Category Archives: boats

Carnival Splendor Cruise Review to Caribbean – Western

Please don’t go on the Splendor. Pick another ship.

Sail Date: March 05, 2017

Reviewed: 1 day ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Oceanview

                                       Cabin: 1356

 

 

by Brea and Levi

We did a 7 night on the Carnival Splendor. Just before sailing there was an engine fire. We were told the day of our cruise that the itinerary changed and we would be offered an incentive to sail anyway. Don’t ever do that either. Learn from our mistakes.

 

Without the engines functioning fully, there was little power for the ship. The first time we saw the fun shops open was on the 3rd day of our cruise. My boyfriend forgot his sunglasses so we had really been looking. By that point we’d bought a new pair in Nassau. Most of the ship wasn’t open at any given time.

 

For the first few days, they could run the Lido buffet OR the main dining room. If you wanted to eat during dinner time you had no option but to dress up. The food was not good. Tasted like food Ihop and Dennys wouldn’t even serve. After leaving dinner hungry the first couple nights we started ordering room service.

 

Their free items were very limited. Things like grilled cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. By the 4th day we’d tried all the paid items and most of the free ones. For $5 you get a tiny basket with 6 (burnt) fried shrimp, each smaller than my thumb, and a small hand hand full of (soggy) french fries.

 

Since we’d exhausted all our food options on the boat we tried to investigate the ports. It was actually (no joke) $20 for the small nachos with chicken. I’m sorry, it was $19.99. I don’t want to exaggerate. We trudged back to the ship, and decided to see if there was anything we hadn’t tried yet.

 

By the 5th day we just wanted to go home, and so did everyone else we talked to. At that point my bed had been set with dirty sheets, stains larger than my outstretched hand where my face would have been. Our mattresses were on a flat smooth platform. When my boyfriend or I moved to the middle of the bed they would slide to the sides. It left a 2 foot gap in the middle every morning, and we flipped the mattresses a bit trying to get out of bed.

 

I’ve complained several times to Carnival, included pictures and descriptions.

 

At Guest Services on the ship they said “something would be done.” and did nothing.

 

On the phone to the complaints department, they said my issues were “subjective” and they couldn’t help me.

 

When I sent a message to their Facebook page, they gave me a place to e-mail them.

As of 2 weeks from sending that e-mail, I’ve received no response.

 

Honestly, just please don’t sail with Carnival. They don’t care about their guests. I typically don’t complain about anything, one of those people to be ok with eating the wrong meal just because my waiter made a mistake. I was ok with the itinerary change. I’m not ok with how things went once I was in their custody and had no other choice.

undercooked shrimp yuk
lasagna in a pool of grease with almost no marinara
gross shrimp curry with a bone in it
map of the ship
did someone already take a bite of my chicken?
liquidy sauce, dry salmon
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The Maid of the Mist Tour (Niagara Falls)

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Maid of the Mist Tour
* Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara, New York *

If you want to get a good look at the Bridal Veil Falls or the Horseshoe Falls from the American side. It begins as a ferry boat that issues you a rain poncho and takes you out from the calm side of the Niagara River near the Rainbow Bridge. The Tour takes you by the American and Bridal Veil Falls, and then into the spray heavy curve of Horseshoe/Canadian Falls. The tour can be accessed either from the American or the Canadian side. The tour is operated by the Maid of the Mist Steamship Company. The first boat was launched in 1846 to ferry people from Canada to America and vice versa. It lost business when the Suspension Bridge was built and became a tour system. Numerous boats and versions were constructed and used through the years. The very first Maid of the Mist I ran from 1846 until 1854 as a double-stacked steamboat ferry. Business failed in the late 1800’s and was not restored until 1895. The boats have saved a few people who plunged over Horseshoe Falls through the years. The Canadian operations will close in October of 2013. Most likely will be operated by another company on the Canadian side in the near future. Rating: 5 stars out of 5

