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What's On Deck? October Issue-Cruising Made Simple/Fun Flags and Secret Messages
September 30, 2010

Cruising offers something for everyone, whatever the interest, need or inclination. We all need that well deserved break and a good dose of sunshine and adventure to feed the soul. Each month our cruise newsletter is the perfect accompaniment to a cruise escape. This month we take a look at sending messages at sea (no, not in a bottle), refreshing travel discoveries, pertinent cruise travel tidbits and much more. Go ahead… Go Explore!

Immerse yourself and become a part of what makes Cruising unique!

Best Regards,
The Team

Table of Contents

    1. Featured Story:
      Want to Know What Your Ships up to...look at the flags.
    2. In the News:
      A Mouse in Alaska?
    3. Gift Ideas with Cruisitude:
      Start your Holiday Shopping Now!
    4. Did You Know?
      This month’s little known tidbits.
    5. Hidden Gems:
      Refreshing Travel Discoveries
    6. Test Your Knowledge:
      Nautical Terms Quiz
    7. Destination Consideration:
      Places to contemplate
    8. Travel Tip:
      Get answers before you depart.
    9. Bon Appetit:
      Princess Cruise Lines Fettuccine Alfredo – Bellissimo!

    I. Nautical Flags – Discover Their Hidden Meanings…

    You can tell a lot about a cruise ship by looking at the flags flown on the mast. When you’ve been out on deck, you’ve probably seen them flapping in the ocean breeze, but how many of you have any idea what they signify? Used as international signals by ships at sea the flags have special meanings. They send messages of who I am, what I am and what I’m doing. Keep reading, and you can impress your shipmates with your knowledge of their meaning.

    In the photo above you can tell the owner, location and next planned action of the ship.

    Beginning on the port (left) side: the leftmost flag is called the house flag and represents which shipping line owns the ship, in this case Princess Cruises. The yellow flag just to the right of the house flag is the signal flag that represents the letter “Q” in the International Marine Signal Flag Alphabet. When flown from the mast it indicates the Ship meets health regulations and is requesting clearance into port. Continuing to the right the next flag, half white/half red represents the letter “H” in the Signal Flag Alphabet. It indicates the ship has a pilot onboard. The two flags flying from the starboard (right) side of the mast are courtesy ensigns flown to represent the country in whose waters the ship is sailing. The captain may display additional courtesy ensigns for a particular port that the ship is visiting. In this case, the Alaska State Flag and the United States flag are displayed. The flag flying in the middle above the others indicates the ships nationality. The Red Ensign is currently used for British civilian vessels. Princess Cruises is a British-American owned cruise line.

    So, stop dragging your anchor… nautical terms can be a bit confusing to landlubbers. If you’d like to appear the least bit salty or nautical aboard your next cruise explore the International Marine Signal Flag Alphabet below – a lot of them are just plain fun!

    If you have an iPhone there’s even an application you can download, make and send signal flag messages and take with you on your next cruise.

    Avast, ye maties!

    The Nautical Flag Alphabet and their meanings…

    International Marine Signal Flag Alphabet
    Alfa I have a diver down; keep well clear at slow speed Bravo I am taking in, or discharging, or carrying dangerous goods
    Charlie Affirmative Delta Keep clear of me; I am maneuvering with difficulty
    Echo I am altering my course to starboard Foxtrot I am disabled; communicate with me
    Golf I require a pilot Hotel I have a pilot on board
    India I am altering my course to port Juliet I am on fire and have dangerous cargo on board: keep well clear of me," or "I am leaking dangerous cargo
    Kilo I wish to communicate with you Lima In harbour: The ship is under Quarantine. At sea: You should stop your vessel instantly
    Mike My vessel is stopped and making no way through the water November Negative
    Oscar Man Overboard Papa The Blue Peter. In harbour: All persons should report on board as the vessel is about to proceed to sea
    Quebec My vessel is healthy; request clearance into port Romeo The way is off my ship
    Sierra I am operating astern propulsion Tango Keep clear of me; I am engaged in trawling
    Uniform You are running into danger Victor I require assistance
    Whiskey I require medical assistance Xray Stop carrying out your intentions and watch for my signals
    Yankee I am dragging my anchor Zulu I require a tug

    II. Disney Cruise Line Sets Sail for Alaska in 2011

    For the first time ever, you can cruise Alaska with THE Mouse. Disney Cruise Line will offer 7-night sailings aboard the Disney Wonder in 2011. The ship will depart from Vancouver, B.C. and call on the popular ports of Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway.

