Cruise Ship Debate - Ships Nostalgia
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Cruise Ship Debate

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  #1  
Old 9th May 2008, 22:32
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Cruise Ship Debate

There has been much debate in the gallery about the ugliness of modern cruise ships compared to conventional passenger liners of the past. Therefore, I thought I would start a thread to continue this debate in more depth in this forum rather than the gallery.

Firstly, there is no comparison with conventional passengers liners of the past, and modern day cruising. It is not only the appearance of the ship, but nautically, politically, financially, their trade, mail service as Fred has explained, type of passenger, type of crew, the lot. The two trades are completely different, ‘line voyages’ and cruising. Conventional passenger liners were also built differently to withstand the oceans of the world whatever their size, which I will come to in a moment.

It has also been pointed out how that modern day cruise ships offer luxury and safety that passenger liners of the past could not that more people are going on these cruise ships than ever before with the market still growing. That is very true, I would agree with that statement. Cruising is now affordable for a wider section of society it is no longer the domain of the rich. However, what is rarely discussed at length, and never in any part of the media is why cruising has become so popular, and perhaps more importantly to the nautical profession is the effect that the mass exodus of landlubbers to the high seas is having on the nautical profession from crew to the ship itself with the change from passenger ‘line voyages’ to cruising which is far more alarming in my opinion as to its effects on the nautical profession in general.

Therefore, lets start at the beginning. As I have said so many times, the design of ships passenger or otherwise has been dictated by the trade of the ship. Today, cruise ships are nothing more than floating holiday centres. They are the destination themselves that just happens to call at ports as part of that holiday. They have absolutely nothing in common with working ships, vessels that plied the oceans from the beginning of time transporting cargo, mail around the world, countries trading with each other, the cargo being passengers as well as goods. This cargo was going somewhere. The ship was not a holiday home, but a means of transport. It was only home to those of us who worked on them.

Before the airliner was invented, ships were the only means of transporting cargo and people from one country to another. It was a very different world to that of modern day cruising. The trade these ships plied was essential for countries they supplied.

The early liners cargo or passenger or both were very unstable as trade around the world increased. These pioneering liners were sailing ships, often foundering causing great loss of life. Comparing these brave souls with cruise ships today is an insult to the bravery of our nautical pioneers. As I have said before the term liner has nothing to do with the type of ship plying that trade. Many people think the name applies to all passenger ships, but that is not true. Cargo ships still ply regular ‘line voyages’.

As time went on, passenger ships provided more luxury, not on the scale of today, but luxurious for the era, especially trans-Atlantic liners, the kind we compare today with the modern cruise ship regarding looks. I can’t emphasize enough however that not only do they look different their trades are millions of miles apart.

Ships that traded with the world were built to withstand heavy seas, even smaller ships. That is why I always maintain that the old Arcadia, at 29, 664gt was better in a heavy sea than the new Oriana at 69,153gt having sailed the world’s oceans on both, one as crew, one as passenger.

A few years ago a person criticised Steven Payne, designer of Queen Mary 2 for trying to hold on or to return to styles of yesteryear when he designed QM2. Steven said, and I quote: “ The form of Queen Mary 2 follows the style of Queen Elizabeth 2 because it has to. The new ship is a true liner, designed specifically to be at home in the hostile North Atlantic just like QE2 being the first true liner for 34 years since QE2 herself”. He then quoted modern cruise ships like Explorer of the Seas and Millenium saying they are cruise ships, not trans-Atlantic liners. He went onto say that the boxy characteristics of such cruise ships make them totally unsuitable for the winter North Atlantic route. This is the words of a Senior Naval Architect, not mine.

Life aboard ships during the ‘line voyage’ era was also very different to cruising. The crew were different, passengers different travelling from A to B rather than on holiday as such. Language was different, everybody spoke shipboard terminology even some passengers especially the wealthy who used a ‘line voyage’ as a cruise, totally different to today’s cruise passenger. All crew ranks were well versed on shipboard life, terminology and crew drill. Shipboard terminology was standard speech.