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Niagara River

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Niagara River

A massive river that flows between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie for approximately 35 miles in length. It is home to the famous “Niagara Falls” both on the U.S. and Canadian sides. It is dotted with falls, whirlpools, and rapids along its course. There are also several islands along the run of the river: The two largest and most popular are the Navy Island and the Grand Island. Other popular ones include Goat Island, Luna Island, and Squaw Island. The river forms the border between Ontario, Canada and New York, USA. Many legends amiss around the river, as does its name origin. An Iroquois belief is it was named after a branch of the Neutral Confederacy called the “Niagagarega” in the late 17th century. Others state it was named after the Iroquois village “Ongniaahra” or “point of land cut in two”. Today the river is dotted with, especially within the Falls area, hydroelectric power stations. The two most famous of which is the Sir Adam Beck Hydro-electric Power Station in Canada and the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant in the U.S.A. It was America’s first waterway to harness large scale hydro-electricity. Ships coming down the Niagara River use the Welland Canal of the Saint Lawrence Seaway to bypass the Falls. The Falls drop over 325 feet along its gorge fallway. It has two tributaries – the Welland River and Tonawanda Creek which were adapted into Canals for ship traffic such as the Erie Canal and the Welland Canal. The first European exploits of the area begin in the 17th century with French explorer Father Louis Hennepin published in the 1698 “A New Discovery of a Vast Country in America”. Some of the first railways built in America were built along this river, including the inclined wooden tramway built by John Montresor in 1764 called “The Cradles” and “The Old Lewiston Incline”. The River has seen its share of battles and wars, including ones between Fort Niagara (U.S.) and Ft. George (Canada) during the French and Indian War, American Revolution, Battle of Queenston Heights, and War of 1812. It was also very important during the American Civil War as a point where slaves crossed via the Underground Railway to Canada.

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Sean O’ Casey Bridge (Dublin, Ireland)

Sean O' Casey Bridge

Sean O’ Casey Bridge
* Dublin, Ireland *

One of the best bridges to view the Jeanie Johnson from … The “Sean O’ Casey” (a.k.a. Droichead Sheáin Uí Chathasaigh) spans the River Liffey approximately 100 meters as a pedestrian swing bridge with two balanced cantilever arms to connect the City Quay to the North Wall Quay in the Grand Canal Docks area and the IFSC. It was built in 2005 by Cyril O’Neill and O’Connor Sutton Cronin Engineers as part of the large urban renewal scheme by the Dublin Docklands Authority to rejuvenate the area. It memorializes Seán O’Casey (1880–1964), a famous Irish playwright and member of the Irish Citizens Army who used to live in the North Wall area.

Sean O' Casey Bridge

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The Jeanie Johnson Museum Tour (Dublin, Ireland)

Jeannie Johnson Tall Sailing Ship & Museum

Jeannie Johnson Tall Sailing Ship & Museum
Dublin, Ireland

Sitting in the Harbour of the River Liffey, just outside the CHQ Building is the replica of the infamous “Jeanie Johnston” ~ the three masted barque built in 1847 by John Munn that brought settlers over to the New World during the great Irish Famine. This replica was completed in 2002 and now sits primarily as a onboard history museum with night activities and events. The replica was designed by former Chief Naval Architect Fred Walker with the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich England. She is originally established as a ocean-going sail training vessel at sea and then in port coverts to a living history museum over the 19th century emigration between Ireland and the Americas. For 8 Euro or less, a guided tour takes you to her upper and lower decks giving a full narrated history of her chronology, feats, and sorrows. The main cabin demonstrates a picturesque view of what life was like onboard with numerous wax figures of her historic passengers. Overall the tour was masterfully done and a wonderful piece of Dublin’s maritime history. A must visit to any Irish tourist. Rating: 5 stars out of 5 by Leaf McGowan

Jeannie Johnson Tall Sailing Ship & Museum

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The Sirena: Ferry Service from Harwich to Esbjerg

MS Dana Sirena
* directferries.co.uk * http://www.directferries.co.uk/dfds_seaways_dana_sirena.htm * http://www.directferries.co.uk/harwich_esbjerg_ferry.htm *

The Dana Sirena, named just like a ship out of folklore, appropriate since my first journey on her was embarking on a voyage from Jorvik to Norway for my first Viking festival. This brilliant RoPax ferry carries over 620 passengers and 435 cars. It is also a freight ferry. Its a pretty comfortable ferry, with all passengers having their own onboard cabins and/or reserved seating. Facilities such as free wifi, restaurants, bars, cafes, shops, and a children’s area are located within. The beds were comfortable, showers were nice, rooms came with bedding, towels, and wardrobe space. As I was on a budget, I packed my own food for the journey, so can’t comment on the restaurant or bar services. I’ve been told there is sufficient variety offered. I didn’t partake of the shopping, and was able to catch some of the entertainment. The entertainment was mediocre, but some of the passengers seemed pleased. Apparently there was a featured “films on demand” service, of which I cannot comment on since I didn’t use it. The ship sails from Harwich, England to Esbjerg, Denmark, and back. The Sirena is built of iron and steel in 2001 originally named the “MS Golfo Dei Delfini” owned by Lloyd Sardegna, acquired by the DFDS Tor Line then DFDS Seaways, then renamed the “Dana Sirena” after 2003. In 2001-2002 its port of registry was Olbia, Sardinia; then in 2002 registered in Esbjerg, Denmark. It was built by Stocznia Szczecinska in 2001. It is 22,382 GT tonnage, with a 654.2 ft length and a 78″3 height. It travels at 23 knots. I quite enjoyed the ferry trip, much better than most ferries I’ve been on. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.


