Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

Norwegian Epic - Main Pool
Where is Chris?

Treetops - Vancouver, Canada
It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is here already. Where did 2010 go? As has become my tradition, I'd like to share with you some of the things that I'm thankful for and highlight some of my adventures this year.

I hope that you, your family, and friends have plenty to be thankful for this holiday season. I know that I have plenty of things to be thankful for, including my health, family, and friends and the ability to share my love of cruising with all of you. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to explore new worlds with family and friends again this year.

While this has been another tough economic year, it appears that the cruise industry has weathered the storm once again. Just this month, we have been highlighting the introduction of Allure of the Seas. Just a year ago, her sister ship was added to Royal Caribbean International's fleet.  The two ships are the largest ships afloat.

The value of cruising has never been stronger. Even in these tough times, more and more families have taken to the seas.  Indications are that the record discounts offered the past two years will be coming to an end.  In the meantime those discounts have made cruising an even better value, and consequently we have seen a surge in first-time cruisers.

The photos above are from some of our cruises this year.  Cruises Inc. and Cruise One held their National Conference on the brand new Norwegian Epic and we were fortunate to be able to attend.  Just like the Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, several new innovations were introduced on the Epic.   Although it isn't quite as large as the RCI ships, it is no small ship.   The entertainment and food on the Epic take center stage along with the studio suites, which allow solo travelers their own haven at a price point to match. The Epic has much to offer cruisers.

Norwegian Epic alternates between Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.   Our conference was on the latter itinerary which included stops in Costa Maya, Roatan, and Cozumel.   The picture of me in front of the Epic was in Roatan where we hired a local cab driver to take us around the island after we did a bit of shopping near the pier.

In June this year we attended Cruise3Sixty, CLIA's annual conference.  This year it was held in Vancouver, Canada.  We extended our stay following the formal conference which allowed for touring of some of the local attractions, which despite many trips there in the past, we had not had time for.  I'm pictured here hiking through Treetops at the  Capilano Suspension Bridge.

The highlight of the year is yet to come.   We will be sailing on Allure of the Seas for one of the pre-inaugural sailings.   The final cruise of the year will be on Azamara Club Cruises Journey.   We will tour the West Indies on that cruise.

We wonder what the Pilgrims, who came to the New World in Tall Ships, would think about the Allure of the Seas.  Their ships measured 110 feet, held 150 passengers at most, and took months to cross the Atlantic.  The Allure is more than 10 times that length (1182 feet), holds almost 8000 passengers and crew, and took just a couple weeks to cross the Atlantic.

Thank you for making our blog column a part of your lives in 2010.   I hope that the information we share helps you to dream about future cruises of your own. I'd be honored to help you plan those trips. I have the best job in the world - helping make dreams come true. For that, I'm truly thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving to All


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