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News & Views of the Week

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Happy weekend to one and all and isn't it just lovely these days?  The summer weather so far has been pretty good around here and the GOOD NEWS is that the El Nino factor is happening out in the Pacific Ocean these days.

We had a very strong and fierce El Nino in 1998 and the weather people are saying we now have a 92% chance that this year is our year to have one equally as strong and possible even stronger.  In 1998 it cooled down and started to rain in October and we didn't have much if any reprieve from it until March of the following year.

So get ready cuz if Mother Nature is friendly to us we will have more rain than we can handle in this coming wet season.  Our main problem though is that much of it will be pure run off because of the recent firestorms in our state and there is nothing to keep it from just running off into populated areas causing damage to property.

It won't stop the drought with just one season of it but it will help satisfy our prached landscape that right now is so dry you don't even think of lighting a barbecue or mowing a lawn with a gas mower.  We only hope the best for all of us this coming wet season.

Now you wonder why we speak so much of the wet season coming up right?  It's because when it is wet and wild and woolly like that people wanna GETAWAY FROM THEIR EVERYDAY.

That's right they like to travel.  And how about the Caribbean with a land based vacation?

Having trouble viewing the graphics? Go here.

 

 

ALL INCLUSIVE HOTEL STAYS IN THE CARIBBEAN

 

The Ritz-Carlton San Juan


Starting At: $ 537.00

The bustling casino offers an inviting peek into the glamour of the 1940's, while the exotic spa and Spanish-themed guestrooms featuring first-class bath products, Frette linens and 24-hour in-room dining evoke a feeling of unmatched tranquility.

Riu Palace Saint Martin - All Inclusive

 

Starting At: $ 595.00

Riu Palace St. Martin, situated at the beachfront on the Caribbean island of St. Martin, is the perfect place for a dream vacation and it's ready for you to enjoy all the amenities and services RIU offers to its guests. Located in the beautiful cove of Anse Marcel, the Hotel Riu Palace St. Martin gives guests the opportunity to enjoy a natural reserve with its unique flora and fauna, as well as sandy white beaches with dream-like turquoise waters, ideal for relaxing and practicing water sports.

Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall - All Inclusive

 

Starting At: $ 522.00

Located on picture perfect private coastline and beaches with a backdrop of Mountains in Jamaica's exclusive Rose Hall , the 387-room resort offers spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea, a full service Spa, a variety of water sports, several dining outlets and more than 25,000 square feet of meeting and reception space. Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall is 10 minutes from the Sangster's international airport as well as five minutes away from three world-class golf courses.

Riu Palace Paradise Island


Starting At: $ 636.00

Catering to families, spa enthusiasts and active travelers, this sun-sational beachfront retreat provides an endless supply of relaxation and fun.

InterContinental San Juan


Starting At: $ 342.00

On famous Isla Verde Beach, 5 minutes from the airport and 15 minutes from shopping and historic Old San Juan. Fronting two miles of white-sand beach on Isla Verde, this stunning getaway offers the ideal tropical setting for unforgettable Caribbean vacations.

RIU Negril


Starting At: $ 385.00

Surrounded by lush gardens, state-of-the-art facilities, a stunning white-sand beach and crystalline waters, Riu Negril provides family-friendly getaways and relaxing spa retreats ideal for couples, groups and families alike.

Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino


Starting At: $ 641.00

Blending the finest amenities and activities with personalized service, this distinctive resort is a true island gem for families, spa-lovers and couples looking to tie the knot.

Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall - All Inclusive

 

Starting At: $ 575.00

Located on picture perfect private coastline and beaches with a backdrop of mountains in Jamaica's exclusive Rose Hall, the 234-room resort offers spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea, a full service Spa, a variety of water sports, several dining outlets and access to more than 25,000 square feet of meeting and reception space at the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall.

Excellence Punta Cana


Starting At: $ 799.00

Fronting a mile-long stretch of pristine, white-sand beach, this exotic adults-only getaway provides the perfect setting for romance. Amidst a jungle of coconut palms, fragrant gardens, and the warm Caribbean Sea, guests are pampered with personalized service, polished accommodations, a wide selection of restaurants and lounges and an upscale full-service spa.

Jewel Paradise Cove Beach Resort


Starting At: $ 647.00

Be one of the first to discover a newfound serenity and healthfulness at the all-new Jewel Paradise Cove Beach Resort & Spa, formerly the Hotel Royal Decameron Fun Caribbean. Our adults-only lush paradise resort on Jamaica's north coast will debut late fall 2013 with signature Jewel Resorts amenities and world-class services centered on an all-inclusive health, spa and fitness theme.

Iberostar Bavaro


Starting At: $ 699.00

Distinguished Spanish-style hospitality and unforgettable vistas provide the perfect compliment to the inspired specialty restaurants, upscale amenities and beautiful gardens at this grand hideaway. Boasting an exotic setting perfectly-suited for any dream vacation, this family-friendly retreat also offers a playground, kid's club and refreshing swimming pools.

The Royal Suites Turquesa by Palladium


Starting At: $ 849.00

The Royal Suites Turquesa by Palladium is an exclusive hotel located within the Grand Palladium Punta Cana Complex Resorts & Spa. The concept of The Royal Suites is differentiated by its personalized services for adults only, as our new Butler-Service, exclusive for clients of The Royal Suites.

Marriott Resort


Starting At: $ 378.00

Overlooking Puerto Rico's famed Condado Beach, this relaxing oceanfront resort appeals to families, gaming enthusiasts, beach lovers and couples looking to tie the knot.

Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro


Starting At: $ 949.00

Designed for golf lovers and honeymooners alike, this lavish, adults-only getaway provides the perfect retreat after unforgettable days exploring Punta Cana.

Occidental Grand Cozumel


Starting At: $ 679.00

Grand Cozumel by Occidental is situated on the southwest part of Cozumel Island, on the beautiful San Francisco beach. The hotel is ideal for divers and those who enjoy the aquatic sports. Just a five minute boat ride is the legendary Palancar Reef. The hotel consist of 252 rooms distributed among eleven Colonial style buildings.

Cozumel Palace

 

Starting At: $ 866.00

In the heart of Cozumel Island by the beautiful Caribbean Sea and on the edge of the world famous Palancar Reef, lays the Cozumel Palace, located within walking distance of the small town of San Miguel. This seafront resort offers 176 junior suites featuring double Jacuzzis, balconies with ocean views, three restaurants, two bars including a swim-up bar, daily and nightly entertainment and much more.

Atlantis Coral Towers

 

Starting At: $ 705.00

Atlantis Coral Towers feature a contemporary and relaxed Bahamian ambiance, offering vacationers moderately priced, family-friendly accommodations. Guest rooms feature full furnished balconies overlooking the grounds, the Atlantis waterscape, or the sparkling blue Caribbean. The Coral Tower is just steps away from the shops and dining located within Marina Village, Predator Lagoon, Lagoon Pool, Atlantis Casino, and the haute couture boutiques of Crystal Court.

Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas


Starting At: $ 1330.00

Unfolding like a grand estate, Sandals Emerald Bay Great Exuma, Bahamas is a 500-acre resort set along a one-mile stretch of white-sand beach on Emerald Bay.

Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort


Starting At: $ 1547.00

Set on twelve pristine miles of white sand, overlooking water of a thousand turquoise hues, this spot enchants with its unspoiled, mythical beauty. The resort features an ultra-chic French Village complete with Parisian-style architecture, cuisine and ambiance.

Sandals Grande Antigua


Starting At: $ 1444.00

Set on breathtaking Dickenson Bay, the island's best and most famous beach, this romantic getaway offers the charm of a quaint Caribbean village accompanied by the refined luxuries of a world-class luxury-included resort.

Sandals Barbados


Starting At: $ 1395.00

Located in the heart of Saint Lawrence, a bustling South Coast hotspot, Sandals Barbados adds Luxury Included® elegance with beautifully-appointed rooms and suites, gourmet dining, impeccable butler service and more. Explore white sand beaches, warm turquoise waters, rolling hills, and hidden, underground lakes and caverns.

Sandals Regency La Toc


Starting At: $ 1589.00

Set along a half-mile crescent-shaped beach, this 210-acre enclave spares no detail to bring guests an infinitely romantic getaway. Amenities include three freshwater pools, rolling fairways and the magnificent new Villa Suites.

Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort


Starting At: $ 1762.00

Indulge in scuba-diving or cool off in a creative lagoon pool that lets guests swim right up their rooms. The resort features five gourmet restaurants, a fitness center and full-service European spa.

Half Moon


Starting At: $ 850.00

Nestled among 400 acres of tropical landscape on Jamaica's northern coast, the colonial-style Half Moon has been welcoming distinguished guests for over 50 years. Today Half Moon ranks among the most popular and complete resorts in the Caribbean. The Resort offers 398 elegantly appointed guest rooms, suites or villas.

Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa


Starting At: $ 1098.00

Hugging the longest and best span of Negril's stunning seven-mile beach, this resort provides endless vistas of pristine shore and phenomenally clear turquoise waters. True beachfront rooms open out directly onto alabaster sand and swaying coconut trees. One-of-a-kind loft suites feature spiral staircases and super-deluxe décor. Each and every part of this paradise on earth has recently been beautifully renovated.

Ritz-Carlton Aruba


Starting At: $ 1349.00

The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba ushers in a new and highly valued vacation experience to the Caribbean. To an island renowned for its pristine beaches and beautiful landscape, experience a new standard of luxury and elegance in accommodations, facilities, activities and services that ranks among the finest resorts worldwide.

Sandals Royal Plantation


Starting At: $ 1285.00

Nestled atop a seaside bluff above the stunning Caribbean Sea, this 74-room all oceanview gem presents the perfect setting to truly get away from it all. Old world elegance and warm hospitality are at the crux of this charming all-suite Jamaican resort. With exquisite Mediterranean and French cuisine, the Caribbean's only Champagne & Caviar Bar and spectacular twin beaches with your beach butler only a nod away.

Sandals Montego Bay


Starting At: $ 991.00

Set on Jamaica's largest private white-sand beach, this beachfront resort boasts beautifully renovated rooms including the lavish new Bay Roc Villa Suites with Sandals' exclusive Butler Service. Other resort features include five gourmet restaurants, four pools and a variety of land and watersports.

Beaches Boscobel Resort


Starting At: $ 1141.00

From the new Pirate's Island Water Park and themed character activities at Beaches' Caribbean Adventure with Sesame Street®, to a full service Red Lane® spa and championship golf, this resort offers families the perfect place for the perfect vacation.

Sandals Carlyle


Starting At: $ 814.00

An intimate hideaway with just 52 rooms overlooking a serene beach in the heart of Montego Bay, the hotel offers exchange privileges at all other Sandals in Jamaica, giving guests the best Luxury Included vacation value anywhere.

All inclusive resorts are often called a cruise on land but the major differences are you stay in one place the entire time and ALL libations are FREE subject to certain limitations or restrictions of course.  And don't forget those lobster and steak dinners you can have at many of these resorts.

Please contact us today for your Caribbean all inclusive GETAWAY FROM YOUR EVERYDAY.

This week Celebrity Cruises announced a new set of fares that are going to please everyone.

And why do we say everyone?  It is because there is something there for everyone.

It is the GO BIG GO BETTER promotion.  And it is clear to say it is not a promotion but now a way of life for Celebrity Cruises.

Many people like all of those amenities that the cruise lines have been bundling in fares the past year or so.

We’re talking about amenities like on board credit, free fratuities, free internet and the all important beverage package.

Well not Celebrity has really done it.

It’s really simple.

You pick the cruise fare you want with one being lower and one in the middle and one that is higher.

For the lower fare you pick one amenity, and the middle fare you pick 2 amenities that you want and if you pick the higher fare you get all 4 amenities and also you get the Deluxe Beverage package rather than the standard beverage package.

Special Offers for our Most Valued Customers!

To check out this and many other great offers, click the More Details button.


Go Big, Go Better, Go Best(#4304889)

 

Date(s): 10/1/2015 - 4/30/2017

Introducing Go Big, Go Better, Go Best-new ingenious options to perk-up an already perfect vacation. Book an ocean view stateroom or higher on over 470 sailings departing October 2015 through April 2017.


And now below what we have assembled is a number of cruises that you can pick from that qualify for the GO BIG GO BETTER campaign.  Keep in mind however that we have not included all that are available but we thing you will find something here for anyone and everyone.

Having trouble viewing the graphics? Go here.

 

 

CELEBRITY CRUISES YOU CAN CHOOSE FROM THAT GO BIG AND GO BETTER

 

Tahitian Treasures Cruise


Starting At: $ 4159.00
+ 120.38 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Solstice

Celebrity Solstice® is one of our more decorated ships at sea. So it's no wonder that it's full of "firsts." Like the first Lawn Club at sea. The first Hot Glass ShowSM. The first cruise line to have 5 women, also known as "the Leading LadiesSM" redesign, and redecorate the staterooms. Some other things that set the Celebrity Solstice cruise ship apart are its specialty restaurants.

Spain & Portugal Cruise


Starting At: $ 1789.00
+ 119.15 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Equinox

Celebrity EquinoxSM captures the very essence of premium cruising. Shimmering in sophistication from bow to stern, she will exceed your expectations as soon as you step aboard. Delight in your choice of ten exceptional dining venues. Relax in chic and spacious accommodations. Be surprised to feel grass beneath your feet at the Lawn Club as you sail out to sea.

Eastern Mediterranean Cruise


Starting At: $ 1349.00
+ 90.65 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Reflection

Celebrity ReflectionSM is our newest marvel offering three new suites, including 34 new AquaClass® Suites that feature stunning 79 square foot verandas, so you can relax like never before. Plus, your favorite spa amenities and priority access to the highly-rated specialty restaurant, Blu, are included. There are even more inspired additions to this ship.

Nyc Canada Book & Go Choice Air (CruiseTour)


Starting At: $ 3409.00
+ 249.24 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Summit

Canada & New England Cruise


Starting At: $ 1549.00
+ 249.24 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Summit® sails with a new sense of style and excitement. The third member of Millennium Class to be "Solsticized," she's undergone a dazzling revitalization. She's been upgraded with AquaClass® accommodations including the Mediterranean-themed Blu specialty restaurant. There's the hip Celebrity iLoungeSM where you can participate in the iLearn enrichment series or pick up the latest high-tech gadget from the first Apple Reseller at Sea.

Southern Caribbean Cruise


Starting At: $ 1179.00
+ 122.68 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Infinity

Welcome aboard Celebrity Infinity® with her new, "Solsticized" sense of style and excitement. Relax in her spa-inspired AquaClass® accommodations featuring exclusive access to Blu, our delicious Mediterranean focused "clean cuisine" restaurant. Keep in touch at the hip Celebrity iLoungeSM where you can participate in the iLearn enrichment series or pick up the latest high-tech wonder from the first Apple® Reseller at Sea.

Spain & Canary Islands Cruise


Starting At: $ 1699.00
+ 122.54 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Eclipse

Since Celebrity Eclipse joined our fleet in 2010, she has dazzled and amazed even the most well-traveled cruisers. Like her Solstice Class sisters before her, Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox, she showcases spectacular vistas with 85% of all staterooms having sweeping veranda views.

Turkey & Black Sea Cruise


Starting At: $ 899.00
+ 96.54 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Constellation

Kick back and relax with friends in the new version of Michael's Club. It offers 64 international craft beer selections including ales, lagers, lambics, ciders, wheat beers, seasonal and beer cocktails in addition to its already extensive collection of fine spirits. Kids will love the new Xbox consoles within the Fun Factory kids' club and X Club teen venue along with free play on Xbox 360 and Kinect for Xbox 360.

Italy & Greek Isles Cruise


Starting At: $ 1549.00
+ 119.12 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Equinox

Celebrity EquinoxSM captures the very essence of premium cruising. Shimmering in sophistication from bow to stern, she will exceed your expectations as soon as you step aboard. Delight in your choice of ten exceptional dining venues. Relax in chic and spacious accommodations. Be surprised to feel grass beneath your feet at the Lawn Club as you sail out to sea.

Nyc Puerto Rico Book & Go Choice Air (CruiseTour)


Starting At: $ 1779.00
+ 137.66 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Summit

Israel & Mediterranean Cruise


Starting At: $ 1349.00
+ 138.90 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Silhouette

You have another outstanding option for cruising Europe and the Caribbean with Celebrity Silhouette®. She's impressive, with all the best-loved Solstice® Class features-and some new ones. Chic changes to Celebrity's iconic Lawn Club provide more opportunities to relax, eat, drink and socialize in the fresh air.

Caribbean Cruise


Starting At: $ 449.00
+ 137.66 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Summit® sails with a new sense of style and excitement. The third member of Millennium Class to be "Solsticized," she's undergone a dazzling revitalization. She's been upgraded with AquaClass® accommodations including the Mediterranean-themed Blu specialty restaurant. There's the hip Celebrity iLoungeSM where you can participate in the iLearn enrichment series or pick up the latest high-tech gadget from the first Apple Reseller at Sea.

