Thursday, June 27, 2013

Royal Caribbean Heats Up Summer With Saturday Sale

Guests Enjoy Up to $50 Onboard Credit on all July 1 through September 30, 2013, Sailings

MIAMI, June 27, 2013 – Summer goes hand-in-hand with vacation and there’s no better way to create unforgettable memories this season than with a Royal Caribbean International cruise.  This Saturday, June 29, the cruise line known for “WOW”-ing guests with its first-at-sea concepts is offering an onboard credit of up to $50 per stateroom for guests to enjoy when sailing between July 1 and September 30, 2013. Guests can apply their onboard credit toward a range of new specialty dining options, adventurous shore excursions, or a rejuvenating spa treatment to make their Royal Caribbean vacation extra special. With summer just underway, there is still the time to finalize an exciting family vacation on a Royal Caribbean ship, where amazing destinations such as the grandeur of the Alaskan frontier, the lush and laid-back Caribbean or Europe’s fascinating cultures and heritage are delivered with the cruise line’s world-renowned GOLD Anchor Service.

Guests now have more reason to sail with the cruise line acclaimed for the world’s most innovative cruise ships and award-winning family programming, and enjoy more delectable dining, more jaw-dropping entertainment – including Broadway shows, and more exclusive onboard amenities that cater to vacationers of all generations. Wherever they go with Royal Caribbean, guests will enjoy friendly and engaging GOLD Anchor Service from every staff and crew member for a combined experience that can only be found on Royal Caribbean.

Vacationers who book a Royal Caribbean cruise on June 29, 2013, on any sailings departing July 1 through September 30, 2013, will receive $25 onboard credit per Interior and Oceanview stateroom, and $50 per Balcony stateroom and Suite-category stateroom. The Super Saturday Sale is applicable for all new individual U.S. and Canadian bookings. For more information about Royal Caribbean’s Super Saturday Sale, please visit

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 innovative ships, calling on more than 270 destinations in 72 countries across six continents. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. Royal Caribbean provides a world-class vacation experience with a wide range of signature onboard amenities, entertainment, and award-winning family programming.

The cruise line has more than 40 years of history of delivering to guests the Royal Advantage – the most innovative cruise ships, exciting itineraries to popular destinations, and world-renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service. Royal Caribbean has been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 10 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. Follow Royal Caribbean on Facebook at or on Twitter, @RoyalCaribbean. Travel professionals should visit or call (800) 327-2056.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE/OSE: RCL) is a global cruise vacation company that owns Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, Azamara Club Cruises and CDF Croisières de France, as well as TUI Cruises through a 50 percent joint venture. Together, these six brands operate a combined total of 41 ships with four under construction. They operate diverse itineraries around the world that call on approximately 460 destinations on all seven continents.
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

City of Ventura Celebrates City Hall Centennial

City Hall 1910

THE HISTORIC SEASIDE CITY is a treasure-trove of preserved
 architecture that dates back to the California mission period

(VENTURA, CA) – The city of Ventura, ideally situated along a stretch of the California central coast between Malibu and Santa Barbara, has been a living community for at least ten thousand years.  Originally a Chumash Indian settlement, it was deemed San Buenaventura in 1782 by Father Junipero Serra when he founded the ninth California mission.  The Mission has functioned without interruption as a Catholic Church on Ventura’s Main Street to this day, and Ventura’s Latino heritage is still visible in other structures as well.  Just a few miles from the heart of downtown is the must-see Olivas Adobe, an immaculately restored Spanish rancho estate known for its elegant grounds that often play host to various special events and is open to the public.  Another landmark residence that typifies homes that lined Main Street through the 1800s includes the Ortega Adobe - built in 1857 and known for being the birthplace of Ortega Famous Green Chilies. 