Today, going back as a passenger it is very different. Passenger and crew drill alarm me greatly, I just hope that my fear is unjustified if one of these giants get into trouble miles from land. I was a trained lifeboat man having my own boat and crew on Arcadia. In addition as a nurse, I was in charge of the stretcher party. I knew the drill backwards and cringe when I see crew drill today. As for terminology, apart from the captains address at passenger drill midday reports from the Bridge or what side of the ship to disembark etc you can go for an entire cruise and never hear one nautical word. The entire shebang is revolved around shore side activity and language. You will never hear the word deck, always floor. Deck heads are ceilings, cabins rooms and so on. The only thing nautical about cruise ships is the officers and deck crew. Except for that, modern day cruise ships are nothing but floating holiday centres a world apart from passenger liners of yesteryear in looks or trade.

The only upside is that the cruise market is providing income and jobs for those supplying the ships in our ports. Other than that, the merchant navy as we knew it aboard passenger ships at least has gone because except for officers, you will not see many British crew. So what do we do about it, try to preserve what little we have left, or do we let landlubbers take over our seas and ships completely?!.

I am soon to organise another Canberra Reunion on a two-day cruise aboard a P&O cruise ship. For two days at least the old days will as we reminisce the good days as many of us go back to sea. I wonder what the modern day passenger or indeed modern day crew will think of our get together?!. 261 of us turned up last time1.

Hopefully this will provoke more debate. I would be quite happy to be totally wrong with my assessment as to how modern day cruising is killing the nautical profession as we know it. Not only the appearance of the ships, but life aboard. Or am I totally wrong?!

David
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  #2  
Old 10th May 2008, 00:21
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No you are not wrong David however the difference is like apples and pears. Cruise ships are floating hotels,a place to lay your head while visiting different port of calls,its money driven. As for killing the nautical profession I don't think so as they still have officers, engineers and crew ABs,and many hundreds more waiters and cabin stewards than there ever was before. If there was any chance to make big money over the airlines passenger routes the ship owners would jump right on it,but its sad to say there is no place for passenger line ships anymore.

John

Last edited by John Rogers; 10th May 2008 at 00:24..
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  #3  
Old 10th May 2008, 08:30
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I take your point John regarding officers and engineers etc, but some of them are using shore side terminology the same as passengers. Bad habits seem to spread like wild fire. The deck department are trained sailors of course, but a lot of the crew these days are different to my day, a far bigger entertainment crew, more shops, its more like a town than a ship, and during crew drill I wandered around and actually heard crew saying they were not sure what their duties were. They stood in sections looking as if they knew what to do but in reality did not. That is why I am so concerned as to what would happen in a real emergency aboard one these cruise ships, especially the monsters. As Coxswain of my own lifeboat aboard Arcadia I made sure my own crew knew exactly what to do. However, those days were different, all crew were well drilled, even my stretcher crew all made up of the U Gang. I trusted every one.

As for killing the nautical profession I mean the language being used and the poorly trained crew as just mentioned. Bad habits lead to sloppiness. It seems that crew especially deck officers who know the correct terminology is allowing shore side language to become rife aboard because the passengers/guests are paying their wages so they use the same language that passengers understand. One captain basically told me that. However, as I said bad habits lead to sloppiness. If the crew use the same language as passengers, what happens in an emergency where they would go into automatic mode I would hope using correct terminology they were trained for. Would they have time to translate to shore side language?. I have found that few cruise passengers these days know port and starboard, they don't know the very basics. I explained to one that a venue was on Deck 8. I was asked what floor that was. They were not able to comprehend that floor and deck were the same thing. I found a lot like that because when you think about it, they do not have shipping terminology imprinted on their brain like we do. That is why I have suggested to P&O at least that they put a notice on the back of the cabin door next to the safety notice explaining the different names they will hear when finding their way around the ship or more importantly in an emergency such as floors are decks on board, walls are called bulkheads, ceilings deck heads, corridors alleyways, port side left of the ship, starboard right, bow front, back aft/stern. The very basic stuff which few passengers I spoke to know.

In a real emergency they are going to hear words alien to them. Surely it is only common sense to explain as much as possible. The captain explains as much as he can at passenger drill, to read the notice on the back of the cabin door, so why not have a notice explaining basic terminology. What is the point of going through all the procedures if the passengers have not got a clue of language used on board?.

