March 2013 - Page 2 of 2 - Crown Cruise Vacations
ABOARD THE CARNIVAL VICTORY – In my first day aboard the Carnival Victory, I noticed the lengthy food lines, packed swimming pools, crowded bars and difficulty finding seats to watch the nightly Dive-In Theater movies. But I also found a way to beat some of those lines – dine early.
Whether you choose a Mediterranean cruise or an expedition into Antarctica, you will always find the exceptional levels of service for which PONANT is renowned. Customized and attentive, PONANT provides the privileged feeling of sailing aboard your very own yacht.
I could write a book about what has been called the “most anticipated new ship of the year” but let me share a few – besides the Magic Carpet – of my favorite discoveries aboard the Celebrity Edge.
First the fast facts: the 14-deck Edge is the first ship designed entirely in 3-D. The Edge can carry 2,918 passengers and has a crew of 1,320 from 60 countries.
Streets are draped in mourning. Wailing “widows” in fishnet stockings and miniskirts lament loudly. Paraders dressed as popes, bishops and nuns bless onlookers and each other.
It’s “El Entierro de la Sardina” or the “Burial of the Sardine” in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, capital of the largest of the Canary Islands. It’s when a gigantic 30-foot papier mache fish is carried through city streets and thrown on a massive bonfire. As the huge fish goes up in flames, fireworks light the night to signal the official end of Carnival.
Andrew Jackson loved his home so much that he chose to be buried there with his beloved wife Rachel. Some say that the man known as “Old Hickory” keeps watch over his Tennessee plantation.
“Many people don’t think that he has ever truly left,” tour guide David said. “General Jackson had such a strong personality that I think he has stayed around to watch over his home.”
Cruising with PONANT provides guests with destinations including mooring in the heart of Mediterranean hidden bays, sailing between the majestic glaciers of Antarctica, an expedition to the remote lands of Alaska, or island hopping in the Caribbean.
ABOARD CARNIVAL VICTORY – Leaving the sterile steel-and-concrete cruise terminal to board the Carnival Victory, I saw the woman ahead of me stop and marvel at the huge nine-deck ship atrium.
“Oh, it is so gaudy,” she said.
“I love it,” responded the woman next to her.
PONANT offers luxurious yachts that are built on an intimate, human scale. French crew, expertise, attentive service, gastronomy: set sail in a five-star environment and enjoy a travel experience that is simultaneously authentic and sophisticated. Read on for more detail on their ships:
On a summer day in 1894, however, a young Mississippi candy merchant and soda fountain operator changed all that. Joseph Biedenharn had an idea that quickly changed the soft drink industry.
The Vicksburg businessman put the popular drink in bottles so that people anywhere could enjoy it whenever and wherever they wanted.
“Now people could buy their Coke and take it home,” says Donna, guide at the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum in downtown Vicksburg. “They didn’t have to go to a soda fountain anymore when they wanted a Coke. Now Coke is sold all over the world.”
Oh, the things you can learn on a shore excursion from the American Duchess. When the boat docked in Vicksburg, I took the hop-on, hop-off Steamcoach to explore the city.
As a nice perk, the Steamcoach is complimentary for passengers and makes its rounds at stops around town every 15 minutes or so. Another service from the steamboat company is that most shore excursions are included in the cruise price, plus most museums allow cruise passengers to visit free.
Exhibits feature Coke history & memorabilia
Opened in 1975, the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum houses a wide variety of exhibits detailing the beginnings of Coke, the history of the Biedenharn family, collection of Coca-Cola advertising, shelves of different Coke bottles and a bunch of Coke memorabilia.
Among the exhibits is a reproduction of the equipment first used to bottle Coke and a restored candy store and office area featuring furnishings and displays of the 1890s. The museum is housed in the actual building where the first bottling took place.
The museum also sells ice cream, candy, fountain Cokes, Coke floats and Coca-Cola souvenirs. An ornate onyx soda fountain adds a beautiful historic touch. “You couldn’t afford to have an onyx soda fountain like this today,” Donna says.
Coke itself was created in 1866 by Dr. John S. Pemberton, a pharmacist in Atlanta, Georgia. He thought it would be nice to have an alternative to bars where people went to drink alcohol. He envisioned drugstore soda fountains as family-friendly gathering places. Coke syrup for the fountain drinks was distributed throughout the South, including Vicksburg.
But Joe Biedenharn noticed that country folks couldn’t get to the soda fountains as easily as townspeople. Why not, he thought, put the soft drink in bottles that could be transported anywhere?
How ‘soda pop’ got its name
At first, the Vicksburg man used whatever bottles he had on hand to bottle Coca-Cola. The early bottles were sealed with a rubber disk that was pushed into the neck of the bottle and held with a wire.
“When you pulled the stopper out of the bottle, it made a popping noise,” Donna says. “That’s where they say the name ‘soda pop’ got started.”
In order to fight imitators and make the Coca-Cola bottle instantly recognizable, the company decided to settle on a unique bottle design. Ben Thomas, one of the original patent bottlers, said that “we need a bottle which a person can recognize as a Coca-Cola bottle when he feels it in the dark.”
The now famous Coca-Cola contour bottle was patented in 1915 by the Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, Indiana. Because of its curvy shape, the bottle was nicknamed the “Mae West” after the voluptuous Hollywood sex symbol.
Photos and article by Jackie Sheckler Finch
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