South Pacific And Fiji Cruise


Starting At: $ 1719.00
+ 148.55 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Solstice

Celebrity Solstice® is one of our more decorated ships at sea. So it's no wonder that it's full of "firsts." Like the first Lawn Club at sea. The first Hot Glass ShowSM. The first cruise line to have 5 women, also known as "the Leading LadiesSM" redesign, and redecorate the staterooms. Some other things that set the Celebrity Solstice cruise ship apart are its specialty restaurants.

Spain & Canary Islands Cruise


Starting At: $ 1599.00
+ 122.54 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Eclipse

Since Celebrity Eclipse joined our fleet in 2010, she has dazzled and amazed even the most well-traveled cruisers. Like her Solstice Class sisters before her, Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox, she showcases spectacular vistas with 85% of all staterooms having sweeping veranda views.

Israel & Mediterranean


Starting At: $ 1399.00
+ 139.10 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Constellation

Kick back and relax with friends in the new version of Michael's Club. It offers 64 international craft beer selections including ales, lagers, lambics, ciders, wheat beers, seasonal and beer cocktails in addition to its already extensive collection of fine spirits. Kids will love the new Xbox consoles within the Fun Factory kids' club and X Club teen venue along with free play on Xbox 360 and Kinect for Xbox 360.

Western Caribbean Cruise


Starting At: $ 609.00
+ 128.16 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Infinity

Welcome aboard Celebrity Infinity® with her new, "Solsticized" sense of style and excitement. Relax in her spa-inspired AquaClass® accommodations featuring exclusive access to Blu, our delicious Mediterranean focused "clean cuisine" restaurant. Keep in touch at the hip Celebrity iLoungeSM where you can participate in the iLearn enrichment series or pick up the latest high-tech wonder from the first Apple® Reseller at Sea.

Western Caribbean Getaway Cruise


Starting At: $ 849.00
+ 139.82 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Reflection

Celebrity ReflectionSM is our newest marvel offering three new suites, including 34 new AquaClass® Suites that feature stunning 79 square foot verandas, so you can relax like never before. Plus, your favorite spa amenities and priority access to the highly-rated specialty restaurant, Blu, are included. There are even more inspired additions to this ship.

Southern Caribbean Cruise


Starting At: $ 549.00
+ 86.53 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Summit® sails with a new sense of style and excitement. The third member of Millennium Class to be "Solsticized," she's undergone a dazzling revitalization. She's been upgraded with AquaClass® accommodations including the Mediterranean-themed Blu specialty restaurant. There's the hip Celebrity iLoungeSM where you can participate in the iLearn enrichment series or pick up the latest high-tech gadget from the first Apple Reseller at Sea.

Exotic Southern Caribbean Cruise


Starting At: $ 1399.00
+ 116.64 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Eclipse

Since Celebrity Eclipse joined our fleet in 2010, she has dazzled and amazed even the most well-traveled cruisers. Like her Solstice Class sisters before her, Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox, she showcases spectacular vistas with 85% of all staterooms having sweeping veranda views.

Ultimate Caribbean Cruise


Starting At: $ 1049.00
+ 106.34 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Equinox

Celebrity EquinoxSM captures the very essence of premium cruising. Shimmering in sophistication from bow to stern, she will exceed your expectations as soon as you step aboard. Delight in your choice of ten exceptional dining venues. Relax in chic and spacious accommodations. Be surprised to feel grass beneath your feet at the Lawn Club as you sail out to sea.

Southern Caribbean Cruise


Starting At: $ 499.00
+ 82.84 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Summit® sails with a new sense of style and excitement. The third member of Millennium Class to be "Solsticized," she's undergone a dazzling revitalization. She's been upgraded with AquaClass® accommodations including the Mediterranean-themed Blu specialty restaurant. There's the hip Celebrity iLoungeSM where you can participate in the iLearn enrichment series or pick up the latest high-tech gadget from the first Apple Reseller at Sea.

Exotic Southern Caribbean Cruise


Starting At: $ 1399.00
+ 124.49 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Eclipse

Since Celebrity Eclipse joined our fleet in 2010, she has dazzled and amazed even the most well-traveled cruisers. Like her Solstice Class sisters before her, Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox, she showcases spectacular vistas with 85% of all staterooms having sweeping veranda views.

New Zealand Cruise


Starting At: $ 1899.00
+ 211.12 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Solstice

Celebrity Solstice® is one of our more decorated ships at sea. So it's no wonder that it's full of "firsts." Like the first Lawn Club at sea. The first Hot Glass ShowSM. The first cruise line to have 5 women, also known as "the Leading LadiesSM" redesign, and redecorate the staterooms. Some other things that set the Celebrity Solstice cruise ship apart are its specialty restaurants.

Western Caribbean Getaway Cruise


Starting At: $ 649.00
+ 140.14 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Reflection

Celebrity ReflectionSM is our newest marvel offering three new suites, including 34 new AquaClass® Suites that feature stunning 79 square foot verandas, so you can relax like never before. Plus, your favorite spa amenities and priority access to the highly-rated specialty restaurant, Blu, are included. There are even more inspired additions to this ship.

Eastern Caribbean Getaway Cruise


Starting At: $ 649.00
+ 104.62 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Reflection

Celebrity ReflectionSM is our newest marvel offering three new suites, including 34 new AquaClass® Suites that feature stunning 79 square foot verandas, so you can relax like never before. Plus, your favorite spa amenities and priority access to the highly-rated specialty restaurant, Blu, are included. There are even more inspired additions to this ship.

Western Caribbean Cruise


Starting At: $ 649.00
+ 137.01 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Silhouette

You have another outstanding option for cruising Europe and the Caribbean with Celebrity Silhouette®. She's impressive, with all the best-loved Solstice® Class features-and some new ones. Chic changes to Celebrity's iconic Lawn Club provide more opportunities to relax, eat, drink and socialize in the fresh air.

Southern Caribbean Holiday Cruise


Starting At: $ 1399.00
+ 93.97 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Eclipse

Since Celebrity Eclipse joined our fleet in 2010, she has dazzled and amazed even the most well-traveled cruisers. Like her Solstice Class sisters before her, Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox, she showcases spectacular vistas with 85% of all staterooms having sweeping veranda views.

East Caribbean New Year Cruise


Starting At: $ 1499.00
+ 104.62 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Reflection

Celebrity ReflectionSM is our newest marvel offering three new suites, including 34 new AquaClass® Suites that feature stunning 79 square foot verandas, so you can relax like never before. Plus, your favorite spa amenities and priority access to the highly-rated specialty restaurant, Blu, are included. There are even more inspired additions to this ship.

South Caribbean New Year Cruise


Starting At: $ 1079.00
+ 82.78 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Summit® sails with a new sense of style and excitement. The third member of Millennium Class to be "Solsticized," she's undergone a dazzling revitalization. She's been upgraded with AquaClass® accommodations including the Mediterranean-themed Blu specialty restaurant. There's the hip Celebrity iLoungeSM where you can participate in the iLearn enrichment series or pick up the latest high-tech gadget from the first Apple Reseller at Sea.

Having trouble viewing the graphics? Go here.

 

 

CELEBRITY CRUISES GO BIG GO BETTER PART 2

 

Southern Caribbean Holiday Cruise


Starting At: $ 1799.00
+ 103.62 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Eclipse

Since Celebrity Eclipse joined our fleet in 2010, she has dazzled and amazed even the most well-traveled cruisers. Like her Solstice Class sisters before her, Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox, she showcases spectacular vistas with 85% of all staterooms having sweeping veranda views.

Western Caribbean Holiday Cruise


Starting At: $ 1579.00
+ 137.01 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Silhouette

You have another outstanding option for cruising Europe and the Caribbean with Celebrity Silhouette®. She's impressive, with all the best-loved Solstice® Class features-and some new ones. Chic changes to Celebrity's iconic Lawn Club provide more opportunities to relax, eat, drink and socialize in the fresh air.

South Pacific Cruise


Starting At: $ 1499.00
+ 115.94 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Solstice

Celebrity Solstice® is one of our more decorated ships at sea. So it's no wonder that it's full of "firsts." Like the first Lawn Club at sea. The first Hot Glass ShowSM. The first cruise line to have 5 women, also known as "the Leading LadiesSM" redesign, and redecorate the staterooms. Some other things that set the Celebrity Solstice cruise ship apart are its specialty restaurants.

New Zealand Cruise


Starting At: $ 2249.00
+ 218.49 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Solstice

Celebrity Solstice® is one of our more decorated ships at sea. So it's no wonder that it's full of "firsts." Like the first Lawn Club at sea. The first Hot Glass ShowSM. The first cruise line to have 5 women, also known as "the Leading LadiesSM" redesign, and redecorate the staterooms. Some other things that set the Celebrity Solstice cruise ship apart are its specialty restaurants.

