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  #1 (permalink)  
Old October 25th, 2002, 01:37 PM
MikeInPgh
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Default And the winner is .... Carnival

It looks like the merger with Carnival is now just a matter of a formal vote. Carnival has agreed to a dual listed company and RCL is not improving their bid.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old October 25th, 2002, 02:48 PM
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Default Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

Anyone interested in some used Captains Circle pins? We won't be needing them now...
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Old October 25th, 2002, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

Actually, if it does finally go through, and we won't know that until the first quarter of 2003, and if Carnival follows true to form, those Captain's Circle pins may have a whole new meaning!
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Old October 25th, 2002, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

I'm happy. Carnival has done a wonderful job with HAL and Cunard and it will continue with Princess.
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Old October 25th, 2002, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: Re: And the winner is .... Barbarism

I'm with Psee.

Carnival did a good job with Holland and Cunard by not changing them. But according to the Associated Press, "the combined group [of Princess and Carnival] was likely to be called Carnival in both the United States and Britain" which, if true, means that we will NOT even HAVE a Princess presence here.

Carnival's practiced onboard indifference to its customers is in sharp contrast to how I've been treated on Princess. You will not find me on the "Fun Ship" Coral Princess exchanging my Captain's Circle pins for a brew from the kegger. I left fraternity life when I left college and I'm not looking to relive lost youth with a bunch of drunken yahoos making sleep or civility impossible until 3 a.m. or beyond.

After 13 Princess cruises (and yes, one unfortunate CarnEvil one), I will be taking my already planned 14th and last one next March. After that, all I can say is... Thank God for Royal Caribbean.
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Old October 25th, 2002, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

Mike,

For anybody who wants to read the press release (http://www.poprincesscruises.com/mainsite/porcl7.htm), here it is.

The good news is that this is not a "done deal" yet. The shareholders of P&O Princess Cruises Plc. (LSE: POC) can -- and hopefully will -- reject it. If they don't, though, my cruise that's already booked aboard MV Tahitian Princess in March probably will be my last Princess cruise.

Norm.
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Old October 25th, 2002, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

I agree with the last two...we have been on 19 Princess cruises, taking the 20th in december and if this merger does go through, the final Princess Cruise in March. I was really hoping that if Carnival won the bid, they would keep Princess as a separate line like HAL. I wouldn't go on Carnival if they paid me.
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Old October 25th, 2002, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

Carnival Corp has done a terrific job of keeping all their cruise lines as seperate entities, and I'm sure they would take the same tact with Princess.

Saying one would never cruise Carnival is saying you'd never cruise HAL, Cunard, Seabourn either... all of which are also Carnival.

Saying one would never sail Princess again after such a merger, without knowing if the product was adversely affected, or not, would also be rather shortsighted.

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Old October 26th, 2002, 02:21 PM
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Default Re: Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

It's not that I WOULDN'T Sail HAL or the other "Carnival owned" lines, I just wouldn't sail Princess IF they become Carnival ships as they are today. If Princess is kept as a separate line, I would give it a chance. I would think if they are smart, Carnival would not merge the two lines into one. There would be lots of unhappy Princess cruisers.
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Old October 26th, 2002, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

AS of today cabin c753 on the star to mexico is up for grabs.
This was my last straw for Princess.
INFINITY to Hawaii hear I come.
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Old October 26th, 2002, 11:13 PM
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Default Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

From everything I've read, Princess will be combined with Carnival and known as Carnival - not a separate entity ... and that's a whole new ball game as far as I'm concerned - and not good for those of us who like Princess. Even more so for those of us who don't like Carnival.

I'd say it's a done deal - because financially the share holders will do very well plus RCII is now completely out of the picture.

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Old October 27th, 2002, 07:49 AM
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Default Re: Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

Janie.. think you have it entirely wrong. Here's a link to the CM news story. It appears they companies will even be listed seperately on the stock exchange.
http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/news/#story13

It would make no sense for Carnival to treat Princess any differently than they have their other aquisitions. i.e. running them all very seperately.

RCI, I think is just learning that now, starting to try and put some distance between themselves and Celebrity.

