especially in the United States, had picked up since the global downturn and that their cruise bookings were nearly full.
"Markets have developed well. We are not in the same situation as we were before 2008," said Harri Kulovaara, a deputy director at Royal Caribbean. "Our bookings have been full for a year, down to almost the last berth."
Construction of the Allure of the Sea at STX Finland's Turku yard began in February 2008. The company employs 3,300 people in Finland, of whom 1,100 are currently laid off. More layoffs are expected with no new projects until next autumn when the Turku yard is expected to begin the construction of a passenger ferry.
STX Finland is part of the international STX Europe Group, with shipyards in Brazil, Norway, France, Romania and Vietnam.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hurricane Richard - Ambergris Caye & Belize Message Board

Hurricane Richard - Ambergris Caye & Belize Message Board

Belize Rebuilds After Hurricane Richard
October 26, 2010

This home in Belmopan lost part of its roof during hurricane Richard.
Life is slowly returning to normal in Belize after Category One Hurricane Richard slammed into the lightly populated central region of the country Sunday night October 24 leaving behind damage to infrastructure and agriculture, a total collapse of the electrical grid but no loss of life.
The eye of Hurricane Richard made landfall approximately 10 miles south of the capital Belmopan, population 20,000 Sunday evening. It ripped off the roofs of dozens of homes on the coast, from Belize City to the north, down to Dangriga in the south, and destroyed hundreds of plywood and tin roof shacks used by the poor – mostly in Belize City and nearby villages. Some 4,000 people huddled in hurricane shelters during the storm that brought 92 mile per hour winds and torrential rains, and today Tuesday a couple thousand remain there as their homes are gone or uninhabitable. Most Belizeans weathered the storm in darkness as the country’s entire electrical grid collapsed. Belize purchases electrical power from Mexico and generates its own from two hydro plants but the damage to transmission lines was substantial. The seat of government, Belmopan, built 50 miles inland 29 years ago following a devastating hurricane that partly destroyed coastal Belize City, was also plunged into darkness. The Belize government had decided a couple of years ago to decommission the capital’s diesel generating backup station and rely solely on the national grid.

Crane retrieving hurricane Richard downed billboard at Habet owned hardwware store in Belmopan Belize.
The Belize government has announced an estimated damage of U.S. $18. million from hurricane Richard – not counting the disruption to business and the productive sector due to the collapse of the electrical grid, which also led to no water being available as the government owned water company does not have backup generators to power its pumping stations. Prime Minister Barrow vowed to make all efforts to find the money to rebuild the damage done by the hurricane.
By Tuesday morning approximately 70 percent of the country had electricity restored and the privately owned Belize Electricity Limited was projecting to have the entire grid restored by nightfall. All schools in the Belize, Cayo and Stann Creek districts are closed and will reopen on Wednesday. Many schools serve a dual role as hurricane shelters. Internet service and cable television are still disrupted due to downed lines and utility poles. The country’s international airport near Belize City is now reopened and flight schedules are normal. Additional flights are being put in to retrieve passengers who ended up in other countries, for example El Salvador, when flights had to be diverted on Monday in the aftermath of the hurricane.
At a press conference organised by Prime Minister Dean Barrow in Belmopan yesterday evening it was revealed that about 30% of Belize’s orange crop has been lost. One reporter described walking a citrus orchard in the Stann Creek Valley: “The entire orchard was covered with an emerald carpet of thousands upon thousands of young and immature orange fruit ripped from the trees by the hurricane winds.”
The largest citrus processing company in Belize is starting processing operations ahead of schedule today to do sampling tests and attempt to recover some of the crop on the ground.
Despite the misery endured by Belizeans during the hurricane, the event was not without its lighthearted and interesting moments.
Some motorists and tourists on the Northern Highway near Belize City (and thousands watching on television) were startled to see crocodiles and boa constrictors crossing the highway as it began to flood.
In San Victor, a village in the Orange Walk district, a shelter warden opened his shelter early. But then got drunk and accidentallylocked himself inside the shelter. Being unable to find the keys in the darkness, he rode out the storm by himself while villagershad to flee to another shelter.
And in Belmopan, the government’s post storm press conference at the the National Emergency Management Organization was cut short when the building’s backup generator failed during a long-winded intervention by a local politician.Belizean.com

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

End of the Earth Postponed - Yahoo! News

End of the Earth Postponed - Yahoo! News

End of the Earth Postponed

It's a good news/bad news situation for believers in the 2012 Mayan apocalypse. The good news is that the Mayan "Long Count" calendar may not end on Dec. 21, 2012 (and, by extension, the world may not end along with it). The bad news for prophecy believers? If the calendar doesn't end in December 2012, no one knows when it actually will - or if it has already.
A new critique, published as a chapter in the new textbook "Calendars and Years II: Astronomy and Time in the Ancient and Medieval World" (Oxbow Books, 2010), argues that the accepted conversions of dates from Mayan to the modern calendar may be off by as much as 50 or 100 years. That would throw the supposed and overhyped 2012 apocalypse off by decades and cast into doubt the dates of historical Mayan events. (The doomsday worries are based on the fact that the Mayan calendar ends in 2012, much as our year ends on Dec. 31.)
The Mayan calendar was converted to today's Gregorian calendar using a calculation called the GMT constant, named for the last initials of three early Mayanist researchers. Much of the work emphasized dates recovered from colonial documents that were written in the Mayan language in the Latin alphabet, according to the chapter's author, Gerardo Aldana, University of California, Santa Barbara professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies.
Later, the GMT constant was bolstered by American linguist and anthropologist Floyd Lounsbury, who used data in the Dresden Codex Venus Table, a Mayan calendar and almanac that charts dates relative to the movements of Venus.
"He took the position that his work removed the last obstacle to fully accepting the GMT constant," Aldana said in a statement. "Others took his work even further, suggesting that he had proven the GMT constant to be correct."
But according to Aldana, Lounsbury's evidence is far from irrefutable.
"If the Venus Table cannot be used to prove the FMT as Lounsbury suggests, its acceptance depends on the reliability of the corroborating data," he said. That historical data, he said, is less reliable than the Table itself, causing the argument for the GMT constant to fall "like a stack of cards."
Aldana doesn't have any answers as to what the correct calendar conversion might be, preferring to focus on why the current interpretation may be wrong. Looks like end-of-the-world theorists may need to find another ancient calendar on which to pin their apocalyptic hopes.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Discount Cruise Vacations Specializing in Caribbean Destinations

