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Carnival Corp ships will need court approval 60 days before restarting cruises, judge says


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11 minutes ago, nocl said:

It is amazing that people try to twist everything into it must be politics. it seems to be the new way to attack anything or anyone that someone disagrees with by discrediting that there just might be a valid reason for something and instead just say that it must be politics.

 

I doubt very much that politics enters into this. Reports indicate that the Judge has gotten increasingly frustrated with CCL and their lack of compliance with the terms of the probation. This was reported in the news stories about the last hearing. One where she indicated that failure to comply could result in CCL ships being banned from US. There is nothing unusual in this order. It merely requires CCL to show that they are in compliance with the terms of their probation before starting service in the US.

It does seem a reasonable requirement, but perhaps she could have announced it sooner.

 

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2 minutes ago, Steelers36 said:

It does seem a reasonable requirement, but perhaps she could have announced it sooner.

 

I suspect that the timing was driven by the work report that the Chief said CCL submitted to the court last month. Basically a reply from the court saying that a work list was not going to cut it and they needed to certify compliance before restarting.

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10 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

The 60 days starts when Carnival submits certification that all ships will meet all environmental regulations. 

 

So all CCL Corp ships must meet the requirements before even one ship is allowed to cruise in USA waters?

 

On can the certifications be submitted on a ship by ship basis to get per ship approval instead of all together?

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1 hour ago, caribill said:

 

So all CCL Corp ships must meet the requirements before even one ship is allowed to cruise in USA waters?

 

On can the certifications be submitted on a ship by ship basis to get per ship approval instead of all together?

 

CCL seems to be intent on ignoring the court's orders.  The court is responding w hitting them with the biggest sledge hammer that they have to get their attention.  CCL has brought this on themselves and they deserve what they are getting.

 

DON

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5 hours ago, caribill said:

 

So all CCL Corp ships must meet the requirements before even one ship is allowed to cruise in USA waters?

 

On can the certifications be submitted on a ship by ship basis to get per ship approval instead of all together?

I believe, but not certain, that it could be applied ship by ship.  There are a couple of threads on this topic in various forums, so not sure what I've responded in what thread, but I have questioned whether Carnival has chosen the ships to start up based on the amount of work needed to come into compliance, or based on itinerary, demographics, and financial reasons.  If the former, then they are thinking, if the latter, then they were hoping the court order would just go away, like they've been hoping the pandemic would go away.

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10 hours ago, beg3yrs said:

I'm not qualified to suggest a basis for appeal but I have seen attorneys get very creative over my years on this planet. I just was wondering if there was an avenue CCL could use to appeal, not if it would be justified or not.

 

 

It would seem that an appeal would just delay the inevitable. They pled guilty. They accepted the terms of the probation.

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1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

I believe, but not certain, that it could be applied ship by ship.  There are a couple of threads on this topic in various forums, so not sure what I've responded in what thread, but I have questioned whether Carnival has chosen the ships to start up based on the amount of work needed to come into compliance, or based on itinerary, demographics, and financial reasons.  If the former, then they are thinking, if the latter, then they were hoping the court order would just go away, like they've been hoping the pandemic would go away.

Were the ships in compliance before the shutdown? Would it be normal for ships to get out of compliance, creating a lengthy work list while setting idle?

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2 hours ago, nocl said:

Were the ships in compliance before the shutdown? Would it be normal for ships to get out of compliance, creating a lengthy work list while setting idle?

It's a continuing thing in many cases.  Some things like required spare parts should be a one time issue, but then again, if they are penny pinching on environmental, those requisitions for parts that are used could come back to be a non-conformity.  Some things crop up again and again, though they shouldn't, like record keeping errors.  So, this falls into training, and getting each and every officer and rating, trained each time someone new joins the company can be an ongoing problem.  While idle, the vast majority of their environmental equipment is idle, or nearly so, but there are those onboard, in the statutory minimum crew, who can perform the maintenance needed.  Whether training has fallen by the wayside, with corporate traveling trainers not being able to board the ships, well, we've all found out about remote work and remote learning.  If anything, Carnival should have used this idle time, where they can take equipment out of service for overhauls and upgrades without impacting passenger service, to finish the job.

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14 hours ago, nocl said:

There is nothing unusual in this order. It merely requires CCL to show that they are in compliance with the terms of their probation before starting service in the US.

 

Makes one wonder why in heck they seem to be dragging their instead of just getting on with it and correcting the issues. Seems like the "grown up" thing to do.

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8 minutes ago, Thrak said:

 

Makes one wonder why in heck they seem to be dragging their instead of just getting on with it and correcting the issues. Seems like the "grown up" thing to do.