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Old October 27th, 2002, 08:49 AM
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Default Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

Kuki, it's more likely that you, not Janie, has it entirely wrong.

If you go back to my original post of 10/25, you'll see that the Associated Press is reporting that "the combined group [of Princess and Carnival] was likely to be called Carnival in both the United States and Britain". That means no more Princess for us in the U.S. and U.K. Which is in direct contrast to how Carnival acquired HAL, for example.

The "link to the CM news story" in your post requires authorization so I couldn't reference it. However, The Cruisemates article on the matter that I found only reports that Carnival and Princess intend to have a dual-listed (DLC) merger. Let me explain that a DLC was the preferred merger method in this case because English investors are limited to the percentage of foreign holdings they can have. Thus, the DLC allows them to keep their shares in the new company because it will be listed on the London Exchange. The DLC is solely a financial arrangement and does not indicate that ships sailing in the U.S. or U.K. will be branded "Princess".

I hope that things change and that Princess sails again as Princess. However, as a huge fan of Princess, I would nevertheles not sail them again under the Carnival flag. No, I do not consider HAL, Cunard, et. al. now, either. I believe that Carnival represents the very worst of the cruise industry experience and I (as well as many people I've spoken with) have had horrible experiences with them. I'm not the only one... reference consumeraffairs.com which lists Carnival Cruise Lines in their "rogues gallery". (See http://www.consumeraffairs.com/trave...uise_lines.htm for a sampling of how they deal with their passengers). I will not sail with Carnival no matter how the spin-doctors and travel agents try to make this palatable.

From this point on, it's RC/Celebrity for me. It's not a solution I'm happy with, but it's one I can live with with a clear conscience.
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Old October 27th, 2002, 10:39 AM
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Default Re: Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

Paul,
We'll, of course, have to wait and see how this all plays out, but I don't think it would make any sense to expect that Carnival Corp would treat Princess any differently than any of their previous aquisitions.... seperate entities.

I'm sure there are many folks who sail Seabourn, Cunard, HAL, Costa or Windstar who have no idea they are sailing on Carnival Corp ships.

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Old October 27th, 2002, 11:22 PM
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Default Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

Kuki - did you check out the link Paul provided re Carnival? If you did, you'd never book on Carnival.

And, Kuki, the reports ARE that it will no longer be Princess ... it WILL be Carnival.

Yes, there are probably many people who don't know Carnival's other brands ... on the other hand, there are many who do.

I have a Princess cruise booked for December before the change over to Carnival, which will be early January ... and a deposit for a future Princess ship. I think it's more than likely that I'll request that deposit be returned to me.

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  #16 (permalink)  
Old October 28th, 2002, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

PORTER wrote:

> AS of today cabin c753 on the star to mexico is up for grabs.
>
> This was my last straw for Princess.
> INFINITY to Hawaii hear I come.

Porter:
You will love the Infinity. I have a cruise booked on the Coral for next April and I'm contemplating an 18 day on the new Pacific Princess in September. But if they are stupid enough to change the brand or anything else that makes it more like Carn evil, then those will probably be my last ones with them too.
Frank-in-CA
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Old October 28th, 2002, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

CruzNut wrote:

> From everything I've read, Princess will be combined with
> Carnival and known as Carnival - not a separate entity ... and
> that's a whole new ball game as far as I'm concerned - and not
> good for those of us who like Princess. Even more so for those
> of us who don't like Carnival.
>
That is an entire new ball game and pretty stupid on the part of Carn evil. I can't believe they'd be that stupid when they've got a good brand name. If anything, you'd think they'd want to change the Carnival name since it has a lousy brand name.

