Sub Sea Systems — Our World is a blog dedicated to the unique experiences of Sub Sea Systems — Immerse yourself in our incredible adventures, company culture, and innovative programs and products.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

NEW FEATURE! Tips & Tricks for Travel Savings!


Airline Credit Card PointsWant to see the World, but your bank account will only allow you to take a quick Uber to a nearby park? We would love to help you reach your dream destinations! We are introducing a new segment of the Sub Sea Systems blog, offering you money-saving travel tips and the inside scoop on travel deals. I’m Terrie Carrozzella, your “hostess” for this special travel series.

The first article takes a look at savings options via frequent flyer miles and hotel points programs. Opportunities to fly and stay in hotels at little or no cost are there for the taking, if you know where they’re hiding. Here are some ideas on how you can collect these freebies.




Airline or hotel-sponsored credit cards
credit cards with milesThe vast majority of airlines and hotels offer credit cards that give cardholders frequent flyer miles or points for stays. Typically, you can expect to earn a point or two per dollar charged on these cards. However, it’s the initial sign-up bonuses that make the big difference! Many credit cards promoted via airlines and hotels even offer bonuses such as a free round-trip flight or a free nights stay, if you spend a certain amount in a set period of time. While initially this may seem like a daunting task, consider making all of your purchases for that period with the card, no matter how small. Use that credit card instead of hauling out your checkbook or throwing down your ATM card.

Here are a few examples of the cards I recently obtained, and what I did with them:

Current bonus: spend $1,000 in three months and receive 50,000 miles.
I obtained this card about a year before I wanted to travel. I easily got to the required purchases by using this card for groceries, gas, and my morning coffee run. I added in a couple of trips to my local takeout counter and renewed my pet insurance a few weeks early, so that I could easily fulfill the requirement. My husband got the same card and paid for our car insurance, his monthly wine club subscription, and our propane bill. We each earned 50,000 miles each before the third month even arrived, and booked our flight to Hawaii.  We still have miles left over! Savings = $2,600!

With a similar program, we obtained America Express cards for Hilton points, and after spending the required amount, booked two nights at the Grand Wailea Resort (Waldorf Estoria). We only had to pay for parking and the obligatory resort fee.  Savings equate to approximately $950, allowing us to stay at a hotel that would typically be out of our reach financially.

Of course, the value of these credit cards only exists if you pay your balance every month. Incurring charges and paying fees defeats the purpose. You also need to be aware of annual fees that many cards charge. We typically opt to cancel our cards before we incur any fees. Note: most cards require a waiting period before you can reapply (but when you do, you get the bonus miles again!)

If you are not comfortable juggling credit cards, or you’re about to make a major purchase like a home or car and don’t want your credit rating to go up and down, there are other ways to obtain miles and points.


Give up Googling
There are companies online that offer bonuses for utilizing their search engines to do your internet sleuthing. For example, mypoints.com offers points if you download their “search and earn” feature. Additionally, you can take their surveys or click through ads, and earn points that you can then trade for airline and hotel gift cards. Want more points? Make online purchases via the mypoints site rather than going directly to shopping sites like JC Penney, amazon.com and homedepot.com; click through their links on mypoints instead.



surveys can earn milesTake Surveys
If you have a few minutes per week to dedicate to your goal of free travel, consider taking online marketing surveys. These surveys are not constructed to annoy you with spam, but are utilized to gather information for new products, or for bettering existing products. Taking surveys not only gives you a voice in product development, it will reward you with points, miles, and other bonuses. Check out e-miles.com, e-rewards, or points.com. Jet Blue has started its own earning program via True Blue, which combines survey taking with ad click-throughs, to enable customers to earn and save money toward that trip of a lifetime!



Discount Gift Cards
A fair amount of savings can be obtained by purchasing discount gift cards for airlines and hotels. Raise.com, a discount gift card site, can be used to purchase a variety of gift cards at a reduced price. If you sign up for their emails, once per week you will receive a list of additional discounts available for the following weekend. It’s important to verify your cards when you receive them, and be aware of the rules and restrictions found on the raise.com site.


