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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-24-2005, 08:47 AM
Ron Clark's Avatar
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Here's the NCL press release:
http://www.ncl.com/news/pr/pr112205a.htm
Norwegian Star Statement
MIAMI , November 22, 2005 – Today, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced a revised schedule for Norwegian Star’s Mexican Rivera itineraries. The change is being made because of damage to the forward thrust bearings of the ship’s ABB-manufactured azipod propulsion system. Norwegian Star’s engineers have been running comprehensive inspections on the pod and the results show that a reduction of speed is necessary to prevent further deterioration to the bearings. Although the ship can still travel at the 20 knot pace that is typical for most big cruise ships, she cannot perform the maximum 25 knots that is a feature of the new NCL ships and that is necessary to operate the published Mexican Riviera itinerary. Therefore the itineraries from Friday, November 25, 2005 through the March 1, 2006 cruise will be amended.

The azipods will be repaired during a newly scheduled dry dock in March 2006; the earliest date the company is able to secure the needed parts and dry-dock availability to conduct the repair. The ship will resume its scheduled high-speed itinerary beginning with the April 2, 2006 cruise. The company sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience caused by this change to the itinerary and would like to thank our guests for their patience and understanding.

The new itinerary is as follows:

Day Port Arrive Depart
0 Los Angeles, California 6:00pm
1 At sea - - - -
2 At sea - - - -
3 Manzanillo, Mexico 10:00am 6:00pm
4 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 7:00am 6:00pm
5 Mazatlan, Mexico 8:00am 6:00pm
6 Cabo San Lucas, Mexico 7:00am 2:00pm
7 At sea - - - -
8 Los Angeles, California 9:00am

NCL will be offering a $50 per person ($100 per cabin maximum) onboard credit in recognition of any disappointment that may be caused by this itinerary change. NCL is communicating this change and relevant information to travel agents who have passengers booked on these cruises. NCL has established a special toll-free number to assist with passengers’ questions regarding the itinerary change. The number is 1-877-625-5672.

Looks like Acapulco and Ixtapa were dropped, and Manzanillo and Mazatlan were added. Here's the Star's original itinerary:

Day Port Arrive Depart
0 Los Angeles, California 4:00pm
1 At sea - - - -
2 At sea - - - -
3 Acapulco, Mexico 11:00am - -
4 Acapulco, Mexico - - 12:30am
4 Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, Mexico* 9:00am* 4:00pm*
5 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 9:00am 5:00pm
6 Cabo San Lucas, Mexico 8:00am 4:00pm
7 At sea - - - -
8 Los Angeles, California 7:00am
*Please Note: Arrive Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa 7:00am and depart 2:00pm.
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Old 11-25-2005, 04:08 PM
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Not that good news...

Ron, can you tell, if the NCL Dawn suffers the same Azipod trouble like the Star, as they are the same type from the same manufacturer?

It is necessary for the Dawn's Canada/New England- itinerary in 2006 (which i've booked) that the ship has its full speed. Is there a dry- dock- inspection scheduled before September 2006?

Thanx in advance, CP
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Old 11-25-2005, 10:14 PM
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Yes, the Dawn and the Jewel uses the same azipods made by the corporation ABB that's on the Star.

In fact, over 30 cruise ships do. Here's a list of the ships using ABB azipods.

2007 NCL Unnamed
2007 NCL Unnamed
2007 RCI Freedom class
2006 Cunard Queen Victoria
2005 P&O Arcadia
2005 HAL Noordam
2005 NCL Pride of Hawaii
2005 RCI Freedom of the Seas
2004 Carnival Miracle
2004 Carnival Valor
2004 Costa Crociere
2004 RCI Jewel of the Seas
2004 NCL Jewel
2004 NCL Pride of America
2004 HAL Westerdam
2003 Costa Fortuna
2003 Costa Mediterranea
2003 Crystal Serenity
2003 RCI Mariner of the Seas
2003 RCI Navigator of the Seas
2003 HAL Oosterdam
2003 Cunard Queen Mary 2
2003 RCI Serenade of the Seas
2002 RCI Brilliance of the Seas
2002 Carnival Legend
2002 NCL Dawn
2002 HAL Zuiderdam
2001 Carnival Pride
2001 Carnival Spirit
2001 NCL Star
2001 RCI Radiance of the Seas
2000 HAL Amsterdam
2000 Costa Atlantica
2000 RCI Explorer of the Seas
1999 Hapag-Lloyd's Europa
1999 RCI Voyager of the Seas
1999 Carnival Elation's

An informative note, Celebrity's Millennium Class vessels use Rolls-Royce Mermaid Azipods systems.

