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Would you cruise w a new cruise line w copies of old liners such as the FRANCE, MICHALANGELO, NORMANDIE, ETC?


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On 7/18/2021 at 7:17 PM, Heidi13 said:

 

That was my assumption, as we had to either remove the asbestos or encapsulate it, and if encapsulate we had a ship register listing all contents and signs clearly marking where it was.

 

We did the encapsulation on all our ships and it was a nightmare.

The SSUS was towed to Turkey to have the asbestos removed (as they had no environmental controls at the time).  In addition to the engine room, asbestos was used all throughout the accommodation, so it was removed as well.

 

And, yes, Andy, as Crystal cruises found out, the ship would have to be brought up to today's SOLAS regulations, and this was a major cost problem.

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On 7/18/2021 at 3:27 PM, CGTNORMANDIE said:

The bones in the SSUS are still good.  If they turned the ship into an inside convention venue it could work.

The problem I see, is similar to the Queen Mary, where no work was done for decades below the waterline, and she is now requiring millions in repairs.  The battleship Texas has rotted out her bottom, and is flooding.  The best way to preserve a ship like this is to either fill in land around it, or build a concrete barge around the hull to keep it from the water.

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1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

The SSUS was towed to Turkey to have the asbestos removed (as they had no environmental controls at the time).  In addition to the engine room, asbestos was used all throughout the accommodation, so it was removed as well.

 

And, yes, Andy, as Crystal cruises found out, the ship would have to be brought up to today's SOLAS regulations, and this was a major cost problem.

 

My understanding of participation of PVSA/Jones Act trade is the ships also had to be maintained in US yards.

 

Would the Asbestos abatement work completed in Turkey impact the ships ability to operate PVSA trades.

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7 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

The problem I see, is similar to the Queen Mary, where no work was done for decades below the waterline, and she is now requiring millions in repairs.  The battleship Texas has rotted out her bottom, and is flooding.  The best way to preserve a ship like this is to either fill in land around it, or build a concrete barge around the hull to keep it from the water.

Great idea…take it one step further and raise the ship up to street level.

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7 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

 

My understanding of participation of PVSA/Jones Act trade is the ships also had to be maintained in US yards.

 

Would the Asbestos abatement work completed in Turkey impact the ships ability to operate PVSA trades.

Actually, the US repair thing is not just for PVSA/Jones Act ships.  All US flag ships must either have maintenance/repair done in the US, or pay customs duty on the cost of overseas repairs.  The duty rate is 50%.  Currently, my company takes all their tankers to Grand Bahamas for shipyards, because even with a 50% "tax" added, they are still cheaper than US yards.  This duty on maintenance/repairs goes to everything done on a ship, other than cleaning of holds.  When I worked container ships, if we had a tech come on in Brazil to repair a crane, and he used a part that we had bought in the US, from our inventory, not only was his labor, but the cost of the part, reported as "foreign repair cost".

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1 hour ago, CGTNORMANDIE said:

Great idea…take it one step further and raise the ship up to street level.

DeMillo's floating restaurant here in Portland is an example.  He took an old ferry and converted it to a restaurant.  Then the hull started leaking, so they build a barge around her, and filled it with concrete (so there is no "void" to need inspection by insurance.  Since the weight of the restaurant and patrons was much less than the weight of the cars that she used to carry, the buoyancy was there to support the concrete.

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5 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

Actually, the US repair thing is not just for PVSA/Jones Act ships.  All US flag ships must either have maintenance/repair done in the US, or pay customs duty on the cost of overseas repairs.  The duty rate is 50%.  Currently, my company takes all their tankers to Grand Bahamas for shipyards, because even with a 50% "tax" added, they are still cheaper than US yards.  This duty on maintenance/repairs goes to everything done on a ship, other than cleaning of holds.  When I worked container ships, if we had a tech come on in Brazil to repair a crane, and he used a part that we had bought in the US, from our inventory, not only was his labor, but the cost of the part, reported as "foreign repair cost".

 

Wow, they sure know how to put barriers to operating a worldwide deep sea fleet. Knew about the PVSA/Jones Act fleet, but obviously wasn't aware this applied to all US Flag tonnage.

 

When I started with P&O, a good number of the 250+  ships didn't routinely trade to the UK. Of the 6 cruise ships, only Oriana & Canberra drydocked annually in UK. Uganda was Malta and the Princess ships in Victoria or Los Angeles.

