To Snorkel or Not to Snorkel?

Oh the places you’ll go! If you have ever cruised to the caribbean, you might have come across excursions to go snorkeling.  By the way, you might not believe this, but you can even snorkel in Alaska! (wetsuits supplied)

 

To snorkel you will need a diving mask, a breathing tube called a snorkel and you will probably want to wear fins too! Fins will help power you around the sea easier than your non-webbed feet can. If you are in cool waters you might want a wet suit. Being able to see sea life underwater is amazing. If you are a beginner, start off in shallow waters.

Move Over Diving Mask & Curvy Snorkel,                                                         ………………………………………………….there is as new kid in town.

So, what is all the hubbub about full face snorkels? In May 2014 the Huffington Post Travel section reported that Tribord, a water sports company based in France designed a new invention called an easybreath mask. Unlike the old fashioned standard gear for snorkeling where you have a mouthpiece (to deal with), and separate goggles (if not high end they usually fog), you were forced to breath through your mouth only.  Snorkels typically do not have shut off valves, you also need to blow out water from your snorkel.  As far as we know, Tribord revolutionized the full face snorkel mask.

We just recently tried out our Tribord masks in shallow water in Bermuda. We are not big time snorkelers at all. We have no experience. Neither myself or my husband enjoyed snorkeling using goggles and a snorkel with mouthpiece. Mouth breathing only just didn’t jive for us. Tribord changed the game for us non-snorkelers. 

This is a photo of what we saw in Bonaire.  Isn’t it beautiful?

While you will hear controversy from some diver’s, it is not all diver’s opinions that are anti full face mask, there are many that recommend them. Deepbluediving .org is a good resource for information. My recent research tells me that the Tribord Easybreath, the Seaview 180, and the Ocean Reef Aria are the three best full face snorkels you can buy. I suggest you read the many reviews available to you online and make the decision for yourself. You heard our story. Tribord took us from non-snorkelers to snorkelers, and seeing the marine life that lives under the sea should be on your bucket list if you never have. Experience it for yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Muster Drill, What’s that?

Let’s talk a little bit about safety.

Muster drill is a “mandatory for all persons onboard” safety drill.  There is nothing terribly wrong or long about it, so don’t fret it.  The best part is that you no longer need to carry your life vest to your muster station! Have your ship card in hand because you will need to check in and be marked off a master list that you are in attendance.

The safety drill takes place before sail away, and will show passengers things like how to operate your life vest, and where to find them. You will see where the light is located on your inflatable vest, where the tube is to blow into to inflate, and how to put it on and tie it around your waist and secure it.  Demonstrated will also be the emergency alarm system sounds or sirens you will want to know if there is an emergency situation. Your “Muster Station” location will be on your ship card (some cruise lines, like Princess Medallions have trackable fobs in lieu of cards). Did you know, in emergency situations if an area becomes dark look down for the lighting along the walls, or side of floor to guide you.

Certain things will get you in trouble. Smoking let’s say. Smoke in designated areas only or you risk a huge fine, or being put off the ship. Muster Drill will enforce this. There is no smoking in staterooms. Also, do NOT throw anything overboard. The sea is a beautiful place, keep it that way.

In case you are now asking,”what is a muster station”? This is the area where you will assemble in case of emergency.  Many muster stations were out on public passenger decks, like the promenade deck, but in recent years many are now indoors in the various onboard venues. Some indoor venues, ie: dining rooms, have movie screens and are showing muster-drill-movies made to keep passengers attention during the safety drill.

Still have questions? email Stacey@WindsorCrownTravel.com

Defacing Cruise Ships, a New Low

Defaced Cruise Ship Property.  As seen on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas. Is there any explanation? To see how people have such disregard and disrespect is astonishing. Leaves me speechless writing this blog post, really. Why are we seeing this? Why is this happening? Are your children that bored? Are they on their own vacation without you parent? There is a high probability that some adult drunkenness could also play a part!  For the newbie parents though, here is a little advice from experience,  before you board your next cruise ship with your children, have a talk with them. Let them know what to expect, and tell them what you expect of them. Public spaces are not your kids playground. They shouldn’t play in elevators, leave food in elevators push elevator buttons, this is generally viewed as disrespectful. They absolutely should never, ever violate and deface any property of the ship. Know what your kids are up to. Set boundaries, set times to check in, ensure they know to not walk alone, leave notes for one another if need be. And, if it is grown humans that get drunk and deface the Ship’s property, that’s really sad folks. Learn some respect.