The Sirena Ferry, Harwich to Esbjerg

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Color line Ferry – Denmark to Norway

Colorline Ferry: Service from Denmark to Norway

One of the fastest methods, albeit an extremely expensive one, to get your car from Denmark to Norway is the “Color Line” ferry. As I was travelling from England to Norway with a friend via Denmark, this is the ferry we took. It is also the largest cruise ferry line operating on routes to and from Norway. The service offers transportation for cargo, vehicles, and passengers as well as a wide range of services while on board including restaurants, entertainment, shopping, and lodging. The ferry’s headquarters are in Oslo, with satellite offices in Stavanger, Kristiansand, Sandefjord, Bergen, Larvik, Kiel, Hirtshals, and Strömstad. I found the ferry however sub-par in comfort, lack of amenities as compared to other ferries I’ve travelled around the world especially in comparison to the expense they charge. Rating: 3 stars out of 5.

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Charleston Municipal Marina

Charleston Municipal Marina

* http://www.charlestoncitymarina.com/ * 17 Lookwood Drive * Charleston, South Carolina *
(843) 577-7702 *

One of several, this beautiful marina is stocked full of boats, visitors, and harbourers. The floating docks look quite popular, even though we didn’t venture out on it, just sat on the bench after a nice seafood dining experience at the marina’s restaurant. At the heart of the network for the three main rivers connecting Charleston to the Atlantic Ocean, it appeared to be quite a hotspot, and walking distance from historic downtown. This beauty is located on the Atlantic Intra-coastal Waterway along mile marker 469.5 featuring over 19,000 feet of linear dock space with over 40 acres of water. State of the art facilities, amenities, and docking support. The Mega-dock extends over 1,500 feet and is the longest free standing floating fuel dock in the Southeastern United States. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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Viking Splash Tours (Dublin)

Viking Splash Tours

* Meet St. Stephen’s Green * Dublin, Ireland * 2 * (01) 7076000 * http://www.vikingsplash.ie/ * 10 am – 6 pm on Mondays and tuesdays, 9 am until midnight on wednesday to thursdays, 11 am until 11 pm on fridays, and 10 am til 9 pm saturdays and sundays.

A kitchy yet hilarious way to see Dublin, Viking Splash Tours will keep you entertained, intrigued, and laughing. They offer a unique way to see the city the Vikings so much desired in days of old by land and water … They hit the highpoints of Dublin showing patrons the Medieval district, Trinity College, Christ Church, Georgian sector, and the city center. They set you up with viking hats when you board the tacky yellow amphibious bus-boat and away you go on the city tour. They take you through the water and on the streets for an exiting adventure you won’t forget.

Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via Technogypsie.com at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Restaurants, Businesses, Bands, Performances, Venues, and Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

These reviews are done by the writer at no payment unless it is a requested review and the costs for travel, service, and lodging was covered – in which case, expenditure reimbursement will not affect review rating or content. If you enjoy this review and want to see more, why not buy our reviewer a drink to motivate them to write more? or help cover the costs they went through to do this review?