These are merely a few ideas on how you can earn miles and points, and get to the destinations on your bucket list sooner than you might have imagined.

How do you save money on travel? Share your tips below!



terrie-carrozzella-social-media-manager

Terrie Carrozzella is the Web Designer & Social Media Manager for Sub Sea Systems. Want to contact Terrie about Sea TREK helmet diving, Clear Lounge underwater oxygen bar, or FunCat electric catamarans? Email her here!
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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Selecting The Best Watercraft for Your Family





Everybody needs time to relax, and what better way to do so than on your own watercraft? There are many options available to enjoy family and friends time on the water. But how does one decide on the best option? Whether it is a fishing boat, a thrilling PWC (personal watercraft, such as a Jet Ski), or a leisurely, motorized water vehicle, here are some things to consider when determining what will work best for you.


Find Your Perfect Fit

Activity level The types of activities that you and your family enjoy are first on the list of considerations. Are you expecting a fast-paced thrill ride, zipping to the opposite side of the lake in seconds, or do you prefer a peaceful outing?  Do you want a workout, or do you want the watercraft to do the work for you, so you can enjoy sightseeing or fishing?
Comfort and Accessibility — Consider who will share in your adventure. A large family with boisterous children may be uncomfortable on a traditional fishing vessel, and Mom and Dad might not love the idea of jetting across the water at warp speed. Some family members might embrace the sun, while others might appreciate a cooling shade that offers protection from damaging rays. Available on-board storage is yet another factor. If you tend to travel with a lot of “stuff”, you will want to ensure that adequate space is available.

Transportation and Storage Easy access to your watercraft is another consideration. What size is the dock you will be utilizing? Will you pull the vehicle out of the water when not in use? How will you get it out of the water? The location of your dock, the ease with which you can move the vehicle, and the size of your storage area all play a roll in your decision-making.

Safety and Reliability — Your selection is going to be an investment, both in the initial purchase and the upkeep. You want to make sure that whatever you buy, your new recreational vehicle will have a long lifespan and require as little maintenance as possible. Durable materials such as polyethylene, marine grade aluminum, and mold-resistant seat material offer longevity. In electric vehicles, battery upgrades can offer longer running times and a worry-free ride. Safety on and around the vehicle is also an important consideration if you plan to swim near the watercraft. Would you love to give your younger family members a chance to drive, at a safe, manageable speed? What is the stability rating of the watercraft? These are all important safety factors that you must consider.

Environmental Concerns — motor and noise pollution are real concerns facing today’s water recreation lovers. If you will be enjoying waterways near homes, or are going to spend time on your favorite lake where people swim or fish, motorized vehicles can often be a detriment to the health of our precious resources. Noise levels of motorized vehicles not only contribute to a negative experience for those aboard, but are also frowned upon by neighbors in close proximity. An electric (& solar charged) option offers a quiet ride that is environmentally friendly.

The FunCat– a motorized catamaran for safe, family fun!

Sub SeaSystem’s FunCat is an electric, solar charged catamaran that is designed and built for comfort, stability, safety and reliability. The watercraft is powered by electric motors, so there is no paddling, sweating, or manual labor involved… your only exertion is the push of a button!

A combination of adults and kids can sit comfortably on its spacious chaise lounge seat, which reclines in two positions and includes a retractable bimini shade for UV sun protection. Two watertight storage compartments provide an accessible and convenient place to keep your towels, water bottles, sunscreen and snacks for later. They can even be used as an ice chest!

A lightweight trailer is available for easy transportation of your FunCat to your favorite lake. And, two large handles on the front of each pontoon make it easy to pull the FunCat from the water up onto the beach when you’re ready to hop off.

Easy-to-use controls allow almost anyone a chance to drive, while the pontoons house environmentally friendly motors that are safely recessed and tucked away.