Now in 2013, the city of Ventura continues to keep its history alive by upholding the value of its historical architecture and commemorating milestone anniversaries.  On July 4th, 2013 the public is invited to take part in celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the Neo Classic, “Beau Arts” style San Buenaventura City Hall.  Located in the heart of downtown, with views of the Pacific Ocean, the Ventura City Hall has been one of the state's premier civic buildings since 1913.  The City Hall centennial will be celebrated at the 38th annual 4th of July Street Fair, making this year’s theme "Ventura City Hall Centennial 1913-2013".   Interspersed with six stages of live entertainment, the fair will extend along Main Street from Fir Street to Ventura Avenue as well as side streets Chestnut, Oak and California and feature over 250 fine artists and crafters, as well as a plethora of food vendors.  The annual Pushem-Pullen Parade will be sponsored by Rotary Club of Ventura East and is free for all.  This Ventura tradition will feature costumed children and adults with decorated bicycles and little red wagons.  The Street Fair begins 10am at Cemetery Memorial Park on Main Street and ends at the Street Fair at 5pm.; free shuttle bus services from the Ventura County Government Center will be available. 

The city of Ventura also holds historical sites that date back to the Victorian era, 1880 and beyond.  The Victorian Rose is one of Ventura’s oldest landmark buildings and is a testament to the gothic cathedrals, complete with a 96-foot spire.  Originally built in 1880 by Selywn Locke Shaw, it now operates as Ventura’s only full-service Bed & Breakfast.  Another lasting edifice from this era is the authentically restored farmhouse, known as the Dudley House - built in 1892 by B.W. Dudley, where he and his family lived until 1930.  The Dudley House Museum is open to the public, offers special tours for schools and other groups, and private tours can also be arranged.  The beautiful gardens are a popular site for weddings and other special events. 

Ventura’s Historic Downtown District is filled with excellent examples of homes from the late 19th and early 20th century – many that have been repurposed into thriving businesses.  The former home of Ventura Philanthropist Carlo Hahn, built in 1912, now houses The Tavern Bar & Restaurant.  The Craftsman-style Norton Ranch House (1910) is now home to a French bistro, 71 Palm.  The Italianate period Love House (1903) sits between two other post-Victorian, accurately restored, turn-of-the-century homes, all of which have been converted to professional buildings.  Other downtown architectural standouts include the lovingly preserved row of Queen Anne cottages that occupy an entire block facing Plaza Park.  Victorian and craftsman-style homes stretch through midtown to The Pierpont Inn which was built in 1910 and encompasses decades of rich architecture including two 1925 English Tudor Revival cottages and a 1935 Spanish Revival Ballroom.  This cozy craftsman-style 77-room historic hotel is situated on a bluff, surrounded by lush landscaping and has sweeping panoramas of the Pacific Ocean.  The hotel’s romantic costal charm has made it a great overnight getaway for over 100 years. 

Originally constructed in the late 1920’s, the former Ventura Guarantee and Loan is one of Ventura’s most stellar restorations.  The building features a beautiful wood-paneled interior, including three large murals by renowned California painter Norman Kennedy, and the exterior has magnificent brickwork accented by unique ceramic tiles.  The location now holds the Watermark on Main, a restaurant and rooftop lounge with a synthesis of old and new; making it an essential dining destination in Ventura, for historians and epicureans alike. 

City Hall Centennial Activities

In commemoration of the City Hall Centennial, three time capsules- airtight 14” steel cubes- will be filled, buried, and join the existing U.S. Bicentennial (1776-1976) and City of San Buenaventura Centennial (1866-1966) time capsules buried by the landmark building’s front steps to mark its 100th birthday.  Ventura is looking for ideas and donations to include in the time capsules.  Centennial Time Capsule ideas and donations should be sent to Richard Newsham at or P.O. Box 99-501 Poli Street, Room 206, Ventura, CA 93002.  City Hall Centennial dates and activities include, July 4 & 25, 11am - 4pm: Historic exhibits and guided tours of the building's architecture, ‘ghosts’ and Municipal Art Collection (MAC).

July 15-19 Summer Art Camp 9am-12pm: Students 9-14 year olds create artworks inspired by City Hall's architecture and art with Focus on the Masters, meet MAC artists and study various art forms in the Atrium. Register: $150 at 805.658.4726 or

July 18 Dinner at the City 5pm: Purchase tickets for an elegant feast hosted by Totally Local VC as a benefit for Future Farmers of America, held on City Hall's expansive front lawn.  Info at

July 25 Open House, 11am - 4pm: Experience Ventura City Hall at work and attend:
  • 2pm: Historic Preservation Workshops: The Architectural Terra Cotta of City Hall (free) sponsored by the City of Ventura Community Development Department, presented by Gary Kurutz
  • 4pm: City Hall Centennial Sculpture unveiled & Time Capsule sealed (free) followed by birthday cake and refreshments, sponsored by the City of Ventura Public Art Program
More info about these events can be found at

