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FLIGHTS OF FANTASY

It is just over a decade since NAUTICAL LOG ceased sea going after some fifty (50) years and left the cruise industry to teach nautical science.  During that time there have been enormous changes in both the industry itself and the design of the vessels - none good.

The ships have long ceased to be ships and are now floating - sort of anyway - resorts just like we have here in Florida at Orlando the site of Disney - yes they have ships also - and other similar sites.

The latest piece of seagoing nonsense currently being built is the MS "Norwegian Joy" which has on its upper deck a Ferrari brand go-kart racing track.  That should be nice for those living in cabins the next deck below listening to screaming Ferrari's while wallowing in sea sickness.

One might ask why ship designers would design and companies would build these types of vessels with this stuff on board.  The answer is surprisingly simple.  Take a look at the resumes of the top and upper management of cruise companies you will find they all come from the hotel and entertainment industries with absolutely no sea-going experience whatsoever not even as Pursers.  The term Marine Superintendent is unknown and no longer listed in cruise companies hierarchy.  Oh! you might find in one or perhaps two companies a "Captain X" likely relating to the Safety Division who will be a former U.S. Naval Officer god help us or even worse a former USCG Senior Officer doing what is known here in America as "double dipping".  That is something the USCG are experts at believe me.  Of course they were hired  to have a quiet and quick word with a still serving former classmate or shipmate in Marine Inspection, known as ring-knocking, if there is a problem with such irritating things as IMO Rules and Regulations which the USCG is the enforcing body.

As an example just a few weeks ago a cruise vessel was delayed for a few hours over lifejackets - lifejackets for goodness sake.  There are numerous spare lifejackets on board a cruise ship so one imagines this was a cover up for a more serious IMO Rules problem which then received an "extension" to solve after sailing or at some future date.  So it goes on and on.  One only has to watch one of these top heavy vessels departing Port of Miami and making the turn at the sea buoy to see her lean to starboard even on a calm day to a noticeable list.  On Saturday last my four (4) year old grandson asked me why the ship we were watching was falling over!!  Then ever so slowly coming back to the upright which as any seaman knows indicates an unstable vessel. What would she be like in the bad weather of a passing front or worse the hurricane season? 

Neptune being a cruel god the sea every so often demands a toll and sadly one of these days it will happen that a cruise vessel carrying the current 6000 passengers - oh sorry guests is the term these days - and crew will be lost quite likely with all hands and those Ferrari brand go-karts.

And you ask me why one never goes on a cruise??

Good Watch

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