12 August 2013

These Don't Make the National News

You Can't Always Get What You Want Dept: 
A cruise ship is stuck in Seward until Tuesday, days after its scheduled departure, due to an electrical problem.

The stranded cruise ship Millennium is moored in Seward on Friday, August 9, 2013, as it awaits repairs to its propulsion system.

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2013/08/11/3019470/cruise-ship-and-passengers-delayed.html#storylink=cpy
On Aug. 8 the Celebrity Millennium cruise ship had an electrical problem with a propulsion motor, the company said in a Facebook posting. The "intricate repairs" required the boat to stay in port until Aug. 13 instead of taking passengers on a seven-day trip through Alaska's Inside Passage, Celebrity Cruises said.

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The Better Business Bureau has expressed concern over offers of free airline tickets sent to many Anchorage residences this year. A press release from BBB offices in Alaska and Washington on Thursday described a recent investigation into solicitations received by "thousands of Alaskans."

Alaskans received letters saying, "you qualified for an award of 2 round-trip airline tickets ... valid for travel anywhere in the continental U.S. from any major international airport" with a retail value of up to $1,190. The letter was topped by a logo similar to that of American Airlines, but without the word "airlines," and signed by "Sue Myer," identified as the vice president of an otherwise unidentified company. It included a toll-free number, but no return address.

The press release noted several items, termed "red flags," including that no company information was provided to potential customers and that the letters did not disclose the fact that recipients had to attend a 90-minute presentation in which they were subjected to "one-on-one high-pressure sales tactics" to buy a $9,000 vacation club package. In addition, it said, the letters do not properly disclose the fees and restrictions of the two "award" airline tickets.

No matter how many times you tell people, someone's gonna fall for a quick pitch or high-pressure sales job.

Ain't no such thing as a free lunch, folks.

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The Worst Day Fishing Etc. Dept:
— The Coast Guard says a 65-foot, Oregon-based fishing vessel has run aground four miles west of Valdez.
This photo released by the U.S. Coast Guard shows Coast Guard personnel monitoring the 65–foot fishing tender, Fate Hunter, after it grounded near Shoup Bay, approximately four miles west of Valdez, Alaska on Sunday Aug. 11, 2013. The owner of the tender worked with Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Valdez and State of Alaska personnel to minimize environmental impact.

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2013/08/11/3019183/65-foot-fishing-vessel-grounded.html#storylink=cpy

 I don't know, but I think I've had better days at work than that ...


Stephen said...

Cruise ships - I'll never set foot on one.

The company that offered the free trips were kicked out of our city. News report spread how they relocate and run the scam, then vanish.

The boat, oops...

Rev. Paul said...

I hear you, Stephen. I promised myself, when I was in the Navy, that someday I'd take a cruise where I wasn't a member of the crew. But the more I learn about cruise ships, the less I want to go near one.

Anonymous said...

Are there more problems, historically, with cruise ships, than say in the second half of the Twentieth Century?
Or is the Internet making us more aware more quickly?


Rev. Paul said...

gfa, I honestly don't know. It's just that the 24-hour news cycle has made us aware, lately, of many problems affecting the cruise industry.
So the answer to your questions is "yes". :)

joated said...

Just a wild guess, but there seems to be a very high demand for cruise ships. That demand may mean that companies are cutting corners to keep their ships at sea rather than in maintainance yards. (And unlike planes, if something really goes horribly wrong, the ship usually stays afloat. It might run aground, or even tip over after it has hit the rocks, but it's still gonna float. When was the last time you heard of a cruise ship sinking?)

The result: Large numbers of cruise ships cruising the sea and if even a small percentage have problems that's still a sizable number of ships. And with thousands of passengers and crew on each it becomes a "Big Effing Deal"...to paraphrase the USVP.

The 24-7 news channels come into play too. They have to fill air time somehow. And they aren't about to do any real journalism and look into the gaffes, foibles, misdeeds, and felonies committed by a Democrat administration. Nah. They'd never do that.

Rev. Paul said...

joated, you make several good points here. To confirm what you've said, I draw folks' attention to the article linked here. It says that Royal Celebrity only uses three ships to visit Alaska, with some 2,200 passengers each. But they drop off passengers every Friday over the course of 12 or 13 weeks each year.

So how many runs is that per ship over a summer season, and how many nautical miles must each ship log to travel from California to Seattle or Portland, to Vancouver, to Juneau and the Inside Passage, to Seward, and then back again?

A LOT. So yeah ... all good points. Thank you, my friend.