Archive for the ‘ports’ Category

Have you ever been to Folkestone, Kent?

September 16, 2009

Have you ever visited or traveled through Folkestone.

As a man of kent, I would love to hear what you thought of the place.  Personally, I find it embarrassing about the condition the town is in, much the same way as Dover has become.

I’ve mentioned in my Dover article, (read here) that as a cruising man, I expect quite a lot from a port, especially if it is a cruise port.

Well, Folkestone may have some saving graces, I believe they have aspirations to attract the cruise ships, but will not offer them until they have redeveloped.

I was reading an article today about Folkestone now being redeveloped. If this does happen then we could be seeing some drastic changes in the near future, all of which could be great for the local area.
Let me know what you think, either of Folkestone or of the redevelopment plan.

Andy
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Ahhh, what a nice description of my lovely old cruise ship

April 27, 2009

Visit this website, called cruise cyprus and hear how the locals are describing the age old beauty that is S/S The Emerald.

For years this was the most popular of the TUI ships and many passengers are not booking with TUI after their thoughts and feelings were ignored, when it was annouced that the Emerald would be dropped from the TUI charter list, even though she had two years left sailing before the SOLAS laws either stopped her sailing or forced Louis Cruise lines to refurbish her.

At the end of the day, its nice to see the old girl appreciated

Andy

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S/S The Emerald – the website is changing

February 9, 2009

Hello all SS The Emerld Lovers

I’ve been monitoring the Louis Cruise website, and can now confirm that the ship details have been changed to remove TUI from the charter list and the ship is now down as doign Louis mini cruises from Cyprus.

Still waiting for the cruise itinery to be finalised, but it can’t be too long.

Andy Skinner

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S/S The Emerald

January 29, 2009

Now heres a bit of news I know alot of people were waiting on.

The S/S Emerald, formerly charted by Tui cruises from Louis Cruise Lines, is soon to be back on the cruising market.

Louis Cruise Lines confirmed that the ship will be sailing from Cyprus for mini cruises.

There is no information on their website so far.

This is good news for the thousands of passengers who travelled with this ship under the Tui colours for 10 years and formed a close association with the graceful lady of the seas.  Enjoying her small but comfortable lounges and fantastic sailing conditions.

Of course, the future may not be bright for the last sailing ‘American built’ cruise ship.  Tui dropped her charter before the 2010 intorduction of the new SOLAS regulations, where ships like the S/S Emerald, will not be allowed to sail.  Dependent on the popularity of the S/S Emarld sailing under Louis Cruise Lines own cruises, will we find out if the company will invest in an upgrade.

This is not completely out the question.  In 1987 the ship was refitted to include extra decks, which guaranteed her extended life for another 13 years.

The Emerald is now 50 Years old , only time will tell if she is allowed to make 53.

On behalf of the passengers and fans of the S/S Emerald, our hopes go on that she will be successfull in her new life sailing for Louis Cruise Lines direct.

Andy Skinner

www.compare-airport-hotels.co.uk
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Remember the Glory days of British Travel?

November 11, 2008

We already said goodbye to one of the greatest british travel and transport icons, Concorde.

Concorde was a design way ahead of its time. You knew you had made it, when you could fly across the Atlantic in Concorde.

However, there was another element of transport, the QE2, how many people could boast, they had flown supersonic to New York then sailed in style back to the UK on the QE2.? Not that many.

Now the QE2 is finally retiring, so this magnificent duo, are now both retired.

The question is, has the UK now retired?

Andy
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QE2, goodbye, but wheres our stuff?

November 11, 2008

After some research, I had a look at what is actually onboard the QE2, the question I want to know, is will these be returned to Cunard or were they sold along with the ship. Of course these items do not belong to the British people, but as you will see from the comprehensive list (thanks to WIKI), there are alot which certainly mean something to the British people

The Queen Elizabeth 2 holds pieces of artwork, as well as maritime artifacts drawn from Cunard’s long history of operating merchant vessels.

Althea Wynne’s sculpture of the White Horses of the Atlantic Ocean.

Bronze busts of Sir Samuel Cunard (outside the Yacht Club) and Queen Elizabeth II (in the Queen’s Room).

The Princess Grill holds four life-size statues of human forms representing the four elements, done by sculptor Janine Janet in marine materials like shell and coral.

The Chart Room’s frieze was designed by Brody Nevenshwander, and depicts the words of T. S. Eliot, Sir Francis Drake, and John Masefield.

The Midships Lobby holds a solid silver model of the Queen Elizabeth 2 made by Asprey of Bond Street in 1975, that was lost until a photograph was found in 1997 that led to the discovery of the model itself, and its placement on the QE2 in 1999.

In “E” stairway hangs three custom designed tapestries, commissioned from Helena Barynina Hernmarck for the ship’s launch, that depict the Queen as well as the launch of the ship. These tapestries, which were originally hung in “D” Stairway, Quarter Deck, outside the Columbia Restaurant, were damaged, and one thrown overboard, in 2005, as mentioned in the Service history (above). They were originally made with golden threads however much of this was lost when they were cleaned incorrectly as part of the 1987 refit.

