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Old 01-23-2008, 06:11 PM
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This relationship never made any sense to me. There is no cultural cohesiveness between Star Cruises and NCL in general. This is clearly a relationship that has not work to anyone's satisfaction. If that was the case, why did they even bother to sabotage NCL's merger talks with Carnival Corporation? At least Carnival might have either had fixed up the SS Norway, like they did to the QE2. Or they might have sold her to another company. And definately not the scrapyard.

Since Star Cruises is largely a casino outfit, the customers would be treated as nothing more than a potential source of revenue.

I understood that NCL Holdings never wanted to merge with Star Cruises because it would not have been a right matchup. So NCL tried to use their poison pill tactic to dilute their outstanding shares to prevent Star Cruises Hostile takeover bid. I don't believe that anyone from the NCL Holdings board of directors wanted anything to do with Star Cruises. But for some strange, either the Noweigan or the USA govenment FORCED NCL Holdings to accept Star Cruises offer to buy them out. If that was the case, then it would spell trouble for the SS Norway.

What are your thoughts about this matter?

I have always wondered how things might have been if NCL Holdings was still a stand alone company. Would the SS Norway still be sailing with NCL or another cruiseline? I know that the SS Norway wouldn't be at Alang scrapyard.
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Old 01-24-2008, 11:05 PM
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I'm going to disagree with you hopefully in a nice way that doesn't start a small web war.

NCL holdings in 2000 had just one new ship, the Norwegian Sky, one new ship being built, the Norwegian Sun, with an option for a third ship which would have been a very close sister of the Sun. NCL Holdings initiated the bidding war as they had made their intent to sell well known.

Amost immediately after buying NCL for $1 billion, Star turned over the Star and Dawn which they had previously order for themselves to NCL to buy, an additional 1 billion of debt. Since then, NCL has ordered another 4 ships based upon the Star class hull. Star helped NCL buy and finish buillding the Pride of America. Star also leased, then sold the Superstar Leo to NCL, which is now the Norwegian Spirit.

So, in the last 8 full years, Star's financial dealings have sent 8 new ships to NCL, NCL holdings responsible for just 2 new ships. Without Star's deep pockets, most of today's NCL fleet would not have been built.

Assuming NCL Holdings was still in charge of NCL, NCL would have the Sky, Sun, and "Star" (Sun's sister), Dream, Wind, Majesty, Crown, Sea, and Norway comprising their fleet.

What Carnival Corporation would have done with NCL is anyone's guess. I doubt they would have kept the SS Norway around long, because its boilers were already in bad shape by 2000. They may have found the boilers cracks during inspections, assuming they would have performed better inspections, but they still would have found out just like NCL did in 2003 that there were no vendors building parts for the SS Norway's boliers. Buillding spare parts and maintaining one of a kind boilers isn't cheap.
Carnival may have retired the SS Norway sooner.
But that's all just speculation on my and your opinions. It should be noted that the QE2 is retiring later this year, and it didn't have any boliers to maintain. I believe Carnival would have retired the SS Norway sooner than they will retire the QE2.
If Carnival had bought NCL, would they have had the financial resources to buy Cunard and
Princess afterwards? Who knows for sure?
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Old 01-25-2008, 04:04 AM
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Ron, just a little timeline clarification. Carnival Corporation bought Cunard before Star Cruises acquired NCL. Carnival Corp. purchased an approximate two-thirds share of Cunard in 1998, and took over the remaining shares in 1999.

John, my opinion -- and this is only my opinion -- is that NCL would not have lasted much beyond 2000 if it weren't for the acquisition. So, as angry as some of us are for what was done to OUR favorite ship, at least she was able to stay in service for another few years.

As to your original question as to why Star Cruises went after NCL...I really don't know.
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