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What Ever Happened To........??? A place to discuss the glorious past of cruising...the ships, the people, the cruise lines, the ports that bring back those wonderful memories.

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  #1  
Old June 9th, 2004, 02:40 PM
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Default STAR DANCER TO ALASKA

I took my first cruise to Alaska in 1986 on the Stardancer (passenger ship and car ferry) It was a nice cruise and a i wondered what happened to it.
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Old June 10th, 2004, 12:36 AM
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Stardancer was operated by Admiral Cruises, which merged with Royal Caribbean in 1988. RCCL renamed her Viking Serenade, and in 1990-91 converted her to a full-fledged cruise ship. They eliminated the two bottom car decks, inserting cabin modules in that space, and enlarged the public rooms. Her funnel was shortened and a version of RCCL's signature Viking Crown Lounge was added. The bow and stern were lengthened slightly. She continued cruising the West Coast of North America.

In 2002 she started operating budget cruises for the British market for Island Cruises, a joint venture of RCCL and First Choice Holidays of the UK. She is named Island Escape.

By the way, she was built in 1981 as the Scandinavia for D.F.D.S. lines (Scandinavian World Cruises).

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  #3  
Old June 10th, 2004, 02:16 PM
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Hi, Thank you for letting me know what happened to her. I appreciate the update.
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  #4  
Old June 10th, 2004, 02:28 PM
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You might also want to take a look at this (from an archived version of the now-defunct site Ferry Voyager) which elaborates more on her DFDS origins.

Scandinavian World Cruises is probably one of the biggest flops that the cruise industry has ever encountered, though the concept was not bad, the idea that DFDS could get Congress to repeal the Passenger Services Act (often incorrectly referred to as the Jones Act) was ridiculous.

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Old June 13th, 2004, 01:04 PM
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I have a Stardancer shot glass that I still use frequently and I was wondering what happened to her. Thanks for the info.

JV The 4 stages of cruising: planning, anticipation, experience and reflection.
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Old June 24th, 2004, 01:57 AM
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I have a framed Art Deco Style Alaska Poster in my living room. I have many fond memories of her - watching the motorhomes loading in Haines and Mazatlan, going down to the car deck on a sea day to watch the waiters play basket ball, the Bull Fights in the dining room, having dinner aboard with my first girlfriend when the Stardancer called in San Francisco northbound, and my last view of her in RCI colors was when she was in San Francisco along with the Rhapsody of the Seas for New Years Eve 1999. I could never figure out why RCI though a Viking could Serenade!

Thanks for starting my love of cruising, MV Stardancer, call sign C6CP.
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Old July 1st, 2004, 04:23 PM
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Talking That is so cool!

I took my very first cruise on the MV Stardancer 7 day Mexican Riviera. That was way back in 1984 or 85. It is so funny - we thought that ship was so big. We had such a great time. The staff was so much fun. I still have a scrap book with all the brochures and daily patters etc. I never knew that they went to Alaska too! - Thanks for the information!
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 01:36 PM
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Yo-

Our memories of the "Stardancer" are not as fond as others that have posted here-

We were on her on the Mexican Riviera in '88 - and when we turned the corner to head North back to LA we hit rough water and literally "slamed" all the way up the coast. As most of the cabins were up front in this ship (as was ours) it was VERY uncomfortable and my wife was SO sick that she actually developed a reflux condition. The reflux kept us from cruising until 2000 - 12 years later - when medical science caught up with sea sickness (the "patch").

Apparently the problem was the flat bottom of the ship and hull (remember she was a car ferry). Our cabin steward said that in one fierce storm on the east coast that the bow had been broken and she was in drydock repairs for over six months being structurally repaired. so you can understand why we are not so fond of that memory.............

Happy Cruisin'

Mike
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  #9  
Old July 7th, 2004, 01:56 PM
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Default Stardancer cruise

My wife and I took our first ever cruise on this ship when it was the Scandinavia, sailing roundtrip from New York City to the Bahamas. It was in the early 80s. We loved the ship and the crew and have been regular cruisers ever since. The car ferry section was hardly half full. Cars had to disembark in Freeport, drive across the pier and embark on a smaller Scandinavia ship to travel on to Miami. The car ferry was marketed as an alternative to driving from the northeast to Florida and return. It never caught on.
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  #10  
Old July 9th, 2004, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmike7
Yo-

Our memories of the "Stardancer" are not as fond as others that have posted here-

We were on her on the Mexican Riviera in '88 - and when we turned the corner to head North back to LA we hit rough water and literally "slamed" all the way up the coast. As most of the cabins were up front in this ship (as was ours) it was VERY uncomfortable and my wife was SO sick that she actually developed a reflux condition. The reflux kept us from cruising until 2000 - 12 years later - when medical science caught up with sea sickness (the "patch").

Apparently the problem was the flat bottom of the ship and hull (remember she was a car ferry). Our cabin steward said that in one fierce storm on the east coast that the bow had been broken and she was in drydock repairs for over six months being structurally repaired. so you can understand why we are not so fond of that memory.............

Happy Cruisin'

Mike
Mike - I'm glad you wife is now able to cruise again. I remember those rough rides well. Just as soon as she'd round the corner from Cabo it would be a back and forth pitching motion most of the way back to LA. Remember the thud sounds coming from the car deck? I have some impressive video taken from above the bridge looking back towards the stern. It really shows how much she was pitching. You're right, it was her small bow that made for the interesting ride. RCI improved it during her refit, but also ruined her profile by triming the stack too short.
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  #11  
Old February 22nd, 2005, 04:30 AM
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Wow, another "Whatever happened" ship that I've been lucky enough to sail on. When Stardancer became Viking Serenade, she sailed out of Long Beach, CA, for three and four night Southern California cruises, calling at Catalina Island, San Diego, and Ensenada Mexico.

