12 12 12 Is Coming, Like It Or Not

12 12 12

12 12 12 is more than just next Wednesday and an unusual calendar date. The Mayan calendar has it as a time of transformation and evolution. Basically the end of time as we know it, Mayan’s believed 12/12/12 was also the beginning of a new cycle of evolution for planet earth, humanity and the cosmos. With a focus on the planet surviving, a number of events and promotions are planned by organizations and travel service providers.

12/12/12, The Concert For Sandy Relief
An all-star roster of who’s who in music will be on hand for The Concert For Sandy Relief.

Appearing via free simulcast in hurricane-affected area theaters will be Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney and others. An estimated 1 billion others worldwide will view the Madison Square Garden concert via television and live streaming video.

A variety of corporate sponsors are hosting the event to raise money for the Robin Hood Relief Fund, providing financial assistance, material and know-how to organizations helping victims of Hurricane Sandy throughout the affected area.

$12 Hotel Stay
At the B Ocean Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, 12/12/12 is a time to take advantage of exclusive $12 promotions, from room rates to food and beverage offerings. Travelers making reservations on December 12, 2012, for stays through September 30, 2013, will receive a third night at $12* (with the purchase of two nights at the best available rate), daily breakfast buffet for $12 per person and two signature cocktails for $12 when using the promotional code 121212.

They have the right attitude too. “Offering an added perk surrounding this fun, highly anticipated, one-time event is the perfect way to cap off an exciting year filled with accolades, new opportunities and optimism,” said B Ocean General Manager Eduardo Fernandez in a statement.Marry Me at 12 Event
Chicago’s Blackstone Hotel lets couples ready to take the plunge or those renewing their vows do so in a very special way. Called the Marry Me At 12 event, the landmark hotel will be setting up a wedding chapel in the historic Barbershop on December 12 at 12 p.m., complete with an officiate to marry couples or renew vows.

Celebrating couples will get flowers, Champagne toasts, and upgraded wedding night accommodations for $99 a night.

$12 On Board Credit Per Day, Per Stateroom
Royal Caribbean International has a special offer for those who book a cruise vacation on 12/12/12, Book any cruise in 2013 on any ship, to any destination and they will give you $12 on board credit per day, per stateroom. Book a suite and they double the offer to $24 on board credit per day per stateroom.

Third Annual Spirit Channeler’s World Peace Cruise
Speaking of cruises, the Third Annual Spirit Channeler’s World Peace Cruise, named the
12:12:12 Gateway to Ascension Cruise sets sail from Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades on December 8 on a seven-day Caribbean sailing aboard Holland America’s Eurodam visiting San Juan, St. Thomas, Grand Turk and the Bahamas

Interdimensional channelers, spiritual teachers and healing practitioners will celebrate the new age of peace with a World Peace Ceremony on the beach in St. Thomas on 12/12/12
at 12:12 p.m. as they join “millions praying for peace around the globe!” says promoter AlistCalendar on its web site.

Before we proceed, let’s review some wiki on things Mayan-related:

Channelerinspiration from extra-dimensional beings or spirits, whereby one is a medium or channel for such an entity.

Skulls– claimed to exhibit paranormal phenomena by some members of the New Age movement, and have often been portrayed as such in fiction.

Crystals– act as transducers, transforming and transmuting energy from one form to another. Quartz crystals in particular behave as capacitors, storing energy in a form, which can later be discharged.

2012 Mayan Marriage of Many
Admittedly, having an anniversary date of 12/12/12 would be a great idea for memory-challenged couples afraid of forgetting the important day. That won’t be a problem with the celebration of love with a marriage en mass for 12 couples in Belize at the Maya ruins of Cahal Pech on 12-12-12.

The Mayan Marriage of Many
has prices starting at $7,530 per couple including transportation,
accommodations, meals, a cocktail and dinner reception, orientation breakfast, adventure tours and more.

