NCL America?

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by sprog, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. sprog

    sprog Member

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    I'm not affiliated with KP or any of the maritime schools-am a VMI grad here, and former Air Force guy-currently an attorney for the Department of Veterans Affairs. That is, I have no maritime background personally, but have really enjoyed reading these posts about KP.

    Anyway, I recently was booking a vacation, and it came up that NCL America's Pride of America is a US-flagged cruise ship doing a route between the Hawaiian Islands. I understand this to be necessary do to the Jones Act prohibition on non-US-flagged vessels calling on ports solely within the US without first stopping at a foreign port. Just out of curiosity, with all I've read on the "sea year" for USMMA, are there any Mids being posted on this ship? I suppose I could think of worse places to be:smile: Supposedly NCL used to have 2 other US-flagged ships; but, I guess they were not profitable.

    Just throwing it out there-
     
  2. KPMarineopsdad

    KPMarineopsdad Member

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    DS says that there have been Mids assigned to cruise ships in the past. I don't know about that particular vessel. Contrary to what most of us would assume, he said a cruise ship was one of the worst assignments a mid could get. It didn't sound right to me, but he insisted that it was true.
     
  3. sprog

    sprog Member

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    That's interesting. I could see how it would be a pain-complaining passengers, maybe passengers who are security/discipline issues etc. The vast majority of cruise lines use foreign-flagged ships, as I think it is much cheaper for them- they don't have to comply with the US laws/unions as regards crew pay, living standards, etc.
     
  4. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    I'm a cruiser - in fact, while son was experiencing Indoc, we were sailing to the Caribbean.:redface: Pride of America is the only US-flagged "major" cruise ship, although there are smaller US-flagged cruise ships (e.g., American Cruise Lines). The advantage is that POA can do 7-day cruises out of Honolulu, while other cruise lines have much longer itineraries since they have to visit a foreign port (usually Ensenada for one-way voyages to or from California or Fanning Island for round-trip from Honolulu). At one point NCL America did have three US-flagged ships based in Hawaii - the others were named Pride of Aloha and Pride of Hawaii - but there simply wasn't enough of a market for three ships in the Hawaiian Islands, especially when the air fares to Hawaii went up last year. Pride of Aloha is now Norwegian Sky, and Pride of Hawaii is now Norwegian Jade. Both are registered in the Bahamas.

    I can see where a mid probably might not enjoy serving on a cruise ship - the crew has a ton of rules and regulations to follow simply because its cargo is passengers, let alone regular rules for their specific jobs. However, there is a USMMA grad who serves as a ship's officer on the Queen Mary 2 for Cunard: http://www.beyondships.com/QM2-Lyons.html. You'll see there that he did a tour on the SS Independence while at Kings Point.
     
  5. sprog

    sprog Member

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    I went on a Princess ship last month out of NYC (to the Caribbean). It was of Bermudan registry, if memory serves. Cunard is owned by the same corporation, I think (Carnival Corporation). I guess a US mariner could sail on one of these ships; but, for a USMMA guy, I would assume only after the service obligation is over (I'm guessing that is what happened with the KP alum featured in the article). Seems like it would be hard, though....I imagine most of the recruiting is done in Europe. I think the officers on the ship I was on were Italian (maybe a Brit or two).

    QM2 is a neat looking ship.
     
  6. KPMarineopsdad

    KPMarineopsdad Member

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    Actually it's worse then that. Cruise ships, it seems. have a myriad of rules regarding the crew's conduct with regard to interaction with passengers. You may say "good morning" or give some other type of greeting. But fraternization is strictly forbidden. In some cases you can't even make eye contact. Moreover it, he said it is very easy to get "fired' from a cruise line which puts you at risk for dis enrollment. I guess it's not the "Love Boat" after all.
     
  7. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    If you're interested in a "behind the scenes" view of life on a cruise ship, you might enjoy reading "Cruise Confidential" by Brian David Bruns, who claims to be the only American to have survived a year employed in Carnival Cruise Line's dining rooms. While it deals with life as a dining room steward rather than as an officer, and while I think it is probably overstated, Bruns is a very good writer and it makes for an easy read. And yes, it's very easy to get fired for improper contact with pax. No, not the "Love Boat" at all - except maybe between some off-duty crew members.:rolleyes:

    Princess and Cunard are both part of Carnival plc, a dual-listed company with Carnival Corporation. I have to admit that I really don't understand the ownership interests (it looks like it's divided between the US, the UK, and Panama), but at the end of the day Carnival Corporation advertises Carnival, Holland America, Princess, Cunard, Seabourn and Costa as part of the Carnival "alliance." None of these ships are US-flagged, so they're not up for consideration by KP mids.
     
  8. kpmom2011

    kpmom2011 Member

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    Our family (including or Mid) went on a Holland America Cruise this past June and met a Cadet from North Hampton Maritime Academy. It was funny, because he walked by me during the lifeboat drill and I saw his nametag so I said "Cadet Henry,,,what Maritime school do you attend?" He stopped with a surprised look and said "North Hampton Madam." He then said, how did you know I am on sea term. Well, you all know my answer :yllol:
     
  9. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    It is generally not cosidered good duty at all. Port calls are short, the Cadets have often have lost of tasks to do when the ship is in port and fraternization is very limited. Additionally, the other crew members who they can socialize with often have groups of friends from long term relationships so a lot of the appeal for being on them as a Liscenced Officer aren't there for Cadets.

    NCL America has 3 US Flagged Ships that are available for Jones Act compliant service, two are currently laid up because their load factors were down and they weren't operating profitably. Operating costs for a US Flagged Passenger Ship are higher than on Foriegn Flagged ships, I don't have real data handling but my understanding is it's ~25+%.

    The NCL America ship takes cadets. Celebrity also has taken cadets from USMMA aboard.

    One of NCL's senior Captains, Captain Evans Hoyt, is a USMMA Class of 1982 grad who was interviewed as part of a CNBC documentary recently and was shown in the shipyard in Mobile where one of NCL's ships was being overhauled.
     
  10. sprog

    sprog Member

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    So it is not generally considered a good assignment for the sea year. I assume it must be better for the Mates and Engineers, though, as they have time to forge friendships, etc. I wonder if it is a frequent occurrence for a new MM officer to take a job with a cruise line and then bail after the first contract expires. From what I'm gathering here, it seems that the job sounds a lot cooler than it actually is (like so many things :biggrin:)
     
  11. rexbob

    rexbob New Member

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    NCL

    My son sailed on this ship two summers ago. He enjoyed it and said he learned a bunch. But, it was boring getting same ports all the time, and yes, no talking/mingling with the guests. From the photos he shared....seems the crew females were friendly:smile:. After the NCL experience, he would not want to be on a cruise ship(same ports thing). He did have positives to say about the NCL organization and standards.
     

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