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About VentureForth

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  1. VentureForth

    Costa still selling concordia, r u kidding me?!

    Anyone recall how Carnival reacted when the Splendor had a fire on board?
  2. [quote name='at_nyc']The hiding of information in the excuse of "not cause panic" is the ultimate disrespect of the passengers they need to take care of. That said, I'm told on ships that big, there're constant equipmet problems that could be serious in a moment's notice. So they can't keep on informing the passenger all that is wrong![/QUOTE] True, but any time there is ever a hull breach and the ship is taking on water, I think that an immediate evacuation is required. What's the worst case? Ship doesn't sink? Cruise is over anyway. To pay a little devil's advocate, it had been suggested that the u- turn to the port kept the ship from sinking completely and allowed more time for evacuation. On the other hand, had everyone abandoned ship within 30 minutes of striking the rock, it could have then been moved to shallower waters.
  3. VentureForth

    pax lose out on flights

    Hi David, Lots of critical thought there. No links, no references, and this is being discussed in a dozen other threads. Can you elaborate on your thoughts? Thanks!
  4. I respect your opinion greatly. As a father of three - 19, 11 & 6, I hope I would never allow myself to be saved before others. I would have no problem sending my wife & kids to shore separate from me. I would assure them I would be fine, and if God has other plans, I would hope my family would be at peace.
  5. [quote name='MsTabbyKats']Since when is it illegal to eat with a member of the opposite sex? I'm not defending the captain....but the fact that he was having dinner with "a blond" means nothing. Interesting yes....[/quote] Let's see.... 1) He's married. Ok, whatever your convictions are, that's fine. Don't think my wife would care for me to have dinner with a 25 year old. 2) She was an off-duty employee. Here at my job, I can be fired or worse if I spend too much time with a member of the opposite sex. Especially if I was in a huge position of authority. 3) Drinking on the job. Well, he's Italian. Maybe all Italians drink at work. Those are just a few. The fact that she's blonde (yet a brunette in another press photo) is truly irrelevant other than the fact that it just makes her more provocotive...perhaps.
  6. VentureForth

    Hole on Port side, capsized to Starboard?

    I think it would have sunk. Say what you will about Capitano Codardo, but he saved lives (which he shouldn't have had to), and possibly the ship by making this maneuver close to land.
  7. VentureForth

    Costa Concordia SINKING

    [quote name='CathyCanada']As for the Costa employee speaking out.... I suspect that she may not want to work for Costa any longer anyway. I am not sure what further damage can be done to the company's reputation.[/quote] After this, I don't suspect that any cruise company would want to hire this woman. I think her only hope now is to work in the US State Department. Maybe at a US Embassy...
  8. VentureForth

    Costa Concordia SINKING

    [quote name='CathyCanada']As for the Costa employee speaking out.... I suspect that she may not want to work for Costa any longer anyway. I am not sure what further damage can be done to the company's reputation.[/quote] After this, I don't suspect that any cruise company would want to hire this woman. I think her only hope now is to work in the US State Department. Maybe at a US Embassy...
  9. VentureForth

    Costa Concordia SINKING

    [quote name='cruiserfanfromct']According to this news report (IF TRUE) the mystery woman was a passenger rep. :eek: [URL]http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4072171/MYSTERY-woman-was-on-the-bridge-the-night-the-doome-Costa-Concordia-sank-and-could-shed-light-on-the-disaster-it-was-reported-today-The-blonde-identified-as-Domnica-Cemortan-25-was-believed-to-have-been-alongside-Captain-Francesco-Schettino-the-night-the-massive-liner-hit-rocks-and-ran-aground-before-keeling-over.html[/URL][/quote] What the **** is a passenger rep?
  10. VentureForth

