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Everything posted by AL3XCruise

  1. Its been a while, but I had a conversation with the Master of Empress back in 2005/2006 discussing docking her versus the then new Voyager class. He (quite humbly) explained that someone with his experience can easily dock a properly designed ship regardless of propulsion, but most of the azipod ships had much more installed power. This allowed him to oppose stronger winds and currents with a Voyager lass than with Empress. At that time no one was thinking about docking in Cuba, but I've heard the point reiterated by other officers since. I'm guess that differences in design and the demands of different ports make it difficult to draw a clear and consistent "truth" on when azipods vs conventional propulsion is the deciding factor on making it into port. Virgin's vessel is wide and short for its tonnage (shorter but wider than old Panamax). She is slightly longer than Majesty somewhat shorter than Radiance class ships. I believe some of the smaller Vision class are shorter, but I think most of them have been divested.
  2. Of cruise ships currently in service, Gas Turbines seem to have been chosen for a few reasons. Indeed, and having different types can be beneficial on a ship like the QM2. Because power required increases exponentially with speed, a ship like the QM2 takes A LOT of generating capacity to squeak out the last couple knots. QM2 doesn't need to hit her top speed very often, so lugging around a couple of extra heavy and space-consuming diesels for the occasional need isn't the best solution. Thus, the designers put a couple of powerful but compact and lightweight gas turbines up on deck. As you noted, QM2 can fire these up when a higher speed is needed, or when a diesel is down for some reason. Turbines also tend to have better emissions profiles. Celebrity's Millennium class, for instance, used turbines to meet emission standards in Alaska. Of course, it seems that other technologies (scrubbers, LNG, etc.) have become more popular in recent years.
  3. I'm curious if newer engineering methods and materials helped allow for more balconies. A tall, thin, superstructure allows more balconies and fewer interior cabins. I know lightweight metals and similar improvements help allow a taller superstructure, but I'm not sure if those changes were developed concurrently with the move to more balconies or if they were already in place and allowed for more balconies when the market dictated the change.
  4. Of course we all live with risk every time we do pretty much anything, but trying to compare statistics outside of proper context is challenging. First, CDC numbers are all in ranges. Deaths, for instance, are estimated at between 24,000 to 62,000 for the 2019-2020 flu season. On the low end, that is HALF the current COVID-19 death tool, and even looking at a mid-range number puts the loss at a similar level. Regardless of which number you want to believe, the fact is 1) the COVID-19 epidemic is ongoing, with death tolls increasing, and 2) this death rate has occurred despite the most aggressive actions any of us have seen, including the closing of entire industries and a huge portion of the population rarely leaving home. If, despite all of this mitigation, COVID-19 can cause fatality numbers that are comparable to the flu, and likely to be worse, its hard to argue that the risk assessment one makes with regard to flu can be directed compared to COVID-19. I do agree that a lot of the other preventative steps you mentioned are smart ideas, even before the current problems. I wish you safe cruising.
  5. Baltimore and New Orleans have seemed to manage with similar issues, so while that may be a contributing factor I doubt it is the only one.
  6. You don't see huge numbers of US container ships, and, of course, only a single large US cruise ship, but there is still a major US shipping industry. Inland shipping, domestic ferry routes, much of the shipping on the Great Lakes, small domestics cruises, and coastal shipping are all serviced by US ships that would likely face foreign competition. Some would argue that more competition is a good thing, but I think there is also a case to be made in ensuring the most robust possible system is in place when it plays such a critical role in economy and safety. Domestic ownership allows for more direct control of safety, quality, and reliability as well as avoiding any possible foreign influence on operations. Many foreign companies certainly meet exceptionally high standards, and the international issues are somewhat hypothetical, but given the importance of the infrastructure I understand the desire to be cautious. Jobs, of course, are another factor. It is hard to quantify that impact, though. Some folks in the industry can probably give you more specific numbers and economic data. Much like with cruise lines, I'm hesitant to repost "economic impact" numbers and the like without reading through the underlying assumptions. CLIA, for example, makes some questionable assumptions in order to estimate the number of jobs cruise lines create in the US. Edit: Looks like the Chief already added some good numbers.
