Saturday, June 25, 2011

Oasis of the Seas Loft Suites

Luxurious cruise ship the Oasis of the Seas has 28 ultra modern loft suites and 2,700 spacious staterooms. The loft suites are absolutely exceptional and spotless.

The view of the sea is spectacular if seen from these suites whose glass walls and balcony sliding doors were supplied by Pilkington Marine. Safety glass windows have been used by architects to extend the view of the passengers to the sparkling blue ocean from the confined walls of the interior of cruise ship cabins. When the ship is sailing in the Caribbean sea, passengers who stay in the suites can enjoy sunbathing or watch movies from the LCD televisions. The bedrooms are on the upper-level overlooking the living area and ocean views. Now, the price! I tried to find how much it costs for a 7-night trip to Western Caribbean where the ports of call are Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica; Cozumel, Mexico; Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The price of the tour is 1,549 US dollars. You will be able to see the sparkling blue waters and white sandy beaches and involve in various adventurous activities during your cruise vacation.
Also read: Oasis of the Seas rooms

Friday, June 24, 2011

Oasis of the Seas 7 Day Cruise

Traveling around the Caribbean islands can be relaxing if we go by a luxurious cruise ship the Oasis of the Seas or her sister the Allure of the Seas. I have just watched a video on Youtube about a 7 Day tour around the Carribean waters with the Oasis. It's really a nice video. In the description of the video, the narrator mentions some ports which the Oasis of the Seas will visit during the 7-day tour. They are Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica; Cozumel, Mexico.

Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas has got four pools, 2 flow riders, basketball court, Zip Line, Mini Golf and various other facilities which tourists can use while traveling with this largest cruise ship in the world. More adventurous and energetic persons can even try rock climbing sport at man-made cliff a board the ship.
The video closely shows various facilities which the cruise ship has from gaming centers to restaurants to department store, jewelry store, and electronic shop. The natural beauty of Caribbean islands is also interesting. This 7-day tour brings you to a world where you can experience a modern floating city in the middle of a pristine environment of the tropical islands of the Carribean seas. This cruise ship and her sister the Allure of the Seas have even been declared by frommers.com as the best cruise ships of 2011 saying that the biggest innovation of their split superstructures that look like a long canyon that contain green garden and boardwalk track bring air and light into the center of the ship.
Cruising is a lucrative business. Cruise ship operators know that they have to provide ships that are comfortable and affordable for tourists who want to take a one week or even two weeks holiday in the tropical seas. To answer the challenges of cruising business competition, Carnival is going to launch another new ship called Carnival Breeze in June 2012. The ship will not be too different from her sister the Carnival Dream and the Carnival Magic. The cruise line company charges 239 US dollars for her interior room for a 2-day trip to the Bahamas from Miami, Florida.  by Charles Roring
Also read: Oasis of the Seas Cruise Deals Pricing

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cruise ship pollution

When a cruise ship or passenger ship is in the middle of the sea, it creates a number of wastes that are harmful to the marine environment. From the operation of the ship alone, large amount of smoke is released into the air. The smoke pollutes the atmosphere with CO2, CO and other toxic gases.
A cruise ship with a capacity of more than 5000 passengers can be considered as a small floating village or town. The cruise ship produces huge quantity of solid and liquid wastes that have to be properly treated to minimize negative impacts which they bring to the marine and land environment. For example, the gray water. Even though gray water consists mostly of organic material, it should not be released into the shallow waters where there are coral reef because this fragile ecosystem will die if the water is saturated with nutrients. So, the graywater has to be filtered to separate solid wastes from it before it can be released into the sea.
Special waste processing devices inside a cruise ship are used to reduce the volume of plastic and metal wastes so that they will not consume a lot of spaces inside the ship's compartment. When the cruise ship arrives at one of her ports of call, the wastes can be transferred to land for further processing. 

The above Youtube Video shows how MSC Fantasia cruise ship promotes herself as a marine vessel that respects marine habitat. To minimize air pollution, the ship uses low-sulphur fuel. To conserve energy, the cruise ship uses energy efficient light bulbs in all of her passenger cabins and public lounges. Energy efficient air conditioning system significantly reduces fuel consumption of this vessel. Improvements in ship design towards a more environmentally friendly ship is a positive step in maintaining the growth of marine tourism industry without harming the precious marine environment.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Louvre glass windows of a Wooden House

Louvre glass windows are commonly used in timber framed houses in tropical region. The minimum thickness of the glass is 3 millimeter. The following photograph shows the passive ventilation of a house in Wasior town of West Papua province of Indonesia. The glass windows attached inside wooden frames were installed around the outer walls. Below the corrugated clay roofs are the jalousie windows made of timber. Because the humidity in this tropical island is high, the louvre and jalousie windows greatly reduce the moisture inside the wooden house and improve the indoor air quality of the rooms.
We all know that the temperature in tropical region is quite high between 30 to 32 degrees Celcius during the days. Louvre glass windows can enhance the air circulation inside a house without the help of fan. The maintenance cost is also low. However louvre windows are not suitable for passive ventilation in cold region. by Charles Roring
Also read: Wooden house for eco-tourism program

