Monday, May 22, 2017

Thank You Mariners

National Maritime Day is a United States holiday created to recognize the maritime industry. It is observed on May 22, the date in 1819 that the American steamship Savannah set sail from Savannah, Georgia on the first ever transoceanic voyage under steam power. The holiday was created by the United States Congress on May 20, 1933.

Ports Celebrate

This day reflects the gratitude that Americans have for the maritime industry and the benefits it brings to the country. It also recognizes ships and seafarers who have held a special place in the nation's history. Many communities and organizations in the United States observe National Maritime Day in a variety of ways. Activities and events include open houses and special celebrations hosted by seaports.

Ports Commemorating National Maritime Day - The Maritime Executive (Read more)

Additional Resources

President Donald J. Trump Proclaims May 22, 2017, as National Maritime Day
National Maritime Day – MARAD
World Maritime Day 2017 - International Maritime Organization
Behind the Scenes Seafarers' House


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Saturday, May 20, 2017

2017 National Safe Boating Week

Life Jackets Save Lives

click logo to read our related article

Announcements on NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards

2017 Safe Boating Week : May 20 - 26
Sat. Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri.

Boating Under
the Influence



Navigation in Fog




Approximately 500 people drown each year from recreational boating accidents, so we've teamed up with NOAA and the National Safe Boating Council to remind you to  "Wear It!"  when you are on the water.   Here are some links for you to learn additional information about boating safety.

        May 20 - 26, 2017

Click on Infographic to enlarge - daily messages will also be posted on our Facebook & Twitter feeds.

North America Safe Boating Campaign

Ready Set Wear It

NWS National Safe Boating Week

National Safe Boating Council

USCG Boating Safety Resource Center

USCG Boat Rental Safety

Ready, Set, Wear It - Post Your Pics on our Facebook Page

Safety is a primary concern in the cruise industry.  One of the first things you'll do once you are onboard the ship is a mandatory safety drill which includes locating your life jackets and proceeding to a muster station for further instructions.

When you put your life jacket back away in your stateroom, that doesn't mean you forget about safety for the rest of the cruise.   Instead, that is the start of paying attention to safety.    You may participate in some shore excursions that include water sports, sailing on small boats, etc.    Be sure to wear your life jacket during these excursions.

We thought it would be fun to post some of your pictures in life jacket attire, so we've started a Safe  Boating Photo Album on Facebook that you can add your pics to.  Even if you don't send us one of your pics, check out the photos that are posted. You can also share your pics via Twitter.


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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Saying the Unspeakable in Museums

click images to enlarge
International Museum Day

According to the International Council of Museums (ICOM), the worldwide community of museums will celebrate International Museum Day on and around 18 May 2017.

The theme chosen for 2017 is "Museums and contested histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums".  

The objective of International Museum Day is to raise awareness of the fact that, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.”

Organised on and around 18 May each year, the events and activities planned to celebrate International Museum Day can last a day, a weekend or a whole week.

See the World - Learn Through Museums

While searching our archives for subject matter for this blog post on IMD, we immediately thought about a recent business tip to Washington DC for a regional conference.

During our free time, we visited the US Holocaust Museum.   This museum definitely "says the unspeakable" through its exhibits.   This was a dark time in the history of the world and hopefully by studying this time, it will never be repeated.  Photo Album: Holocaust Museum

We encourage our guests to explore the world and learn about the history and culture of places visited.  Museums are a great source of information.   Take your children with you when you travel locally and abroad.   Expose them to the wealth of knowledge housed in museums.


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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

World Telecommunications Day & Cruise Lines

click images to enlarge
World Telecommunications Day celebrates the constant evolution of one of the most important factors of our lives: communication. The main goal of World Telecommunications Day (WTD) is to highlight the importance of communication and how information travels across the world. It also aims to increase awareness of how crucial communication is in our lives, and stimulate the development of technologies in the field.

