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Famous Ocean Liner QE2 Opens as a Hotel in Dubai - Hotel Details, and a Touch of Queen Elizabeth 2's History

Cunard Line has had many famous ocean liners, but each with distinct legacies. The Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) is just one of them, but her storied history is especially meaningful to those of us who have been lucky enough to sail her as well as those with an understanding of her place in history.  Last week in Dubai, UAE, the QE2 re-opened to guests, though these visitors will have a distinctly different experience as they wake up each day in the same place aboard a sparkling new hotel at Mina Rashid... Read more about Famous Ocean Liner QE2 Opens as a Hotel in Dubai - Hotel Details, and a Touch of Queen Elizabeth 2's History

A Brief History of the Blue Riband - The Fastest Passenger Ships to Sail the Atlantic

Today, cruising evokes images of leisurely tropical destinations or exploration of historical sites on another continent.  Not long ago however, traveling by passenger ship was transportation, and speed mattered.  The need to quickly cross the Atlantic, combined with a geo-political climate (including two world wars) that promoted national pride, lead to government and industry joining hands in the quest for a symbolic award: The Blue Riband... Read more about A Brief History of the Blue Riband - The Fastest Passenger Ships to Sail the Atlantic

The "Good Old Days" of Cruising Were Nice, but Today's Cruising Is Even Better

It’s easy to long for the way things used to be, but equally easy to miss great advancements in front of you while looking behind you.  More dining options, larger cabins, cashless cruising, and more.  We may not think about these every day, but you’d quickly long for them if you stepped (or sailed) back in time.

I was somewhat “born into cruising”, my experience coming about in the way that someone whose parents have a cabin in the mountains will always head to the hills to relax and reflect – but my relaxation had a midnight buffet and a muster drill.  I’m fortunate, and this fortune has offered me a long-term view of cruising that few are lucky enough to have.

I’m sitting now in the serine solarium aboard the Harmony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship.  This ship is similar to some of the earliest ships I sailed, in that it floats, and the people in charge are known as “officers”.  A lot has changed... Read more about The "Good Old Days" of Cruising Were Nice, but Today's Cruising Is Even Better

Safety At Sea - Lifeboat History & Requirements

Oasis Class LifeboatWhile cruising is about relaxing, fun, enrichment, and telling your office that you’ll be completely unreachable for a week, for the crew and the cruise line there is another important element: safety.  The last line of defense is the lifeboat, but it’s far more than a wooden dinghy out of a Hitchcock film.  Modern lifeboats have evolved for enhanced safety, reliability, and even visibility - let’s look at how. Read more about Safety At Sea - Lifeboat History & Requirements

Why Cruise Ship Hulls Are Traditionally Black or Navy

RMS Queen Elizabeth
RMS Queen Elizabeth

These days cruise ships come in all sizes and colors, but not long ago this wasn't the case.  To this day, when most of us see ships with dark colored hulls we think of them as more traditional looking, no matter what the age of the vessel.  Why is this?  Well, it has to do with how these great ships are powered, and the letters sometimes preceding ship names.  Make sense?  Read more about Why Cruise Ship Hulls Are Traditionally Black or Navy

Five Things We No Longer See On Cruise Ships

Cruising, like everything in the world, is constantly evolving.  Certain things about cruising however are engrained in the minds of those who experienced them first hand, or even by watching The Love Boat.  To this day for example not a cruise goes by that I don't hear someone, often younger than I, asking if they still have a midnight buffet.  Let's take a quick glimpse at five of the things we just don't see on cruise ships any longer.

beach photo of passengers on NCLSunward II
NCL Sunward II Passengers (okay, my parents) On The Beach Circa 1982
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Billy's Favorite Ships - The Story of The SS Norway a.k.a. The SS France

I’m frequently asked about my favorite ship.  This is a tough question.  I don’t have children, but I imagine it’s only slightly more difficult for me to pick my favorite ship than for parents to pick their favorite child.  Come on parents, you know you have a favorite.

While I still can’t tell you what my favorite ship is, there are certainly some that stand out more than others.  Maybe one is the prettiest, another has the most amenities, and some I might just love out of nostalgia.  For this reason, I’m sharing with you the first in what will be a series of articles offering a brief summary of one of my favorite ships.

the ss norway Read more about Billy's Favorite Ships - The Story of The SS Norway a.k.a. The SS France