President’s Message – Into the Future

By Frans Hansen, President, The Cruise Web.

When I started this company 17 years ago, introducing the CruiseWeb.com web site just after the launch of the very first Netscape web browser, The Cruise Web was a one person company, setting up our first supplier contacts, and preparing for our very first cruise bookings.  Only about 3% of the North American population had ever cruised at that time, and cruise lines, with their classic ship designs, were just starting to more aggressively reach out to the greater U.S. population.

Wow – how times have changed!  The number and variety of cruise ships today is amazing; with sizes ranging from small and intimate to almost city-sized, and with onboard feature, amenity, and benefit innovations that few of us could have even imagined 17 years ago. [Read more →]

November 16, 2011   7 Comments

President’s Message – Happy Valentine’s Day

By Frans Hansen, President, The Cruise Web.

Dear Cruise Lovers,

This month’s Current is all about theme cruising. Since I am writing this President’s Message on Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided to make Love the theme of my message.

Judith Johnson, author of The Wedding Ceremony Planner, writes that many people believe that “to love another” is the “highest expression and experience we can attain in life.” Whether it’s love for family, friends, or a lover, love is so powerful and wonderful, that it’s hard to argue against this view.

HeartStill, Ms. Johnson argues that love is easily misunderstood.  When we fall in love, we often attach our love to characteristics about the object of our love.  We love the looks, status, or career of a person, and thus we “love” that person.  Less obviously, we love someone because of their great personality.   We can “fall” in love almost instantly when we see these things that so attract us, almost like a chemical reaction. [Read more →]

February 16, 2011   No Comments

President’s Message – A New Year to Appreciate!

By Frans Hansen, President, The Cruise Web.

Ice Hockey SkatesIt was a little painful bending over to tie my shoes this Monday morning.  It’s all good, though. I was just sore from playing pond hockey two days in a row, three to four hours per day, with my two young boys.  Ponds don’t often freeze over thoroughly in the Washington, DC area, and last year when our pond did, it was ‘un-skateable’ with three to five feet of snow on it. This weekend it was skateable and we jumped on the opportunity, bringing out the old ice skates and hockey sticks.

Plopping down for breaks between our unofficial hockey ‘periods’, it was easy to appreciate the scene of a beautiful glistening frozen pond speckled with skating and laughing neighborhood children, all surrounded by winter woods. I plan to do much more of this. No, don’t worry lower back — not to play ice hockey three to four hours every day. It’s my Snow Covered Forest2011 New Year’s resolution to appreciate everything.  This may sound easy enough for someone as fortunate as me — someone who has beautiful and healthy children, his own health, loving family, great friends, a successful business, superb company managers, wonderful employees, and a nice home in a terrific neighborhood that’s part of an outstanding school system. [Read more →]

January 19, 2011   6 Comments

President’s Message – The Spirit of Giving

By Frans Hansen, President, The Cruise Web.

My sweet, tiny, late Swedish grandmother, Svea, was the most giving person that I’ve ever known. “Mormor” (translated “Mother’s-mother”), as my siblings, cousin and I called her, grew up in the small southern Swedish seafaring village of Brantevik. There, she found her love, my “Morfar” (“Mother’s-father”), Lennart Larsson, a maritime painter and artist, before marrying and moving to the bigger cities of Eslöv and then Malmö, where they raised two beautiful daughters, Lena Ingegerd and Ann-Marie. When the girls reached teenage years and Svea had extra time, Svea leveraged her studies in child-care to begin caring for neighborhood children from her home.

“Tant Svea” (“Aunt Svea”), as all the neighborhood children called her, was everyone’s favorite. She always had little snacks in her coat Cookiepockets for every smiling face, and no tiny neighbor could pass by her kitchen window without being invited in for a cookie and some hot cocoa. Svea was always kind and sweet, taking joy in the happiness of every child, and feeling any child’s hurt as if it were her own.  When discipline was required, Svea had to force herself to try to seem sterner – yet she always betrayed her efforts with soft caring eyes that just couldn’t play along. [Read more →]

December 15, 2010   7 Comments

President’s Message – Exploration & Discovery

By Frans Hansen, President, The Cruise Web.

I recently had the pleasure of spending time with my one year old niece and her slightly older brother.  After a while, I found my cheeks sore from smiling and laughing, watching them have fun. They weren’t playing video games or watching movies, or even playing with the latest or greatest toy. They were just exploring around and discovering wonder in the simplest things.

