Canberra

Pompeyfan
12th June 2006, 16:48
For those who do not subcribe to Ships Monthly there is a great article on Canberra by Peter C Kohler in the July edtion in the shops on Thursday I think. The article explains that she was the last ocean liner commissioned by P&O, who themselves said she was unsuited for cruising when she ended her line voyages, proved them all wrong. The article takes the reader through the history of this British built ship, the last liner built at Harland & Wolff who possibly set the scene for cruising as we now know it. But how many of the present floating holiday centres will be remembered in history the same as Canberra I wonder?. This article is a must for all ship lovers. But since she was my first, and favourite ship, I would be biassed wouldn't I?!. David.

Frank P
12th June 2006, 21:06
Most of today's floating holiday centres (blocks of flats) look very similar, so what is there to remember.
Oops I forgot, one of them has a higher climbing wall than the rest, it will be remembered.

Frank

Pat McCardle
12th June 2006, 23:11
As always, a sad day when these vessels reached the end of their time, a life lived to the full. As said, what will the 'Tincanalley' ships be remembered for?

Ships Agent
12th June 2006, 23:45
These cruise ships will be rembered by their passangers for the vomiting bug that seems to do the rounds of todays ships

Pompeyfan
13th June 2006, 00:39
We had it on Canberra as well Ships Agent, but not so much publicity in those days. Ships Monthly's article do not mention that of course, but I can assure you D&V was just rife years ago as it is now. David

Frank P
13th June 2006, 09:15
In the 1970's I was onboard the Royal Viking Star for 3 years, and in that time there were not any outbrakes of D&V (food poisoning) onboard.

Frank

Pompeyfan
13th June 2006, 14:59
Perhaps you didn't get to hear about it Frank?. It would be very unsual, if not impossible to have no outbreaks at all. D&V is not always associated with food poisoning. We in the medical department of P&O tried to keep such outbreaks quiet. But with better communication today, news or gossip travels fast.

Anyway, much as I like giving professional advice or past history on medical matters, I opened this thread to inform members of an article on Canberra in the July edition of Ships Monthly, not discuss food poisoning which I have discussed at length in another thread. David

fred henderson
13th June 2006, 20:25
David
Thank you for drawing our attention to Peter C Kohler’s wonderfully nostalgic article. It brings out all that was good and bad about the great ship. The tragedy was that the very short sighted P&O management allowed her to become so outdated. In 1977 Carnival spent $20million converting the smaller S A Vaal / Tranvaal Castle into a competitive and very high earning cruise ship. P&O merely painted over the rust.
Even by the 1990s less than half of Canberra’s cabins were provided with private facilities. (Her virus outbreaks must have been very nasty!) Deck games in the morning. Curry and Spotted Dick for lunch, then a snooze in an old style deck chair in the afternoon. Cocktail parties, Dinner, then a Race Meeting evening, followed by Horlicks before bed. No wonder her attempts to operate out of USA were a failure.
All cruise ships seem to generate a loyal following. New cruise ships generate new business. I think that P&O lost the plot. In the USA the introduction of new cruise ships increased passenger levels from 570,000 in 1970 to 1,600,000 in 1981. In the UK, relying on unmodified old liners saw the number of passengers fall from 150,000 in 1974 to 100,000 in 1981. Since the introduction of the current Oriana and the modern ships that have followed her, UK passenger numbers have grown to over 1,250,000 per year.
Canberra was a splendid liner relying on not too fussy emigrants for a large part of her passenger load. It is amazing that she continued to survive in an unmodified form. If she had been modernised in the 1970s I believe that she could have been an outstandingly successful second career.

Fred

Jeff Egan
13th June 2006, 20:39
I think its always going to easier to build than convert, the old liners were great in thier day but there is definately a market for the new cruise ships, I would not take a holiday on a cruise ship myself but millions of people enjoy them and I think they are not as bad looking as people here try to make out, they are modern and 21st century shipping is changing and we cant live in the past.

Pat McCardle
13th June 2006, 21:57
That's what we are all doing here Jeff, "Living in the past" (Thumb)

Pompeyfan
13th June 2006, 22:00
I agree with with you Jeff, Canberra was from a different era for a different trade. Those of us who were privileged to sail on her saw her as both our home and old freind, especially if she was our first ship as in my case. Passengers had the same feeling for her which is why she was so popular. It may sound silly, but Canberra and indeed the old Arcadia seemed to have a soul, a character that I have not found in modern day cruise ships. Having said that, Oriana is becoming as popular as Canberra. Being older than Aurora, she seems to have more style than Aurora. It is hard to explain, but a lot of passengers noticed it without being able to put a finger on one particular thing. I think this is what you mean by loyalty Fred?. Passengers find something they like often without knowing for certain why, although some said she was quieter than Aurora.

You may like cruising Jeff?. I have met a lot of people cruising for the first time, and they were all sceptical thinking they may not like it. But they all loved it, and would go again. I am going on Navigator of the Seas next year, not because many see her as a block of flats, but because she is a 21st era ship, and I want to see what she is like. Of course shipping is changing in the 21st century. I actually like these new cruise ships which is why I go on them, but all generations make comparisons with their era. My elders turned their noses up when Canberra came out!. And as I have explained in other threads, there are certains areas in modern cruising that concern me.

Outbreaks of food poisoning on Canberra were no different to today Fred. My former department have been busy this week after a weekend of private barbecue's and a pop festival. Wherever you have a lot of people all wanting instant service there will be problems. Whether it be a home barby to a take-away or large kitchen of a hotel or galley of a cruise ship or whatever you will never have a foolproof system. People demand instant service these days putting providers under massive pressure. A recent report from my professional institute found that kitchens of many outlets they visited all had bacteria of various form present. Some were what we would term as harmless, but others contained dangerous pathogens. As I explained in another thread, gastroenteritis can be bacteria or viral. As long as people want to eat at the same time and expect instant service you will never get rid of this problem putting far too much pressure on the providers who cannot possibly keep the place squeaky clean at all times.