For information on Ventura accommodations and attractions, visit or phone 800-483-6215.  A non-profit organization, the Ventura Visitors & Convention Bureau enhances tourism and the economy by positioning the City of Ventura as a visitor and conference destination. The Visitors Center is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Celebrity Cruises Pulls Into Grand Central Terminal

Modern luxury cruise line unveils The Lawn Club Experience
NEW YORK – June 03, 2013 Celebrity Cruises is rolling out “The Lawn Club Experience” in New York City’s famed Grand Central Terminal. On June 10 and 11, Celebrity Cruises will take over Vanderbilt Hall to recreate its iconic Lawn Club, offering a taste of the interactive and premium experiences that guests enjoy onboard the modern luxury cruise line. The Lawn Club is featured exclusively on Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice-class ships, centered around a half-acre of real grass growing on the top deck.
Local commuters and passersby can participate in the following Lawn Club Experience activities, including:
  • Jazz Music at the Lawn Club - Lincoln Center presents the Jon-Erik Kellso Trio (June 10) and Mona’s Hot Three (June 11) to play jazz throughout the afternoon as crowds escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
  • Celebrity Cruises Lawn Club Croquet Challenge - No need to wear all white, as anyone can have the chance to pick up a mallet and knock croquet balls through wickets to win prizes.
  • Sit, Smile, Snap - Guests can relax in the oversized Celebrity Cruises Adirondack Chair and have their picture taken to instantly share with friends across the web.
  • Fresh 102.7 WWFS-FM - Fresh 102.7-FM DJ, Christine Richie will spin great tunes and emcee all the exciting Celebrity Cruises activities throughout the event.
  • Custom Spice Rub Station - Guests can channel their inner chefs and create their own spice rubs, just like at The Lawn Club Grill, the popular outdoor grilling specialty restaurant found on the Lawn Club of the two newest ships: Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection.
  • Sweepstakes - By participating in any of the Lawn Club activities at Grand Central Terminal, guests can enter to win a free Celebrity Cruises trip for two (2) to Bermuda.
This on-land invasion runs in conjunction with Celebrity’s Grand Sale Event that promotes sailings from January to December 2014. For two days only, guests can save $1,000 on a Europe sailing, or $500 when booking a cruise to Alaska, Bermuda or the Caribbean.  
New Yorkers and those in the surrounding area have an easy commute to Cape Liberty (Bayonne), NJ, where they can board Celebrity Summit and cruise to Bermuda every Sunday through September 1, 2013.

Chrysler Group LLC Reports Sales Increase

  • Best May sales since 2007
  • 38th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains
  • Eight Chrysler Group vehicles set sales records in May; Jeep® Wrangler and Jeep Compass record their best monthly sales ever
  • Ram Truck brand sales up 24 percent; largest percentage sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand in May
  • Dodge Dart, Dodge Durango, Chrysler Town & Country and Chrysler 200 Convertible are segment award winners in Strategic Vision’s “Total Quality” awards
  • FIAT brand reaches new milestone in May as North American sales surpass 100,000 units since its reintroduction in 2011
June 3, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 166,596 units, an 11 percent increase compared with sales in May 2012 (150,041 units), and the group’s best May sales since 2007.

The Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in May compared with the same month a year ago. The Ram Truck brand’s 24 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand in May. Chrysler Group extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 38-consecutive months in May.

“Our best May sales in six years enabled us to extend our sales streak to 38-consecutive months of year-over-year sales gains,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. “We continue to see strong retail sales throughout our product lineup as eight Chrysler Group vehicles set sales records in May, including best sales ever by the Jeep Wrangler and Compass.”

The Jeep Compass’ 42 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Jeep brand vehicle in the month. Sales of the flagship Jeep Grand Cherokee were up 21 percent in May compared with the same month a year ago, its best May sales in eight years. All Jeep brand vehicles in production recorded year-over-year sales gains in May.

Eight Chrysler Group vehicles set sales records in the month of May. The Jeep Wrangler and the Jeep Compass SUVs each recorded their best sales ever. In addition, the Dodge Avenger and Dodge Challenger, the Fiat 500, the Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan, and the Ram pickup truck were among the Chrysler Group vehicles that registered their best sales for the month of May.