The 2010 Taste of Belize Competition

http://budgetcruise.webs.com/apps/videos/videos/show/10995397-the-2010-taste-of-belize-competition-

Discount Cruise Vacations Specializing in Caribbean Destinations

American Fugitive arrested in San Pedro - Ambergris Caye & Belize Message Board

American Fugitive arrested in San Pedro - Ambergris Caye & Belize Message Board

99L a threat to develop - Ambergris Caye & Belize Message Board


99L a threat to develop - Ambergris Caye & Belize Message Board


99L a threat to develop - Ambergris Caye & Belize Message Board
http://ambergriscaye.com/forum/ubbthread...
Heavy thunderstorm activity has increased and grown more organized this morning over the southwestern Caribbean between Honduras and the Cayman Islands, in association with a tropical disturbance (Invest 99L). The storm is bringing heavy rain to the Cayman Islands; two inches has fallen so far this morning at Savannah on Grand Cayman Island. Recent satellite imagery shows that 99L has some rotation, and the winds on the northeast coast of Honduras at Puerto Lempira have shifted to the west-northwest, implying that 99L may be developing a surface circulation. Wind shear is a moderate 10 - 20 knots, which is low enough to allow some slow development. Water vapor satellite loops reveal that the atmosphere in the Western Caribbean is moist enough to support development, and the waters beneath are plenty warm, at 29°C. The latest SHIPS model forecast predicts that wind shear over the Western Caribbean will mostly remain in the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, for the remainder of the week. The current north-northwest motion of 99L should continue until Wednesday, when a strong ridge of high pressure is forecast to build in, forcing 99L to the south or west. However, steering currents will be weak Wednesday through Friday, making it difficult to predict where 99L may wander to. The only models that develop 99L are the GFDL and HWRF. The GFDL model predicts that 99L will spend enough time over water to develop into a hurricane, and brings the storm to the coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Sunday morning. The HWRF model has 99L making landfall over Honduras late this week, before the storm has a chance to develop into a hurricane. NHC is giving 99L a 40% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Thursday. I believe the odds are higher, near 60%. The Hurricane Hunters are on call to investigate 99L this afternoon. Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Invest 99L.

1 of 2Choose a Thumbnail
No Thumbnail

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Home - Belize Cable Guide

Home - Belize Cable Guide

Belize Cable Guide
Cable Guide for Belize. San Pedro, Belize City, And all of Belize.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

10% off on TROPIC with Facebook

We will be having a 10% discount for anyone who shows up with a printout of Tropic Air's facebook page. This will run from October 4 - 10. The 10% is not to be given on top of any other discounts, ie, if someone already has a 10% discount or any other discount, they do not get a 10% on top of it.

Monday, October 4, 2010

cruiseshiptrash.com


cruiseshiptrash.com

Manhattan couple booted from cruise over 'Jew slur' fight
A wealthy Manhattan couple was forced to walk the plank during a cruise on the Queen Mary 2 -- after getting into a bizarre fight with a fellow passenger, sources said.
Broadway producer Gloria Sher, 82, and her husband, Frederick Evans, 91, said they were ordered off the luxury liner after their obscenity-filled argument with someone they claim had made an anti-Semitic remarks.
The couple almost wound up stranded in a remote port in Quebec as punishment for their outburst. At the time, they were only days into the $20,000, five-week cruise. Read more: http://www.cruiseshiptrash.com/

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/international/the_hate_boat_j7PF4V3pbpKwIbssYw6GwO#ixzz11PVqfgbN

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Buzz Log - A New Planet, a New Dimension, and a Final Goodbye: Buzz Week in Review - Yahoo! Buzz


The Buzz Log - A New Planet, a New Dimension, and a Final Goodbye: Buzz Week in Review - Yahoo! Buzz

A New Planet. Scientists find "Earth-like" planet
Even if you're sick of hearing about outer space, we think you're going to agree that this is pretty cool. Astronomers have discovered a new planet that may actually be able to support life. The planet, called Gliese 581g, is about 20 light years away from Earth, so it's gonna take you a while to get there. However, it does possess a few traits that make it stand out to scientists. According to an article that will be published in Astrophysical Journal, the planet is "squarely in the middle of the habitable zone of the star." The habitable zone means that the planet "orbits the star at a distance that allows for the planet to have both liquid water and an atmosphere." Those are two very important things for life. Web searches on "new planet" rocketed upwards 7,232% for the week.

trailertrashvacations.com



trailertrashvacations.com
Cruise bartender sentenced to prison for sexually assaulting girl, 14, on vacation
Posted by wade on October 2, 2010 at 10:41 AM comments (0)

A cruise ship bartender charged with having sex with a 14-year-old girl who was vacationing with her parents was sentenced to just over three years in federal prison Thursday.

Hery Krispiyanto, 30, was sentenced in Orlando federal court for the one count of sexual abuse of a minor he pleaded guilty to in June.

In addition to the prison time, Krispiyanto was ordered to pay about $4,360 in restitution.

Court records said the teenager, identified as "T.W.," was aboard the Carnival Freedom, which left from the Port of Fort Lauderdale in April 2009.

While on the cruise, T.W. and her parents became acquainted with Krispiyanto.

T.W. told investigators she was alone on the upper deck of the ship one night when Krispiyanto walked up behind her, grabbed her arm and pulled her into a nearby employee-only room and closed the door, court records said.

Krispiyanto had sex with the girl, and then told her to leave, his plea agreement said.

T.W. reported the incident to her mother in August, and it was then reported to the FBI. He was indicted in Orlando federal court in May.

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/crime/cruise-bartender-sentenced-to-prison-for-sexually-assaulting-948125.html


http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/crime/cruise-bartender-sentenced-to-prison-for-sexually-assaulting-948125.html

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

AFP: Gels, liquids may be allowed back onto planes by 2012


AFP: Gels, liquids may be allowed back onto planes by 2012
Gels, liquids may be allowed back onto planes by 2012
By Michel Viatteau (AFP) – 1 day ago

MONTREAL — Airline passengers may once again be allowed to board flights with creams, gels and liquids that were banned over security concerns, the International Civil Aviation Organization said Monday.

"In the next two years (the ban) will end," ICAO Secretary General Raymond Benjamin told AFP ahead of the UN organization's 37th general assembly, which kicks off in Montreal on Tuesday.

New equipment capable of detecting explosives in water bottles, makeup kits or toothpaste tubes, for example, would be installed at most airport security checkpoints by 2012, he explained.

