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Old 11-04-2006, 03:23 PM
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My son and his new bride cruised on the Pride of Hawaii in September. They are experienced cruisers and enjoyed being latitudes members to get to the front of the line on embarkation etc.

What they shared with me about Pride of Hawaii is that they will never sail on an American flagged ship again. I am an American and well travled. I know how our own people act in cross-cultural situations and we are not a pretty people with the exception of the fine people on this site. To sum it up briefly, service was very poor because of American employees who do not understand the service industry.

Call it profiling if you want but the Phillipinos and Latinos and other folks who provide service on cruise lines are exceptional and I enjoy tipping them well.

NCL in general has great employees and service as do the other cruise lines.

Just a point to ponder in booking American flagged vessels.
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Old 11-05-2006, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chef Ken:
What they shared with me about Pride of Hawaii is that they will never sail on an American flagged ship again.
Well, Ken, like my signature says, I don't speak for the USN, I was just a lowly Sonar Tech, but a lot of Americans forget the privilages of living in a G7 Nation, a free republic. That American flagged ship is subject to the law of the Great Nation of the United States of America. If someone assaults you on an American ship, they will be subject to the law of the USA, not their home country.

Also, there are many Mexican-Americans, American citizens who are of Mexican descent, so we should not make statements about Latinos as if a Latino could not be an American. America is a nation, the greatest of Nations, not a race. I served with many Mexican-American shipmates on US Navy submarines; they are no less Americans than any other American, and they would and did risk their lives for this great Nation.

More imporantly, with the US Flag, is the practice of Dipping the Ensign. When a civilian ship flying the American flag or allied flags, mainly G7 allies (Japan, Britain, France, Canada, Italy, Germany), passes by the USS Florida (the boat I was on) while the Florida is running on the surface, they will lower their flag in salute, and we will lower ours briefly and return it. This means the civilian ship is saying "we are Americans (or allies), please protect us", and the American military vessel is saying "we will come to your aid if anything happens to you". This is not to say the Florida would not necessarily come to the aid of a ship from the Bahamas -- international law obligates us to come to the aid of civilian vessels if practicable -- but our priority would obviously be the allied vessel.

Plus, Ken, there is the fundamental fact that you're talking about your fellow Americans. So, think about that.

There are privilages to living in a free, prosperous nation. Not all nations are equally free. Just ask the Saudis or the Iranians. I know I worked with an Iranian-American at my last job, and she said, having grown up in ****, she is glad to be an American citizen, where she is protected by people like myself from the mullahs and she has freedom.

Be proud to be an American, Ken. The airplane, the transistor, the lightbulb and the digital computer were all invented as a result of American freedom and the liberal market in America. We also landed men on the Moon and won the 2nd World War. "We came in peace for all mankind."

Remember, the people who say they hate America -- including American citizens who say that -- also hate Britain and the other allies for the same reason. Freedom.
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Old 11-05-2006, 03:48 PM
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Neutrino,

I think you read more into my post than is there. I am proud, no humbled to be an American. I support our troops fighting in all areas of deployment. I don't speak against America in general.

I do not have to be politically correct and really won't put up with someone telling me how I ought to look at the world.

What I was speaking of was service on a cruise ship, not about people and nationalities in general and certainly not regarding military ships.

There was nothing I said that is derogatory to those of Mexican descent. I lived with Latinos for five years in their culture and I love them. I am fluent in Spanish and value my Latino friends. Yes, I was speaking of my fellow countrymen who because of the freedom you talk about have the freedom to chose to be sub-standard in their service.

I am a big supporter of the freedoms that were given to us by our Creator and I support those such as yourself, men and women of our military who fight for those freedoms.

I want us to finish the war in Iraq, I want us to win. I don't want liberals who mouth off about the war to get control of our government.

I am talking cruise ships here, not military vessels and not opposed to any culture in general.

That is all there is to it. Nothing mean, or anti-American, or anti any other culture. I just want to say thank you for your service in the military but you saw in my post something that simply isn't there.
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Old 11-05-2006, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chef Ken:
Yes, I was speaking of my fellow countrymen who because of the freedom you talk about have the freedom to chose to be sub-standard in their service.
Well, anyway, what was about the service that was substandard? Mine are probably pretty low since the only civilian vessels on which I have been underway were public transit ferries in Seattle and a speedboat that belonged to a friend of my dad... To me, if you get a comfortable bed, and enough room in your little stateroom to stand up, that's luxury.

Did somebody call your son names on the American ship or something?

Of course on a military vessel the f-word is used as a verb, adjective, pronoun, adverb...

I notice on cruisecritic.com they give Pride of America two stars for service but four for Queen Mary 2. I thought QM2 was considered one of the best in the world, so I'm not sure what people are finding deficient in these crews. Does cruisecritic.com give ANYBODY five stars for service??

QM2 is registered in Britain ("UK flagged") so I think most of their crew would be Brits.

Do people just have impossibly high standards? Somebody clue me in on this...
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Old 11-05-2006, 05:18 PM
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Ken- good thing you didn't write anything negative about Holland America or you might be learning about the freedom to wear clogs and plant tulips.