The FunCat’s electric motors offer a quiet, relaxing ride, so that your family can enjoy a calming trek across the water. New, innovative upgrades include eco-friendly solar panels that can be retrofitted to any FunCat, utilizing the cleanest energy source available, the sun! Recreation lovers can also upgrade to Lithium Ion batteries, which provide a longer battery life, huge performance gains and extended fun on the water.

Find out more about FunCat and special, pre-Summer pricing, saving you over $700!


FunCat pre-summer savings




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Friday, March 3, 2017

Fun Fan Art and a Cool Contest!




Did you know…the cult hit series “Stranger Things,” an American science fiction-horror series created for Netflix, has encouraged obsessed artists to create some incredible fan art?! The show’s most popular character, Eleven (or El for short), is frequently depicted in this new insurgence of pop culture.

In the series, Eleven, played by Millie Bobby Brown, has some intense experiences. In season 1, episodes 5 and 6, El is dropped into a tank of water, donning…you guessed it…a Sea TREK helmet! The art community responded with some pretty fantastic imagery of El in the helmet. Check out a few we found!

Image Source - Pinterest
El donning her helmet has proven so popular, even the company Funko has gotten in on the fun. They’ve created an adorable vinyl figure reflecting “Eleven Underwater.” Available online, this toy is sure to appeal to any fan of the series.


Want to create your own fan art, and win an Eleven Underwater doll? Sea TREK would love to see your artistic interpretation of Eleven in her helmet. Upload your fan art to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, and add the hash tag #ElevenUnderwater. We will select one winner to receive a fun and funky El doll. The winner of this contest will be chosen by Sub Sea Systems on Monday, March 20th, and notified via direct message.

So, get your pencils, markers and brushes dusted off, and get creative! We can’t wait to see your interpretations of El in her Sea TREK helmet! 
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Friday, February 24, 2017

Ernie, the Bubble Eating Sea Turtle


Sea Turtle at Seal Life in England

For four years, visitors to SEA LIFE Manchester in the United Kingdom have enjoyed a variety of aquatic experiences, including the awesome opportunity to feed its resident, Ernie, the giant green sea turtle.

Ernie, who was rescued from a turtle farm in The Caymans, is a favorite among visitors and Aquarists-to-be. The celebrity turtle happily takes advantage of the many daily handouts from his adoring fans as they learn about his diet and habitat. In fact, SEA LIFE handlers had to start carefully guarding Ernie’s consumption of tasty treats after he started to show a bit of flab in his flippers. 

Fortunately, Ernie recently found a new source of entertainment and opportunity to shed those extra pounds– playing with the bubble stream that escapes from the back of the SeaTREK® helmets!

Ernie slowly developed a passion for bubbles ever since SEA LIFE started running SeaTREK experiences. He has even contorted into funny positions over the back of the helmets, literally hanging vertically, head first into the bubble streams to get to the bubbles.
Sea TREK bubbles attract turtle

Alex Wright, Aquarist & Lead Diver shares, “since Ernie weighs over 80 kilograms (176 lbs.), he was getting a little in the way, but we didn’t want him to miss out on the bubbles he so clearly enjoys! I’ve used a scuba kit, with the SeaTREK umbilical attached and kept at the surface. Connected to the umbilical is a SeaTREK connector and hose, which runs into a drilled container that varies the amount of bubbles. By knocking at it, Ernie can make the bubbles come out of different holes.”

Ernie spends quite a bit of time engaged with his new “toy”, and has even started blowing bubbles out of his nose, to have even more to chase.

For more information on SEA LIFE and Ernie’s adventures, please visit www2.visitsealife.com/manchester/. And, don’t forget to book a SeaTREK experience so that you can meet Ernie the bubble eating sea turtle.


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Friday, February 17, 2017

How to Check Items off of your Bucket List — A Guide to Achieving your Bucket List Goals


Do you have a bucket list? If not we suggest you check out this blog and create your own Pinterest board right now!

Once you have a list you can break it into categories. Usually there will be personal achievements (education, health, new skills, physical ability), daring feats (skydiving, hang-gliding, shark cage diving), spiritual growth (pay it forward, charity, meditation) and, of course, TRAVEL!