    Disney Cruise Line, known for being one of the best cruise lines available for families, offers guests a cruising experience as fun and exciting as a Disney theme park resort vacation. From the hearts and minds of Disney's dreammakers come the most imaginative vessels afloat. Add the natural wonder and adventurous spirit of Alaska and you truly have a winning combination. An experience of a lifetime made magical.

    The first departure is scheduled on May 3, 2011 and the final cruise of the season planned for August 30, 2011. Rates start at $939 per person for a standard inside stateroom based on double occupancy. Before and after the 2011 Alaska summer season the Disney Wonder will sail a 7-night Mexican Riviera itinerary from Los Angeles.

    III. Gift Ideas with Cruisitude

    If you have a cruise enthusiast or two on your shopping list or you want to treat yourself to a few cruise travel goodies, cancel that trip to the mall. We’ve got you covered. Each month we’ll feature several cruise travel gift ideas for any occasion…

    Upcoming Holidays
    • Boss’ Day is on October 16th
    • Sweetest Day is on October 16th
    • Mother-in-Law Day is on October 24th
    • Halloween is on October 31st

    Wine & Food Matching Wheel

    What's a good wine match for my meal? Don't worry - here's your easy answer. With the Wine & Food Matching Wheel as your guide you can pick the right wine with just about any food. Just turn the dial to the appropriate food (Chinese, vegetarian, shellfish, veal, etc.) and presto: your wine of choice is revealed ... and the tablemates on your cruise are thoroughly impressed!

    Reef Stash Sandals

    It is always important to carry some extra money in a hidden compartment whenever you travel, especially in unfamiliar places just in case of emergencies. So where do you put your cash, credit cards and/or key when you just want to head to the beach or leave your wallet or purse at home? The Reef Stash Sandal gives you the perfect hideaway right in your shoe. The compartment hidden in the heel is enclosed within soft polyurethane casing so you’ll never notice you’re standing on your stuff. These innovative sandals also feature a built in arch support and jersey lining to keep your feet comfortable all day long.

    Travel Scrabble

    Tote and play Scrabble anywhere, anytime! Ideal for those long flights, endless waits at the airport and a great diversion for the age old question – “are we there yet?” This portable game travels first class in its convenient zippered carrying case. Whether you’re relaxing by the pool or hiking up a mountain if you don’t have time to finish your game, it’s no problem. The snap-in tiles and folding gameboard allow you stop and start the game as many times as you like without disturbing words already played. When you are ready to resume play, just unzip your case, open the gameboard and pick up where you left off. It is easy to play, easy to put away and a snap to pack!

    IV. Did You Know?

    • The cruise line industry generated more than $35 billion to the U.S. economy in 2009.
    • In 2009, the industry created nearly 314,000 jobs in the U.S.
    • Each cruise ship has more than 60 safety, environmental and health inspections each year.
    • The U.S. Coast Guard inspects all cruise ships in the U.S. to certify compliance with federal and international regulations.
    • In 2009, CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) ships received an average Center for Disease Control sanitation score of just under 98, surpassing the minimum inspection score of 85.
    • Cruise line waste management and recycling programs are more stringent than those in most cities and ports.
    • Nine out of 10 outbreaks of norovirus take place at land-based locations, such as schools, daycare centers, hospitals and nursing homes.

    V. Cruise Industry History has a
    Very Interesting Story to Tell

    For cruise enthusiasts who have even a passing interest in Cruise Line History there is a wonderful website you should pay a visit to – Cruising the Past.

    It is an informative site on travel offering you the chance to step back in time. Ships, trains, hotels and high society are featured in photos, videos and stories.

    One of the video highlights is the SS Alaska leaving the Port of Seattle en route to Alaska’s Inside Passage in 1954. The Alaska Steamship Company operated passenger service from Seattle to all ports in Alaska from 1895 until 1954. During the summer weekly sailings visited the Inside Passage. The line challenged all kinds of winter conditions and operated year round offering regular sailings as far north as Nome.

    A fascinating look at how far the industry has come today.

