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Status of Pride of America


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2 hours ago, Molokai-Chuck said:

I believe that the Pride of America is in dry dock in Oregon at this time, is anyone aware of what will be done during this visit to dry dock?

 

Hopefully adding more studio cabins and a legitimate studio lounge.

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I suspect like the majority of dry docks currently mostly mechanical and regulatory work.

Lack of revenue due to COVID has caused most lines to put off optional aspects of refits lately.

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the Pride of America was scheduled to arrive in Astoria, OR   July 1,  from dry dock in Portland, OR.  No show yet.  Have tried to find out why?  ship was schedule to park here until September, I think.  If ship gets here for parking, will let you know.  Our Port was going to make some big bucks, but maybe the Ship took off for Hawaii earlier than scheduled??? 

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I doubt they'd go for a major cabin tear out and change, given the revenue drain as foodsvcmgr says.

 

As for the time frame, it could be that the yard is still experiencing worker shortages, material shortages, or the inability to get technicians into the US.  Also, without any current inside information, I would point out that the POA has had technical issues since the day she sank in Bremerhaven.  A lot of that could be requiring repair/replacement.  This is also her 15 year drydocking, or the 3rd Special Survey, where the inspections and requirements get much more strict, and there may have been a lot of steel that was found that needed replacement.  She will no longer be able to drydock only every 5 years, with an underwater survey in between, but will require docking every 2.5 years.

 

If the ship was only going to "lay up" in Astoria, I doubt that there was a whole lot of money to be made by the port.  "Lay berths" do not command the fees that passenger docks do, and are generally docks that are being underutilized, or completely unused, so the rate is low just to get some revenue.

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12 hours ago, MorganClark said:

 

Hopefully adding more studio cabins and a legitimate studio lounge.

Not likely.  When they added the studios and suites they did so by converting conference rooms and barely used areas.

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I agree that this is not a good time to be making big investments on non-essential changes, but might POA be a special case?  My expectation would be that NCL cannot just swap in another ship to cover while POA is out of service, so maybe in this case it is worth spending the money for upgrades while cruising is stopped anyway?

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13 minutes ago, Karaboudjan said:

My expectation would be that NCL cannot just swap in another ship to cover while POA is out of service

It literally can NOT happen.  The POA is the only ship in the fleet (shoot - the only ship in any of the major cruise line fleets) that can sail the itinerary she does.

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Seems like a perfect time to do a dry dock, POA's last one was 2016 so it's needed anyway.  And, no rush to return to Hawai'i since there aren't any cruises booked for right now.  The money has to be spent regardless of the financial situation.  

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1 hour ago, dexddd said:

Not likely.  When they added the studios and suites they did so by converting conference rooms and barely used areas.

 

That's too bad. There are many solo cruisers that would like to sail PoA and not have to pay the solo supplement (as it's a pricey cruise to begin with). Oh well, I guess I'll have to "suck it up" and pay the supplement for an inside cabin...

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1 hour ago, hallux said:

It literally can NOT happen.  The POA is the only ship in the fleet (shoot - the only ship in any of the major cruise line fleets) that can sail the itinerary she does.

 

NCL needs to build another new cruise ship in a U.S. ship yard then flag her U.S. Seems to me, even outside of the Hawaiian Islands market (R/T Honolulu), there's a Seattle to Alaska market (& not having to originate in Vancouver or stop in Victoria). I know there's currently a PVSA waiver in place now that is allowing such cruises but the waiver is only temporary.

 

But, with the financial hit NCL has taken due to the shut down, this will not happen. I'm surprised NCL has enough $$ to complete Prima.

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2 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

I would point out that the POA has had technical issues since the day she sank in Bremerhaven. 

 

Here is a article on the sinking of the POA  for those who, like me, are curious 🙂

New cruise ship with troubled history sinks at German shipyard - Professional Mariner

 

1 hour ago, hallux said:

It literally can NOT happen.  The POA is the only ship in the fleet (shoot - the only ship in any of the major cruise line fleets) that can sail the itinerary she does.

