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Sail-ers, Seahawks on Crown Princess

A week from Saturday, June 20, the Crown Princess will leave Seattle for Alaska with a passenger load dedicated to “sailing with the 12s.” 

It’s entirely possible that many cruise passengers have no idea what that means, if they aren’t football fans and are unaware the Seattle Seahawks had 12 players on the field in the last two Super Bowls…the “12th” being the Seahawks’ fan base.

So now the 12s — it is not politically correct to say 12th men — are going on a  cruise with some of their favorite people, which is to say anybody with a past, present or future with their beloved football team. As you might expect, there’s enough fervor to sell out three of Seahawks Fan Cruisethe five stateroom categories, with only inside and oceanview accommodation left, 10 days before the cruise.

Who’s going? Among the Seattle celebrities…

• Warren Moon, who briefly quarterbacked the Seahawks after spending most of his career in Texas (Houston) and Canada (Edmonton) on his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and who is now on the ‘Hawks’ radio broadcast.

• Defensive end Gregg Scruggs and tackle Justin Britt, members of what the 12s say will be three straight Super Bowl teams, along with safety Jordan Babineau and lineman Edward Bailey, who played on pre-championship Seattle teams.

• Jim Zorn, who spent nine years with the Seahawks and was the first quarterback to take them to the playoffs.

At last report, there was no sign of current quarterback Russell Wilson or running back Marshawn Lynch or defensive back Richard Sherman or head coach Pete Carroll, whose goal-line strategy in the final minute last February still angers some of the 12s.

But hey, there’s always next year. The 12s are in it for the long run.

In the news…

• Capsized Chinese cruise ship cited for safety problems two years ago (Fox News)
• Australia's 10-year market growth 533 per cent (Cruise Industry News)
• Third terminal quietly opened in Germany's biggest port, Hamburg

Today at portsandbows.com: Holland America's Panama Canal cruises

Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas
4 nights
September 14, 2015
Miami (return): Nassau, CocoCay, Key West
Inside: $287
Cost per day: $71
www.royalcaribbean.com

Cruise For Football Fan With Heart

While everybody’s talking about deflated footballs, in advance of the Super Bowl, are you interested in a tale of inflated sportsmanship?

If so, read on…

After the Seattle Seahawks won their trip to Phoenix for Sunday’s big game, one of their fans (PJ LeDorze) noticed a disconsolate Green Bay Packers fan outside Seattle’s 171144CenturyLink Field. It should be mentioned that all Packers fans were disconsolate after the Seahawks’ incredible comeback, but most of them were not so visible.

LeDorze was wearing a Seahawks jersey. He felt badly for the “opposition” so he gave the jersey to the young Green Bay fan. In Seattle, this is called the “spirit of the 12s” because Seahawks fans are all considered the team’s 12th player.

And now, LeDorze has two tickets for the Sail with the 12s Seahawks Fan Cruise on the Crown Princess in June. The ship spends a week going from Seattle to Alaska and back, and with Seahawks players and ex-players on board for chalk talks, meet-and-greets and all kinds of “spirit of the 12s” events, it doesn’t get much better for one of their fans.

Especially LeDorze.

"I've never been on a cruise,” he told Princess Cruises. “I’ve never been to Alaska. This is unbelievable!"

His gesture was a fatherly thing to do for a young football fan experiencing such a low. Fittingly, the Crown Princess sail on Father’s Day.

Today at portsandbows.com: Features of the Carnival Vista

Celebrity Constellation
5 nights
March 2, 2015
Fort Lauderdale (return): Cozumel, Key West
Inside: $329
Cost per day: $65
www.celebritycruises.com

Cruise: Double Meaning For Seahawks

Packers logoWhen the Seattle Seahawks try (again) to cruise past the Green Bay Packers (they’ve Seahawks logonever beaten Green Bay in the playoffs) next Sunday in the hope of winning the Super Bowl (again), the cheering section will include anybody remotely connected to Princess Cruises.

The cruise line has scored a touchdown of its own by convincing the Seahawks  or some of them — to go on a cruise. It will be to Alaska on the Crown Princess for a week in June, Crownwhich is as good a time as any to see the 49th state, and if the Seahawks step on the ship as defending Super Bowl champions, the Crown Princess will be as crowded as CenturyLink Field on any given Sunday after Labor Day.

