Tag-Archive for » Ship repairs «

Shipless In Barcelona And Everybody Wins

Of all the reasons we've heard for a change in cruise itineraries, one that we read about on the weekend was new. It was also kind of win-win.

The P&O ship Oceana was at its scheduled stop in Barcelona when the cruise line discovered a repair was necessary. Not a safety-concern repair but one that had to Oceana-1be addressed nonetheless. There was a leak in the seal around a propeller and it was going to take frogmen — okay, divers — almost three full days to fix it.

So the ship was stuck, in Barcelona. The passengers were stuck, in Barcelona.

Poor passengers.

Anybody who has been to the Spanish port knows it's easy to spend three days in Barcelona. Also fun.

The delay also means the passengers won't get to three other Spanish ports: Cartagena, Alghero and La Courna. In return, P&O gave passengers a 25 per cent cash refund and a comprehensive entertainment program and shore excursions in Barcelona.

Talk about making a silk purse from a sow's ear!

Today at portsandbows.com: Not exactly the CATS meow!

Carnival Conquest
7 nights
April 27, 2014
Miami (return): NassauSt. ThomasSan JuanGrand Turk
Inside: $399
Cost per day: $57

Concerns over Grandeur of the Seas?

The fire-damaged Grandeur of the Seas returned to Baltimore this week and one of the first questions that passengers' boarding the ship were being asked was:

"Do you feel safe getting on this ship?"

Think about that.

To begin with, fires on cruise ships are rare. Grandeur of the Seas has been out of service for six weeks following a fire near the mooring area at the stern. If there's any ship that would be ultra-safe, wouldn't you assume it to be one coming back from a much-publicized "accident?" It's not like you're fixing a car with used parts.

This is a ship that — incredibly — missed six cruises and there are 67 cabins and some public areas that are still not ready, because if repairs aren't done up to Royal Caribbean standards, affected areas won't be utilized. Cruise lines can't risk having fires to begin with, because nothing scares captains and passengers alike more than a fire.

To risk having a fire on a ship that just had one is almost incomprehensible.

So why would anybody feel unsafe on the repaired Grandeur?

On the other hand, one passenger reassured the Baltimore Sun by saying:

"We have confidence in the Lord that He will get us to the Caribbean for a family vacation and back safely."

Maybe strange answers are why people get asked strange questions.

Norwegian Jade
21 nights
November 27, 2013
Rome (return): OlympiaAthens, Izmir, IstanbulNaplesRomeFlorenceMonte Carlo, Toulon, BarcelonaValencia, Cagliari, Palermo, Naples
Inside: $1,129
Cost per day: $53

Triumph (or Tragedy) Ship Returns

A cruise ship slipped out of a port quietly this week, or as quietly as a cruise ship can slip away from anywhere, and the reactions ranged from "Good riddance" to "Sorry you're leaving."

The ship was the Carnival Triumph. That's the much-maligned Carnival Triumph. More than any cruise ship this side of the Costa Concordia, it has turned the word "Carnival" into something of an acronym for cruise trouble.

The litany of Carnival events is well-known.

The Splendor caught fire off the coast of California, stranding passengers for days. The Concordia, a disaster which took more than 30 lives, was lumped into the morass because Costa is owned by Carnival. The Carnival Dream broke down in St. Maarten (mechanical malfunction). The Carnival Fascination flunked a cleanliness test. Just this week, two people went missing from a Carnival ship in Australia.

In the midst of all this was the inappropriately named Triumph.

It spent five days floating in the Gulf of Mexico after being disabled by fire, and was towed to Mobile, Alabama, with more than 3,000 passengers on board. That was in February. A month later, high winds broke the moorings and it drifted across the river. A few weeks ago, there was an explosion on a fuel barge where the Triumph was being repaired, and three people were critically injured.

One traveler told TV station WALA: "I didn't want to get too close to it. Sounds like it is bad luck to me."

A Mobile resident told the station it was about time.

The flip side is that Mobile had a cruise ship again, albeit a disabled one, and for 36 days it provided revenue for the city coffers. The workers spent money just being there, and Carnival will pay an estimated $100,000 for docking fees. The visual impact of a ship in the otherwise vacant cruise terminal has city officials optimistic about the return of cruising to Mobile.

Meanwhile, the Triumph is now (or about to be) in the Bahamas for some cosmetic surgery before it returns to full service in Galveston next month.

The ship can't afford another incident. Nor can Carnival.

Carnival Paradise
4 nights
August 1, 2013
Tampa (return): Cozumel
Inside: $279
Cost per day: $69

Creative Compensation for Pearl People

Would you swap Juneau for Bill Cosby?

That’s what passengers on the Norwegian Pearl are doing — not exactly by choice — next weekend. If it’s not a good deal, it’s at least a creative one.

Here’s what happened…

Norwegian discovered that the Pearl needed some propeller repairs, so on Sunday night it will be sleepless in Seattle, staying in the port overnight so the repairs can be completed. That delays what was supposed to be a Sunday departure for Alaska until Monday morning. That delay means skipping Juneau.

As part of making it up to the Pearl’s passengers, NCL is bringing in the iconic comedian, to perform a couple of 70-minute shows in the Stardust Theater. There is, of course, no charge.

Once the ship heads north next Monday on a 7-day Alaska Glacier Bay cruise, guests will receive a $150 onboard credit (per stateroom), a 10% future cruise credit (per guest), 50% discount on cover charges for specialty restaurants and the opportunity to sample Seattle nightlife.

So it’s really Juneau for Cosby…plus, plus, plus. We thought at 1-for-1 it was pretty good.

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