New Zealand Cruise


Starting At: $ 2769.00
+ 167.32 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Solstice

Celebrity Solstice® is one of our more decorated ships at sea. So it's no wonder that it's full of "firsts." Like the first Lawn Club at sea. The first Hot Glass ShowSM. The first cruise line to have 5 women, also known as "the Leading LadiesSM" redesign, and redecorate the staterooms. Some other things that set the Celebrity Solstice cruise ship apart are its specialty restaurants.

Exotic Southern Caribbean Cruise


Starting At: $ 1749.00
+ 124.20 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Eclipse

Since Celebrity Eclipse joined our fleet in 2010, she has dazzled and amazed even the most well-traveled cruisers. Like her Solstice Class sisters before her, Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox, she showcases spectacular vistas with 85% of all staterooms having sweeping veranda views.

New Zealand Cruise


Starting At: $ 1599.00
+ 215.87 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Solstice

Celebrity Solstice® is one of our more decorated ships at sea. So it's no wonder that it's full of "firsts." Like the first Lawn Club at sea. The first Hot Glass ShowSM. The first cruise line to have 5 women, also known as "the Leading LadiesSM" redesign, and redecorate the staterooms. Some other things that set the Celebrity Solstice cruise ship apart are its specialty restaurants.

Ultimate Caribbean Cruise


Starting At: $ 1649.00
+ 106.48 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Equinox

Celebrity EquinoxSM captures the very essence of premium cruising. Shimmering in sophistication from bow to stern, she will exceed your expectations as soon as you step aboard. Delight in your choice of ten exceptional dining venues. Relax in chic and spacious accommodations. Be surprised to feel grass beneath your feet at the Lawn Club as you sail out to sea.

Australia & New Zealand Cruise


Starting At: $ 2299.00
+ 218.32 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Solstice

Celebrity Solstice® is one of our more decorated ships at sea. So it's no wonder that it's full of "firsts." Like the first Lawn Club at sea. The first Hot Glass ShowSM. The first cruise line to have 5 women, also known as "the Leading LadiesSM" redesign, and redecorate the staterooms. Some other things that set the Celebrity Solstice cruise ship apart are its specialty restaurants.

Virgin Islands Voyage Cruise


Starting At: $ 999.00
+ 102.62 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Constellation

Kick back and relax with friends in the new version of Michael's Club. It offers 64 international craft beer selections including ales, lagers, lambics, ciders, wheat beers, seasonal and beer cocktails in addition to its already extensive collection of fine spirits. Kids will love the new Xbox consoles within the Fun Factory kids' club and X Club teen venue along with free play on Xbox 360 and Kinect for Xbox 360.

Ultimate Caribbean Cruise


Starting At: $ 949.00
+ 106.48 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Equinox

Celebrity EquinoxSM captures the very essence of premium cruising. Shimmering in sophistication from bow to stern, she will exceed your expectations as soon as you step aboard. Delight in your choice of ten exceptional dining venues. Relax in chic and spacious accommodations. Be surprised to feel grass beneath your feet at the Lawn Club as you sail out to sea.

Exotic Southern Caribbean Cruise


Starting At: $ 1699.00
+ 120.96 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Eclipse

Since Celebrity Eclipse joined our fleet in 2010, she has dazzled and amazed even the most well-traveled cruisers. Like her Solstice Class sisters before her, Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox, she showcases spectacular vistas with 85% of all staterooms having sweeping veranda views.

South Pacific And Fiji Cruise


Starting At: $ 1649.00
+ 148.55 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Solstice

Celebrity Solstice® is one of our more decorated ships at sea. So it's no wonder that it's full of "firsts." Like the first Lawn Club at sea. The first Hot Glass ShowSM. The first cruise line to have 5 women, also known as "the Leading LadiesSM" redesign, and redecorate the staterooms. Some other things that set the Celebrity Solstice cruise ship apart are its specialty restaurants.

Exotic Southern Caribbean Cruise


Starting At: $ 1699.00
+ 124.49 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Eclipse

Since Celebrity Eclipse joined our fleet in 2010, she has dazzled and amazed even the most well-traveled cruisers. Like her Solstice Class sisters before her, Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox, she showcases spectacular vistas with 85% of all staterooms having sweeping veranda views.

South Pacific Cruise


Starting At: $ 1199.00
+ 121.43 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Solstice

Celebrity Solstice® is one of our more decorated ships at sea. So it's no wonder that it's full of "firsts." Like the first Lawn Club at sea. The first Hot Glass ShowSM. The first cruise line to have 5 women, also known as "the Leading LadiesSM" redesign, and redecorate the staterooms. Some other things that set the Celebrity Solstice cruise ship apart are its specialty restaurants.

Exotic Southern Caribbean Cruise


Starting At: $ 1729.00
+ 120.96 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Eclipse

Since Celebrity Eclipse joined our fleet in 2010, she has dazzled and amazed even the most well-traveled cruisers. Like her Solstice Class sisters before her, Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox, she showcases spectacular vistas with 85% of all staterooms having sweeping veranda views.

Southern Caribbean Cruise


Starting At: $ 549.00
+ 87.73 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Summit® sails with a new sense of style and excitement. The third member of Millennium Class to be "Solsticized," she's undergone a dazzling revitalization. She's been upgraded with AquaClass® accommodations including the Mediterranean-themed Blu specialty restaurant. There's the hip Celebrity iLoungeSM where you can participate in the iLearn enrichment series or pick up the latest high-tech gadget from the first Apple Reseller at Sea.

Hawaii Cruise


Starting At: $ 1329.00
+ 93.01 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Millennium

A favorite of many vacationers, Celebrity Millennium® was "Solsticized" in May of 2012 and emerged with many award-winning Solstice Class features. She's been renewed with spa-inspired AquaClass® staterooms, the AquaClass signature restaurant, Blu, and the addition of verandas to her chic Celebrity Suites.

Bermuda & Caribbean Cruise


Starting At: $ 599.00
+ 117.76 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Summit® sails with a new sense of style and excitement. The third member of Millennium Class to be "Solsticized," she's undergone a dazzling revitalization. She's been upgraded with AquaClass® accommodations including the Mediterranean-themed Blu specialty restaurant. There's the hip Celebrity iLoungeSM where you can participate in the iLearn enrichment series or pick up the latest high-tech gadget from the first Apple Reseller at Sea.

Hawaii Cruise


Starting At: $ 1349.00
+ 67.66 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Solstice

Celebrity Solstice® is one of our more decorated ships at sea. So it's no wonder that it's full of "firsts." Like the first Lawn Club at sea. The first Hot Glass ShowSM. The first cruise line to have 5 women, also known as "the Leading LadiesSM" redesign, and redecorate the staterooms. Some other things that set the Celebrity Solstice cruise ship apart are its specialty restaurants.

Greek Isles & Mediterranean Cruise


Starting At: $ 1799.00
+ 101.88 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Constellation

Western Mediterranean Cruise


Starting At: $ 1599.00
+ 100.92 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Equinox

Norwegian Fjords Cruise


Starting At: $ 1343.00
+ 104.86 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Eclipse

 

We will be there and as usual it is Labor Day weekend on both Saturday and Sunday.

Today, the Caledonian Club of San Francisco's Scottish Highland Gathering and Games are the

largest in the USA. This year’s 150th Games is a 2-day event that will take place on September

5-6 at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton. It features the World Heavy Events

Championships, the US Drum Major Championships, the Western U.S. Open Highland Dancing

Championships and various grades of Pipe Band Competitions. Other competitive events include the

Kilted Mile Race and Soccer, Shinty and Rugby competitions. Visitors to the Games can enjoy

Scottish Country Dancers, the San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers and other traditional entertainment

on the Celtic Heritage stages. Other events include Birds of Prey and Archery exhibitions,

historical re-enactments, historic British cars and motorcycles, sheep dog trials, Clan Glen with

over 100 Clans, Children’s Glen, Clydesdale horses and Highland cattle. In addition, there’s more

entertainment in the Irish Pavilion, Traditional and Celtic Rock Bands on the Entertainment Stages

and whisky tasting and master classes with ‘Whisky Live’. Finally, each day, the Games Grandstand

Show features the ceremony, competition and entertainment of the Games including the hugely

impressive March of the Massed Bands with over 600 pipers and drummers.

There is a website set up for the games each year and it is www.thescottishgames.com.

You can pre purchase tickets and they are cheaper on line then at the gate.

Two-Day Adult

$31.00

$26.00

One-Day Adult

$24.00

$19.00

Senior
(65 and up)

$13.00

$11.00

Handicap

$13.00

$11.00

Student
(12-17)

$13.00

$11.00

Children 11 and Under

Free

Free

Active Military With Valid ID

Free

Free

 

 

 

 

 

The higher price is at the gate and the lower price naturally is on line.  Now is the time to make those all important plans to come see the Games and to visit us as well.