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Brisbane River CityCat

Brisbane River CityCat

Brisbane River, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

One of Brisbane’s most popular form of public transportation and sightseeing is the Brisbane River CityCat and CityFerry Services. This ferry is very fast, efficient, and inexpensive way to get from point A to point B during one’s explorations of Brisbane and its famous river, parks, recreational boardwalks, playgrounds, picnic sites, trails, restaurants, cafes, markets, pontoons, and fishing facilities. The city now boasts with its 19 CityCats and 9 CityFerries (2012 statistics). The service saw disruptions and damages during the January 2011 flood, but by January 2012 has all of its 24 terminals operating again seven days a week from 5:50 am until 10:30 pm. The October 2011 arrival of the newest CityCat, the “Spirit of Brisbane” was dedicated to Brisbane’s community spirit from the most recent floods. All of the CityCats are equipt with Wifi allowing access to UQConnect and EduRoam as well as the Translink timetable and City Council’s websites. Tickets can be purchased via bus and ferry operators, staffed rail stations, Customer Service Centers, and local newsagencies and convenience stores. Timetables can be found on the TransLink website at http://www.translink.com.au/

Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via Technogypsie.com at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Restaurants, Businesses, Bands, Performances, Venues, and Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

These reviews are done by the writer at no payment unless it is a requested review and the costs for travel, service, and lodging was covered – in which case, expenditure reimbursement will not affect review rating or content. If you enjoy this review and want to see more, why not buy our reviewer a drink to motivate them to write more? or help cover the costs they went through to do this review?






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Eagle Street Pier (Brisbane, Australia)

Eagle Street Pier
* http://www.eaglestreetpier.com.au/ * 1 Eagle Street * Brisbane, Queensland, Australia * 4000 * (07) 3100 2300 * stephen.castieau@stockland.com.au *

In the heart of Brisbane, along the river, is a cute little waterfront precinct called the “Eagle Street Pier” that is known for its fine dining, River cruises, and entertainment. This is one of the little less known place downtown to enjoy the river views and Story Bridge. Some of the popular restaurants in the area are “Matt Moran’s ARIA”, “Jude”, “The Coffee Club”, “Shingle Inn Cafe”, “Grill’d”, “Nagomi”, “Stellar”, “Jade Buddha”, “Bavarian Bier Cafe”, “Stellarossa”, “Il Centro”, “Cha Cha Char”, and “Sake”. Each weekend the Eagle Street Pier has a arts and crafts market where local artists come to sell their wares.

MORE INFORMATION, PHOTOS, AND LINKS:
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Pirate Relief’s : “Project Black Pearl”

Pirate Relief’s: Project Black Pearl
* Piraterelief.com *

Project Black Bearl is one of Pirate Relief‘s projects they are seeking by no later than 2015 in achieving. At present, negotiations are being made in the use of some “historic tall sailing ships” that are already in use, as a means of vehicles to use until we can afford our own to purchase or build. As the end of 2011/2012 is focused on achieving a home base on the coast somewhere in the world through Project Gypsy, most likely England near Penzance; Oregon near Eugene / Ashland / or Portland, Washington near Point Roberts, Seattle, or Bellingham; or Florida near St. Augustine, Melbourne, or Miami as being the most realistic of locations due to support, community, services, land, and/or ship expertise located in these regions that might become accessible to us. The first exciting and alluring vessel we’ve had our eye on is “The Black Pearl” which is currently on sale for a mere $994,000 (currently located in Honduras). Of course, no-where in our budget line at the present moment, but definitely an aspiring dream to work towards. Realistically though, we’ll start with any good, sturdy, long distance sea worthy tall sailing ship vessel, and will even start out with a small sailing boat or yacht if we have to.

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Plastiki Arrives in Australia

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/23/plastiki-arrives-in-austr_n_656141.html

‘Plastiki’ Arrives In Australia After Plastic-Bottle Boat Makes 8,000-Mile Journey Across Pacific

Posted: 07-23-10 09:58 AM on Huffingtonpost

The 12,000 plastic water bottle catamaran that David de Rothschild in company with Jo Royle, the skipper made landing in Australia after a treacherous 3 month journey, 11,000 mile journey across the Pacific from California to Australia. They pass through the Great Pacific Trash Island. The above link leads to a video about the journey, and the Youtube video below talks about the expedition. The ABC news Youtube link below shows the beginning of the journey.

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-07-23/tech/plastiki.australia_1_plastiki-australian-national-maritime-museum-plastic-bottle-boat?_s=PM:TECH

Plastic bottle boat reaches Australia after stormy seas

July 23, 2010

After spending 125 days traveling over 8,000 nautical miles, the Plastiki is preparing to reach Sydney, its final destination, on Sunday.

The Plastiki’s arrival in Sydney will not, however, be the 60-foot catamaran’s first time to reach Australian soil. Winter storms producing near-hurricane strength winds forced the vessel and its crew to take refuge in Mooloolaba, Queensland on Monday.

