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Possible replacement for Canadian ports


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2 hours ago, SouthLyonCruiser said:

That excuse wont work because all of the freighters that I know of come from or go to foreign ports regularly and therefore don't care one way or the other where their ships are built. U.S. ports suffer because, instead of coming into one more U.S. port and spending money here, they waste time going to some foreign port and spending money there.

This is a false understanding of the Jones Act.  A Chinese freighter carrying goods from China can perfectly legally call at 6 different US ports in a row, without going to a foreign port, and can discharge those Chinese goods at each port.  They can also load US goods at each port, and never visit a foreign port in between the 6 US ports.  What the Jones Act prohibits is that Chinese freighter from loading a particular container in a US port, and then discharging that same container in a different US port.  And, if you think a freighter spends a lot of money in the US, you are sadly mistaken.

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2 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

This is a false understanding of the Jones Act.  A Chinese freighter carrying goods from China can perfectly legally call at 6 different US ports in a row, without going to a foreign port, and can discharge those Chinese goods at each port.  They can also load US goods at each port, and never visit a foreign port in between the 6 US ports.  What the Jones Act prohibits is that Chinese freighter from loading a particular container in a US port, and then discharging that same container in a different US port.  And, if you think a freighter spends a lot of money in the US, you are sadly mistaken.

 

 

There very little if any cargo moving up and down the eastern seaboard or the west cost that would be picked up by a foreign ship even if it was permitted.  

 

The domestic routes within the US are the ones that would be protected.  Seattle to Alaska.  Lower 48 to Hawaii or some of the US overseas territories.  Some of the routes on the cargo routes on the great lakes.   

 

Canada has similar rules for ownership and operation of domestic ships.  Though not as restrictive as the US on where the ships are made.  This is an area where the US laws are fairly consistent with other countries. 

 

A parallel set of almost identical rules govern how airlines operate.   

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, em-sk said:

 

 

There very little if any cargo moving up and down the eastern seaboard or the west cost that would be picked up by a foreign ship even if it was permitted.  

 

The domestic routes within the US are the ones that would be protected.  Seattle to Alaska.  Lower 48 to Hawaii or some of the US overseas territories.  Some of the routes on the cargo routes on the great lakes.   

 

Canada has similar rules for ownership and operation of domestic ships.  Though not as restrictive as the US on where the ships are made.  This is an area where the US laws are fairly consistent with other countries. 

 

A parallel set of almost identical rules govern how airlines operate.   

 

 

 

That's the problem.  Too much traffic is going by rail or road, and this costs more per ton/mile than shipping.  US shipping companies have been researching and pushing for the "Short Sea Initiative", which would transfer much of the coastwise traffic up and down the coasts from road/rail to shipping.  The stumbling block is the port infrastructure fee paid on cargo moved at a US port (regardless of whether it is moved on a US ship or foreign ship).  A truck or train pays a fee once to move cargo from point A to point B.  A ship has to pay the port fee once when the cargo is loaded out of a US port, and again when it is discharged in another US port, being charged twice for the same shipment.  This makes the sea shipping option less economic than road/rail, but if enacted, would ease the stress on our declining road/rail infrastructure.

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Alaskan here, booked on Alaskan cruise 14 June on the NCL Bliss, SEA-SEA.  The "token" foreign port on our itinerary was 5 hours in Victoria, on the way back to SEA.  I'm waiting for the actual decision, but am anticipating the entire cruise to be canceled.  Was "given" this cruise by Park West as an art VIP cruise.  Interesting to see how this turns out.

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So is it possible that ships could sail from san diego or san pedro to alaska and then do an ensenada stop to cover PSA rules.? It would mean maybe two week alaska cruises instead of one week but better than nothing?  And IF ports like SFO are open could do a combo coastal and alaska?

 

Assuming that mexico and alaska and other usa ports are open.

Edited by dockman
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9 minutes ago, dockman said:

So is it possible that ships could sail from san diego or san pedro to alaska and then do an ensenada stop to cover PSA rules.? It would mean maybe two week alaska cruises instead of one week but better than nothing?  And IF ports like SFO are open could do a combo coastal and alaska?

 

Assuming that mexico and alaska and other usa ports are open.

Yes.

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Looks like Canada has now adopted entry requirements similar to the US.  

 

Only Canadian nationals and land immigrants can enter Canada.  US nationals are an exemption for now, however that may change if things in the US keep getting worse. 

