Phase 1 of cathedral repairs done
WASHINGTON » The Washington National Cathedral has finished the first phase of work to repair damage from a 2011 earthquake, but the church must still raise $22 million to complete exterior repairs.
The iconic Episcopal cathedral in northwestern Washington sustained some of the worst damage from the 5.8-magnitude earthquake. Officials say the total cost is estimated at $32 million for repairs. Additional restoration work is expected to take years.
Preservation experts say the first phase of restoration focused on the cathedral’s interior. The work involved cleaning, resealing joints and repairing the ceiling and flying buttresses, some of the oldest elements. Overhead netting has been removed after the repairs.
Much work remains to repair intricate carvings on the exterior and central tower.
Construction of the church began in 1907 and finished in 1990.
Orlando Eye opens to public in May
ORLANDO, Fla. » The 400-foot observation wheel in the heart of Orlando’s tourist district is opening in May.
Merlin Entertainment announced Tuesday that the Orlando Eye, along with two other attractions, will open to the public May 4.
However, visitors who sign up for the attraction’s newsletter get the chance to ride the wheel a few days before that.
The Orlando Eye has 30 air-conditioned capsules that will provide panoramic views of central Florida.
Two other attractions, Madame Tussauds Orlando wax museum and an aquarium, also open at the same time.
Most cruisers book through agents
When it comes to cruising, most people still rely on travel agents to book their trips, according to a new report from the Cruise Lines International Association.
CLIA’s annual report on the state of the cruise industry says 70 percent of cruises are booked through agents.
Repeat cruisers are a mainstay of the industry. The report found that 62 percent of those who take cruises have done so before.
In terms of destinations, CLIA says the Caribbean is the most popular region for cruising, with more than a third of global deployment taking place there this year. At the same time the Mediterranean, Asia and Australia are growing as destinations.