Monday, June 20, 2011

Oasis of the Seas Cruising

Today cruise ships such as the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas provide various activities that passengers can enjoy while cruising with these luxurious floating hotel. Some innovative physical activities that attract young travelers are surfing and rock climbing. Those who prefer to see the beautiful blue ocean of the Carribbean may have the chance of watching dolphins jumping out of the sea surface. Naval architects who design the cruise ship know that they have to provide a number of onboard recreational facilities to passengers. Because sailing across the tropical seas can be boring, full service spa can be a nice destination for those who want to refresh their bodies and minds. Some passengers may try their luck at Casino Royale that has two sections i.e. Smoke Free and Smoking Section.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wooden Houses Jalousie Windows

Earthquake resistant wooden houses in tropical region often use jalousie windows (usually located above or beside the glass windows) as ventilation system for the cooling of rooms. Generally glass louvred jalousie windows are installed at the front walls near the verandah or at the living room where house owners receive their guests. The louvre windows brighten the indoor rooms because they allow not only the fresh air to enter the houses but also the sunlight. To filter the dust from the street from flying into the rooms, house owners usually install transparent curtain sheets or drapes behind the glass louvred windows. The curtain also improves the privacy of the house owner because people cannot easily see the interior of the house except at nights when the lamps are on. Hardwood jalousie windows can usually be seen in the walls of bedrooms. The combination of jalousie hardwood ventilation holes with glass louvred windows is the most common type of ventilation system in tropical houses. Because wooden houses use timber for the frames, walls and windows, they have to be specially treated. Wooden structures need to be covered with paints or varnished to protect them from water vapor that can cause them to rot. 
In tropical region, jalousie windows are considered environmentally friendly because they don't need electrical energy to enable air circulation. This ventilation system allows trade wind to flow naturally into and out of a house. However, malaria is a serious disease in tropical region, all of the jalousie louvre windows have to be covered with mosquito nets to prevent mosquitoes from entering the house, especially the bedrooms at nights. by Charles Roring

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wooden House for Eco-tourism Program in Arfak Mountains

I have just finished designing a wooden house for an eco-tourism program in Arfak mountains of Manokwari regency of West Papua. I used Google Sketchup Pro version 8 to create this new tourist house. The wooden house will be constructed in the middle of a tropical jungle below Mt. Soyti some two kilometers away from Kwau village, a trekking and birding destination for tourists who want to experience the natural beauty of the tropical rainforest of New Guinea island.
After designing the wooden house and composing a proposal for its construction, I gave it to Hans Mandacan, one of the villagers. He will lobby the government officials both in tourism agency and department of forestry of West Papua province and Manokwari regency. According to Hans, the officials give positive comments for the project. However, they need to get approval from the legislative council for the next year budget's allocation where the tourist house will be included in their list.
I hope that this wooden house will boost the eco-tourism program in Arfak mountains and at the same time increase the prosperity of the indigenous Papuan people who live in the region. Wood as the main material for the construction of this wooden house will not be taken from the nearby forest but from the town of Manokwari. I suggest to Hans to seriously preserve the tropical trees in their village's territory. by Charles Roring
3 Oct 2012 Update
The wooden house for tourists is now being constructed in Arfak mountains. The design which I created has been changed by the contractor. I haven't seen the new design but I hope that it will be comfortable for the tourists.
7 April 2013 Update
The physical construction of the guesthouse has finished. There finished house is different from the above design. It is built above the ground and fully made of iron wood. Guests who want to stay in this guesthouse are required to bring their own sleeping bag. Please, contact me, by email to peace4wp@gmail.com if you plan to go to Arfak mountains.  So far two guests already stayed in the house - one from the Netherlands and the other from Singapore. The rate is Rp. 100,000/person/night or approximately 11 US dollars/person/night.  by Charles Roring