I don't know what speeds the Dawn has to keep to maintain its Canada/New England itinerary. If you had the time to spare, one could figure it out, simply by dividing the miles between ports by the time in hours for that cruise leg in the schedule.

Looking at the Dawn's schedule until next year, there is a 6 day gap in May, from May 7 to May 13, where it isn't cruising. It could go into a drydock for upkeep and maintenance then.
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Old 11-26-2005, 12:40 AM
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I just came back from the November 17-25 cruise. Honestly, I can't tell if the ship is ever having the problem. Acapulco arrival was delayed for 1 hour, Zihuatanejo was on-time, Puorto Vallarta was on-time, Cabo was 30 minutes late, and arriving to LA was 30 minutes early. There's really no sign of engine problems (or slowing down).

I guess I'm lucky to be able to go to Acapulco and Zihuatanejo this time. I'll post my notes in a couple of days.
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Old 11-26-2005, 04:47 AM
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Thank you for the information, Ron

I wonder if there's a obvious difference in the reliability of the azipods between relatively slow ships (like Hapag- Lloyds "Europa" or the Mermaid- equipped MSC- twins Opera and Lirica) and fast ships (the NCL's, Radiance- Class, Millenium- Class...). To me, it seems so.

By the way, are you sure that the QM2 and the Crystal Serenity are equipped with ABB's? At least, they're from the same French Shipyard like all the Mermaid- equipped vessels.

Regards, CP
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Old 11-26-2005, 07:40 AM
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Yes, I'm sure the QM2 and Crystal Serenity use ABB azipods. Here's the link to my source:
http://www.abb.com/global/abbzh/abbzh251.nsf!OpenDataba...7292C1256FE20036CDCD
Just click on the References link.

From what I've read, the azipods experencing the most problems have been the Rolls Royce Mermaids.

The problem on the Star, from what I've read, is that the thrust bearing in one of the azipods has high vibrations at high speed. As the ship speeds up, the interaction of forces between the propellers and the sea increases. Vibrations levels within the azipods, bearings included, can be measured easily with probes. It appears that at lower speeds, with less thrust loading, the Star's azipods don't have high vibrations.

So, I wouldn't be worried about the azipod completely breaking down as long as NCL keeps from placing high thrust loadings on the thrust bearings by reducing the ship's speed.

Of course, if the radial bearings in the azipods were experencing high vibrations, NCL would have to choose between running it until failure, or turning that azipod off and locking it down. Thankfully, they report the problem is with the thrust bearing.
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Old 11-26-2005, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ron Clark:
Yes, I'm sure the QM2 and Crystal Serenity use ABB azipods. Here's the link to my source:
http://www.abb.com/global/abbzh/abbzh251.nsf!OpenDataba...7292C1256FE20036CDCD
Just click on the References link.
Ron,

I'm sorry, but the link you provide actually confirms that both ships do not use ABB Azipods!

Here's the excerpt from the reference file confirming this:



If the two ships were using Azipods, a blue square would be displayed in the "Azipod Propulsion" column.

I am 100% sure that both vessels use Mermaid Pods.

By the way, "Azipod" is the brand name for ABB's pods just as "Mermaid" is the brand name for Rolls Royce / Alstom Power Conversion's pods. So, there is no such thing as a "Mermaid Azipod".
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Best regards,

Raoul Fiebig

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Old 11-26-2005, 01:38 PM
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[quote]Originally posted by Ron Clark:

>The azipods will be repaired during a newly >scheduled dry dock in March 2006;

I have it from a reliable source that NCL will put the Norwegian Star in drydock from March 9 through the 29th. Cruises during that time will be cancelled.

No word on what options NCL is offering the affected passengers but TA's should be getting notification letters "soon".

George Leppla
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Old 11-26-2005, 07:20 PM
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You're right, I was wrong.

While making the list, it looks like I misread that chart on these two ships.
Did you find any other mistakes?
I sometimes wish I have someone proofreading my posts.
 
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