Chrysler Group finished the month with a 62-days supply of inventory (398,869 units). U.S. industry sales figures for May are projected at an estimated 15.5 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR).

May 2013 U.S. Sales Highlights by Brand

Ram Truck Brand

Ram Truck brand sales were up 24 percent, the brand’s best May sales since 2007. The Ram pickup truck set a sales record for the month of May with its 22 percent increase. It was the Ram pickup truck’s 37th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Ram 1500 was named in May as a 2013 All-Star by Automobile Magazine for the third time in the past four years. For 2013, the new Ram 1500 offers buyers best-in-class 25 MPG Highway fuel efficiency, new technology and new features without sacrificing capability. In addition, the Ram 1500 4x4 was named “Best All-Weather Pickup Truck” by the New England Motor Press Association (NEMPA) in May. The Ram Cargo Van set a sales record for the month of May, the vehicle’s best sales month so far this year.

Dodge Brand

Dodge brand sales were up 23 percent in May, the brand’s best May sales since 2007 and its 24th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Dodge brand sales gain was led by the Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan and the Dodge Challenger, each setting a sales record for the month of May. Sales of the Dodge Journey mid-size crossover were up 15 percent, its best May sales since 2008, while Dodge Durango full-size SUV sales were up 24 percent, the largest percentage increase of any Dodge brand model in the month. Dodge Dart sales were down 8 percent month-over-month in May, following five months of gains. The Dodge Grand Caravan had its best sales month this year and its best May sales since 2008.

The Dart and the Durango earned “Best of 2013 Total Quality™” honors in Strategic Vision’s annual Total Quality Index™ (TQI). The Dart and Durango ranked highest in their segments based on responses from owners of 2013 model-year vehicles in Strategic Vision’s quantitative study of 17,568 owners. Strategic Vision measures “Total Quality” by studying more than 440 variables that encompass positive and negative experiences, including reliability, driving excitement, emotional attachment, and overall sales and service satisfaction.

FIAT Brand

The Fiat 500 set a sales record for the month of May with its 1 percent increase. It was the vehicle’s 15th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains and its best sales month so far this year. In addition, the FIAT brand reached a new milestone in May as it surpassed 100,000 units sold in North America since its reintroduction in 2011.

The FIAT brand’s product lineup expands this month as the all-new 2014 Fiat 500L begins arriving in FIAT studios across the country with a starting price of $19,100 and four value-loaded models. The 500L expands the appeal of the iconic 500, with two more doors, accommodations for five passengers, best-in-class interior volume (120.1 cu. ft.) and advanced European technology.

Also coming this summer to the state of California is the all-new 2013 Fiat 500e electric vehicle. The 500e will be offered to California residents at launch with a $199 a month/$999 due at signing lease for 36 months, same as the current lease offer on a Fiat 500 Pop powered by a gas engine.

Jeep® Brand

Jeep brand sales were up 1 percent in May, the brand’s best May sales since 2000 and its best sales month so far this year. All Jeep brand models in production recorded sales gains in May compared with the same month a year ago. The Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Compass each recorded their best sales ever. Wrangler sales (16,272 units) were up 13 percent, shattering the sales record the vehicle set in June 2012. Sales of the Compass compact SUV were up 42 percent in May, the largest year-over-year percentage gain of any Jeep model in May.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee’s 21 percent increase represented its best May sales since 2005, while the Jeep Patriot’s 13 percent gain marked its best May sales since 2008. The Jeep Grand Cherokee was named the “Official Winter Vehicle of New England” for an unprecedented third-consecutive year by NEMPA in May.

Chrysler Brand

Sales of the Chrysler Town & Country minivan were up 4 percent in May, the minivan’s best May sales in three years. The Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan set a sales record for the month of May.

The Town & Country and the Chrysler 200 Convertible each earned “Best of 2013 Total Quality” honors in Strategic Vision’s annual Total Quality Index in May. Chrysler brand sales were up 4 percent month-over-month, but were down 2 percent compared with the same month a year ago. The Town & Country also took a record-breaking 12th-consecutive Polk Loyalty Award in the minivan category earlier this year. Sales of the Chrysler 300 Motown Edition started in May, a car that celebrates the passion and the music that defined the Motor City.