That is what I mean by killing the nautical profession. I can see nothing but total mayhem if there was an emergency on one of these monsters especially in the middle of the Atlantic or something. I hope I am wrong, but the rush at passenger drill, bumping into each other, swiping other around the head with their lifebelt, tripping over the straps, not knowing where they are going or knowing how to put the lifebelt on fills me with dread. And that is in a calm and almost party-like atmosphere. Imagine what it would be like in a real emergency?. Bad enough when you know what to do, but a 100 times worse when you do not have a clue. If passengers find it hard to put a lifebelt on in the one and only drill of each cruise which goes in one ear and out the other, the chances are not good in the real thing?!.

I personally always check out the lifeboats and where the life rafts are when I first board a cruise ship. I will not be too keen to muster in a public room full of headless chickens with the ship sinking?!!.

David
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Old 10th May 2008, 09:14
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David, I agree this system of mustering in public rooms is fraught with danger and I was very happy to observe that Holland America Line insists that passengers muster and are checked off wearing their life jackets directly on deck at the lifeboats. According to a P&O Chief Officer whom I meet at Nautical Institute Meetings - mustering at lifeboats is too time consuming and there are health and safety implications for some geriatric passengers!!!
I too fear that should these new 'giants'have an abandon ship incident
there willnot be a good outcome
JC
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  #5  
Old 10th May 2008, 09:42
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Thanks for that John. Glad hear that Holland America Line muster on deck. RCL ships do the same, well the one I went on anyway. If it is time consuming on P&O ships to muster on decks at passenger drills, and there are health and safety risks for some less mobile passengers, one shudders to think what it would be like in a real emergency. This is exactly why I am so concerned.

David
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  #6  
Old 10th May 2008, 09:43
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If the overlarge ships have an incident and if they manage to get everyone off, who has the resources to rescue 5000 people in lifeboats. I can pretty well guarantee we don't here in Eastern Canada. How about off the UK with the lifeboat stations? Will they manage? Even towing liferafts?
How about two of these monstrosities colliding and both having to abandon ship. Now there is double the people in the water. Unlikely you say? All you need is a loss of power in a channel on one of them.
We all know **** happens at sea.
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Old 10th May 2008, 12:40
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In Union Castle we always mustered the passengers in public rooms rather than the boat embarkation deck.
The reason being that in the event of a real emergency, fire collision etc it is possible that some life boats maybe out of use. Therefore it was considered wiser to allocate passengers to boats after the event rather than prior.
I am sure there will be other points of view.... but that is what we did.
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Old 10th May 2008, 12:58
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All of which underlines the fact that a) I could not afford a cruise and b) I have no desire to be stuck on a ship with only a few hours on land in between and c) whilst I have a considerable degree of acceptance of risk and will happily stand on the edge of a live volcano, or stand on the edge of a crevasse, there is less risk of danger than on one of those floating hotels you describe. No thanks.
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Old 10th May 2008, 13:28
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I have taken five cruises on Holland American ships and within 3 hours after boarding and prior to sailing we have a drill at the assigned lifeboat wearing our life jacket. Also the crew assigned to the lifeboat get the experience of lowering and using the lifeboat because in some ports of call they are used as the tenders to take the passengers ashore. I have noticed that a few passengers act like jackasses and talk when the lifeboat captain is giving the safety talk and think its one big joke to wear the jacket.

John.
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Old 15th May 2008, 09:46
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As an earthbound lubber, I cannot add comment to the traditions discussed above.
However, on the very point of the debate regarding the ugliness of todays vessels compared to the traditional designs of the past, can I say that whether landlubber, seaman or passenger, the first and lasting impression is what is seen of her design.
I think we all take that first look, and maybe unconciously, decide then and there- ooh that's nice or, how ugly!
Size obviously leaves an impression, as newbuilds take on a steroidal appearance. The only difference between the new one and the previous new arrival, being that once again the latest is just that little larger. I admit that like many I am indeed impressed by something huge, if for no other reason than to be in awe of how the damn thing floats! But, that doesn't mean that I necessarily like it.
To me design is about shape. A ship with a lovely sillhouette is a lovely ship- simple as that. And that leads me to the point that I would like to add to the discussion. What is missing today is the sheerline- those beautiful curves that highlighted the fact that they were ladies- stylish sirens of the seas.
Today, everything is straightruled. Decklines are flat, even sterns are becoming regularly squared nowadays.
Then just to top it all, as a fine head of hair is a womans crowning glory, so a vessels funnel can make or break that first opinion. Compare the beautifully round and tapered funnel of the Saga sisters or even QE2, with the chunky stacks on many of todays cruisers.
Yes indeed, todays massive floatels are but functional cities- who needs outer decks when everything to do is inside? But they will never be loved in the same by those of us who have been around awhile and seen both sides of the coin.
Like the magic that unfolds when a steam train makes a rare appearance, the traditional classic ships of almost-yesteryear will always stir a special fondness in my heart.
The reality is that todays young, being none the wiser, probably think these modern megaships are the ants pants. What will they think in forty years?
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Old 15th May 2008, 10:24
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What Have We Done!

