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Any news from the Amsterdam?


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Copper - John you would know the - "present for me" as BAKSHEESH.

Prior to joining a new Shell Australia tanker I was sent for a training voyage to the Dutch Antilles registered ss.Laconica.

A 1975 built steam turbine 306,950 dwt. crude oil tanker loading in Mina Al Amadi, Kuwait.  Nearly missed the ship due to flight problems but she was delayed by fog & still alongside partly loaded.

The next morning we were at another port further south but still in Kuwait.  It was a more isolated buoy mooring & took a few hours to tie up.  A boat came to the ship with 2 local officials. Then the chief Steward came to the bridge & wispered to the captain showing him a list.

The next day we returned to the Mina Al Amadi offshore island terminal.  2 uniformed officials called on the Master & he asked me to join them as he was having trouble speaking to the 2 officials.  The younger senior officer explained to me in excellent English what he wanted to know.  It was about the 2 officials that had visited the day before & taken bottles of spirit off the ship.

Seems their car was stopped with the 2 drunk inside & a load of bottles in the vehicle.  The Captain was happy he & the ship were not in trouble after the explanation.  The Kuwaity officer gave me his card.  Over the next 3 years when loading in Kuwait this officers name came in handy everytime some Kuwait official asked me for Baksheesh.

The Laconica Captain was on his last trip & he tought me a lot on the operation of VLCC's & how the shore will try to force not so good practices on the masters.

Laconica was due for drydock in Singapore after discharge of the 300K tons of crude.

Unfortunatly the only 10 year old ship was scrapped in 1985.  The whole class of 25 ships did not last due to the steam turbine that chewed up 150 ton of fuel oil a day at full speed.

John

ss. Laconica.jpg

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I received an email from our cruise specialist travel agent asking if we had received a confirmation email from Holland America for our preference on the options. We had not so I ask him to reapply our preferred option. I am thinking on calling Holland America with phone number provided on the luggage email we received to see if I can find out about that and the money owed us from the cancelled port charges. That money was never applied to our credit card 

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On 4/22/2020 at 2:41 AM, Copper10-8 said:

 

What an unbelievable mess! Crystal Serenity is already at anchor in the Malacca Strait, south of Carey Island (vicinity of Port Klang, Malaysia) Hopefully she'll get in which will lead the way for Amsterdam

Crystal was actually doing a bit of what HAL/Princess did at Great Isaac yesterday.  Her Filipino crew is now on the way home on Genting's Explorer Dream.

 

Roy

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2 hours ago, Indianadaytripper said:

I received an email from our cruise specialist travel agent asking if we had received a confirmation email from Holland America for our preference on the options. We had not so I ask him to reapply our preferred option. I am thinking on calling Holland America with phone number provided on the luggage email we received to see if I can find out about that and the money owed us from the cancelled port charges. That money was never applied to our credit card 

I've been emailing World Cruise email asking about confirmation of my Option selection as well as my 5 figure credit balance due back. They copied Onboard Account email on their response: 

 

"We have copied in our Onboard billing department, who will respond to your inquiry.

If you would like to speak with them directly, please call them toll free at  xxxxx

Please allow up to 60 days for processing your option # 2 request for 50% refund and 50% future cruise credits."

 

I don't want to call and talk to someone as I want it in writing. So I have confirmation of the option selection but crickets from onboard accounting. My followup request to both departments was responded by World Cruise stating it would take 10-14 days for Onboard department to respond due to "high volume of inquiries". Next week I will again email both departments. 

 

My guess is they are either very overwhelmed or are holding up their cash position as expenses continue to climb with no revenue. Hopefully their 60 day window is correct and all will be cleared up by end of May. May be wishful thinking. 

 

Which got me thinking if they still have crew and still need port stops for supplies and fuel, how does Bankruptcy affect the operations of a shipping line? Seems like it would limit their options further than already have with getting to ports. So maybe they are holding cash up to allow operation to get crew home first before they dock the ships (?). 

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My heart sank this morning when our newspaper reported that "Indonesia Travel Halted .  .  .  both commercial and charter travel."  Then I read that one exception was "repatriation of Indonesian citizens."  There is hope.

Barbara

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1 hour ago, bcummin said:

My heart sank this morning when our newspaper reported that "Indonesia Travel Halted .  .  .  both commercial and charter travel."  Then I read that one exception was "repatriation of Indonesian citizens."  There is hope.

Barbara

That's why they should sail straight to Tanjung Priok, before more changes are coming..

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6 hours ago, REOVA said:

I've been emailing World Cruise email asking about confirmation of my Option selection as well as my 5 figure credit balance due back. They copied Onboard Account email on their response: 

 

"We have copied in our Onboard billing department, who will respond to your inquiry.

If you would like to speak with them directly, please call them toll free at  xxxxx

Please allow up to 60 days for processing your option # 2 request for 50% refund and 50% future cruise credits."

 

I don't want to call and talk to someone as I want it in writing. So I have confirmation of the option selection but crickets from onboard accounting. My followup request to both departments was responded by World Cruise stating it would take 10-14 days for Onboard department to respond due to "high volume of inquiries". Next week I will again email both departments. 