  7. Two thoughts I had, which overlap/reinforce some comments made before. 1) Major lines have flexibility under current rules to operate the vast majority of the routes they want. They can hit multiple US Ports in a row as long as they visit a foreign port (or a distant foreign port if the is not a closed-loop cruise). CLIA, which never hesitates to raise a ruckus, has not made PVSA modifications a priority, suggesting its members are happy as is. 2) While I don't want to start a debate a protectionism and politics, we are seeing right now why ensuring a robust transportation/logistics system is essential. Changes to the PVSA (or Jones Act for that matter) could have significant impacts on this. Any change, even a small one, needs to be carefully considered in a broader context. I feel when it comes to the PVSA/Jones Act many people don't understand the intent and impact of the requirements they impose yet feel compelled to argue for changes. Of course, change can be good, but understanding is key to ensuring it is!
  8. Indeed: Eventually, perhaps. I think those with deep pockets and a vested interest have no real need to jump in yet. Right now they'd be buying a bunch of expensive to run ships that won't generate revenue for an unknown amount of time. With the cruise market so uncertain, plus the general economic issues, I can't imagine many investors beating down the door to put their money into NCLH or another line. Of course, the Saudi investment in CCL was an interesting move that doesn't quite fit with that view, so who knows! I do think there is a scenario where the future starts looking brighter for cruising yet the lines are still in a cash crunch waiting for that future to arrive. If debt and equity options dry up or prove impractical, I could see someone acquiring them at dirt cheap price, knowing that they'll need to burn cash for a while.
  9. Actually, there isn't really enough information to know who is correct. CCL has not, to my knowledge, explicitly defined what type of layup the ships will be in. "Cold Layup" has a specific meaning within the industry, and I haven't seen any major cruise line use that term. Some media outlets have, but reporters frequently use industry terms incorrectly so I'd be hesitant to put much weight on those claims.
  10. No one knows for sure. In chapter 11, it is possible that commitments to customers will still be honored as failing to do so would severely impact the company's reputation as it emerged from bankruptcy. In the past some bankruptcies have protected customers, others have not. My guess is company leadership, as well as others involved in the bankruptcy who would be getting equity stakes, would try to honor deposits and FCCs. Sadly, Chapter 7 would likely leave customers with nothing. I can't speak to insurance, I would suggest referring to your policy to see what protections you have or asking at CC's insurance board. So my question is what do you mean by "money". I've never heard anyone refer to a liability as money. Like @buckeyefrank, I'm not trying to argue or be disrespectful, and in fact think we are all agreed that there is a cash crunch. However, the terminology you are using may detract from the point you are trying to make. The way I, and evidently others, read your post is that the "money" is sitting in an account. That suggests the cruise line has cash to cover refunds. I'm also not trying to dig into semantics or technicalities, but as people make decisions with their money I think its important to be as clear as possible when making comments on the financial situation of the company.
  11. That isn't how that works. A liability doesn't mean the company has liquid assets sitting in an account somewhere to pay it off. Few companies due unless there is regulatory requirement to do so. NCLH had $1.95 billion in "advanced ticket sales" as a liability on the balance sheet at the end of 2019, vs $252 million in cash and around $500 million other current assets. So not only is the money not in one account, it doesn't exist. You car argue all you want that they should have a bigger cash reserve to better handle downturns, but the fact is they don't.
  12. There was significant discussion regarding this back when it occurred, you may find answers to your questions using the search function. In short, though, I doubt many people think this solves NCLH's liquidity problems.
  13. I know some folks on this board have been kind enough to pick up items on the ship for kids and then ship them, but obviously that isn't a great option right now. There are a few other companies I've seen that produce models, but they are much higher quality models that come at a premium price (several hundred dollars to thousands). I'm not sure if that is what you are looking for. Good luck!
  14. You do realize the OP specifically referenced NCLH, of which Mr. Del Rio is the CEO?
  15. The last information I saw from CCL (not independent analysts) discussed removing hotel staff and possibly trimming other teams slightly, but keeping the ships capable of operating at sea. My understanding is cold-layup is more akin with removing all but fire watch and a couple emergency techs and either docking or rafting up with other ships. I haven't seen that proposed by any of the major lines yet, but I may have missed it. That is an interesting point, and I'm sure that it is being considered. Keeping prices high at the moment is likely a strategy decisions as well; I'd hazard a guess that price sensitive customers are less likely to book during a period of uncertainty. Of course, the big question is what happens on return to service. There are just to many questions for us to really make an informed opinion. My gut tells me that FCCs will not make up for the drop in demand, forcing prices lower. In addition, filling ships generates much needed on-board revenue. But I don't have the data to back that up, so its an opinion that is worth what you are paying for it.