There are many parallels between the evolution of passenger ships and that of cargo ships over the last 40 years.
It is not just passenger ships that used to delight the eye with their design and form. The cargo ships such as Blue Flue, Ben Line, Blue Star and some Clan Liners amongst many others also had many features that gave us pleasure.

By the mid 1970s the writing was on the wall for both passenger lines and cargo ships. Passengers going on a journey, rather than cruising, now went by air and cargo now arrived at the port in strange metal boxes. Instead of aesthetics, economics now became uppermost in the minds of naval architects.

Cargo ships became little more than oversized barges with a pointy bit one end and an engine at the other, the only consideration was how many of these metal boxes could be crammed in. Cargo loading and discharging that used to require seamanship now required a computer programmer and systems analyst.

The thinking process for naval architects was very similar when it came to passenger carrying ships, now cruise ships. The hull simply became an oversized barge into which the architect stuffed a Las Vegas style hotel that could be propelled around the world. Passengers were now loaded into cabins that were little more than containers fitted with windows.

Back in my day (how many of us have said that?) we used to gaze admiringly through binoculars at passing cargo ships and liners, and even some tankers and feel a sense of admiration of their form and the impression that the sea was their natural environment.
Now I see a container ship or a cruise liner and I couldn't really care what the name of her is or where she is going, she is just an oversized barge with a pointy bit and an engine and boxes containing cargo either human or otherwise.

This Sunday I am going to Southampton to attend a reunion of people that sailed every week bound for the Cape in those magnificent lavender hulled vessels. We shall cry in out beers and long for days that will never return but at least we have the memories of a time when priorities were different and standards were much much much higher.

Last edited by Chris Isaac; 15th May 2008 at 10:27..
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Old 15th May 2008, 10:35
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Times change. Some may think for the worse, some think for the better. From a "landlubbers" point of view I'm glad that cruising has become more affordable. It's something that myself and my wife have been considering for a while and although we have no plans to go cruising in the forseeable future, I think it is certainly something we will do in a few years. The idea of a floating resort certainly appeals. Although more traditional vessels are aesthetically more pleasing on the outside, I wouldn't like the life onboard. it's a bit like having a classic car. Nice to look at and perhaps use very ccasionally, but for everyday driving I want the luxury of modern gadgetry, comfort and and safety.

Do maritime traditions really matter? After all, they are just that, tradition. As I said times change and, provided safety is not compromised, I see no point in harping back to the past. It's great to look back on things fondly but sometimes you just have to move on.
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Old 15th May 2008, 11:30
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Would like to repeat a comment I made as a landlubber a while ago in another cruise ship thread.

I have been on two 7 day cruises with P&O and about to go on a third, all on Oceana, and as a passenger that kind of holiday just suits me fine.

We do try to use nautical terms when on bord and do understand ship terminology. We know our cabin is on A deck on the starboard side towards the stern and not forgetting what my father taught me when I was quite little No Red Port Left in my Cellar. He was a regular traveller in the 1920s and 1930s to South Africa and India on the traditional P&O liners so brought me up with his stories.

Accommodation great (just love our balcony) food and entertainment 100% and of course the "Hotel" is no further than Southampton. I to are in my sixties and remember the great ships in Southampton as a teenager, but is it not better to have modern cruise ships then no ships at all.
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Old 15th May 2008, 12:56
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Cruise Ship Debate

As a former P&O, Sitmar and Chandris Lines shore staff I would support most of what David has said concerning 'Liners' and 'Cruise Ships'. I tend to regard all modern cruise ships as 'slab-sided' and they definitely do not have the visual appeal of what we would call the traditional passenger liner. I will make one distinction and that is P&O's current Oriana. Though she is slab-sided outside, inside she is PURE P&O in the old snse of the word. Her interior decore very much reminds me of Canberra - especially when I went aboard her on her maiden voyage arrival in Melbourne.

