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, October 29, 2014

A Halloween Treat — Creepy Creatures of the Sea


This Halloween Sub Sea Systems is sharing a special treat… or is it a trick? We are revealing some interesting facts about our favorite creepy creatures of the sea. What is Halloween without a little tremor of fear? Read on for creepy chills and thrills as you learn about five horror story stars of the deep.



The Portuguese Man-of-War


The Portuguese man-of-war may look like a colorful, beautiful jellyfish, but it is actually a colony of tiny polyp like creatures that take on different functions and work together in a group. The creature has venomous, pearl-like strands, which reach an average of 30 feet in length, and inject their prey with a strong toxin. The venom is deadly to small fish, but to humans the results depends on the location and severity of the stings, as well as the age, and skin thickness of the individual. Shock and death are rare, but possible. The creepiest thing about the Portuguese man-of-war is that they are virtually invisible at night, and they lurk near the surface with their 30-foot stinging chains trailing in the black sea. Beauty, deception, and venom — ingredients for the perfect Halloween story.

To learn more check out these websites:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/features/2014/08/140821-portuguese-man-of-war-animal-ocean-science-pictures/

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/portuguese-man-of-war/





The Vampire Squid 


The vampire squid gets its name from its blackish color and its webbed cloak-like tentacles. It is not quite a squid or an octopus; in fact it is the last in the vampyromorphida order. The creatures lurk in deep, dark waters, where they utilize their ‘cape’ to capture oxygen, and they release phosphorescent particles to distract predators.  The insides of their tentacles are lined with fleshy spines, and they will turn ‘inside out’ to escape dangerous situations. They have ear-like fins that propel them, and they only reach about 8 inches in length. The creepiest thing about the vampire squid is its photophores. Photophores are light producing organs — a great asset for creatures who live in the deep, dark sea. The vampire squid has a large pair of these behind its fins, which it uses to confuse predators into thinking it has disappeared into the dark. Vanishing eyes, webbed ‘capes’, and luminescent fairy dust — sounds like a creepy creature to me!

 Want to find out more? Look here:
http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Vampyroteuthis_infernalis/

or watch this creepy video:











The Deep Sea Anglerfish


Deep sea anglerfish are creatures straight out of a nightmare. They live in the dark black depths of the ocean, and lure their prey with a bioluminescent-bacteria filled, maneuverable appendage that protrudes from their heads. Anglerfish have long sharp teeth that are angled inward to avoid losing any prey. Their large jaws and expandable stomachs allow them to devour enormous meals. The creepiest thing about the anglerfish is the way it reproduces. The female is very large (5 inches long and very round) in comparison to the very small male (the size of a little finger). Once the male finds a female he latches onto her with hooks that protrude from his mouth, and becomes a parasite stealing her nutrients. Dark, clingy male… alluring female — nightmare material for certain.

Learn more about the anglerfish here:
http://www.seasky.org/deep-sea/anglerfish.html

Or watch this disturbing video:






The Goblin Shark


The goblin shark gets its name from its strange and bizarre appearance. Goblin sharks have long, flat, trowel-like noses. Their ‘noses’ have electro sensors, which help them find prey in the inky black depths. When they bite, their jaws expand dramatically down below their ‘nose’. Their teeth are like long curved needles and the goblin shark can use them to make a grasping motion when it bites. The most disturbing thing about the creature is that: combined with all of the rest of these terror-inspiring facts — the creature is thin-skinned and pink, with easily bruised fins that take on a blue hue…. Reminiscent of a certain cave-lurking, movie character — “My Preciousssssss!”

Need more? Look here:
http://scribol.com/environment/goblin-shark-the-most-demonic-shark-on-earth

Or watch:








The Northern Stargazer


Do not let the name fool you; the northern stargazer is a disturbing creature that gazes eerily skyward to find its next victim. The northern stargazer buries itself beneath the sand in record time. Its face is on the top of its head, and that is all you see after it hides in the sand. The creature’s face (when buried) resembles an eerie human skull with bulging, rolling, staring eyes. After it buries itself it just waits… staring, and waiting for some unsuspecting little fish to swim over its strange face. Then it vacuum sucks its prey into its mouth. If that is not enough it also has the ability to deliver an electric shock to stun and confuse its prey. To a fish, the stargazer is the monster under the bed — waiting quietly to feed.

Can’t get enough of the stargazer? Check out this website:
http://www.fiboni.com/2013/08/stargazer-fish-buries-with-a-preying-gaze/

Or watch it in action:



Do you have a disturbingly favorite creepy creature of the sea? Share the creature in the comments below, and tell us why it’s your favorite. Don’t forget: subscribe to our blog and receive weekly stories, images, and fun facts!

Happy Halloween!


