Tag-Archive for » Jewel of the Seas «

Cops, Airline Aid Missing Passenger

Victoria Harbour

Sometimes, it’s just nice to be able to tell a nice story. Like the one that appeared this week in The Province, one of Vancouver’s two daily newspapers, about a passenger who went missing from Jewel of the Seas.

The 65-year-old woman disembarked in Victoria, on Vancouver Island, in mid-morning earlier this month. When the ship was ready to leave for Seattle late that afternoon, the final leg of a week-long Alaska cruise, there was no sign of her. Eventually, after waiting a reasonable time as ship captains are wont to do, Jewel of the Seas had to leave.

Police in Victoria contacted the woman’s family in Buffalo and discovered she had been having symptoms of dementia. Disoriented, she showed up in a downtown hotel and police took her to a nearby hospital to be assessed.

All’s well that ends well, right?

The story gets better. 

One of the cops, Constable Andre Almeida, arranged for her to fly to Seattle in time for her scheduled flight home to New York. He paid for the flight on his own credit card with the idea that he’d be able to cover it with his “points.” And when he was asked about doing that, the constable issued this statement:

“There was no other way to ensure she would make it back home. She needed help. It could be my mom stranded somewhere and I would hope someone would help.”

There’s more.

After a night in hospital, the woman was taken to the airport by the police for her Alaska Airlines flight. The airline reimbursed Constable Almeida, and saw to it that she made her connecting flight to her family.

These days, two segments of society that seem to take a regular beating are police and airlines, so it’s also nice that they’re being recognized for doing something…nice.

Today at portsandbows.com: No more Dancing With The Stars: At Sea

Carnival Magic
7 nights
September 27, 2015
Galveston (return): Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Montego Bay
Inside: $429
Cost per day: $61

What ‘V’ Word Means For Mexico


At the risk of sounding like apologists for Mexico, a country we have visited many times and hopefully will visit many more, our observations on the latest reports of cruising-vs-violence in Puerto Vallarta are based on these facts:

• Attacks from Mexican drug cartels on the government in the state of Jalisco on May 1 included fires set in Puerto Vallarta, with the worst of the violence was in Guadalajara.

• The Celebrity Infinity bypassed a scheduled stop in Puerto Vallarta on May 10.

• Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas did the same thing on May 12.

• Disney’s Wonder skipped the port, too.

• Tourism officials meeting with cruise executives in Florida said yesterday that the events of that Friday morning were isolated, quickly contained and resolved.

• Both parties in Florida agreed to “improve and increase communications to ensure the cruise lines are kept better informed and receive updates in real time.”


It appears that Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Disney were reacting on mis-information from who knows where…probably the Internet? And did it take a week for the cruise lines to find out they shouldn’t stop there nine days later?

It also appears that cruise lines, and passengers, are spooked the moment the “V” word and Mexico are mentioned in the same breath, or Internet page. Because there is a violent event in Gaudalajara it doesn’t mean Puerto Vallarta (pop. 200,000) is unsafe. If there was a violent event in Oakland, would a cruise ship abandon San Francisco — and they are much closer than Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara (almost 200 miles)?

It also appears Mexican tourism officials are going to have to implement unimaginable means to try and keep the cruise business for Puerto Vallarta, by literally tracking the Puerto Vallarta-Stan Shebs

– Stan Shrebs photo

whereabouts of all passengers once they leave the ship. The city “will work with local tour operators, taxi drivers and other tourism service providers to employ new measures that inform the ships of their passengers’ location.”

For visitors to Mexico, this is the new level of fear.

Violent events can happen anywhere, of course…BaltimoreNewtown…Columbine High School and so on.

But when it’s Mexico, there’s an accelerated level of distrust. Based on our visits to many parts of Mexico, we think that’s wrong.

In the news…

• Automated passport machines at Vancouver cruise terminal
• Azamara Quest refurbishment bigger…and later (April 2016)

Today at portsandbows.com: More on Viking's first ocean cruise ship

Norwegian Sky
4 nights
July 13, 2015
Miami (return): Grand Bahama Island, Nassau
Inside: $499
Cost per day: $124

Oceania’s Last-Minute Cruise Deal


Oceania Cruises, an upscale line with five ships, is touting a deal that includes…

• 2-for-1 cruise fares and free airfare
• Free pre-paid gratuities
• Free unlimited Internet
• Shipboard credit worth up to $1,000
• 50 per cent off deposits
• Pre- and post-cruise hotels for $99 a night

If all this seems too good to be true, it probably is…but you have to “request a quote” to find out.

