Carnival Cruise Line Adds Drinks to HUB App’s ‘Pizza Anywhere’ Feature July 4, 2019 Following the successful rollout of Carnival Cruise Line HUB App’s ‘Pizza Anywhere’ feature, the company has expanded this functionality to include beverage delivery. After choosing a hand-tossed pizza with their preferred toppings, guests will be asked whether they would like a beer, soda or water to accompany their meal. To place an order, guests simply tap on the ship’s map to mark their location, take a selfie to identify themselves and select their desired order. Beverage options on the app include domestic and imported beers Peroni, Miller Lite and Blue Moon; sodas including Coke, Coke Zero, Diet Coke, Diet Sprite; and bottled water, and cooked-to-order pizzas including margherita, funghi, prosciutto, pepperoni and quattro formaggi. The add-on drink feature is now available on Carnival Conquest, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Glory, and Carnival Sensation, with plans to roll out to Carnival Victory and Carnival Elation in June, and will be available fleetwide in the coming months. Launched in 2015, Carnival’s HUB App has become the leading app in the cruise industry with a 4.6+ rating in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store and more than 5.7 million total downloads. HUB App is designed to serve as a one-stop-shop for making the Carnival vacation experience seamless and convenient from beginning to end, allowing guests to track daily happenings on board; view food, beverage and entertainment offerings; chat with family and friends; book shore excursions; and access their Sail & Sign account. Carnival Cruise Line Earns Best Budget Cruise Award from Fodor’s Travel July 4, 2019 Carnival Cruise Line took home Best Budget Cruise honors in the first-ever Fodor’s Travel Awards. Determined by Fodor’s editorial team of travel experts, the awards are intended to be more fun and inclusive than other travel awards and highlight travel standouts that have made an impact within the industry across a variety of categories. Carnival was acknowledged for its wide range of free-of-charge onboard experiences including eateries like Guy’s Burger Joint and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse developed with longtime partner and Food Network star Guy Fieri, BlueIguana Cantina, and 24/7 pizza and ice cream; the fleetwide Seuss at Sea program operated in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises; entertainment options such as Playlist Productions shows and Punchliner Comedy Club performances; and Serenity adults-only retreats. These and other features are part of a $2 billion ship refurbishment program that is transforming the Carnival fleet. Most recently, Carnival invested $200 million in the transformation of Carnival Sunrise, adding a host of new features such as the popular Lucky Bowl Asian venue, an expansion of the Cloud 9 Spa and a spectacular new WaterWorks aqua park. “Value is an important part of the Carnival vacation experience, and to be recognized by the esteemed experts at Fodor’s is a wonderful validation of our efforts to make our cruises not only the most fun, but the most affordable for our guests,” said Richard Morse, Carnival’s senior vice president of hotel operations. Carnival Vista Dry Dock Update July 2, 2019 Carnival Cruise Line shared some additional information today on the dry dock scheduled next month for Carnival Vista to complete a repair to the ship’s azipods. As previously announced, Carnival Vista will be taken out of service on July 9, at which time it will transit to Freeport, Bahamas. Carnival is working with ABB, the azipod manufacturer, to complete the repairs and return the ship to scheduled service on July 27. Carnival is completing negotiations and planning with a shipping vessel operator on a protocol that will be a first-of-its-kind procedure to facilitate the repair, given the current lack of facilities at Grand Bahama Shipyard. More information on that procedure will be forthcoming, but plans are in place to complete the work and return Carnival Vista to Galveston for the scheduled July 27 sailing. Start Spreading the News July 2, 2019 PHOTO COURTESY OF FRANK AUGSTEIN/AP This past weekend was one of the most unique set of regular season games that I’ve ever witnessed the Yankees play. Prior to the London series, I viewed the series with little more than my typical interest in Yankees vs. Red Sox outings, but I think that the series said a lot about the state of both the Yankees and baseball as a whole. Overall, I think that the London series was a little off, but overall a fun event. I wouldn’t put the viewing experience on plane with a playoff series, but despite some issues, I think that the on-field product was exciting. I’ve got some thoughts about London, and other hot topics in the Yankee Universe here: Let’s get one thing straight: the ball has been juiced in MLB play for the last couple of years, but I think that the ball was even hotter in London. I had my suspicions during Saturday’s game, but every homer hit was such a bomb, that I wasn’t really sure. By the first inning on Sunday, my instinct tells me that something was up. Xander Bogaerts’ homer off of Tarpley ws hit 100.4 MPH with a launch angle of 24 degrees. In and of itself, those are not odd numbers. That said, you could tell on the broadcast that Bogaerts did not hit the barrel of the bat perfectly, striking the ball off the end of the bat, yet the ball sailed over the fence to the opposite field for a homer. Do not misunderstand me: Bogaerts’ approach on that hit was impressive, but based on the visual quality of contact, that ball should not have been a homer. Whether it was the ball, atmospheric conditions in the stadium, or a little of both, something was amiss at the ballpark.I know I sound like a conspiracy theorist in talking about the ball used in London, but we already have evidence that the MLB ball has been different the last two years. It would not be outside of the realm of possibility that MLB would try to boost offense for a promotional series used to grow the game in Europe, a mission that is one of Commissioner Rob Manfred’s pet crusades. While any evidence I can offer is anecdotal, I thought it was illuminating to hear some of the pitchers talk about the fact that they were having trouble getting the ball to break properly. Again, they could have just had bad weekends, but when multiple MLB pitchers struggle on consecutive days in that fashion, it makes you wonder.The umpiring was terrible the entire series. The strike zones were inconsistent at best. I couldn’t help but shake my head when I discovered that MLB gave the London series to Angel Hernandez’s crew. They are consistently among the worst crews in baseball, particularly Hernandez, yet MLB gave the crew this award. I don’t want to say too much more, but I didn’t think it was a good look.I want to again highlight MLB’s hypocrisy regarding extended netting. Manfred was interviewed by Fox on Saturday, and he both lauded the extended netting used for the game in London, while defending owners who refused to further extend netting in their own ballparks due to cost or construction concerns. I nearly spit out my drink listening to it. I’m sorry – every team can both afford additional netting, nor is it a construction concern. The netting really does not negatively impact fans’ connection to the play on the field, and the netting is essential to protect people. I played good baseball for years, and if I had my head turned, I don’t think that I’d be able to react in time to avoid a 110+ MPH line drive into the RF stands at field level. Do the right thing, MLB: mandate more extended netting.Our Editor-In-Chief, Dr. Paul Semendinger, offered his thoughts about the series in London, and while I understand and can sympathize with his feelings that the games played weren’t really baseball in the American sense, I still enjoyed the series. Yes, the games took way too long. Yes, something funky was going on with the offense. And yes, there’s something unfair about upsetting the routines of players on both sides to cross the pond for a two game set in-season in the middle of a pennant race. Despite all of that, I enjoyed it immensely. The games were exciting, featuring two heavyweights slugging it out. The fans in attendance were loud and into the game, even despite the length, and I was excited to hear that only 30% of attendees were American citizens. That’s great. I travel internationally a fair amount for my day job, and I can tell you that I’ve personally noticed more Yankee caps in Europe over the last 2 years, and I even found a baseball stadium in Italy (true story!). I think there is definitely potential for growth of the game in Europe, and this series proved it, even with some of the gripes I listed above. Much as I love the Yankees, I love the game more, and I think that this series will help grow the game across the Atlantic.The implications of the series actually matter from a baseball perspective as well! The Yankees swept the Sox, seemingly putting the AL East out of reach for the Sox, barring a miracle. No matter what I think about a juiced ball, the Yankee offense is scary good with any ball in play. I don’t think an opposing team’s lead is ever safe with this lineup. In the lineups used in London, I think that Urshela was probably the weakest starting hitter in the lineup, and despite the regression he’s going through now, he’s likely an average-ish Major League hitter. It’s going to be a fun summer.Today is what’s known as the J2 deadline. It’s a corrupt system MLB uses to limit the earnings of young, International Free Agents not subject to the