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The Cruise Ship and Cruise Line Discussion Thread!

P. 131: Disney Wish "Grand Hall" details teased!

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^^ I'm not doubting that it wasn't scary (Personally, I would have been pissing myself), but to compare it to the Titanic seems a little much. People on the Costa Concordia were able to swim to shore, had water around them that didn't cause instant hypothermia, and didn't have the ship completely disappear into the ocean.

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Correct, I am not saying the parent company shouldn't be blamed. But there is a distinct difference between Carnival Cruise Lines and Carnival Corporation, and that Carnival Cruise Lines (the subsidiary) shouldn't be the one receiving flak, as it currently is because the media only refers to it as 'Carnival'.

 

CCL is no more at fault here than Princess or HAL or Cunard or any other Carnival Corporation subsidiary.

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Yeah, after they got to shore maybe it didn't seem quite so bad. But that point where the ship hit the rocks and not really knowing what the outcome would be = not cool. That and you'd really have no way to know if the ship was going to sink and, if so, how fast was it going down.

 

In hindsight, yes, obviously not of the same magnitude as Titanic.

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tntornadox - I saw that video too! I wonder if the captain was doing the same thing. It was very interesting reading about Titan Salvage. I saw their website too! I hope they do something about the ship soon and find everyone.

Elissa - Sorry, I didn't know they advertised the prices like that

 

I heard the ship has the possibility to slip off the rocks its currently lying on (about 20m deep) and there is a drop off into 70m deep water very close. Divers were saying how they can really hear the ship underwater which is causing concern. I kind of doubt that will happen but you never know!

Edited by Swiminn6
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Robb, I think people are trying to deflect blame off of Carnival Cruise Lines, not Carnival Corporation. There is no reason why Carnival Cruise Lines should receive flak for something that occurred on another cruise line across the globe, and the media just reports it as 'Carnival' and make no distinction between the 'cruise line' and 'corporation'. If you venture to CCL's Facebook page, you'll see what I mean... people are blaming them.

Personally, I don't see why this is a problem at all.

 

If there was a problem with Busch Gardens Tampa, there would be nothing wrong with reporting an incident at a "SeaWorld Park", for example, since SeaWorld Parks and Resorts owns Busch. As far as TPR is concerned, "Costa" and "Carnival" are fairly interchangeable in this discussion, and that is our official stance on the matter.

 

Honestly, can we just drop this part of the discussion? I feel it's just really pointless and stupid and the only reason why it's even being discussed as people feel they NEED to discuss *something* with this incident, and there aren't any other details to talk about right now.

 

Thank you.

 

--Robb

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ALSO, ahh almost forgot! I read on a few websites that some people believed the ship was doomed ever since it was built. According to maritime conspiracies, the christening of the Costa Concordia didn't go as planned (because the bottle didn't break when it was launched against the hull) which is the reason behind the ship being "doomed."

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Stunning stuff.

 

Are there not parts of Carnival Corp that are run "well" in the eyes of critics? I understand that the Carnival Cruise Lines part of the company is widely panned, but I thought that some of the lines (like Costa) were well regarded, no? That being the case, the easy "well, this IS Carnival, LOL" part seems a bit off target to me as well.

 

I don't understand the industry enough to know if something like this is really a reflection of the parent company or not, but it seems to me like this kind of mishap would probably be just as infinitesimally small a chance on Disney or any other line.

 

It's interesting that the Captain has already been taken into custody and charged, that really speaks volumes as to his true responsibility (despite there being numerous people "steering" during a given cruise). Imagine how quickly this guy's life changed....it reminds me a lot of Captain Hazelwood back in the day. Not only will he carry the burden of all of those deaths/injuries, but he'll be "that guy" that somehow let his ship run aground in 2012 (with all the technology etc).

 

I know the proximity to land had a lot to do with the actual accident, but them being so close to land certainly made this a lot less awful than it could have been.