The unprecedented security measure took effect in 2006 after British police foiled a transatlantic plot to detonate liquid explosives aboard airliners flying to Canada and the United States.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

belizeind10_0001.wmv

trailertrashvacations.com

trailertrashvacations.com
http://www.carnival.com/cms/Header2009/images/CCL_homepage_wk2_0000_generic.jpg
We just returned (barely) from the worst cruise ever on the Carnival Legglorictorumph. From the moment we arrived at the pier, we knew we were in for trouble. We waited to get off the bus from the airport when we noticed one of the porters opening our suitcase and rifling through it, I ran out to see what he was doing and was shocked when he told me that he “knew” that we weren’t going to give him an adequate tip so he was going to take something of equal value. I then threatened to report him to the cruise line when he said that if I did, I would never see any of my luggage ever again.

When we entered the terminal the lines were huge and most of the people smelled funny. It took over four hours to get through the scanners and another six to get our sign and sail cards. We were also subjected to cavity searches and warned that if they found any alcohol in our suitcases that we would do hard time. By the time we were finally finished, the ship was pulling away from the pier so I had to throw my wife and mother-in-law across the gap and just made the jump myself while carrying three carry-on bags, a wheelchair and an oxygen tank. No one helped us at all, except for one cleaning lady who helped me to my feet and gave me a quick hug. About five minutes later I found that my wallet was missing!

The food was horrible, I’ve tasted better at the Russian gulag I spent three years in the 1980’s! The shrimp cocktail was still moving when I tried to eat it and a melting chocolate cake at the next table to us exploded, killing three people. 528 and a half people butted in front of us at the buffet line and all the items were gone except for the tuna surprise when we finally got to the stations.

The first night of the cruise, the captain got lost and instead of arriving at St. Thomas, the BOAT pulled into San Francisco! We were told that this would be a minor setback and we would be back on route quickly, but no one was allowed to get off at the port due to an outbreak of scurvy in California.

The cabin we selected was too small and every night the toilet and sink would back-up and overflow and leave three feet of water in the room. The door to the balcony didn’t open, but that was a good thing because the railing and the deck were both missing after the second night.

When we woke up on the fourth morning, we noticed that the ship had sunk and no one bothered to let us know. Thank God for the oxygen tank we brought! I called down to the pursers desk to find out what was being done to remedy this new catastrophe and was told that the crew were busily chewing all the gum they could find to make a huge wad to patch up the holes. We were then commanded to get in the lifeboats and help with the raising of the ship. We were each given 200 drink straws, told to put them together end-to-end and direct them to the holes in the hull. We then had to blow air back into the ship and bring it back up from the deeps. This meant that we would not be able to make our shore excursion (which would have sucked anyway). All this time, the crew we sitting around in inner-tubes drinking frozen cocktails laughing at the passengers.

When we finally reached the next port, we were all told that we all had to get off the ship and find our own way home and that Carnival appreciated our business but there would be no refunds, no on-board credits and no assistance in paying for our flights home.

This kind of thing would never happen on RCCL/NCL/Princess etc.


The crew sucked, the ship sucked, the food sucked, the passengers sucked, the entertainment sucked, and all you people that like Carnival suck too!

I will never cruise with THIS cruise line again. Be warned everything I said is true!

.... oh wait I forgot the caveat...

I have taken 16,294 cruises with other cruise lines and never have I had a single problem ever, until I sailed Carnival!

See, I knew I could write an awesome cruise review!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010




Are We Justified In Expecting Every Cruise To Be a Luxury Vacation?
The vast majority of people who go on cruises fill out their guest comment cards at the end of their cruise sending the cruise lines a message that they believe they received good or excellent value from their cruise vacation.
So, why is it then that we also see such a large number of posts and Blogs on the Internet complaining, and saying the opposite? Has the cruise community, including past passengers, as well as writers whose job it is to cover the industry, lost touch with the reality of what one can reasonably expect from their cruises?

The industry has certainly changed. Some say it has evolved; others say it has regressed. But, more and more it seems the case that cruisers are expecting every cruise, at every price point, should supply a luxury vacation.

On land there’s few who would expect a breakfast at an International House Pancakes to be the equal of the hottest new “breakfast boutique” in town, that charges twice the price. No one would expect a KIA to offer an equal ride and driving experience of a Mercedes, or even a Ford. No one would expect to buy clothing at Sears, to be as finely tailored, or have the long term wear ability of clothing purchased at Hugo Boss. It’s not that most of us don’t happily buy the lower costs and services. But we seem to do so with a better understanding of the resultant differences that come with the lower costs than we do when we purchase a cruise.

Far too many people think they can interchange the words cruise vacation and luxury vacation. We really do need to have a better understanding of justifiable expectations between a $49/day cruise; a $150/day cruise; a $250/day cruise, or a $500 – $1000/day cruise.

No doubt advertising and the image of cruising leads people to expect more than the resulting reality. But that is the case with many land based products as well. Yet it seems people are more willing to go through the thought process of sorting through those misconceptions to a better grasp of the reality than they are when addressing the topic of cruises.

For example, I frankly don’t “get it” when I see people complain comparing food on a cruise ship to food at, say Denny’s, when all too often they’ve paid the equivalent of Denny’s-like prices. Simply put; there’s nothing wrong with Denny’s food, particularly if that’s what you’re paying for.

For most people it’s probably easy to understand the differences one might expect between a $100/day cruise and a $500/day “luxury” cruise. But, to avoid disappointment we truly need to do a better job of understanding the “expectation differences” between the less drastic price level variances, as they can be (and fairly should be) quite significant.

On most cruises, even the inexpensive ones, one can expect to be treated “royally”, but depending on how much you pay, it’s difficult to expect that in all circumstances you’ll live like royalty (with accommodations and surroundings), or dine like royalty.

When spending $500, $600, or even $1000 for a cruise I’m telling you honestly you cannot expect a “luxury cruise experience”. Though I have no hesitancy at all in saying you can expect a fun time, and full value for your money from your cruise experience.

With a cruise (as with many things) expect to get what you paid for, and more often than not you’ll disembark as a happy cruiser

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Storm Karl hits Mexico; hurricane duo roils Atlantic - Yahoo! News


Storm Karl hits Mexico; hurricane duo roils Atlantic - Yahoo! News
Igor is not expected to make landfall for days, but forecasters say storm swells will reach Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands by early Wednesday and move from there to Bermuda.

Dangerous surf was also affecting the Leeward islands, and should affect some of the Bahamas Wednesday.

At 0900 GMT Wednesday, Igor's eye was located some 570 miles (915 kilometers) east of the northern Leeward islands and it was heading west-northwestward at nine miles (15 kilometers) per hour, US experts said.

