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E NEWS SUPPLEMENT...by Bill Miller

from aboard Queen Elizabeth


Week of January 20th, 2014


     Welcome to another issue of our Enews Supplement.


      Our member, Dan Lotten was kind enough to share this photo from his cruise aboard Oceania Cruises' Riviera in Key West. 



Riviera in Key West 



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Aida CruisesRebranding!

Germany's largest cruise line, Carnival-owned Aida, has made some changes.  Amidst their large cruise fleet, the Company is dropping its "club ship" image and restyling the cruise experience as "Unique.  Everytime".  

Bermuda Flag
Bermuda - Change of rules!

The Bermuda Government is now allowing docked cruise ships to operate oinboard casinos from 9:00pm until 5:00am.  Overall, Bermuda's cruise business has steadily declined in recent years and this is seen as a bolster to more cruise ship visits 

Carnival Cruise LineIllness at Sea!

The Norovirus has been troublesome to cruise lines for some years now.   It spreads quickly and can affect hundreds of passengers as well as cause precautionary measures onboard.  A vaccine is now said to be in the works,  being developed at two hospitals in Cincinnati.   The vaccine will be relatively inexpensive and available to all.  ...   Otherwise, some recent reports suggest that Carnival Cruise Lines had had a 30% drop in revenue in 2013 due events and incidents aboard its ships

China FlagChina - Onboard differences!

A recent study detailed some of the differences between the desires and wants of Western cruise passengers compared those of Asian, mostly Chinese, passengers.


Western passengers prefer cultural experiences as well as relaxing in the sun and at bars;  they buy half-day shore excursions;  prefer 7-14 night cruises;  and mostly travel as couples or with a friend.


Asian passengers generally prefer:   Booking tours;  Enjoy shopping but stay out of the sun;  travel in multi-generational family groups;   take short cruises;  they do not buy itinerary - the ship are either ship-focused and vacation with the family-focused.

Costa LogoNew look!

The 1996-built Costa Victoria was in a Singapore shipyard last fall and has been made more suitable for Asian cruising. 


Crystal Cruises
Rumor mill!


Talk is that Crystal is finally looking to expand - from 2 to as many as 7 cruise ships.   Sources suggest it might be newbuilds or a merger with an existing cruise line.   Studies are underway in Tokyo with the NYK Line, Crystal's Japanese parent.

MSC Cruises
Taking bids!


MSC is looking for the right price at the right shipyard to lengthen and enlarge its four oldest ships:  MSC Lirica, MSC Armonia, MSC Sinfonia & MSC Opera.

New York City
Did you miss it!

The famed Colgate Clock, created in 1921 and the largest single faced clock in the world, faced out onto the Lower Hudson River & across to Lower Manhattan from Jersey City.   It stood for some 70 years atop the Colgate-Palmolive plant and then was located to a street-side location nearby when the plant was demolished and replaced by an office tower.   The Clock was hauled away last fall, but has been returned, restored, cleaned, working well and using LED lighting.  A part of New York harbor's history has been returned.

Bus stop at West 50th St!

The use of the brand new, 4,000-bed Norwegian Getaway at Manhattan's Pier 90 for use as a moored hotel for the Super Bowl at nearby Metlife Stadium in New Jersey is actually a charter to Coors Brewing Company and ship will be dubbed "Bud Light Hotel".  

Ocean Liner Collectibles - Tea at Four!


A tea pot from the Italian liner Cristoforo Colombo, built in 1954 and close sister to the ill-fated Andrea Doria, sold recently for $75.

Ocean Liner History - Along the St. Lawrence!


There's a new book out detailing the history and operations of the Canada Steamship Line.  Called Great White Fleet (and by John Henry, a long-ago friend), the fine book covers 51 steamers that sailed for the Line since 1913.   Myself, I well recall, in the early 1960s, the last three steamers:  Richelieu, Tadoussac and St Lawrence.

P&OLogoOn the way!

The 1,082-ft long Britannia

will be Britain's biggest ever cruise ship.  She'll carry 4,300 passengers, looked after by 1,350 crew.   It has also been stated that the Italian-built liner due for cruising from Southampton will have more single cabins than any big liner afloat.


Seabourn Cruise LineCrowded ports!

With Port Everglades as well as Miami becoming increasingly crowded with big, high capacity cruise ships, lines with smaller ships such as Seabourn & Silversea, are looking into new port ideas in Florida.

UniworldRiver Cruising-All included!

Uniworld River Cruises are adding all-inclusive fares that include the use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks.    There's also a rise among riverboat cruise lines to offer more single cabins.

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One of the great things about being a World Ocean & Cruise Liner Society member is joining us aboard one of our "Hosted" member cruises. Each cruise features low group rates, special amenities plus onboard lectures and events


Oceania Riviera

Sailing roundtrip from Miami and visiting Tortola; St. John's; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. Lucia; Gustavia and Miami March 28, 2014 (10-Nights)


Exclusive WOCLS Events with Host Art Sbarksy


Special WOCLS Q&A with Art Sbarsky as he takes you through his career in the cruise industry.