 

Thoughts and prayers, obviously, and it will be interesting to put all the puzzle pieces together in the coming months.

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Honestly, can we PLEASE stop the whole debate about Carnival name being used in this discussion?

 

I'm telling you right now that TPR stance on this is that we will be using the Carnival and Costa name in the discussions.

 

Randall, to answer your question specifically, yeah, Carnival is kind of "laughed at", in the same way that "Six Flags" kind of is in some discussions. So it's only natural that it comes up in discussions when referring to all of their subsidiaries.

 

Kind of like saying "You can slap a Costa logo on the boats...but it's still a Carnival ship in it's heart and hull."

 

Please...no more discussion on which of the brand names we should be referring to. It's really annoying and it adds absolutely nothing to the discussion.

Edited by robbalvey
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Now the ships owner says 'significant human error by the Captain is likely'.

 

Costa Cruises, a subsidiary of U.S.-based Carnival Corp stated 'the route of the vessel appears to have been to close to the shore, and in handling the emergency, the Captain appears not to have followed standard Costa procedures.'

 

It's stated that the Captain was spotted on land during the evacuation, and he ignored pleas by officers that he return to his ship.

 

As a side note, according to Italian navigation code, a Captain who abandons a ship in danger can face up to 12 years in prison.

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Having worked on Cruise ships ( not the size of this! ) The Captain leaving his post before the last pax is off that ship is just mindblowing. One of the first things you are taught for Shipboard and Safety at sea, is the crew are to man the lifeboats, first office off the ship and the Captain will be the last to leave.

 

Throw him in jail!!

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Wait, wasn't the Costa brand name only created back in the day so that Kathy Lee wouldn't figure out that it was the same company and ruin its image further?

 

After following the cruising adventures on TPR, I’ve personally really started to look at cruising as a great vacation option with a ton of value. In the past, I’ve looked at it as something more as a dream or aspirational vacation. I think Carnival was definitely one of the companies that made cruising more accessible.

 

The folks still are looking to try for a Mediterranean cruise even after all this, which is awesome. Elissa, what would you or your parents recommend for the first time cruiser in terms of cruise line for Mediterranean? Just wondering what other options aside from Costa there are for those that skew older and want to have an awesome experience. They’d most likely depart from Italy.

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As far as people on board comparing this to the Titanic, I get that. Clearly this wasn't anything close to the Titanic, however when I've getting loaded onto a lifeboat and my ship is sinking, I'm going to be pretty freaked out.

 

I'm curious to see what this does to the industry as a whole. I saw a report this morning that the industry is already feel a strong effect and that cruises are being cancelled. I'm not really sure i see the logic of cancelling your cruise (I don't cancel my daily commute each time I see a bad car accident) but to each their own. I've got a cruise coming this April and I'm curious to see if there might be some industry wide price reductions because of this.

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^^I would probably have them look at Princess or Royal Caribbean as they will cater more to a North American clientele, which is a better idea for a first cruise abroad. Even though Royal Caribbean skews to a younger demographic, an international cruise will pull the older side of that.

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I'm curious to see what this does to the industry as a whole. I saw a report this morning that the industry is already feel a strong effect and that cruises are being cancelled. I'm not really sure i see the logic of cancelling your cruise (I don't cancel my daily commute each time I see a bad car accident) but to each their own. I've got a cruise coming this April and I'm curious to see if there might be some industry wide price reductions because of this.

Yep, it's pretty humorous to see the after effects of something like this. In reality, they should be far more concerned about being raped or murdered than their ship ending up on the ocean floor.

 

People are stupid.

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- There is a video showing this very ship, Costa Concordia doing a near-miss 'drive-by' of this very island back in August of 2010. The video can be found at this link: video.corriere.it/nave-concordia-al-giglio-/9dfa5ea6-3e9b-11e1-8b52-5f77182bc574. Apparently, some Costa ships veer off course to do this to salute a former Costa commodore who lives here.

