Carnival Cruise Lines Fun Ships

Traveling means seeking for fun and relaxation. And it can be best achieve by riding a first-class cruise line whose primary services about bringing fun to its customers. Ride The Fun Ship with an atmosphere of all-day fun and party.

Carnival Cruise Lines define the word fun. They are built to cater fun and excitement among younger passengers. Their pride is about creating memorable vacations for the guests and offering a wide array of quality cruises that present outstanding value for the money. This is the home for many entertainers and other cruise ship jobs that can give every passengers the delight that they wanted.

Brief History

CCL has a large number of cruise ships that travels to different parts of the world. The founder is Ted Arison, who started everything in 1972, with just one ship bought for only $1. Carnival was on its worst but Ted came up with a good idea of combining fun and travel. In 1989 its first acquisition was made with the premium operator Holland America Line (this included Windstar Cruises and Holland America Tours) and its second in 1992, of the operator Seabourn Cruise Line. Following this acquisition is the changing of the name from Carnival Cruise Line to Carnival Corporation. Carnival Corporation and P&O Princess Cruises plc. merged on 17 April 2003 creating one of the world’s largest leisure travel companies: at the time P&O Princess Cruises was renamed Carnival plc.

Ships, Capacity, Destinations and Services

Carnival cruise line is one of the world’s richest. Their specialty is to create shorter and less expensive ships. The ships are known for their Las Vegas-style decorations and entertainment. They are called “The Fun Ships” obviously because they provide fun to passengers. With the wide range of activities on board, people will surely find their stay worthwhile. The cruise line is focused more on fun services, wanting to make every people’s travel like a carnival visit wherein spectators came mainly for enjoyment. Carnival ships are recognized through a funnel with the colors of the American Flag. They’ve got a mascot named “Fun Ship Freddy”, a character in the shape of the ship’s distinctive funnel.

Since 1972, Carnival Cruise Line has produced about 24 ships, with two more under construction. They have names with the word Carnival on it. Ships travel along the coasts of North and South America, Europe and other 60 countries all over the world finding the bests destinations. Travel starts on close-to-home ports found on the cities of Florida.

If you are undecided where to go, you can choose their tour called “Cruise to Nowhere”. A couple of days exploring the sea will make you witness the best of the world. Cruises to nowhere is a fantastic opportunity to taste the superb of services that includes delicious dining options, luxurious spas, exciting entertainment like the seaside theater and shopping friendly-casinos. There are no other cruise line that will bring you nowhere this fun and exciting.

Each day that you will wake up in a Carnival Cruise ship is another day of fun. Party with over 3,500 people along with the crews and staffs. Everyone in the ship will make sure that you will go back home with a smile. Look for a vacation packed with good times and laughter. So come and enjoy that Carnival difference on the The Fun Ship, experience a tour draped with amusement and joy. Ride a cruise ship where fun comes in waves.

How To Score A Deal On A Last Minute Cruise

Going on a cruise is certainly an exciting experience, which contains life long memories, without hustle bustle of routine office and hectic home life, making it a stress reliever. Although it is hard to save on these type of trips especially when you want to be on board in the last minute. Here I have gathered up some tips which can be helpful in saving your wallet.

GO TO A TRIP ADVISOR

If you have decided to go on a cruise and this is your first time, and you have a short period as well, my advice is to consult a trip advisor providing him with your desired travel dates. All cruise line advisors have the itineraries, and it’s easy for them to accommodate you on an available cruise.

Another tip is that you can plan this with the agent according to your budget, by just giving him an idea of your pocket.

PROMOTIONS AND DISCOUNTS

Nowadays every commercial item has a discount and promotion, so the cruise ships also have, making it a huge industry. You can always enjoy the trip,’ by planning it ahead of time, like three months before your vacation. This will help you get discount offers. Family and group packages are giving you more economical options.

SIGN UP WITH CRUISE LINES

Nothing is far away in this electronic era, just a touch of your finger can make things Accessible. So to enjoy the money saving venture, you should sign up with different cruise lines, and this will be of great help for getting alerts of any near cruise.

SEASON SELECTION

Deals and promotion usually come in offseason. It means you can cruise before and after Christmas and Easter vacations. Most families get vacations on the eve of Christmas and Easter making journeys more crowded. When the cruise ships are full, there is no business loss but to keep the business running in a smooth manner, they launch promotions in offseason.

Deals come for a specific and limited range of time and sites. If you are keen to spend time with the lesser crowd, hit the deals button and enjoy a less expensive trip.

BE FLEXIBLE WITH TIME AND PORTS

Some promotions might seem to you less attractive, for the reason of cutting one port adding one less famous port, making it a tie to decide which one to take up. So be flexible with the dates and ports you want to visit.