The past precedents of fines that are not really punitive given the corporation's revenue, and the philosophy of "we'll never get caught" and kicking any troublesome cans down the road is so pervasive as to be almost written in Mickey Aranson's DNA.  He can't help himself.

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4 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

The past precedents of fines that are not really punitive given the corporation's revenue, and the philosophy of "we'll never get caught" and kicking any troublesome cans down the road is so pervasive as to be almost written in Mickey Aranson's DNA.  He can't help himself.

From what I have seen the CCL and the other cruise lines are experts at using Maritime law, and the international nature of their business to weave their ways through national laws and minimize the impact on them.  They are experts at evading, and obscuring details.  When that doesn't work their is always lobbying, not only in the US but in much smaller countries that depend upon the money generated by the cruise lines.  Don't want to report health info to the CDC, take the ships out of US waters.

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I have been following news of CCL's envkronmental crimes for a couple of years now.

 

Seems the principals of the corporation, as well as its various cruiselines, have losr their way and their moral compass ... but getting heads in beds and enhancing the bottom line is mo4e important to them than doing the right thing.

 

And, make no mistake, they all do know right from wrong ... but they are blinded by money, putting profits ahead of morals. 

 

So, while committjng and admitting to environmental crimes, they pretend to care about compliance and the environment ... by taking away straws and coffee stirrers and cocktail napkins and, on new builds, in-cabin bar soap.  And sourcing out water and other beverages not packed in plasric bottles.

 

Such pretense and arrogance!

 

I am saddened to be treated as a fool ... by those whose pay depends, in part,  on  the fares we all pay.  

 

I might have some tiny respect for them as human beings if they simply would do what they all know to be the right thing.

 

 

Edited by pms4104
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On 10/21/2020 at 1:08 PM, Thrak said:

 

Makes one wonder why in heck they seem to be dragging their instead of just getting on with it and correcting the issues. Seems like the "grown up" thing to do.

 

Why indeed?  UNLESS.....  corporate leadership knows that they have no plans to resume cruising in the US in the near term.  IF their plan is to focus on European/Far East cruising in the near term and only consider US cruising further down the road after the pandemic is under better control, ignoring US regulations for now is completely rational.

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2 hours ago, mnocket said:

 

Why indeed?  UNLESS.....  corporate leadership knows that they have no plans to resume cruising in the US in the near term.  IF their plan is to focus on European/Far East cruising in the near term and only consider US cruising further down the road after the pandemic is under better control, ignoring US regulations for now is completely rational.

 

Not if it should incur further fines or sanctions.

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2 hours ago, mnocket said:

 

Why indeed?  UNLESS.....  corporate leadership knows that they have no plans to resume cruising in the US in the near term.  IF their plan is to focus on European/Far East cruising in the near term and only consider US cruising further down the road after the pandemic is under better control, ignoring US regulations for now is completely rational.

 

19 minutes ago, Thrak said:

 

Not if it should incur further fines or sanctions.

Yep, regardless of where the ships are in the world, they are still subject to the terms of the corporate probation, and subject to meeting international environmental requirements.  The auditors are not limited to boarding ships in US waters.  This is a violation of MARPOL, an international convention, and the US has Port State Control rights to enforce MARPOL wherever it is found to be violated.

 

For example, a ship comes into a US port, and the USCG does a Port State Control boarding and inspection.  They find that there is an error in the Oil Record Book (where all oily waste transfers and handling is recorded) from 3 months ago, when the ship was in Sri Lanka.  They can still prosecute the Chief, the Master, and the shipowner for this violation, even though it was thousands of miles from US waters.

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9 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

 

Yep, regardless of where the ships are in the world, they are still subject to the terms of the corporate probation, and subject to meeting international environmental requirements.  The auditors are not limited to boarding ships in US waters.  This is a violation of MARPOL, an international convention, and the US has Port State Control rights to enforce MARPOL wherever it is found to be violated.

 

For example, a ship comes into a US port, and the USCG does a Port State Control boarding and inspection.  They find that there is an error in the Oil Record Book (where all oily waste transfers and handling is recorded) from 3 months ago, when the ship was in Sri Lanka.  They can still prosecute the Chief, the Master, and the shipowner for this violation, even though it was thousands of miles from US waters.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the judge's 60 day pre-approval  doesn't stop CCL ships from sailing outside of US waters/ports as Costa and Aida are planning to do next month.  

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12 hours ago, mnocket said:

 

Why indeed?  UNLESS.....  corporate leadership knows that they have no plans to resume cruising in the US in the near term. 

 

Princess still hopes to have cruises in December.

 

Per an exec on a webinar Wednesday: Princess is "waiting for the CDC to get back to us on protocols we submitted" and that Princess is "working with our shore side partners."

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1 hour ago, caribill said:

 

Princess still hopes to have cruises in December.

