Photo Of The Day: New Jersey Shore

photo of the day - New Jersey shore post-Sandy
David Elwood, Flickr

Last year’s Superstorm Sandy devastated much of the East Coast, especially around the mid-Atlantic coastline. New York and New Jersey beaches were hit hard, with scores of houses and even towns wiped out. Many places are rebounding, such as Coney Island, which opened officially for the season in April. Today’s Photo of the Day was taken this weekend in New Jersey by Flickr user David Elwood, who also took a shot of Coney Island’s Cyclone that we featured last summer. The roller coaster remains are a sad reminder that not everything is back to normal six months later. Many other beach towns have rebuilt and will be open for business this summer, so don’t count New Jersey out of your travel plans, they need visitors now more than ever.

Add your travel photos (Creative Commons, please!) to the Gadling Flickr pool to be featured as a Photo of the Day.

UPDATE: Several commenters have noted that the roller coaster was removed this week as part of the ongoing clean-up of the Jersey shore. A photograph captures a moment in time, and while this scene may not exist anymore, it’s still a powerful document of history.

New Cruise Line Sets Sail In 2014 With Small, Luxury Ships

new cruise lineNew cruise lines are about as rare as new hotel chains; there is just not a lot of action on that topic. Like hotel chains, airlines and other travel-related companies, most cruise lines have been around for a long time too. Still, there are those who see a need in the marketplace that existing companies just can’t fill. Such is the feel of new Pearl Sea Cruises, which will set sail in 2014 cruising the Canadian Maritimes, New England and the Caribbean.

Starting out by building just one new ship, the 210-passenger Pearl Mist, Pearl Seas Cruises will operate various seven-, 10- and 11-night Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway, Canadian Maritimes and New England cruises during their 2014 inaugural season.Currently undergoing final outfitting by Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Maryland, the Pearl Mist will be a Marshall Islands-flagged ship, first departing June 28, 2014, on an 11-night inaugural sailing from Baltimore to Halifax, Nova Scotia. On a total of 17 cruises planned for the 2014 season that runs through November, itineraries include:

  • Atlantic Coast– 11-night cruise from Baltimore to Halifax & reverse that showcases scenic areas long the U.S. East coast.
  • The Canadian Maritimes – 10-night cruise from Halifax to Québec focusing on Eastern Canada’s scenery, history and beauty.
  • St. Lawrence Seaway and Thousand Islands –seven-night cruise from Québec to Toronto & reverse taps international and old world charm via history, culture and scenic beauty.
  • Great Lakes and Georgian Bay – 10 and 11-night cruises from Toronto to Chicago & reverse features the largest freshwater ecosystem on Earth, sailing through four of the Great Lakes and Georgian Bay.
  • Southeast United States – 11-night cruise from Baltimore to Nassau, Bahamas – this trip down the East Coast stops in the various iconic cities of the south and ends in the Caribbean.

Bringing the current destination focus of small-ship cruising to North America on a new luxury ship, Pearl Seas Cruises brings the latest in comfort, safety, technology and communication. Not that cruising the waters of North America is something new; river cruise lines have been doing that for quite some time. Pearl Seas will sail the coast on new ships, in luxury.

Unique to Pearl Seas are oversized staterooms, all with a private balcony and most with sliding glass doors, a spacious dining room, and a variety of lounges. Combined with on-board enrichment and entertainment programs as well as exclusive shore excursions, Pearl Seas Cruises looks like a new cruise line that should do well here.

Hottest Destinations for Fall Foliage


[Photo credit – Pearl Seas Cruises]

Expect Delays As Sequestration Cuts Hit Airports

Automatic spending cuts began hitting the Federal Aviation Administration on Sunday, meaning travelers should be prepared for longer security lines and lengthier waits at airports as things get sorted out.

According to NYC Aviation, delays of up to an hour were cited in and around New York on Sunday night, with both John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport reporting delays due to “staffing.” Already this morning, several flights are seeing lengthy delays, including the shuttle services up and down the East Coast.

The Chicago Tribune is reporting the FAA has warned, “travelers should expect delays averaging as much as 50 minutes per flight this week because of fewer air traffic controllers in towers.” But don’t worry too much: no sector of air space will go without controller guidance. Just be sure to check flight statuses before you set off to the airport, and allow plenty of time to get through security – lines are expected to be slow-moving as Transportation Security Administration personnel have been furloughed, too.

[Photo credit: Flickr user bmhkim]

Memorial Day Travel Ideas: Consider The Source, No Cheating

Memorial DayMemorial Day weekend begins Friday, May 24, and marks the start of the summer travel season. One of the most popular times of the year to travel, finding a destination that fulfills our three-day weekend dreams can take some work. Considering a visit to the Upper East Coast? Maybe not such a good idea to visit beaches ravaged by last October’s hurricane. Or is it?

If you are looking for a quiet break from your normal routine, avoid busy places like big cities, theme parks and major tourist attractions. Reverse that decision if daily life rides a cubicle and getting lost in a crowd is required. We could do a lot of research, compile lists of possible destinations and make up budgets to get the plans – or we could cheat.

Earlier this month, Kayak released the results of 100 million monthly searches made so far this year. These are numbers that represent places Kayak users are actually thinking about going as opposed to destinations promoted by airlines, hotels, tour operators or cruise lines.In the results, Kayak saw searches cut in half for Atlantic City, New Jersey, a top Memorial Day destination last year. That makes sense: thank you hurricane Sandy. Digging a bit deeper though we find a different scene.

“Despite the vast destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy, all of our State parks and beaches on Long Island are expected to be open for New Yorkers and visitors by Memorial Day weekend,” assured Governor Andrew Cuomo in a LongIslandPress article.

Your mother was right, cheating is wrong.

Instead, consider a variety of sources and read between the lines. Look down deep inside and ask, “Where do I really want to go?” The answer might take you no further than your own back yard.


Frankenstorm Brings Plenty Of Scare, Halloween Canceled For Many

Frankenstorm

As waters from the Frankenstorm caused by Hurricane Sandy subside, six million people are without power, hundreds of thousands have been evacuated and thousands more are stranded in airports around the country. Not exactly where everyone wants to be on the eve of yearly Halloween celebrations.

“It’s the worst I’ve seen,” said David Arnold, from Long Branch, N.J., in a New York Times report. “The ocean is in the road, there are trees down everywhere. I’ve never seen it this bad.”

The far-reaching storm has East coast residents, normally planning on trick-or-treating, costume parties or haunted attractions, just trying to get back home. Once there, they hope to find a roof over their heads, power and food – elements of life they might normally have taken for granted.Instead of carving pumpkins or going door to door to collect candy in New York, residents are finding homes burned and transportation virtually stopped after Hurricane Sandy sent floodwaters into the city’s five boroughs, submerging cars, tunnels and the subway system.

Telling scary stories, watching horror films and playing pranks as part of a traditional Halloween may never have more meaning though, as residents recount what actually happened to them during the storm as we see in this video.



Still, in other parts of the country, Halloween events continue.

On the West Coast, California has a number of theme park attractions open including Knott’s Scary Farm at Knott’s Berry Farm, Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood, Disney’s HalloweenTime and Mickey’s Trick-or-Treat Party at Disneyland Resort.

[Photo Credit: Flickr user furyksx]