“The image in this picture book is just exquisite,” could have been what my little niece was thinking, “and the page feels so smooth when I run my hand across it and then back and forth twenty-two times.” “I must go show this to my cousins,” may have been her next thought as her tiny hands went to grab and rip the page, beforeBlowing Bubbles Uncle Frans helped re-direct her attention to a floating bubble he just blew.  “Bubbaal” came from her smiling lips as she chased and circled the bubble with her head looking straight up, before the dizziness conquered her and her bottom hit the floor. [Read more →]

November 17, 2010   2 Comments

President’s Message – Behind-the-Scenes

By Frans Hansen, President, The Cruise Web.

Having just returned from an exciting and successful weekend in Utah, winning the National Auto Sport Association’s National Championship in the BMW SpecE30 class, I have been asked by our Cruise Web newsletter team to write a behind the scenes report about capturing the championship.  Here is a look at the week, key tactics and strategies that led to the title.

Plan ahead, and then have a plan B, and even a plan C!

Plan A for me was to have my local DriveGear racing team bring my sweetly tuned #87 car out to Salt Lake City for the big event. However, team owners Jon and Andrew and their wives, both decided to have babies this very month, and further, refused to ask the stork to hold delivery for another month.

Frans and his "Plan C"Plan B found last year’s National runner-up, Steve, with a speedy backup red #92 car.  Yet, despite a signed contract, “Little Red” decided to blow a motor three weeks before the dance. Being the thoughtful and honorable man that he is, Steve helped me line up my Plan C ride – a black 1987 BMW 325is from team PFB Performance. [Read more →]

September 22, 2010   1 Comment

President’s Message – Fall Cruising

By Frans Hansen, President, The Cruise Web.

pumpkinsSummer is almost over, school is beginning, and lazy casual days at the pool or beach are floating away with the surf’s ebb.  Soon, the breeze will pick up, we will all add a light layer of clothes, and the smells and colors of autumn will be upon us.

Many of us will miss the summer, while others are happy to see it end.  Either way, almost everyone appreciates fall. Fall is a time to turn off the air conditioner, open the doors and windows, get outside, and connect with nature. It’s about pumpkin carving, leaf jumping, turkey basting, and planning for the year-end Holidays. [Read more →]

August 17, 2010   No Comments

President’s Message – The New Bucket List

By Frans Hansen, President, The Cruise Web.

In Rob Reiner’s film The Bucket List, Jack Nicholson’s and Morgan Freeman’s characters meet in a crowded hospital room, having just been diagnosed with terminal illnesses and prognoses of less than a year to live. The two become unlikely friends, and set off together to climb the Pyramids, traverse the Great Wall of China, safari in Africa, and share all the things on their list before they “kick the bucket!”

With respects to legends Reiner, Nicholson and Freeman, and to those who have actually lived out final year bucket lists, I have to argue that this is the ‘old’ way about a Bucket List! The New Bucket List concept is quite different … and it’s ageless!  First of all, very few of us are given one year’s ‘advance notice’ on our life expectancy, and then also have the time, resources and health, to knock off a list of 20 worldly pursuits in under a year.  Additionally, beginning with the instant we are born, our time here starts ticking away.  Thus, now is the time to live our dreams.  Now, everyone, whether 25 or 85, should put together a proper Bucket List and start checking off at least one item per year! [Read more →]

July 21, 2010   3 Comments

President’s Message – At the Beach

By Frans Hansen, President, The Cruise Web.

The Baltic SeaLast summer, I took my then 6 and 9 year old boys to the little southern Swedish coastal village of Falsterbo.  Falsterbo and neighboring Skanör are small old fishing villages that have turned into popular summer vacation spots for many Swedes, and have always been favorites of my boys’ Swedish born “Farmor” (literally translated “father’s mother”).

As this was the first trip for my boys to the home country of many of their ancestors, we packed an active itinerary into our 10-day vacation. However, almost every morning, we made time for the beach! Waking in a family friends’ summer home as immaculate as every building and home in these pristine villages, the three of us would eat our Swedish porridge and then board our old-fashion rented bicycles – baskets, bells, and all – to bike 10-15 minutes to the crisp and breezy water of the Baltic Sea. [Read more →]

May 19, 2010   5 Comments

President’s Message – Cruise Cuisine

By Frans Hansen, President, The Cruise Web.

This month’s Current theme, “cruise cuisine,” reminds me of my first ever dining experience in a cruise line’s specialty steak house.

Cruise DiningI was among a few guests invited to dine with one of a leading cruise line’s corporate executives for an inaugural dinner aboard a new vessel that was debuting its first steakhouse at sea. Wow — while the company was terrific, the dining experience was even better!

I’ve always been impressed how cruise cuisine is far superior to hotel banquet cuisine in all respects: choice, quality, inspiration, preparation, presentation, ambiance, and service, to name a few.  And who couldn’t possibly be a fan of the choice of dining venue options at sea? From room service to cafes, poolside snacks, buffets, the main dining room, and many more. [Read more →]

April 21, 2010   2 Comments