Originally, the crew had hoped to land in Coffs Harbour, south from Mooloolaba, before heading to Sydney. After waiting out the bad weather, the Plastiki took off from its unexpected first port-of-call in Australia early Friday morning with hopes to reach Sydney in the next two days.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ug7CpVkBuU
ABC News: The Plastiki Sets Sail, Youtube Video

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Jeanie Johnston

Jeanie Johnston
Dublin, Ireland

One of Ireland’s most famous ships is the Jeanie Johnston which is moored off the Custom House Quay in Dublin along the River Liffey. It is a replica of the three masted barque that was originally built in 1847 by Scotsman John Munn in Quebec, Canada. The original ship was bought by the Tralee merchants John Donovan and Sons from Kerry County as a cargo vessel that traded between Tralee and North America for many years bringing emigrants from Ireland to North America and timber back to Europe. Her first maiden emigrant voyage went from Blennerville in Kerry to Quebec in 1848 with 193 emigrants on board due to the Potato Famine that ravaged Ireland. From 1848 until 1855 she made 16 voyages to Quebec, Baltimore, and New York. On average the trip was accomplished in 47 days and her largest number of passengers were 254. No crews or passengers were ever lost on board thanks to the captain James Attridge who would not overload the ship and made sure doctor Richard Blennerhassett was on board for every journey. In 1855 the ship was sold to William Johnson of North Shields in England, but during a 1858 trip to Quebec from Hull carrying timber became waterlogged and slowly sank – crew was rescued by the Dutch ship Sophie Elizabeth. This replica ship, is reduced in size by 30%, and is only licensed to carry 40 people. The replica was made from indepth research of the original, and took from 1993-2002 to build. It was constructed by a international team of young people who linked Ireland North and South, the U.S., Canada, and other countries costing approximately 16 million Euro (4 times the original estimate of 3.81 million Euro) which was paid for by the Irish government, Kerry County Council, Tralee Town Council, the European Union, the American Ireland Fund, Bord Failte, Shannon Development, Kerry Group, the Training and Employment Authority Foras Áiseanna Saothair and the Irish Department of the Marine, most of which later agreed to write off their losses. It was built with larch planks on oak frames and was altered to apply with current international maritime regulations by adding some modern concessions including two Caterpillar main engines, two Caterpillar generators, and an emergency generator that is located above the waterline in the forward deckhouse fully compliant to the highest standards of modern ocean-going passenger ships, with steel water-tight bulkheads, down-flooding valves, and fire-fighting equipment. The replica shiped sailed in 2003 from Tralee to Canada and to the U.S. She raced in the 2005 tall ships race and finished 60th out of 65 from Waterford to Cherbourg. The replica is owned by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority who bought it in 2005 for 2.7 million Euro. Today it is not in seagoing condition. Today she is primarily used as an Onboard Museum and evening venue.

Jeannie Johnson Tall Sailing Ship & Museum

Jeannie Johnson Tall Sailing Ship & Museum

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Amsterdam’s Infamous Canals

Amsterdam’s Canals
One of the most picturesque parts of Amsterdam is it’s canals. A tremendous effort that was created by conscious city planning. Beginning in the early 17th century with immigration at its peak, the city decided to develope a comprehensive plan of a design based on four concentric half-circles of canals with their ends emerging into the IJ bay. They called this the Grachtengordel. Three of the canals exist primarily for residential development … these are the Herengracht (Gentleman’s Canal), Keizersgracht (Emperor’s Canal), and Prinsengracht (Prince’s Canal’). The fourth and outermost canal is the Singelgracht that serves the purposes of defense and water management. In the early days, The defensive purpose was established by moat and earthen dikes, with gates at transit points, but otherwise no masonry superstructures. These canals interconnected each other along the radii, created a set of parallel canals on the Jordaan quater for transportation, adding in the defensive purpose of the Singel which later converted to a residential and commercial purpose, as well as incredible employment opportunities with the construction of more than one hundred bridges. The construction began in 1613 going from west to east. Construction was completed in the southern section by 1656. The eastern part of the concentric canal plan, covering the area between the Amstel river and the IJ bay, has never been implemented. In later years, several canasl were filled in to make streets or squares such as the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal and the Spui. Amsterdam’s canals is a haven for houseboats and bohemian living. The canals are flushed weekly to keep the water clean and to eliminate any stagnation or stench that usually come with canals. Every week hundreds of bicycles are dredged from the bottoms. Continue reading Amsterdam’s Infamous Canals

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