 

Per an exec on a webinar Wednesday: Princess is "waiting for the CDC to get back to us on protocols we submitted" and that Princess is "working with our shore side partners."

 

I hate to agree w anything that the cruise companies suggest but they do have a point.  If they really have submitted a plan, the CDC owes it to them to either approve it, reject it or suggest improvements.  They shouldn't just sit on the plan and do nothing.

 

DON

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3 hours ago, mnocket said:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the judge's 60 day pre-approval  doesn't stop CCL ships from sailing outside of US waters/ports as Costa and Aida are planning to do next month.  

No, it does not preclude them from sailing outside the US, but those ships outside the US are still subject to the terms of the probation agreement and routine random audit visits.  And Costa ships are already sailing in the Med.

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chengkp75

Do you think the corporation knows about the court orders and is maintaining compliance records during the shutdown? I would think they are. It's an important part the business of the skeleton on board Captains and staff. There may be portions of the compliance orders which are not difficult issues now, things like disposals of large amounts of plastic waste. Other issues may be very difficult, like off pumping bilge oil in ports where they have limited docking opportunities. But overall I would like to believe the ships will be ready to sail when the time comes.   

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1 hour ago, skynight said:

chengkp75

Do you think the corporation knows about the court orders and is maintaining compliance records during the shutdown? I would think they are. It's an important part the business of the skeleton on board Captains and staff. There may be portions of the compliance orders which are not difficult issues now, things like disposals of large amounts of plastic waste. Other issues may be very difficult, like off pumping bilge oil in ports where they have limited docking opportunities. But overall I would like to believe the ships will be ready to sail when the time comes.   

Compliance records, whether the ship is on probation or not, are maintained in exactly the same fashion by every ship in the world, all the time, so yes, they had better be keeping those records.  For example, let's just say that the ship was not maintaining the Oil Record Book (where handling and disposal of oily wastes and oily water are recorded) during the shutdown, and then the ship sailed to any port in the world.  That port, as part of their Port State Control authority, can look at the Oil Record Book, and if they see a 6 month period where the ship was operating while anchored, without a single entry, they would start to question the officers as to what was done with the bilge water and oily slops that every ship generates, every day, and why those weren't entered in the book.  Then those officers, and the corporation, would be fined for violations of MARPOL.

 

What appears to be lacking is having all environmental equipment up and fully operational, required spare parts onboard, and systemic additions to the ships like "enviro-tags".  These are plastic seals, like a customs seal on a shipping container, that would have to be broken whenever a piece of equipment is repaired, or a section of piping is removed.  Removal of piping, to install a "magic pipe" around an oil/water separator for bilge water, is an all too frequent violation by ships.  So, record keeping of these seals, and inspection by Port State authorities or auditors will determine if the tags have been changed, and then questions as to why they were changed, when, where, and why the change was not recorded.  For a typical cruise ship, I would expect somewhere in the vicinity of 2-300 tags. 

 

Then there appears to be the question of new equipment, where Carnival has just now announced a contract with a company to provide food waste digesters for their ships.  These are mini septic tanks that turn food waste into a liquid, and I suspect that since ground food waste (all cruise ship food waste going over the side is ground up) is allowed to be discharged at sea, is part of their plan to prevent plastic that is mixed with food waste from being discharged over the side.  This is one of the "hot topic" points of the probation, that it has been 12 years since the first violation (Princess), and plastic separation is still not being done.  Using the digesters, the food waste is a liquid, and can be sent through a fine strainer to trap undigested plastic.

 

I read that Mr. Donald, after submitting their proposed list of work to come into full compliance, and their priority of those jobs, last month or so, when told of the judge's ruling that ships would have to be in full compliance before entering US waters, said, "we obviously never expected to have everything done by this time". So, no, I doubt the ships are going to be in full compliance, we will see whether their efforts are enough to satisfy the auditors and the judge.

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chengkp75

Thank you. Always like reading the expert's insight. It can't be only Princess and other Carnival Corp ships that have had issues. How about other lines? For example the RCI mega ships with mega environmental concerns.

Edited by skynight
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20 minutes ago, skynight said:

chengkp75

Thank you. Always like reading the expert's insight. It can't be only Princess and other Carnival Corp ships that have had issues. How about other lines? For example the RCI mega ships with mega environmental concerns.

All I can say is that neither of RCI or NCL have had any major violations of MARPOL, and whether there were any minor infractions, only the USCG or other country's Port State Control can say, but nothing has been in the media for a several years on either brand.  Again, I cannot speak for RCI, but when NCL was on DOJ probation for environmental non-compliance, they experienced a 180 degree turn around in corporate culture, and I would be surprised to hear of another major violation in the future.  Given the rewards given for reporting environmental violations in the US, it would surprise me that these companies have managed to "get away with anything" for years.

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