But that's among the seasoned cruisers. Maybe they see more market in a younger group of people and think they can expand their sales into that area. But they don't see what they'll lose in established sales and loyalty. Any marketing person worth their salt knows that it cost ten times as much to get a new customer as it does to retain a current one. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
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Old October 28th, 2002, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

Paul:
You are not alone in your feelings nor in the actions that will be taken. I have been impressed with Celebrity so it wouldn't take much for me to concentrate my cruising with them.
Frank-in-CA
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Old October 29th, 2002, 10:31 AM
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Default Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

My goodness! The misinformation being spouted in this thread is amazing. Kuki is 100% correct. You'll still see Princess Cruises, Sea Witch logo included. Princess will have it's own President just as Cunard, Costa, Seabourne and Holland America do. In fact, Carnival has strengthened the individual identities of each brand by allowing them to reflag their ships. Holland America reflagged their ships as Dutch, for example. Carnival's money has allowed each division to grow by leaps and bounds. Even Cunard is building brand new ships including the Queen Mary 2 which will continue the line's transatlantic run.

The only obvious change will most likely be the ships themselves. Princess may begin cranking out variations of the hulls used by all the Carnival owned brands. Those of you condemning Carnival forget that if it weren't for Carnival's acquisitions Holland America, Costa, and Cunard and their subsidiaries wouldn't exist any more.

Warren
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old October 29th, 2002, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

Joyce,

I suspect that Princess Cruises will remain a separate line, just as Carnival Corporation's other acquisitions have remained separate lines. Fundamentally, though, I am not hearing much favorable about any of Carnival Corporation's lines these days....

Norm.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old October 29th, 2002, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

Kuki,

Saying one would never sail Princess again after such a merger, without knowing if the product was adversely affected, or not, would also be rather shortsighted.

Neither the passenger nor the investor in me is favorably impressed by Carnival Corporation's record on several fronts.

>> Safety. Carnival Corporation has had a barrage of major fires, ships losing propulsion completely (which actually is a lot more serious than it sounds), and other serious incidents at sea that endanger the vessel and all aboard within the last three years.

>> Security. Carnival Corporation had over five hundred complaints of sexual assaults on passengers by members of the ships' crews in a period of five years -- an average of about two such incidents per week -- on just one of its cruise lines. Even worse, the company apparently did nothing about the situation until the U. S. Federal Bureau of Investigations (F. B. I.) launched an investigation. This strikes me as inexcusable.

>> Customer Satisfaction. I meet a fair number of people who are highly satisfied with each of Carnival Corporation's lines, I also meet an equal number of people who are highly dissatisfied -- most of whom seem to have legitimate complaints and gotten blown off by the shipboard staff and by the company. By contrast, I hear very little in the way of major negative comments about either Celebrity Cruises or Royal Caribbean International, and the negative comments about Norwegian Cruise Line seem to have ceased folloing its acquisition by Star Cruises.

I'm not telling others what to do. Personlly, though, I won't be booking a cruise on any line owned by Carnival Corporation until I see evidence of a clear change in corporate attitude.

Norm.
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Old October 29th, 2002, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

Paul,

You're confusing P&O Princess Cruises Plc., also known as "the group" or "the cruise group" in British jargon, with Princess Cruises here in the States. P&O Princess Cruises Plc. actually owns the following cruise companies or brands in the indicated markets.

>> 1. Princess Cruises (North America)

>> 2. P&O Cruises (United Kingdom)

>> 3. Swan Hellenic Cruises (United Kingdom)

>> 4. Aida Cruises/Seetours

>> 5. A'Rosa (Germany)

>> 6. P&O Cruises -- Australia (Australia, of course)

The "dual-listed merger" structure actually is somewhat complicated, but it basically means that both parent companies (Carnival Corporation and P&O Princess Cruises Plc.) to a new jointly owned subsidiary and that the same individuals serve as directors of both corporations. The assets of both companies -- in this case, all of their cruise lines and their land tour operations -- will continue to exist as separate entities, as they do now, but will belong to the new joint subsidiary rather than to their current parent.

Norm.
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Old October 29th, 2002, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

Janie,

You also seem to be confusing "P&O Princess Cruises Plc." (or "P&O Princess" for short) with Princess Cruises (or "Princess" for short). The actual transaction will merge the parent holding company of Princess Cruises and several other lines, P&O Princess Cruises Plc., with Carnival Corporation, the parent company of Carnival Cruises and several other lines. In the process, both parent companies will transfer their assets -- that is, their cruise lines -- to a new jointly owned subsidiary. All of the cruise lines will continue to operate as they do now, though it is likely that there will be consolidation of some shoreside support functions after completion of the merger.