    VI. Nautical Terms Quiz

    Supply the proper nautical word or phrase for the following definitions. (Answers can be found at the end of the newsletter)

    Nautical Terms Quiz
      1. Right side of vessel when facing forward
      2. Wall of partition inside a ship
      3. Meaning of the abbreviation TSS
      4. Round window in stateroom
      5. Left side of vessel looking forward
      6. Ship’s kitchen
      7. Measure of six feet used in determining depth of water
      8. Front of the ship
      9. Rear or aft of the vessel
      10. Breadth of vessel at widest point
      11. Indoor stairway leading from deck to deck
      12. Captain of the ship
      13. List of passengers, crew and cargo, if any
      14. The equivalent of 6080.2 feet
      15. Meaning of the abbreviation MS
      16. Unit of speed for ships
      17. Portable stairway used for embarking/disembarking
      18. Meaning of the abbreviation SS
      19. Daily record of ship’s progress

    VII. Destination Consideration -
    Canada/New England

    You won’t find Alaska’s calving glaciers or the swaying palms of the Caribbean, but you will find a nature lover’s paradise cruising the Canada-New England itinerary. Discover a beautiful blend of national parks, history, scenic splendor and inviting culture.

    Autumn is the ideal time to visit offering you the perfect opportunity to catch the region’s famous fall foliage. The route extends from the northeastern United States to Quebec, Canada along a breathtaking stretch of coastline where life remains much as it has always been. Cruising is an ideal way to see this exceptionally rewarding region and most major cruise lines make the journey. Check it out!

    VIII. Apply for your passport today –
    even if you are not going to travel any time soon.

    All the information you need about applying for a passport and traveling safely abroad can be found at the:

    US Department of State’s travel website.

    Here are the steps you need to take to apply for a new passport or process a passport renewal.

    (1.) Don’t procrastinate – Get your photos taken today! This service is conveniently located at a store near you - Wal Mart, Walgreens, UPS Stores or any photo shop to name a few. If you’re applying for a passport for the first time you’ll need a certified copy of your original Birth Certificate. This can be ordered from the city/town where you were born.

    You can download an application from the State Departments website…

    or pick one up at your local post office.

    (2). Depending on your date of departure, select the best method of application. Routine Service is now taking 4-6 weeks. Expedited Service, which requires an additional fee as well as overnight mailing fees, takes 2-3 weeks.

    (3). If you have an emergency (serious illness, injury, or death in your immediate family) that requires travel on short notice contact the National Passport Information Center at 877-487-2778. There is an automated appointment system accessible 24 hours a day. If there is not an appointment time that meets your needs and you are calling between the hours of 8:00am to 10pm EST (except federal holidays), stay on the line and follow the instructions to speak with a customer service representative. This is also the contact number to use if you have applied for a passport, it has not arrived, and you are within 2 weeks of travel.

    Now, if you’ve put off the application process, or just don’t want the do it yourself inconvenience there are various ways to obtain a US passport faster than normal (in some cases in as little as 24 hours). Depending on your actual travel requirement a US passport expediting service can be used. Or, you can choose to use the 'expedited' option of the US Government. In both cases there is an 'expedite' fee paid to the US government or an additional fee when using a passport expediting service, depending on your required service level. How do they do it? An authorized US passport expediting service is a company that is registered with one or more of the US Department of State's Passport Agencies. Their registration allows them to act on your behalf to submit your US passport application to the specific passport agency to speed it through the cycle. A web search for passport expedite services will result in a long list of available services.

    Moral of the story – Unless you’re willing to pay more..."Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.”

    IX. Princess Cruise Lines Fettuccine Alfredo

    • 1 pound fettuccine
    • 6 egg yolks lightly beaten
    • 1 pint Half and Half cream
    • 2 ounces butter
    • 1/2 pound white turkey cooked and julienne cut
    • black pepper freshly ground, to taste
    • salt, to taste
    • 4 ounces Parmesan cheese freshly grated


    Cook fettuccine in boiling salted water until tender. Drain.

    In a medium bowl, blend egg yolks and cream together. Place butter in a saute pan and melt, add turkey strips and brown lightly. Add cooked fettuccine and heat through. Add the egg/cream mixture and gently fold in until all the liquid is used. Season to taste with pepper and salt. Add grated Parmesan. Serves 6

    Nautical Term Quiz Answers/Scoring
      1. Starboard
      2. Bullhead
      3. Turbine Steamship
      4. Porthole
      5. Port
      6. Galley
      7. Fathom
      8. Bow
      9. Stern
      10. Beam
      11. Companionway
      12. Master
      13. Manifest
      14. Nautical Mile
      15. Motor Ship
      16. Knot
      17. Gangway
      18. Steamship
      19. Log

      • 20 Correct: Captain
      • 16-19 Correct: Old Salt
      • 11-15 Correct: Deck Hand
      • 6-10 Correct: Galley Swab
      • 0-5 Correct: Landlubber

    Bon Voyage - until next month...

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