Wasn't the Jade also approved for that itinerary? Back when NCL was running more than one ship out of Hawaii I'm pretty sure it was POA and Jade. In fact, the Jade's decor was very specifically Hawaiian (something they changed in the last Jade drydock)

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6 minutes ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

 

Here is a article on the sinking of the POA  for those who, like me, are curious 🙂

New cruise ship with troubled history sinks at German shipyard - Professional Mariner

 

Wasn't the Jade also approved for that itinerary? Back when NCL was running more than one ship out of Hawaii I'm pretty sure it was POA and Jade. In fact, the Jade's decor was very specifically Hawaiian (something they changed in the last Jade drydock)

 

Didn't NCL use 2 of there existing foreign flag cruise ships (Jade was probably one of them) until the PoA was completed and put into service? I'm sure NCL got a waiver. I think the 2 ships were temporarily named Pride of Hawaii and Pride of Aloha.

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1 minute ago, MorganClark said:

 

Didn't NCL use 2 of there existing foreign flag cruise ships (Jade was probably one of them) until the PoA was completed and put into service? I'm sure NCL got a waiver. I think the 2 ships were temporarily named Pride of Hawaii and Pride of Aloha.

 

I don't believe the Jade was a temporary placement. I believe the Jade was built for the Hawaiian market and If I'm not mistaken, the POA and Jade both sailed Hawaii for years until NCL realized they weren't making money like they had hoped. I could be wrong, I'm going to have to look this up today 🙂

 

This was the Jade's entire decor:

See the source image

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19 minutes ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

 

I don't believe the Jade was a temporary placement. I believe the Jade was built for the Hawaiian market and If I'm not mistaken, the POA and Jade both sailed Hawaii for years until NCL realized they weren't making money like they had hoped. I could be wrong, I'm going to have to look this up today 🙂

 

This was the Jade's entire decor:

See the source image

 

Since Jade is foreign built & flagged, I don't think she could sail the Hawaiian Islands round trip from Honolulu like the PoA can (even though the PoA was started in a U.S. ship yard and completed in a foreign yard).

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5 minutes ago, MorganClark said:

 

Since Jade is foreign built & flagged, I don't think she could sail the Hawaiian Islands round trip from Honolulu like the PoA can (even though the PoA was started in a U.S. ship yard and completed in a foreign yard).

 

I don't believe that is correct. The Jade did sail hawiaan islands round trip for years. This is what I found in a quick search. I'll dig deeper this weekend (this stuff is interesting to me).

 

When built, the ship comprised the third in a series of U.S. flagged ships operated by NCL America for the Hawaii market. At a cost of over half a billion U.S. dollars, Pride of Hawaii was the largest and most expensive U.S. flagged passenger ship ever built. Her design was originally planned to be a sister ship to Pride of America, utilizing parts from the Northrop Grumman Shipyard and the failed Project America series of ships.

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

 

I don't believe that is correct. The Jade did sail hawiaan islands round trip for years. This is what I found in a quick search. I'll dig deeper this weekend (this stuff is interesting to me).

 

When built, the ship comprised the third in a series of U.S. flagged ships operated by NCL America for the Hawaii market. At a cost of over half a billion U.S. dollars, Pride of Hawaii was the largest and most expensive U.S. flagged passenger ship ever built. Her design was originally planned to be a sister ship to Pride of America, utilizing parts from the Northrop Grumman Shipyard and the failed Project America series of ships.

 

I think I found the info. Pride of Hawaii is now Norwegian Jade. Pride of Aloha was (and is again now) Norwegian Sky. NCL America struck a deal with the U.S. Congress to temporarily reflag these 2 ships under the U.S. flag (both ships are foreign built - in Germany I believe) and operate solely around the Hawaiian Islands. I think the deal with Congress was until NCL America could get Pride of America up and running in Hawaii. Normally, to be U.S. flag, ships have to be built in the U.S. and crewed by U.S. citizens.