Norm.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old October 29th, 2002, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

Warren,

IIRC, HAL was not in any financial difficulty prior to Carnival's acquisition and probably would have continued to succeed as an independent company with its subsidiaries, Westmark Hotels/Westours and Windstar Cruises, also doing likewise.

With regard to Cunard and Costa, though, you are quite right.

Norm.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old October 30th, 2002, 07:09 AM
Tim Rubacky
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Default WHOA WHOA WHOA..Hang On!

Paul,

Yes, the combined GROUP; ie; the Parent Company; will still be referred to as Carnival Corporation. Carnival Corp (NOT Carnival Cruise Line) is buying the majority stake in P&O-Princess and they did not buy P&O-Princess to make them all into Carnival Cruise Line ships. Carnival Corp is purchasing 74% of the P&O-Princess shares and will form a new board and executive management team which will be comprised of Carnival Corp and P&O-Princess execs.

Carnival Corp bought P&O-Princess for their brands which are among the best known and most successful in their respective markets; not to make them into Carnival Cruise Line ships.

Princess will remain Princess and will be kept seperate from the rest of the Carnival Corp brands with a seperate HQ, seperate res, sales and marketing departments and executive management team just the same as they have done with HAL/Windstar, Costa, Cunard/Seabourn and Carnival Cruise Line.

I don't think you'll see any major changes in the Princess brand if the purchase is completed.

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Old October 30th, 2002, 07:15 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

Norm,

Actually, when Carnival approached HAL's owners in 1988, they company coffers weren't exactly overflowing with cash. HAL was about to embark on what the management team referred to as a "make or break" newbuilding endeavour. They were loaded with $300 million in debt from the N-ships plus another $250 million from the purchase of Homeric & Atlantic from Home Lines and the debt from the Windstar purchase. The future didnt exactly look bright but they were surviving.

Had CC not purchased them, they might not still be around.

Tim Rubacky
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Old October 30th, 2002, 11:48 AM
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Default Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

Norm.. just want to address your statements regarding safety, security, and customer satisfaction.

I think, if you research, you'll find all the mass market cruise lines have been having some problems in recent years. It almost seems cyclical.
Just a couple of weeks ago Diamond Princess had a fire which did very serious damage to the structure, while still in the shipyard. Fortunately there were no deaths, or serious injuries, but this was more good luck than good planning.

Princess and HAL both had outbreaks of Norwalk Virus in Alaska this past summer.

RCI has cancelled 3 upcoming cruises on Radiance of the Seas in the spring, due to an unscheduled dry dock. Many people who were booked for her Hawaii sailings are unhappy with the reception RCI's offices response.
RCI's Brilliance of the Seas, yesterday was apparently dead in the water because of azipod problems, and being towed.

Celebrity recently took took both Infinity and Summit out of the water to have work done on the Azipods as well. Both at the last minute.. cancelling scheduled cruises, and leaving many unhappy passengers.

Bottom line.. all the cruise lines go through it at some point. They all seem to offer basically the same compensation packages for cancelled cruises, when they occur.

And frankly, they all have fairly pitifull land based offices to handle customer concerns.
I've found dealing with problems when they occur onboard is most effective. The onboard staff will normally do whatever they can to rectify a situation.
Much more difficult to get satisfaction once you're dealing with head office.

These are only the problems that jump to mind immediately, because they've occurred within the past year.

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  #28 (permalink)  
Old October 30th, 2002, 02:11 PM
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Default Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

Regardless of the corporate implications a majority of veteran cruisers do not care for the Carnival name/concept. You can call it shortsightedness or whatever but I won't risk my vacation dollars on conjecture at this point. Once the dust settles and the Princess/Carnival cruising experience is defined I'll be glad to reconsider but at this point I'll spend my cruising dollars on the lines I can trust. It's just my personal preference...
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Old October 30th, 2002, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: WHOA WHOA WHOA..Hang On!