The National Hurricane Center said Karl could bring coastal flooding and up to eight inches of rain to Mexico and parts of Belize and northern Guatemala.

"A storm surge is expected to produce some coastal flooding near and to the north of where the center makes landfall," the center said. "The surge will be accompanied by large and damaging waves.

"Karl is expected to produce total rain accumulations of three to five inches over the Yucatan peninsula, Belize and northern Guatemala, with isolated maximum amounts of eight inches," the center added.

Almost one million people were affected by flooding this month alone, which left 25 dead. The rains, which began in July, are set to worsen as the rainy season continues to almost the end of the year.

More than one third of the Gulf coast state of Veracruz has been hit by flooding which affected some 500,000 people, according to governor Fidel Herrera.

The recent frenetic storm activity comes after prediction from forecasters that the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season would be one of the worst on record.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) predicted 14 to 23 named storms, including eight to 14 hurricanes, three to seven of which were likely to be "major" storms, with winds of at least 111 mph.

This is compared to an average six-month season of 11 named storms, six of which become hurricanes, two of them major.

NOAA said the period since 1995 has been one of unusually high storm activity with eight of the last 15 seasons ranking in the top ten for the most named storms.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tropical Storm: Storm-Centered Satellite Image : Weather Underground

Tropical Storm: Storm-Centered Satellite Image : Weather Underground

Image Updated: 5:40 PM GMT on September 14, 2010
Invest 92

This area of disturbed weather has the potential for tropical development.

Playboy model panics and tries to open door to NJ-bound plane mid-air - NYPOST.com

Playboy model panics and tries to open door to NJ-bound plane mid-air - NYPOST.com
A buxom Playboy centerfold tried to bust out -- midair -- from a jet yesterday amid a bad case of high anxiety.
Sexy 21-year-old model Tiffany Livingston was aboard JetBlue Flight 522 from Orlando, Fla., to Newark when she bolted from her seat and tried to open the door of the plane, a law-enforcement official said.
"She said she's gone through this before, but never this bad, and didn't have . . . her medication," one source said.
Livingston was detained and placed in federal custody, with charges pending, last night.
Last year, Livingston, a 5-foot-6 brunette from Merrimac, RI, was featured as the centerfold for the debut edition of VIP, the Singapore version of Playboy, in which she was described as "not just another pretty face.
"Tiffany boasts the immaculate poise of a mature model wrapped with a bubbly demeanor," the profile said.
Her agent did not return a call seeking comment.
Read more: http://newyorkpost.com/p/news/national/playboy_gal_stirs_in_flight_fright_cejyXEPzU3AIOy1K5PgnsN#ixzz0zVyECF68

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Belize 1998 $2 coin RARE battle of St.George - eBay (item 200515223265 end time Sep-09-10 10:43:18 PDT)

Belize 1998 $2 coin RARE battle of St.George - eBay (item 200515223265 end time Sep-09-10 10:43:18 PDT)

This Belize 1998 coin commemorates the battle of St. Georges Caye It is a very rare coin. It was minted only in 1998, the 200 year anniversary of the battle.The battle of George's Caye in 1778 secured the island from the Spaniards. The Baymen and their African counterparts banded together to form a formidable defense that allowed them to defeat the Spanish/Mexican occupation.

Cruise Ship Hits Unmapped Rock off Canada, Passengers Evacuated - AOL Travel News




The Canadian coast guard ferried passengers and crew off the Clipper Adventurer after the expedition cruise ship ran aground on an unmapped rock in the Canadian Arctic.
Adventure Canada, which operates the ship, says the incident occurred off Nunavut, as the ship was en-route from Port Epworth to the small town of Kugluktuk, in the Arctic Ocean."At the time, the seas were calm, sunny conditions and good visibility with no wind or swell," the company says in a statement.Matthew Swan, owner of Adventure Canada, tells CNN, the Clipper Adventurer was steaming along "and very abruptly the ship stopped and we found our self perched on a rock."Crew tried to dislodge the vessel at high tide. When that failed the coast guard came in with the icebreaker, Amundsen.The cruise ship had 128 passengers and 69 crew members onboard. Those evacuated were taken to Kugluktuk. No one was injured in the incident.Adventure Canada says everyone was "safe and in good spirits," adding that passengers continued to "enjoy programming and hospitality," before disembarking the ship, which was listing slightly. They were flown home via Edmonton.Passengers who arrived in Kugluktuk to join the ship, meanwhile, were met with news their cruise was a no go.Among them were authors Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson. Atwood tells CNN she plans to rebook the cruise for next year.The cruises are popular with those looking to see whales and other wildlife.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Russians urged to smoke, drink more

Russians urged to smoke, drink more
Moscow - Smoke and drink more, Russia's finance minister Alexei Kudrin urged citizens on Wednesday, explaining that higher consumption would help lift tax revenues for spending on social services."If you smoke a pack of cigarettes, that means you are giving more to help solve social problems such as boosting demographics, developing other social services and upholding birth rates," Kudrin said, quoted by the Interfax news agency."People should understand: Those who drink, those who smoke are doing more to help the state," he said, offering unconventional advice as the Russian government announced plans
to raise excise duty on alcohol and cigarettes.Alcohol and cigarette consumption are already extremely high in Russia, where 65 percent of men smoke and the average Russian consumes 18 litres of alcoholic beverages per year, mainly vodka, according to official statistics.Russian duties on cigarettes are among the lowest in Europe, with most brands priced at around 40 rubles (one euro, 1.30 dollars) per pack and unfiltered cigarettes selling for much less.The finance ministry in June announced plans to more than double excise duty on cigarettes over the next three years from 250 roubles per 1000 filtered cigarettes to 590 roubles in 2013.The move is likely to be unpopular in the nicotine-addicted nation where a cigarette shortage in the late 1980s and early 1990s incited protests and led then-president Mikhail Gorbachev to appeal for emergency outside shipments.The state recently imposed a new minimum legal price for vodka, implemented a zero tolerance ban on drink-driving and banned night-time sales of alcohol to curb abuse blamed for the deaths of thousands of Russians every year.Alcohol abuse kills around 500 000 Russians annually and greatly impacts male life expectancy, which is lower than in such developing countries as Bangladesh and Honduras, according to official figures. - Sapa-AFP

Sunday, August 15, 2010

7 Affordable Places to Retire Abroad - On Retirement (usnews.com)

7 Affordable Places to Retire Abroad - On Retirement (usnews.com)

Belize. With both Caribbean island and inland highlands living options, this is a country where life is sweet and simple.

