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A Look Into Dry Dock…And What Follows

Knowing how fascinated we are by all things cruising, a good friend yesterday sent us an email with an interesting link.

If you've never fully understood what happens when a ship goes into dry dock, stick around.

The ship is the Norwegian Crown, or it was the Crown until it became the Fred.Olsen Balmoral, seven years ago. It takes three minutes to watch that transformation…the process probably took about 7,000 times that.

There are two places you can find it, in one click — liveleak or YouTube.

The story gets more interesting than the sale of a ship and what happens to it in dry dock. This was the second time the Norwegian Crown was so named. Originally the Crown Odyssey and operated by Royal Cruise Line, it was sold to Norwegian in 1996 and was part of the fleet for four years.

Then it became Crown Odyssey again, this time for Orient Lines, which was purchased by Norwegian. That lasted three years, then it was back to Norwegian for another four years as the Norwegian Crown.

Since 2007, it has remained what you saw in the video: the Fred.Olsen Balmoral. By today's cruise standards, it's on the small side, carrying just over 1,230 Balmoral-500passengers, but it was the subject of much discussion two years ago next month. Chartered by a travel company, it followed the path of the Titanic, pausing overnight where the famous ship went down to exactly 100 years earlier.

This time, the ship didn't sink.

Even little-known ships have stories to tell.

Today at portsandbows.com: A little Avignon, mais oui?

Crown Princess
7 nights
April 26, 2014 
Los Angeles (return): San FranciscoSanta BarbaraSan DiegoEnsenada
Inside $455
Cost per day: $65
www.princess.com

Regent Response Worth Remembering

A pod propulsion malfunction in Athens may be no easier to explain than a wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl, but the fallout (excuse the pun) is certain to be more positive. The Seven Seas Voyager, one-third of the Regent fleet, had to cancel a Mediterranean cruise yesterday because of the pod propulsion problem, leaving about 700 guests high and dry.

Well, not really. The next time you hear somebody complaining about how cruise lines don’t do the right thing when the unexpected occurs, remember Regent’s response to this one. According to the skilled reporters at Cruise Critic, here’s what passengers were to receive:

1. Use of the Voyager as a floating hotel until tomorrow, when it leaves Athens to go into drydock for repairs
2. Complimentary shore excursions in and around Athens
3. A full refund (or comparable booking on the Mariner or Navigator, the other two-thirds of the fleet)
4. Flights home for everybody
5. Other forms of compensation that were still being finalized

The Voyager’s next curtain call is 10 days after it goes into drydock, and there’s no word yet on whether it will make it to Venice on time. After reading all this, you can be sure Regent’s passengers won’t be losing any sleep over it.

Now, since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…

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