    Costa Concordia SINKING

    [quote name='CruiseIreland']I have been following the news reports and some of the excellent graphics posted on this and other threads about this awful tragedy. One thing confuses me. The ship was heading roughly northwest to pass Giglio on its port side. It got too close to rocks and hit something on its starboard side? According to some survivors, the ship listed to port first. Then it continued on and eventually grounded and listed onto its starboard side, where there is apparently another breach underwater, from photographs posted on this thread. So, the ship is now grounded on its starboard side and is pointing at almost 180 degress to its original albeit wrong, course. How can the ship have turned to this angle before running aground? Was the captain/crew trying to dock in Giglio? Or were they trying to get into shallow water for evacuation? If the ship had not run aground, would the tragedy have been much worse or could more lifeboats have been launched? Did the action of grounding the ship save lives overall?[/quote] I had the same questions, but after looking further, the information exists - just a bit more difficult to find. Here is MY interpretation of events. The Concordia was travelling NNW when its Captain decided to show off and get close to Islo de Giglio for his Matre D'Hotel. This has been done before, but much further away. As it passes to the East of the Port on Giglio, it hits a submerged rock on its [I]Port (left)[/I] side. The Captian realizes the errors of his ways, and in an actual sense of rational behavior tries to save the ship and its souls on board by making a U-Turn to the [I]Port [/I]which was [I]inland [/I]of the rock it hit. The purpose of this maneuver was to a) turn back towards the port (population for help) and b) stay in shallow water. This maneuver caused the water in the breached hull to shift from the port side (where it was hit) to the starboard, and along with the speed and centrifugal force of the turn caused the Concordia to tip towards it's starboard side. This is why the ship is shown really close to the shore, facing in the opposite direction from which it came, and the rock that it hit along with the huge gash is sticking out of the water. Had the Captain attempted to have made a U-Turn to the Starboard, or out to sea, the ship could have sunk completeley. Monday Quarterbacking, I would say the safest action would have been to stabilize and initiate evacuation immediately (better life raft utilization) - in deeper water (risky). After the passengers evacuated, then an effort (if possible) could have been made to save the ship.
  11. After looking through her linkedin profile, she has so much training and education that it doesn't look like she's had time to have a lot of real world experience.
  12. VentureForth

    US Embassy ?