We've been at the same location at the main gate for many years now and this year is no different so come one down and see us and the games.  We are there each day from 9 to 6.  It will be September 5th and 6th.  When you come through the main gate just look to your right and you will see us.  Many people come by every year so we'd love to see y'all.

We will be there and as usual it is Labor Day weekend on both Saturday and Sunday.

There are also Irish exhibits and demonstrations there as well as British offerings.  So it really isn’t ALL Scottish but you’ll get the idea when you go and you will want to then go to the British Isles to see and experience all you can so come on down then GETAWAY FROM YOUR EVERDAY in the British Isles.   We’ll help ya get there for sure.

What on earth was Fred thinking with his weekly contribution this week?  Are the hills alive with THE SOUND OF MUSIC or what?

Birth place of the Sound of Music

 

Austria is a country rich with history, beautiful places, traditions and activities that are distinct to the area. Along with neighboring Switzerland, it is the winter sports capital of Europe. However, it is just as popular for summer tourists who visit its historic cities and villages and hike in the magnificent scenery of the Alps. In order to help guide you in building a trip itinerary, below are some of the top tourist attractions in Austria that are sure to make your trip extra special.

 

Melk Abbey

The Melk Abbey is one of the most famous monasteries in the world. Situated high up on cliff, overlooking the calming waters of the Danube river, rests the peaceful Benedictine abbey. Previously the castle of Leopold II, the structure was given to the monks, who transformed it into a place of tranquility and learning in 1089. The impressive spiritual center has become one of the greatest examples of Baroque architecture and the flourishing musical and liberal arts of its time.

 

Vienna State Opera

The Vienna State Opera is a stunning architectural structure in the middle of Austria’s capital. and quite possibly the most celebrated opera house of all time. The orchestra is recognized as one of the top in the world. While there, take in one of history’s most famous operas or ballets, offered in both classical and modern versions for viewers to choose from.

 

Salzburg castle

This magnificent Salzburg castle is one of largest and most well-preserved medieval castles in Europe. Strategically located at the top of Festungsberg mountain, the mighty fortress towers over the city of Salzburg, breathing life into its magnificent skyline. This castle houses the “Salzburg Bull”, an organ with more than two hundred pipes. A truly stunning piece of medieval architecture, representative of the heart of Salzburg, Hohensalzburg Castle is one of the top tourist attractions in Austria.

 

Hofburg Imperial Palace

Located in Vienna, the Hofburg Imperial Palace serves as the official residence of the President of Austria. It was the Habsburg’s principal winter residence, while Schönbrunn Palace (also located in Vienna) was their preferred summer residence. From 1438 to 1583 and from 1612 to 1806, it was the seat of the kings and emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, thereafter the seat of the Emperor of Austria until 1918.

 

Innsbruck

Surrounded by snowcapped mountains, Innsbruck makes you feel quite insignificant in the midst of nature’s striking Alpine mountain range. Said to have a duel personality, the area offers both pristine landscapes and a sophisticated urban center. Altstadt, the medieval town of Innsbruck, draws you in with its unique architecture and many shops. While you are strolling the streets of the Altstadt you can visit one of its famous landmark, the Golden Roof. This house was constructed for the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I, and it was decorated with thousands of gilded copper tiles that create the appearance of pure gold.

 

Grossglockner Alpine Road

The Grossglockner Alpine Road is a panoramic road which takes you up to the Kaiser Franz Josefs Höhe Visitor Center. From there, you get the unobstructed view of Austria’s highest mountain, the Grossglockner. The Grossglockner Alpine Road is a toll road, but the fabulous high alpine scenery more than makes up for the expenses. The road is normally open from the beginning of May to the end of October.

 

Hallstatt

Another great tourist spot is Hallstatt, a small village in the Salzkammergut region, famous for its salt production. As salt has long been a desired commodity used to preserve and provide flavor to food, the village has a long-standing history of wealth and prestige. The wealth accumulated from the salt industry transformed it into a glamorous baroque village. Visit Hörnerwerk cavern’s subterranean salt lake and see the prehistoric man preserved in salt. Truly one of the most unique places in Austria, you must experience Hallstatt.

 

Schönbrunn Palace

Last on the list is Schönbrunn Palace, one of the major tourist attractions in Vienna. Comparable in grandeur to Versailles, this 1,441 room palace was built between 1696 and 1712 at the request of Emperor Leopold I and turned into the imperial summer palace by Maria Theresa. The Palace Park offers a lot of attractions, such as the Privy Garden, the oldest zoo in the world, a maze and labyrinth, and a marble summerhouse situated on top of a 60 meter high hill.

Fred will met you at the Abbey and then you can have an Edelweiss sing a long OK?

Princess Cruises has a great offer that started this week and YES YES YES you can get a beverage package with some of these offering.  Check this out.

Over 350 cruises on sale in 2016! Click to view online.

Princess Cruises - come back new®

 

Princess Cruises Sip & Sail July 9 - August 18. Free All-Inclusive Beverage Package for two when you book a balcony, mini-suite or suite + Free Specialty Dining for two when you book a mini-suite or suite! - Plus, up to 50% off 3rd and 4th guest fares - Learn More

BOOK with only a $50 deposit per person!

     Sample Itineraries

 

CARIBBEAN

 


6-day | November - December 2016
Roundtrip Ft. Lauderdale

 

Balcony:
From only
$899*

Mini-suite:
From only
$1,099*

Fares based on Caribbean Princess® 11/13/16 sailing. Taxes, fees and port expenses of up to $110 are additional and subject to change.

 

 

ALASKA

 


7-day | May - September 2016
Between Vancouver, B.C. and Whittier
Roundtrip Seattle and San Francisco also available.

 

Balcony:
From only
$1,349*

Mini-suite:
From only
$1,549*

Fares based on Island Princess® 5/11/16 sailing. Taxes, fees and port expenses of up to $215 are additional and subject to change.

 

 

SCANDINAVIA & RUSSIA

 


11-day | May - September 2016
Roundtrip Copenhagen or Berlin

 

Balcony:
From only
$2,499*

Mini-suite:
From only
$2,999*

Fares based on Regal Princess® 5/1/16 sailing. Taxes, fees and port expenses of up to $210 are additional and subject to change.

 

 

 

MEXICO

 


7-day | October - December 2016
Roundtrip Los Angeles

 

Balcony:
From only
$899*

Mini-suite:
From only
$1,149*

Fares based on Ruby Princess® 12/3/16 sailing. Taxes, fees and port expenses of up to $110 are additional and subject to change.

 

 

ALASKA LAND & SEA VACATIONS

 


11-day | May - September 2016
Between Vancouver, B.C. and Whittier

 

Balcony:
From only
$2,124*

Mini-suite:
From only
$2,324*

Fares based on Island Princess® 5/11/16 sailing tour DA4. Taxes, fees and port expenses of up to $225 are additional and subject to change.

 

 

MEDITERRANEAN

 


14-day | May - September 2016
Between Barcelona, Athens or Rome

 

Balcony:
From only
$3,248*

Mini-suite:
From only
$3,848*

Fares based on Royal Princess® 5/7/16 sailing. Taxes, fees and port expenses of up to $275 are additional and subject to change.

 

 

Special offer for active military and veterans - up to $250 onboard credit. Call us or visit OneSourceCruises.com for details.

GET ON BOARD WITH PRINCESS

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† All-Inclusive Beverage Package is applicable to voyages and cruise fares advertised in this promotion only, valid only for guests one and two per stateroom, and is not applicable during the land portion of Land & Sea Vacations. The All Inclusive Beverage Package includes beer, cocktails, spirits and glasses of wine up to $10, all non-alcoholic beverages including bottled water, coffee, tea, and espresso specialty drinks with a prepaid15% gratuity included for these items. The package includes the addition benefit of a 40% discount on bottles of wine under $100 (gratuity not included on wine bottles). The All Inclusive Beverage Package does not include souvenir items, room service, vending machine or mini-bar items. The All Inclusive Beverage Package is available to guests one and two, who are 21 years or older. Guests one and two who are under 21 will receive the Soda and More Package. The package will be applied to the cruise card pre-boarding in the form of a sticker. The All Inclusive Beverage Package and Soda and More Package are non-transferable and do not follow guests who change promotions prior to cruising. The package may be used on a single voyage only, is not redeemable for cash at any point during the cruise and expires at the end of that voyage. Offer is not transferable and may not be combinable with other select offers or other onboard credits. Package type will be assigned prior to sailing based on age of guest. In the event that the guest does not want the beverage package, alternative OBC amounts have been designated: Guests booking sailings 6-9 days can receive $150 per person, guests booking sailings 10-12 days can receive $200 per person, guests booking sailings 13+ days can receive $250 per person.

