Cruise ships ahoy

At least three cruise ships will call on St. John in the next 9 days.  The Wind Spirit, a multi-masted sailing and power ship, has been a frequent visitor to St. John, often anchoring off Great Cruz Bay as well as Cruz Bay.  It’s due Sunday. Jan. 29.  The following Day, SeaDream I is due. 

Clubmed2_1New to me is Club Med II. It is a making a call on Tuesday, Jan. 31. 

Incidentally, while some of us saw the Queen Mary anchored off Charlotte Amalie during the last two years we’re not likely to see it again this year.  The president and CEO of the West Indian Company, Edward Thomas, said the QM2 was never intended to be a Caribbean ship. "It was a bonus, we got spoiled," he told the Virgin Islands Daily News.  The Queen is about to begin its maiden voyage to Hawaii, departing from Los Angeles late next month, and spend most of the winter cruising to South America.

Orbitz offers new travel alerts

Orbitz said it is the first online travel service to offer RSS-formatted feeds for travel information and airport, hotel, and vacation deals.  Consumers can get daily updates send to their RSS readers or the home pages of portals such as My Yahoo.  "We’re proud to make technology easier to use and deliver consumer benefits with it," said Mitch Truwit, president and CEO of Orbitz.  Learn more.

Caneel is irreplaceable, says Blyth

On the job as managing director of Caneel Bay Resort for the past 16 months has taught Rik Blyth the place is one of a kind. "You could not recreate this resort in today’s world."  He told the St. John Sun-Times the greatest challenge in running the 175-acre, 166-room, 7-beach facility is "playing the role of caretaker to a place of such age and setting." 

That also means observing tradition.  Even though rooms at Caneel range from $400 to $900 a night, there still are no phones or television. But that doesn’t mean he’s a luddite.  Technology, in the form of GPS systems, is incorporated into treasure hunts on the property, and some rooms have powerful telescopes.  "I discovered I could see beaches on St. Thomas as clearly as though I was standing right in front of its windows."

The recent purchase of Caneel by Rosewood resorts has brought new investment in the property.  The tennis courts are being resurfaced, furniture in the terrace and bar is being replaced, and construction is underway on a new seaside bar which will feature brick oven pizza.  Plans are also to refurnish the guest rooms, but only after letting long-time guests see them and make comments.

Maho Bay opens online store

The Maho Bay Art Center is online at www.maho.org/storeThe Center creates art from recycled products such as beer bottles, bed linens, and lint from clothes dryers. Highly skilled artists create at studios located at Maho Bay Camps.  Glass sculptures, bird feeders and batik fabric belts are among the items available.

Art shows

WhiteheadBajo el Sol Gallery at Mongoose Junction has opened its first exhibition of the year featuring painter Pat Whitehead and ceramic sculptor Mandy Thody.,  Whitehead is a St. John artist whose work features a focus on local landscapes and their varieties of light.  Thody said all of her works "contain something actively alive, usually a person or animals, with the background as a secondary focus."  The gallery is open seven days a week. http://www.bajoelsolgallery.com/artists.html

05imhoffSt. John watercolorist Roy Imhoff is being featured with a collection of new paintings at the Solo Arte Studio Gallery at the Cruz Bay Lumberyard.

Maho Bay Campgrounds series

A schedule of lectures and workshops has been organized by Maho Bay Campgrounds.  Workshops are being offered in Qigong, Tantra, yoga and the natural mysteries of the world.  Tantra Yoga will be the subject Jan. 23 at 7:30pm. "Rediscovering the inherent preciousness and openness of our being" will be the subject of a presentation by Annette Koop on Jan. 30.  The sessions will be held in the St. John School of Arts classroom in the Lumberyard, near Polli’s restaurant.