    All these other embassies giving tickets to their citizens to return home, are, no doubtedly, paying for it with the US's Foreign Aid. :) Seriously, though, I don't think that this should even be a major issue. The embassies are responsible to ensure the safe passage of their citizens to their home - not to pay for it. Even during particular civil unrest situations across the world, the US has sent aircraft to get their citizens out of harms way, but then have charged them for that service. After all, it is not the government's responsibility that their citizens choose to live or even visit abroad. That being said, where are the airlines in all this? ALL these passengers who are fighting to get back to the US presumably had return airfare for the end of their cruise or vacation. The airliners, I would think, could accomodate changes as available - even with the absense of documentation lost in the shipwreck. For those that talk about the change fees, etc., why not just return to Rome and wait for your regularly scheduled departure? I DO understand the feeling of need to get home as soon as possible after a disaster. But for the cost of some of those change fees, you can buy some pretty nice clothes, stay pretty comfortable and dine well for the next 6 days. Besides, you still are waiting for your travel documents. This was supposed to be a vacation of a lifetime (for some, perhaps just a typical excursion). Maybe spend a week in Giglio and spend some money with those TRUE first responders. In the meantime, COSTA should be paying for their hotel and any travel expenses back to where they planned to leave in the first place. After all, most countries requiring a visa or not demand a guarantee of a return flight home. Certainly the US Embassy should do everything in their power to ensure that every US citizen has legal proof of citizenship and to provide required travel documents. But, honestly, that's about it. COSTA is responsible, airlines (railways, busses, etc) should be accomodating, and the embassies should be comforting.
  13. Hi folks, Since I know that a lot of new folks like to read reviews - especially comparing and contrasting very similar cruises - I thought I would post my experiences from this past week's sailing on the Sensation to last year's sailing on Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas. Both trips were similarly priced, they both departed from Port Canaveral, FL, both were 4-night cruises, and both had the distinct disadvantage of being the oldest ship in the fleet, yet recently refurbished. Ports of Call Royal Caribbean offers ports of call at their private island, Coco Cay, and Nassau. Carnival offers ports of call at Freeport and Nassau. For the itinerary, I give the edge to MotS. Enjoying a private island for the day is just way cool. Now, for our cruise, Freeport was cancelled due to high seas and strong winds. Even though the ship docks vs being tendered, Skip, our Cruise Director, told me that an RC ship was damaged trying to dock in similar conditions. This was a let down for us, because this was where we booked our one and only shore excursion. Note for Sensation passengers - there is NOTHING in Freeport worth your time and energy. A bus tour to the national park, caves and northern beaches will make this an enjoyable port of call so long as the weather is nice. :) A note about Nassau: Both MotS and Sensation have extended layovers in Nassau. MotS departs at midnight - well after most of Nassau shuts down. Sensation leaves at 6 AM. Either way, I found that many folks were getting back on board around 5 PM. I think that a good chunk of folks on Sensation thought at we were to be back on board at 5:30 PM not AM. The Ship I'm going to start by saying that as previously mentioned, both ships are the oldest in their respective fleets. Both have been refurbished, but the Sensation has been renovated much more recently (2009) and is quite nice. So, on the surface, Sensation wins hands down. But there are some things about the Monarch that are plusses, and some things about the Sensation that were minuses. Let's start with the odor. That rumored odor of sewage on the Sensation is no rumor. It was horrible. It smelled in our cabin as if no one has flushed the toilet in ages. It was also noticable in various other parts of the ship - most notably in the aft section. The plusses on the Monarch, however, were the over abundance of public restrooms. If I recall correctly, there were public restrooms on every floor. On the Sensation, however, they seemed much more scattered and typically on a deck where you were not. Also, I believe that each public restroom on the Monarch had higher capacity than the Sensation. Feel free to correct me, here, fellow Critics. Just what I remember. Though perhaps this should be a separate category in itself, the cabins were much larger, roomier, and better lit on the Sensation. The LCD flatscreen TVs were a welcome change to the color-challenged tube TVs on the Monarch. Finally, while we were in port at Nassau, I got to see the Monarch again. It was there on Tuesday and Wednesday as their port of call at Coco Cay was cancelled. They really let that ship go from the way it looks on the outside. Very little pride is taken by Royal keeping it looking nice. There was a lot of rust around the anchor and many patches of peeled paint along the side of the ship. Just looked ugly - and cheap. Onboard Entertainment The onboard entertainment was about the same on both ships, though my wife swears that Monarch's was better. Our singers were Chris and Cassandra - Chris was OK, but Cassandra had some pitch issues. I don't remember who our featured singers on Monarch were, but I wasn't overly impressed by them either. The biggest difference between the ships' entertainment were the way they offered Bingo. On Carnival, they offered 1 grid for $10, or 3 for $20. On Monarch, it was $10 for 3 on paper, or $20 for 9 on a computer if I remember right. Also, I remember each day of bingo offering many games for the same set of cards on Monarch, whereas the Sensation only did that on the first day. The last three days of bingo were one game only for your $10 or $20. Most of the activities, ie: Quest games, scavenger hunt, etc., were similar, though Carnival's pre-9 PM games were a bit more PG than Royal's. Dining Though I really preferred the individual attention by our waitstaff on Monarch, I preferred the food and the entertainment durring dessert on Sensation. I can remember our waiter's name from Monarch, but I can't remember our Matre' D. Opposite on the Sensation. Food seemed to be about identical. But back to the Matre' D. Jean Paul - a German with a French name who can sing like Dean Martin and Louis Armstrong in the same song - provided NIGHTLY entertainment by the waitstaff. And it was ALL good. Monarch offered entertainment on the final night only. Kid Activities I can only really recall what we did on Carnival because we didn't have the kids on Royal. On Sensation, Waterworks looked really cool, but because it was really cool (and windy), it was closed the whole time. Camp Carnival was pretty interesting and nice to have for the trip. However, the times they closed for meals, etc., meant that the actual time our kids got to enjoy Camp Carnival was pretty minimal. They shut down for meals unless you're on shore. So, it was like 8-10:45, 1-4:45, then 6-10. Unfortunately, these didn't coordinate with entertainment schedules very nicely, so I found myself missing shows to pick up the kids, then missing shows because I was putting them to bed. Could have done the after care for $6 +$4 for additional kids per hour 'til midnight. Didn't. Don't know what all Royal offers, but they are not devoid of childcare. Best Kept Secret The best kept secret on Carnival, though, has to do with Camp Carnival. When you register your kids, you get a VOIP phone. It's a wireless phone that acts much like a cell phone, but uses the ships WiFi network. There is no charge to use the phone to call your stateroom from it, and if someone is looking for you, they can call your number from any public phone on the ship. How cool is that? Unfortunately, Bow2Stern Wifi doesn't have the coverage they would like to advertise, but it's a great little tool. Conclusion I really liked both cruises. I would take them both again. Though, since my wife really preferred Royal's Monarch of the Seas, that may be our future calling, which is fine - if we don't take the kids. And the weather is nice. And the inlaws don't join us. But if the family joins us for our next adventure, we'll take Carnival again.
  14. [quote name='LauraS']Check out the latest Carnival Cruise Line news from Cruise Critic: [URL="http://feeds.cruisecritic.com/~r/site/cc/news/~3/4nX5GaeKk74/news.cfm"]Anatomy of a Cruise Relief Mission: How the Navy Came to the Aid of Carnival Splendor[/URL][/quote] I brought this up in the other thread that 84 pages long and locked... But watching the slideshow from this page makes me damn proud to be an American. Happy Veteran's Day to ALL who have kept us free - and alive.
  15. VentureForth

    Splendor, Splendor, Splendor Combined Thread

    You know, after skimming through 83 pages of this thread, and enjoying the humor and even the dumb, uninformed remarks, I gotta say just one thing. After seeing [url=http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=4217&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+site%2Fcc%2Fnews+%28Cruise+Critic%3A+News+RSS+Feeds%29#]the CC slideshow on the Mission from this page[/url], I gotta admit that I begin to well up a little. Damn, I'm proud to be an American!