SURFING THE SITES IN DEALS

The ports which can be compromised are those with secondary attractions for you. It will not take much time to search the ports worth seeing. Google the places available on the cruise line itinerary, skip them if not worthy, saving the money for the spa on board which have deals on port days.

BE PATIENT AND CALM

Even though you have signed up and got alerts from cruise line but be patient while taking the decision to reserve and confirm. Gather all information about different deals, check onboard charges including meals snacks beverages even water, and then decide for the one with low costs without hidden.you shouldn’t be paying extra onboard for these.

Recreational activities are free of charge mostly.

Lastly vital is, not to follow the attractions and colourful pictures of ports on a brochure. Take your decision.

Luxury Cruising From San Francisco to Hawaii on Princess Cruise Lines

In a recent article entitled “Three Reasons to Book Your Next Cruise our of San Francisco,” we wrote about the fun of spending part of a vacation in the famous City by the Bay, and part of it cruising to exciting destinations like Hawaii, Alaska, and the South Pacific. This story is about the cruise we selected to follow our own tour of San Francisco.

Selecting a cruise

As Mark Twain often noted, it can be a bit chilly in San Francisco regardless of the time of year, so we thought a cruise to some place warm would be the perfect other-bookend for a vacation.

We did an internet search and explored all the cruise line itineraries sailing out of San Francisco on our travel dates, and Princess Cruise Lines had exactly what we wanted – a roundtrip sailing from San Francisco to the Hawaiian Islands. We made the right choice, and here’s what you can expect if you decide to take the same plunge.

The day before the cruise

We arrived in San Francisco the day before our cruise departure to Hawaii. We toured our favorite sites in the city, had a nice dinner at Scoma’s on Pier 47, and checked into our favorite and always fashionable San Francisco Hyatt Regency. The hotel is directly across from the iconic Ferry Building on the Embarcadero, and a very short distance from the cruise terminal at Pier 35.

Sailing out of the Golden Gate

We settled into our port side stateroom, popped open a bottle of bubbly, and when the ship pulled away from the dock, we proceeded to our patio to watch the San Francisco skyline on slow parade. There was Ghirardelli Square lit up in its entire splendor, and the famous Transamerica Pyramid Building – outstanding among its traditional “square” neighbors.

We could see the Golden Gate Bridge coming up above the bow, and we bid a fond farewell to old Fort Point as we made our way out of San Francisco Bay and into the vast blue Pacific. All we could think at the time was, “What a spectacular way to start a cruise!”

Next stop – Hilo, on the big island of Hawaii. A future article will describe the Hawaiian ports of call in Hilo, Nawiliwili, Lahaina, Honolulu, and our final stop in Ensenada, Mexico, before returning to San Francisco. Why are cruise ships sailing to Hawaii from US ports required to stop in a foreign port like Ensenada? We will explain in the upcoming article.

This story features the many vacation pleasures aboard the Star Princess. Note: The Grand Princess has now replaced the Star Princess on the Hawaiian route out of San Francisco. They are sister ships, so the differences are minimal.

Sweet suites

The Star Princess has several luxury suites positioned throughout the ship. The Grand Suite is 1,314 square feet of pure indulgence, with a walk in closet, large bathrooms, and an oversized balcony. These elegant digs are for the truly fortunate among us.

Besides luxury accommodations, the suites come with supplementary amenities such as an exclusive Suite Breakfast at the Sabatini’s specialty restaurant – where you can start your day with a complimentary “Good Morning Mimosa,” and select other goodies from an extraordinary breakfast menu. We expected the service to be impeccable, and it was.

Did you know that the now famous champagne and orange juice “Mimosa” drink was first created and named at the Paris Ritz in 1925? Its namesake is the mimosa plant, which has bright and frothy yellow flowers.

There are also afternoon and pre-dinner cocktail and private nosh parties where suite passengers get to mingle and mix with the ship’s officers that drop by.

Care for a quiet dinner for two? Having a lavish room service meal served in a ship’s suite is the height of seagoing indulgence and sublime privacy.

Suite passengers are also provided with priority boarding, and disembarkation via the Elite/Suite Disembarkation Lounge. While visiting ports that require taking a launch to shore, suite occupants are furnished Priority Tender Disembarkation Tickets – a nice time-saving touch.

Time for dinner

It was soon time for our initial dinner on board the Star Princess. The first night aboard a cruise ship is a casual affair, so after cleaning up a bit, we made our way down to the Portofino Dining Room on Deck 6.