Crystal Skull Event
Oracle Stone Productions produces international events that bring together ancient crystal skulls, Mayan elders and people in the metaphysical community “to create a synergy for peace, a higher vibration and consciousness shift for our planet,” says the organization’s website. Hosting events for 09/09/09, 10/10/10 and 11/11/11, Oracle has a 12/12/12 event too.

During the 12/12/12 Extravaganza, vendors will be selling crystals, crystal skulls, crystal bowls, jewelry, self-help books, healing modalities, healing sessions, aura readings and more.




Not only the last of the alliteration dates for 100 years, but also a significant number to the Maya as well, the number 12 is believed to be the number of strength, conviction, absoluteness and finality.

[Image Credit- Flickr User elycefeliz]

Photo Of The Day: Leylon Sneed

photo of the day
This Photo of the Day, titled “Leylon Sneed,” comes from Gadling Flickr pool member Trish Hartmann who captured this image using a Nikon E4500.

Captioning the photo, Trish tells us:

“The Leylon Sneed, shown here leaving the harbor at Crown Bay, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas (with Holland America’s Westerdam to the right), is a 109 ft. replica of a Chesapeake Bay oyster boat. It was apparently built in 1989 by Heritage Boats. It was used for day trips out of St. Thomas to St. John and other islands for snorkeling and diving.

I took this photo in December, 2006.

In August 2010, this boat ran aground and was beached by Hurricane Earl at Soper’s Hole in Tortola. The salvage company Husky Marine, out of Road Town, Tortola, refloated her in January of this year, but I am not sure what has happened to this boat since then.

And – who was Leylon Sneed? An internet search comes up with a woman named Leylon Elizabeth Sneed, who lived from 1898 to 1994, but I found no other information on her. Who was she?”

Upload your best shots to the Gadling Group Pool on Flickr. Several times a week we choose our favorite images from the pool as Photos of the Day.”

Tips for getting featured: Include the camera you used along with any other equipment or processing software that might help other photographers know more about your image.

A story to go along with your photo, like Trish wrote for this image, is always a good idea.

[Photo Credit: Flickr user Trish Hartmann]

Cruise Line Taps Top Artist For Hull Design

cruise lineNorwegian Cruise Line today released the first image of the hull art planned for its next ship, 144,000 ton Norwegian Breakaway, designed by pop-artist icon Peter Max.

Covering 40,000 square feet of the ship’s exterior, the New York City-themed design features images of the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline.

“The Big Apple is known for its love of art and its many galleries — and now, Norwegian Breakaway becomes a floating piece of that art that will cruise in and dock every Saturday on New York’s West Side,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian president and CEO in a statement.

Artists and art at sea is nothing new, Peter Max was along for the ride on inaugural sailings of Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas and an on-board Britto store with works from Romero Britto, is featured on the ship.

Sister line Celebrity Cruises has a similar focus on the arts, offering hands-on instruction from experts in drawing, painting and beading, as well as the art of food with culinary-themed classes on their Solstice-class ships.
Currently under construction in Germany, Norwegian Breakaway will debut in April 2013. The ship is scheduled to sail year-round from New York to Bermuda and the Bahamas and will be the largest ship ever to be based year-round in the city. That adds one more drive-to-the-port option for cruise passengers in the often under-served New York market.

Embarking on seven- to twelve day cruises to the Bahamas and Florida from October 2013 to April 2014, ports include Nassau, Great Stirrup Cay, Orlando and Port Canaveral. Two 12-day Southern Caribbean voyages and two “Weekend Escape” cruises in January 2014 are also scheduled with the 12-day itinerary incorporating visits to San Juan, St Thomas, Philipsburg, Castries, Bridgetown and Basseterre.




Photo courtesy Norwegian Cruise Line

Themed Cruise Vacations Heat Up With More Choices

themed cruise vacationsThemed cruise vacations are special sailings when groups or organizations charter a ship, bringing like-minded travelers together to share their passion. Themed cruises appeal to groups of people varying from very broad interests like motorcycles and rock music to smaller, more specific interests like Harley-Davidson motorcycles or the Beatles. These events at sea are so popular that several repeat each year.