For Princess, the risk was low. There wasn’t anything in the Seahawks’ season that indicated they wouldn’t be playing football as one of the final four teams, which pretty much guarantees a sellout on the ship. Besides, there is such a rabid following in the Pacific Northwest that filling 3,080 beds on the Crown Princess should be no problem.

The people in them will get to be up-close with some of their football heroes. It’s being called Sail With the Seahawks — A Cruise for the 12s, and anybody who watches football 12th playerknows that 12 stands for the fans…the 12th man, so to speak. And speaking will be part of what Seahawks’ personnel do, while meeting and greeting their 12th player, participating in Q-and-A chalk talks and generally hanging out with the passengers.

There will be activities that may not include players, such as Tailgate Parties, Movies Under The Stars and trivia contests. But for people wanting to OD on the Seahawks, this is a natural.

Princess has been the “official” cruise line of the Seahawks since September, so doing something like this was also a natural, and there will surely be more of it with other cruise lines and other teams. 

This cruise is seven days return from Seattle, of course, embarking June 20. You might think Princess would jack up the prices for something this special and while starting prices are higher than the same cruise on the same ship two weeks earlier, it’s only $100 more.

And $100 would only get them a down payment on getting into Sunday’s game.

Today at portsandbows.com: All the latest cruise news

Norwegian Epic
7 nights
February 1, 2015
Miami (return): Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
Inside: $399
Cost per day: $57
www.ncl.com

Are these Olympics a little Jade-d?

 

The fun starts tomorrow, which on this side of the ocean may be today. The 17-day sports/political quadrennial known as the Olympic Games. People who go on cruise ships are surely among the assembled masses and there is at least one mass-market ship among the four "cruise ships" on the scene in Sochi, Russia: the Norwegian Jade.

It is one of the ships of Sochi. Some are there, like the Jade, to provide accommodation that is in such short supply. Some — private yachts — are there because that's what the richest and most famous people can do. Some are there as part of the massive security force that nobody hopes is required. And further out  in the Black Sea are warships, perhaps aircraft carriers, flying American flags and ready to evacuate American athletes, if called upon.

Yes, this is what the Olympics has become.

Jade-SochiThe Jade was known to be part of the flotilla, although it had never been widely known which Sochi visitors would be using it as their hotel. When you're as far from the scene as most of us are, it doesn't really matter why it's there, but cruisers who love the ship hope it will leave unscathed and in one piece.

Also docked near the Winter Olympics site is a superyacht owned by Seattle magnate Paul Allen. It's known as the Tatoosh and the first inclination is to think the man who also owns the Seattle Seahawks went straight from the Super Bowl to Sochi, and maybe he did. And while the Tatoosh is there for accommodation purposes (you can only imagine who's sleeping on this baby), this is a yacht that's been for sale since 2010, year of the last Winter Games.

If the Tatoosh is being showcased, it seems an unusual time and place to try and sell a yacht…for 125 million pounds yet, or $204,000, about twice what Allen paid for it.

But hey, this is the Olympics of the 21st century. As some might say, a "sign of the Apocolypse."

Carnival Glory
7 nights
March 2, 2014
Miami (return): Grand CaymanCozumelBelizeRoatan
Inside: $379
Cost per day: $84
www.carnival.com

Will Holland America Fly Flag Of A Winner?

Ships and their flags? The days of skull-and-crossbones are long behind us…but for the occasional Johnny Depp movie. Cruise ships aren't identified so much by the flags they fly any more, although all of them fly flags, usually of the country in which they're registered. 

For Holland America ships, that would be the flag of The Netherlands. That figures, doesn't it?

This weekend, not so much. This weekend, Holland America ships in the Caribbean will (also) be flying the 12th Man Flag. Why, you ask, would ships registered in The 12thNetherlands be flying the flag associated with one of the teams playing in the Super Bowl?

If you have to ask, then you don't know that Holland America's head office is in Seattle…that the Seahawks are underdogs against the Denver Broncos on Sunday…and that the 12th Man is a tribute to Seattle's fans, noisy enough to be considered as influential as a 12th man in a game which plays only 11. 

Lots of them will be waving the flags in East Rutherford, New Jersey at 6 p.m. (EST) on Sunday…if they're not frozen stiff. And some cruisers will likely be watching the 12th Man Flag flap in the breeze.

And the only thing frozen will be the ice cubes in their drinks.

Royal Princess
7 nights
February 23, 2014 
Fort Lauderdale (return): Princess CaysSt. ThomasSt. Maarten
Inside: $599
Cost per day: $85
www.princess.com

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