What's the problem with Italy and ships?


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Profile Chris SProject donor
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Message 1204649 - Posted: 10 Mar 2012, 17:28:55 UTC

Another one

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Message 1204670 - Posted: 10 Mar 2012, 18:40:47 UTC - in response to Message 1204649.

Well, this one was a bit different story, the first two though -- that's on the operator -- the same operator -- who might well be out of business at some time after the claims come home.

By the way, you go up the Costas food chain and I believe they are linked with Princess and Carnival. Carnival had a ship fire last year that caused a serious mess in a cruise from LA to Mexico and back.

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Message 1204684 - Posted: 10 Mar 2012, 19:28:02 UTC

I'd imagine it's likely coincidence rather than a sign that Italy has a new found problem with sailing, after all:

"BBC Science" wrote:
"Two large ships sink every week on average," said Wolfgang Rosenthal, of the GKSS Research Centre in Geesthacht, Germany. "But the cause is never studied to the same detail as an air crash. It simply gets put down to 'bad weather'."

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I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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Message 1204706 - Posted: 10 Mar 2012, 20:40:27 UTC

Fair comment there, but Italy is not exactly known for it's maritime expertise. Probably a combination of things. However, in the unlikely event that I ever go on a cruise, I think I'll stick with P&O or Cunard.

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Message 1204830 - Posted: 11 Mar 2012, 5:48:10 UTC

Christopher Columbus didn't know where he was going.

It has been the same ever since.

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Message 1204832 - Posted: 11 Mar 2012, 5:58:43 UTC - in response to Message 1204706.

Fair comment there, but Italy is not exactly known for it's maritime expertise. Probably a combination of things. However, in the unlikely event that I ever go on a cruise, I think I'll stick with P&O or Cunard.

You might just want to check this Carnival Corporation.

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Message 1204853 - Posted: 11 Mar 2012, 9:53:58 UTC

Thanks WK, some extra links below. I'm still happy to travel P&O as it's run separately.

The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, which is usually known as P&O, is a British shipping and logistics company which dated from the early 19th century. Following its sale in March 2006 to Dubai Ports World for £3.9 billion, it became a subsidiary of DP World; however, the P&O brand has been retained.


P&O Princess Cruises plc was a shipping company that existed between 2000 and 2003, operating the P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, A'Rosa Cruises, AIDA Cruises and Ocean Village branded cruise lines. The company was formed from the de-merged passenger services of the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) and operated until 2003 when it was re-listed as Carnival plc following a merger with Carnival Corporation


Carnival plc is the UK-listed holding company of the Carnival Group. It was formed as a result of the merger between Carnival Corporation and P&O Princess Cruises in 2003. It was agreed that P&O Princess would remain as a separate company, with a predominantly British shareholder body and largely retaining the P&O Princess executive team. Subsequently, P&O Princess was simply re-listed as Carnival plc, creating a dual-listed company. Carnival plc is associated with Carnival UK operations, but also has responsibility for Costa Cruises, Carnival Cruises and Holland America Line, with these companies having offices at Carnival plc headquarters in Gainsford Street, London.

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Message 1205324 - Posted: 13 Mar 2012, 2:52:02 UTC

You can even go back to the 1950's and the sinking of the "Andrea Doria" after it crossed the wrong way approaching the MS "Stockholm" in the fog nearing the entrance to New York harbor and was rammed. In the aftermath the crew of the Italian liner displayed very poor seamanship as it was the crew of the Stockholm who manned their own lifeboats to rescue the bulk of the passengers from the Doria.
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Message 1206080 - Posted: 15 Mar 2012, 11:13:36 UTC

I always understood that usually only the Captain and senior officers of cruise ships are of the Nationality of the ship. Most of the crew are a hotch potch of many nationalities. Every time a message is broadcast it's in about 8 different languages with usually English being the last.

The reason is because traditionally cruise ship staff are low paid, and are expected to make up their wages via tips from the passengers. They think that this encourages good customer service. But it doesn't, because you end up with low grade staff trying to cope in an emergency. It's endemic across the whole industry, not just in Italy.

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Message 1206254 - Posted: 15 Mar 2012, 20:18:06 UTC

The Andrea Doria was a dedicated North Atlantic ocean liner and even though a good number of her crew were part of the passenger service staff it was reported in the book I read about the incident that her sailors in several cases manned the lifeboats only partially full and after getting to the Stockholm refused to go back for more survivors.

It was also mentioned in the book that had the Captain of the Doria made a decision early to counter flood the fuel tanks on the opposite side from where she was rammed the liner most likely would have survived. His reason for not doing so was (at the time) a concern that the owners would have gotten angry over the expense of cleaning the tanks after docking.

I know I have strayed a bit but this is an example of poor training in the Italian sailing schools
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Message 1206279 - Posted: 15 Mar 2012, 21:20:38 UTC - in response to Message 1206080.