By the way, I have gone against my earlier post in this thread not to mention food poisoning here. Sorry about that?!. David

Frank P
13th June 2006, 23:43
Perhaps you didn't get to hear about it Frank?. It would be very unsual, if not impossible to have no outbreaks at all. D&V is not always associated with food poisoning. We in the medical department of P&O tried to keep such outbreaks quiet. But with better communication today, news or gossip travels fast.

David

David, I used to play bridge on the ship, and the Doctor and one of the nurses used to be in our bridge group, and we played bridge several times a week, I think that I would have heard from them if there had been any kind of major food poisoning outbreak.

I think that there were 2 reasons as to why there were no food poisoning outbreaks onboard, firstly we carried only 500 passengers, secondly the Royal Viking Star at that time a new ship.

Frank

bob johnston
14th June 2006, 11:15
For those who do not subcribe to Ships Monthly there is a great article on Canberra by Peter C Kohler in the July edtion in the shops on Thursday I think. The article explains that she was the last ocean liner commissioned by P&O, who themselves said she was unsuited for cruising when she ended her line voyages, proved them all wrong. The article takes the reader through the history of this British built ship, the last liner built at Harland & Wolff who possibly set the scene for cruising as we now know it. But how many of the present floating holiday centres will be remembered in history the same as Canberra I wonder?. This article is a must for all ship lovers. But since she was my first, and favourite ship, I would be biassed wouldn't I?!. David.

Looking forward to getting July copy of Ships Monthly ,as like you sailed Canberra as my first ship in 1974 just after she was converted to an open class ship.Thanks for information .

Bob (Sydney )

dom
14th June 2006, 11:29
never having been on a cruise and not expecting to, do you ,those of you who cruise look at whatever department you were in and want a hands on again,having left the sea i2yrs ago i still want to walk up the gangway,pick up a heaving line,shackle or any related article,how do you stop the urge.

Jeff Egan
14th June 2006, 12:42
Well Pat I think its good to think back at what we might call the good old days but at the same time I like to think I live in the present and look forward to the future however long that may be for me. There have been some remarkable changes over the past 50 years and not all those changes have been bad, I expect there will be even greater changes over the next 50 years and I'm sorry I wont be around to see most of them.
David, cruising would not be a holiday I would enjoy, but I know it suits many other people and good luck to them, I earned my living afloat for the whole of my working life, 37 years, I know thats no more than a shove ashore to some members but for me it was long enough to get the urge to go back out of my system, ships the river Tyne and the sea have been very good to me but I left all that behind over 5 years ago I expect there has been changes since I left so I can no longer talk with any authority on the up to date subject, but I have many memories good and bad and as you may have noticed will talk about them as long as some one wants to listen.

Fairfield
14th June 2006, 13:25
Seem to remember during the late 60s/early 70s CANBERRA/S days being numbered because of her inability to berth at certain ports because of her draft. Can/t remember all the details now but I think P&O decided to dispose of ORSOVA and another instead.

Pompeyfan
17th July 2006, 10:14
There is a letter in the August edition of Ships Monthly critical of Peter C. Kohler's article on Canberra referring to it as schmaltzy. I thought the article was well balanced, and certainly not excessive sentimentality or praise. The letter writer mentions the problems with her draught as did Peter C. Khohler. He even stated that P&O themselves said she was unsuited for cruising. Yet despite not being able to get into certain ports, she proved all the critics wrong. Yet, the letter writer in the August edition of SM clearly does not agree, even in hindsight. He believes Oriana was the best of her generation, not Canberra. Yet Oriana was not so well layed out for one class cruising, but more importantly, she vibrated like mad down aft in particular. Passengers laying in the sun also received a free vibrating massage!. Canberra ploughed through heavy seas better than any ship I sailed on including the new monsters. But if you read this letter, you get the impression was was unstable. Please read the letter for yourselves. Perhaps I am being my usual biassed self towards my former home, but although she had her faults as this letter points out, it did not stop her becoming one of the most successful cruise ships to date. I will be replying to SM, but I doubt if they will print my letter. David

Paul UK
17th July 2006, 12:35
Dont be so sure David, While your writing why not put the record straight and offer them your history of P&O which I for one thought was excellent.

Paul

R58484956
17th July 2006, 20:29
I would think that SM has a very comprehensive account of P&O history in its library

Pompeyfan
17th July 2006, 22:11
Thanks Paul. I can certainly tell a few facts while aboard Canberra as can other former crew members when they were on board. I contributed to Neil McCarts book Canberra 1957 -1997 covering the period I was on board as did other contributors telling of their era on board.

My reason for writing to SM will be to disagree with the writer who was critical of Peter C. Kohler's factual article. Canberra does not have to prove anything, yet this person seems to pour scorn on her career. Perhaps I am reading it wrong. Therefore, I would value the comments from other members when they read this letter. David

Paul UK
17th July 2006, 23:24
I would think that SM has a very comprehensive account of P&O history in its library

Hi R58484956

Are you a Cunard man by chance as I thought Pompey Fans stories about P&O were really good from a personal point of view and that others might like to read them.

Paul

rstimaru
17th July 2006, 23:27
Yes i take ships monthly and sea breezes also i have taken when i can get it (not easy inland) shipping today I will bring my stuff on the Canbarra to our get together in september see you all then Bob