Friday, October 16, 2009

"Antigua 6" Return

The six Americans off Carnival Victory who got in a dispute with a taxi driver over a fare and were subsequently arrested by police on Antigua for fighting with them, have returned to New York after their month-long trial on the island. They ended up pleading guilty to lesser charges and paying a fine.

The New York Daily News reported on their return last week. There are two interesting things about the article posted online. One is that they don't seem to have learned anything by the experience. The incident began when they they believed the taxi driver was trying to overcharge them. There were eleven people in the taxi, and the amount that was in dispute was $50. The difference would have amounted to less than $5 per person. They were in a different country with different customs and different standards and different laws. They were detained for a month during which time it has been reported that some of them were in danger of losing their jobs, and one had to take a semester off of school. They (or someone) had to pay their air fare back and other expenses they incurred during their time on the island, and they lost the last part of their cruise. Not once did any of them say it would have been a better idea to just go ahead and pay the taxi fare.

The other interesting thing is how the tide of public opinion seems to have turned against them. The first couple of items posted in the Daily News seemed to have a lot of postings in the comments that supported them. This time there are few supporters posting, and they are far outnumbered by those who see the six as completely wrong.

But what about the taxi driver at the center of the original dispute? He has plenty to say on the subject in the Antigua Sun.

In any case, it's a safe bet that none of the six will be going back to Antigua any time soon.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

SS Independence at Alang for Breaking, but ...

India's Tehelka magazine reports that the former US-flagged Independence (which used to operate in Hawaii) has arrived at Alang for breaking, but it's now at the center of a controversy due to the environmental hazards it presents. According to the magazine, there was apparently a deception involved to hide the true identity of the ship from officials and have it dismantled in violation of international environmental laws.

NCL Names Epic Master

At a live web event today, Norwegian Cruise Line named Trygve Vorren the captain who will bring out Norwegian Epic next year.

Vorren is a Norwegian with 40-plus years of experience at sea, and he is currently captaining Norwegian Jade.

Also announced as a captain will be Hakan Svedun, with 35-years at sea and 15 years in the cruise industry.

Klaus Lugmaier will be the hotel director bringing the ship out. He has brought out the line's last eight vessels. Sean Wurmhoeringer will server as his alternate.

NCL also announced the schedule for preview cruises for the trade. They will begin with a 2-night cruise from Rotterdam on June 19, followed by a 1-night transit to Southampton on June 21. The European cruises will end with a 2-night round trip from Southampton on June 22. The ship then makes its revenue crossing to New York.

Once in the US, there will be a 3-night event in New York on July 2 and a 2-night round trip from Miami on July 8. (Due to US regulations, the ship will deadhead without passengers from New York to Miami.) The ship then enters regular revenue service on July 10.