Published at Monday, May 14th 2018. by leonda avril in Cruise Ship Cabins.
I do know something about what I am writing about here. I am the former President of Adventure Spa Cruise. My advice is not just uninformed ranting. Back to the point now the second best manning nation for a ship is India. I highly recommend India for the medical staff and the entire hotel staff including the spa and every other position except the deck and engineering. The labor costs in India are very attractive. I would also recommend using an Indian based manning agency. It is best if the ship`s owners do not have to deal with every employee issue or concern. The manning agency takes the pressure off the ship`s management and their service is very reasonable. Indian employees tend to make better employees than do Filipinos. Indians also speak English albeit not quite as well as Filipinos. I know Americans tend to get all worked up when someone uses a broad brush to paint an entire ethnicity. I love the people from the Philippines but as employees they tend to be more problematic than do Indian employees. I realize that this statement is politically incorrect and these days that might get me thrown in jail. I usually do not worry so much about being politically correct. I call it the way I see I and I let the cards fall where they may and hope I can stay out of jail for speaking my mind.
Location of the cabin regardless the size is very important. How close do you want to be to the upper deck? Do you have children who will be hard to travel up and down flights of stairs with every day? Where is the cabin in relation to the engine or water lines? Be sure to look at a map of the cruise ship before choosing a cabin location. Many people are not very concerned about where their cabin is since they will just be sleeping there. However on longer cruises your cabin will be the only private place you have to get away from all the noise and relax. You may want to be certain the cabin is far away from the main deck to ensure it will be a quiet area. On the other hand perhaps you enjoy the party do not plan on sleeping much and would prefer a cabin close to all the action. Choosing a cabin is very important as an uncomfortable cabin could make for a very uncomfortable trip.
I was able to negotiate with the owner John Kosmas and get some concessions. I got the price down to $500000. And at that price he agreed to bring the ship into compliance with SOLAS 2005 and also to include new paint topside. The ship was fairly well furnished even including bed linen but the ship had been laid up for years. Its most recent service was in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Cruise ships that trade exclusively in the Mediterranean and Black Seas tend to have smaller cabins and fewer amenities than the typical cruise ships that frequent the Caribbean. The bottom line is that this ship was an economy model not a luxury model. When I was inspecting the engine room I asked for the engine log. When I opened it I noticed all the entries were in Greek. I was able to discern some dates and other data that told me when the ship was last in service but I could not read the Greek entries so I handed the engine log back to the ship owner and told him It`s all Greek to me. Being Greek Mr. Kosmas failed to find the humor in that.
There is a company called Kiteship that has developed and produces kites for racing sailboats. These sailing kites do not require a mast. The kites fly high above the vessel attached by cable and controlled from the vessel. Dave Culp of Kiteship has done a technical feasibility study on fitting a very large kite onto a conventional cruise ship. This would dramatically reduce fuel consumption. It would convert a fuel guzzler to a green machine. This is tantamount to converting a powerboat into a sail boat. The design of a cruise ship limits the amount of sail that a conventional ship can safely accommodate. A cruise ship lacks the ballast of a sail boat. If used in addition to the main engine(s) the kite will increase fuel efficiency. If the kite is used to pull the ship with the main engines shut down the ship`s speed will be reduced substantially. However in this case not only would the ship save IFO (main engine fuel) but also save MDO (generator engine fuel). If the kite were pulling the ship unassisted by the ship`s engines then the propellers could be used to propel the ship`s generators without firing up the diesel generator engines. Even if the ship were traveling very slowly in the water the propellers would turn in reverse if freed from the main engines. This is a very simple and easy task for the ship`s engineer to accomplish. In other words the ship can be pulled by the kite and that motion will push the ship`s propellers providing power to produce electricity and power the air-conditioning without using any fuel. The trade-off is a loss of speed and also some tacking is required further reducing actual speed. What`s the rush? Why not go for maximum fuel savings? The salient point is that a high flying large kite can pull a cruise ship. If I were a co-owner of a cruise ship I would hope to find like minded co-owners who would be receptive to using such state-of-the-art technologies to save fuel.
The asking price for this ship is less than the price for one large apartment on The Magellan. The asking price and selling price are two different prices. This ship could probably be bought for about 11 million dollars. It would be foolish to finish this ship in a Greek union shipyard. It can be economically towed over to the nearby shipyards in Tuzla Turkey. The ship can be finished there quicker and for about half the price and with better craftsmanship. This ship could be bought and finished to a high standard equal to The Orphalese for a total cost of much less than 100 million dollars (maybe even as low as 60 million). It can be finished to order with each residential unit customized to suit its owner(s). The finished product would be a brand new completely modern ship with luxury homes onboard which would be at least as good or better than any on the market. That still seems like a big chunk of change. But this is a big ship and it would easily accommodate 200 luxury residential units and an additional 200 or so conventional cruise cabins like The Orphalese. The average cost of the residential units would be less than $500000. That would mean that the smaller residential units would cost much less than the average price. Also with an additional two hundred (plus) conventional cruise cabins the cabin owners could recoup much of the operating costs and thus virtually eliminate the maintenance fees for themselves. The expense to owners can be less than 10% of the going rates if the buyers did not need to pay some slick promoters and salesmen but just bought the ship directly themselves sharing the actual costs by dividing the ship ownership among the buyers. Why would anyone want to pay ten times as much money to buy and much higher maintenance fees for a similar shipboard residential unit? The only reason I can think of is to impress others with how much money they can afford to throw away. Again the asking price is subject to negotiation. Used ships can be refurbished to look practically new and can be brought up to international safety standards (SOLAS). There are shipyards around the world that can do good quality work at even lower cost than the shipyards in Tuzla Turkey. If a ship is currently lying in Greece (as many are) then Tuzla is the best place to tow it for major shipyard work. The SE shipyards in the Black Sea port of Nikolaev Ukraine offers the best value for the money in that part of the world. The bottom line is that smart shoppers can get good deals even on lavish purchases such as a luxury residential home aboard a cruise ship. I maintain a list of those who have expressed an interest. The list is confidential and will not be shared for any marketing purposes. The purpose of maintaining the list is to facilitate joint ownership directly between buyers without any middlemen or promoters involved.
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