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The Fight to Save a Beloved Cruise Ship

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Pop quiz: What cruise ship holds the record for the fastest transatlantic crossing? If you guessed the Carnival Vista or Norwegian Breakaway or any other modern marvel, take a seat. Because the record holder is actually a ship christened in June of 1951 before her maiden voyage on July 3, 1951… and she’s currently in danger of going away forever.

Meet The S.S. United States

Photo credit: Save the United States

The largest passenger ship ever built in America, the United States was built by United States Lines in conjunction with the government and designed to be part luxury liner, part potential weapon. 100 feet longer than the Titanic, it has been called “the most famous ship that didn’t sink.”

And as the fastest cruise ship ever built, it was able to break the transatlantic speed record previously held by the Queen Mary, making the voyage in 3 days, 10 hours and 40 minutes.

While she traveled at an average speed of around 34 knots (or 39 miles per hour), reports of her speed were exaggerated at the time, a fact kept secret for many years. And while she held both the eastbound and westbound record for years, she eventually lost the former — in 1990 — to an ocean-going catamaran known as the Hoverspeed Great Britain.

Where Is She Now?

Photo credit: Save the United States

In 1969, the ship — which was no longer turning a profit — was retired from service, and although in 1977 there was a plan to see her relocated to Atlantic City to be used as a hotel and casino, that did not actually come to pass. Instead, she was sold for $5 million to a group which planned to revamp her into a time-share cruise ship. But this plan, too, hit the skids.

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The United States was eyed by other companies, including at one point Norwegian Cruise Line, Crystal Cruises, and even the Navy, which considered converting her into a floating hospital. But in 1984, her fittings and furniture were auctioned off and in 1996, the ship was towed to her current location at Pier 84 in Philadelphia.

In the years since, the ship has been eyed by numerous groups, organizations and cruise lines, but nothing has come to pass. But a non-profit organization called the S.S. United States Conservancy is hoping to save what they have dubbed “America’s flagship.” Hoping to rally Americans around the cause, the group’s YouTube ad explains that, “like our country, the [ship] has beaten the odds. She remains afloat, and she is ready for renewal as a waterfront destination and a living museum of what unites us.”

How You Can Help

Photo credit: Save the United States

The conservancy is hoping to raise $500,000 by — appropriately enough — July 4th in order to convert the ship into a mixed-use museum and development complex. Unfortunately, the exorbitant cost of bringing the ship up to modern standards — not to mention completely rebuilding and renovating the interiors — make it unlikely that she will ever be used to ferry passengers again. However, if enough money isn’t raised to make converting her into something useable feasible, it’s likely that the United States will wind up scrapped or possibly even turned into a submerged reef.

There are, however, several ways in which you can help the effort to save the ship. The conservancy has organized a GoFundMePage, or for something a tad more personal, you can actually pick a particular square inch of the ship to save via the “explore and donate” option.

Featured photo: Save the United States

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Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line Returns to St. Maarten

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Carnival Cruise Line has marked their return to St. Maarten, four months after the island was devastated by hurricanes. Earlier today, Carnival Sunshine was the first in the fleet to return to the nation with a day-long call there.

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The visit is the first of dozens of port calls by Carnival ships to the Caribbean destination in the coming weeks.

Over 3,000 passengers onboard enjoyed a variety of shore excursions, as well as St. Maarten’s world-class beaches and shopping and dining in downtown Philipsburg.

Photos: Carnival Cruise Line

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Princess Cruises Debuts Treehouse in Alaska

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Princess Cruises has announced that their 2018 schedule will feature the line’s custom-designed wilderness treehouse at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. The new addition will allow guests an opportunity to view Denali while enjoying themed activities amongst the trees.