The Maître d’hôtel was busy orchestrating the process of showing the first diners to their assigned tables. Remember when everyone ate at either an “early” or, “late” sitting? These days you can dine in traditional fashion or decide to eat at any time you choose during dining hours. There are advantages to both practices – it is clearly a matter of personal taste.

That’s entertainment

After a sumptuous dinner, it was time for our opening night of entertainment in the Princess Theatre on Deck 6 and 7. The first show included the entire cast in an extravaganza review. The large two-story theatre was packed, but comfortable, and everyone enjoyed the lavish musical production.

We took a stroll around the Lido deck before returning to our stateroom after the show. Not quite ready for bed, we turned on the TV, and watched our first movie from the library of closed circuit films. It was an oldie,- An Affair to Remember, starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr – a quintessential tearjerker with the plot starting on a cruise ship. What could be more apropos for the setting?

Days at sea

It took four days to reach our first port of call in Hilo. We travelled 2,003 nautical miles (2,303 highway miles) from San Francisco. The time passed quickly.

Days at sea can be quiet or exciting – it’s your choice. You can shop endlessly in the myriad Ship’s Boutiques. You can visit the Internet Café to catch up on emails, listen to live Chamber Music, and attend lively Art Auctions. How about a workout in the extensive Gym, a Seminar at Sea, eating pizza, a hot dog, or hamburger, or trying your luck in the Casino?

Having your teeth whitened is another option, as is enjoying sundry Spa indulgences, snoozing by one of the Pools, and chatting it up while enjoying the entertainment at your choice of the many Bars and Lounges. There is also the opportunity to watch Movies outdoors or indoors, peruse the Library, read, and of course – eat.

The ship’s master

On one of our days at sea, we had an opportunity to interview the ship’s captain. At the time of our sailing, the master of the Star Princess was Edward Perrin who hails from Dorset, England. As is usually the case, Captain Perrin was most congenial and very willing to share stories about his ship and experiences at sea.

We always ask sea captains what they like best about their jobs. Captain Perrin revealed that he most enjoyed the ability to have a positive impact on people’s lives – both crew, and passengers. He gave an example of an elderly couple who saved all their lives to take a cruise. They approached him with the problem that they had no more money to spend while on the cruise. Captain Perrin summarily wrote a list of “free” things the couple could do on their cruise vacation. They were elated, and the good Captain was equally gratified – it made his day, and he has never forgotten the feeling of being able to help.

Where passenger services are concerned, an important member of the crew is the Hotel General Manager. On the Star Princess, that was Terri Lynn Cybuliak, and she greatly contributed to our fun discussion.

As we have mentioned in previous cruise articles, ship’s captains are contracted to be masters for months, not years, and therefore transfer from ship to ship quite frequently. Keep an eye out – you may very well find Captain Perrin at the helm of your next Princess cruise.

Attention on the bridge

After our meeting, Captain Perrin invited us to join him on the bridge. The ship’s bridge is always manned 24-hours a day by two officers working four-hour shifts in a three-watch system. It is interesting to witness the vast array of sophisticated systems that run these mega ships in a controlled and quiet atmosphere. We continue to be fascinated by the fact that the traditional ship’s steering wheel has been replaced by a tiny joystick on a desk panel.

Dining in the specialty restaurants

All the food aboard the Star Princess, and most other cruise ships for that matter, is quite delicious. It is amazing that seagoing chefs can prepare thousands of assorted meals daily, and do it with such finesse.

People always ask, “If all the sit down meals are included in the price of the cruise, why would anyone pay extra to eat in a specialty dining room?” The answer is quite simple – intimacy – and a little something extra special for an important occasion.

Each specialty restaurant has its own kitchen, so there is just a touch more attention to detail in the food preparation and presentation. The waiters have fewer tables to attend, and the overall experience is that of eating in a truly fine restaurant. The extra charge is never extravagant, and the experience is worthwhile.

Avoid disappointment, reserve your specialty restaurants early.

Our recommendations

Throughout the years, we have enjoyed many cruises, and Princess Cruises is one of our favorite lines. It provides first time cruisers with an enjoyable introduction to cruise vacationing, and it offers seasoned cruisers a nice selection of accommodations and amenities. Whatever your wallet dictates, a Princess Cruise will provide good value for your vacation dollars.

If you go

San Francisco International Airport is about 20 miles and a $65 taxi ride to the Cruise Terminal or Hyatt Regency. Your travel agent or Princess Cruises can also arrange transfers to and from the airport, but if there are two passengers involved, we recommend taking a cab, it’s a lot less hassle.

A final note

The San Francisco Cruise Terminal is presently located at Pier 35. That will change when the America’s Cup Headquarters pulls up stakes from Pier 27 sometime around September 2013 – after the US (hopefully) wins the Cup.