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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sea TREK Helmet Diving Jokes


This week we want to treat you with some great Sea TREK jokes! Pin, Share, Like, and enjoy these silly Sea TREK cartoons!








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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

SSS Attends the 21st Annual FCCA


The cruise industry projects that 21.7 million passengers will cruise globally in 2014; 11.9 million of those passengers will be from North America. The Caribbean ranks as the number one cruise destination, accounting for 37.3% capacity share in 2014. Sub Sea Systems is proud to offer its Sea TREK and FunCat shore excursions at cruise ship destinations throughout the Caribbean. Along with our licensees, SSS is a member of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association, and we represent our products every year at the annual FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show.



FCCA is an opportunity for cruise line executives, port developers, and shore excursion managers to meet with existing operators to discuss business, current market trends, learn about prospective opportunities, and gain insight on product developments. These meetings allow the cruise lines to develop and continue relationships with companies like Sub Sea Systems, fostering long term communication and shared business goals.

Last week Jim Mayfield — Owner and CEO of Sub Sea Systems, and Hannah Mayfield — Marketing Director of Sub Sea Systems — attended the FCCA conference, which was held in St. Maarten. “We had several meetings with very important cruise executives where we presented our latest innovation — Clear Lounge Underwater Oxygen Bar; the reaction was very exciting,” says Hannah Mayfield.



Clear Lounge™ is Sub Sea Systems newest product, currently in development. It is a 13,000 gallon, salt-chlorinated, freestanding aquarium, which incorporates the social club environment with a high-tech oxygen bar.  This is the world’s 1st underwater oxygen bar! Each guest will go through a brief orientation and then don a clear Sea TREK helmet as they descend into the futuristic lounge. Guests will breathe pure oxygen combined with aromatherapy scents such as citrus mint, lavender or eucalyptus. While participants enjoy the rejuvenating oxygen, they will have the opportunity to interact with the spectators, shoot high-powered bubble guns, and play with underwater tablets. Before guests exit the Lounge they can have their photo taken in the underwater photo booth, complete with props and a customizable video wall backdrop. Guests can then purchase photos, retail items, and oxygenated smoothies. For more information about Clear Lounge, check out our newly launched website: www.clear-lounge.com

“As a part of our Clear Lounge meetings, we handed out canned oxygen, which will be offered as a retail product sold at our Clear Lounge locations. People were very curious and captivated by the product — the little cans were ‘the buzz’ of the show,” shares Hannah.

Jim Mayfield is also very enthusiastic about the prospects. He says:

“In one meeting we finalized the timeline for the launch of our 1st Clear Lounge. Other meetings have initialized negotiations for several other Clear Lounges at additional Caribbean ports of call.”

Moreover, there was a lot of interest in Sea TREK and FunCat, with both products in the process of becoming available at additional ports of call. We are so pleased with the way the introduction of Clear Lounge went, and we are so excited about the upcoming opportunities for this project.

Jim and Hannah also used this travel opportunity to visit Sea TREK St. Maarten, and Miami Seaquarium for site reviews, and to share industry insights.



Hannah describes her experience at Sea TREK St. Maarten:

“The Guides did not know that we were visiting from the corporate office; it was the perfect opportunity to witness their exemplary service, unannounced. The Sea TREK trail offered something amazing to see at every turn! The crew truly offers a fantastic tour with many enhancements not seen anywhere else in the world.”



Sea TREK St. Maarten was organized, clean, professional, and customer service oriented. We could not have expected better service, or a better tour. From the octopus that lived in the sunken canon from Fort Amsterdam, and the friendly arrow crab, to the perfectly organized inventory procedure, and the informative briefing, we are proud to see that Sea TREK St. Maarten exemplifies the Sea TREK brand, and lives up to their honor of being awarded Sea TREK Operator of the Year in 2011.



After the FCCA conference and Sea TREK site visit, Jim and Hannah visited Miami Seaquarium– another award winning Sea TREK operation (Operator of the Year in 2012). The aquarium already has a lot to offer visitors, but they are constantly finding new ways to make Sea TREK even more special. A moray eel (who is a senior resident in the aquarium) has been a staple of the experience, along with a plethora of friendly fish, cow nose rays, and Vincent the ‘socially awkward’ sea turtle. Vincent does not know how to introduce himself and often dive bombs TREKKERs to say ‘Hi!’ He even dived between Hannah and another guest! A huge puffer fish also loves to ‘kiss’ TREKKERs’ helmets.



Furthermore, there are new additions to the MSQ Sea TREK tank. Nurse sharks! Some have been bred at the aquarium, and others have been saved and rehabilitated. Two nurse sharks were saved from a smuggler who tried to travel with them — on an airplane— hidden in a briefcase!

Jim Mayfield says:

“Miami Seaquaium is an example of how a static aquarium display — no matter how old— can be converted into a fully immersive, interactive experience. They do an exceptional job with their personnel, and animal population, providing an amazing experience.”