 

If P&O paid duty on foreign repairs/maintenance, the Chancellor would have been flush with cash.

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17 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

Wow, they sure know how to put barriers to operating a worldwide deep sea fleet. Knew about the PVSA/Jones Act fleet, but obviously wasn't aware this applied to all US Flag tonnage.

Well, along with the customs duty, back in the day, there was the construction and operating subsidies that the federal government paid to the shipowner for the difference between building a ship overseas, or operating as foreign flag, compared to US flag.

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21 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

These subsidies were introduced by the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, which was designed by President Roosevelt to prepare our Merchant Marine for WW2.  It did this job admirably, but it's continuation long after the war led, in my opinion, to the demise of the US Merchant Marine, as shipowners, designers, builders, and unions did not look for innovations to keep ahead of the rest of the world, but instead merely passed additional  costs on to the Federal government as subsidies

 

I was aware of the reason for the subsides provided by the Federal Government.  Your comment about the lack of innovations related to these subsidies is something that I have never read. 

 

Makes sense in 2020-2021:  if I am getting a paycheck for not working, why should I seek employment?  

 

21 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

Part of the subsidy program, was that all ships that received subsidies could be called to active service in times of war.  The SSUS was no different, and carries no special caveat for federal interest in preserving her.

 

Yet, S. S. United States is an example of American design, engineering, and construction excellence.  Is that not worthy of the attention of the National Park Service?  

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On 7/27/2021 at 7:42 PM, rkacruiser said:

 

I was aware of the reason for the subsides provided by the Federal Government.  Your comment about the lack of innovations related to these subsidies is something that I have never read. 

 

Makes sense in 2020-2021:  if I am getting a paycheck for not working, why should I seek employment?  

 

 

Yet, S. S. United States is an example of American design, engineering, and construction excellence.  Is that not worthy of the attention of the National Park Service?  

You would think the SSUS would rate monument status.  Unfortunately the current Congress sees it differently.

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1 hour ago, CGTNORMANDIE said:

You would think the SSUS would rate monument status.  Unfortunately the current Congress sees it differently.

 

I wonder how many of our honorable members of Congress are well versed in the history of the United States and understand what the Monuments that we have truly represent and mean.  Just as an example of what I am thinking-----

 

How many have visited Ellis Island?  Do some of them even know that Ellis Island exists?  Do they know what that site means to our history?  

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12 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

I wonder how many of our honorable members of Congress are well versed in the history of the United States and understand what the Monuments that we have truly represent and mean.  Just as an example of what I am thinking-----

 

How many have visited Ellis Island?  Do some of them even know that Ellis Island exists?  Do they know what that site means to our history?  

Amen RK…Congress continues to disappoint.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I sailed/cruised on the Michelangelo sister ship to the Leonardo Da Vinci and no would not as the cabins were very small as compared to today's cruise ships.  I would have a bit of claustrophobia. however, I would not mind the quality of service and delicious food stuff.

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  • 5 months later...

Hello Folks,

 

Seems that this thread has been a tad distracted by what could/should happen to a rusting hulk that no-one can find agreement about, sadly. So, perhaps a little belatedly, though with intent, can I take us back to being on-topic?

 

As the webmaster of the Caronia Timeline, my reply to the original topic is probably extremely obvious. However, my reasoning is likely to be the opposite. I imagine my readership here will be avaricious consumers of all the "documentary" films about any modern cruise ship afloat. My question is: How often, as a percentage, are the "luxury" guests completely separated from the circus of the "hoi-polloi"? Close to 100%, ne'st ce pas?

 

To many people, the remainder of the floating resort, I hesitate to use the term "cruise ship", is presented as being no more than a glorified circus, designed solely to part the foolish with most if not all of their perceived spending power. Those equally daft enough to be in the "elite" cabins will have this done to them with a little more stealth, though all done in the name of "luxury", you understand. To me, that is utter balderdash!  For both, however, there is still the matter of the "cookie-cutter" food service: yuk!

 

I cannot emphasise this enough. Yes, the RMS Caronia did serve those with a certain wherewithal, however, as a passenger on a ship with 500 or more fellow travellers, no matter your importance or status otherwise, you could stop at any table in the restaurant or lounge, or smoking room and introduce yourself. So relaxed was it that I have likened it to a country-club.