Do your civic duty: Eat this fish! - U.S. news - Environment - msnbc.com


Do your civic duty: Eat this fish! - U.S. news - Environment - msnbc.com


The federal government has thrown its weight behind plans to field a novel weapon – the American appetite – in a bid to halt the spread of the voracious and invasive lionfish.
Like Tribbles proliferating in the holds of the Starship Enterprise, lionfish have spread throughout the Caribbean and along the Atlantic Coast in recent years, most recently invading critical reef habitat off the Florida Keys.
The non-native fish, with their "manes" of venom-tipped spines, have no natural predators in these waters. They eat indiscriminately — consuming some 56 species of fish and many invertebrate species — and reproduce rapidly.
This has prompted scientists to turn to an equally ravenous species to control the beautiful pest.
"The only way to really help the reefs is to actually get people interested in fishing for lionfish," says Renata Lana, a spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which just launched an "Eat Lionfish" campaign. "In fact they are quite delicious fish."
Lionfish, also called turkey, scorpion or fire fish, are not considered food by residents of the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific, their native habitat. They were kept as exotic pets in the United States for years, and researchers say it was probably someone in the aquarium trade who first freed lionfish into the Atlantic near Florida, where they were first spotted in the mid-1980s.
Since then, there has been a population explosion. A single female produces about 2 million eggs a year, and hatchlings become sexually mature in about one year, said James Morris, ecologist at NOAA’s Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research National Ocean Service in Beaufort, N.C.
"Lionfish have a life history that has allowed them to be a very aggressive invader," he said. "When they invade, they eat the abundant prey first, and then start dieting on other species."
Lionfish now thrive from North Carolina to the Bahamas, in shallow waters and coral reefs, as well as deep water environments. They can live warm or cold water, and have been seen as far north as Massachusetts. In some coral reefs they outnumber native commercial species.
Conservationists say the lionfish threaten recovery of overfished species like grouper and snapper by eating them, consuming their prey and competing for space in the reefs. They also feed on species like parrotfish, which normally control the growth of algae on a reef.
Morris says it would be virtually impossible to eradicate lionfish in the Atlantic. But he says there is evidence that targeting lionfish in specific areas such as coral reefs can make a big difference.
This is where the "Eat Lionfish" campaign comes in, lending the considerable weight of NOAA, a government agency, to grassroots efforts in the same vein.
Tasty, but watch the spines Promoters say lionfish are tasty, with light, white and flakey meat. But they admit to challenges to starting a trend toward lionfish as a dish — including persuading fishermen and diners that the spiky creature is safe to catch and eat.
"Many people are afraid to eat the fish because they are venomous, but it’s only in the spines, not in the meat," says Lad Akins, director of operations for REEF, a marine conservation nonprofit. "With just normal precautions, you can fillet it, and get a very nice piece of fish.”
Wayne Mershon, owner of fish supplier Kenyon Seafood in Murrells Inlet, S.C., says he has a customer for lionfish — a chef at a seaside hotel will take as much as he can provide. He serves it as a delicacy. But only a few fishermen will bring it in -- even when they catch it accidentally while fishing for grouper and snapper – because they don’t want to risk handling it.
“I think the main concern with most of the fishermen is that once you’ve caught it, getting it back in the water without getting stuck by it,” said Mershon.
The lionfish sting normally is not deadly to humans, but it is extremely painful and makes some people very sick.
In its battle to win over hearts and stomachs, REEF has been sponsoring “ lionfish derbies.”
“You can engage and educated the public about the (lionfish) issue -- of course you’re removing all those lionfish -- but you also cook the fish up and give people the opportunity to taste lion fish and see how good they are,” said Akins.
In REEF’s first derby, held in May 2009 in the Bahamas, enthusiastic competitors brought in 1,408 lionfish. Starting next month, it has derbies scheduled for Key Largo, Marathon and Key West, Fla., where the lionfish population is exploding.
NOAA is working on a series of lionfish events at restaurants across the United States in the coming year, aimed at creating a chain of demand —from fisherman, to wholesaler, to the dinner table.
Meantime, REEF is producing a lionfish cookbook, with recipes from around the Caribbean, and distributing environmental information and instructions on how to avoid, and treat, wounds from the fish’s venomous spine.
Akins favorite lionfish dish? “Flavorwise and in terms of simplicity, it's lionfish seviche,” he said. “It’s really good with tortilla chips.”
That tastiness may turn out to be the lionfish’s Achilles’ heel.
“If it didn’t taste good we would be in a world of trouble,” he says.
© 2010 msnbc.com Reprints

Monday, August 2, 2010

PLATE BLOCK BELIZE 60 CENT BLUE HOLE STAMPS ERROR

























BELIZE PLATE BLOCK

75 CENT

PLATE BLOCK OF 15 BELIZE 60 CENT BLUE HOLE STAMP MINT OVER PRINTED NUMBERS

PLATE BLOCK OF 15

BELIZE 60 CENT STAMPS

FEATURING

THE GREAT BLUE HOLE







Belize 1998 coin commemorates the battle of St. Georges Caye



This Belize 1998 coin commemorates the battle of St. Georges Caye It is a very rare coin. It was minted only in 1998, the 200 year anniversary of the battle.The battle of George's Caye in 1778 secured the island from the Spaniards. The Baymen and their African counterparts banded together to form a formidable defense that allowed them to defeat the Spanish/Mexican occupation.
















Wednesday, July 28, 2010

.:: SAMAA - Air Blue passengers’ relatives clueless

.:: SAMAA - Air Blue passengers’ relatives clueless

Air Blue passengers’ relatives clueless
Upadated on: 28 Jul 10 08:18 PM


Staff ReportISLAMABAD: The troubled relatives, who came to receive, of crashed Air Blue(AB) plane’s unlucky passengers are facing deep troubles to get information about their deceased beloved ones at Islamabad Air Port and have no clue for next step while the GM of Air Blue has said that emergency cells have been established at Karachi and Islamabad airports, SAMAA reported Wednesday.Total 152 passengers, included crew members, were on board in the Air Blue crashed plane’s flight from Karachi to Islamabad.After hearing about the crash of the aero plane, an uproar started among the relatives of the unfortunate passengers who came to receive their beloved ones at Islamabad airport. They started running, in deep worry and sadness, here and there to get any clue or information about their relatives.The family members of the unlucky passengers of crashed Air Blue flight, turned very upset and hopeless when they remain unable to get any direct and confirm information about their dearest ones. They told that the concerned air line has established an emergency counter for providing information but it is not providing any help or information and we are compelled to circle around many other offices.At the other side, the General Manager of Air Blue has said that the crashed plane was fit by all means and it had no technical misfit.The GM Air Blue, talking to journalists in Karachi, added that emergency cells have been established in Karachi and Islamabad.“The family members of the deceased passengers will be taken to Islamabad and they will be accommodated there as well” he added. SAMAA