After a quick facelift and the addition of a new park at the site, the vastly improved cruise terminal at Pier 27 will be capable of handling larger ships, and will come with expansive views of the City including Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower, the Ferry Building, and the Bay Bridge.

Happy travels!

You Can Be a Cruise Ship Owner Even If You Are Not Rich

Unlike fractional ownership of aircraft and houseboats, fractional owners of a cruise ship can all use the ship simultaneously. There is plenty of room for you and the other owners to live on the ship any time you want, or all the time. You can use it as a full-time residence, and so can the other co-owners.

The first obvious benefit of shared ownership is acquisition cost. There are many cruise ships on the market in all price ranges, sizes, ages, and conditions. There are many smaller and older cruise ships available for less than one million dollars. At the lower end, some smaller cruise ships in fair condition can be acquired for about $250,000. At the highest end, the biggest new mega cruise ships now cost about $500 million to build.

Do the math. If one hundred buyers pool resources in exchange for a percentage of ship ownership, the acquisition cost will be divided by that same number. One percent ownership of a $250,000 cruise ship would cost a mere $2500 for ship acquisition. At the other end of the scale, one percent ownership of a brand new mega cruise ship would cost five million dollars.

There are some other figures that must be tabulated into the total cost of ownership. Acquisition cost is first and foremost. The next figure is the cost to put the ship in service. On an older ship this cost may be higher than the acquisition cost. On the other hand, the cost to put a ship into service can be much lower if you were to get a good deal on a ship that already meets the international standards for ship safety, especially SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea). Maintaining compliance with Chapter II SOLAS 74 amendments is cost prohibitive for some older ships and they are typically scrapped instead of being refurbished at great expense. There is a very important SOLAS implementation date coming up on January 10, 2010. On that date all commercial international ships will be required to be in compliance with the new fire safety codes. The most important new codes deal with the use of combustible materials in the ship. It will be expensive to replace all combustible materials in ships with non-combustible or flame resistant SOLAS compliant materials that meet the new safety standards. This will result in many ships being sold for scrap metal.

The looming SOLAS 2010 implementation date offers both perils and opportunities. The biggest peril is the possibility that the expense to bring a ship into full compliance with international standards will be greater than the value of the ship. However, there is a silver lining in this cloud. This pending SOLAS implementation date has already started to show up as a primary factor in the asking and selling prices of ships on the market today.

SOLAS 2010 also offers a tremendous opportunity for those who may prefer to have a very large houseboat instead of a commercial ship. Ships that are not in compliance with SOLAS 2010 are now selling for a song (inexpensively). A cruise ship can easily be converted into a megayacht with the stroke of a pen. Privately owned yachts, not in commercial service, and not carrying passengers or cargo for hire are exempt from many of the SOLAS requirements. Operating costs are also lower for a private yacht. It cost less to register, flag, and insure a private yacht. Megayachts can be flagged and classified for unlimited service. That means that a megayacht can go practically anywhere you want it to go. There is one major drawback to registering a cruise ship as a private yacht. You cannot use the yacht commercially. This cuts off a potential revenue source.

There are many decent cruise ships for sale at prices of less than one million dollars that would make good private megayachts. For example, take the ‘VERGINA SKY’ is a ship that I have personally inspected and so I can talk first hand about it. The asking price was $750,000. Here are the specifics of the ship in a nutshell:

Current Name: Vergina Sky

Ship Details: Built: 1971 in Japan – totally rebuilt 1992 in Greece

Dimensions: LOA 97.8m x LBP 82m x beam 14.6m x draft 4.49m Dwt: 500 on 4,49 GT/NT: 4,668 / 1,717

Description: Pielstick 2 x 8400bhp, twin screw, bow thruster, 3 x 500kw generators, 16 knots, 2 saloons, restaurant, 3 bars, casino, duty free shop, disco, swimming pool, 120 cabins for 318 guests. Lying Greece

My Comments after inspecting the ship

This is a well built little ‘Pocket Cruiser.’ At just over 320′ in length overall, it is a small cruise ship. Many experienced cruise passengers prefer smaller more intimate cruise ships for a variety of reasons. This ship can go places where the big cruise ships cannot reach, such as shallow draft ports and even many rivers. It has an omni-directional bow thruster and can turn on a dime (relatively speaking of course). I have carefully examined this ship from the engine log to the ultrasound hull report. This is a sound and safe little cruise ship. It is also a very fuel efficient and economical ship. My first time on this ship was in the middle of the summer in Greece when it was very hot outside. The ship is fully air conditioned and it was cool and comfortable inside the ship. I checked the engine room to see how many generators were running. I am happy to report that all the electric and air-conditioning requirements can be met by running just one of the three Daihatsu generators. These generators are very economical to operate in terms of fuel consumption and maintenance.