And this, folks, is the ultimate in last-minute deals.

The offer is good for the rest of this year…which, of course, means midnight tonight.

Today at portsandbows.com: Cruising in Pasadena on Rose Bowl Day

Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas
7 nights
January 31, 2015
San Juan (return): St. ThomasSt. KittsSt. MaartenRoseauBarbados
Inside: $487
Cost per day: $69

Reality Cruise For Fans Of The New Kids

The show is called Blue Bloods, in case you haven't heard, and it tops the Friday night TV ratings. Nowhere is that more true than in our house. Thankfully, there are PVRs to make sure we don't miss an episode; otherwise we'd be house-bound on Friday nights.

Part of the reason is Donnie Wahlberg. It should be mentioned that before Blue Bloods, we didn't know who he was or where he came from and now he's, well, in our TV blood. That also means we didn't connect Donnie Wahlberg and New Kids On The Block.

But the cruise community does.

Fans have been going on NKOTB cruises for five years and the 2014 edition comes with a twist. They're going to "Rock This Boat" (the Carnival Splendor) because that's the name of the eight-week reality TV series being filmed on the cruise. It will be shown New Kids On The Blockon the TV Guide Network during the 2014-15 season.

Wahlberg is the executive producer. 

For this year's cruise on the Splendor all the New Kids, who are really Old Kids by now, will be on board and doing all the things these celebrities do on theme cruises, starting with performing.

The cruise is June 5-9. This year, there's a new embarkation port (New York) and a new destination (Bermuda). The sales pitch is that you'll spend "two full days trapped at sea with NKOTB," and that there's "nowhere to hide" which — because of Bermuda — makes for a clever video (click here).

Because of NKOTB, there will be plenty of parties, surprise cabin visits and the concert in the Splendor's theater. All the "kids" will be there — Jonathan, Jordan, Joey, Danny and Donnie — and they're also promising this NKOTB Cruise will be "bigger, better, faster" than the last one. And some passengers, at least, will be part of the reality show.

What's more, you don't have to worry about missing Blue Bloods on the Friday night (June 6), even if you don't have a PVR.

It's on re-runs then.

Today at Phil Reimer's portsandbows.com: After 46 years, a return to Prague

Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas
7 nights
June 21, 2014
San Juan (return): St. ThomasSt. KittsCuracaoAruba
Inside: $749
Cost per day: $107

Yee-haw! Cruisin' With Country Music

On Sunday night, we'll be watching one of our can't-miss shows on TV: the Academy of Country Music awards show…CBS, if you need to know.

Maybe it's our demographics…maybe we're returning to some form of roots when we listed to what was called "cowboy music"…maybe we just like the sound.

But we'll be there.

We'd also like to be on Holland America's Country Music Cruise next January, on Martina McBridethe Eurodam…because that's where Martina McBride (left) will be. Also Darryl Worley, John Anderson (right) and Restless Heart — we admit it, John Andersonwe've seen them all in concert multiple times. Also Charley Pride, Lorrie Morgan, the Gatlins, Aaron Tippin, Wade Hayes, Asleep At The Wheel and Bryan White.

It's a 7-day cruise to the Eastern Caribbean, leaving Fort Lauderdale on January 18, and it's not cheap ($2,200), but you get what you pay for, right? There are performances by the country artists every night and a series of extracurricular events, including panel discussions, line dancing, celebrity cooking, karaoke, hat night…even renewing your vows. But for us, it's not about scooting' boots or seeing if Charley Pride can cook chicken.

It's about the music. Period.

Just like it will be on Sunday night.

Today at portsandbows.com: Catherine Deneuve and the ship with her name 

Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas
7 nights
April 19, 2014
San Juan (return): TortolaSt. MaartenSt. KittsRoseauBarbados
Inside: $399
Cost per day: $57



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