Costa to Build Two for China

Costa has secured an agreement with Fincantieri, the Italian shipbuilder, to build two ships for 2019 and 2020.  Each carrying 4,200 passengers they will surely mean the ship is a follow-on to the Vista class Carnival has begun to deploy.  These news vessels will sail out of China and designed for that market specifically.  If Costa retains the existing ships deployed in the Chinese market it will have five.

The Florida Turnpike (Sun Pass Lane) - Video

The Florida Turnpike is one of the nicer such roads I've driven.  The route serves the main artery of tourist travel from Miami to just north of Orlando.  Although I-95 runs parallel to it and costs nothing, I choose to use it because of the steady flow of rest-stops complete with gas and food.  The Turnpike likes to use the motto "The Less Stress Way," and there is some truth to that.  The only aggravation I've ever experienced is the sometimes confusing layout of the parking lots.  Unlike some toll roads, the service plazas are in the middle of the north and southbound lanes, so everything is designed around an essentially circular traffic pattern.  In plazas where construction is underway, especially at night, you can easily miss where to turn for the gas station or parking.  

One feature common to most toll roads is an automated toll collection system.  Called Sun Pass, there is a device which you can place on your windshield which is scanned by select toll booth lanes.  This allows you to move through without stopping.  The video included here shows both entering and passing through one such Sun Pass lane.
 
Traveling with kids as I will be this October (2016) having service plazas are a plus when shuttling kids in and out of bathrooms and eating a meal or two.  Plus the absolute certainty of where I can count on fuel lets me plan my drive so I can blaze out of state of Florida quickly.  Not that I honestly want to leave having just been on a cruise.

Video - Sunset Departure from Port Everglades.

Ah, that first night dilemma.  To go below deck for dinner or the show, or to remain at a railing to watch the sight of the ship putting to sea.  Sometimes that hard choice is made all the more difficult because of the hypnotic image of the city lights at night or the setting sun.

Cruise Aficionados helps you skip having to choose.  Enjoy this video of Independence of the Seas leaving Port Everglades at sunset.  Especially enjoy the traditional salutes by the condos!

 

Cruise Commute: Atlanta - Video

The glory of Google Maps is how you can conduct a tour through areas you are about to drive around and learn the lay of the land.  I tend to do that out of habit now as plan out which hotels to take, figure out what to expect, etc.  The value to me is being able to relax a bit during a drive and not face last second choices in navigation.  My phone pulled double duty this past January during my cruise on Oasis of the Seas.  Mounted just under the rear-view mirror, I kept the video camera rolling as I drove through downtown Atlanta.  Always a busy highway, the drive was smooth enough until some concert letting out flooded the south side exits along I-75.  

Announcing Cruise Corps

In order to serve our community from shore to ship and back, Cruise Aficionados (CA) is assembling experienced and new agents to become part of our Cruise Corps team!

CA seeks to extend and enhance the cruise experience through digital offerings, services and real world gatherings which help make cruising part of every day.  We do this through online communities for learning about and sharing the experience of cruising.  We host real-world “Cruise Coffees” and “Cruise Nights” recreating and stoking the urge to cruise.  We walk our members through how to make cruising a daily lifestyle.

Cruise Corps (CC) is the professional services organization of Cruise Aficionados.  CC is comprised of entrepreneurial business people, bloggers, travel leaders and providers of goods and services complimentary of the cruise experience.  It serves the mission of Cruise Aficionados to extend and enhance the cruise experience and make it part of every day.

CC travel leaders are experienced in helping run their own group cruises on-ship as well as serving as leaders for groups seeking coordinators.  CCs bloggers help provide grassroots content about cruises, ports and all manner of cruise related topics.  Our CC Pros are a professional services group to help provide the kinds of experiences at real world gatherings on for featured online content.  Our CC Travel Service team completes the circle of travel by helping our community find its way back to sea.

Learn more and become part of our team today!

 

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