I was able to negotiate with the owner, John Kosmas and get some concessions. I got the price down to $500,000. 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.

Let’s look at the numbers on this ship. 100% of the acquisition cost would have been $500,000. 1% thus = $5000. One hundred buyers could own one percent each. There are 120 cabins so each co-owner could have a private cabin with 20 cabins left over. However, these cabins are a bit on the small side. Every cabin does have a bath and shower, but the size is just too small to be comfortable for most people, especially if the owners intend to live onboard full time. On a ship this size I would recommend that there be no more than 60 joint owners so each can have two cabins and will have the option of converting those two cabins into a two room suite. To keep the numbers simple lets say that this ship has 50 buyers who each buy 2% of the ship. Buy in cost per owner would then be $10,000. If there were only ten buyers, then the acquisition cost per buyer would be $50,000. $50,000 will not buy much of a house on land, but on this ship it would buy 10% of a ship like the Vergina Sky and twelve cabins that could be converted into a fairly large home.

At the economy end of the scale, a co owner could buy 1% of an economical cruise ship for about $5000. However it is not necessary for all co owners to have equal shares in the ship. Ownership can easily be divided up into 1% increments. If one buyer wanted 5%, then his cost of acquisition would be $25,000. He would be entitled to 5% of the ship’s cabins, and would have five votes on operations and management of the ship, such as itinerary planning.

Before becoming a joint owner, it would be imperative to find other people who have similar goals. I would suggest composing a preliminary DCCR (DECLARATION OF

COVENANTS, CONDITIONS AND RESTRICTIONS). You can do this before you even shop for a ship. Write your version of how you envision the shared ownership of a cruise ship as it should be. Then see if you can find some people who agree with your goals and your DCCR, subject to some revisions and concessions to accommodate other joint owners.

Step One: Determine if you and your family have the desire and financial capability to become joint cruise ship (or megayacht) owners.

Step Two: Find others who agree with your concept for shared ownership of a ship.

Step Three: Shop for a ship. This is the fun part.

Step Four: Buy a ship.

Step Five: Put the ship into service.

Even if you are not rich, you can afford to jointly own a cruise ship. But then comes the next logical question: Why would you or anyone want to live on a cruise ship? Who would this be suitable for?

If you are retired or otherwise have a stable income from a dependable source you probably can afford to be a cruise ship co-owner and live full-time onboard a cruise ship. If you work in a field where you can work from home online, then you too can probably afford to become a co-owner of a cruise ship. Most modern ships have satellite Internet service available 24-7.

Operating a cruise ship is expensive. The expenses include the cost of fuel, labor, maintenance, repairs, spares, food, port charges, insurance, technical management, shore management, registration, and the other costs of operating the ship. At first glance these costs may seem expensive, but in reality the cost of living at sea is actually a bargain considering what you get based upon what you pay. The best value does not always translate to the cheapest price. If the ship is well managed, the management will seek the highest quality goods, services, and labor at the very best global value. If the owners are dissatisfied with either technical or shore management, they replace them.

If there are many other co-owners of the ship to split the operating expenses of the ship, it can be affordable for those with a moderate level of income, such as a retirement check. I do have specific operating cost figures but I won’t bore you with that data. The bottom line is that it would not be prohibitively expensive for a middle-class average person to be able to afford to own a fraction of a cruise ship and be able to afford to live on the cruise ship full-time if they elect to do so.

For comparison purposes it is noteworthy that you have expenses in land based housing too. Those expenses include property taxes, homeowners insurance, maintenance and repairs, yard care, and utilities. Additionally you have transportation costs and of course food costs. Most people also spend money on entertainment too. When these expenses are added up the maintenance fees for living aboard a ship are comparable.

