– Avalon Myanmar – Myanmar River Cruise – April 2017
*Azamara Club Cruises – Azamara Journey – Singapore to Dubai (April 8, 2018)
* Azamara Quest – Southeast Asia and Japan (February 2015)
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Part I
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part II
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part III
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part IV
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Some Final Observations and Thoughts
– The Prologue to the Travelogue
– The Adventure Begins…With a Bump or Two
– Settling In Made Easy
– Luxury Touches Here, There and OK, Not, Everywhere…But There Are Lots of Them!
– Asian Flair Onboard and On Shore
– Private Tours, Israel and Conflicts in Perceptions and Perspective
Celebrity Equinox 2009 – Egypt…Impressive and Depressing
– Dining With the Captain and the Reidel Wine Seminar
– The Last Dinner (Tuscan Grille) and Disembarkation
– What Happens When A Class Act Meets Highly Discounted Cruise Fare
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part I
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part II
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part III
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part IV (Food & Wine!)
– Princess Cruises Doesn’t Treat You Like Royalty; Celebrity Cruises Does! Which is a Better Value for the Upscale Cruise Guest? Part I
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. -Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part II: The Standard Veranda Staterooms
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part III: Treating You Right From The Start
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part IV: The Wine Lists Speak Volumes (As Do The Beverage Packages)
Regent Seven Seas Voyager – August 2017
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part I
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part II (Getting There, The Stateroom and First Impressions)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part III (“You Can’t Teach Five Star Service” and Bonafacio, Corsica)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part IV (Calvi, Monaco, Portofino, Porto Azzurro…and Stale Bread)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part V (My Last Day…and How The Chef’s Team Makes It Happen)
With a Korean couple on their honeymoon, the Italian Purser (with broken leg and suffering from hypothermia) rescued from the ship and the number of missing reduced to 17 ovenight, I want to provide you with some thoughts…knowing that everything you and I read ultimately is not going to be found to be 100% accurate. (So don’t take my comments as gospel, please.)
News reports are painting a picture of Francesco Schettino as an absolute, if not arrogant, captain.
Captain Francesco Schettino is quoted as saying he was the last to leave the ship. Forgetting the stories to the contrary, I am seeing a situation where 50 people were reported missing and, so far, 3 people were rescued. The ship had no risk of capsizing and I am not aware of any order from the Italian Coast Guard for him to abandon the ship, so why would have have left his command? I know captains that would have been leading the search and rescue…without hesitation (and probably ignorning any such order to leave the ship).
Captain Francesco Schettino is quoted as saying his charts did not identify the “rock” that tore a 160 foot gash into the the hull of the Costa Concordia. Folks, today ships require more than paper charts; as electronic charts are not only used, but heavily relied upon…and interface with autopilots, GPS and radars. And, by the way, those electronic charts are custom made for the Costa Concordia.
And, by the way, what of local knowledge of an extremely rocky coastline and then trying to pass a huge cruise ship between two large rocky outcrops? It makes no sense to me.
OK, that said, the reports are that the ship was 2.5 nautical miles off course…a course that she had repeatedly taken on her prior voyages (according to crew members). So far he has not provided any reason for this. It has been speculated that he wanted to bring the ship into shallower water, but that – so far – makes no sense. Why?
1. If you look at the charts, this alleged course to shallower water was not the most direct.
2. The ship’s design is such that water-tight doors, if properly closed, would have prevented the flooding of the ship, so there would be no reason for this. While I do not know what happened on this ship, it is a notorious problem of lazy crewman propping open these heavy watertight doors rather than turning those big wheel-like closures and pushing and pulling these heavy doors.
I don’t have all the information, but cruising significantly off-course, blaming charts that are used by thousands of others, apparently failing to use common nautical sense, and seemingly having abandoned his ship (whether technically permitted or not) does not sit well with me. When the failure of safety systems is added, it is most troubling.
I am seeing this as “human errors” and the result of what happens when a ship is run arrogantly rather than as if 5,000 souls and half a billion dollars are at stake.
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