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MisterBill99

Did they fix Nieuw Amsterdam's azipod or is she sailing with one operational?

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Anyone know if the future itins may be altered? I'm due to sail this Sat on NA.

Edited by Motor City

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2 minutes ago, Motor City said:

Anyone know if the future itins will being altered? I'm due to sail this Sat on NA.

I was wondering the same thing. We also get on this Saturday and have received zip info on any changes, though tbh I know they are under no obligation to tell us anything.

 

I'm also interested in how she feels cruising. Us being aft, port, and lower down does concerns me. We can handle ocean motion and some wobble. Just have to be able to sleep at night, or more importantly, the toddler has to be able to sleep. :classic_tongue:

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40 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

Not cool at all, HAL. What are they thinking??  Trying to hide something like this almost always ends badly for the company.

I do not understand the secrecy. Trying to hide that one azipod is not working is like trying to hide an elephant under your coffee table, one look and no one is fooled. Better to be out with it and deal with the repercussions. Secrecy will cause more ill will than professionally dealing with a problem in the open. Secrecy does not breed confidence.

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5 minutes ago, fatcat04 said:

I was wondering the same thing. We also get on this Saturday and have received zip info on any changes, though tbh I know they are under no obligation to tell us anything.

 

It's tough to say. You seem to be on the Tropical Caribbean itinerary, which is what the cancelled 12/14 sailing was supposed to do. Last week was eastern, which it seemed they did without much difficulty. This week is western, and it seems like a bunch of port times have changed.  Someone could look up the distance to each port on your itinerary and see if it's better or worse than last week's.

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6 minutes ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

It's tough to say. You seem to be on the Tropical Caribbean itinerary, which is what the cancelled 12/14 sailing was supposed to do. Last week was eastern, which it seemed they did without much difficulty. This week is western, and it seems like a bunch of port times have changed.  Someone could look up the distance to each port on your itinerary and see if it's better or worse than last week's.

Yeah, the one more unique port on our cruise (and one of the reasons we booked it as we just did St Thomas last year) is St. Maarten as the 3rd port. Otherwise it is the standard Grand Turk, San Juan, and then HMC the day before we dock.

Edited by fatcat04

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2 hours ago, Stevedan said:

Thanks for the update.  What are the new port times?  

When we booked Jamacia and Cayman was 8 to 4. Cozumel was 11 to 11. 

IMG_20191229_110656.jpg

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1 minute ago, fatcat04 said:

Yeah, the one more unique port on our cruise (and one of the reasons we booked it as we just did St Thomas last year) is St. Maarten as the 3rd port. Otherwise it is the standard Grand Turk, San Juan, and then HMC the day before we dock.

Same, I chose this itin primarily for St Maarten...fingers crossed it works out.

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1 hour ago, NavArch64 said:

As I have said before, I am saddened that HAL has chosen to cover this up. I have lost confidence in the company as a result. The fact that the Captain of Nieuw Amsterdam has directly ordered that the display in the Crows Nest be shut off says it all.

I doubt the captain made this decision on his own. More likely he had direction from corporate.

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19 minutes ago, Sunshineliving said:

When we booked Jamacia and Cayman was 8 to 4. Cozumel was 11 to 11. 

aIMG_20191229_110656.jpg

Aren't the all aboard times usually 30 minutes before the ship actually sets sail? If so, you should be leaving Cozumel as scheduled. 

 

I'm on the 1/4 sailing as well, and haven't heard about any changes from HAL or my travel agent.

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Just now, robear14 said:

Aren't the all aboard times usually 30 minutes before the ship actually sets sail? If so, you should be leaving Cozumel as scheduled. 

 

I'm on the 1/4 sailing as well, and haven't heard about any changes from HAL or my travel agent.

 

Yes, but Grand Cayman is an hour shorter. Yeah, you get in 2 hours earlier but who wants to disembark before 8am!

 

I don't think anyone got notified in advance of these changes, so I would not expect to hear anything in advance about 1/4 unless they were changing a port.

