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    Here's a thought...

    With all this noise about repealing the Jones Act, which I don't think is going to happen, I was thinking of the scenario, if it was repealed, and how that could "help" the DQ. She could be foreign registered and crewed and operate without much regard for the Coast Guard, Congress, and the unions. Without costly regulations and a third world pay scale, her owners could greatly reduce the fares so more people could afford the cruises. And everyone would be happy except Rep. Oberstar.

    Well, if that sounds outlandish, just remember that this is exactly what all the offshore cruise lines are doing and have been for years.

    #2
    Lexie: I'm no expert on ANYTHING. But just from monitoring this board, it appears that a great deal of the appeal of ALL three queens seemed to be the crew! From one end to the other, from top to bottom. From hotel to ship's company, crew was a good part of the equation. Forgetting for a moment the safety issue (which you cannot really do), would "good mawnin' Miz Lexie" likely translate easily into, say Indian or Portugese? If it did, would a big, heartfelt and toothy grin go with it! Then there IS the safety issue. Where would you get pilots who know our rivers and their ways? But, as Dale sez: "What do I know?" Cap'n Walnut.

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      #3
      My point exactly. Of course the big cruise ships know that, so they make sure the officers, cruise directors, et. al., are fluent in English (or several languages), are gracious hosts, and have the appearances of or are from more affluent countries. They are probably paid better as well, and may have the proper qualifications needed to keep things afloat. Well, most of the time. As it stands now, we aren't getting the equation, Jones Act or no. At least something would be better than nothing. But, what do I know.

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        #4
        Lexie: Having never been on a cruise liner, I don't know. But I can just hear Bruno tuning his fiddle as I write this! Cap'n Walnut.

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          #5
          What ever happened to Dale? His wit and reason is sorely missed on these boards.

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            #6
            R. Dale

            he's up in Michigan for the summer and is pretty much out of internet touch.

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              #7
              My two cents

              The biggest thing these boats represent is America of a bygone era. They are a special part of Amercana that a forgin accent would not fit. Not to say there wern't accents along the rivers, might be the southern charm that one thinks of when they think of these boats. The crew is what bring these gracious ladies to life. How could we put a forgin flag or crew on this? I think if you were to place these boats in another river in another country, you would still want a warm southern welcome. This is what the represent the friendly and laid back way of the river areas both north and south.

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                #8
                Originally posted by Lexie Palmore View Post
                Without costly regulations and a third world pay scale, her owners could greatly reduce the fares so more people could afford the cruises. And everyone would be happy except Rep. Oberstar.
                Oberstar and all former crew members. Thanks, but no thanks.

                Paul

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                  #9
                  I am mostly berating those la-la cruises who continuously run their commercials on tv with the rock walls, surfing, diving, and on and on. There are offshore cruisers who don't do that stuff. But you won't see them advertised on tv. I know there are people on this board who routinely take deep sea cruises and might have some input. I have only been on one and it was in the Carribean, and the only onboard action was a casino. So I will admit, I pitched that scenario to see what happened. The thing is, it is entirely in the realm of possibility if the Jones Act is repealed. How does your congressman feel about it? Most people never heard of the Jones Act.
                  Attached Files

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                    #10
                    Former crew members should already not be happy.

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                      #11
                      Nor would any past passengers I know be happy - we rode because of the boats, yes - but the main reason I took 45 trips on the QUEENS was because of the Crew and the Entertainers and they were AMERICANS. We always understood why the prices were so high, and we paid them because of what we got in return. The experience was priceless!

                      Pat Traynor

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                        #12
                        Hey all,

                        Yes, she could be reflagged and the cost go down. But lets face the facts, if the cost to the operator was less, they would most likely not pass that on to the passenger. They would keep it.

                        On a related subject...has anyone seen the prices the small ships are offering on their Mississippi and other Inland Rivers cruises in the next two years (as they take over where the DQSCo. left off)? They don't have the Roof Captain, Pilots, Engineering, Entertainment staffs or half the dining room and housekeeping compliment. The few crew aboard have multiple jobs. Yet the prices are nearly the same. The vessels themselves are not nearly as elegant and luxurious.

                        My point being...if the foreign-flagged vessels wanted to succeed, they'd do what they do at sea. English-speaking crew to cover all the areas passengers contact and foreigners for all other positions. The few American-flagged vessels on the inland rivers are just dumbing down the product at the same price DQSCo was running authentic steam vessels with triple the amount of crew, luxuries, and ammendities (with modern much more fuel efficient vessels). It all boils down to greed, doesn't it?

                        Travis

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                          #13
                          Back when the Vietnam war had ended, the DQ Co hired some Vietnamese refugees. They worked mostly in the galley and were not seen by the passengers. They were actually professional people trying to get back on their feet and weren't there long. They probably assimilated back into their professions as fast as they could. What a novel idea! I'll bet they learned English as fast as they could, too.

                          Here's the thing. I saw all sorts of people come and go in the DQ crew. It was a revolving door. They were frequently the dregs of society. But some of them "assimilated" into the DQ culture very nicely. In my humble opinion, it's the boat that made the people, not the other way around. If they didn't fit in, they didn't last. I could see a sort of mellowing out after about the second or third day on board, amongst passengers and crew alike.

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                            #14
                            Hindsight is certainly 20/20. When I went to work on the Queen in the mid 90's I went for the "learnin", certainly not for the pay, which I think was $5.25 and hour for this green deckhand. The thing one quickly forgets, and one doesn't think about until economics come into play, is that you were not only being paid, but had a place to sleep (when sleep was had) and were fed pretty well )on the companies dime), all the while getting to travel the inland rivers and see "America" in her puriest form (which the passengers paid for). True the work was hard, but I still think the employees got the better end of the deal. You tell me?

                            Aaron

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                              #15
                              pay on a steamboat

                              Capt. Clarke Hawley was able to buy a home in the French Quarter, have a foreign sports car, and make investments when he took over the NATCHEZ. Why? Well, he calls himself 'parsimonious' - we've used other terms. But besides that aspect, he had the money because he got the room and board on the AVALON and DQ. When he returned to the BELLE as relief captain, he lived on the wharfboat in season, and up at Stolls' Rock Hill winters. So yes, while the actual pay wasn't great and the hours were long, the r&b was a great deal. And since Doc has never owned a camera, he never spent money on film, processing, etc. that most of us have.

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