Tim,

Yes, the combined GROUP; ie; the Parent Company; will still be referred to as Carnival Corporation. Carnival Corp (NOT Carnival Cruise Line) is buying the majority stake in P&O-Princess and they did not buy P&O-Princess to make them all into Carnival Cruise Line ships. Carnival Corp is purchasing 74% of the P&O-Princess shares and will form a new board and executive management team which will be comprised of Carnival Corp and P&O-Princess execs.

Actually, that is not accurate either. The way the deal is structured, the assets of both companies will go into a jointly owned subsidiary and the existing parents will remain only as external shells. Both existing parents will retain their respective stock listings, but they will have the same directors and will pay proportionate dividends, etc., in lock step so ownership of shares of either company will be functionally equivalent.

There's also a mechanism involving a "special voting share" of each company that's held by a trust, and that's intended to ensure that the shareholders of both companies always vote the same way. The "special voting share" ordinarily translates votes of the shareholders of each company to votes of a corresponding number of shares of the other company. On votes that require separate approval by each company's shareholders, though, each company's "special voting share" casts an absolute veto if the shareholders of the other company reject the proposal. The "special voting share" is bound to vote by specific rules, so there's no room for manipulatoin.

Under the agreement, the Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CCL) will own about 74% of the new operating subsidiary and P&O Princess Cruises Plc. (LSE: POC) will own the other 26% -- but these percentages may vary under a provision that allows exchange of some shares of P&O Princess Cruises Plc. for shares of Carnival Corporation at a fixed ratio.

I don't think you'll see any major changes in the Princess brand if the purchase is completed.

Here, we disagree. Carnival Corporation does not exactly have a legacy of well-maintained ships that operate reliably. In fact, quite the contrary, Carnvial Corporation's cruise lines have a history of incidents. The company also seems to have difficulty responding to problems when passengers make them known. I'm not persuaded that such problems won't afflict Princess Cruises if this merger happens.

Norm.
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Old October 30th, 2002, 10:23 PM
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Default Re: Re: And the winner is .... Carnival

Kuki,

Just a couple of weeks ago Diamond Princess had a fire which did very serious damage to the structure, while still in the shipyard.

Since the ship was still in the shipyard, the cruise line clearly was not culpable. One red herring....

Princess and HAL both had outbreaks of Norwalk Virus in Alaska this past summer.

Yes, and hotels and resorts ashore also have such problems from time to time. It's awfully difficult to diagnose such diseases while a passenger carrying them is still on the pier checking in, in order to deny embarkation to such passengers.

In any case, though, these incidents are not exactly in the same league as fires and complete losses of propusion, which could result in loss of the ship and all aboard. And I'm being consistent here -- you'll notice that I did not mention such outbreaks as a factor in my earlier post.

RCI has cancelled 3 upcoming cruises on Radiance of the Seas in the spring, due to an unscheduled dry dock. Many people who were booked for her Hawaii sailings are unhappy with the reception RCI's offices response.
RCI's Brilliance of the Seas, yesterday was apparently dead in the water because of azipod problems, and being towed.

Celebrity recently took took both Infinity and Summit out of the water to have work done on the Azipods as well. Both at the last minute.. cancelling scheduled cruises, and leaving many unhappy passengers.


As I have noted in other threads, there are some rather obvious design problems with the Azipod propulsion units. Their bearings seem to fail about annually.

That said, I don't recall any of these incidents causing a ship to lose propulsion completely. IIRC, all of the affected ships completed the cruise on which the problem arose. It was the next two or three cruises that the company cancelled in order to send the respective ships into drydock for repair. Again, these incidents are nowhere near as serious as a complete loss of propulsion at sea.

I'm sure that most of us would be very unhappy if our long-awaited cruise got cancelled within a week of sailing, but I will say that Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. did offer reasonable compensation to the affected passengers in the form of a full refund plus a discount on a subsequent cruise. I can't say that there were no lawsuits, but I did not hear of any.

Bottom line.. all the cruise lines go through it at some point. They all seem to offer basically the same compensation packages for cancelled cruises, when they occur.

I agree to some extent. What raises my concern is two-fold -- first, the sort of problems that do endanger the vessel and all aboard and, second, the sort of problems that proper maintenance would prevent.

Norm.
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