I'd hate to see her with balconies sticking out from everywhere
That would ruin it for me, and make the ship just another flavor of today's cruise ships.
I wouldn't think anyone would like to cruise in a cabin that didn't have it's own toilet and shower, and over half the cabins didn't have them as initially designed. Yes, over half.
Most first class cabins were not much larger than standard balcony cabins on cruise ships today. Passengers expect more space for their money today.
Luckily all the interior walls have been stripped and one can build modern sized cabins from scratch.
As for how many balconies will be installed, I wouldn't hazard to guess. I don't think adding balconies above A Deck wouldn't change its appearance much. But I'll admit, adding decks would.
The SS France had just one cargo hold forward, where NCL stowed its two large tender boats. The SSUS has three cargo holds, two forward and one aft. I don't believe anyone would leave that situation as it is, that's too much valuable space to leave empty.
As built, the SSUS is obsolete today. Changes will have to be made if you expect it to return to commercial use.
I'm not saying each cabin shouldn't have it's own head, or the cabins should remain tiny. Where did you get that idea? I am talking about the external look of the ship. Right - I personally don't want to see the SSUS turned into a Norway.
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 As is, it is obsolete and uncompetitive.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.
IMHO, what was done to the QE2, as far as replacing the troubled steam engines for disels was a very RARE event. If Cunard had been given the option of building a brand new ship instead of renovating the QE2, the ship would have been sent to the scrappers in 1986. Also, Star Cruises calls the shots regarding the Big U's future. Not NCL.
Star Cruises is not in the business of renovating old ships. We've already seen their handly work with the SS Norway. If anything else, the Big U will eventually be sold to a real estate developer who will turn the ship into a SS Rotterdam V attraction. I can't see the logic of rebuilding the Big U for service. I personally want to see NCL out of the picture when it comes to the Big U's future. Port to Port U.S. intineraries means nothing to the cruise line industry. Carnival and RCCL are doing fine without it. Not to mention the high U.S. taxes that comes with it.
As enthusiastic as NCL is, it's just a cover up. I have no confidence that they will ever renovate the Big U. I'm grateful that they saved the ship from the scrapyard. But it's time that the ship goes into better hands. The ship's engines are the main reason why the Big U is still around. Why would anyone be crazy enough to rip them out in order to install cheep engines so that it could be cost effective? It's not going to happen. I now realized that the SS United States sailing days are long gone. Never to return to the open seas, just like the SS Rotterdam V.
As an aside, I saw Baby Mama at the movies tonight, and the SSUS has a cameo! Tina Fey is scouting locations for a new store in warehouse districts of Philly, and as she walked around, I wondered if perhaps we might see the ship in the distance at some point.
The director went one better, and there is a deliberate scene of her walking along the water, with the ship carefully framed in the shot. It was from inside the gate too, so they were granted more than the usual access.
Hello from Philadelphia, where I just saw our SS United States while I was enroute to my hotel. I just about cried.
I come to Philadelphia at least once per year, so I've seen her many times before. Yet, something was much different today. She looks so sad, so faded. Of course, she still has the beautiful profile...but this is the first time I've felt sad looking at her. I'm trying to remain an optimist, but it's not easy.
"The SS United States Conservancy has learned that the SS UNITED STATES will soon be listed for sale.
The SS UNITED STATES was purchased by Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) in 2003, and ownership of the vessel was recently transferred to a holding company controlled by NCL's parent company, Hong Kong-based Star Cruises.
In light of current economic conditions, the SS UNITED STATES is now in grave danger of being sold for scrap."