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  #151 (permalink)  
Old 05-12-2008, 02:40 AM
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John Griffin of ABC News has written a nice article about the SS United States, complete with photos.
Check it out at:
http://www.abcnews.go.com/Travel/Bus...4751136&page=1
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  #152 (permalink)  
Old 05-16-2008, 11:51 AM
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Great article! If you go tp PBS website, you can find out when the new documentary will air with each station. Unfortunately, it aired here several weeks ago and is not listed anytime again in the immediate future. Rather than sulk, I ordered the DVD of the program.
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  #153 (permalink)  
Old 05-29-2008, 08:00 PM
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I just saw the PBS documentary. It is well done. Be prepared to run a full gamut of emotions. I was heartbroken at some of the images of the ship.
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  #154 (permalink)  
Old 05-31-2008, 08:46 AM
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I just received the DVD and felt the same way. Colin Veitch even sounded enthusiastic and convincing about its fate. Time will tell. I hope the documentary will gain the needed attention to get something going. The money needed to restore it is a drop in the bucket compared to everything else receiving funding!
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  #155 (permalink)  
Old 05-31-2008, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Colin Veitch even sounded enthusiastic and convincing about its fate.
He did, which surprised me. It was also interesting to hear the NCL people talking about the layout and engine changes that would be needed, but how important it is to keep the profile intact. I was impressed that the hull was so overbuilt, it is still in great shape. What did they say...93% of original?
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  #156 (permalink)  
Old 05-31-2008, 09:01 AM
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Yep..amazing considering the years...even harder to think that our "Holiday" has been in service longer than SSUS ever was. I know it probably would never happen, but imagine SSUS with twin "whale tail" funnels! I still think it would be viable to restore the ship if tax credits and tax policy encouraged a line to do so. I'd certainly be among the first to book.
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  #157 (permalink)  
Old 05-31-2008, 09:31 AM
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Of course, Colin was encouraging.

Eventually the demand for weekly Hawaii cruises will expand. It's possible NCL might return the Sky and Jade back to Hawaii when demand increases, but it's also possible NCL might refurbish the SSUS for Hawaii duties.

With the SSUS, NCL can be flexible, and send it elsewhere when demand drops in Hawaii, which they couldn't do with their exempted ships. Take advanatage of unique itineraries exempted US cruise ships and non US cruise ships can't do.
For example, one way weekly Alaska cruises from Seattle, instead of from Vancouver. 3 and 4 day cruises from San Francisco to Los Angeles, or a longer one way cruise from any California port to Hawaii without initiating or terminating the cruise in Ensenada.

An itinerary that only it could do that I would love to take is a Miami to San Juan cruise, 3 or 4 days in San Juan, without stopping anywhere else, like many Bermuda cruises.

Refurbishing the SSUS isn't going to cost as much as many will suggest since the interiors have already been stripped. All that's required is rebuilding the interiors, and installing new auxiliary equipment. Something you'll want to do with any ship as old as it is anyways.

Assuming the Pride of America continues to make a profit with the withdrawal of the other two ships, NCL will eventually want to add an additional ship as the Hawaii business grows.
The American organization overhead is already in place.

NCL's initial plan for three ships servicing Hawaii was a gamble with too much expansion too quickly.
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  #158 (permalink)  
Old 06-01-2008, 06:48 PM
 
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If the Big U is EVER renovated by NCL, then that would be a very huge shock to me. With all of the Mega Ships out there, how will the Big U ever compete with that? And also, if NCL is so positive about the Big U, then why didn't they re-engined the SS Norway, which was a very popular ship as well?

I still feel that it's highly unlikely that the SS United States will ever sail again. Why go through all the trouble of removing the engines for fuel efficient disels? Why not just build a near replica of the ship's hull and build a new superstructure on that one and leave the original Big U alone?

Also, why would Apollo and Star Cruises want to go through the financial trouble of turning the Big U into an entirely different ship? The sort of conversion that was done to the SS France into the SS Norway will never happen again.

Bruce Nierenburg, the man responsible for convincing NCL in 1979 to buy the SS France, even mentioned that it wouldn't make any sense to turn the SS United States into another SS Norway because of the way that the ship was built. He felt that the only realistic option is for the ship to become a floating museum that would honor its maritime history.

If the SS United States was rebuilt into a modern cruise ship, that everyone wants to see so badly, it would not look like the same ship after NCL is finished with their renovations. Why turn a ship that was ment to be a vessel of the Cold War into a cruise ship that would not compete with what's out there?

Again,
I would be shocked of NCL ever renovates the Big U. They seem to be getting a lot of financial help these days. Maybe they will. But I can't see how it makes financial sense.
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  #159 (permalink)  
Old 06-02-2008, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Redlinekid2:
I would be shocked of NCL ever renovates the Big U. They seem to be getting a lot of financial help these days. Maybe they will. But I can't see how it makes financial sense.
I agree, it wouldn't make much sense financially if it cruised popular itineraries. Bigger and newer ships seems the more popular choice today.

HAL's Prisendam is still a popular choice today for many passengers wishing to do its many one off and odd cruise itineraries around the world. The SSUS could be a money maker doing many one-off and rare American only cruise itineraries, imho. It is the last true American flag ship in existance.

Cunard spent the money to re-engine the QE2, so it is possible, however slight, to find financing to do so.

But the key to the future of the SSUS from NCL's viewpoint is whether they can get "financing" from banks or investment firms to do anything with her.

Yes, I'd agree it could and probably would be drastically remodeled into looking entirely different. As is, it is obsolete and uncompetitive. So changes will have to be made to make her competitive in today's market.
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  #160 (permalink)  
Old 06-02-2008, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
As is, it is obsolete and uncompetitive.
Ouch! Although I have to admit, very sadly, that this is true. I'd hate to see her with balconies sticking out from everywhere.

As for Prinsendam, just 13 months until I board.

LisaP
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