We are so proud of Sea TREK St. Maarten and Sea TREK at Miami Seaquarium. These operations go above and beyond, and 100% embody the Sea TREK spirit and brand.

Sub Sea Systems looks forward to the FCCA conference in Cozumel next year with the introduction of our first Clear Lounge system at the venue! Sea TREK and FunCat combined are currently offered as shore excursions in 15 ports of call with more opening every year. To see all of the products and programs SSS has to offer please visit our Sub Sea Systems website at http://www.subseasystems.com

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Friday, October 10, 2014

5 ways to Sea TREK


With nearly 50 operating sites, Sea TREK is growing and expanding to new markets all over the world. Each of our locations offer a unique experience; whether it is the flora and fauna that is native to the region, the unique design of an aquarium site or the interactions offered — SeaTREK has a wide variety of experiences that men, women and children ages 8 and up can enjoy!

We want to offer a guide to our Sea TREK experiences including: the 5 different ways to Sea TREK, and highlights of a few of our locations.

You can expect some similarities in our locations, such as: warm water and sergeant majors in the Caribbean, or clarity and consistency in aquariums. However, each location has its own personality; from diverse tour guides, to the set up of the dive site, you really do have a lot of choices!



 Open water Sea TREKKing


Sea TREKKING in the ocean is fascinating. The sense of mystery and discovery as you search for sea creatures, and the swaying ebb and flow of the tides make open water Sea TREKKING enigmatic— full of excitement and possibility.

Highlights:

Aruba — De Palm Island


This Sea TREK experience is fantastic! The diversity of life in this location is spectacular. Barracudas, squid, sea turtles, and octopuses have been spotted among the schools of swirling sergeant majors and yellow tail snappers. The location includes purposefully sunken vehicles— such as an airplane and a bus— that take pressure off of the natural coral reef by encouraging sea creatures to relocate. The vehicles are placed along the path for guests viewing pleasure, but they also promote life and growth. New coral, anemones, and sea fans have bloomed. There is also a great photo opportunity at the underwater café complete with wine bottles!
http://www.depalmtours.com/sea-trek

St. Maarten


Another Caribbean site that has amazing creatures and fun features is Sea TREK St. Maarten. They have enhanced their tour site with a sunken submarine, helicopter, and even a jail! The vehicles have become covered with a colorful variety of sponges, corals, and anemones that provide homes to other creatures. You may even spot a barracuda that likes to lurk in the submarine. Guests can hold a sea urchin or an arrow crab, feed the colorful reef fish and pose behind the bars of the underwater jail. Make sure to snap a photo with King Neptune and his cannons!
http://www.seatrekstmaarten.com



Many of our locations are in the sea and each has its own wonderful and unique tour. Go to our Where To page on the Sea TREK website to learn more about each site.



Sea TREK in an Aquarium


Sea TREKKing in aquarium is wonderful because the clarity of the water is always pristine, and you can experience the underwater world without being anywhere near the sea.

Highlights:

SEA LIFE Manchester


The beautiful aquarium in Manchester, UK is the first aquarium to offer Sea TREK in Europe. The tank is teeming with life including angelfish, rays and Ernie the giant green sea turtle who loves people and always stops by to say “Hi” to the TREKKERS. Guests get to walk among the sea creatures in a beautifully designed tank that features a giant statue of a Mayan head, and then they are allowed to hold starfish, crabs, and urchins. When posing for snapshots of your experience be prepared to be photo bombed by Ernie!
http://www.visitsealife.com/manchester/seatrek/

Resort World Sentosa — Marine Life Park


In Singapore you can Sea TREK in the world’s second largest aquarium. There are over 100,000 creatures that represent 800 different species including: giant manta rays, goliath groupers, hammerhead sharks, and cow nose stingrays. The view from the Sea TREK site is incredible as you look out over a ledge into the vast aquarium and see all of the creatures swimming through the 4,800,000 gallons, and then swimming right up to you!
Sea TREK at RWS

There are 12 aquarium locations around the world. Read about them on our Sea TREK in an aquarium page.



Sea TREK with Sharks


Submerge yourself in an aquarium filled with sharks!

Highlights:

Atlantis, Paradise Island — Bahamas & Atlantis, The Palm— Dubai


The Atlantis has become synonymous with luxury, and Sea TREK in these locations does not disappoint. The Sea TREK ladder descends into a shark filled aquarium that also houses clear tube slides, which allow guests to slide or float right through the aquarium. The clear water, beautiful rays, hammerhead sharks, smalltooth sawfish, blacknose sharks, Caribbean reef sharks and nurse sharks make this a unique and thrilling experience. Face your fears and walk under the water with sharks!
Atlantis Bahamas
Atlantis Dubai

Some other aquarium locations also have sharks in the same tank where you Sea TREK, you can find out more by visiting our aquarium page and clicking the website links for each location.