 

From http://travel.usatoday.com/cruises/post/2012/01/costa-concordia-cruise-ceo-captain/604363/1

 

The captain of the Costa Cruises ship that partially sank on Friday after hitting rocks off the coast of Italy had diverted the vessel onto a route not authorized by the company, its CEO says.

"It is human error here," Costa chairman and CEO Pier Luigi Foschi told reporters dialed into a conference call this morning. "The captain did not follow the authorized route that is used by Costa ships very frequently."

Foschi says Costa ships travel the passage near where the ship ran into rocks on Friday more than 100 times a year but always stay further out to sea.

When asked if he knew why the captain had taken the ship off course, Foschi suggested that the 10-year veteran of the company wanted to show off the ship to the port area of Giglio that it was passing.

"He decided to change the course of the ship to go closer to the island and pass in front of the little city that sits on that island," Foschi said. "This is what he wanted to do."

...

Foschi also noted that the ship had embarked many of its passengers at ports that came before Civitavecchia on the line's schedule, and all of those people had been put through lifeboat drills days earlier. He said only 696 of the 3,206 passengers on board the ship at the time of the accident had boarded for the first time in Civitavecchia and thus had not undergone a drill.

 

I guess there's evidence to contradict the CEO's statement that ships "always stay further out to sea".

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This is an interesting report...not sure how true it is as it's not really from an "official" source...

 

Cruise Bruise has learned the Captain of the ill-fated Costa Concordia cruise ship jumped into a lifeboard, went ashore and hired taxi on the tiny island of Giglio. He ordered the taxi driver to take him away. With everything closed in the middle of winter, in what is a brisk tourist town in summer, the taxi driver took him home, made him a cup of coffee, offering refuge. For several hours more, passengers would continue with the evacuation without their captain. What happened next, shocked the local maritime industry and would seal the fate of a man who will likely never captain a ship again.
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I'm amazed that cruise ships are allowed to set sail without first having given their muster drill. Surely this is something that all passengers need to be aware of as soon as the ship has set sail?

 

I did my first cruise on the Cunard Queen Elizabeth (I was one of the youngest onboard incase you're wondering) in May 2011 and all guests were instructed to gather in 3 separate area's for the muster drill before we departed. How do other cruise lines operate?

 

I'm looking to sail with RCCL in September this year and this accident definitely hasn't put me off. Like other people have said, do you not drive your car to work because people are killed in their cars on a daily basis?

Edited by window
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Latest update says they found another body tonight, but couldn't manage to actually get the man that's still within an empty hallway, on the other hand they managed to save 3 others, that were trapped but still alive.

Still 16 people missing.

Apparently the crew was not trained to handle that kind of situation. First aid and help to disembark people came first from kitchen staff.

 

The ship is sliding along the rocks, and the sea is getting stormy, so they can't really keep up with the salvage.

The captain is held in a local prison waiting for interrogation.

The charges should be multiple manslaughter, shipwreck and ship abandonment.

 

One of the concern now, besides all the casualties of course, is the potential environmental impact due to the fuel leaking into the sea.

If I'm not mistaken a Swedish society is supposed to take care of the ship, that should be removed from the coastline, but this could be just a rumor.

I highly doubt they're willing to let the ship sinks because it's barely 200ft. deep and because Lily's Island is within the Ligurian Sea Cetacean Sanctuary.

 

Yesterday has come to public attention an exchange of letters between the mayor of the city and the captains of the ships following that route. Apparently a "close passage" by the coast line during the evening was a distinctive trait of the cruise itself, which usually slows down to greet the island with its horn and all the lights on.

It's undefined what does "close" mean, but from the beginning they said straight away that the boat was 4 miles out of its route, so they're investigating in that direction too.

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Not that it's a cool situation by any means, I find it interesting to see that picture of the atrium! Where did you find that? I was looking for a picture like that for the atrium and the pool area last night.