MLB Amateur Draft. I won’t cut too deep into it, but basically, it’s the reason teams have International Bonus Pool Money. Why am I mentioning it? Word on the street is that the Yankees are about to spend the majority of their pool money on one player: Jasson Dominguez, a 5’11’’, 195 pound player who has tools upon tools. Major media outlets are making some outrageous and unfair comparisons (he’s 16!), but he is one of the most hyped J2 prospects ever. Most scouting reports note his potential to play behind the plate, but it is likely he will begin his career in CF to expedite his ascent through the minors. I admit: I’ve never seen a 16 year-old swing a bat like this guy. He’s pretty filled-out physically, but those tools play now in the minors. Check out the video and dream (courtesy of Fangraphs): There’s no rest for the weary: the Yankees continue a charged stretch of baseball with the Subway Series beginning tonight, and then a series in Tampa at the end of the week. A good few games here, and the Yankees could give themselves a nice cushion heading into the All-Star break. Let’s sit back and get ready for some good baseball. Trump has an opportunity to beat Reagan; system change in North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, China, and maybe Russia, without firing a shot July 2, 2019 A historic thing is happening, but no one is talking about it. America has a chance to defeat a whole lot of our long-time enemies. The enemies in question are horrifically weakened and ripe to be thrown out of office by their people:.They are: .North KoreaCubaVenezuelaIranChinaand maybe Russia..Trump could replicate and exceed Reagan’s winning the Cold War..Shots probably need to fired in Iran. .But in the rest of them, just demand they clean up their act and behave like peaceful, non-threatening, good neighbors. Cut them no slack. Make them behave like Switzerland or Japan or Canada. .How can anyone complain about that? Another way to put it is to demand that the nations in question abide by international law. Until they do, deny them access to whatever we can deny them with sanctions, freedom of navigation patrols, ending diplomatic relations, free trade with the US. .I oppose tariffs when the freedom of Americans to buy from whom they want is the issue. But here, we have a historic opportunity to change the world for the better, a new Pax Americana not created or enforced by force of arms—although that exists as a background, potential decisive force—but by the quiet, moral, legal power of the US market and the recent dependence of so many dictatorships upon the US. .The original Communist dictators realized the danger of becoming dependent on the US or the other Western democracies and the adverse effect that could have on them or potentially have on them if the US used its economic power..The USSR, China, and North Korea were all hermit kingdoms of sorts. Ditto Cuba which has lived off communist regimes like USSR and Venezuela. .The obvious way for Cuba to prosper is for them to do as much business as possible with the US and to a lesser extent, Canada, the other Latin American countries and the developed European and Asian countries. Their selling loyalty of Communist nuclear powers and repression to Venezuela for their daily bread and oil was an outrage enabled by wimpy American presidents..Enough. Stop helping their dictators delay their demise. Sell them what they need, but demand cash for it. US cash..The axis of evil is weak is weaker than perhaps ever before. They cannot survive a nouveau lack of American leniency..We already saw the USSR collapse. They almost took Cuba and North Korea with them. Russia is too much a reincarnation of the USSR, but much smaller and poorer. These thin reeds will try to lean against each other, but that is what is sounds like: a drowning man grasping at straws..China raised the expectations of a billion people dramatically—too much—they now risk the unrest in Hong Kong spreading to mainland China if the mainland has to start issuing pink slips because of iPhones moving offshore, Huawei losing contracts, food prices rising as China retaliates against US farmers..How can the nations in question survive America getting really tough? Their systems—murderous, central planning, Big Brother—do not work to do the basic things of government, mainly get out of the way of free markets and thereby provide food and medical care and clean water and opportunity..We Americans and other nations have to spend much time and money dealing with their hostility against us: increased defense spending, probing attacks like Crimea, cyber attacks, assisting each other evading US and UN sanctions for misbehavior..All Trump would need to do is a sort of diplomatic, but at bottom, iron, tough love. Hello world! July 1, 2019 Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!