 Sea TREK with Stingrays


Descend into stingray-infested waters!

Highlight:

Sea TREK with Stingrays at Xcaret in Mexico


Xcaret offers a unique interaction with stingrays. While walking on the floor of the stingray lagoon you will be surrounded by friendly, social stingrays. Pet and touch these creatures as the glide all around you. The gentle creatures love the bubbles from the Sea TREK helmets. Pose for an amazing photo with a stingray as it flies though the water.
http://www.xcaret.com/sea-trek-stingrays-cancun.php

Many aquarium locations also have stingrays in their exhibits, and stingrays have been sighted in many open water locations as well. Check the where to page for more information.



Dolphin TREK


Not only can you pet and feed dolphins while underwater in their natural environment, but you can also watch the dolphins twirl, blow bubbles, and flip — underwater.

Highlights:

Dolphin TREK at Xel-Há


Interact with dolphins like you never have before. At Xel-Há you will meet the dolphins in a surface interaction, where you learn hand signals to communicate with the dolphin. You will watch the dolphin jump and flip from the surface. Then you will descend the Sea TREK ladder and walk on the seabed where you will meet the dolphins again —in their environment. You will pet, touch, and even walk with the dolphins underwater. The dolphin kiss is a favorite photo opportunity, and the dorsal fin walk to the exit is exhilarating.
http://www.xelha.com/activities/dolphin_trek.php


Dolphin TREK at Grand Cayman


The Dolphin TREK at Grand Cayman is new! The dolphins love the different way they now interact with guests. Sea TREKKERS still spend time with the dolphins on the surface, and swim with the dolphins in the water, but now they also don the Sea TREK helmet and climb down to the sea floor, where they hug, kiss, and watch the dolphins’ beautiful acrobatics. You can really feel the power of the dolphin as it rushes past you to jump and flip out of the water 10 feet above your head.
http://www.dolphindiscovery.com/grand-cayman/dolphin-trek.asp

To view more locations that offer Dolphin TREK please visit www.dolphin-trek.com

These highlights just scratch the surface of everything Sea TREK has to offer. To learn about all of our locations worldwide visit our Where To page, and follow the links to each sites’ webpage. We hope this guide will help you when planning your next vacation. Keep TREKKING!


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Friday, October 3, 2014

Introducing Clear Lounge™ — An Underwater Oxygen Bar


"The hottest trend, right now in entertainment, is experiences." —Mark Cuban


Sub Sea Systems is proud to present our newest product innovation clear lounge™.



clear lounge is an exceptionally innovative underwater oxygen bar (Patent Pending) that invites guests to enter a high-tech underwater environment wearing a clear SeaTREK® helmet. During the experience guests receive a combination of rejuvenating and invigorating enriched oxygen along with naturally derived, therapeutic and aromatic scents. Guests watch a 5-minute video briefing before descending into the clear lounge, where they’ll find themselves immersed in the world’s first completely submerged oxygen bar.



Participants will be smiling (and literally laughing out loud) as they walk, in near weightlessness, on their way to the bar. Once at the bar, all natural oxygenated aromatherapy scents, such as eucalyptus, peppermint or lavender, are offered. While enjoying an invigorating session of aromatic oxygen, and listening to an underwater music system, guests can communicate with each other via tablets, play games, and shoot at targets with specialized bubble guns. Family, friends and onlookers outside of the clear lounge can also see and interact with the bar-goers, creating a socially interactive activity for those inside and outside the lounge.

Guests are also invited to step into clear lounge’s ultimate, underwater photo booth.
A large digital wall provides a customizable backdrop, and guests can choose from a variety of props for their unforgettable photos.

After the tour, guests collect their belongings from secure lockers, and have the opportunity to purchase clear lounge branded memorabilia, including canned oxygen.



The total experience from briefing to exit is less than 30-minutes, and clear lounge experiences can be conducted as frequently as every half-hour. Guests and onlookers will also be able to treat themselves to natural fruit smoothies at the clear lounge smoothie bar. Smoothies are hand made from whole fruit and are uniquely infused with an invigorating blast of oxygen.

The first clear lounge location is coming soon to Carnival Cruise’s private port in Puerta Maya, Cozumel, Mexico, and this week Sub Sea Systems President and CEO, along with our Director of Marketing, will be attending the FCCA conference, where they will be presenting the program to many other ports of call.



We are very excited about this social, innovative, and extraordinary product. If you want to learn more about the experience please watch our teaser video, and then visit our newly launched website at www.clear-lounge.com. Feel free contact us for business inquiries at info@clear-lounge.com, and as always we welcome your comments!

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