Regarding boat drills, I travelled aboard Arcadia on her New Zealand Cruise in 1958, together with many other members of P&O's shore staff (the Owners Managaing Agents in Australia were Macdonald, Hamilton & Co) and the only time I saw life boat drill at the lifeboats was when the ship's crew did it. As a passenger we were congregated in a lounge. I remember similar occurences aboard Strathnaver, Stratheden and Himalaya.

As to a 'real voyage' feel.... my wife and I have just returned from a Maritime Memories voyage from Manaus, 1000 miles up the Amazon & Negra rivers, aboard M.V.Discovery, formerly Island Princess ( and P&O's Love Boat of the US TV show some years ago.) We joined her during part of a 3 month voyage and cruise. The whole voyage was, and is, aimed at trying to re-live the days of liner voyages, and though there were entertainers on board, passengers were encouraged to join in and provide entertainment themselves, as was indeed the case on line voyages. We also had good days totally at sea wnich, again, was reminiscent of liner voyages. For example when I originally migrated to Australia in 1953 aboard New Australia, we had ten days sailing from Southampton to Port Said (first port of call), equally many days at sea from Aden to Colombo and Colombo to Fremantle.

During our voyage to Harwich, it was mentioned time and again that companies like Carnival don't like the smaller independent and more specialised cruise companies. When they took over P&O Cruises, they also got Swan Hellenic but sold it, I think late last year, to Geoffrey Sterling, who latterly of course was Chairman of P&O.

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Old 15th May 2008, 18:37
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Chris

I agree entirely about the look of cargo liners as well as passenger liners of the past like Blue Star, Ben Line and the Clan liners. Sadly as far as cargo ships went, containers changed the look of the ship, but they are none the less liners still, cargo liners still plying the same service but in boxes on uglier looking ships or even worse those horrible looking car carriers. Yes, cargo ships has also changed in looks, and for the worse as you say, but the trade is the same. And the crew are there to sail the ship, not entertain the passengers. But although uglier than cargo liners of the past, modern day container ships etc are possibly built better to withstand the worlds oceans than cruise ships. These are true working ships supplying the world with vital goods.

Thamesphil.

Take that cruise, I am sure you will enjoy every minute. However, you would have almost certainly liked life on board the more traditional vessels. I for one get a little irritated by those who put the older passenger liners down, saying they were classic looking on the outside, but poor inside compared to the modern day cruise ship. They were not as bad as some people would lead us to believe.

I worked aboard Canberra and the old Arcadia and frankly without being biassed, I do not recognise the poor facilities and safety that we are now being told they were so bad for. I know one thing, if I had the chance to go back in time and suffer a tragedy at sea in either Canberra or Arcadia rather than a modern day cruise ship with all the modern safety stuff I would chose Canberra and Arcadia every time because I would have far more confidence in their crew.

Yes, maritime traditions does matter. It is not tradition but a profession. Yes, times have changed, and safety is being compromised in my opinion because the crew in general do not seem so well drilled as my day. The ship may be safer, but what is the use of that if the entire crew are not so well drilled. I had all ranks in my boat aboard Arcadia that I was coxswain of. Every single one was well drilled, I made sure of that. I would not have stood for the hesitant stuff I heard at crew drill on cruises, a few new ones had no idea what their duties were. That is why former crew like me pick up so much on cruises that passengers miss. I was medical department, but also a trained lifeboat man. I took my exam in Hong Kong but steering ticket on board finishing it on Canberra. However, I was well versed before joining the merchant navy having sailed all my life around the Isle of Wight and of course knowing Uffa Fox and his friends. All top sailors. That is why I am so concerned that maritime traditions have deserted cruise ships, that tradition being very handy when needed?!.

Passenger John

So glad that you like cruising and that it suits you fine. That is what it is all about. I am all for cruising, certainly not against it. But I am concerned as to how it is affecting the nautical profession. Therefore I am delighted that you try to use nautical terms on board. Well done, and I hope you pass your fathers wise words onto others?!.

I do not like to point out what I see as potential problems, but I think it only our duty as current or former seafarers to point these problems out. I can tell you that privately current senior officers and indeed captains I have spoken to agree with me, but they are bound by company rules. One captain told me that the passenger pays his wages, so he agrees with them whether they are right or wrong!. On Oriana last year on her world cruise, all former seafarers amongst her passengers were invited for a chat with a deck officer. They were all saying the same things as myself and others in this thread, and the officer agreed.