Travel is the focus of this bucket list guide.

Travel has many sub-categories. You may wish to go to Italy, but also have specific sights you want to see. You may wish to see a ballet… specifically, in the Sydney Opera House. There are so many incredible destinations and experiences this world has to offer. Here are a few sub-categories to help you get started.


Location

The Location is the destination for the specific bucket list item. It could be Mexico or the neighborhood park.

Historical Sight

You may want to see where a battle took place, where a castle still stands or a memorial.


Natural Wonder

Witness the northern lights, Yellowstone, the painted dessert — beauty that is made by nature.

Experience

Ride an elephant, swim with dolphins, zip line over the rain forest — experience something unique.


Cultural

Meet locals and do what the locals do; visit street fairs, festivals and cultural performances.

Artistic

Attend plays, performances, art installations, art shows and/or exhibits.

Educational

Learn how something is made, learn about a creature or habitat, immerse yourself in a culture — learn through travel.

Food/Drink

Try tequila in Mexico; eat gelato in Italy and croissants in France… and/or try new things (adventurous eating such as morcilla and riñón in Argentina).

Let's Get Started...

1st prioritize your goals. We recommend you choose both an easy goal to achieve and a more difficult goal. For example, let’s say you want to see a movie in the park with a picnic of fruit and cheeses, and you want to go to Mexico and Sea TREK with dolphins.

Start Saving

Create a place where you can visualize your progress.

Get 2 jars (or two savings accounts) and commit to adding to both. One is toward the Mexico goal and one is for the movie in the park. Decide on the percentage of savings that will go to each. The idea is that the short-term goal will be obtained and replaced many times before the long term goal is reached; that way you don’t feel discouraged about your bucket list, but still progress toward achieving the big-ticket item.



A good way to save is to plan to add all the “change” from your transactions to your goal account or jar. Keep your receipts and round up. At the end of the week transfer the total to your accounts (sticking to the planned percentage distribution). In my experience this works out to about $10 dollars a week (that’s $520 a year).

Another easy way to save is to replace a small daily pleasure with a cheaper version. For example: if you drink Starbucks everyday — think about investing in a reusable travel mug and brew your own coffee at home. Put that 3 dollars a day into your funds and see how fast it adds up! If you get a $3 dollar coffee a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year, that is a grand total of $780 dollars a year! That is just one small life-change that can help you achieve your travel goals.

An even better and more lucrative change is to start bringing your lunch to work — save leftovers, make mason jar salads or prepare delicious sandwiches. Most purchased take out lunches average around $10 dollars, if not more. $10 dollars a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year — that is $2600 dollars that you could be saving a year!

Other small, but significant changes can add to your funds: don’t go and spend your hard earned cash at the bar; skip the theaters and wait for Redbox; and plan fun activities that cost little-to-no money. Keep yourself busy with hobbies that occupy other areas of your bucket list. Learning the guitar or Spanish, starting your own business or painting outside by the ocean or in a garden — doing things that fulfill your goals will be more satisfying to your soul and will save or even earn you money.

Plan to SAVE! Set up an automatic savings account transfer. Choose how much you want to save each month and don’t use that money — it doesn’t exist.

When you are finally ready to book the BIG trip, plan around less busy times. You will pay less on airfare and hotels, and enjoy a less crowded vacation. Avoid booking in advance to take advantage of last minute deals, and plan on leaving mid-week for cheaper fares.

Let’s revisit the categories of our travel bucket list...

Location

We focused on the goals of locations, but what about the things you want to do when you get there? Look through our categories below and try to find things that interest you. You can then set portions of your budget aside for each experience. Here are some suggestions for a trip to Mexico and a visit to Xcaret.


Historical Sight

Mayan ruins at Tulum — visit this beautiful archeological site that overlooks the Caribbean ocean.


Natural Wonder

Cenotes — float down the underground river and through caves and cenotes at Xcaret.


