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More ships needed for hurricane relief!


eroller

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Seatrade Insider reports the MSC (Military Sealift Command) is looking for more passenger ships to help with hurricane relief. Something like a total of 25,000 berths are needed, and currently they have around 8000 with the three Carnival ships and the SCOTIA PRINCE.

 

Expect more cruise lines to step up to the plate soon.

 

Ernie

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It would be easier to get some of the out-of-work cruise ships. I'm sure the Independence is still in good shape ... she could be quickly put into service. Likewise the former Royal Olympic Fleet (all of which are laid up right now) could be pressed into service and brought across the Atlantic.

 

Does anyone know which ships are still laid up at Freeport, Bahamas?

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Good idea but it might take some time to find crews and/or get some of those ships ready and there could be some legal/liability issue also - Independence is laid up in the Bay area, United States in Philadelphia. Not sure what's left in the Bahamas, if any, but Doug will know! I believe some of the Royal Olympic ships have been sold. Ships that are currently in service, like the three Carnival ships it seems to me, would get there a little quicker.

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INDEPENDENCE is probably usable, but is without a crew. She is located in San Francisco.

 

UNITED STATES, in Philadelphia, is stripped bare and would be useless.

 

All the Royal Olympia ships have been sold or chartered. The ships formerly laid-up at Freeport have been broken up except for ROTTERDAM which is being restored in Gibraltar.

 

The vast majority of the ships that were available as little as six to twelve months ago are either in service or have been broken up. In fact there is virtually no opportunity for acquiring additional berths without cruise lines chartering ships that are presently in service, as Carnival have.

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Why not consider troop transports that we have in Moth ball.

 

Overall I think it is a bad idea.

 

Why not put up tent cities close to where these people lived so then can work on their properties and take part in the reconstruction of their city. It is going to be a financial bonanza (or fiasco) with billions spend and if we put these people too far away they will not be part of the reconstruction process and I think that is a mistake.

 

ONE MANS OPINION

 

Jim

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Troop transports... The ones I know of are 1940s, WWII vintage used through the '60s and then laid-up. There are not many of these left and those that are left are almost certainly unusable.

 

The only reason these have not all been gone for years already is that there is a law that the government cannot send "toxic waste" out of the country to be "dealt with"... Of course ships are full of stuff that makes them toxic, and virtually no shipbreaking is done in the US. Thus, the only alternative was to let them sit and rot... Literally. All indications I have is that these vessels are or, if they were still around, would be absolutely uninhabitable or indeed unfit for use as anything but scrap metal. They were not maintained as there was no intent to re-use them, hence no need to spend the money to do anything more than keep them afloat.

 

In the past few years the US government has paid US companies to break these up (yes, shipbreaking in accordance with US labor and environmental rules costs money) just to get them off the government's hands. The government was spending money to keep them afloat, literally, and it was deemed cheaper in the long run just to pay companies to dispose of them. So as only, if I recall correctly, two or three of these remain, the opportunity is mostly gone... And I am pretty sure they would be of no use.

 

Now, if they were in good condition I'd say "go for it"... But that is probably not the case.

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The vast majority of the ships that were available as little as six to twelve months ago are either in service or have been broken up. In fact there is virtually no opportunity for acquiring additional berths without cruise lines chartering ships that are presently in service, as Carnival have.

 

I am, truly, surprised. Bad timing, I suppose. It would have been a good use for some of them just a year back.

 

On the other hand, I'm happy that some are in service again.

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It takes a while to get a mothballed Navy ship back to sea with a crew - timing issues again. The USNS Comfort, a hospital ship with 250 beds is already heading to the Gulf from Baltimore. She has a sister, the USNS Mercy out of San Diego, but she hasn't been activated yet

HAL could give them two Vista class ships - that's room for almost 3700 folks

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One of RCI's Mega floating condos would sure house many folks.

One of HAL's Vista class ships would house many folks too.

 

I think you're gonna see several cruise lines pitch in for this effort. Only by spreading the deployments around can any one cruiseline minimize the financial impact taking one of their larger ships out of service will have on their total operation.

 

I had a feeling three ships wouldn't cut it. With all the homeless folks needing a place to stay, I figured that even if they put four to a standard cabin and converted many of the lounges to dorm facilities, it still wouldn't be enough. I wouldn't be surprised to see maybe six more cruise ships at least deployed in this manner over the coming weeks.

 

Blue skies ...