Dulcibella

I agree with you about the current Oriana. Having been on her world cruise, I got to know her well and she is certainly pure P&O and talking to her passengers many ex Canberra passengers she has taken over from Canberra.

And glad you travelled aboard Arcadia in 1958. Yes, passengers mustered in the lounges, but we crew mustered on deck after fire drill where I took my stretcher crew to a scene often in the bowls of the engine room.

I am also glad that you have been on the Maritime Memories cruises. These are organised as you know by Des Cox, who has made lots of videos of passenger and cargo liners of the past, the Great Liners. Des like me is keen at preserving the past. I once sent him a recording of Canberra's steam whistle which he used in one of his videos. And you are right, Carnival do not like the smaller and more specialised cruise companies. And they would not like ex crew like me who point out possible problems aboard their ships

David
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Old 15th May 2008, 19:16
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Pompeyfan David,

Interesting to read that you sailed in Isle of Wight waters... I come from Lymington, which in the 1940s and to mid 50s was the home of such yachts as Dyarchy, Bloodhound ( at Berthon's) and E. Keble Chatterton's Charmina.

Regarding Des Cox, yes he and his daughter are doing sterling work in trying to save for posterity maritime film footage. He is,of course, ex NZS Co., also owned by our former 'boss' Lord Inchcape along with many others which made up the P&O Group in the mid years of the 20th Century. My wife and I have already booked on the next Maritime Memories Cruise for next year from Istanbul to Harwich and have no doubt that the voyage will be as good as the one just finished.

Regarding Carnival, to show you how the 'owner(s)' of that organisation seem to hate any reference to company history of the companies they have taken over, I was in Melbourne in April 2003 - not that long after P&O Cruises together with Princess Cruises - had been swallowed up by Carnival. I went to P&O's office in South Melbourne, only to find that the passenger department had closed and only the semblance of an accounts section were left.I asked them about the company records only to be staggered by the reply that instructions had been received from the new owners that ALL records were to be destroyed! I said why not send them to either the State Library of Victoria, or to the Australian Maritime Museum in Sydney... it was too late.

One good piece of news, however,was that a fomer colleague in our (Macdonald, Hamilton & Co) Sydney office, being told of similar instructions in Sydney, managed to rescue thousands of photographs of P&O and Orient ships that also were to be destroyed. He has them in steel cabin trunks in his garage. He has become the unofficial P&O Historian in Australia but has a problem in ultimately knowing what to do with the photos. Ideally they would be better off being included in the P&O archives at the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich,however the cost of getting them there is prohibitive! Alternatively I suggested that they could be donated to the Aussie MM in Sydney, after all the ships they depict all contributed to Australia's history. As a Maritime Historian, and as a historian in general, I find it totally unacceptable that important company records are destroyed, but alas it is only too common these days.

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Old 15th May 2008, 21:09
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I am still in Isle of Wight waters!.

That is dreadful news what Carnival did in Melbourne, but glad that your friend in Sydney rescued photographs. Has he contacted the National Maritime Museum?.

David
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Old 16th May 2008, 10:53
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Talking Cruise Ship Debate

David,

Glad to know you are still in Wight waters! Did you ever hear of the " Slipway Five Tonner", designed and built by Lymington Slipway in the early 1950s??

Re Liner Photos: Yes the official P&O Archivist and Historian, now retired I gather, at the NMM knows Rob in Sydney and is aware of the photos, however it appears that the NMM would welcome the photos, but would not be able to fund their return to UK hence my suggestion that he get into serious dialogue with the AMM in Sydney. From a historical,and indeed personal one, these photos are too valuable to just rot away. Here'shoping anyway.

I am in fairly regular contact with him so intend to keep gently pressing him! I understand that, for reasons that are not clear to me at present, there had been some 'unpleaseantness' between himself and AMM but he does appreciate the importance of getting something sorted out.

Ian
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Last edited by Dulcibella; 16th May 2008 at 10:54.. Reason: spacing
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  #19  
Old 16th May 2008, 15:12
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Ian

No I have not heard of the "Slipway Five Tonner" but Uffa would have.

I will get in touch with contacts regarding getting those pictures to the UK. If successful I will send you a PM.