 

https://www.meyerwerft.de/en/ships/pride_of_hawaii.jsp

 

https://www.frommers.com/trip-ideas/beach-water-sports/ncls-pride-of-aloha-becomes-first-u-s-flagged-cruise-ship-in-decades

 

Maybe @chengkp75can weigh in here (he'll know)...

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9 minutes ago, MorganClark said:

 

I think I found the info. Pride of Hawaii is now Norwegian Jade. Pride of Aloha was (and is again now) Norwegian Sky. NCL America struck a deal with the U.S. Congress to temporarily reflag these 2 ships under the U.S. flag (both ships are foreign built - in Germany I believe) and operate solely around the Hawaiian Islands. I think the deal with Congress was until NCL America could get Pride of America up and running in Hawaii. Normally, to be U.S. flag, ships have to be built in the U.S. and crewed by U.S. citizens.

 

https://www.meyerwerft.de/en/ships/pride_of_hawaii.jsp

 

https://www.frommers.com/trip-ideas/beach-water-sports/ncls-pride-of-aloha-becomes-first-u-s-flagged-cruise-ship-in-decades

 

Maybe @chengkp75can weigh in here (he'll know)...

 

Correct, we knew all that:).

 

 You wrote " I think the deal with Congress was until NCL America could get Pride of America up and running in Hawaii."......... I'm not sure about that since there were two ships offering Hawaiian itineraries for years. However; that was a long time ago., I lived in hawaii for a few years in the early 80's and used to watch the ships come into port every week. Of course, back then it was the defunct American Hawaii cruise line.

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Having been a part of the NCL operation in the US flag fleet, from before it started until the day the Aloha reflagged to the Norwegian Sky, I'll give the straight skinny on all of this.  The deal struck with the US government, was that NCL would take the half completed Pride of America off the government's hands (the previous owner had gone bankrupt (the aforementioned American Hawaiian Cruise LIne), and the government had made loan guarantees), in exchange, the POA could be finished in a foreign yard, NCL would build one newbuild for flagging as US (Pride of Hawaii/Norwegian Jade), and NCL would reflag one existing ship into US flag (Norwegian Sky/Pride of Aloha).  The Hawaii and Aloha were not temporary until POA could get up and running, they were intended to be permanently US flag.  The schedule was revised when POA sank in Bremerhaven (I was to travel to  Germany to join her two days after), with the focus shifting to reflagging the Aloha quickly to get the service up and running, while the insurance and shipyard fought over who was to blame for the POA disaster.  Once the Hawaii and the Aloha reflagged to Bahamas, they permanently lost their exemption to the US built clause of the PVSA.  Further, POA (as were the other ships, too) is limited strictly to the Hawaii trade, or to carry passengers to/from a shipyard period.

 

In my opinion, NCL ramped up capacity in the Hawaiian trade far too quickly, and with the competition from the foreign flag lines increasing their capacity to Hawaii from the West Coast by 500% during the 4 years NCL was trying to operate 3 ships there, fares dropped to the point where NCL was losing $174 million a year, just on the Hawaii trade.

 

As much as I would like to see all cruise ships homeported in the US be US flag, I am enough of a realist to know that the Hawaii trade is a unique market, and a US flag ship would not work anywhere else.  As for Alaska, there is a reason that the cruises on POA are more than what the foreign flag ships charge for a cruise that is twice as long from the West Coast to Hawaii (and that use 4-5 times the fuel), and that is the cost of US flag operations.  The US Maritime Administration, mandated with supporting the US flag merchant marine, has determined that operating a simple cargo ship with a crew of 20-25, costs over 3 times what a foreign flag ship costs to operate, and of that increased cost, crew costs are nearly 5 times a foreign crew.  Imagine that scaled up to a cruise ship, and that is not even considering the US built clause, where building a new cruise ship in a US yard (if you could find one interested), would be 3-4 times the cost of building overseas.