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2 hours ago, fatcat04 said:

I do not understand the secrecy. Trying to hide that one azipod is not working is like trying to hide an elephant under your coffee table, one look and no one is fooled. Better to be out with it and deal with the repercussions. Secrecy will cause more ill will than professionally dealing with a problem in the open. Secrecy does not breed confidence.

 

I have to admit I do not understand the secrecy either. As mentioned before this same thing happened to the Oosterdam her problems started when she came out of Dry Dock in Vancouver in late Fall of 2006 little over 13 years ago. I sailed on her with one Azipod like many did our sailing was in March 2007  . At that time we mostly sailed in the aft corner suite which at that time was 5187 but is now 5190. On that sailing Jonathan Mercer was the Captain and was very open with the information. They also were giving everyone a $50.00 per person ship board credit for the inconvenience. This lasted for several month. Interestingly enough I was told that the on board revenues actually went up so they more than recouped what they gave out and in turn had satisfied passengers. I get the opinion that the secrecy goes along with the difference in management from 10 years ago. The old HAL the Officers were very open and interacting with passengers, I have seen the change in recent years where Officers are seldom seen and they appear to be avoiding conflict. 

For those concerned about sailing in the aft, yes it will definitely feel bit different but I guess a lot has to do with your mind set. If you think it is going to be terrible it will be....  We sailed with people that were near us and thought it was horrible and personally I thought it helped to rock us to sleep. Others also were not upset with how it felt. I guess HAL is taking the approach if they keep it quiet they will have less people upset...What they don't know will not hurt them attitude.  I lean toward the side of honesty. 

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37 minutes ago, LAFFNVEGAS said:

For those concerned about sailing in the aft, yes it will definitely feel bit different but I guess a lot has to do with your mind set. If you think it is going to be terrible it will be....  We sailed with people that were near us and thought it was horrible and personally I thought it helped to rock us to sleep. 

I admire your fortitude. Most passengers don't pay to listen to the vibrations in their cabin. Westport reported that the vibrations in the first two nights of the 21st sailing was so bad that they wanted to change cabins. To each his own!
 

I do strongly agree with you about the need for honesty and compensation.

 

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36 minutes ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

Is it affecting their cruise? Do the have to reduce the amount of time that the Lido or MDR is open? Does the MDR shake uncontrollably while they are eating? I don't see how you can compare an obviously trivial event with something that is causing them to reduce the time in port and making some cabins unpleasant to sleep in.

The ship seems unstable in general. Lots of vibration in the dining room and it feels much rockier than what the water should be causing. We are in a forward cabin and it’s not our first time in such a cabin. There is a lot more rocking back and forth than I’ve usually experienced on a ship this size. 

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The thrust generated by the port azipod alone is obviously off-center. The resistance of the starboard azipod (perhaps with the shaft locked as reported by chengkp75) is also off-center on the other side. This is not a condition that the ship is designed for .. it is the result of this abnormal operating condition. My guess is, that to maintain a reasonably constant heading, there are frequent small adjustments to the orientation of both pods. These frequent adjustments are no doubt causing vibrations at the stern, and of course, these are transmitted to and through the hull. This is why guests in aft staterooms are feeling unusual vibrations, and guests in forward staterooms are feeling them as well.  

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22 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

 

The more I read about this situation, the more convinced I am that HAL has not been truthful and may be covering up something.

 

I was on this cruise scheduled for Dec 7-21, 2019 and loved the first 7 days.  The NA was my favourite ship. I was disappointed when the cruise was cancelled on Dec 15 and I left the ship on the morning of the 16th. It is not easy for those of us to  be able to get 2 weeks of holidays near the end of the year and the cancellation was a big disappointment as I picked those two weeks because they offered so many beach days. When the cancellation was announced, I assumed it was for a very good reason; I was also pleased with the compensation package. The announcement from the captain on the ship was that in order to be able to sail, he needed the approval of various regulatory bodies (which all had given approval except for one) and once the final approval was received, the ship would sail.  He sounded optimistic.  The next announcement stated that the final authority was denied, the cruise was cancelled, and the passengers had to be off the ship the next morning.   After reading all the posts, especially the ones from regular posters with technical knowledge, and also the social media censorship by HAL,  I am convinced that HAL is not telling the whole truth and perhaps the ship could have sailed with a modified itinerary on Dec 15. Missing San Juan and/or St. Thomas would have been possible since the next cruise sailed only on one azipod.  Also,

 

1.  Was the azipod already not working when the docking in Grand Turk was aborted? A similar sized Carnival ship had no problem docking just before the NA's attempt.  Could it be that a decision was made that the ship would need extra time to reach Amber Cove and that is why GT was missed?