Experience

Sea TREK with dolphins — walk underwater and meet dolphins face-to-face in their natural environment.

Cultural

Xcaret Mexico Espectacular — enjoy a fantastic show that demonstrates a journey through Mexico’s history.

Artistic

Public art in Tulum — take a public art tour of more than 30 murals.


Educational

The Mayan Cacao Company — learn about the origins of chocolate.


Food/Drink

Visit Amansala — drink cold beer and eat fresh, vibrant, local cuisine served to you on a beach lounge chair facing the Caribbean ocean.



As you plan your activities you can research and determine the cost so you know how much you need to save.

Did we miss anything? Do you have other ideas that will help achieve bucket list goals? Share them in the comments below.

Good luck and happy travels.

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Monday, February 6, 2017

Ocean St. Valentine's Day ecards


Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate our loved ones and tell them how much we love and appreciate them. Cards are the traditional memento, but ecards are the fastest way to deliver a sweet little surprise to your Valentine.

We have created a few ocean themed Valentines for you to share. You can save an image and send it to anyone who would appreciate a little ocean humor and a little love.

Happy Valentine's Day!

lets make people jelly ecard valentine

you are my main squeeze octopus ecard valentine

will you be mineatee ecard valentine

the only fish in the sea ecard valentine

we were made for each otter ecard valentine

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Friday, February 3, 2017

A Nautical Baby Shower




Kyle Mayfield and his wife Veronica brought a new baby Mayfield into the world on January 27th. In expectation of baby Mayfield’s arrival a baby shower was arranged with the utmost care and creativity, and what better theme for a Sub Sea baby than — you guessed it: the ocean.

A baby on the way is always anticipated with excitement and curiosity. Will the baby be dark haired or bald? Blue eyed or brown? Big? Small? Most parents now know way before the baby is born what its gender will be, but what about those parents who elect not to know? Baby Mayfield’s gender was kept a secret.

Planning a baby shower for an unknown gender can be a challenge, but as you can imagine the surprise is unlike any other. A simple and cute nautical theme allowed for a gender-neutral party that captured the spirit of a baby shower without having to be decidedly boy or girl oriented.

Decorations are the key to creating an atmosphere at any gathering. As always, Pinterest is a go-to for any party planning. By creating a board with any and every idea related to baby showers, parties and nautical themes we were able to collect the cutest and most relevant party décor, games and more.



One idea that caught our eye and became a focal point over the mimosa bar (it was a brunch party) was using fishing net to display baby pictures of the soon-to-be Mom and Dad. Looking at all the cute photos and speculating how the baby will look was a good conversation starter for guests who did not know each other… and who doesn’t love baby pictures?!





Another focal point showcased a beautiful homemade diaper cake and a clothesline laden with colorful baby swimsuits, trunks, and rash guards. Carissa Crail made the incredible diaper cake. You can find tutorials and ideas here.



The dining area was set with white, yellow and aqua linens and decorated with white daisies and glass bowls of sand, seashells and candles. Delicious homemade quiches, a gourmet berry salad and bacon filled guests plates as games commenced. Ice cubes with little plastic babies were distributed to drinks and the first to melt won a prize (“my water broke!”). Baby bingo was two-fold– as guests ate they filled in squares guessing what gifts the mother-to-be might receive; then, as presents were opened squares were marked off until someone shouted “BINGO!”



The nautical throne — where Mom-to-be opened the shower gifts — was decorated with balloon bubbles, streamer seaweed and colorful fish. Beautiful gifts were unwrapped and a 75-year old family heirloom bassinet was passed down to the next generation. A poll was taken as each gift was opened to see who thought the baby was a boy or a girl. 2/3 of the guests guessed boy.





It was a beautiful party that will be remembered for years to come.

8 lb., 20 in., healthy baby Mayfield came into this world on January 27th at 4:05pm. And it was announced to excited friends and family… it’s a boy! Wyatt James Mayfield — welcome to the world and welcome to the Sub Sea family! You are so loved!




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