 

--rita

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It takes a while to get a mothballed Navy ship back to sea with a crew - timing issues again. The USNS Comfort, a hospital ship with 250 beds is already heading to the Gulf from Baltimore. She has a sister, the USNS Mercy out of San Diego, but she hasn't been activated yet

HAL could give them two Vista class ships - that's room for almost 3700 folks

Makes sense.

 

They need those ships NOW ... not in the six to eight weeks minimum it would take to get a crew together. It sounds to me like these folks could be living on these ships for a good six months to a year ... so they are gonna need to have enough room to spread out and be comfortable. So, more ships will definitely be needed. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see HAL give up at least one Vista class ship for this effort.

 

Blue skies ...

 

--rita

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I have no objection to cruise ships being used to house these poor people and/or workers.

But a thought came to mind.

 

What about laundry facilities? Most ships have only a couple of laundries and some have none. Will they be charged to have their clothes washed each week? Many of them can't afford that.

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several of the displaced folks that were offered housing on Carnival's ships have refused to go there.

One must wonder why - it is certainly the best emergency housing that one could hope for, I think.

 

As for the two ships "offered by Greece" - it is possible that these are the two former ROC ships, LUCKY STAR (ex ODYSSEUS) and GRAND VICTORIA (ex WORLD RENAISSANCE).

 

These ships were sold, but I do not think charterers have been found yet.

 

All of the other ships that were laid-up... ex Commodore, Premier, Royal Olympia, Festival/First European... Are either scrapped or have not only been sold, but are actually in service. Obviously, the older ships tend towards the former while the newer ships tend toward the latter. (ODYSSEUS and WORLD RENAISSANCE are actually old enough that I thought they might be goners - or at least that the former ship might be.)

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Have to say that this morning (Wednesday, 7 September) local news, and later CNN, confirmed that the authorities were having trouble filling the 6,000 (+/-) berths available on the Carnival ships. As reported above folks in Houston do not particularly want to move again and, surprisingly, would rather stay in the Astrodome. No offense but these aren't typically folks who go on cruises or pay much attention to such things. It was mentioned that many of them want to stay where they think they can more easily put their lives back together. They need medical care, financial aid, reestablish identification, and so on and may not feel that they'd be able to do that on a cruise ship even if it's tied up to a dock. Seems to me talk about more ships is premature if they can't convince folks to use the ones they have available.

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I can understand why many evacuees do not want to stay on cruise ships. I never thought the idea was a particularly good one, although I applaud those who made the effort because it was hoped it would be a good solution.

 

When we left our home as Hurricane Frances was approaching, DH and I were fortunate enough to have a condo in Fort Lauderdale to use. We had ample food, electricity, all the comforts of home. Yet all we wanted to do was go back to our house, to see what damage there was, to be in our neighborhood and with friends.

We were fortunate enough to have a house standing, with minimal damage to it. No electricity ... no phones ... no A/C. But it wasn't home.

 

If our house had been damaged or destroyed, I don't think I would have wanted to be on a cruise ship sitting in Port Everglades. I would have wanted to be in a shelter or a hotel as close to my hometown as possible.

 

I think a lot of the people making decisions aren't aware of the mindset of the evacuees.

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Fully understand your point of view, well taken. The interesting thing in this situation is that the folks are already in Houston and really nowhere near New Orleans and they're only talking about moving them 50 miles or so to Galveston. I think it's change and they've had enough change for the time being. I actually wonder if they have been told or really understand how long it will be before they can return, if ever, to New Orleans much less what might be left of their homes. My heart hurts for them and, as you point out so well, there's no place like home.

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Thanks Randy!

 

I understand my situation was far different. But I am talking about that feeling a person has after the storm ... that drive to go home and see for yourself what has happened. What's left. To mourn or rejoice.

 

And I agree with what you said -- Galveston is one more move, and these people don't want that. They've gone from one shelter to another, and Houston is finally a safe, dry, comfortable place right now.

 

BTW, I used to live in Houston and was there when Hurricane Alicia struck in 1983. We rode out the storm in our house -- I will never forget the sound of the trees snapping in the night.

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So many families are separated with no idea where their loved ones are, they want to stay in as large a shelter as possible with the hope it will be easier for family to find them.

 

The fact that not only did these people have to leave home, but the separations of husband from wife, children from a parent, the elderly from sons and daughters, etc., with no idea where anyone is now, is very disturbing and making a very bad situation much worse. :(

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