Monday, December 27, 2010

Florida Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line's 128,000-ton, 2,500-passenger Disney Dream will debut on January 26, 2011. A sister ship, Disney Fantasy, will launch in April 2012. The vessels, both products of Germany's Meyer Werft shipyard, are the first new cruise ships to debut from the line since Disney Wonder entered service back in 1999.

The ships will be considerably larger than the 83,000-ton, 1,760-passenger Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. They'll be two decks higher and will carry 2,500 passengers, double occupancy. Remember, however that Disney's load factor is the highest in the industry at about 150 percent (due to the abundance of kids). The ship can carry up to 4,000 at full capacity; currently, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder can carry a full capacity of 2,400.

The Disney Cruise Line has released details of its cruise ship named Disney Dream that will set sail in 2011. The ship's design offers a blend of Art Deco style and Disney whimsy. Some of the unique features on the ship include;
  • The AquaDuck, a water coaster that sends guests racing above the upper decks of the ship.
  • A sophisticated lounge where the sun sets over the skyline of a different world-famous city each night.
  • Rooms contain a Virtual Porthole that provides guests with a real-time view outside the ship. High-definition cameras placed on the exterior of the ship feed live video to each Virtual Porthole.
  • Disney's Oceaneer Lab lets children feel as though they are embarking on a great seafaring adventure in a room filled with maps, maritime instruments and swashbuckling artifacts
  • The Edge Edge is a lounge for tweens (ages 11 to 13). The tween pad is filled with hi-tech entertainment including the ability to create and star in photo postcards and video karaoke using green-screen technology.
  • Animator's Palate is a signature Disney Cruise Line restaurant that brings Disney animation into the dining room.
  • Royal Palace is a restaurant inspired by the classic Disney films Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty.
  • Enchanted Garden is a whimsical, casual restaurant inspired by the gardens of Versailles and featuring a dining environment that magically transforms from day to night.
  • The ship will also have attractions just for adults including The District, a nighttime entertainment area, and the Senses Spa & Salon
The Disney Dream is scheduled to depart on its maiden voyage Jan. 26, 2011, and will sail alternating three and four night cruises to the Bahamas and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.

Together, the Dream and the Disney Fantasy — which Meyer Werft is also building and which will debut in April 2012 — will more than double the passenger capacity of Disney Cruise Line. The Dream and Fantasy will each have room for about 1,300 passengers more than Disney's existing Magic and Wonder cruise ships.

The twin ships carry an estimated combined price tag of about $1.5 billion.

Chinese Drywall Complaint Center in Florida

Chinese Drywall Complaint Center Says We Fear Most Florida or Gulf States Residents Do Not Realize They Are Living with Toxic Chinese Drywall

The Chinese Drywall Complaint Center is saying, "we fear 100,000's of homeowners in 2001-2008, new or remodeled homes in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, or Southeast Texas are living with toxic Chinese drywall everyday-but have yet to connect the dots." They say, "if you have had constant air conditioning coil failures, black copper pipes, bizarre electrical issues, combined with possible severe allergy type symptoms, we need to talk to you about the problem potentially being toxic Chinese drywall." The group is also saying, "it is absolutely vital we identify all Florida, or all Gulf States homeowners, who may have Knauf Tainjin, or Taishan toxic Chinese drywall homes now-as time could be running out to get the victims identified, and we can help." For more information, worried, or concerned Gulf States homeowners can call the Chinese Drywall Complaint Center anytime at 866-714-6466, or contact the group via their web site at http://ChineseDrywallComplaintCenter.Com

Chinese Drywall Complaint Center Says We Fear Most Florida or Gulf States Residents Do Not Realize They Are Living with Toxic Chinese Drywall

Monday, December 20, 2010

Nation's first underwater park celebrates its 50th birthday

America's first underwater park turns 50 this Saturday, and Florida Keys visitors can celebrate with free admission and an expo featuring a presentation by renowned oceanographer Sylvia Earle.

Key Largo's John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, about 60 miles south of Miami, offers nature trails and exhibits, guided canoe and kayak tours through a mangrove swamp, and a visitors center with a recently refurbished saltwater aquarium. But the biggest draw is the continental USA's only barrier reef, accessible via snorkeling, scuba and glass bottom boat tours. The reef's marquee attraction: a bronze, coral-encrusted Christ of the Abyss statue, four miles offshore and anchored about 25 feet below the surface.

A half century ago, Key Largo-based photographer Stephen Frink told the Miami Herald, "nobody was thinking about protecting the ocean because not many people put their head under the water with a facemask."
The Florida park -which served as a stage set for the popular TV show Flipper - inspired underwater preservation elsewhere, and "as Pennekamp succeeded with artificial reef programs, mooring buoys, repopulation of corals and other initiatives to enhance the specific environment, other places started to get smart,'' Frink said.

Today, the park draws more than 700,000 visitors a year. Saturday's birthday celebration includes children's activities and an evening boat parade, and several lodgings, restaurants and tour companies are offering anniversary discounts.