**3rd or 4th guests up to 50% off is based on a discount off the third and/or fourth person fares in the same stateroom as first and second guests. Discount is taken at the time of booking and does not apply to Holiday voyages. Offer has limited space.

‡ Specialty Dining voucher is applicable to voyages and cruise fares advertised in this promotion only, valid only for guests one and two per stateroom, and is not applicable during the land portion of Land & Sea Vacations. Voucher will be delivered to the stateroom upon embarkation. Princess Cruises reserves the right to pre-assign Specialty Dining times. Voucher may be used on a single voyage only, is not redeemable for cash and expires at the end of that voyage. Offer is not transferable and may not be combinable with other select offers or other onboard credits. Specialty Dining voucher is quoted in U.S. dollars.

*Fares apply to minimum lead-in categories on a space-available basis at time of booking. Fares for other categories, sailings and cruisetours may vary. Fares are per person, non-air, cruise- or cruisetour-only, based on double occupancy and apply to the first two guests in a stateroom. Offer has limited space regardless of cabin availability. These fares do not apply to exclusive occupants or third/fourth-berth guests. Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses of $65-$360 are additional and subject to change. This offer is not combinable with Casino offers and Air promotions and may not be combinable with any other public, group or past guest discount. Offer is available to residents of the 50 United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Bermuda and the District of Columbia who are 21 years of age or older and receive this offer. Deposits made under this promotion are refundable. Fares quoted in U.S. dollars. Please refer to princess.com for terms, conditions and definitions that apply to all bookings.

Offer expires: August 18, 2015. Reference promotion code: R7-


© 2015, Princess Cruises, Ltd. Ships of Bermudan and British registry.

 

And there is some NEWS AND VIEWS this week and quite a bundle we may add.

The Alamo now an official World Heritage site



The Alamo has made the cut in a new designation of World Heritage sites by the United Nations.

The San Antonio Missions, including the Alamo, site of the iconic 1836 stand-off between Texas settlers and the Mexican Army, becomes the 23rd UNESCO World Heritage site in the US, joining the likes of Yellowstone National Park, and the Grand Canyon.

UNESCO described The Missions as "an example of the interweaving of Spanish and Coahuiltecan cultures, illustrated by a variety of features, including the decorative elements of churches, which combine Catholic symbols with indigenous designs inspired by nature".

The designation has been welcomed by tourism leaders and city officials, who envisage a major boost in local tourism.

"San Antonio has grown to become the nation's seventh-largest city while preserving the iconic history upon which it was built," said Casandra Matej, Executive Director of the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau.

"Treasures like The Missions set us apart as an authentic destination, and now with World Heritage status, we are provided a tremendous opportunity to bring even more awareness, visitors and business to our city."

The city said it expects an economic boost of up to $105 million, adding 1,100 newly created jobs over the next decade.

Serial stowaway strikes again



Serial stowaway Marilyn Hartman is back in the news, arrested twice in two days at Chicago airports.

On the first occasion she was in possession of a valid ticket for once, but caused a disturbance aboard the plane Friday evening and was escorted off.

Chicago police said 63-year old Hartman was charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct.   

Then, less than 24 hours later Hartman was detained by airport police at Chicago O'Hare after attempting to sneak through airport security without a ticket.

She was charged with criminal trespassing and violating her bond conditions relating to several previous similar charges.

Hartman had only been released from a two-month sentence on Thursday for attempts to board flights at both Chicago airports during April and June.

She has attempted to board flights without a ticket on more than a dozen occasions and at least once has managed to sneak past gate agents.

She flew from San Jose to Los Angeles last year aboard a Southwest Airlines plane without a ticket.
 
Speaking to reporters on release from jail before the two latest incidents, Hartman said: "Even smart people do stupid things."   

New York state tourism economic impact tops USD100 billion



Governor Andrew Cuomo said the economic impact of tourism in New York State has topped $100 billion for the first time last year.

A report by researchers Tourism Economics found the state benefitted by an all-time record 100.1 billion in 2014, fuelled by $62.5 in direct impact on New York's economy from businesses providing travel related goods and services.

For the fourteenth year running the Empire State welcomed the most international travelers with 9.98 million overseas visitors in 2014 according to data from the US Department of Commerce's National Travel & Tourism Office.

"A stronger tourism industry in New York means more jobs and more economic activity in local communities. That's why growing this critically important industry has been a top priority of this administration," said New York governor Andrew Cuomo.

"I encourage New Yorkers and visitors alike to join the ever growing number of people who are vacationing in this state and seeing for themselves all that the Empire State has to offer."

The governor's office also said employment directly related to tourism has grown 16% since 2011.

Air India pondering direct flights to San Francisco, Toronto



Flag carrier Air India is mulling direct flights from India to San Francisco and Toronto later this year.

The state-run airline would operate Boeing 777-200 LR planes, reconfigured for the routes, according to India's Financial Express newspaper.

"We are planning to introduce direct flight services to San Francisco and Toronto from the winter schedule this year. A firm plan, however, is still being worked out," an airline official said.

Three weekly flights each to San Francisco and Toronto from New Delhi are being considered.

Air India previously flew direct to Toronto but scrapped the service three years ago after incurring big losses.

"The present 235-seater B777-200LRs are in three class configuration - first, business and economy class. However, there is a proposal to reconfigure these planes into a two cabin class," the official said.

 Air India currently operates flights to New York and Chicago.

Majesty of the Seas will continue to offer short cruises sailing with Royal Caribbean International

July 6th, 2015

Majesty of the SeasThe largest and most award-winning global cruise line announced today that the ship will homeport in Port Canaveral, along Florida’s Space Coast, starting in summer 2016.

Before her season in Port Canaveral where she will sail to the Bahamas, Majesty of the Seas will go into drydock for upgrades and receive transformational new onboard amenities.

Voom, the fastest internet at sea, will be available free and unlimited exclusively for guests on Majesty of the Seas to stay connected, brag about their vacation to friends and family, stream their favorite movies and music, and enjoy popular online video gaming.  

New features to be introduced on Majesty of the Seas include thrilling waterslides  for guests of all ages; family-friendly Jacuzzis;  a poolside movie screen; and award-winning entertainment including the Dreamworks Experience featuring activities and entertainment with Shrek, Fiona and other favorite characters from the powerhouse animation studio’s popular movies.

An enhanced casino will offer gamers a variety of the latest popular slot machines and table games and suite guests will enjoy exclusive amenities and services as part of a newly enhanced suite program. Some of the new delectable culinary options include Izumi Japanese cuisine with fresh and flavorful sushi rolls and sashimi; the Sabor Taqueria featuring a mouthwatering menu of authentic, modern and unexpected Mexican dishes, including hand-made table-side guacamole – all which can be enjoyed alfresco; and the Chef’s Table, an exclusive experience hosted by the Executive Chef and Sommelier for an intimate wine pairing dinner. 
  
“Our short itineraries have been very popular offering vacationers the perfect opportunity to sample the unmatched experience of a Royal Caribbean cruise, as well as providing a quick adventurous getaway,” said Michael Bayley, president & CEO, Royal Caribbean International.
“With these exciting new features as well as unprecedented fast and free unlimited internet for guests on Majesty of the Seas, we are stepping up our game and offering a phenomenal short cruise adventure for our guests.”

Majesty of the Seas will sail 3- and 4-night cruises to the Bahamas with visits to the cruise line’s private island destination, CocoCay. Highly rated among guests, this tropical paradise offers white sand beaches and turquoise blue waters set in 140 acres of lush vegetation.

The secluded Bahamian island – reserved exclusively for Royal Caribbean guests – features an aquatic park and water slide, beach volleyball and soccer, snorkeling and other water-based recreation.
  
With Majesty of the Seas’ move, the cruise line is now able to deploy Rhapsody of the Seas – which was announced to sail short Bahamas itineraries from Port Canaveral – to Tampa offering seven-night Western Caribbean cruises in winter 2016. The new itineraries will further expand the choices for guests in Central Florida and help Royal Caribbean increase the total number of U.S. destinations, from where vacationers can find conveniently accessible ports to embark on the ultimate Caribbean cruise adventure.

Reservations for the Majesty of the Seas’ inaugural Port Canaveral season are now available for sailings beginning May 27, 2016. Rhapsody of the Seas’ Tampa sailings are also open for sale for sailings beginning December 3, 2016.

Cunard Marks 175th Anniversary

Queen Mary 2Flyboarder Meets Queen Mary 2

By MarEx 2015-07-04 19:33:22

Queen Mary 2 sounded her ship’s whistle (foghorn) at 1400 hours in Liverpool on Saturday to signify the time exactly 175 years earlier that Cunard’s first ship Britannia left the city’s Coburg Dock and inaugurated the first ever scheduled Transatlantic service.

http://maritime-executive.com/media/images/cunard%201.jpgThat first crossing changed the face of ocean travel, establishing the first permanent link between the Old World and the New – a link that has remained unbroken for 175 years as Cunard’s ships have crossed and re-crossed the Atlantic every year since, in peace and war, without fail.

