Sunday, October 30, 2005

Ft Lauderdale in disarray

I just flew in to Ft Lauderdale and the Hurricane Wilma aftermath is still quite impresive. Power is still out, making driving an expedition. I am attending training at the STAR center and things here are still hit an miss, with the power situation although they have theyre own generators.

And all this, is a week after Wilma hit. Pretty impressive. You could see as we were landing that the area was pretty badly affected. Roofs were torn off, many trees just uprooted, many others barely standing, many buildings damaged, and that just at the airport!

Hopefully Hurricane Beta will keep its distance. Cheers to all.


Monday, October 24, 2005

Enchantment in the Netherlands

Here's a pictures of the Enchantment during its recent lenghtening process and below is the press release from Royal Caribbean.

MIAMI, May 31, 2005 – Shipbuilding technology has come a long way since Royal Caribbean International lengthened its last ship 25 years ago. Royal Caribbean’s third ship to be extended, Enchantment of the Seas, lies in dry dock this month, where workmen are laboring round-the-clock to add a 22.2-meter (73-foot) midsection and other major innovations. What once took three months now takes one, and assembly is on dry land.

Royal Caribbean teamed with two European shipyards to stretch the eight-year-old Enchantment of the Seas. Aker Finnyards of Finland, which built the original ship, was given overall responsibility for designing, building and installing the mid-body section. Aker asked Keppel Verolme of Rotterdam, The Netherlands, to split the ship in two, insert the midsection, and reassemble the parts. When again whole, Enchantment of the Seas will return to sea for sea trials and soon afterwards will resume service on July 7, 2005.

“This partnership has been outstanding,” said Royal Caribbean Chairman and CEO Richard Fain. “The final product exemplifies not only the very best in shipbuilding, but the very best in what cruisers have come to expect of a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation.”
“Aker Finnyards is proud to present this project as one more achievement during the 35-year cooperation with Royal Caribbean, including 14 delivered cruise vessel newbuildings and three lengthenings,” said Aker Finnyards President Yrjö Julin.

Planning among the three teams began more than a year ago. Construction started on the mid-body last September, and the finished mid-body sailed the Baltic and North seas by barge 2,300 kilometers (1,430 miles) to Rotterdam earlier this month. Meanwhile, Enchantment of the Seas arrived May 15 at the Keppel Verolme yard and entered dry dock, where the mid-body was waiting. The size of the dry-dock bay, one of the largest in the world, allowed the ship and mid-body to sit side-by-side, and allowed for use of an advanced and faster lengthening process.

Splitting the ship in two took workers six days to cut through more than 600 meters (1,969 linear feet) of steel with gas and oxygen torches and circular saws. Once they were severed, sections were moved into place with skids and hydraulic jacks, which were guided by a laser alignment system. The 10,265-metric-ton (11,315-ton) bow section slid first. The 2,666-metric-ton (2,939-ton) mid-body was then moved into alignment and pushed back toward the ship’s aft section. The bow section was then moved back into place.

Twenty-five years ago, when Royal Caribbean stretched Nordic Prince, the yard had to fill the dry dock with water; float the aft section of the ship out of the bay, the midsection into the dock, and the aft section back into the bay; and then drain the dry dock and reconnect the ship.

Today, workmen are welding Enchantment of the Seas back together, a painstaking, two-week job that also involves reattaching nearly 1,300 individual cables, pipes and ducts to each end of the new mid-body.
“The scope of this project presented a great challenge for Keppel Verolme and our partner ALE Lastra, which required drawing on our in-house shipbuilding knowledge to optimize the cutting, skidding and insertion process,” said Keppel Verolme Managing Director Harold W.M. Linssen. “Making maximum use of our facilities to offer the highest level of service in both quality and safety is our ambition, and we are proud to provide innovative solutions for our marine clients.”

Additional Space For New Amenities, Activities

The lengthened ship will have 151 new staterooms and a number of new venues and amenities, including soaring suspension bridges on Deck 10, a vitality course with four fitness stops, an interactive water fountain play area and the first bungee trampolines at sea.

Several of Royal Caribbean’s signature features also are being added, borrowing from the line’s latest ships, including Boleros Latin lounge, Chops Grille steakhouse specialty restaurant and Latte’tudes coffee and ice cream shop, offering Seattle’s Best Coffee® and Ben & Jerry’s®.

Enchantment of the Seas will sail a series of New England/Canada sailings from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J., Philadelphia and Boston when she reenters service in July. She returns to Fort Lauderdale in October to resume four- and five-night Caribbean itineraries.