This is a Fundraising Cruise for Art's favorite charity.

The American Cancer Society.


  • Welcome cocktail reception with Art Sbarsky for our guests
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Inside cabin from - $2899*

Window cabin from - $3199*

Balcony cabin from - $3499

Suite cabin from - $4999*


*Rates are cruise only, per person, based on double occupancy. Includes government fees




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About Bill Miller  Bill Miller "Mr. Ocean Liner"  


Bill Miller is an international authority on the subject of ocean liners & cruise ships --- from those "floating palaces" of yesteryear to the current generation of cruise ships, the "floating resorts". Called "Mr. Ocean Liner," he has written some 80 books on the subject: from early steamers, immigrant ships and liners at war to other titles on their fabulous interiors, in post card form and about the highly collectible artifacts from them.   He has done specific histories of such celebrated passenger ships as the United States, Queen Mary, Rotterdam, France, Queen Elizabeth 2 and Crystal Serenity.


            In all, he has also written over 1,000 articles for newspapers, magazines and nautical journals & newsletters.   He even had his very own ocean liner quarterly, the Millergram. He has made nearly 450 voyages to date:   Atlantic crossings, tropical cruises, coastal runs and even trips on container cargo ships and exotic banana boats. He has appeared in some three dozen video & television series, both in the USA, Britain, Europe and Australia, including Castles of the Sea, The Floating Palaces, The Super Liners, Inside the World of a Cruise Ship, Disasters at Sea, Deco: Age of Glamour, and Lady in Waiting: The Story of the SS United States.   He has also appeared on The Today Show, CBS Evening News, CBS Sunday Morning, Good Morning America, NBC Evening News and many other news broadcasts. He has been guest lecturer aboard over 50 different liners, sailing with the likes of Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Carnival, Holland America, Princess, Radisson-Seven Seas, Saga Cruises and others. Miller was a public school teacher, in middle school and for social studies, for 32 years. He was named "Teacher of the Year" in 2002.  


            A native of Hoboken, New Jersey, the once busy port just across the Hudson River from New York City, Miller was named Outstanding American Maritime Scholar in 1994, received the United States Maritime Preservation Award and also the Ocean Liner Council's Silver Riband Award, both in 2004.   Also, he has been chairman of the Port of New York Branch of the World Ship Society, deputy director of the New York Harbor Festival, served on the selection committee for the American Maritime Hall of Fame, created the passenger ship database for the Ellis Island Museum and currently serves as Curator of 20th Century Maritime History at Manhattan's South Street Seaport Museum. He has also organized a 14-week college course on liners, and helped to create & then served as historian at the US Merchant Marine Museum. His private collection includes 4,000 books on ships, over 15,000 photos and some 1,500 miniature ship models, most of them being passenger ships.


            By 2011, Miller had 10 new books in the works, was curator to Decodence (an exhibit at the South St Seaport on the design & décor of the grand French liner Normandie) and himself was the subject of a one-hour film documentary aptly titled Mr Ocean Liner. In 2011, he hosted Cinematic Crossings: Ocean Liners on the Big Screen, a 5-day film festival at Manhattan's Lincoln Center. Currently, he spends some 200 days a year lecturing onboard ocean liners & cruise ships. 




Follow Bill's look back at ship's of yesteryear..

Heard Along the Boat Deck


And his current and past cruise experiences...


William Miller Books!




ssNormandie In the world of ocean liners, those built for French lines were the epitome of style and panache, and SS Normandie perhaps the pinnacle of this. When she entered service in 1935, she was the largest, longest, fastest and certainly the best fed ship of her time, serving the finest food imaginable in a dining room longer than the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. Normandie embodied high glamour and was a firm favourite of many, albeit for a short time. Times were changing and even the French government's massive subsidies to the builders, an attempt to make Normandie a flagship for the drive out of the Depression. could only work for so long, as the Second World War drew nearer. She might have been a valuable troopship, and served a the USS Lafayette for a time, but caught fire at her New York pier in 1942. The great ship was salvaged, but with an expensive restoration in prospect she could not escape being scrapped in 1946-47. Through beautiful illustrations and evocative writing, William H.Miller presents the story of one of the most lavish liners ever to cross the seas.  $29.95 plus postage & handling


UnionCastleUnion Castle Liners - From Great Britain to Africa 1946-1977 - William H. Miller  

It was one of the most important British liner routes of all - the express run from Southampton to the South African Cape. Carrying passengers as well as cargo, including the all-important mail, it was a byword in travel - 'every Thursday at 4', as one of the big Union-Castle liners set off for Cape Town and beyond. By the late 1950s, these mail ships included the Arundel Castle, Carnarvon Castle, Winchester Castle, Athlone Castle, Stirling Castle, Capetown Castle and two post-war sensations, the Edinburgh Castle and Pretoria Castle. Three new liners arrived in 1959, the last great ships built for Union-Castle. They were Pendennis Castle, Windsor Castle and Transvaal Castle.


