Port Canaveral Staying the Course

Port Canaveral Staying the Course

by Lee | Jul 5, 2020 | Blogger | 0 comments

Port Canaveral is considered a destination in and of itself with Restaurants, Charter Boats, Fishing, Beaches, Marina, Morton Salt and quite a bit more.   A major Aquarium is in its future growth plans. After all, where else can see a Rocket Launch from your Balcony.

Photo credit: Steven Madow, www.stevenmadow.com

MSC Cruises to base ship at Port Canaveral next spring, becoming fifth cruise line here
Dave Berman, Florida TodayPublished 11:12 a.m. ET June 4, 2020 | Updated 3:34 p.m. ET June 4, 2020        The MSC Divina will redeploy to Port Canaveral next spring. (Photo: MSC Cruises)

MSC Cruises announced Thursday that it will begin sailing out of Port Canaveral next spring, becoming the fifth major cruise line to have ships based at Brevard County’s seaport.

The Swiss-based cruise line — known for its upscale ships — said it will base the MSC Divina at Port Canaveral, the world’s second-busiest cruise port, ranked by passenger volume.

The ship will offer a mix of three-, four- and seven-night cruises sailing from Port Canaveral on Sundays and Thursdays.

“With this new, easily accessible home port, MSC Cruises’ guests will now have the option of exploring the Orlando area pre- or post-cruise, and extending their vacation experience,” the cruise line said in a statement announcing its plans.

Port Canaveral Chief Executive Officer John Murray said the port is “very pleased to welcome MSC Cruises USA” and is “excited to be the home port for the beautiful MSC Divina.”

Murray said the partnership with MSC “is an endorsement of our commitment to excellence and the investments we’ve made in our cruise operations. We’re looking forward to working together with our new cruise partner, providing the best possible experience for their guests.”

MSC Cruises USA President Ruben Rodriguez said Port Canaveral “has always been an extremely popular port with cruisers, since it is easily accessible, offers innovative and modern terminals, and provides nearby access to many attractions in the surrounding area. We are thrilled at MSC Cruises to offer sailings from Port Canaveral on the modern and elegant MSC Divina for the first time.”

I had the pleasure of sailing on the Innagural of this lovely Vessel from the Port of Miami to Port Canaveral. It coincided with the promotion for the Exploration Tower at the port-

Astronaut Winston Scott at the Exploration Tower

Here was an opportunity to meet and briefly chat with a great Astronaut! Pictured here Astronaut Winston Scott and Lee Rosenkranz, CTC



Exploration Tower Port Canaveral

Each Floor of the building is loaded with historical information, environmental infrastructure, wildlife descriptions and visual effects. They mostly correspond to the surrounding area.

MSC Divina

This Sleek Beautiful ship is going to be sailing from Port Canaveral!


The Divina portrays an era of the great Diva Stars of Song and Screen-

MSC Divina Promo

A Great Lady of Song and Screen!

A brief link showing of the amazing performances onboard the MSC Divina soon to be homeported in Port Canaveral on the Space Coast of Florida. I describe it as a cross between the Moulin Rouge and Cirque Du Soleil! However the Theme tonight is Piratical  https://youtu.be/MXQr0wOAkg8

A legend in the Travel Industry since his early beginnings with Pan Am and then his first Cruise Line Costa as a Sales Representative.  I remember the first time he came to My Dad, Sam Rosenkranz’s Bon Voyage Travel on the very busy 163rd Street in North Miami Beach. There must have been 10 travel agencies within about a five-block radius in that part of town I remember most sales reps came by gave you a brochure and a pen and said here, now go sell our products. Sasso looked over the place and said before I leave here today I’m gonna fill your board with Costa ships.    My Dad had a listing board which in those days had push letters onto a board which stated, “Join our Groups and $ave”.  In those days there was a substantial saving in the group sailing versus an individual sailing.  Sasso started going through his offerings of Federico C and Enrico C and Carla C and every C he had plus the Flavia, etc…   He cut a deal for each one and then stuck the letters and prices on the board himself and when he left the agency looked like a satellite office of Costa. And… never mind a cheap promo pen he gave me a book on Cruising the Caribbean that I kept to this day.  I guess that’s the way to climb the ranks.   This was followed by an outstanding Cruise Industry Career culminating as CEO of MSC USA pictured here is Rick Sasso-

MSC Orchestra Inauguration




MSC USA headquarters in Fort Lauderdale

Richard-Sasso-CEO-MSC-Cruises-USA, Gina Rosenkranz and Lee Rosenkranz of Florida Greeters/Dayaway Travel

Costa Cruise Ad

Join our Groups and $ave! This was a few years later and the format is still used.

Travel Agent Sam Rosenkranz's Busy Desk but He is cool and collected!

Travel Agent Sam Rosenkranz’s Busy Desk but He is cool and collected!








Lee proudly displaying MSC Cruise Shirt with Jazz recording artist Mindy Abair

Lee proudly displaying MSC Cruise Shirt with Jazz recording artist Mindy Abair!

Fiat on board the MSC Divina

Fiat on board the MSC Divina

Very Young Guest Dancing

This young fellow was highly inspired by the entertaining features from MSC Cruises so he broke into his own steps to add to the mix!

Copy of MSC Production Appreciation award to Florida Greeters from MSC

We liked them so much from the Opera to the RIsotto and from the Dance Lessons to the Classical Music we escorted a group of 80 to Bermuda from Florida and MSC awarded our efforts.   We’ll tell you more about that in a separate article!