Britannia was Cunard’s first flagship but at just 1,154 tons and carrying just 115 passengers, she could fit inside the Britannia Restaurant of today’s 150,000 ton flagship Queen Mary 2, which accommodates 2,600 guests. But the little ship’s departure heralded the start of passenger shipping sailing from Liverpool.  

History was also made in the city today when 400 Cunard passengers embarked Queen Mary 2 bound for Halifax, Boston and New York. This was the first time in nearly 50 years that passengers have set out on a Transatlantic crossing from Liverpool since Cunard’s Franconia’s last crossing from the city in 1968.  

http://maritime-executive.com/media/images/cunard%205.jpgThe exact day of the company’s 175th anniversary was celebrated in style by Cunard with two concerts for the flagship’s passengers and region’s dignitaries. Held at Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral, Cunard’s story was told in words and music with noted speakers from the worlds of politics, TV and beyond introducing musical interludes representing key periods in the line’s 175 year history, performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Anthony Inglis, The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, The Liverpool Cathedral Choir, The band of the Welsh Guards and highly-acclaimed soloists Laura Wright, Jon Christos and Jenny Williams.

Working in partnership with the city and its 175 Transatlantic themed activities at Pier Head, which included a Food and Vintage Festival, Classic Car cavalcade and world record Catwalk bid, Cunard’s 175 year celebrations culminated in a dramatic firework display fired from a mid-river barge as Queen Mary 2 prepared to set sail.  

http://maritime-executive.com/media/images/cunard%204.jpgAngus Struthers, Cunard Director said:  “It’s just six weeks since the Three Queens Liverpool Salute made news around the world and the city has once again given Cunard the warmest of welcomes. The atmosphere in the city is still amazing and the support for Queen Mary 2 has been fantastic on this, the exact day that Cunard’s first ship set out on her maiden crossing from Liverpool, 175 years ago.  

Queen Mary 2’s departure today on a special crossing from Liverpool to Halifax and Boston re-creates that first voyage, and on board talks by historians, ship designers and Cunard specialists will bring fresh new perspectives to the Cunard story, just as our two concerts in Liverpool's Anglican cathedral today have really brought the company's history alive in such a resonant way.  

“Today has also been the first time in nearly 50 years that we’ve been able to welcome transatlantic passengers aboard in Liverpool and those 400 people have each made a little bit of history.  

“This has been such an extraordinary year for Cunard but it has been the strength of the partnership with Liverpool, our spiritual home which has made our 175th anniversary so special. Thank you Liverpool for celebrating with us today!”

http://maritime-executive.com/media/images/Fireworks%20in%20red%20over%20QM2%20New_DSC_7504.jpg

Port Everglades Receives Long-Awaited U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Approval to Deepen & Widen Harbor

  

Congresswomen Frankel and Wasserman Schultz to Discuss Next Steps at July 7 Rollout Event

  


WHAT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved a long-awaited economic and environmental report, called the Chief of Engineers Report, that clears the way for Broward County's Port Everglades to begin the next phase leading to deepening and widening its channels, and allows the project to be included in federal legislation expected in 2016 that will authorize similar water and navigation-related projects. Members of South Florida's Congressional Delegation, including Congresswomen Lois Frankel (FL-22) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), will join local leaders to describe the project and next steps needed to move this project forward.


WHY: Port Everglades, Florida's leading container port, needs to deepen its channels and widen the entrance channel and some narrow areas along the Intracoastal Waterway to handle newer cargo ships that are already coming to the port light loaded from Europe and South America. Timing for this project is essential as older fleets are being replaced with much larger ships and the Panama Canal is being expanded to accommodate these larger ships.

The Chief's Report enables the Port to move forward with pre-construction engineering and design. However, there are more steps, especially at the federal level, before construction can begin.

The Port has been working with the US Army Corps of Engineers since 1996 to complete the required economic and environmental studies. At Broward County's recommendation, the Army Corps of Engineers and the National Marine Fisheries Services developed a "blended" environmental mitigation plan that includes traditional and more innovative approaches.
The project is important to economic stability as it is expected to create an estimated 4,700 total construction jobs and nearly 1,500 permanent direct jobs locally from the additional cargo capacity.

The estimated cost is $374 million, which will be paid with Port Everglades revenue generated through port user fees, federal appropriations and state grants. No local property taxes will be used for this project because Port Everglades is a self-funded enterprise of Broward County.

Bahamasair spending USD100 million on new aircraft



Bahamasair has agreed a $100 million deal to buy five new aircraft from plane maker ATR.

A deal was agreed as Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis said there was a 'critical' need to update the airline's fleet.

Bahamasair will take delivery of three 50-seat ATR 42-600 and two 70-seat ATR 72-600 between November 2015 and June 2016.

Davis said the new planes would "serve designated routes in The Bahamas while seeking to expand its transnational flight operations to service new tourist routes."  

The new planes will be added to the Nassau-Freeport-Fort Lauderdale and Nassau, Marsh Harbour to West Palm Beach routes, the carrier said.

The choice of ATR-600 aircraft family is a strategic one for us," said Bahamasair CEO Henry Woods.

"As we look to introduce fuel-efficient aircraft into our fleet, the ATR-600 product family to perfectly support our plans to modernize our fleet."

TSA pays out millions for stolen, damaged bag claims



The Transportation Security Administration paid out $3 million during the past five years for lost, stolen or damaged items handled by airport screeners.

Based on a review of about 50,000 complaints from 2010-2014 at the nation's airports, the agency settled passenger claims in about 15,000 cases.

A report by USA TODAY said payment ranged from just a few dollars for non valuable items that went missing to several thousand dollars for expensive jewelry, and electronics.

TSA said claims for loss or damage paid out only represents a tiny percentage of the 2.5 million items it screens every day.

"Overwhelmingly, passengers do not experience any issues with their baggage," the agency said in a statement.

The agency also cracks down hard on pilfering, claiming more than 500 agents have been fired since 2003 for theft.

"TSA aggressively investigates all allegations of misconduct and, when infractions are discovered, moves swiftly to hold the offenders accountable," said Bruce Anderson, a TSA spokesman.

"TSA holds its security officers to the highest professional and ethical standards and has a zero-tolerance policy for theft in the workplace."

TSA said about 5% of all bags screened warrant a further manual examination when screening equipment flags a potentially suspicious item.

The country's 30 busiest airports accounted for about two in three of all paid claims made by passengers with New York JFK top with 857 paid claims, followed by Los Angeles with 791, the report said.

Passenger groups file air fare collusion lawsuits



After the US Department of Justice said it would instigate a probe into possible air fare price fixing collusion between airlines, two passenger groups have wasted no time in filing lawsuits against major US carriers.

Two lawsuits were filed separately in Chicago and New York against Delta Air Lines, United, American and Southwest Airlines, claiming anti-competitive practices following those airlines' mergers with other carriers.

In the New York lawsuit the complaint says: "This action challenges a collusion among major airlines to limit routes, information and available seats to keep airfares artificially high."

"Plaintiffs allege that defendants illegally signaled to each other how quickly they would add new flights, routes, and extra seats. To keep prices high on fares, it was undesirable for the defendants to increase capacity."

Both lawsuits ask for class action status with the Chicago suit looking to represent any consumers who had bought domestic air tickets since October 1, 2012.

"This increased consolidation has hurt airline passengers. Defendants have, in tandem, raised fares, imposed new and higher fees on travelers and reduced their capacity and service," said the Chicago complaint.

Each of the airlines accused have been involved in major mergers or acquisitions in recent years.

In 2008 Delta merged with Northwest Airlines, United Airlines merged with Continental Airlines in 2012, Southwest took over Air Tran and American and US Airways are in the final stages of their mega-merger, creating the world's largest airline.

None of the airlines has commented specifically on the lawsuits but American Airlines' CEO Doug Parker this week said his company had not acted illegally following news of the DOJ investigation.

Business travel spending to grow five percent in 2015



US business travel spending is forecast to rise nearly 5% during 2015 to $302.7 billion, according to the Global Business Travel Association.

The organization says it would have likely grown more but for concerns for the US economy and other global factors that may dampen demand business travel demand.

"U.S. business travel was poised for significant growth in 2015, but the erratic performance of key economic drivers caused some to tap the brakes on additional travel spending," said Michael W. McCormick, executive director of the GBTA.

GBTA predicts an average 1.3 million business trips per day during 2015 or a 1% year over year increase compared to 2014.

