Tuesday, August 15, 2017

40th Anniversary Elvis Presley Death

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Elvis Presley Died August 16, 1977

Today we mark the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death and visitors have flocked to Graceland

Elvis was born to Vernon and Gladys Presley in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935.  The family moved to  Memphis, Tennessee, in 1948.

His twin brother, Jessie Garon, was stillborn.  

Elvis Week

Elvis Presley fans traditionally gather at Graceland during Elvis Week for the annual candlelight vigil. Until this year, there hasn't been a charge to file past the graves of Elvis and family members, in the memorial garden on the property. This year fans will need to purchase a wristband for $28.75 to walk up the long driveway and past the graves. Graceland told the Associated Press in a written statement that the wristband fee also provides access to a new $45 million entertainment complex at the Memphis tourist attraction.   Security measures are tight for this week's festivities as huge crowds are expected.

Elvis Facts

  • Began singing career in 1954 (Sun Records)
  • RCA Victor recording contract awarded in 1955
  • International sensation by 1956
  • Starred in 33 successful films
  • Many TV appearances & live concerts
  • Sold over 1 Billion records 
  • 14 Grammy nominations (3 wins)
  • Served in U.S. Army
  • Died August 16, 1977. He was 42.

Plan Visit to Graceland

These facts just scratch the surface of Elvis Presley's short but successful career.  For the full Elvis Presley life story and an inside look at Elvis’ life, plan a trip to Memphis for a Graceland tour!

Visitors have left their personal reflections on the wall outside the main Graceland mansion.   This one seems very fitting on the anniversary of his death.   He may be gone but his music lives on forever.

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Cruising to Cuba

Explore Tours  ---  Explore Cruises
Perhaps the hottest new destination for 2017 and beyond is Cuba.  

Several cruise lines offer People-to-People experiences which include overnights in Havana, Cuba. This is perhaps the best way to visit Cuba because it eliminates any fears about the country's infrastructure not supporting tourism - your ship is your oasis.  We'll use Carnival Cruise Line for the basis of this article, but we could assist you in planning a Cuban cruise experience on any line sailing there.

President Donald Trump announced earlier this year he would reverse the historic thawing of relations between the U.S. and Cuba made under the Obama Administration. The new actions are aimed to once again restrict travel to Cuba and block business deals between the two countries. If you have a remote interest in visiting Cuba, then perhaps now would be the time to plan a visit before travel is once again restricted.

Until the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issues new regulations regarding travel to Cuba, there is no impact to Cuba sailings. Once new regulations are issued, cruise lines will notify their guests accordingly.

Who Can Travel to Cuba?

U.S. (including Cuban-born) and international guests are eligible to travel to Cuba from the U.S. if they either i) meet at least one of twelve categories of authorized travel; or ii) obtain a specific license issued by OFAC.  For complete details, see the travel links below.

People-to-People Experiences

People-to-people programs are a permitted category for U.S. guests to visit Cuba. These programs must include a full-time schedule of activities that will create educational interactions between guests and the Cuban people.

Activities can include shore excursions offered by Carnival and/or guests can opt to participate in a self-guided program. However, such self-guided guests must still have a full-time schedule of authorized activities and must maintain their own records demonstrating such a full-time schedule.


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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Watermelon Cruise Fruit Art

#WatermelonDay click to enlarge
Today we Celebrate 

With a name like watermelon, one would expect it to be juicy, scrumptious and amazing. It is just that and one of my favorite fruits, especially on a cruise.

Last night we Co-Hosted the Twitter chat #FoodTravelChat, where we were talking Cruise Food & Travel. I had such a great time hearing about everyone's adventures.

A couple cruise lines, Celebrity Cruises & MSC Cruises dropped in to join in on the fun.  Thank you for joining us with images and information about your cruise ships, food options and more.

Cruise + Fruit + Creativity = #CruiseFruitArt

I wasn't quite ready for the fun to end, so on this #Watermelon Day 2017 I decided to browse through my cruise archives looking for watermelons which were carved and put on display for passengers' delight. Here are a sampling from our trips.

Several years ago, I started the hashtag #CruiseFruitArt on Twitter and wrote a Blog post challenging people to post pictures from their cruises and vote on their favorite cruise line. I'd love to see some new additions, so go through your archives and post some on Twitter or Pinterest using the hashtag #CruiseFruitArt. We'll retweet them.

Several people mentioned that they had a good time on the chat and learned a lot about cruising. That was exactly what I had in mind when suggesting the topic to hosts of #FoodTravelChat. I'm so happy they selected the topic and asked me to Co-Host. 

If you missed the chat, just put in #FoodTravelChat in Twitter search and browse through the tweets. Also mark your calendars for Wednesday Evenings at 8 PM ET. We'd love to have you join in the conversation about Food & Travel.

Favorite Watermelon Carving

Of all the watermelon carvings I've captured in the 30 plus years of cruising, this Indian chief head from the buffet on Celebrity Millennium is my all time favorite.

Do you have favorites from your cruises?

Check out our previous Blog Post:

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Where have you explored? 

Gather your travel and food pics and join us Wednesday night for the latest installment of #FoodTravelChat 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

WorldWideWeb Day 2017

How the WWW has Impacted Cruise Industry

You are fast asleep and all of a sudden you decide to see what cruise ships are sailing to Aruba next month. OK, so you weren't fast asleep after-all. Nevertheless, you get out of bed and grab your cell phone or turn on your PC.

Picking from your browser favorites you pull up your favorite search engine and fill in a few options and there you have it a list of several cruises to choose from. You narrow your selection to several on one of the cruise lines. Next, you want to learn more about the ship so you select their brochure from the website's brochure rack and begin navigating the pages.

Next you put together a request for a price quote to your travel agent, via their website, or through your email client. Now, finally, you can go back to bed dreaming about sunny days laying by the pool or beach with a drink in your hand. All this without human intervention. Of course, you have several questions for your professional travel planner, but that can wait until morning.

Life Before WWW

Prior to the days of the WorldWideWeb, this same desire for information would have had to wait until morning, unless you already had hard-copy brochures for the various cruise lines. You would have then made a phone call or visited your local travel planner who would probably have had to take some time to do some research. 

You may have been able to fall asleep dreaming about Aruba, but you wouldn't have known whether you could be going there next month. 

Nowadays, you can enjoy instant (as fast as your internet speed) information, tailored to your specific needs. Even if you are mobile, as long as you have an internet connection, there isn't any waiting for information.

This is only one way that the WorldWideWeb has impacted the Cruise Industry.  With technology advancements, it's possible to stay connected even while sitting by the pool sailing in the middle of the ocean.   This need for connectivity has spurred upgrades on most of the cruise ships afloat today.
We've covered that topic in past articles on our blog.

Join Us for a Fun Hour on Twitter Wednesday Night

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If you love Food & Travel you should join #FoodTravelChat every Wednesday at 8 PM Eastern.  I'm one of the chat moderators.  This week, I'm Co-Hosting the chat, where we will be talking about Cruise Food & Travel. 

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