Saturday, May 29, 2010

wadethegringo.net








Belize Art and Caribbean Art come alive at the ART BOX - Belize Art and Handicraft Center. Our quality products are made by local Caribbean Artists and Belizean Artists who pride themselves on fine craftsmanship using only high-quality local materials. Our gift shop allows the artists to share their Caribbean art and culture with you. Browse our shop, read about our artists, and enjoy a piece of Belize Art for yourself.
Details
Item Name:Belize Cap #8Item #:CA-8Price$12.49

DARK ROAST.MEDIUM GRIND
GULLON JUG ESTATE
NESTLED BETWEEN THE CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE MOUNTAINS OF MEXICO AND GUATEMALA IS THE COUNTRY OF BELIZE. ITS SUBTROPICAL CLIMATE AND FERTILE SOIL PROVIDE AN EXCELLENT ENVIRONMENT FOR FARMING. GALLON JUG ESTATE, LOCATED ON A PLATEAU BETWEEN TWO ESCARPMENTS, BENFITS FROM THIS IDEAL COFFEE GROWNING CLIMATE.
ALL OF THE COFFEE IS NATURALLY GROWN IN THIS PROTECTED RAINFOREST ESTATE OF 130,000 ACRES. THE RAINFOREST CANOPY PROVIDES SHADE FOR THE PLANTS.THE LUSH TEMPERATE CLIMATE NURTURES THE ARABICA COFFEE PLANT AND PRODUCES A FULL BODIED, FRAGRANT BEAN WITH A SOPHISTICATED FLAVOR. OUR ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY GROWING PROCESS EMPLOYS NO PESTICIDES, HERBICIDES NOR FUNGICIDES. EACH GALLON JUG ESTATE COFFEE PLANT IS INDIVIDUALLY CULTIVATED UNDER THE CLOSE ATTENTION OF THE WORKER WHO LIVE YEAR-ROUND NEAR THE ESTATE WITH THEIR FAMILIES.
WHEN THE COFFEE CHERRIES HAVE RIPENED TO A BRIGHT RED AND ARE BURSTING WITH FLAVOR, THEY ARE HAND PICKED, WET-MILLED, DRIED -- THEN ROASTED TO PERFECTION. IMMEDIATELY AFTER BEING GROUND, THE COFFEE IS VACUUM-SEALED IN OXYGEN-FREE CONTAINERS TO ENSURE THAT THE DELICATE FLAVOR IS PRESERVED.

TSA: CBP, TSA Provide Reminders and Travel Tips to Summer Travelers

TSA: CBP, TSA Provide Reminders and Travel Tips to Summer Travelers
CBP, TSA Provide Reminders and Travel Tips to Summer Travelers
Press Release
May 27, 2010
Contact:TSA Public Affairs(571) 227-2829
CBP Public Affairs202-344-1780
WASHINGTON - In anticipation of the summer travel season, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) joined efforts to provide travel tips to summer travelers.
CBP and TSA recently implemented initiatives to facilitate travel while protecting the homeland against various threats. With the summer travel season rapidly approaching, the two agencies want to educate travelers about these initiatives in order to make their travel experience a more enjoyable one.
CBP reminds travelers:
U.S. citizens traveling abroad must have approved travel documents when returning home.
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) requires U.S. and Canadian citizens, age 16 and older to present a valid, acceptable travel document that denotes both identity and citizenship when entering the U.S. by land or sea. U.S. and Canadian citizens under age 16 may present a birth certificate or alternative proof of citizenship when entering by land or sea.
A radio frequency identification (RFID)-enabled travel document such as a U.S. Passport Card, Enhanced Driver’s License/Enhanced Identification Card or Trusted Traveler Program card expedites entry and makes crossing the border more efficient.
All nationals or citizens of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries are now required to have an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to boarding a carrier to travel by air or sea to the U.S. under the VWP. CBP continues to facilitate the entry process for VWP travelers into the U.S. by implementing the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) requirement on January 12, 2009.
Other programs that facilitate the entry process for international travelers coming into the country to visit, study or conduct legitimate business include "Trusted Traveler Programs" such as SENTRI, NEXUS and Global Entry. For more information about these programs, please visit www.cbp.gov.
Additionally, CBP offers the following travel tips:
Tip #1 - To avoid fines and penalties associated with importing prohibited items, travelers should familiarize themselves with the "Know Before You Go" section of the CBP website (http://www.customs.gov/xp/cgov/travel/vacation/kbyg)
Tip #2 - Be prepared to declare all items acquired abroad. Travelers should prepare for the inspection process before arriving at the inspection booth and have their approved travel documents available for the inspection.
Tip #3 - Monitor border wait times for various ports of entry. Travelers should consult the CBP website for hourly updates when planning trips and identifying periods of light use/short waits. During periods of heavy travel, border crossers may wish to consider alternative, less heavily traveled entry routes.
Tip #4 - Build extra time into the trip in the event of crossing during periods of exceptionally heavy traffic.
Tip #5 - Know the difference between goods for personal use versus commercial use. For more details, visit www.cbp.gov/travel.
Tip #6 - Do not attempt to bring fruits, meats, dairy/poultry products and firewood into the U.S. from Canada without first checking whether they are permitted.
Tip # 7 - During the holiday travel season, international border crossers should continue to expect a thorough inspection process when entering the U.S. from Canada. Understand that CBP officers have the authority to conduct enforcement examinations without a warrant, ranging from a single luggage examination up to and possibly including a personal search. TSA reminds travelers:
As the busy summer travel season approaches, TSA reminds travelers to be prepared and plan ahead for security. Passengers who are prepared for the security process can streamline the process overall at the checkpoint.
Since the attempted terrorist attack on Christmas Day, TSA has accelerated its deployment of Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) and expanded the use of Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) technology.
Passengers should be prepared to encounter security measures that could occur on a random basis at various locations in the airport environment. This could include the use of ETD to screen carry-on items and hands-as well as explosives detection canine teams, bottled liquid screening technology, behavior detection officers, and AIT.
Our highly trained security officers are prepared for the increase in passenger volumes and are dedicated to ensuring safe travels. TSA will be fully staffed and prepared to address the needs of the traveling public this summer.
Additionally, TSA offers the following travel tips:
Tip #1 - Passengers can help speed up the screening process by packing their carry-ons in an organized manner. This helps our officers efficiently see what's inside to quickly process it through screening.
Tip #2 - Existing procedures like 3-1-1 and removing shoes and laptops for screening remain in place.
Tip #3 - TSA has Family Lanes at every security checkpoint which are designed for passengers with special needs of those who may need more time to process through the security checkpoint.
Tip #4 - Remember these three simple steps for security:
Have your ID and boarding pass out and ready
Take off shoes and jackets
Take out liquids (in a baggie) and laptops
For more information please visit www.cbp.gov or www.tsa.gov.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