  16. I actually made up a spreadsheet a while back to compare GT of cruise ships using the logarithmic function as I was curious how much impact it had. While the difference between the logarithmic and conventional measure are relatively small in percentage terms, 5% or 10% makes a big difference on a 200,000GT ship. Of course, the most important numbers regarding the Comfort right now are the 1,000 hospital beds and 1,000+ medical professionals and mariners who are keeping her running.
  17. The Navy states Mercy Class vessels displace 69,360 tons. I'm sure that is less than when they were operating with a full load as tankers. There are several articles from when Voyager was introduced claiming a displacement of around 68,000 tons, though I can't comment on their accuracy. I've also seen 54K and 64K, but 68K is the most commonly cited number. Regardless of the exact number, it certainly shows that the relationship between displacement and GT varies dramatically with different ship designs.
  18. Actually, she's around 55,000 gross tons, closest to Empress. As said, closest to Empress in Gross Tonnage. In terms of displacement she's actually closer to a Voyager Class ship.
  19. Hotels, convention centers, and other land based facilities have been the overflow of choice thus far. Cruise ships offer an interesting benefit in certain natural disaster scenarios: they don't rely on local utilities and infrastructure. In the current situation that isn't particularly important. The small rooms, narrow doors, carpeted floors, and other factors make has, thus far, made them less desirable than the alternatives that are being used on land. Other threads on this board go into more detail on the challenges cruise ship present medical workers with.
  20. Just to avoid confusion, the USNS Comfort is headed to NYC. The USNS Mercy will be conducting similar operations on the west coast as @CRUISEFOUR said. Hopefully they will be able to put the resources and space of the Manhattan Cruise Terminal to good use in supporting the Comfort's mission.
  21. That number is incorrect, by a MASSIVE margin. To be fair, the actual number is hard to find because the cruise lines prefer discussing estimated economic impact; the direct numbers are marginal. RCCL, for instance, employs around 8,000 land based employees worldwide. The Cruise Line Industry Association, and industry lobbying group, claims that 400,000 US jobs are supported by the cruise industry. They, however, do not provide any information about how they generated these numbers. I think it is fair to assume that is because they make many assumptions that help further their agenda. Furthermore, they (of course) don't discuss which of these jobs would easily transition to supporting people taking domestic land vacations in lieu of cruising. Keep in mind, someone vacationing in Florida for week spends 7 nights in a hotel, 7 days eating at local restaurants, 7 days shopping in Florida stores, etc... versus a cruiser that spends one pre-cruise night in a hotel and has a meal or two. I'm not saying that certain people wouldn't be hurt by a reduction in cruising, but it isn't nearly as bad as what the cruise lines put out. In short, I have nothing against the cruise lines and how they do business. I have stock in one, and intend to take more cruises. It is a simple question of how to do the must good for the most people with limited money. We need to spend limited US dollars to generate the most possible US jobs and US economic growth, and that isn't with a cruise line.
  22. Maybe they are hesitant to give out names because some people feel the need to turnaround and post those names on social media? Just a thought... People are looking for things to do. I will say, given circumstances, it would seem reasonable for X to reconsider FCC related policies and try to make them more flexible. I also understand that allowing combinations reduces additional revenues on fares, as well as onboard revenue, so in these times of limited liquidity they are hesitant.
  23. I'm wondering why they are leading the other lines so dramatically today. While I hope it will last, I have my doubts.
  24. I agree with your points. I'm not typically a big fan on heavy handed controls, but if a company requires a government investment, the public's interest need to be considered as they now have equity. In the case of cruise lines, your points seem like reasonable measures to ensure that happens. It will be interesting if, beyond the immediate financial issues, we see structural changes to how cruise lines operate in the United States. Of course, that applies to many other industries. While I'm sure the will continue to play an important role in the global economy, I could see certain aspects of international supply chains, just in time inventory, etc., coming under increased scrutiny.
  25. It isn't just a question of corporate tax rate. GM alone employs nearly 100,000 US residents who are subject to US income taxes. These people and their families spend money at other US businesses, resulting in additional jobs and tax revenue. We are in a situation where we need to put our dollars where they have the most impact. I'm not trying to take a protectionist stand against how the cruise industry does business (I wouldn't cruise with them if I had such animosity against them), but I don't see them as providing an essential service or providing a return in US jobs or US tax revenue. I do see RCCL's new financing as a big step forward for them, and hope that CCL and NCLH continue to improve their positions.
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