The route was not just to the Cape - for Union-Castle also offered a service down the East coast of Africa and a round-Africa route too. In 1977, with the mail contract and passengers lost to the jet and cargo to container ships, the service ceased in October that year and Union-Castle was no more.   Amberley Publishing, Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK.  $29.95 

  Great Atlantic Liners of Twentieth Century



Great Atlantic Liners of the 20th Century in Color (co-authored with Anton Logvinenko;  Amberley Publishing, Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK.  $29.95 










Ile de France And Liberte  Ile de France And Liberte - France's Premier Post War Liners  The latest in the Classic Liners series evokes the glamour and ambience of two of the most beloved liners of the 1950s Île de France, completed in 1927, was a hugely famous prewar liner, a ship with unique style and character. She was said to offer "the cheeriest way to cross the Atlantic." After wartime service as a valiant troopship, she was restored with what Paris fashion calls a "new look," relaunched in 1949. The Liberté was built in 1930, originally the German Europa, but ceded to France as reparations in 1946. She was de-Germanized and restyled in French Line luxury as the Liberté, recommissioned in 1950. The Île de France sailed until 1958; the Liberté until 1961, and this illustrated book concentrates on their heydays in the glorious, post-World War II years, when they were the largest and grandest liners under the French flag. Both ships were famed for their service and onboard ambience, but most especially for their cooking, and they were said to be the best-fed liners on the Atlantic...$25.00



Along the Hudson Along the Hudson - luxury Liner Row in the 50's & 60's

In the 1950s and '60s, countless passenger liners called at New York and usually berthed at Luxury Liner Row along the City's West Side.   The cast includes the Cunard Queens, the Ile de France & Liberte, United States, Independence, Gripsholm & Queen of Bermuda.   It is a grand assemblage of great ships -- both large & small.  $29.95



Great American Passenger Ships Great American Passenger Ships

The story of American passenger ships over the 20th century -- from the Leviathan to the Lurline, Santa Rosa & America to the brilliant United States.  Interesting text accompanied by lots of black & white photos as well as color.   $29.95.






Great Liners Story  


Great Liners Story

A fascinating "little book" about the great liners, those floating palaces, of the 20th century -- from the grand German four-stackers to the age of the Oasis of the Seas.  Mostly color in this hardcover book.   $15.00.  





Great Passenger Ships

Great Passenger Ships 1910-1920

It was an age of evolution, when size and speed were almost the ultimate considerations. 'Bigger was said to be better' and ship owners were not exempted from the prevailing mood. While the German four-stackers of 1897-06 and then Cunard's brilliant Mauretania & Lusitania of 1907 led the way to larger and grander liners. White Star Line countered by 1911 with the Olympic, her sister Titanic and a near-sister, the Britannic. The French added the France while Cunard took delivery of the beloved Aquitania. But the Germans won out -- they produced the 52,000-ton Imperator and a near-sister, the Vaterland, the last word in shipbuilding and engineering prior to the First World War. They and their sister, the Bismarck, remained the biggest ships in the world until 1935. 


But other passenger ships appear in this decade --- other Atlantic liners, but also ships serving on more diverse routes: Union Castle to Africa, P&O to India and beyond, the Empress liners on the trans-Pacific run. We look at a grand age of maritime creation, ocean-going superlative, but also sad destruction in the dark days of the First War. It was, in all ways, a fascinating period. 

The Last Atlantic Liners 




Last Atlantic Liners:  Getting There is Half the Fun  (Amberley Publishing, Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK, 2011






Rms Caronia Book



RMS Caronia:   Cunard's Green Goddess 

(co-authored with Brian Hawley)  The History Press Ltd, Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK, 2011






Floating Palaces



Floating Palaces:   The Great Atlantic Liners(Amberley Publishing, Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK, 2011







Great British Passenger Ships





Great  British Passenger Ships  (The History Press Ltd, Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK, 2010)






ss Nieuw Amsterdam






SS Nieuw Amsterdam:   The Darling of the Dutch  (Amberley Publishing, Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK, 2010)




Cunard's Three Queens




Cunard's Three Queens:   A Celebration  (Amberley Publishing, Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK, 2009)





Under The Red Ensign




Under the Red Ensign:   British Passenger Liners of the '50s & '60s  (The History Press, Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK, 2009)






ss United States Speed Queen




SS United States:   Speed Queen of the Seas  (Amberley  Publishing, Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK, 2009)





And yet to come.....




I Was Born in Hoboken:  Memories of the 1950s & '60s  (Hoboken Historical Museum, Hoboken, NJ, due fall 2011)


The Last Great Dynasty:  The Royal House of Windsor  (Amberley Publishing, Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK, due 2012)


The Cunard Yanks (co-authored with Ian Wright;   pending but due 2012)