India plane with 166 on board crashes; 8 survive - Yahoo! News

India plane with 166 on board crashes; 8 survive - Yahoo! News

India plane with 166 on board crashes; 8 survive

Reuters – Onlookers and firefighters stand at the site of a crashed Air India Express passenger plane in Mangalore …
Slideshow:Air India plane crashes
By AIJAZ RAHI, Associated Press Writer Aijaz Rahi, Associated Press Writer – 4 mins ago
MANGALORE, India – An Air India Express plane trying to land Saturday at a tricky hilltop airport in southern India overshot the runway, crashed over a cliff and burst into flames with 166 people on board, officials said. Only eight survived.
Dense black smoke billowed from the wreckage of the flaming Boeing 737-800 aircraft in a hilly area with thick grass and trees just outside Mangalore's Bajpe airport.
Firefighters sprayed water and foam on the plane as others struggled to find survivors. An Associated Press photo showed two rescuers running up a hill carrying a young girl covered in foam to waiting medics. The child's fate was not immediately known.
The plane, traveling from Dubai, was carrying 160 passengers — all Indian — and six crew members, Air India official Anup Srivastava said. Four infants and 19 other children were among the passengers. The British pilot and Indian co-pilot were among the dead.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Homeland Security Today - preparedness and security news - CBP May Screen Passengers on Cruises

Homeland Security Today - preparedness and security news - CBP May Screen Passengers on Cruises



Cruise ships offer attractive terrorist targets, GAO says The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) currently checks passenger manifests for commercial airplanes to determine if any potential terrorists have booked a flight and it could start doing the same for cruise ships.The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommended Monday that US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) examine the possibility of checking passenger reservations for cruise ships in much the same way that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does for airlines."Cruise ships are the single largest passenger conveyances in the world, with one ship currently in service that can carry more than 8,500 passengers and crew," GAO said in its report, Maritime Security: Varied Actions Taken to Enhance Cruise Ship Security, but Some Concerns Remain. "The Coast Guard considers cruise ships to be highly attractive targets to terrorists, and according to a 2008 RAND Corporation report, cruise ships can represent high-prestige symbolic targets for terrorists. Moreover, terrorists have either targeted cruise ships or been able to board cruise ships in the past."In 2008 (the last year examined by GAO), more than nine million passengers sailed from US ports onboard cruise ships. The US Coast Guard is the lead agency charged with assessing risk onboard cruise ships as it holds responsibility for maritime security functions at DHS. The Coast Guard often provides escorts for cruise ships entering or departing US harbors.But CBP has expertise in vetting passenger reservation data. It performs that function now for some international air flights. Indeed, CBP officers arrested suspected Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad at JFK International Airport in New York City May 3 after examining a passenger manifest for his Dubai-bound flight.CBP also has performed analysis of cruise ship passenger manifests in the past as a means to analyze the level of risk various cruises might face from terrorism, the GAO report noted.As such, CBP is well positioned to conduct a study to see if reports on passenger data from cruise lines would prove beneficial to protecting them from terrorist attack as well as to determine the best means of vetting such passenger data, GAO suggested."CBP, however, has not assessed the cost and benefit of requiring cruise lines to provide passenger reservation data, which in the aviation mode, CBP reports to be useful for the targeting of passengers for inspection," the report said. "GAO's previous work identified evaluations as a way for agencies to explore the benefits of a program. If CBP conducted a study to determine whether collecting additional passenger data is cost effective and addressed privacy implications, CBP would be in a better position to determine whether additional actions should be taken to augment security."DHS vowed to task CBP with undertaking such a study and to share the results of it with Congress.Still, DHS presently does not consider cruise ships at risk of terrorist attack. A DHS report of January 2010 said that cruise lines faced no credible terrorist threats in the previous year.But the Coast Guard recognizes cruise ships could be attractive terrorist targets due to the high loss of life that could occur in an attack as well as the economic damage an attack could do to the US tourism industry. To that end, the Coast Guard has been including threats to cruise ships in the implementation of the DHS Small Vessel Security Strategy.Other federal agencies, cruise ship and facility operators, and law enforcement agencies have adopted other measures to protect cruise ships from terrorist attack, the report noted. Public and private entities have been sensitive to the threat to cruise ships in particular since the terrorist hijacking of the Achille Lauro in 1985, when one passenger was killed in the ensuing fight.Furthermore, authorities uncovered a plot to attack Israeli cruise ships in the Mediterranean Sea in 2005 after a bomb intended for use in the attack exploded prematurely, the GAO report said."A successful attack on a cruise ship in or near U.S. waters that resulted in the closure of a US port or discouraged cruise travel would likely harm the US economy because of the significant economic impact that ports contribute to the US economy," the report said.The Congressional Budget Office calculated that the closure of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach would cost $150 million per day in a 2006 report. A terrorist attack that closed ports could cause a ripple effect, slowing down the demand for cruise travel for some time, crippling an industry that contributed roughly $19 billion to the US economy in 2008, the report said.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How Life Works | How To Book a Luxury Cruise at a Huge Discount


Ahh! The joy of a cruise. If you're an experienced cruise traveler you know what it means. If you've never been on a cruise, it is only a matter of taking your first one and you'll be hooked for life.
No travel experience in the world offers the pleasures of a cruise. It's the ultimate stress free vacation. All-inclusive service, delicious food, luxury amenities, fantastic weather and exotic destinations are just a few of the factors that make cruising the fastest growing segment of the travel industry.
Now, what if you could combine all of that with a discount of up to 75% off?
Believe it or not, it's possible from a company called Vacations To Go.
Way back in 1984, Vacations To Go realized that cruise companies had a dilemma. Their profits relied on selling most of their cabins well in advance at full price. They couldn't offer steep discounts on unsold cabins because people would just wait until the last minute and then all cabins would be sold at a discount. Vacations To Go approached the cruise lines with a way for them to sell their unsold cabins at a deep discount without affecting their full price market.
How did they do it?
Simply put, the cruise lines allow Vacations To Go to re-market their unsold cabins to their exclusive and highly confidential client list at huge discounts from the regular price.
Vacations To Go has now provided more than a million of their "members" with dream vacations at a fraction of the regular price, often as much as 75% off. It has also achieved the highest level of recognition possible for exceptional sales and superior service from every major cruise line in the world.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Near collision of airliner and helicopter probed - BusinessWeek