 

I was reading an article on USA Today and it sounded like Carnival wants to assess the damage so they made it sound like rebuilding the ship is still an option! They were also going into depth about the prices so I think the ship still might have hope. LINK

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^^I would probably have them look at Princess or Royal Caribbean as they will cater more to a North American clientele, which is a better idea for a first cruise abroad. Even though Royal Caribbean skews to a younger demographic, an international cruise will pull the older side of that.

 

Thanks Elissa. I think anything that gives a sense of NA comfort is always a bonus to give a sense of knowing what to expect.

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A pretty good re-cap of everything to date: http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=4710

 

(Updated 12 p.m. EDT) -- Rescue operations onboard the capsized Costa Concordia have resumed after a brief halt on Monday that came when the ship shifted a few inches in choppy seas, prompting fears that the vessel could slip into deeper waters, potentially sink altogether or begin leaking fuel oil. The setback came shortly after the discovery of another victim in the wreck, bringing the death toll to six in the maritime disaster.

 

Costa Cruises Chief Executive Officer Pier Luigi Foschi told reporters that securing the ship to prevent environmental damage is a high priority, but there is no evidence that Concordia is leaking fuel. All manner of technical experts -- sent from parent company Carnival Corp. and sourced independently -- are advising Costa on how and when to secure and move the ship. Concordia is carrying some 2,300 tons of various types of fuel in 21 tanks, he added.

 

Meanwhile, a firestorm continues to surround Francesco Schettino, the ship's captain. At a news conference earlier today, Foschi said, "The company will be close to the captain and will provide him with all the necessary assistance, but we need to acknowledge the facts, and we cannot deny human error."

 

Late Sunday afternoon, Costa Cruises released a statement acknowledging the whirlwind of speculation: "Preliminary indications are that there may have been significant human error on the part of the ship's master ... which resulted in these grave consequences. The route of the vessel appears to have been too close to the shore [of Giglio, an Italian island some 40 miles from the embarkation port of Civitavecchia], and in handling the emergency the captain appears not to have followed standard Costa procedures." The statement noted that investigators have the "DVR -- the so-called 'black box' containing all navigation data."

 

During a second press conference held Monday for English-speaking media, Foschi revealed that Schettino deviated from the official computerized route taken by more than 100 Costa ships a year. The diversion took Concordia within 450 feet of the Giglio coast, said Foschi, though black box data is needed to confirm the distance. Foschi explained that the line painstakingly designs its navigational routes with safety, security and convenience in mind. "The captain, of course, does have the authority to change the approved course, but [we're] not expecting him to do so unless there are dangerous weather or sea conditions," he said. "[in] normal conditions, a normal situation ... the ship has to follow the route."

 

The deviated course was an unchartered route for the captain; he had charts, but he hadn't taken the ship through that stretch before. According to ABC News, "Italian media have reported that Schettino was close to the shore in order to wave to a friend who was on land."

 

On Monday, the body of a male passenger was found in a corridor above water, following the discovery of the bodies of two elderly men near a submerged restaurant on Sunday. Two more people were added to the number of missing after relatives of two Sicilian women who had been listed among those safely evacuated on Friday night told authorities they not heard from them. This brings the total number of missing back to 16.

 

According to WBBM Newsradio in Chicago, those missing include a Minnesota couple, two of the 129 Americans onboard. Agence France-Presse says the dead include a Spanish man, an Italian, two French passengers and a Peruvian crew member. At least 60 were injured. More than 4,000 passengers and crew were evacuated from the vessel in what has been widely described as a terrifying experience.

 

The discovery of more victims comes in the aftermath of happier news Sunday when a man, believed to be the ship's purser, had been airlifted to safety. The man was located by rescuers 36 hours after the ship ran aground near the island of Giglio, off Italy's west coast.