 

If ever there was a place to do your "networking"? There was no demarcation and absolutely no need for it!  I've been lucky enough to receive a few 1st-hand accounts from passengers on the Caronia's Great World Cruises, and they have a common thread. It's the way they nearly always describe their interactions with their fellow travellers: as wholly positive experiences. 

 

Today's megaboats with segregated accommodation are an anachronism. What they _don't_ do is present their passengers with anything like a proper deal. Today, you can go on a World Cruise, of course segregated in the supposedly posh bit, if you have the dosh, and live like a Lord or Lady. When you get home, answer this: While you were away in these fabulous places, no matter how expensive your cabin, how often did you have Dinner ashore and experience the local life, even of your supposed peers? 

 

The real answer is never! So, you paid all that money for everything including butler service and you did not sit down to enjoy _any_ of the World's top dining experiences? Really? So, in reality, all you did was spend a hundred days or more in very expensive splendoured isolation. What the devil did you miss?

 

Well, let's start with "living", eh? Oh, and regardless of status, how much were you hoodwinked by the operators? Seems there are elements of the rich (do names like Carnival not give them away?) who will never be wealthy enough! You would also think that the super-rich would become more sophisticated with their choice of getaway. Seems they're just a gullible as anyone.

 

Compare this to the 1950s and 60s, where a cruise ship would spend 7 nights in India, 4 nights in Japan and Egypt and 2 or more nights in Italy; places like Naples and Venice. Imagine, for example, not being able to spend a Summer's evening relaxing with a coffee or digestif in Piazzo San Marco and watch the World go by! You simply cannot go to Venice and not do that, then claim you've been! 56 years later, I still remember those balmy evenings as if just a day or two ago; yet in those days I was just a commis-waiter!

 

Quite a few shore tours back then featured a local evening meal or night-club stint. Now compare the modern desperate separation of those few to _all_ 500+ travellers on board Caronia receiving a bespoke service where their every whim was met, with a broad smile of achievement. This where the whole ship was everyone's "university", of the World, and today it's nobody's!

 

In these days, where governments are doing their damnedest to part communities, never lose sight that we all need that _real_ level playing-field. We as crew didn't curtsey, any more than our patrons talked down to us, but we _lived_ together as human beings sharing a common experience. Today, there are those who would begrudge us crew members even visiting Egypt, let alone being able to witness or experience its history. I kid you not!

 

If I were to choose silver-service over cookie-cutter, there is no doubt over which I'd choose, which ever side of the table was my place. The former is the true luxury and it's a matter of honour to be able to provide it. The point being that on either side I'd know what was expected of me and I'd enjoy it either way. Whereas plate-service, at any level, is just so "cafeteria", and, it's a very precarious place to be.

 

It's time to recognise, and stand up for, being treated as equals, where it's your manner or smile that wins you friends, not your wallet's contents or other "status" demarcations. It's time to attach the word "luxury" to a way of living your life to the full, not being separated as if the remainder of humanity is somehow tainted: they aren't. Beware of division, or at least understand its true meaning. 

 

As time passes, so I'm less and less likely to believe that humanity learns from history. The lessons are there, it's just a question of whether to recognise them, or not. Remove the asbestos lining from the ship's hull and it would be RMS Caronia _and_ all the others with similar aspirations, every time! After serving the same people for 100 days or more, you kinda get to _know_ folk.

 

One thing you can never forget: the warmth of their expressed gratitude and the mutuality of the parting. 

 

Regards,

Steve

 

 

 

 

Edited by Lowiepete
missing words...
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22 hours ago, Lowiepete said:

As time passes, so I'm less and less likely to believe that humanity learns from history. The lessons are there, it's just a question of whether to recognise them, or not

 

I am going to take some time to reflect on your post in order to try to make certain I understand your point.  But, I totally agree with your statement posted above and those "history lessons" apply to many human endeavors.  

 

22 hours ago, Lowiepete said:

After serving the same people for 100 days or more, you kinda get to _know_ folk.

 

One thing you can never forget: the warmth of their expressed gratitude and the mutuality of the parting. 

 

 

Very true, but those feelings may be created in many fewer days than 100!  

 

 

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On 1/17/2022 at 8:59 PM, rkacruiser said:

 

I am going to take some time to reflect on your post in order to try to make certain I understand your point.  But, I totally agree with your statement posted above and those "history lessons" apply to many human endeavors.  