 

My guess is they are either very overwhelmed or are holding up their cash position as expenses continue to climb with no revenue. Hopefully their 60 day window is correct and all will be cleared up by end of May. May be wishful thinking. 

 

Which got me thinking if they still have crew and still need port stops for supplies and fuel, how does Bankruptcy affect the operations of a shipping line? Seems like it would limit their options further than already have with getting to ports. So maybe they are holding cash up to allow operation to get crew home first before they dock the ships (?). 

 

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Here is part of an email response another passenger just received about luggage:

 

Once our crew members are returned to their homes and the luggage is offloaded, Amsterdam will spend a layup period in Malaysia rather than returning to Florida. Please be assured that all luggage will be safely handled and processed by an experienced, professional third-party shipping company. Again, we sincerely apologize for any dissatisfaction with this necessary alteration.
Please let us know if there is anything further.

 

Another passenger was told "passport information would only be given to Customs if asked for". So it doesn't look like plans include Ft Lauderdale. Again I speculate that once everyone and everything (luggage and personal property) is offloaded, they can just sit the fleet and work out a plan to continue operations (whether that includes Bankruptcy or some other revision to their business plan). May save them from paying alot of money if they file BK. But they tried to avoid this by getting more (high cost) debt and the investment by Saudis fund. But from news reports, Carnival Corp is bleeding almost $1 billion per month, has debt due and limited cash (even with the Saudi stock infusion) so that's a tough wave to ride out.

 

MS Amsterdam does not have to be in Montreal until July 4 if they start cruising again in July. But future cruising would take a lot of business revision (less passengers for social distancing, more crew for maintaining buffet lines, sanitizing, etc.) which becomes more costly to the industry and less revenue than the past SOP.  I wouldn't want to be dealing with all they have to right now.  But I guess we have no choice. The next 30-60 days will be interesting - for many things around the World. 

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22 hours ago, prescottbob said:

Goodness, my soiled skivvies should be really ripe by then.
Good luck TSA.

 

That's the best comedy line that I have heard in many years!  You may have another career ahead of you!

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19 hours ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

You never know Roy; he just might take a short contract after this giant mess is done and over with, and have a proper send-off incl. his crew lined up on the dock and the usual white limo ride into the sunset 😉 

 

I surely hope that this happens.  Adding to your description of the farewell, the multitude of toots from the ship's whistle as he departs.   If there ever was a ship's Master that deserves such, it is Captain Mercer.  

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Almost live view from tracking at Port Klang. Amsterdam "reversing" into the pier on the other side of the Golden Princess. The Nautica is a tug. Speed is currently 0.6 knots at 46 degrees. A good ending on this journey!

 

-albert

snip_20200425124122.png

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4 hours ago, REOVA said:

. But future cruising would take a lot of business revision (less passengers for social distancing, more crew for maintaining buffet lines, sanitizing, etc.) which becomes more costly to the industry and less revenue than the past SOP.  I wouldn't want to be dealing with all they have to right now.  But I guess we have no choice. The next 30-60 days will be interesting - for many things around the World. 

I am not going on a "socially distance" cruise.  I am not going on a cruise if I have to wear a mask.

 

I will go on a normal cruise as soon as they start normal cruises.   

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35 minutes ago, The-Inside-Cabin said:

I am not going on a "socially distance" cruise.  I am not going on a cruise if I have to wear a mask.

 

I will go on a normal cruise as soon as they start normal cruises.   

There is no normal anymore. The Industry, government and Countries need to redefine the new protocol and make new decisions. If the decision becomes - to make cruising shorter and from close ports, limiting the number of ships sailing, testing fever prior to boarding (and regularly), not allowing passengers over 70 to sail without Dr's note, among other items being discussed - just as you reacted,  it will reduce the numbers that want to cruise (as well as redefine cruise insurance policies). They may need to lower fares to get people back for next 12 months. Its not like a Hurricane process where ships move out and come back. We are in uncharted territory. We may be seeing more of the Country on land and less traveling the World for the short term until (and if) there is anything close to normal. 

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48 minutes ago, REOVA said:

There is no normal anymore. The Industry, government and Countries need to redefine the new protocol and make new decisions. If the decision becomes - to make cruising shorter and from close ports, limiting the number of ships sailing, testing fever prior to boarding (and regularly), not allowing passengers over 70 to sail without Dr's note, among other items being discussed - just as you reacted,  it will reduce the numbers that want to cruise (as well as redefine cruise insurance policies). They may need to lower fares to get people back for next 12 months. Its not like a Hurricane process where ships move out and come back. We are in uncharted territory. We may be seeing more of the Country on land and less traveling the World for the short term until (and if) there is anything close to normal. 

They could pay me to go on a cruise and I would refuse under "socially distancing" conditions.   I am OK with screening and doctors notes and different itineraries, but once the ship gets underway, it better be the same experience or they can try and find people who will want to do that.   Doubt they will find many.  If you have to cruise under those conditions, you are better off with a land vacation.

 

I am more optimistic that we will return to normal 2019 cruising, with enhanced screening, by 2021

 

Otherwise, they may has well sell all the ships for scrap as the industry will no longer be a viable business model.    If that happens, I will be doing land trips - life goes on.

Edited by The-Inside-Cabin
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