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-   -   *MOR/S&D on AMERICAN QUEEN/ACL. 'Luxury market.'* (http://www.steamboats.org/forum/river-talk-cruises/5697-mor-s-d-american-queen-acl-luxury-market.html)

R. Dale Flick 05-25-2017 02:53 PM

*Vessel registry/'SOLD OUT'*
Hello, Jim, good observation on many ship/boat brochures not indicating country of registry. Some do with that included in more detailed publications or finalization of tickets and sailing documents. Many passengers don't even think about it let alone ask. Countries of registration vary: Bahamas, Bermuda, Monrovia, Liberia, Hong Kong. Some Great Britain and also United States. This called 'flag of convenience' to avoid certain maritime regulations, laws, taxes in the owning country. With the near non-existence of American ships/boats in passenger service not many show our registry. There are also factors of labor laws, taxes on officers and crew pay.

Since the unfortunate COSTA CONCORDIA disaster many international laws tightened up. Companies finding now they can't run and hide as SOLAS [Safety At Sea Laws] and other international Coast Guard regulations find them out. Many nations have similar administrations like our Coast Guard on the high seas andtheir big lakes and inland rivers. One leading mega cruise company even lobbied to have American harbor pilots not requried here to save money but lost hands down. Our own Federal IRS also tried to levy IRS pay deductions on base salaries and tips but it was beaten down. I'm sure you know this better than me from your experience. Remember, boats outside of our own 12 mile limit, and that of other countries, makes all the difference. Companies found deliberately polluting waters at sea with various oils and chemicals face big fines with officers and crew fired. Also now new international 'smoke regulations' even with gas turbines and diesel engines. And even beautiful old-time romantic steamboats fit the bill. Read above my comments with SOLD OUT. Again and again the tip top most expensive suites and cabins aboard sell out first from the top down. In the old days with the GREENE LINE, Letha Greene and family never pulled rank taking a top cabin away from a full paying passenger when they were aboard. They took what was left over and unsold. Well, what do I know?

R. Dale Flick
Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.

Russ Ryle 05-25-2017 03:53 PM

What people look for in a steamboating experience
 
The marketing of cruising has changed as much as the reasons folks want to cruise over the years. Us old timers who look at riding the river from the prospective of the good old days will continue to be a declining customer base to support current and future riverboat operations.

The challenge is to build and operate boats for today's market.

Best regards,

Russ Ryle

Judy Patsch 05-25-2017 04:06 PM

Flag of convenience experience
 
My one and only blue water cruise was on the BERMUDA STAR out of NOLA in 1988. She was registered in Panama, one of the most popular flags in NOLA. I read the fire drill directions on the placard in my room. I was to report to station 13 on the starboard side. So, when the bells rang I dutifully went to the starboard side to find 13. This was impossible, as 13 was over on the PORT side. I was very alert the whole trip after that. As to pollution, I would stand on the little overhang near the stern after midnight and watch the crew pitch the white plastic garbage bags out of a midship doorway...this happened nightly, not just a rare occurrence. The Captain was German, the First Mate Norwegian, and the steward's staff Panamanian, with very few speaking understandable English. I have no idea what nationality was in the dining room as I never went in there once, had hot dogs on deck mostly. There were no announcements regarding any navigational items or of much of anything. It was the first and only cruise I could hardly wait to have end, and killed any desire to try another blue water cruise. In fact, the next weekend I took a 3 day trip on the MQ, something I swore I'd never pay to ride, but it was like heaven now!!!! (To further explain the flag of convenience, a ship probably has never been in that country. The owner pays a registration fee to that country and that's that, similar to US businesses registering in Delaware for favorable tax/financial breaks.)

Bob Reynolds 05-25-2017 08:03 PM

The BERMUDA STAR was renamed ENCHANTED ISLE when operated by Commodore Cruise Lines, I believe out of NOLA. It was originally the ARGENTINA, then VEENDAM, and if I'm not mistaken, Dale cruised on her as the VEENDAM. We were on the ENCHANTED SEAS operated by Commodore out of NOLA for two trips. The ENCHANTED SEAS was the ex-BRASIL and VOLENDAM. The ship had an international crew -- many Americans in the pursers office and as cruise directors, the doctor was American. The Captain one trip was German, the other trip Norwegian. Dining room and bar staff were from several different countries, but everyone spoke fluent English. While I did not witness any pollution incidents, there could have been some; I wasn't looking for it. The Fire and Boat drills were professionally handled. We could not really "connect" with the Norwegian Captain, but Capt. Gunter Gummert (German) was gracious to us, spent quite a bit of time talking to me, had us at his table (along with Chief Peter Falk from the NATCHEZ) for Captain's Dinner.

We also took a trip to the Bahamas in late 1979 on the SS EMERALD SEAS when owned by Eastern Steamship Lines. While okay, that experience was not the fine one we had in the 1990's on the ENCHANTED SEAS. I believe both these ships were of Bahamian registry when we were on them. I never felt unsafe on on either of them.

Jim Reising 05-29-2017 11:32 AM

Look what's missing in this photo
 
1 Attachment(s)
Talk about change, look at these folks on the GORDON C. GREENE in the late 40's, think people today would be like them, reading a book, looking at the river, and enjoying good conversation? Heck NO! Most of the people today would have their faces buried in an Iphone.
People in the same office don't talk today, they email each other.
Could you or would you spend a week with no wifi? Very few people would.

Ginnie Rhynders 05-29-2017 01:14 PM

Yes.............................................

Bob Reynolds 05-29-2017 04:32 PM

Jim, I'm not so sure I agree with you on this. While working on the AQ last year, many were enjoying the scenery, reading books, etc. Some were inside playing backgammon, doing picture puzzles. Though I do think it would be a mistake to not have wi-fi, I think many still appreciate river cruising both for what it is and what it isn't. I had daily conversations with several people from both the US and abroad who were getting into the steamboat thing as we knwo it quite nicely.

Jim Reising 05-30-2017 09:30 AM

Bob, cell phones are a pet peeve of mine. I hate going to restaurant and sitting next to someone who thinks their phone conversation is more important than my relaxing dinner, or sitting in church and hearing someones phone ring. And who hasn't missed a green light because some jackass is texting on his phone? Many times it seems that "Candy Crunch" is much more important than holding a good conversation.
I might be overly sensitive on this issue.

Bob Reynolds 05-30-2017 09:39 AM

I'm with you on this, Jim. However, cell phones are here to stay and do give us a way to stay connected that we have become used to. However, I will say that I did not see much cell phone use at all on the AQ, at least among the passengers. ;-)

Jim Reising 05-30-2017 11:01 AM

Bob....that might be because they are a more sophisticated, educated crowd.


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