My post was intended to be thought-provoking, so, thank-you for giving this some consideration. The main difference twixt then and now is that some paid-wallahs have taken the ill-gotten shilling to expose how best to exploit anyone and everyone who steps aboard their floating palace, along with its captive-audience. Don't believe me? How often have you gone to a supermarket to buy a dollar roll and ended up spending 10 bucks or more on stuff you didn't _really_ need?

 

As for the history, I don't want for this to descend into a CV19 debate, but there are sideways parallels that are worthy of a second thought. We resisted such moves back then. If we do learn from what has gone on before, then why are we being so compliant? Being on a travelling vessel even in the immediate term will not be the same - probably ever. Some travellers could be in for a shock!

 

On 1/17/2022 at 8:59 PM, rkacruiser said:

Very true, but those feelings may be created in many fewer days than 100!  

I'm fully aware of that! I remember being made to promise that I would get back in touch with an elderly couple after a 17 day cruise ended at Ft Lauderdale, aboard the RMS Carmania in 1965. That was the most unhappy ship I had the displeasure of sailing aboard! Hateful, does not come close...

 

Anyway, I followed-up on this invitation, and I could not believe what compliments and outpouring of gratitude awaited me. So, it's clear that passengers pick-up on an unhappy ship and I'd apparently rescued some part of their 17 days of intended bliss. Honestly, I had no idea!

 

Coming back to the "then and now", I can remember my mate on my station on Caronia's 1966 GWC. He was there to do a job and nothing more. He was determined to make no attachment to anyone on our station. How he managed this, I'll never know. As far as I was concerned, these people were there paying to take this teenager around the whole World, and pay handsomely they did!

 

However, it's only on reflection and the advance of personal age that gives me an idea of their perspective. At the beginning of most cruises, the Head Waiter or RM would escort pax to their table, present the menus and then hover to take orders. It would not be long before I'd detect the bloods were being rushed into decisions. So, I'd assure them that it was perfectly fine to take their time and send them away until later. I'd be able to explain what was on offer, but also keep an eye out.

 

So, on a Dinner ahead of a Gala Night, I'd forewarn them of the delicacies that would be offered and then recommend things that were perhaps closer to what they fancied. At that point, the HW or RM was called back to take their order. The thing that would fall into place was that someone was actually interested in their diet and basing their recommendations in their favour, or best interests.

 

The fact that it was silver-service was that I could persuade the addition of an extra cauliflower floret on the plate, or whatever. What could also happen was being asked for a few more green beans than what's on the regulation plate offered today. Being able to match a basic desire at the point of service at a dinner table is what I would call a singular measure of luxury!

 

If you want me to make the comparison clearer, answer this. How long beforehand was your cookie-cutter plate assembled? 2 mins,  5 mins, 10 mins, or longer? Remember, it could be one of 200 or more! Compare that to it being presented to you before your very eyes, and to _your_ specification!

 

Apparently, one of the finest dining establishments in the World today is in a certain area of Tangier. Oh, and it has a booking list that goes months into the future. Several months that is. Book a Caronia cruise and American Express or Thos. Cook could have made you a preferential booking on either the 1st or 2nd evening of your ship's visit. Today, your luck's out - the ship sailed at 5:30pm...

 

So, progress, what progress?

 

Regards,

Steve 

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6 minutes ago, Lowiepete said:

As for the history, I don't want for this to descend into a CV19 debate, but there are sideways parallels that are worthy of a second thought. We resisted such moves back then. If we do learn from what has gone on before, then why are we being so compliant?

 

Because too many of us in the Western world have become like lemmings?  

 

7 minutes ago, Lowiepete said:

it's clear that passengers pick-up on an unhappy ship and I'd apparently rescued some part of their 17 days of intended bliss. Honestly, I had no idea!

 

I had such a experience as a guest on the current Noordam a few years ago, a 21 day Caribbean cruise.  Neither the Master nor the Hotel Manager were guest friendly and that attitude "spilled out" onto the crew.  There were a few crew members who recognized me from previous cruises (why were these bartenders? 😀) and along with acceptable MDR Stewards and Cabin Stewards, it was a cruise to remember, but not one that I would choose to repeat.  

 

8 minutes ago, Lowiepete said:

Being able to match a basic desire at the point of service at a dinner table is what I would call a singular measure of luxury!

 

Agree!  Even with today's plate type dining service, it speaks loudly to me when my MDR Steward presents a plate with an additional favorite entree as I finish the first one.  

 

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