There are also numerous photographs, oils and pastels of members of the Royal Family throughout the vessel, and silver plaques commemorating the visits of every member of the Royal Family, as well as other dignitaries like South African president Nelson Mandela.

Amongst the artifacts on board is a set of antique Japanese armour presented to the QE2 by the Governor of Kagoshima, Japan, during her 1979 world cruise, and a Wedgwood vase presented to the ship by Lord Wedgwood.

From previous Cunard ships are a brass relief plaque with a fish motif from the RMS Mauretania, as well as an Art Deco bas-relief titled Winged Horse and Clouds, by Norman Foster for the RMS Queen Elizabeth. There is also a vast array of Cunard postcards, porcelain, flatware, boxes, linen, and Lines Bros Ltd Tri-anic model ships. One of her key pieces is a replica of the figurehead from Cunard’s first ship, the RMS Britannia, carved from Quebec yellow pine by Cornish sculptor Charles Moore, and presented to the ship by Lloyds of London. On Upper Deck sits the silver Boston Commemorative Cup, presented to the Britannia by the City of Boston in 1840. This cup was lost for decades until being found in a pawn shop in Halifax, Nova Scotia. On “2” Deck is a bronze entitled Spirit of the Atlantic which was designed by Barney Seale for the second Mauretania. A large wooden plaque was presented to the QE2 by First Sea Lord Sir John Fieldhouse to commemorate the ship’s service in the Falklands War.

There is also an extensive collection of large scale models of Cunard ships throughout the QE2

So, will we now only be able to see these in the Museum onbaord the hotel in Dubai, once again, answers on a postcard please

Andy
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The Emerald Cruise Ship – Last voyage

July 14, 2008

Following my upset with Thomson, I went into the shop at the weekend to discuss my unhappiness.

No joy whatsoever. Talk about changing the subject.

However, I am all paid up now, and the annoyance at their spoiling my wifes surprise blessing is negated by the fact that I am on the last cruise of the Emerald. I am able to say goodbye to the lovely ship.

A few people have asked if I know if this is definitely the last cruise. Well, as far as I am aware, this is really the end of Thomson’s relationship with this glorious ship.

However, I will be keeping an eye on matters as The Emerald will be returned to Luis Cruise Lines, who actually own the ship may possibly be running the ship under their own name. I will update when I know.

In the meantime, take a look at a couple of shots from last year. One in Istanbul and the other is my life jacket, which i’ve had for the last 10 years of traveling.

Worn once or twice a cruise for the last 10 years

Worn once or twice a cruise for the last 10 years

Andy
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The Thomson Emerald

July 10, 2008

I am not a happy bunny today.

My ongoing problems with Thomson continue.  My local branch seem unable to calculate my bill.

In the last month I have had the following problems:-

Cancellation of two people, extra money added to my bill rather than removed
Deposit added as a charge rather than a payment
Incorrectly informing a member of the party of missing funds when that was not the case

and the classic but most annoying

sending the paperwork for my surprise of a blessing at sea on the last ever cruise on the Emerald to my wife, who has now had the surprise spoiled, when I was promised by the staff it would be held in the office.

Upset, I am very upset that the surprise that I had planned for over a year has been spoiled.  No doubt I will be speaking to them today and probably going into the local office on Saturday.

Still, nothing would stop me going on the last ever Thomson cruise on the Emerald.  And even though my wife knows about the surprise on ship blessing.

Andy (rather upset)
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The Thomson Emerald

June 25, 2008

It’s not long now.  The jewel of the Med, the Thomson Emerald will finally leave the Thomson fleet.

As you can probably tell, I am still annoyed about this.

I am definately on the last two weeks of it’s cruise life.  I am even happier that my Greek friend has returned to the ship for the last year, after a short period of time on the Calypso, so I will enjoy myself even more.

If anyone knows what Lois Cruise Lines plan to do with her after Thomson’s charter finishes, I would love to know.

Also, if anyone else is travelling on the 17th October for two weeks, let me know.  Also, if you want cheap car parking at the airport, you can always come to me to book some.

Andy
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M20 and Operation stack

May 22, 2008

Well, i’ve had to scoot around a load of lorries today, especially the ones sneaking off at junction 11 to try and sneak into Dover via the back roads.

However, I’ve spoken to Seafrance today, regarding my early Saturday morning crossing and they believe that after todays workers strike and the fishermen gradually returning to their nets, the crossing on Saturday should be ok and running as per timetable.

Well, if that’s the French bit sorted, let’s hope mother nature decides to hold in the rain and storms till after I have crossed the channel eh!!

A note on the sour side though, the French fishermen were on strike about the cost of diesel and how if affects their livelihood.  Now on first look, you would accept that times are hard, and our fishermen should go for some sort of assistance and not blame them at all.

However, when you look more closely and you find that the fishermen had already received a economic grant to be spread over three years,  and in fact they are striking because they want it sooner.  You really begin to get annoyed, especially when it’s usually European money (i.e our money) that is given to the French fishermen, to keep them in a job and undermine the British fishermen, with the money we contribute.!! Now that is wrong.

Our Government should fight to get our fishermen discounts on fuel, or we should seal our borders from French and Spanish fishermen, scooping up our managed stocks whereas for years, they took all the fish, even the baby ones, and said they were cultural national dishes.
Andy
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