I went solo on her the final year she sailed for RCCL. When I was on board people were telling me she was going to be sold in a few months. I don't know where she went after that.

At the time, the aft-facing cabins on one deck, probably a total of 8 in all?, had verandas. I booked one and spent one lovely evening sleeping in a lounge chair on my veranda. Because of the shape of the ship, the lights from the higher decks didn't really shine down onto my veranda, so I had a beautiful view of the sea and the stars at night. I wrapped myself up in my bedspread and probably slept for about four hours outside. It was lovely, I had such a nice time on this trip. At the time my brother-in-law was a student at UC San Diego, so he met me the morning I arrived there and we spent the whole day together. It really cemented our relationship.

The ship was looking rather "Motel 6" the year I was on board, but my cabin was always clean and the food was decent. I spent most of my time lounding on my veranda and reading books. I was so burnt out from my job at the time that the trip was just what I needed to recharge a bit.
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  #12  
Old February 22nd, 2005, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leela
When I was on board people were telling me she was going to be sold in a few months. I don't know where she went after that.
As noted in posts above on this thread, she is now ISLAND ESCAPE with Island Cruises, which is a joint venture between RCI and the UK tour operator First Choice.

She will soon be joined by the former HORIZON from Celebrity. (There will be quite a quality disparity between the two ships to say the least.)

In the summer she operates in the Med on the UK market, and in the winter is based in Brasil for the local market.
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  #13  
Old April 8th, 2005, 09:04 AM
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Default Stardancer

Doug,
As Stardancer in her early years as a combined cruise ferry, did she not run aground north of Vancouver Island as she was heading north on an Alaskan run?

IfI remember ocrrectly there was severe flooding on the car deck and some collateral damage.
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  #14  
Old April 8th, 2005, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainron
As Stardancer in her early years as a combined cruise ferry, did she not run aground north of Vancouver Island as she was heading north on an Alaskan run?

IfI remember ocrrectly there was severe flooding on the car deck and some collateral damage.
That was Sundance Cruises' first vessel, SUNDANCER... The ship that came back from the dead, twice!

A short history: built 1975 as SVEA CORONA for Silja Line, sold to Sundance in 1984 and became SUNDANCER, ran aground, flooded, and was declared a constructive total loss, sold to Epirotiki (still in 1984!), renamed PEGASUS and rebuilt, entered service 1987, in 1991 while an exhibition ship berthed at Venice, sank again, salvaged again, laid-up, sold in 1994 to Strintzis Line to be rebuilt as a ferry and renamed IONIAN EXPRESS, but suffered a fire while being rebuilt, and finally scrapped in 1995.

I guess, having sunk twice and then burned, she was a very unlucky ship, but at the same time she was lucky in that she got two second chances!

And all this action and excitement during a lifespan of only 20 years! (Actually, all of it was during her second decade - her career on the Baltic from 1975 to 1984 was quite uneventful.)
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  #15  
Old May 29th, 2005, 10:12 AM
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Default StarDancer is Grounded!

StarDancer broke loose from her moorings during Hurricane IVAN on Oct 15 2004 while sitting in St. Andrews Bay, Panama City, Florida. She is now grounded, most likely for good in West Bay, Panama City. The ship has been abandonded where it sits. Other than an atraction for sightseers it is just a rusting eyesore. This looks like the end of the line for StarDancer.
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  #16  
Old May 29th, 2005, 08:51 PM
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Seasnake - obviously this is a very different (presumably much smaller) STARDANCER than the one we're discussing.

The STARDANCER in question here hasn't been going by that name for well over a decade, and is certainly alive and well.
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  #17  
Old December 9th, 2005, 04:40 PM
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I sailed on the Stardancer in 1986, Mexican Riviera out of L.A. At that time, she was a ship for Sundance Cruiseline, I still have the brochure! We had a wonderful time---at that time, she was a pretty modern ship and had that innovative retractable glass roof over the pool deck.
We also had a similar experience to the one described by bigmike7: after leaving Cabo San Lucas, the weather suddenly became stormy with high winds---some chairs blew off the deck, even---and crew members had to help us open the doors to go inside off the deck. It remained stormy that evening and lots of folks were seasick. [However, "the patch" was available even before that---I used it on my first cruise in 1985.]
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Old December 17th, 2005, 10:18 AM
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Our 1st trip on Stardancer was 6-86. They "blew" an engine on that trip, and we limped back to Vancouver. For the inconvenience, they offered all onboard a "two for one" the next year.

Needless to say, we did take advantage of that offer. and sailed on her again 6-87. Stardancer, while perhaps funky, was a fun ship with very reasonable prices.

Did have lunch on her after conversion to Viking Serenade, and thought that the conversion was not well done. Much less crowded when she still had the car decks.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 03:27 AM
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Wow this brings back memories. I was on the Stardancer for a 7 day mexico cruise in April 89. Funny thing was I ended taking a 3 day mexico cruise on the Viking Serenade in 97 and when I was getting on board the ship I had this funny feeling that I had been there before - not even realizing at the time that the Stardancer had become the Serenade!
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