There are actually some savings resulting from living aboard a ship. The ship’s executive chef buys food and kitchen supplies in bulk for the ship and can get better prices than the average shopper. Other savings result from the large freezers and the mobility of the ship giving the food service management the ability to stock up on supplies in countries where prices are low. Some crew and owners may choose to fish for leisure. This can supply some fresh food at even lower costs to the owners. Labor savings are realized when the crew is hired based upon the best global labor rates. The laws of supply and demand drive prices down in some places in the world. Proper ship management can capitalize on these disparities. All the savings would be passed on to the cabin owners resulting in an economical cost of living similar to what you could expect to spend with a conventional home. Ship management should have accounting transparency will all books (financial records) open and available for any owner to inspect. Also ship management should submit all financial records quarterly to an outside auditor for the peace of mind of the owners. Anybody in the chain who spends any of the ship’s operational funds should also be periodically audited. For example, a good way to audit the executive chef would be for one or more of the live-aboard co-owners of the ship to go to the food market district of each port of call and they should try to haggle and get a better price for the same food than the price the executive chef was able to acquire. If the executive chef cannot find better deals than the ship’s co-owners, then the executive chef should be given his walking papers. The executive chef position is a vital position on a cruise ship. This is a position of trust because he will bill the food he buys to the ship. He must never be tempted to accept bribes from vendors or suppliers. Therefore, he should know that he will be routinely audited and any substandard performance will result in termination of his employment.

The biggest value of all onboard cruise ship is in labor costs. The better cruise ships tend to be labor intensive, providing passengers with unrelenting attention and extravagant pampering. The hotel staff on all cruise ships provides the basic services including food preparation and serving, laundry, cabin stewarding, entertainment, casino operation, beauty shop operations, This is one area where I would prefer to not scrimp because of the very good value in these services due to the low cost of international labor. I would prefer to go beyond the level that most cruise ships go in the area of spas. Land based luxury and specialty resort spas are very expensive, but the exact same level of service, professionalism, skill, and treatments can be provided on a cruise ship at extremely low cost. Labor is the key and the primary reason for most of the expense of spas. Labor is a tremendous value on a cruise ship because the cruise ship managers can choose workers from the global marketplace where it is easy to get the best value for the money.

Spas

Spa treatment is customized for each client. Spas commonly offer services such as:

Soothing massage therapies, skin and body treatments drawing from European and Eastern principles, expert hair and nail services, and a full menu of therapeutic treatments utilizing a deep-cleansing facial at the start of the program, as well as a series of detoxification and contouring wraps, lypo-reduction wrap, as well as marine mud and herb wraps. Massage Therapies including: Swedish Massage, Shiatsu Massage, Deep Tissue Treatment, Maternity Massage, Therapeutic Foot Massage (Reflexology), French Hydrotherapy Massage.

The healing therapies include a variety of massages, reflexology, facials, firming and many other body treatments. Plus a wide variety of services and wellness programs specially designed to meet the individual’s needs and desires. A full service salon offers all manner of hair treatments (including a certified colorist), as well as a variety of manicures, pedicures, and ‘facelifts’ for your hands. Extensive skin care includes: Age Management Therapies including, Glycolic Facial, Anti-Aging Facial Peel, Microdermabrasion; Facials including: Aromaplasty Facial, Teen Facial, Gentleman’s Facial, Nutrisource Facial, Regulating Acne Facial, Vitamin “C” Skin Renewal Facial; Body Treatments including: Decleor Sauna Mask, French Hydrotherapy Massage, Andromeda Salt Glow, Mummy Mud Mask, Seaweed Body Wrap, Safe Sun Treatment, Herbal Wrap; as well as various hair and nail treatments.

Additionally, spas also can facilitate weight reduction programs, and even administer physical therapy. In short, you can be treated like a king, on the budget of a pauper.

Labor Costs – International competition provides the most value to the ship owners.

On paper it seems to make good sense to man the ship with a Philippine crew. I love the Philippines. I have been there several times. English is still widely spoken and usually spoken quite well. The people are usually friendly and happy to see foreign tourists. A large percentage of ships worldwide are manned by crews from the Philippines. The Philippine government has a pretty good structure and system to facilitate the export of Philippine labor. In spite of how attractive it seems on paper, I would recommend NOT hiring a crew from the Philippines. Philippine workers tend to be envious of others, and especially of everybody else’s wages. They tend to think they are getting the raw end of the deal. It is rare to find a Filipino who is happy with his employment. While I am sure there are many good employees from the Philippines, there are more who are dissatisfied than satisfied with their employment. There seems to be a cultural anomaly in the Philippines where people feel that employers are bad guys. I would hesitate to recommend a crew from the Philippines in spite of the apparent advantages on paper.

My recommendation (for what it is worth)

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.

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).

Putting a cruise ship into service

After acquiring the ship, it will require some more investment to put it into service. At this point the joint owners will need to reach some agreements on many points. The cost of putting a cruise ship into service as a megayacht (very large private yacht) is much less than putting the ship into commercial service. However, if you can afford to buy a ship can easily meet SOLAS 2010 requirements, and can afford to flag and register it as a commercial ship then you can use the ship commercially to produce income and ROI (return on investment).