However moving forward, there will be a significant increase in business travel volume in 2016 by more than 3%, the GBTA says.

The findings come from the 'GBTA BTI™ Outlook - United States 2015 Q2' which said business travel has recovered by 38% since the 2009 recession.

"While we would like to see the overall growth numbers more consistent, signs are good for a solid end to 2015 and a robust 2016," said Brian Triplett, SVP of commercial product at Visa Inc. which sponsored the GBTA report.

These increases in business travel will drive the transition to electronic payments.  In turn, this will help companies reduce costs and track and pay for business-related travel expenses more simply and more efficiently."

Norwegian awaiting DOT approval before ordering new planes



Norwegian Air said it will postpone ordering more Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets until it gets the final decision from the US Department of Transportation on its contentious plan to register the company in Ireland.

DOT approval is key to its plans to order up to another 20 787s, in addition to 17 already agreed and due to be delivered by 2018, CEO Bjoern Kjos said.

"If the Department of Transportation comes through with approval we'll immediately continue the negotiations we've had with Boeing," Kjos said.

The carrier's plans for trans-Atlantic flights using planes registered as Norwegian Air International in Ireland has been strongly opposed by rival US carriers and flight crew unions who say it is trying to circumvent stricter labor laws in its home country.

However the airline has now unveiled a plan to set up a UK subsidiary and has applied for a UK operating licence, which industry experts think may be sufficient to appease its critics.

Kjos said he is confident the airline will get the go-ahead "sooner or later".

"The US airlines hate Norwegian because we are flying with low fares. They are trying to protect their turf by any means," Kos added.

Norwegian already operates several flights to the US and today celebrates one year of flying from London Gatwick to the US.

"The reason for establishing a UK company is for access to bilateral traffic rights, enabling us to offer new destinations. However, if we do obtain permission for the UK air operating company it would allow us to be more flexible in our operation," a Norwegian spokesman said.

Virgin America signs up for super fast in-flight Wi-Fi



Virgin America has partnered with broadband and tech services firm ViaSat Inc for enhanced high speed Wi-Fi for the carrier's 10 new A320 jets due for delivery from September.

Claiming to be 8-10 times faster than existing in-flight Wi-Fi, ViaSat's technology offers 140 gigabits per second connectivity enabling high quality video streaming.

Using this new technology,Virgin America will be the first commercial airline to offer Wi-Fi that can operate in both Ku- and Ka-band satellite networks on the same aircraft.

"The idea behind our in-flight entertainment and connectivity offerings has always been to offer travelers more content, more interactivity and more of the choices they have access to on the ground," said Ken Bieler, Director of Product Design and Innovation at Virgin America.

"Since 2009, our guests have come to rely on and expect Wi-Fi access on every flight, and we've continued to improve our Wi-Fi product offering over the years.

Virgin is still the only US airline providing Wi-Fi on every plane in its fleet.

The carrier also recently announced a planned upgrade for its 'Red' in-flight entertainment system.

BA flight diverted to Boston after British man attacks travel companion




A transatlantic British Airways flight had to be diverted after a British man allegedly assaulted a woman on board.

Flight 195 from London to Houston was diverted to Boston Logan International Airport yesterday (Wednesday) after reports the passenger had assaulted his travelling companion and had to be restrained by other passengers.

A statement on the Massachusetts state police website said 48-year-old Darren Halliwell, of Aspull, Wigan, Manchester, had been arrested on arrival at Boston.

He has been charged with interfering with a flight crew and is due to appear in a court in Boston today.


The police statement said additional charges related to the alleged assault are possible.

It also said that 'out of respect for her privacy' it would not name the travel companion or comment on her relationship to the defendant.


BA issued a statement which said: "Our customers and crews deserve to enjoy their flights, and not to suffer any form of abuse.

"This sort of behaviour will not be tolerated, and the Captain took the decision to divert the aircraft to Boston as a precaution.

"The matter will now be handled by the police."

The incident comes just days after Jet2.com charged a passenger almost £5,000 after his alleged unruly behaviour forced a flight from Leeds Bradford to Alicante to divert to Toulouse.

The airline confirmed it has sent the passenger an invoice for £4,809 to cover its costs and also handed him a lifetime ban.

It intends to prosecute him for causing the diversion.

Jet2.com launched an 'Onboard Together' programme last month and has recently called on other airlines and operators to join together to fight bad behaviour by passengers.

It said based on its own experience and research among other airlines, there has been a 'shocking' rise in disruptive passenger behaviour

United Airlines pilot dumped live ammo during flight



Transportation Security Administration officials and United airlines are investigating a pilot who tossed bullets in an onboard trash bin which passengers had access to.

The bullets were then found by a flight attendant who then alerted the captain. The pilot then flushed the bullets down the toilet as the flight was traveling to Germany which has strict anti-gun laws.

United spokeswoman Karen May explained the pilot is permitted to carry a gun on domestic flights under a federal rule brought in after 9/11 to safeguard the cockpit from hijackers.

The pilot did not carry his gun on Houston-Munich flight, May said, but he realised during the journey there was ammunition still in his bag.

When the pilot realized the flight attendant was going to report the incident of the discarded bullets in the trash bin, he informed the German authorities before landing.

"He did incorrectly dispose of the ammunition but it is likely that the pilot is not going to face any criminal charges," May said.

The pilot has not been fired and the airline did not disclose if he had been grounded while the investigation takes place.

"I can't give any details about his status other than he is still with us."

On arrival the plane was taken to a secure area on the tarmac while waste tanks were emptied to recover the 10 bullets.

Frontier Airlines adding larger middle seats



One airline is giving passengers a good reason to choose the dreaded middle seat.

Low cost carrier Frontier Airlines will install new 19-inch-wide middle seats -a full one inch broader than corresponding window or aisle seats.

The carrier says the new seats will have more width than any other comparable seating in the US, and surprisingly for the self confessed bare bones airline, there is no extra fee to pay.

"This will make sitting in the middle seat a little less uncomfortable," said Daniel Shurz, Frontier's chief commercial officer.

However there is a caveat. The new cabin layout will pack in more seats overall on its Airbus A320s and A319s, reducing legroom by two inches.

The new seats, which are also thinner with less padding will be 'pre-reclined' hopefully leading to less 'knee defender' incidents.

 "The cost of operating an airplane is basically the same no matter how many seats you put on it," Shurz said.

"We are spreading the cost of operating the airplane across more seats."

One more thing before we do go is to remind you of our group on board ANTHEM OF THE SEAS for September of 2016.  It is filling up so if you want to experience the fall foliage that the East Coast is so noted for and also a wonderful itinerary for a CANADA/NEW ENGLAD cruise you should contact us soon.

Bill Rogers at GETAWAY CRUISES N TOURS has found a great vacation for you.

Comments from Bill Rogers:

Please note: This e-mail was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. Please do not reply to this message.

Please email all enquiries to: GETAWAYCNT1@PRODIGY.NET

Vacation Information: 9 night Canada / New England cruise.

Ship Name: Anthem of the Seas

Itinerary:Cape Liberty Cruise Port, New Jersey - At Sea - Boston, Massachusetts - Portland, Maine - Bar Harbor, Maine - At Sea - Halifax, Nova Scotia - Saint John, New Brunswick - At Sea - Cape Liberty Cruise Port, New Jersey

For full details on this vacation click here: 9 night Canada / New England cruise.

Call or send an e-mail anytime to start planning your vacation.

GETAWAY CRUISES N TOURS

Email: GETAWAYCNT1@PRODIGY.NET
Phone: 9256798428
Web Site: www.getawaycruisesntours.com

And just in case you may want to experience the Celebrity product we will tell you that for the cruise below that is roundtrip from San Francisco the price has dropped $200 per person for a balcony room this weekend.

Bill Rogers at GETAWAY CRUISES N TOURS has found a great vacation for you.

Please email all enquiries to: GETAWAYCNT1@PRODIGY.NET

Vacation Information: 9 night Pacific Coastal cruise.

Ship Name: Celebrity Infinity

Itinerary:San Francisco, California - San Francisco, California - Monterey, California - At Sea - Ensenada, Mexico - San Diego, California - Catalina Is, California - Santa Barbara, California - At Sea - San Francisco, California

For full details on this vacation click here: 9 night Pacific Coastal cruise.

Call or send an e-mail anytime to start planning your vacation.

GETAWAY CRUISES N TOURS

Email: GETAWAYCNT1@PRODIGY.NET
Phone: 9256798428
Web Site: www.getawaycruisesntours.com

Until next week we do want you as always to be safe, stay safe and travel safe.

Always and we do mean always observe very careful and safe fire safety rules during this very dry period here in California.

Bill and Fred

         

Getaway Cruises 'N Tours
925-679-8428

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