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I'm on a 2-week Cruise Tour southbound set to leave Fairbanks on 6/23 and then to leave Seward on 6/29 and arrive Vancouver on 7/6.  

 

No clue what's going to happen, but my guess is that since Canada has stated they are not revisiting this restriction until June 30, my cruise is likely to be cancelled.  I don't want to cancel in advance because this is a really expensive cruise and if we're not going this year, I'd rather get my money back and do a second-choice domestic vacation.

 

I was already flying SEA-SEA and had planned to rent a car in Vancouver and drive back to Seattle post-cruise.  What bums me out the most is that we were planning to spend my best friend's birthday with him (he lives in Seattle) pre-cruise, but it's likely that won't happen either because I don't know that Seattle will be ready for visitors by then either.

 

6 of us on this cruise, including one couple celebrating their 25th anniversary.

 

Blah.  

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34 minutes ago, Jobeth66 said:

I'm on a 2-week Cruise Tour southbound set to leave Fairbanks on 6/23 and then to leave Seward on 6/29 and arrive Vancouver on 7/6.  

 

No clue what's going to happen, but my guess is that since Canada has stated they are not revisiting this restriction until June 30, my cruise is likely to be cancelled.  I don't want to cancel in advance because this is a really expensive cruise and if we're not going this year, I'd rather get my money back and do a second-choice domestic vacation.

 

I was already flying SEA-SEA and had planned to rent a car in Vancouver and drive back to Seattle post-cruise.  What bums me out the most is that we were planning to spend my best friend's birthday with him (he lives in Seattle) pre-cruise, but it's likely that won't happen either because I don't know that Seattle will be ready for visitors by then either.

 

6 of us on this cruise, including one couple celebrating their 25th anniversary.

 

Blah.  

Canada is revisiting port closure by June 1, is what I have heard.

 

 Cruise season was supposed to open in Vancouver on April 1, announcement was made Mar 13 that they would close, so they won't leave the opening to the last minute. 

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8 minutes ago, nslatin said:

I have  another simple sounding solution.  Just reflag a ship to USA just like the Pride of America.

Except you can't. NCL ships were built in places like Germany and France, which disqualifies them. The ships have to be built in the USA. It would take an act of Congress to grant an exemption. Even POA had to get a legal exemption as it was only partially constructed in the US. After NCL bought the hull it was towed to Germany for completion.

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1 hour ago, njhorseman said:

Except you can't. NCL ships were built in places like Germany and France, which disqualifies them. The ships have to be built in the USA. It would take an act of Congress to grant an exemption. Even POA had to get a legal exemption as it was only partially constructed in the US. After NCL bought the hull it was towed to Germany for completion.

 

About that... weren't the Jade and the Sky both formerly US flagged and sailing a US only loop?  (As the Pride of Hawaii and the Pride of Aloha)

I wonder if either of them would be able to be reflagged and put into service for Alaska?  Or did the rules used to be different?

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18 minutes ago, Named-Tawny said:

 

About that... weren't the Jade and the Sky both formerly US flagged and sailing a US only loop?  (As the Pride of Hawaii and the Pride of Aloha)

I wonder if either of them would be able to be reflagged and put into service for Alaska?  Or did the rules used to be different?

I agree and wonder if that might be on the table on the other hand that would be rescheduling nightmare if existing reservations for Alaska wanted to go to Alaska this Summer.

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1 hour ago, Warbird said:

I agree and wonder if that might be on the table on the other hand that would be rescheduling nightmare if existing reservations for Alaska wanted to go to Alaska this Summer.

 

You still need to deal with the issue of the crew.   If you can convert the ship to US flagged.  Have NCL sell the ship to its US subsidiary your still left with having to hire an American crew to work the ship and then get them qualified  The existing crew are mostly non-US nations and it is unlikely they can become US residents quickly.    That will take months.   

 

Best option is both the US and Canada get this under control.  New cases in Canada are now growing by about 20% per day and the growth rate is going down.  The US was around 25% and spiked today to 48%.  

 

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9 minutes ago, em-sk said:

 

You still need to deal with the issue of the crew.   If you can convert the ship to US flagged.  Have NCL sell the ship to its US subsidiary your still left with having to hire an American crew to work the ship and then get them qualified  The existing crew are mostly non-US nations and it is unlikely they can become US residents quickly.    That will take months.