The Cruise for Beatles Fans (formerly known as the Beatles Tribute Cruises) is bringing back their star-studded cast of Beatles friends and musicians on a sailing of Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas.

During the seven-night Eastern Caribbean sailing, guests will be enjoying private concerts, Question and Answer sessions, and picture and autograph sessions with the special Beatles guests. In addition, passengers can enjoy Beatles Trivia and Name That Tune contests.

The fourth annual Cruise for Beatles Fans sails March 3, 2013, and stops in Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, Phillipsburg, St Martin and the Nassau, Bahamas. See Music In M’Ocean for details.

The Rock Boat sails for the thirteenth time as the longest running music festival at sea on February 24, 2013. The Rock Boat host Sister Hazel will be joined by Alternate Routes, Bronze Radio Return, Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers, Good Old War, Will Hoge, NEEDTOBREATHE, Ponderosa, Ben Rector, Red Wanting Blue, Rusted Root, Saints of Victory, DJ Soulman, Yacht Rock Revue and many more artists to be announced.Featuring non-stop music and two days on Norwegian’s private destination island in the Bahamas, this musical marathon will showcase both fan favorites and emerging talent across multiple stages around the ship as well as intimate activities with artists and collaborations between musicians that won’t be seen anywhere else but onboard this ocean-based traveling circus.

“We had no idea that The Rock Boat would become the family of guests and artists that it has become when began in 2001. We are fortunate to be able to host some of the most promising new artists each year and are so excited to have NEEDTOBREATHE back for an encore performance,” said Sixthman CEO Andy Levine.

The Rock Boat sails on Norwegian Pearl February 24 – March 1, 2013, from Miami to Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas.

Themed cruises are not just about music either. Sailings are planned that focus on food and wine, history, intellectual pursuits, photography, film and sports. ThemeCruiseFinder has details on these and more.


[Photo: Sixthman]



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Labor Day island getaways from Wanderfly

labor day islandLabor Day is fast approaching along with the official end of summer. If you haven’t had enough sun yet, maybe it’s time for one more weekend of lying on the beach, fruity cocktail and fun book in hand? We asked our friends at Wanderfly.com, a web travel tool that helps you choose a vacation spot, for some Labor Day island getaways offering deals for the long weekend.

Domestic: Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Hilton Head is a 45-minute drive from Savannah, Georgia (one of our favorite romantic destinations), with miles of public Atlantic beaches, dolphin cruises, and renowned golf courses. Not bringing your private yacht? ResortQuest will pay for your gas ($150 credit card) on Labor Day stays of 3 nights or more, plus free tennis and discounted golf.

Caribbean: St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Feeling decisive? If you can book by tomorrow, you can save 35% on stays at Bolongo Bay Beach Resort in St. Thomas. They’ll also throw in a free sunset sail and cocktails at their beach bar. Summer is the low season for most Caribbean islands, but a tropical weekend knows no season. Check out more of Wanderfly’s picks for St. Thomas here.

Europe: Iceland
So Iceland might not be known for sandy beaches or fruity cocktails, but relaxing in the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon works pretty well too. Iceland Air is offering a free stopover in Iceland on flights booked to European cities such as Stockholm and Amsterdam. Just have time for one destination? Reykjavik is only about 5 hours from the East Coast with direct flights from New York, Boston, Washington D.C., and Orlando, as well as Minneapolis and Seattle.

If you’ve had enough sun, Wanderfly has plenty of other travel ideas. Visit their site and tell them what you’re looking for (with interests from art to extreme adventure) and how much you want to spend and they’ll give you personalized recommendations. Stay tuned for more Labor Day travel ideas on Gadling.

Hilton Head Island photo courtesy Flickr user Lee Coursey.