Published at Monday, May 14th 2018. by daniel amoien in Cruise Ship Cabins.
On this pre-inaugural cruise I tried two of the specialty restaurants Cagney`s steakhouse and Moderno Churrascaria a Brazilian all-you-can-eat barbeque in which guests signal their servers with a green card (OK I`m ready for more) or a red card (No more please. I`m stuffed). My wife and I have raved about Cagney`s steakhouse on several other Norwegian cruise ships (e.g. the NCL Dawn the NCL Gem and the NCL Jewel) and we enjoyed it just as much on the Epic. On the other hand we were not nearly as impressed with the Epic`s Moderno Churrascaria which is the first such restaurant on any cruise ship. The salad bar was absolutely fabulous (especially the plump shrimp and fantastic gourmet cheeses) but other than the sirloin (which the servers cut right in front of you) my wife and I were both disappointed with the quality of the meats. Ironically my son Greg (who is CEO of Direct Line Cruises) and several of our staff members tried Moderno Churrascaria and really liked it. So don`t take my word for it.
Another Epic first is Cirque Dreams and Dinner which is performed by an exceptionally talented group of acrobats in a special theater-in-the-round called the Spiegel Tent. Several of our staff members saw this show and said that it was very good but perhaps a bit too long. My wife and I saw a very different show in the Spiegel Tent. Our 3-year-old granddaughter who we were able to bring with us is a big fan of Dora the Explorer and Diego and she just loved the Nickelodeon character breakfast which in addition to Dora and Diego also featured Sponge Bob Square Pants Jimmy Neutron and others. In an exclusive deal with NCL the Nickelodeon characters are presently appearing on the Epic and the NCL Jewel (which now sails year-round out of New York City) and will eventually appear on several other NCL ships.
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.
All deck and engineering positions should be filled with an all Ukrainian crew. The ship will realize the most value for the money with Ukrainian deck and engineering staff. The Ukraine has a long maritime history and tradition. Maritime training and standards in the Ukraine are among the best in the world. Ukrainian deck and engineering staff are as good as or better than any other but the cost of their labor is a very good value. The labor for deck officer and engineering staff are governed by international agreements including STCW (Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers).
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