There are many marketing options for a commercial cruise ship. If the owners use no more than half the cabins, then that will leave sufficient means to produce enough revenue to at least pay for operating costs, and possibly produce a profit above operating costs. I will just briefly touch on some of the options available for marketing cruise ship capacity.

1. Conventional cruises. There is a trade-off here. You can produce revenue by providing conventional cruises. This will require that the ship have an itinerary that suits the commercial cruising market.

2. Freight and cargo. Some cruise ships have enough cargo capacity to produce some revenue by booking freight.

3. Assisted living. A cruise ship is well suited for assisted living, including crew and facilities. The going rate for assisted living in the average city in America is higher than the average cost of a cruise of the same duration.

4. Timeshares. This is an option not available to conventional cruise ship operators but could be facilitated if your co-owners agree to this type of marketing to fill cabins not used by co-owners. I will not go into the figures here, but timeshares tend to be high profit sales. There is a good chance that if the joint owners use no more than half the ship’s cabins for their own personal use, the remaining cabins could easily produce more than the total amount all the joint owners combined have invested.

Ships that would easily meet SOLAS 2010 tend to cost a bit more money to buy up front, and cost more to put into service. So I will give you couple of examples.

The Orient Venus is one of my favorite high-end ships. The specs:

M/V ORIENT VENUS

BUILT: JULY 1990 AT I.H.I.TOKYO

JAPANESE FLAG

JG. NK OCEAN GOING

GRT: 21,884 TONS

DWT: 4,863 TONS ON 6.50 M

LOA x B x D : 174.0×24.0x8.7 M

M/ENG: DIESEL UNITED-12PC2-6V x 2 SETS ,

TWIN SCREW CPP

SPEED: SERVICE ABT21.0 KNOTS / ABT 56.70MT /D

FUEL TANKS CAPA: IFO 1,500.4 M3 /MDO 87.30M3

GENERATOR: 1,600KWxAC450Vx60HZx 3 SETS

ENGINE ROOM M0 SYSTEMS

CRUISING RANGE: ABT 7,000MILE

PASSENGERS: MAX 606 PERSONS

CREW: 120 PERSONS

ABA WOG

DELIVERY: BY ARRANGEMENT

INSPECTION : KOBE.JAPAN

OWNERS PRICE USD 22 MIL net here

My personal assessment of the Orient Venus

It is a late model and beautiful ship. It has many highly desirable attributes for a residential ship. It is a high end luxury cruise ship with an extraordinarily high tonnage to passenger ratio. This is very important for a residential ship. More living room and more space per passenger is far more essential for a residential ship than for a conventional cruise ship. When passengers are only on a ship for a short time, they can tolerate cramped living quarters, but when they live year-round on a ship, the extra space is quite valuable. The owners have been trying to sell this ship for $22,000,000. That may seem like a high price, but when you divide it by the number of cabins (195) the asking price per cabin is $102,564. This price is in line with what you would expect to pay for a condominium. The last word I got from the owners is that they will sell the ship for $18,000,000 now ($92,307 per cabin). The cabins are all “outside” cabins and are large. The ship can accommodate 606 passengers and a crew of 120, for a total of 726 people.

Several ship brokers have this ship listed. I usually do not talk to ship brokers. I prefer to talk directly with the ship owners. I am in contact with the owners of the Orient Venus. I could probably get this stunningly beautiful ship for less than $15,000,000 today, and get some concessions and extras thrown in to boot.

Another example of a high end ship that would make do well as a commercial cruise ship, plus accommodate a hundred or so full-time live aboard co-owners is the Dream Princess, originally named Song of Norway.

GRT: 22,945

Max Draft: 6.7 M in sea water

Length: 194 M.

Total No. of Cabins: 538

Total No. Of Beds + Berth: 1280

Outside Cabins: 346

Inside Cabins: 192

Cabins size range: SQ. M: 11 -18.

Main Engines: 4 Wartsila Sulzer – 18,000 HP.

Service Speed: 16 Knots.

Public Rooms:

Main Dinning room – “King & I”- about 500 pax.

South Pacific Lounge about 400 pax.

My Fair Lady Lounge about 500 pax.

Bars- 5

Self Service Restaurant on the swimming pool deck

Large Swimming pool

Disco

Casino

Duty Free Shops

Gym

8 passenger decks

extensive outdoor areas

Ship was redecorated / refurbished extensively during 2005.

The asking price on this ship is $31 million USD. Divide the asking price by the number of cabins and the average cost per cabin would be $57,620. Of course some cabins are better than others so co-owners would have to agree of the shared usage before agreeing to the purchase.

I have some bad news for the ship owners and some good news for you. This ship will not sell for the asking price.

