Hawaii from West Coast?
Staff, I read yesterday on the John Heald Blog board. A blogger not John wrote that Celebrity/RCCL will be dropping west cost trips to Hawaii. This person seemed to think his source was very reliable. Do you think there is anything to this? I have a hard time seeing the cruise lines giving NCL the Hawaii business, unless it was part of a larger agreement opening up other markets. Mike
Re: Hawaii from West Coast?
All I can see is that both Celebrity and Royal Caribbean have sailings still scheduled through April of 2009.
Check out information on the Maritime Cabotage Task Force at http://www.mctf.com/. Basically, they want foreign-flagged ships like Celebrity, Princess, RCI, HAL, etc. to spend at least 48 hours in a foreign port when they are sailing Hawaiian cruises. Apparently, there is a requirement in the Passenger Vessel Services Act. However, they are only asking that this rule be enforced for Hawaii. (Sounds like favoritism to NCL-America to me.)
If Hawaiian Coastwise Cruises Proposed Interpretive Rule (‚ÄúProposed
Interpretive Rule‚Ä?). 72 Fed. Reg. 65487 (Nov. 21, 2007) is passed, Celebrity/RCCL will probably stop doing the west coast sailings to Hawaii. Princess and HAL will also drop those sailings.
As of right now, Celebrity is still planning the Hawaii cruises. And I sincerely hope they continue, at least through March, 2009 when I sail...
The Passenger Services Act has been around almost forever. It has required foreign flagged vessels to stop at a "distant" foreign port when traveling departing from US port , and before returning/or going to another US port.
The proposal now is to ammend it to require a 48 hr. stay at a foreign port. NCL originally asked for the change because they are the only US flagged cruise line, meaning they employ largely US citizens, and abide by US labor laws, sailing Hawaii.
The problem is now the commitee examining the issue has recommended the change, but it would cover ALL ships sailing to/from the U.S.... including the Caribbean.
This would have a drastic affect on the cruise industry as a whole, requiring a huge change in itineraries. For example, sailing from Miami, ships wouldn't have time in to get to some more southerly islands. They'd have to adapt their itineraries for the 48 hr port visit requirement.
With the rising costs of fuel I can imagine many cruise lines almost being forced to spend the required 48 hrs in Nassau. If it happens, it's going to be a mess!
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