2.  I also am wondering why only one regulatory board would not clear the ship to sail while the other ones (I heard it was at least 4 others) said it was OK? We never were told who said "no".

3. Censorship of opinions on social media and taking the azipod information off the screen on the ship, also makes me think that HAL is not telling the complete truth.

 

I will obviously take the free cruise given as compensation but I may not cruise on HAL again unless HAL provides a detailed explanation of what happened. If they mishandled this situation and did not need to cancel the Dec 14 cruise, why not just say so.  When will corporations and politicians learn that the cover-ups are worse than telling the truth?

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19 minutes ago, dot73 said:

2.  I also am wondering why only one regulatory board would not clear the ship to sail while the other ones (I heard it was at least 4 others) said it was OK? We never were told who said "no".

 

Someone here posted that they needed to go to Freeport in order to get the approval to sail with one azipod. I don't think it's that one regulatory board said no so much as they didn't say yes. If they actually needed to go to Freeport, either for an inspection or to prove the ship seaworthy (in an earlier thead someone posted that it had not made a direct route there and had done some maneuvering en route), they would explain why the 12/14 sailing had to be cancelled. I think that the last thing HAL wanted to do was cancel that cruise. Even if you question their honestly (which is fair), you have to know that they took a big financial hit cancelling the cruise and it was the last thing they wanted to do.

Edited by MisterBill99

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1 hour ago, NavArch64 said:

The thrust generated by the port azipod alone is obviously off-center. The resistance of the starboard azipod (perhaps with the shaft locked as reported by chengkp75) is also off-center on the other side. This is not a condition that the ship is designed for .. it is the result of this abnormal operating condition. My guess is, that to maintain a reasonably constant heading, there are frequent small adjustments to the orientation of both pods. These frequent adjustments are no doubt causing vibrations at the stern, and of course, these are transmitted to and through the hull. This is why guests in aft staterooms are feeling unusual vibrations, and guests in forward staterooms are feeling them as well.  

A ship with rudders will always have small rudder movements to maintain course, and when you have a ship with azipods, this small rudder movement is transformed to small azimuth changes of the pods, with concurrent "sweeping" back and forth of the water flow into and out of the pod propellers across the flat surface of the hull above the pods.  This sweeping motion induces the "azipod shimmy" or a side to side "vibration" at the aft end of the ship.  For sure, when only one pod is operational, this shimmy will possibly be more pronounced, but it does exist even when two pods are working.

 

I don't believe the operation of one propeller would cause increased "rocking" (the term used most frequently by posters here, that I take to mean "rolling").  I suspect that the changed speed given the existing weather conditions causes the increased rolling.

Edited by chengkp75

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28 minutes ago, dot73 said:

The announcement from the captain on the ship was that in order to be able to sail, he needed the approval of various regulatory bodies (which all had given approval except for one) and once the final approval was received, the ship would sail.  He sounded optimistic.  The next announcement stated that the final authority was denied, the cruise was cancelled, and the passengers had to be off the ship the next morning.

 

28 minutes ago, dot73 said:

I also am wondering why only one regulatory board would not clear the ship to sail while the other ones (I heard it was at least 4 others) said it was OK? We never were told who said "no"

The regulatory agencies involved would be the USCG (for permission to leave a US port), the Dutch Maritime Authority (as flag state), and Lloyd's Registry (as the class society).  Even among those agencies, there could be varying "approvals", some that would allow the ship to sail at all, or sail with passengers, or to sail to a port where a further inspection could be made, and any of these could have caused the cancellation.  My bet would be on Lloyd's requiring a more detailed inspection, or some work to be done (like removing the prop blades, or a partial repair), before the ship would be allowed to embark passengers, which prompted the trip to Freeport for a few days.  So, my thought is that Lloyd's approved sailing, but not sailing with passengers, and requiring further inspections, so it would be one agency that gave some approvals and some denials.