Try this thread: http://cruise-chat.com/eve/forums/a/...2/m/6761042662
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Old 11-05-2006, 06:11 PM
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Carla,

Do you know what is supposed to be so bad about the American ship, then?

It's not as if there is no good customer service in America, you might have heard of Paris Hilton, her family didn't get rich by providing poor service... Companies just don't want to keep their safety standards up to that of great nations like the USA and Britain, hence "flags of convience." See: http://www.amo-union.org/Newspaper/M...ews/cruise.htm

(plus they don't want to comply with labor laws in countries like the USA and the UK)

Personally I think Paris Hilton is ugly btw, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Her friend Nichole Richie was stunning before she became ultra skinny...
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Old 11-05-2006, 07:34 PM
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Carla,

That was funny. Good one.

Ken
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Old 11-06-2006, 03:47 AM
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Brian, Brian, Brian- don't get me started on Paris and Nicole.

You should surf around and read what people have written about PO America and PO Aloha. Then get back to me. My theory- hardly a groundbreaking one- is that MOST crewmembers on foreign flagged ships are somewhat more thankful to have the job and cognizant all the time of what the pittance in pay means to them, their families, etc.

Seriously, the American and Canadian- while we're at it, add the Western European- crewmembers that I have come across on cruise ships are much more flippant, casual and tuned out. These would be the child care workers and cruise director's staff... sometimes maybe a German bartender... It's not much of a reach to imagine a ship where ALL of the employees BEGAN with that mindset and then banded together so that SOME of them treat the pax with contempt and two star attitudes. Add to that a persistent sewage smell and a persistent inability to reach the hundred ports scheduled for each cruise= unhappy cruisers.

Seriosuly- read the NCLA threads. They are too similar to be dismissed.
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Old 11-07-2006, 01:25 PM
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Carla,

Well, I guess like I said my standards are low, I'm used to military vessels. I don't even stay in hotels, just hostels. It's only $20/night and gives me a locker and a rack to sleep on, that's all I need.

The only reason I would take a cruise as opposed to flying is terrorism concerns. In fact, in general ships seem safer! lmao. As long as they are registered in a civilized nation like Japan, the UK, or the USA.

But check this out, the overall rating of Pride of America on cruisecritic.com is 4 stars, which is the same as Bahamas registered Adventure of the Seas. They both got 2 stars on service.

http://cruisecritic.com/reviews/review.cfm?ShipID=192 [adventure of the seas, Bahamas flag]
http://cruisecritic.com/reviews/review.cfm?ShipID=349 [pride of america, USA flag]
http://cruisecritic.com/reviews/review.cfm?ShipID=294 [queen mary 2, UK flag]

Even the Queen Mary 2, which seems to have a very good reputation, only gets 4 stars. Although their service is 4 stars rather than 2.

But if I had the option to take a cruise on an American ship, a ship registered in the Bahamas would have to work reallly hard to convince me to want to come aboard. That American flag means the company is subject to American law with regard to ship safety, the crew, and the passangers. Surely you don't agree with those companies that the $5.15/hr minimum wage which American federal law requires is too high? It's not just about money either, it's about working conditions: how much sleep the civilians are allowed every day, how their superviors treat them, etc. That's also why I go out of my way to buy things made in G7 countries when I can. My TRGPro PDA (palm pilot compatible) is Made in the USA... cost me $200 rather than a $50 one made in China. I paid an extra $300 for my computer monitor in order to buy one that was Made in Japan rather than China.

You know that the American cruise companies that owned ships registered in 3rd world countries tried to claim in court that their ships are not subject to American anti-pollution laws even though the pollution was occuring in American waters?!? Fortunately the courts slapped them down, ruling that America can in fact order a forign flagged ship not to pollute our water. What they can't do -- which is very important -- is order a foreign flagged ship to require United States Coast Guard (or whatever) certifications for the officers, have a certain number of lifeboats, etc. These companies say, "what, the USA requires me to have a sufficient number of lifeboats, and make sure I have well trained officers?? I can get around that, I'll simply register my ships in a third world country!". It's like that guy said about BP on 60 Minutes recently, with regard to safety at their oil facilities: "do you want to make 1 billion dollars, or do you want to make 998 miillion?". With a Bahamas registered ship, you can get away with that. With a UK or USA flagged ship, you can't. That's why they call the Bahamas "a flag of convience".

But, given all this I have to disagree that the 3rd world flagged ships are better. The bottom line for me is how the crew is treated and how safe the ship is, and I do not trust the Bahamas to enforce ship safety the way I trust Japan, Britain, Canada, and the great nation of the United States of America.
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Old 11-07-2006, 01:48 PM
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These things are known to me, Brian! I used to practice Admiralty and Maritime Law.

My view on foreign crews: http://cruise-chat.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/738601132/m/1...751077561#6751077561

Also, you might want to read Devils on the Deep Blue Sea. Good book IMHO.
 
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