Pirates, Sunken Ships along the Hutchinson Island Treasure Coast and the Suwanee River

Don Pedro Gilbert is the namesake of the last remaining House of Refuge Building on Hutchinson Island according to his story on page 25 of “Twenty Florida Pirates” and just offshore from that historic house was the sinking of the “Georges Valentine” in 1904 on page 85 according to the book “Thirty Florida Shipwrecks” They have some of the original log books written at the time of the wrecks and salvages from the area. you can join in on a Motorcoach trip on Saturday November 14th in conjunction with the South Brevard Historical Society.

To read the Itinerary hit www.dayawaytravelclub.com then hit menu.

This is your link to the slideshow on the Treasure Coast and the Florida Folk Festival on the Suwanee RIver

Stetson Mansion

Stetson Mansion

“If you’re only going to one Holiday Attraction make it the Stetson Mansion”


How did a cowboy hat maker from Philadelphia who sells mainly to the West end up with a Florida Mansion? These are the type of questions that you may ponder as you visit the decorated Mansion of John B Stetson built in 1886. You may want to keep in mind that we have older large homes in Florida, circa Antebellum such as Kingsley, Gamble and Bronson Mullholland or the Gonsalvez Alvarez house in St. Augustine which is pre Revolutionary War and referred to as the oldest house. However, the most popular well known opulent Mansions of Florida such as Viscaya, Pinewood, Selby, Whitehall and Ringling’s Ca’ D’ Zan (House of John) were all built in the 1900’s not late 1800’s like Stetson. What a job these guys have done putting this place back together again, Bravo to them! I can almost see Stetson, his hat, dog and walking stick in front of the Mansion. Wait a minute, I can see them based on one of the wonderful Jackson Walker paintings usually housed in the nearby Historic Courthouse in Deland’s Historic District sometimes referred to as the “Athens of Florida”.

Figure 1 John B. Stetson by Jackson Walker


  I think that the copper top domes of the old Southern courthouses along with

the Greco-Roman columns Architectural Stylings

were modeled after ancient Greece, the birthplace of Democracy.


Figure 2 Tower of the Historic Deland Courthouse


Figure 3 Corinthian Columns
Figure 4 Stetson Mansion Exterior
 The Athens Theater  has once again been restored for Shows and events in Downtown Deland! This picture hangs in the Deland House on Campus.
Figure 5 Painting of the Athens Theater
from the Gilded Age of Dress and Style.


Back view of those incredible inlaid windows
The Bamboo Meditative Garden on the Mansion premises



My favorite year to year tour selection was always Cypress Gardens with its’  4,000 twinkling lights, wonderful train exhibits, Santa through the ages, Olympic Russian Circus and Ice Skating shows, comedy, gardens and the Eye in the Sky.  However, what makes the Stetson a great substitute is that this is actually a home with ramped up decorations, themes, exquisite parquet floors, glass windows and a feel of the Holidays.  It’s kind of what you think you might want to do if you had the time, ability, finances, space and creativity.  If not it’s easier and much more reasonable to see it here since the boy’s have started over the past several years inviting us in at a reasonable rate to check it out.  And… it changes from year to year.   From pieces of the Frozen theme to Patriotism. From  Stetson Hats to collectibles.  From decked out trees to colorful islands and seas, from quilts to covers and music and lights and extended secret nooks and cranies and flights of stairs and paths to Asia and beyond. If you have the imagination you can make believe its’ yours or talk to the walls of yesteryear and Stetson or other time period characters who visited. How about Grover Cleveland since he seemed to leave his mark all over Florida.  Bring the Outside in and take the inside out. Let’s do it again and again and see what they come up with next.   One of this year themes included pathways so let’s borrow one from the White Sands Buddhist Sanctuary in Mims-

 For these and other day trip ideas from the Space Coast of Florida e-mail:  Lee c/o floridagreeters@yahoo.com or visit www.dayawaytravel.com then highlight current calendar.
Link to 2014 Stetson Decoration Video


Can you view a Plantation Home in Florida?

Can you view a Plantation Home in Florida?

The South’s Rice Plantations are evident in the Carolina Low Country and the Cotton Plantations were abundant in Georgia and Mississippi.  There were Sugar Plantations from Maryland to Georgia typically 500 to 1000 acres in size.  So what kind of Plantation can we still visit in Florida?  It’s the Kingsley Plantation in Jacksonville’s Fort George Island which grew Cotton and Indigo with a colorful story filled past and a  viewable present.

According to most accounts Zephaniah Kingsley was a nineteenth century slave trader of Scottish descent who married a very young (13 year old) African Princess. She herself became the trainer of most of their help over the years. The controversy was over the will which left most of his funds to his Black wife.  She left for the Island of Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic).  According to some accounts she fought for her inheritance and his prejudiced family relatives and after a long battle won, she returned to Jacksonville to live out her days as the wealthiest Black Woman in America at the time.  Some believe she still haunts the premises and seances have been held there, I’m told.


Archaeological Digs with the help of the University of Florida team has uncovered the Slaves who died on the grounds so at least now people can acknowledge the site and remember who and where they were.
“The approach to the plantation is as interesting as the site itself:  the last portion on the unpaved road under canyons of gnarled oak branches graced by gently weaving Spanish moss. The road passes the highest point of coastal land south of New Jersey, past the Fort George Golf Club, past the point where French Huguenot pioneers offered the first Protestant prayer in the new world in May, 1562”
from Robert Tolf’s Discover Florida
Can you imagine that the entire size of your living quarters was the equivalent of only a Queen Bed today.
These quarters were made of a tabby like coquina rock form and are some of the last remaining samples of this type of quarters anywhere placing them on the National Historic Register
The view of the back of the Plantation was originally the front and most supplies arrived by boat.