On a positive note NCL has been there and done it.  There would be a small learning curve and some hurdles.  We sailed Pride of Aloha back in the day around Hawaii and I was surprise by the foreign crew because I thought all crew where suppose to be all US, but that wasn't the case.  They could pull some US crew to comply from Pride of America and supplement with existing foreign crew members.  Given the circumstances I'd suspect regulations might be waived for a period of time to get by.  In the end logistics of moving the Sky or the Jade to Alaska and moving crew around to supplement may be too much let alone reservations for all ships involved.    

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1 hour ago, em-sk said:

 

You still need to deal with the issue of the crew.   If you can convert the ship to US flagged.  Have NCL sell the ship to its US subsidiary your still left with having to hire an American crew to work the ship . . .

 

Well, here in New York, the hospitality industry has just been badly hit.  Plenty of suddenly unemployed restaurant and hotel staff who are American citizens.  Those "cruises to nowhere" were very popular here too.  When things settle down reviving them could help both the cruise lines and the local hospitality industries recover a bit together.  The cons of this idea would be the damage the Corona PR has done to cruising's image and, of course, the New York waiters would take some getting used to, lol.  (Crazy idea but I'm only half kidding.)

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6 hours ago, Named-Tawny said:

 

About that... weren't the Jade and the Sky both formerly US flagged and sailing a US only loop?  (As the Pride of Hawaii and the Pride of Aloha)

I wonder if either of them would be able to be reflagged and put into service for Alaska?  Or did the rules used to be different?

No, part of the enabling legislation that allowed the Jade and Sky to be PVSA compliant stated that if they ever lost their certificate of compliance (by going foreign flag again), they would not be eligible for reconsideration.

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4 hours ago, em-sk said:

The existing crew are mostly non-US nations and it is unlikely they can become US residents quickly.    That will take months.   

It would take years to get most of the crew to be Green Card resident aliens.

4 hours ago, Warbird said:

On a positive note NCL has been there and done it.  There would be a small learning curve and some hurdles.  We sailed Pride of Aloha back in the day around Hawaii and I was surprise by the foreign crew because I thought all crew where suppose to be all US, but that wasn't the case.  They could pull some US crew to comply from Pride of America and supplement with existing foreign crew members.  Given the circumstances I'd suspect regulations might be waived for a period of time to get by.  In the end logistics of moving the Sky or the Jade to Alaska and moving crew around to supplement may be too much let alone reservations for all ships involved.    

There would be a huge learning curve, and massive hurdles.  As a senior officer on the Pride of Aloha, the first NCL US flag ship, I was intimately involved in the recruiting, training, and retention of US crew.  As a long time merchant mariner, I also am acutely aware of US maritime labor laws.

 

Here's the first problem.  Under US law, all deck and engine officers (figure about 20 per ship for the minimum manning) must be US citizens, and US licensed.  There has been a chronic shortage of US officers for decades, the commercial ships are always scrambling to find and keep trained officers, let alone "surge" a supply of officers for cruise ships.

 

Next, US law requires that only 25% of the unlicensed crew (the vast majority of a cruise ship's crew) can be non-US citizens, and that 25% must be Green Card resident aliens (so they must actually live in the US).  NCL, due to training and service problems with US crew, did obtain legislation to use "NRAC" (non-resident alien crew), which the USCG vehemently opposed.  This allows NCL to hire foreign nationals, who are not Green Card holders, as crew, with stipulations.  The crew must have been employed by NCL for 10 years prior to application, they must submit to a background check, and NCL must obtain a H1 work visa for them, with all of the financial responsibility that entails.  These NRAC crew count against the 25% of non-citizens.  This process also took months to implement.

 

Next, while foreign flag cruise ships do not require all crew to be credentialed merchant mariners, the USCG does, so every crew member of the POA has gone and taken the required training in safety and firefighting, received a background check by the FBI, and taken tests from the USCG to obtain their credentials.  This took many months to scale up training facilities to meet the crew demands of 3 cruise ships, and there were chronic shortages of trained crew at all times, and I don't doubt they continue to this day.  Unlike a foreign ship, where a dishwasher gets injured or quits, and the cruise line calls the employment agency in the Philippines and has a replacement flying the next day to join the ship, there is no pool of people with USCG documents just waiting for a job as a cruise ship dishwasher.  So, the ship sails short-handed until someone can be trained and sent out.  At the time, it was estimated that it cost NCL $8-10,000 just to get a new hire to the ship to start working.  In the 4 years that NCL had 3 ships operating, we went through tens of thousands of crew members.  As a US citizen, on a US ship, in a US port, these people can quit at any time and walk off the ship, unlike their foreign counterparts.