Please keep this from happening. No one should be carving the artwork on board a cruise ship!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cruise Ship Ports of Call Up Date – After Hurricane

Update on Caribbean Ports of Call, After Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria, Mexico devastation.

St. Thomas and St. Maarten continued to be closed ports of call, as does Tortola and the British Virgin Islands (Hurricane Maria brought winds of up to 155 mph), like tiny Jost Van Dyke. So does Key West, Florida. Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos is closed, and Gustavia, St. Barts after evaluation is closed to tourists.

Dominica is now closed as well. San Juan Puerto Rico ports closed (closed to tourists). Carnival’s Amber Cove in Dominican Republic is closed.

#onelove Jamaica is opened – Ocho Rios, MoBay Falmouth. Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, all opened.  La Romana DR, Bahamas,  Barbados, Belize, St. Lucia, Cozumel, Costa Maya, Martinique, Panama, Grand Cayman, Grenada, Roatan, Anguilla, Costa Rica and Progreso Mexico are opened.

Cuba port is opened.

Hurricane Irma What Cruise Ports are Opened?

Ports Running Smoothly

Port Miami, Port Everglades and Port Canaveral and Port Tampa Bay

HAL is reporting,”Our private island, Half Moon Cay, experienced minimal damage and will soon be fully operational”. – NCL Great Stirrup Cay is fine.

Labadee and Amber Cove both no damage.

Non-operational Ports of call are:  St Thomas, St Maarten, Tortola and Key West. Anguilla is being assessed- Sea Dream and Windstar calls here November and December 2017.  Cuba hasn’t communicated but it seems they are currently closed to cruise ships.

Gustavia St Barts  is still being evaluated – Seabourn calls here.

You can go to celebritycruises.com and royalcaribbean.com to donate to Hurricane Irma Relief

Don’t Forget: our Cruise Conversation is opened 24/7!

www.royalcaribbeancrownandanchorsociety.com

www.celebritycaptainsclub.com

 

 

Celebrity Cruises – NEW Wellness Program

Celebrity Cruises and Canyon Ranch Spa introduce, “Mindful Dreams”, a new wellness & sleep program.  Learn meditation techniques while enjoying a massage and receiving nutritional advice, best culinary choices to air in sleeping with a holistic approach to sleep.

Let’s talk about #restandrecharge…
A lot of the time, this is what our cruise vacations are about. The director of sleep medicine at Canyon Ranch Spa states that “with a restorative night’s sleep, you nourish your mind, body and spirit”. Among the offerings will be a relaxation treatment designated as ‘Mindful Dreams’. This will incorporate products designed to soothe alongside a sleep-inducing cultural massage and meditation techniques. Additional treatments like an organic lavender and seaweed sugar glow, a restorative facial and a detox seaweed bath will also be available.

Team-K is happy to learn that ‘Mindful Dreams’ programming is debuting on  Celebrity Summit this month, and Celebrity Equinox -and will become available fleetwide throughout September.

Holland America, A Chocolate Lover’s Dream

Do you dream-in-chocolate? Then a Holland America Cruise might be just the Cruise that you are looking for!

Let’s go back in time. Cruise time that is. Warm recollection reminds us of late night buffets when passengers quietly walked through the glistening ice sculptures and beautiful displays of food artisans creations to snap photos of the beauty created in the ship galley just for their guests. Then at midnight, passengers would eat. After some time, most cruise lines lost the Grand Gala of mid night buffets. Some hints of chocolate buffets on cruise lines remained, but they were small and noone made a frenzy over them anymore.

Fast forward, Holland America is bringing it back at full steam ahead! Unlike ever seen before, Holland America will have “parades of chocolate”, where after dinner, waiters will walk around with trays of mini tantalizing chocolate delectables. Ahhh. No more will you stand on lines to find your favorite confection. Currently on all ships, fleet wide. We LOVE this concept! We think you will too!