David
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Old 16th May 2008, 15:58
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Dulcibella Dulcibella is offline  
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David,

Noted... thanks.

Ian
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  #21  
Old 13th June 2008, 13:58
PhilColebrook PhilColebrook is offline  
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Very interesting discussions. I never had the chance to go on the old liners. I'll be doing a crossing on the QE2 in October which will be the closest I'll get. I, for one, am thankful that we have the QM2 and she will be the natural choice when the QE2 goes.

Concerning safety, I have spoken to a naval architect heavily involved in surveying cruise ships. He has stated on more than one occasion that he would not voluntarily travel on one, and he was not alluding to matters of mere taste.
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Old 15th June 2008, 23:39
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[QUOTE=PhilColebrook;223646

Concerning safety, I have spoken to a naval architect heavily involved in surveying cruise ships. He has stated on more than one occasion that he would not voluntarily travel on one, and he was not alluding to matters of mere taste.[/QUOTE]

Glad that my concerns are echoed by a person of his standing. I hope such safety concerns never become reality but sadly I think it only a matter of time.

I am just back from the Boudicca and was impressed with their passenger drill. Will compile a report as soon as I can.

David
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Old 17th June 2008, 16:00
PhilColebrook PhilColebrook is offline  
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I am just back from the Boudicca and was impressed with their passenger drill. Will compile a report as soon as I can.

David[/QUOTE]

I'd love to take a trip on her or the Song of Norway class ships. Classic cruise ships. The Boudicca looked ship-shape when I last saw her down in Southampton.
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Old 17th June 2008, 20:48
Lksimcoe Lksimcoe is offline  
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I have a fascination with old liners, since my mother came to Canada in 1944 on the Aquitania, and my grandparents regularly came to Canada in the 1950's and '60's on the Cunard ships (I beleive they were called the Saxonia Class). All this talk about how the new ships are ugly (which for the most part I agree), reminds me of my grandfather complaining when I was about 10, how ugly the liners of the 30's and 40's were, and how they weren't as good looking as the Aquitania. WHen asked about the liners they came on, his Geordie accent got so thick that I couldn't understand him. I guess that was a good thing.

I guess we're never satisfied.
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Old 18th June 2008, 12:44
JimC JimC is offline  
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I live in Funchal. From my window I cab see the harbour and all the 'soapbox- like' vessels referred to as 'ships'. As everyone here has remarked- these 'things' were not built to be beautiful. I suggest their designs are much like the modern car - the result of a marriage between marketing people and economic design engineers. The ideal child of such a marriage would be ugly beyond belief and counter-productive as far as passengers or potential buyers are concerned therefore the resultant 'mutant' is what we have. Basically that's why a BMW looks like a Ford - looks like a Saab, looks like a Nissan etc. Each year, ship design becomes that little bit more bizarre - like the 'modern art' example of a painted beam. However; the people who man these vessels have also grown-up with and accept rapid change (like computer design) so they don't have the same hang-up as we older hands do. personally; I think there were two distinct period in history when vessels were 'beautiful'. After the big square stern sailing vessels of the early
19th.century and before the metamorphosis from sail to steam in the early 1900s - ie the days of the really beautiful Ships, Barquentines, schooners etc. and from the early 1900s until the late 1960s. when the terms, Passenger Liner, Cargo Liner, Pleasure Steamer were coined. Lots of Tramp Ships also had individual, graceful lines. I suppose the word 'graceful' sort of sums it up. Perhaps the design of sailing yachts is the nearest thing to retaining the old aesthetic values but then you build for an individual.
I must say though - the greatest innovation as far as I was concerned was the advent of air conditioning. You haven't lived until you've sailed the Red Sea in a 16 knot passenger ship without it!
As far as safety of life etc is concerend. Where the boat muster takes place should be secondary to the training of those who have to actually man the life boats. In the case of passengers and non-essential crew - I suggest the practice of mustered a short distance from the boats while the lifeboat personnel get the boats ready makes sense. Read the transcript of the evidence given at the 'Titanic' enquiry and this becomes clearer. As for rescuing huge numbers of people from a modern 'Tatanic'-like disaster - The main differences would be the availabilty of accurate navigation, superb communication systems and the rapid response capability of nearby or even far resources. However, the last thing I want is to be proved wrong but such disasters do most certainly bear thinking about.
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