Fuel

Ship fuel is cheaper than automobile fuel for a few reasons. There are no road taxes on ship fuel of course and also it is different fuel. Ships main engines usually run on IFO180 or IFO380. Generator engines tend to be more finicky and commonly require diesel (MDO), which is still cheaper than automotive diesel. IFO 180 and 380 costs much less than MDO, usually about half the price. Ships consume a lot of fuel. So fuel cost is a major concern. I have some suggestions. If I were a co-owner of a ship I would be willing to invest a little more in the ship to increase fuel efficiency, and thus lower operating costs. There are many things that can be done to increase fuel efficiency. I would start with hull resistance. There is a new silicone-based paint from International Paints that when applied to the hull reduces amount of resistance in the water sufficiently to result in a 3 to 5% decrease in fuel consumption. A similar coating for the propellers also has been proven to increase fuel efficiency.

In addition to hull and prop coatings, there is an even more promising way to achieve dramatic fuel savings.

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.

There are hundreds of cruise ships on the market but I will just mention one more here. This cruise ship has RO/RO (Roll-On, Roll-Off) capability. This would be very convenient for live aboard owners who want to bring their “toys” with them. The garage deck will accommodate 6 to 8 trucks, or 60 to 80 cars. That converts to a lot of co-owner toys such as motorhomes, travel trailers, campers, cabin cruisers, ski boats, jet skis, sailboats, houseboats, bass boats, motorcycles, ATVs, cars, and trucks.

Specifications:

650 PASSENGER CRUISE SHIP FOR SALE

VESSEL IS FULLY FITTED WITH SPRINKLERS

SOLAS 2005/2010 FITTED

TWIN SCREW CRUISE

VESSEL DIMENSIONS LOA 137.10 X BREADTH 21.00 X 5.8 METERS DRAFT

BUILT 1981 / POLAND

REBUILT 1991

REBUILT – UPGRADED 1999

REBUILT – RENOVATED – REFURBISHED 2002

CLASS R.S. ICE CLASS L2

GRT 12637

PASSENGERS 650 IN 230 CABINS (BASIS 3 BERTH OCCUPANCY)

ALL CABINS WITH PRIVATE FACILITIES (INCLUDING SUITES AND SEMI SUITES)

9 DECKS

HELICOPTER PAD

MAIN ENGINES SULZER 4 X 4,350 BHP

SPEED ABOUT 17.5 / 15 KNOTS ON ABOUT 45 / 36 M/TONS + 9 TONS DIESEL OIL

BOWTHRUSTER 800 BHP

STABILIZERS

120 TONS PER DAY WATER MAKER

RECEPTION

LOUNGE

RESTAURANT (420 SEATS)

NINE BARS

CASINO

DUTY FREE SHOP

CHILDREN’S PLAY ROOM – TWO DISCOS

TV/MOVIE CORNER

DUTY FREE SHOPS

HAIRDRESSING SHOP

JACUZZI

ONE PASSENGER ELEVATOR

LAUNDRY SPA & HEALTH CLUB

TWO SAUNAS

CLINIC

TWO SWIMMING POOLS (ADULT & CHILDREN)

Cost per cabin based on asking price, $71,739. This ship will sell for less than asking price. It is already SOLAS 2010 compliant. It would cost very little to put into commercial service.

Conclusion

Becoming a co-owner of a cruise ship is not a far fetched idea. It is practical and feasible if you are able to find like minded people who would be willing to share the expenses.

Cruise Ship Review – Review of the Celebrity Mercury

The Celebrity Mercury is one of the older ships in the Celebrity fleet. This line of cruise ships have been admired by experienced and first time cruisers alike. Built in 1997 this is an impressive ship, not just in the amenities that it offers but also in the visual appeal and the classic look.

The rooms have more than adequate space for clothing and other luggage and the service is world-renown. The first thing that you will notice when you enter the ship is the grand foyer on the promenade deck. From there you can make your way up to the entertainment deck, another of the eleven decks on this relatively small ship. If you are into small and intimate settings on your cruise then this one is definitely for you.

For your shipboard entertainment, the Celebrity Mercury features the Celebrity Theater in the front of the ship and the Pavilion Night Club in the rear. The Celebrity Mercury has all the attractions of a large size ship such as a casino, a large shopping terrace, the library and even a Martini Bar. The main dining room is supplemented nicely by the ample lido deck buffet and the additional dining rooms.

As a general rule, you cannot go wrong with Celebrity cruise lines. This is a five-star fleet with a jazzy upscale feel. I personally really like smaller ships. I think that the service is better and the passenger per gross tonnage of the ship is often better than the larger ships.

The Celebrity Mercury has all that and more. A first-class cruise and an outstanding experience overall.