I always understood that usually only the Captain and senior officers of cruise ships are of the Nationality of the ship.

I thought they could be any nationality at all, otherwise why are there flags of convenience? I suspect they only need a license from the flag government.

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Message 1206282 - Posted: 15 Mar 2012, 21:32:15 UTC

Flags of convenience are used by ship owners to avoid taxes in their own country. That is why so many ships are registered in a country different than the owners.

Due to its status as a flag of convenience, Liberia has the second-largest maritime registry in the world behind Panama, with 3,500 vessels registered under its flag accounting for 11% of ships worldwide.


The composition of the crew is another matter.

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Message 1212256 - Posted: 31 Mar 2012, 9:23:08 UTC

I think the problem today with many cruise lines is greed. There are many of these incidents occurring too often lately, so is their health & safety being slackened &/or their staff training under par?

Fire onboard Cruise Ship
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Message 1212439 - Posted: 31 Mar 2012, 17:41:02 UTC

so is their health & safety being slackened &/or their staff training under par?


Neither really.

Like the catering and hotel industries, the cruise ship industry is notoriously badly paid. Traditionally employers have a no questions asked ethos and are not too fussy if people do not have "paperwork", provided they are prepared to work long hours for low pay. In the "Service" industries employers rely upon tips to the workers to make up the pay.

Consequently Except for the Captain and senior officers, the rest of the staff are usually lowly educated ethnic minorities who are the only ones willing to take that sort of work. If you have an Engine Room fire, no matter how capable the Chief, 1st & 2nd Engineers are, if the rest cannot use the fire fighting equipment you're stuffed.

All ships of any kind have to have regular inspections and issued with safety certificates before they can sail. The Senior officers also have to be certificated. The same does not apply to the rest of the crew. There is your problem.

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Message 1212457 - Posted: 31 Mar 2012, 18:14:41 UTC - in response to Message 1212439.


Neither really.

Like the catering and hotel industries, the cruise ship industry is notoriously badly paid. Traditionally employers have a no questions asked ethos and are not too fussy if people do not have "paperwork", provided they are prepared to work long hours for low pay. In the "Service" industries employers rely upon tips to the workers to make up the pay.

Consequently Except for the Captain and senior officers, the rest of the staff are usually lowly educated ethnic minorities who are the only ones willing to take that sort of work. If you have an Engine Room fire, no matter how capable the Chief, 1st & 2nd Engineers are, if the rest cannot use the fire fighting equipment you're stuffed.

All ships of any kind have to have regular inspections and issued with safety certificates before they can sail. The Senior officers also have to be certificated. The same does not apply to the rest of the crew. There is your problem.



Is that a fact! I wouldn't have thought of that after 30 years in the transport industry & you're wrong. That is not the problem. The problem is the fatcat owners taking out the profits without investing properly in their own companies.

Ah whats a little fire. The odds of it happening on all the ships within one company are pretty high & then that's what insurance is for.

The days of the Captain(+owners) going down with the ship are long dead!
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Message 1212480 - Posted: 31 Mar 2012, 18:38:03 UTC

Is that a fact! I wouldn't have thought of that after 30 years in the transport industry & you're wrong.


I believe that your 30 years experience is in the Rail and Road transport sectors, where quite different rules seem to apply.

Ah whats a little fire. The odds of it happening on all the ships within one company are pretty high & then that's what insurance is for.


Why are the odds pretty high in one company as against a cross section of companies? And anyway any fire on board a ship, however small, is a serious matter.

The days of the Captain(+owners) going down with the ship are long dead!


And why shouldn't it be. Any subsequent board of enquiry would get much more information from a surviving Captain as to the cause of an accident, and be able to make recommendations to prevent it in future.

I think your obvious talents are not being fully utilised, you should be a headline writer for the Mail. ;-)))



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Message 1212501 - Posted: 31 Mar 2012, 19:16:00 UTC - in response to Message 1212480.

No matter what a board of inquiry recommends, the accidents continue to happen, or have you forgotten what you've already posted?

Quote "Like the catering and hotel industries, the cruise ship industry is notoriously badly paid." unquoute.

Money talks, Safety walks.

As for headline writing, I did work for the Guardian in 1972 but got sacked after 4 months - not Guardianista enough for them!
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Message 1212534 - Posted: 31 Mar 2012, 20:13:07 UTC

not Guardianista enough for them!


Well you have to have the prerequisite goatee beard, open toes sandals, donate to Greenpeace, be a teacher, and fantasise about Polly Toynbee. It's in the small print of the contract.

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Message 1212607 - Posted: 31 Mar 2012, 23:42:21 UTC
Last modified: 31 Mar 2012, 23:43:28 UTC

Polly Toynbee ...

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Message 1212762 - Posted: 1 Apr 2012, 9:46:56 UTC

Aha! a secret Grauniad reader comes out!


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