Friday, January 23, 2009

Caribbean reigns as world's top cruise destination

By Bob Retzlaff• Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN
There are many reasons why the Caribbean is and has been for years the No. 1 cruising destination in the world.
The primary reason, of course, is the region's warm climate. Year-round cruising is possible there, and that's not in the cards for many other also-popular but more seasonal itineraries, such as the Mediterranean, the Baltic, Alaska, the British Isles, and major areas in South America.
The price is usually right for a Caribbean cruise, too. Because cruising is popular all year, there is a plethora of competitive pricing among the 25 to 30 ships that ply the warm waters of the region.
There's plenty of room for cruising there, too. The Caribbean Sea is the world's fifth largest body of water and is home to more than 7,000 islands. While cruise lines don't stop everywhere, there is a host of choices when you're picking an itinerary. And the itineraries can be as short as three or four days or as long as about two weeks.
The Caribbean has a 40 percent-plus share of the world's cruising market. That translates into millions of passengers in 2008 it is estimated that 12.8 million people cruised; around 5 million of those were in the Caribbean.
The region breaks down into what most consider three somewhat different cruise offerings the western Caribbean, the eastern Caribbean and the southern Caribbean. Each has its own advantages , even though many of the cruises start from the same place Florida, from either Miami, Fort Lauderdale or Tampa.
First-timers should consider the basic western Caribbean itineraries for their initial experience. There is a pretty good mix of Central American and island ports, as well as days at sea always treasured by most cruisers.
Eastern Caribbean itineraries usually feature attractive stops in Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and St. Martin, where there is the best shopping and beaching.
But our favorite and we've cruised the Caribbean a dozen or more times is the southern reaches. We enjoyed that itinerary especially Aruba, Curacao and Costa Rica on a December cruise aboard one of Holland America Line's five-star vessels, the MS Zuiderdam.
The focus for us though, was a visit for the fourth time to the Panama Canal, and an excursion trip into the deep Panamanian jungle.
Aruba and Curacao plus Bonaire are known as the "ABC Islands" and have close ties to the Netherlands, and still are part of the Dutch kingdom.
Most striking are the islands' old colonial and colorful architecture. It is mostly Dutch style with picturesque gables overlooking narrow streets with Dutch names.
Aruba is dry and flat and it's almost impossible to grow crops. Fresh supplies are brought in daily by small boats from nearby Venezuela. Some of the best shopping in the Caribbean is offered at Oranjestad, which is the port of call in Aruba for cruise ships.
Curacao was discovered in 1499, only seven years after Columbus landed in the New World, and consequently it is one of the oldest European settlements in the region. It is the largest of the Dutch islands and has the most convenient location for shipping.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Marriott Aruba

Aruba Marriott Finishes $50 Million RenovationJan 14, 2009 Aruba Marriott Resort has completed its comprehensive $50 million renovation. The property's 411 guestrooms now feature a modern design integrating LCD TVs, jackpack technology, rain-style showerheads, and marble floors and counters. The overhauled lobby includes cozy corner and group seating, lounges, and a view toward the ocean through the glass lobby front. The space also includes a new lobby bar and a makeover to the 24-hour lobby cafe and Ketsu Sushi Bar. The redesigned La Vista restaurant now has a more spacious and open environment with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the waters of the resort's freeform pool and the Caribbean Sea. A new Ruth's Chris Steak House also resulted in the renovation. The hotel's overhaul also incorporated the Tradewinds Club, a 59-room hotel-within-a-hotel that provides guests with exclusive access, special services, upscale amenities, and deluxe food and beverage offerings. Privileges include access to the 1,900-square-foot Tradewinds Lounge with terrace; private check-in; upgraded bathroom amenities; deluxe robes, slippers, and a pillow menu; preferred spa and restaurant reservations; a dedicated concierge staff; secluded beach area exclusive to Tradewinds guests; and complimentary gourmet food service five times daily in the Tradewinds Lounge, along with an open bar.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Island of Aruba Chooses Wastaway Technology to Solve Trash Problem