 

The cost of stopping in Canada on the way to Alaska, is far outweighed by the savings that the cruise lines enjoy operating under foreign flag.  Just think of the liquor;  foreign flag ships buy all their liquor without any local, state, or federal tax, and can bring it to the ship from overseas without any customs duty.  POA buys Hawaii taxed liquor.  Further, the spare parts and supplies the ship uses can all be brought into the US from overseas again duty free, as it is "in bond" in transit to a foreign ship.

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So all that said, I wonder what NCL's plan is for the day when POA is no longer economical to keep running?  Is having a US-flagged ship really enough of a differentiator to be worth replacing POA, or will they just go to what all of the foreign-flagged ships are doing?  It seems like a replacement, if any, might work better as a smaller ship with a more upscale brand.

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28 minutes ago, Karaboudjan said:

So all that said, I wonder what NCL's plan is for the day when POA is no longer economical to keep running?  Is having a US-flagged ship really enough of a differentiator to be worth replacing POA, or will they just go to what all of the foreign-flagged ships are doing?  It seems like a replacement, if any, might work better as a smaller ship with a more upscale brand.

 

To add, I believe Hawaii is changing post-pandemic. Many local residents are becoming very vocal about managing tourism. The major of Maui just asked airlines to reduce the amount of flights coming into the islands claiming there are just too many tourists on Maui. There have been planned anti-tourism protests at the airport for months. While many locals rely on tourism for income, there is a point at which sustainability must be accounted for. I arrived in Maui January 2021 to very few tourists. I left at the end of April to serious crowding. I am blessed enough to be returning January 2022 for another 4 months and am curious to see if measures can be put in place to reduce crowding. As a tourist, even I realize that at some point the levy will break. It  would not surprise me in the slightest to see specific protests targeted against restarting cruise ships.

Maui mayor Mike Victorino wants tourism pause (yahoo.com)

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29 minutes ago, Karaboudjan said:

So all that said, I wonder what NCL's plan is for the day when POA is no longer economical to keep running?  Is having a US-flagged ship really enough of a differentiator to be worth replacing POA, or will they just go to what all of the foreign-flagged ships are doing?  It seems like a replacement, if any, might work better as a smaller ship with a more upscale brand.

When the POA is no longer cost effective (probably another 15-20 years), NCL won't likely replace her with another US flag vessel.  The whole US flag fleet idea was a collaboration between previous CEO Colin Veitch, who had a fascination with US flag ocean liners, and Genting (owner of NCL at that time) CEO KT LIm, who still has a fascination for the SSUS (he recently tried to interest Crystal cruises into buying and restoring it), and also was looking at investing in Hawaii.  Prior to NCL's start up of the US flag fleet, Japanese interests were buying vast swaths of Hawaii, and there was a significant backlash against this foreign investment.  KT Lim was looking at buying tour operators and golf courses in Hawaii, and felt that with a "US subsidiary" involved, this would smooth things over.  Neither are with NCL now, and the Hawaii operation is a marginal earner (despite the fact that it is the highest revenue ship in the fleet, it's costs are far higher as well) at best, and there would be no cost incentive to build a ship in the US (they would never get another exemption), so I don't see another US flag cruise ship anywhere on the horizon.