Oasis of the Seas Passenger Carrying Capacity and Port Facility

In an article about Oasis of the Seas's new port of call in Jamaica, I mentioned about the construction of new port facilities in Falmouth to receive the largest cruise ship in the world. The Caribbean country hopes that by receiving more cruise ships, its economic condition can be improved. The trend in marine tourism industry shows that ship owners now order cruise ships that are larger with more capacity for carrying passengers. Oasis of the Seas which was launched in November 2008 has accommodations for 6,296 people. This huge man made floating structure needs larger pier, and deeper waters particularly in the harbor area which she will visit. The decision made by ship owners to order larger cruise ships was based on the consideration of efficiency and economy of operation. With higher capacity, the revenue which they can get will be higher with little increase in operational cost.
The impact is clear. More wastes will be produced from these luxurious cruise ships and more man made structures will have to be constructed at the harbors. In tropical regions where coral reef thrive around most of the coastal areas of the islands, the construction of big harbors and other port facilities bring more damage to the coral reef and the nearby marine environment. Naval Architect and Marine Engineers who are working in the design and construction of cruise ships have to be more serious in designing the on board waste treatment facility inside the cruise ships. Gray water and organic solid wastes that come out of the ships must not be harmful to the environment.
I suggest that more efforts should be done by naval architects and marine engineers in creating an integrated waste treatment facility between cruise ships and port facilities so that wastes both liquid, and solid will be able to be transported from ships to land. By creating such integrated facility, the addition in capacity of passengers will not bring detrimental impact on the coral reef and marine environment where the cruise ships will travel to. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Water tower and Well Design for villagers in Kebar

Last week I designed a tourist house for Kwau village, it is a timber frame construction. Tonight, I have just designed a well and a simple water tower made of wood for villagers in Kebar valley of Manokwari regency of West Papua. I use Google Sketchup 8 Professional to design this model. The well will supply clean water for the villagers. According to the preliminary information that I got from Yerry (a school teacher in Asiti village of District Senopi) the water collected in the well will be pumped by an electric water pump. Actually for a remote region like Kebar where electrical power is limited, another scheme should be introduced. I prefer wind turbine to electric pump. The depth of the well is 11 meter where as the height of the water tower is 2.85 meters. The capacity of water tank 6.28 cubic meters. So, it will not be enough for the whole village. Perhaps, the village needs around 8 to 10 wells. 
The walls of the well are made of concrete material whose thickness are 10 centimeters. For the water tower, I choose hard Merbau timber with the dimension of 10cm x 10 cm as the wooden pillars that will support the tank. Wooden construction is the cheapest one due to the abundance of trees in the surrounding area. However, I don't recommend cutting trees as the solution for the increasing need of timber material in West Papua. I recommend the use of naturally fallen trees in the rainforest as the material for building the tower or even houses in Kebar village.
Google Sketchup is a light yet very powerful 2D and 3D modelling that I recommend to all architects around the world. I needed around 3.5 hours to make the design and calculation of construction materials for the well, floor, wooden water tower and the water tank.  I hope that people in Kebar will be able to enjoy clean water in the near future. by Charles Roring

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Coral reef fish - juvenile black damsel

The underwater picture of this juvenile black damsel (Neoglypphidodon melas) was taken in the bay of Manokwari city. This coral reef fish is unique because its colors will change to black when it becomes adult. The main characteristics of this fish is the yellow stripe that extends from snout to rear dorsal fin and the blue ventral and anal fins with black frontal margin. Mature black damsel is dark. If we do the snorkeling in the morning especially when the weather is clear with full sunlight, the yellow colors of this coral reef fish will look bright. Sighting of this unique damselfish occurred at around 4.30 p.m. At that time the weather was cloudy. Alex Sokolov who was a Russian snorkeler took the picture of this coral reef fish at the depth of around 3 meters below the surface of the sea.
In addition to the above black damsel, the coral reef in the Dorey bay of Manokwari is home to surgeon fish, lion fish, parrotfish, anemone fish and many others that I cannot mention one by one in this post.
As a tour guide, I provide snorkeling packages to tourists who want to explore the coral reef of Manokwari. I know places in the bay that has got abundant reef and marine life. In addition to snorkeling, visitors can also do other activities when traveling in Manokwari. They can go trekking in Arfak range to see the tropical rainforest and watch paradise birds. They can camp in the jungle accompanied by our local guides and they can have a picnic by a river.
This is my email: peace4wp@gmail.com. When you write an email, please, provide such information as the dates of your trip, the number of guests and what activities that you are interested in doing while in Manokwari. I will reply your email by providing detailed explanations for your trip in this tropical island. by Charles Roring.
Also read:
Coral reef fish in Mansinam island

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Coral reef fish in the bay of Manokwari

There are hundreds of species of coral reef fish in the Dorey bay of Manokwari city. To watch them, we just need to wear snorkeling masks and swim over the coral reef in the morning or in the afternoon before sunset. To get to the place where the coral reefs are still in pristine condition, we hire a fisherman boat. The coral reef fish can easily be photographed by snorkelers at the depths of 1 to 3 meters. If the depth of the sea water is more than 3, snorkelers have to go down and take the pictures of the fish. Unfortunately the quality of the underwater pictures will not be so good because of the unstable position the snorkelers have in the water.
The bay in Manokwari city is a nice snorkeling site for tourists who want to see the beauty of the underwater world of coral reef in affordable cost. Just bring your snorkeling gear before flying to Manokwari. I will bring you to places where you can enjoy snorkeling as much as you like.
Coral reef is the tropical rainforest of the sea. It absorbs CO2 gases and release Oxygen during the photosynthesis.
Also read: Coral reef in Manem islet