The World Telecommunications Day is in tight connections with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) originally known as International Telegraph Union when it was formed in 1865 to support the emerging communication methods of the time.

Always Connected

Telecommunications has changed from the days when ITU was formed. Some milestones include the first telephone in 1876, the launch of the first satellite in 1957 and, ultimately, the birth of the Internet in the 1960s. Today people expect to be always connected, usually via their cell phones or tablets. That expectation continues while on vacation.

There have been many initiatives by cruise lines to meet the demand for passenger and crew communication. We were just reminiscing the other day about how communication at sea has changed from when we first sailed over 30 years ago. Initially you'd need to use the ship's very expensive phone communications, should some emergency situation arise. Then there was the birth of internet cafes where you could purchase time by the minute to communicate using the ship's PCs. Now the majority of cruise lines offer wireless communication throughout the vessel (at a cost of course) allowing you to use your mobile devices as if you were back at home.

Wireless Maritime Services (WMS)

WMS uses state of the art technology to provide the world’s largest suite of at-sea cellular communication services for passengers and crew. WMS partners with AT&T Mobility and MTN Satellite Communications to provide the absolute best-in-class service to their customers. WMS uses advanced technology to provide the best communication services while at sea. Whether sailing the Caribbean or in the most remote parts of the globe, WMS’s network offers maritime guests and crew members seamless coverage anywhere a functioning VSAT network is available.  Read More about the technology offered by WMS to their customers.

As you can see from this image captured on the WMS website, the majority of the major cruise lines utilize their services to meet the needs of their passengers and crew.

What Can I Expect on My Cruise

If you've ever cruised before, expect that your experience on your next cruise will be very different than your last (unless you cruise all the time).   All the major lines have been working hard to update their telecommunication networks and services offered.  Realizing that telecommunication requirements differ by passenger, they are also offering a wider range of options to meet those varied needs.

Onboard Communication on Carnival

It's impossible to cover all the cruise lines offerings in this post, so we'll just focus on one line, Carnival Cruise Line.   For details about their offerings, see their Onboard Communications page.

Carnival's Wi-Fi Service and HUB App
Cellular Phone Service
Stay Connected via Text!
Calling Home

Guests can purchase plans onboard or prior to their cruise.   There are plans for different levels of use (social media vs full internet for example).  Also, you can select your internet speed (based on the plan selected).  For a minimal charge, you can chat with passengers using an app on your phone.

Of course, not everyone wants to stay connected while on vacation.  If you fall into that category, simply unplug and enjoy your communication vacation as well.  There are always land options when you are in ports of call as well.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Life Jackets Worn Nobody Mourns

Whether At Home or Away on Vacation
Please Be Safe on the Water

I believe I have the best job in the world.  Each day I wake up and help my guests plan dream vacations for themselves, their families, and friends.  The stories I share on this blog, and my other social media, inspire others to explore this great world.

The majority of the trips I help plan involve water activities of some sort. That isn't surprising since about 71 percent of the Earth's surface is water-covered, and the oceans hold about 96.5 percent of all Earth's water.

When my guests return from their trips, I get to hear about how their dreams came true.  The last thing I ever want to hear is how dreams were shattered due to a water accident.

Please be careful in and around the water because even strong swimmers drown. Check out this blog post to find valuable tips and resources that could save your life or the life of someone you care about.


Water Safety Resource Guide
Wear It Right Brochure
How to Choose the Right Life Jacket
Campaign Materials

Video PSAs

Drowning in 60 Seconds
Girl Overboard
Life Jacket Debate
Man Overboard

Resources for Kids

Click on Bobber to visit the official web site.  You’ll find cartoons and other water safety fun! An excellent program for young children!

Education Resources (for teachers)

Produced by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Operations Center for Water Safety. All Rights Reserved. Bobber and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of the Corps of Engineers.

National Safe Boating Week (May 20-26, 2017)


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