Near collision of airliner and helicopter probed - BusinessWeek

Federal safety officials say they're investigating the near collision of a Southwest Airlines jet and a news helicopter over a Houston airport runway last week.
The National Transportation Safety Board said Monday that Southwest Airlines Flight 1322 and the helicopter came within 125 feet of each other at Hobby Airport about 12:25 p.m. CDT on April 28.
The board says both pilots took evasive maneuvers to avoid colliding. No one was injured.
The Boeing 737 was bound for Baltimore.
This is the second near runway collision in the past two weeks. The other was April 19 in Burbank, Calif.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010



OFFICIALS FIGHT TO REMOVE BARGE THAT IS STUCK ON REEF
March 12, 2010
There is a barge lodged on the reef near Ambergris Caye. The barge is estimated to be 30 feet by 23 feet in size and is currently stuck on the reef some eight miles north of San Pedro Town near Blue Reef Resort. With the wave actions, the barge turned upside down and lodged itself where it remains tonight. Authorities believe that it happened sometime during the course of last night since residents travelling in the area, state that the vessel was not there yesterday. Port Authority, Coast Guard and the Department of the Environment has been on the scene since morning investigating the incident. Earl Valerio is the Head of the Port Authority Office in San Pedro Town and told us more.
Earl Valerio; Head, Port Authority Office
“We were trying to get it off the reef. We are trying to separate the sections of the barge because it has three sections. They have cut some of the metal that holds the barge together; there was a section that was under water. It was cut with a hag saw. It looks like it floated in because it is sitting firmly on the reef and there are some cuts on the top part of the barge. It has no markings on it. The barges in Belize are marked; they have some markings with numbers and sometimes the name of the mother ship on them but that barge has no marking on it. We are only speculating but maybe it broke away from a bigger convoy and then floated into Belize. It is highly unlikely that it belongs to a Belizean because where it is lodged right now it seems as though it floated out from the high seas and landed directly on the reef.”
The barge has no markings and authorities believe that it is a part of a larger vessel that may have drifted in the open waters outside of Ambergris Caye. Authorities are working in dismantling then removing the barge before it causes more damage to the reef.LoveFM

Lil Pedros Hostle Caye Caulker | tacogirl.com


Lil Pedros Hostle Caye Caulker tacogirl.com

Mini vacation
Posted on March 6, 2010 in Eat - Sleep - Drink, Island Life, Travel. You can follow responses with the RSS Feed or Trackback from your blog.

Went to check out Lil Pedro’s Caye Caulker. After all that has gone on last week with me being sick and Paul working like mad and sorting through some frustrations – we definitely needed a vacation to just chill out and be away from it all. It was fun hanging out with Walter – Gillian – Raul and Trevor. I really like the new place it is right in the heart of the hustle and bustle of Caye Caulker and the waterfront view is amazing – we played backgammon and watched people and boats passing by. In the afternoon Walter had lined up some live music with Garifuna Drummers. They were a big hit and it was funny cause we all ended up at Barrier Reef sports bar later and talk of the drummers playing at Lil Pedro’s was the word on the street – news travels even faster on Caye Caulker than it does on San Pedro ha ha.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Got that sinking feeling? | Latin America - Times Online



Life too stressed? Holidays too hectic? Go to Belize, the perfect place in which to perfect the art of lazing around
In the words of Fyodor Dostoevsky, I find myself in some difficulty: on the one hand, I feel professionally compelled to lift myself from this wooden bench-seat, leave this tiny open bar, with its wooden jetty reaching out into the tranquil, turquoise sea, and head off down the sandy street in search of the essential Belize. On the other, I feel personally compelled to have another beer. This place seems to have that effect.

Got that sinking feeling? Latin America - Times Online

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Capt. Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger Retires - Nightline's Daily Line





The nerves-of-steel Flight 1549 pilot has retired from commercial flying, according to this gracious press release from US Airways just a few minutes ago.
Sullenberger gained instant hero status for safely completing a water landing after a bird strike killed power to both Airbus engines above the Hudson River in January 2009. He is credited with saving all 155 lives onboard, including his own.
Doreen Welsh, a flight attendant on Flight 1549, joins Sullenberger in retirement after her 39-year career, according to the airline.
To mark the occasion, embedded below is our entire episode from that night, anchored by Martin Bashir and with Vicki Mabrey live at the Hudson River. Great time capsule of a remarkable day.
And to Sully, congratulations. Job well done and good luck with whatever the future holds.

Monday, March 1, 2010

JFK runway closure to rattle nerves, wallets - Yahoo! News


The main runway at New York's John F. Kennedy International will be closed for four months starting March 1. Millions of travelers will experience delays — including some not flying anywhere near the Big Apple.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The San Pedro Sun and Visitor Guide: Tragic news tonight – Sir Barry Bowen is dead at 64.


A terrible plane crash claimed the life of Barry Bowen, who was piloting his private plane, and the lives of two employees along with their two children, a three year old and a baby.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Belize Luxury Beach Resort: Portofino Beach Resort, San Pedro Belize



LA REID INKS SHYNE TO DEF JAM, "I HAVE COME HERE TO OFFICIALLY KICK OFF OUR PARTNERSHIP" | SOHH.COM


Island Def Jam CEO LA Reid has officially traveld to Belize to announce the official signing of rapper Shyne to his record label.
Speaking to media, Reid welcomed Shyne as the latest member of Def Jam.
"I have come here to stand by Shyne and to officially kick off our partnership with Island Def Jam Music Group and Gangland Records and so it is really an honour to be here, really very special place. I am here because great people are worthy of travelling many many miles for it and I come here to say that your country is great and I hope you guys know that this is a great man from your country who deserves this kind of respect and who deserves this kind of support. So that is why we are here." (7 News Belize)

Its back at the LIME. The soon to be famous "BIG MAC" clone. Friday Feb 12th for lunch and dinner. Don't miss out.


Its Mc Caye D's Time!

Callum's Webcam San Pedro Town, AMBERGRIS CAYE