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7 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

It would take years to get most of the crew to be Green Card resident aliens.

There would be a huge learning curve, and massive hurdles.  As a senior officer on the Pride of Aloha, the first NCL US flag ship, I was intimately involved in the recruiting, training, and retention of US crew.  As a long time merchant mariner, I also am acutely aware of US maritime labor laws.

Okay, first off I really appreciate your response.  It was very insightful what went on behind the scenes.  Let me say I'm not sitting at the table where decisions are being made and I don't know if this subject would make sense as far as the bottom line is concerned.  I sense your bias and can understand your reasons that you don't think that it would fly.

 

For me trying to stay on a positive note I want NCL to succeed.  I want to cruise Alaska June 1st.  In reality it probably won't happen.  Given, we are in desperate times and desperate moves need to take place for the survival of the cruise lines.  I believe Trump is all about cutting Red Tape.  If NCL were to believe it would help the bottom line and could get approval from TPTB by waiving some regulations, I'd say go for it.  I also realize there are going to be the negative types out there that will do everything within their power to stop it from happening.  Being realistic though, if NCL would do it you would also have other cruise lines wanting to do.  That may not fly so it may all be a mute point. 

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We are booked for May 24 on the Bliss.  I called NCL to request a refund on our pre-paid gratuities (as others have suggested in anticipation of a cancellation). 

 

Not expecting an answer, I asked the rep the likelihood of our sailing given the closure of Port Victoria. The rep said that upper management is looking into possible literary changes for our sailing.  

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3 hours ago, choover2576 said:

We are booked for May 24 on the Bliss.  I called NCL to request a refund on our pre-paid gratuities (as others have suggested in anticipation of a cancellation). 

 

Not expecting an answer, I asked the rep the likelihood of our sailing given the closure of Port Victoria. The rep said that upper management is looking into possible literary changes for our sailing.  

 

upper management is looking into possible literary changes for our sailing.

                                                                     xxxxxxxx

 

On a humorous note that certainly is something that has not been tried before !

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I’m on the June 8th Alaska Cruise. Doing a B2B. Today I received all the excursion offers via an email from NCL. I don’t think anyone has any clue about anything. And that includes NCL executives. 
 

Tomorrow I was supposed to start a B2B on the Dawn. Last week I was also sent an email regarding bidding for a better room. Since they cancelled cruises for 30 days on 3/14/20 I’ve received emails for upgrades on that cruise twice. 
 

RC is sending all their employees home starting next week. Contracts over. They have been told They will be home for at least 12-15 weeks. 
 
We have a RC cruise scheduled for end of October. I’m hoping there’s a tiny possibility that that one actually happens. 
 
Eventually we will all cruise again! In the meanwhile, everyone please be safe & stay healthy. Surreal times. 

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7 hours ago, don't-use-real-name said:

 

upper management is looking into possible literary changes for our sailing.

                                                                     xxxxxxxx

 

On a humorous note that certainly is something that has not been tried before !

They are trying to figure out another way to say it is canceled after waiting as long as possible.

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1 hour ago, Smq123 said:

I’m on the June 8th Alaska Cruise. Doing a B2B. Today I received all the excursion offers via an email from NCL. I don’t think anyone has any clue about anything. And that includes NCL executives. 
 

Tomorrow I was supposed to start a B2B on the Dawn. Last week I was also sent an email regarding bidding for a better room. Since they cancelled cruises for 30 days on 3/14/20 I’ve received emails for upgrades on that cruise twice. 
 

RC is sending all their employees home starting next week. Contracts over. They have been told They will be home for at least 12-15 weeks. 
 
We have a RC cruise scheduled for end of October. I’m hoping there’s a tiny possibility that that one actually happens. 
 
Eventually we will all cruise again! In the meanwhile, everyone please be safe & stay healthy. Surreal times. 

 

The issue here is there is a server sitting in  a data center somewhere running the software that is automatically sending you those e-mails and processing the upgrades if you respond.   

 

They have not sent the server home but did send the programmer responsible for reprogramming that home.   

 

The Canadian government announcement the closure well in advance to avoid confusion and let people plan.  Clearly NCL does not share the same perspective. 

Edited by em-sk
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