The Caribbean island of Aruba has chosen Wastaway green technology to process up to half of its household waste, reducing the need to landfill and preserving valuable land. Wastaway's patented technology converts unsorted household waste into a pathogen-free environmentally safe medium called Fluff, which has a variety of uses.
McMinnville, TN (PRWEB) January 16, 2009 -- Bouldin and Lawson, a subsidiary of Bouldin Corporation, recently secured a $15.5 million project to build their first international WastAway (pronounced Waste-A-Way) system in the Caribbean island country of Aruba. The project will be used to recycle 50% of that island's municipal solid waste stream instead of sending it to landfills.
The Aruban contract comes after years of intense research by Aruban officials, who were facing a severe landfill crisis. "The country was literally running out of places to put household garbage," said Mark Brown, Bouldin Corporation's CEO, "and the WastAway system provides the ability to process the country's municipal solid waste and convert it into something beneficial."
"Like most island governments, Aruba's options were limited. Land is scarce, incinerators are unpopular, and shipping garbage off-island is very expensive," said Brown. Instead, the WastAway system will change this unwanted waste into something of value, without negatively impacting the environment in the way incineration can. It's a great solution for this country."
In just twenty minutes, the WastAway patented hydrothermal process converts a ton of unsorted household waste into a pathogen-free, environmentally safe medium called Fluff™, which can then be used for a variety of other applications. Aruba will initially process Fluff for use as a growing medium to supplement topsoil, which is a valuable commodity on the island. However, Fluff™ can also be used as a renewable energy source through gasification to generate steam and electricity, or can be converted to synthetic ethanol or diesel. It can also be compressed and extruded to make products such as building materials; other uses are under development.In Aruba, the WastAway system is part of a comprehensive waste management plan, including household pick-up. "We have partners who can put together comprehensive systems for a municipality, a governmental agency or a corporation," said Brown. "In this case, Aruba needed an all-encompassing plan to manage the country's waste, from pick up to the creation of Fluff. Land is so scarce there, the country could not afford to devote another square inch to landfills. An added benefit is Aruba's ability to legitimately claim that they process household waste in an ecologically-friendly way. That's becoming more and more important in marketing to eco-aware travelers who want to be responsible as they vacation, and WastAway gives Aruba a marketing edge."
WastAway technology is not brand new. Warren County, Tennessee, has used the WastAway system to process its household garbage for almost seven years. "We developed the technology in middle Tennessee, refining and testing the process here at home," said Brown. "Although an island like Aruba is a great environment for our system, any community that is facing a landfill crisis is a candidate for WastAway. We can provide cost-effective solutions as small as 100 tons per day. Our system is much less expensive than more complicated technologies like plasma, and is more ecologically acceptable than incineration. In fact, systems are being tested in the United States and Canada right now that pelletize Fluff™ and gasify it to create steam and electricity, which is a needed commodity for many industries."
Bouldin Corporation, the parent company of Bouldin and Lawson, recently secured $5.6 million in new financing from shareholder equity and debt to continue the WastAway growth. The WastAway equipment will be manufactured by Bouldin and Lawson in their McMinnville, TN facility. The equipment will be assembled and operators trained from Bouldin's facility in the Warren County Industrial Park in Morrison, TN.
"We're proud of the Tennessee know-how that has gone into the creation and manufacture of this technology," said Matt Kisber, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. "As environmental responsibility becomes more and more of a concern, we're delighted to see Tennessee companies such as Bouldin & Lawson leading the way to help reduce our dependence on landfills. This is the wave of the future, and Wastaway proves once again that Tennessee can provide a leadership role in the growing sector of clean technology."
Initially, the company plans on hiring three new employees, a combination of professional and manufacturing jobs. As sales increase, the company hopes to hire more than 25 additional employees in the coming years.
Bouldin and Lawson, a subsidiary of Bouldin Corporation located in Warren County, Tennessee, manufactures equipment for the Nursery and Greenhouse industry, Demilitarization equipment for military and private applications and the WastAway solid waste recycling equipment. Bouldin Corporation is a privately-held parent corporation with separate subsidiaries including Bouldin and Lawson, WastAway Services, LLC, a Waste Recycling Equipment Company; and Composite Products of America, specializing in products made from Fluff. Bouldin Corporation's mission is to improve our planet through innovative technologies, equipment and products.
Contact WastAway Services at or Bouldin Corporation at or contact Allen Tomlinson, Bouldin and Lawson/Wastaway Press Office, 800-442-1878.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dutch news in Aruba

'Corrupt' claims annoy MPs on Aruba
Friday 09 January 2009
Dutch MPs currently involved in half-yearly talks on Aruba have formally distanced themselves from Hero Brinkman, MP of the hardline anti-immigration party PVV, who has repeatedly said the Caribbean island's administration is as 'corrupt as hell'.
His remarks have led to angry reactions and held up discussions on several occasions.
'Brinkman should be left to stew in his own juice,' GroenLinks MP Ineke van Gent told news agency ANP.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Morgan's Island waterparc article in newspaper Canada

Canadian Press article:

New water park opens in Aruba

EAGLE , Aruba — A new water park has opened in Aruba.
The 2,600-square-metre Morgan's Island park opened in December near the La Cabana resort on Eagle Beach. The park features slides and rides with twists, dips and funnels, and a freefall, one-person water slide with a 21-metre vertical drop.
Other attractions include giant double wave pools with a wraparound lounging area for families, and a kids-only pool area with water spouts and slides. Showers, changing and locker rooms, a game parlour, food and an infirmary are also on site.
Morgan's Island is open daily from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Details at
For general information about vacations in Aruba, visit
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Copyright © 2009 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Aruba carnaval

First organized by the Tivoli Club, Aruba’s oldest social club, the Torch Parade is now the first official parade on the Aruba Carnival Foundation (SAC) schedule. The tradition continues with bright lights leading the way down the streets of the capital of Oranjestad. The parade begins at 8:00 pm and helps set the pace for the festivities to come.
Saturday, January 10, 2009

Friday, January 02, 2009

best wishes

To all the blog readers in the world, I wish you a very good 2009 with lots of joy, health and success!

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