The treehouse was the first-ever designed and constructed in Alaska by Pete Nelson, the star of Animal Planet’s “Treehouse Masters.” As one of the highest land-based north-facing viewing areas, it will provide travelers a great view of the mountain. At approximately 500 square feet and powered by solar panels, guests can access the treehouse by hiking the short “hill trail loop.”

princess cruises treehouse

Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge Treehouse

Guests on a Princess cruisetour will be able to enjoy the treehouse, along with visits to other Princess-owned lodges, and a ride on the exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service. This year, treehouse activities and programs will include:

Tales from The Sourdough Expedition

Hosted by author, world record holder, and amputee mountain climber, Todd Huston, guests will follow along a story of the first successful ascent of Denali – the Sourdough Expedition. Participants will be Huston and fellow adventurers before beginning their own trek to the line’s treehouse. Stories of the first successful ascent will entertain guests as they explore area trails, and the journey will end with a cup of hot chocolate and doughnuts. The 45-minute expedition runs five days a week for a small fee.

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Sappy Hour

Found in the interior of Alaska, boreal forests are carpeted with Birch and Spruce trees, providing ideal conditions for syrup production. Beginning in 2018, guests can gather inside the treehouse for a rare sampling of birch syrups and other tree-inspired products. Guests will learn about Birch trees and the harvesting of Birch syrup. Sappy Hour will run daily for a small fee.

Trivia at the Treehouse

Guests can test their knowledge of The Great Land with an afternoon of brain-stretching fun. Hosted by the lodge’s resident naturalist, travelers will experience trivia while taking in gorgeous views of North America’s highest peak from the trees. Trivia will take place daily and is complimentary for lodge guests.

Watch a time-lapse of the construction of the Mt. McKinley treehouse here.

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Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Ship Gets Major Makeover

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It’s not every day that a girl turns 18. But since the Carnival Victory — launched in October of 2000 — is hitting that milestone this year, she’s about to get a very special present in the form of a major makeover. By the time the ship emerges from a scheduled 17-day drydock, she’ll have a whole slew of new features sure to make her popular among those looking to do short cruises out of Miami!

Big Changes For The Carnival Victory

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Popular Guy’s Burger Joint was added during the refit.

Having quietly slipped away for a rejuvenating dry dock visit on January 4th, the Carnival Victory will remain in seclusion until January 21st, when she’ll make her triumphant return to Miami, ready to once again receive guests. (And where better to spend her downtime than in Freeport, Bahamas?) When the Victory returns to service, changes will be made to nearly every aspect of the ship, including the addition of several new venues and even stateroom categories.

So what are the highlights of the Carnival Victory’s refurb? As big fans of Guy’s Burger Joint, we’re going to put the addition of that venue at the top of the list. When you’re hanging out by the pool and want a little something to munch on — but don’t feel like getting dressed to hit the buffet — there’s nothing better than one of these burgers with a side of fries.

In fact, a lot of the Victory‘s improvements can be found poolside, and they are venues which have proved crazy popular on other ships. The RedFrog Rum Bar, BlueIguana Cantina and BlueIguana Tequila Bar will all be serving up food and drinks to sunworshippers once the ship returns to service at the end of January.

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View Carnival Victory Deck Plans

But don’t worry… eating al fresco won’t be the only new option available to passengers. The ship will also add a Bonsai Sushi Express, a great grab-and-go option for fresh sushi, sashimi, rolls and more. The ship’s deli is also getting an upgrade, with a whole new look and seven new sandwiches on the menu. And you’ll be able to satisfy your sweet tooth with a visit to Cherry On Top, the perfect place to not only stock up on candies but (if you’re feeling generous) pick up a unique gift for the folks back home.

New Stateroom Categories

(Photo: Carnival Cruise Line)

As part of the dry dock, several new stateroom categories will also be added to the Carnival Victory. Among them will be the 260-square-foot Scenic Ocean View cabins and 320-square-foot Scenic Ocean View staterooms. But if you really wanna live a little, check out the Captain’s Suite. This 820-square-foot space includes two full-sized bathrooms, a big living room and an extended balcony.

Once out of dry dock, the Carnival Victory will return to Miami and again sail 3- and 4-day cruises. The three days sailings depart on Friday and call upon Nassau, while the four-day trips go to Key West and Cozumel or Nassau as well as the line’s private island, Half Moon Cay.

Photos via Carnival

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Hi, this may be of interest to you: The Fight to Save a Beloved Cruise Ship. This is the link: https://cruiseradio.net/ss-united-states-save-cruise/