 

Two other survivors were also accounted for late on Saturday, when a honeymooning couple from Korea, both 29, were rescued from a cabin in the submerged ship. The two, reportedly in good health, were taken by ambulance to a hospital.

 

The rock Concordia struck left a 165-foot gash on its port side. After the impact, the ship was listing at 20 degrees before capsizing hours later. (Numerous photos and videos from the scene have been posted on the Cruise Critic boards.)

 

Schettino, a 10-year Costa veteran who was promoted to captain in 2006, and a fellow officer were detained for questioning and later arrested on charges of manslaughter, abandoning ship before all others and causing a shipwreck, according to reports. The captain was spotted on land during the evacuation, and his fellow officers are said to have urged him to return to the ship.

 

Foschi, however, told reporters that it would be premature to judge the captain's actions. "[We are] unable to ascertain whether he left the ship before the evacuation process completed," he said. "Some internal testimony indicates that he tried, tried, tried to stay onboard ... but we have to wait for the formal investigations from the prosecutor to [determine his behavior] in this particular incident."

 

Investigators want to know why the ship never sent out a mayday. And speculations continue to surround Concordia's curious course in the rock- and reef-pocked waters between the Tuscan coast and eastern Giglio. Reports suggest the captain may have been "showboating" for residents and tourists on the island by veering close to land. Giglio's news outlet says a similar maneuver in August 2011 earned Schettino a letter of thanks from the island's mayor.

 

During the Monday morning press conference, Costa's Foschi said that the August sail-by, which was timed in conjunction with Giglio's patron saint day, was pre-authorized by Costa and local maritime authorities. The ship stayed at least 650 feet from the coast for the entirety of the sail-by, added Foschi.

 

This youtube video uploaded by TheMopsi shows Repubblica TV footage of the scene, with the vessel on its side in shallow water.

 

3,206 passengers and roughly 1,000 crewmembers had been onboard when the ship began taking on water about 8 p.m. local time Friday. Costa said those onboard consisted of "about 1,000 of Italian nationality, over 500 Germans, about 160 French, 129 Americans and 1,000 crewmembers."

 

The evacuation itself was far from an orderly affair, with glass flying through the air and a rush for lifeboats. Numerous passengers and crew jumped into the cold water and swam to shore to escape the listing vessel.

 

The incident occurred at dinnertime, recounts one passenger who told the ANSA news agency, "We were having supper when the lights suddenly went out, we heard a boom and a groaning noise, and all the cutlery fell on the floor." Others called it a scene right out of "Titanic." Passengers are complaining that they never received proper evacuation instructions and that the deployment of the lifeboats was delayed. By some reports, a full muster drill was to be conducted at 5 p.m. Saturday, well after the ship set sail from Civitavecchia.

 

"Our own judgment is that the crew performed very well," responded Foschi during the press conference. "We were able to evacuate, in two hours time, 4,200 people under very severe circumstances, with the ship listing to a degree that did not enable us to used both sides."

 

Foschi added that, while the company will review what happened, he is not in the position to say whether there will be immediate changes to safety protocols.

 

The Passenger Shipping Association (PSA), a trade group that promotes cruise and ferry travel in the United Kingdom, has released a statement calling the grounding an isolated incident, reports the trade publication Travel Weekly. "Incidents of this nature are isolated and very rare," the statement reads. "Ships' crews undertake rigorous training, drills and scenarios for emergency situations including the evacuation of a vessel. The ships themselves comply with stringent regulations and procedures from the governing maritime authorities covering every aspect of their build and operation."

 

Concordia began its ill-fated voyage in Civitavecchia (Rome), with stops planned in Marseilles, Barcelona and Palermo, among others. The ship launched in 2006 and introduced several concepts to the cruising world, including the first spa cabins and spa restaurant and the first race-car driving simulator (now a Costa standard).

 

This is the second time in two years a Costa ship has been involved in a deadly accident. In February 2010, Costa Europa hit a pier in Egypt, killing three crewmembers.

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