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I agree with chengkp75 that it was probably Lloyds Register of Shipping as Classification Society that holds the key to this aspect of the discussion. I did call their Miami office but was unsuccessful in obtaining any information. One final thought … I am pasting here a portion of the CLIA Passenger Bill of Rights from the HAL website.

 

"The right to timely information updates as to any adjustments in the itinerary of the ship in the event of a mechanical failure or emergency, as well as timely updates of the status of efforts to address mechanical failures."

 

It seems that HAL has probably met the minimum requirements for the first part, but has totally ignored the second part. HAL has not identified the failure of the starboard azipod unit, acknowledged that its inoperative status continues, and, in fact, has tried to cover up this fact. There is also no information as to when and where the starboard azipod unit will be repaired or replaced. Clearly, the CLIA PBoR has been ignored in this case.  

 

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59 minutes ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

 I think that the last thing HAL wanted to do was cancel that cruise. Even if you question their honestly (which is fair), you have to know that they took a big financial hit cancelling the cruise and it was the last thing they wanted to do.

Would HAL have any insurance on mechanical failures such as this and the costs it incurs, i.e. cost of cancellation?  Thanks.

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8 hours ago, dot73 said:

Would HAL have any insurance on mechanical failures such as this and the costs it incurs, i.e. cost of cancellation?  Thanks.

Yes, this is covered under the cruise line's P&I insurance, but since this is a mutual insurance, the cost essentially comes out of their pocket anyway.

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16 hours ago, Wndrbrh said:

The ship seems unstable in general. Lots of vibration in the dining room and it feels much rockier than what the water should be causing. We are in a forward cabin and it’s not our first time in such a cabin. There is a lot more rocking back and forth than I’ve usually experienced on a ship this size. 

 

14 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

A ship with rudders will always have small rudder movements to maintain course, and when you have a ship with azipods, this small rudder movement is transformed to small azimuth changes of the pods, with concurrent "sweeping" back and forth of the water flow into and out of the pod propellers across the flat surface of the hull above the pods.  This sweeping motion induces the "azipod shimmy" or a side to side "vibration" at the aft end of the ship.  For sure, when only one pod is operational, this shimmy will possibly be more pronounced, but it does exist even when two pods are working.

 

I don't believe the operation of one propeller would cause increased "rocking" (the term used most frequently by posters here, that I take to mean "rolling").  I suspect that the changed speed given the existing weather conditions causes the increased rolling.

 

I'm inclined to agree that the azipod situation is not affecting the forward cabins. We had plenty of shimmy in our aft cabin on the K, and both azipods were working. But when I spoke to people in midships or forward cabins, they had no idea what I was talking about. The shimmy does not transfer very far along the ship. 

 

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14 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

It's a bit difficult to say conclusively that there is no "hidden agenda", isn't it?  Why does HAL keep claiming the azipod is functional when clearly it is not? Why are they shutting down threads that show the opposite? The only reasonable explanation is that they do not want future passengers to know.

 

I just wanted to mention that the FB groups where the conversation were shut down or discouraged are not run by HAL.  And HAL did confirm (in an indirect way) that the azipod was not functioning when they replied to me on their FB page for TA's and said that the ship had all approvals and was safe to sail.

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1 hour ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

I just wanted to mention that the FB groups where the conversation were shut down or discouraged are not run by HAL.  And HAL did confirm (in an indirect way) that the azipod was not functioning when they replied to me on their FB page for TA's and said that the ship had all approvals and was safe to sail.

 

 

Though, NavArch did report that CS told him that the pod was fixed!

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I just don't understand why they can't be transparent and clear about the situation.

If THEIR mechanical problems affect my schedule, port times, cabin conditions, etc, etc - YES, they should make it right.

If it doesn't,,, even better and not to worry...But them playing cover-up and answering questions like our politicians in Washington,,,just doesn't sit well with me. 
I tend to lean towards being honest and as transparent as possible...Usually when a company starts down this path, I look elsewhere.

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