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So have y'all been keeping tabs on what's been going down here at the Port of Baltimore between Carnival Cruise Line and the EPA? Well let me bring you up to speed: D-R-A-M-A! Before I give y'all the 411, let me just plug a personal anecdote in. Is that okay? Alright, so a few weeks ago I began looking at cruises to Bermuda from Baltimore (since it's only 15 minutes from my driveway). I was hopeful that Carnival would send Carnival Pride back to Bermuda... but when I pulled up her sailing schedule, it's only posted until April 2014 which had me raising an eyebrow (especially since Royal Caribbean has Grandeur of the Seas' sailings posted until next fall). So I tweeted the Carnival Public Relations team and they told me they would get back to me on if they'll be going to Bermuda next summer. THEN I see something interesting in the Baltimore Sun about a week and a half later that pretty much stated Carnival Cruise Line has threatened to leave the Port of Baltimore all together! Say what? I KNOW! So now I'm just really at a loss for words. Okay so here's what happened that's causing this "possible threat", three letters: E-P-A. Yeah, so the EPA told Carnival they had to get Carnival Pride burning some cleaner fuel in order for her to continue to moor here in Charm City (which I get and am okay with). But Carnival instead of agreeing with this new mandate has threatened (again, I say threatened and not confirms) to leave the Port of Baltimore. As a resident and tax payer to the state, I am all about having cleaner air to breath here in Maryland. And the inner cruise ship lover in me wants to see Carnival Pride stay in Baltimore, but if Carnival wants to leave... let them! So our Governor, Martin O'Malley (D), has intervened on Carnival's behalf. He wants to see Carnival to stay, but from what I'm reading in reports from the Baltimore Sun, he is trying to get the EPA to lessen the regulation so Carnival will stay (which has many Mary;and residents upset). Carnival's argument is that if they make the enhancements needed to see that Carnival Pride burns cleaner fuel while in Maryland, they would then front the money to passengers who sail from Baltimore; stating an increase of around $5.00 per person. This is a story that is continuing to unfold so check back for an update from yours truly on this shocking news. In the mean time, check out the posted article in the Baltimore Sun and watch this video giving you my 2 cents on this. Until we talk ship again, keep cruising and grooving!
Over the past few months, many of you have asked, "Shon, when can I sail with you?" I'm no genie, but your wish is my command? Here's your chance to sail with me in 2014 right from my backyard on Grandeur of the Seas! We'll be sailing to one of my favorite destinations: Bermuda! I hand-picked this special 7 day/6 night cruise that's been dubbed as the "Bermuda's Grandeur with Shon" cruise! The cruise departs on Friday, September 12, 2014 and returns on Thursday, September 18, 2014! I know the weather will be great, seas will be smooth and this cruise will go down as one you'll always remember! I'm teaming up with Daley's Destinations based here in Maryland on this sailing; helping to give you a great price, on-board credit and even a reduced deposit*. If you book between now and Thursday, September 05, 2013, all you have to do is place a $100.00 deposit down per person to secure your spot (that's it). The other portion of the deposit - which is $150.00 per person - would not be due until Sunday, February 02, 2014 and the final payment of the cruise would not be due until Sunday, June 29, 2014. What a deal on that deposit break-down, right? And on top of that, we're throwing in free on-board credit per cabin! I promise you, this is one sailing you won't want to miss! The videos are cool, the pictures may tell the tale, but seeing it live and in person is something you'll be glad you did! So what are you waiting for? Get your cabin booked today so we can sail to the pink sand shores of Bermuda in 2014! Bring your friends, family and even brotha man from the 5th floor! Interior cabins are currently $716.12 per person and Ocean views are running at $818.12 per person. If you save $25.00 per week every month, you'll have $100.00 per month to pay on the cruise and going this way, it'll be paid off before the June 29th deadline. Now remember, you can only take advantage of this special promotion and pricing by booking via Daley's Destinations. For more information on this sailing, check out the e-flyer, call Daley's Destinations direct at 1-888-803-6189 and stay tuned for more updates from me. Be sure to mention you saw this cruise advertised on The Ocean Escape and they'll be sure to make sure you get to take advantage of all the good stuff mentioned above. Act fast because cabins are limited! As always, you're cruisetacular for reading! Hoping to cruise and groove with you in 2014--Shon! *The reduced deposit of $100.00 per person is only valid until Thursday, September 05, 2013 so act fast!
And it's a great day to be cruising from the Port of Baltimore! Hello, everyone! It feels great being back after a nearly 2 month hiatus. I missed you all and hope everyone has been in nothing but cruisetacular spirits! Never have I been more proud to be a resident of the great state of Maryland! We're home to the Superbowl Champions, the best crabs in the world and the recently refurbished Grandeur of the Seas! This past Friday - May 03, 2013 - MD's Governor Martin O'Malley (D) proclaimed the day to be state-wide Royal Caribbean Cruise Day! How cool is that? It was with great enthusiasm I accepted an invitation from Royal Caribbean International to join in for the festivities that would be taking place at the Port of Baltimore (which is conveniently only 15 minutes from my driveway)! Here in Baltimore, we have seen tremendous growth in our annual cruise passenger numbers! We began with seasonal service back in 2004 with about 30 cruises a year that took 60,000 passengers on high seas adventures. Today, the Port of Baltimore sees approximately 100 cruises a year (96 slated for 2013) with 240,000 passengers sailing through the number one cruise port in the Mid-Atlantic. The Port of Baltimore is the 11th biggest cruise port in the United States and 20th in the world! In addition to that, the Port generates about 90 million dollars in revenue for the State of Maryland and 200 direct jobs. And if any of you have been here, you know the port literally sits right on I-95 - making it the best free advertisement around! Now that's what I call cruisetacular! In her 48 million dollar face-lift, Grandeur of the Seas was given new dining options to bring her food offering to eight - something unheard of for a ship her size (which is great)! She also was given a new pool-side big screen for your viewing pleasure as well as upgraded areas for toddlers, kids and teens! The Solarium onboard, which is adult only and also saw an enhancement, truly helps the mature cruisers find the perfect escape while on the ship.The highlight of the improved Grandeur of the Seas is the Centrum Wow show which takes place in the ships centrum (some of you may call it the atrium). Oh, and did I mention RCI have her all new carpet and furniture? She's truly a new ship with enhancements that'll truly fit everyone who sails aboard - including YOU! Grandeur of the Seas sailed from the Port of Baltimore seasonally from 2004-2009 prior to her return in 2013. Friday, May 03 marked her first cruise from Baltimore in about four years - the voyage was a seven night cruise to Bermuda; featuring 3 days and 2 nights docked at Kings Wharf. Today, she currently offers the most diverse list of sailings from the Mid-Atlantic with a port of call line-up to include Bermuda, the Bahamas, Florida, the Eastern Caribbean, Canada and New England. With new features, amazing voyages and plenty of room for you and your family, this ship has enough splendor and charm to share with all those who walk up her gangway. For more information on Grandeur of the Seas or the itineraries she will sail, cruise on over to her very own webpage on Royal Caribbean's website. And if you want to see more pictures I captured from RCI Day here in MD, I've posted them all to Cruise Man 3000's Facebook Fan Page! I've also added exclusive behind the scenes videos on my YouTube Channel, too! Until we talk ship again next Monday, keep cruisin' and groovin'! You're cruisetacular for reading!