 

The problem with trying an "upscale" brand for US flag operation, is the difference in service culture between the international crew, and potential US crew, where those US crew who would be interested in giving upscale service would expect far higher salaries than even POA crew get (entry level positions on POA don't pay much more than McDonald's), and they could work in high end restaurants and hotels on land, and never have to leave home.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

Having been a part of the NCL operation in the US flag fleet, from before it started until the day the Aloha reflagged to the Norwegian Sky, I'll give the straight skinny on all of this.  The deal struck with the US government, was that NCL would take the half completed Pride of America off the government's hands (the previous owner had gone bankrupt (the aforementioned American Hawaiian Cruise LIne), and the government had made loan guarantees), in exchange, the POA could be finished in a foreign yard, NCL would build one newbuild for flagging as US (Pride of Hawaii/Norwegian Jade), and NCL would reflag one existing ship into US flag (Norwegian Sky/Pride of Aloha).  The Hawaii and Aloha were not temporary until POA could get up and running, they were intended to be permanently US flag.  The schedule was revised when POA sank in Bremerhaven (I was to travel to  Germany to join her two days after), with the focus shifting to reflagging the Aloha quickly to get the service up and running, while the insurance and shipyard fought over who was to blame for the POA disaster.  Once the Hawaii and the Aloha reflagged to Bahamas, they permanently lost their exemption to the US built clause of the PVSA.  Further, POA (as were the other ships, too) is limited strictly to the Hawaii trade, or to carry passengers to/from a shipyard period.

 

In my opinion, NCL ramped up capacity in the Hawaiian trade far too quickly, and with the competition from the foreign flag lines increasing their capacity to Hawaii from the West Coast by 500% during the 4 years NCL was trying to operate 3 ships there, fares dropped to the point where NCL was losing $174 million a year, just on the Hawaii trade.

 

As much as I would like to see all cruise ships homeported in the US be US flag, I am enough of a realist to know that the Hawaii trade is a unique market, and a US flag ship would not work anywhere else.  As for Alaska, there is a reason that the cruises on POA are more than what the foreign flag ships charge for a cruise that is twice as long from the West Coast to Hawaii (and that use 4-5 times the fuel), and that is the cost of US flag operations.  The US Maritime Administration, mandated with supporting the US flag merchant marine, has determined that operating a simple cargo ship with a crew of 20-25, costs over 3 times what a foreign flag ship costs to operate, and of that increased cost, crew costs are nearly 5 times a foreign crew.  Imagine that scaled up to a cruise ship, and that is not even considering the US built clause, where building a new cruise ship in a US yard (if you could find one interested), would be 3-4 times the cost of building overseas.

 

The cost of stopping in Canada on the way to Alaska, is far outweighed by the savings that the cruise lines enjoy operating under foreign flag.  Just think of the liquor;  foreign flag ships buy all their liquor without any local, state, or federal tax, and can bring it to the ship from overseas without any customs duty.  POA buys Hawaii taxed liquor.  Further, the spare parts and supplies the ship uses can all be brought into the US from overseas again duty free, as it is "in bond" in transit to a foreign ship.

 

Thanks for the insightful ,& informative reply. You're better than Wikipedia, lol! I was right that the Pride of Hawaii is now the Norwegian Jade and the Pride of Aloha is the Norwegian Sky. What I didn't know, is that they were initially intended to be permanently assigned to Hawaiian waters. Wow, your point(s) contrasting the cost of operating a U.S. flag ship (especially a cruise ship) was eye opening. I'm surprised PoA is still around. @Karaboudjanhas a good question; what's next for the Hawaiian cruise market after PoA? I'm guessing NCL will not replace her with another U.S. flag cruise ship and just sail to/from Hawaii from/to Ensenada, Mx or Vancouver, BC.

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14 minutes ago, MorganClark said:

I'm guessing NCL will not replace her with another U.S. flag cruise ship and just sail to/from Hawaii from/to Ensenada, Mx or Vancouver, BC.

NCL does have a significant investment in the compound on Fanning Island, Republic of Kiribati, which is the closest foreign port to Hawaii (about 700 miles due south).  NCL did operate foreign flag ships around Hawaii for years, calling at Fanning as their foreign port.  They may find that that is another, more attractive alternative to West Coast sailings.  Since HAL and Seabourn are still calling at Fanning, I assume the compound (power plant, vacuum toilet system, galley, water sports equipment) is still in operation.

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