Drunken crewmen vandalise QE2

I've heard of some good parties onboard, but looks like they had quite a mixer on the QE 2. Here an article from SHAN ROSS.

Key quote
"We can confirm that an incident occurred onboard during the night of 14 April. Three crew members were subsequently dismissed." - SPOKESPERSON FOR CUNARD

A PRICELESS tapestry of the Queen commissioned to mark the launch of the Clyde-built QE2 is believed to have been thrown overboard by drunken crewmen during a mid-Atlantic staff party.

Two other tapestries were damaged. The three large works, all showing scenes from the ship’s history, were by the Swedish-born artist Helena Barynina Hernmarck, and hung in the liner’s stairwell.

A portrait of the Queen was also badly damaged during the wrecking spree, which left the cruise liner with thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Three crew members were detained onboard and arrested when the ship docked at Southampton on Saturday at the end of a three-month world cruise. The men, one aged 23 and the others 22, were released on bail yesterday. A spokesman for Cunard, the liner’s owner, confirmed that the three men had been dismissed.

Last night, police appealed for anyone who may find the tapestry to contact them.

The vandalism, which took place at about 2:30am last Thursday, also resulted in damage to the ship’s entertainment area, toilets and a lifeboat.

A spokesman for Cunard, said: "We can confirm that an incident occurred onboard during the night of 14 April. Three crew members were subsequently dismissed."

Inspector Graham Norman of Hampshire Police said: "The three crew members were held in custody yesterday in Southampton and they have now been bailed to 26 May pending inquiries."

He said the chances of recovering the tapestry were "small".

The damage followed a staff party held on the crew deck of the vessel as it made its way back from the Caribbean.

Hernmarck, 64, was a rising star in the art world when her work was chosen to grace the walls of the Cunard flagship.

Her work is shown in the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Museum of American Art in Washington DC and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The artist, who lives in the United States, was awarded Sweden’s prestigious Prins Eugen Medal in 1999 and elected Swedish American of the Year in 2000.

On Saturday the 70,327-ton QE2 docked alongside the Queen Mary 2 in Southampton on their first UK visit of the year. It was only the second time the two ships had been in their home port together.

The QE2, built by John Brown & Co, was launched by the Queen on 20 September, 1967. The liner was the last passenger ship to be built on the Clyde.

Confined space ?

I came across this article on the Monarch of the Seas, at the Port of LA, about a terrible accident with loss of life. As you are probably wondering how the heck this exactly happen. I am not sure myself, but it sounds like the article is not completely accurate. Although it seemed to be the most accurate from the half dozen or so I read. If it was indeed methane, I guess they are lucky it did not ignite.

3 crew members killed by gas leak on cruise ship in LA harbor

Associated Press
Sept. 2, 2005 11:44 AM

LOS ANGELES - Three crew members were killed by an apparent methane gas leak aboard a cruise ship in the Port of Los Angeles on Friday, a fire spokeswoman said. There were three fatalities and seven other people injured, Fire Department spokeswoman Melissa Kelley said.

No passengers were involved, she said. Two of the injured were ship's physicians who had gone to aid the others. Two of the injured were being taken to hospitals. The other five were "walking," she said. The incident aboard Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas was reported at 9:15 a.m.

Crew members were performing routine maintenance in the starboard propeller shaft when they came in contact with the gas, Kelley said. Firefighters discovered a five-gallon container of raw sewage that was the apparent source of the methane leak, she said. Passengers were allowed to remain aboard the ship.

The 14-year-old Monarch of the Seas is based in Los Angeles harbor and normally cruises to Baja California, according to the line's Web site. Registered in the Bahamas, it and can carry up to 2,744 passengers and 856 crew.

The ship is 880 feet long, 106 feet wide, cruises at 21 knots, has 14 passenger decks.

Navy sub hits mountain

I'm sure most of you have allready seen these pictures of a USN attack sub in drydock after colliding with an underwater mountain. Here is the write up from the BBC:

US nuclear submarine runs aground

A US nuclear submarine has run aground south of the Pacific island of Guam, injuring several sailors on board. The nuclear reactor on the USS San Francisco was not damaged in the incident, which is currently being investigated, the Navy said.

One of the sailors is reported to have sustained a serious injury. The submarine is currently on its way back to its base on Guam, nearly 600 kilometres (350 miles) south of where the incident occurred. "The extent of the injuries and damage aboard San Francisco is still being assessed, but includes one critical injury and several other lesser injuries," the Navy said. "The submarine is on the surface and is making best speed back to their homeport in Guam," it said. Military and Coast Guard aircraft had been sent out to monitor the submarine's welfare.

Guam, a territory of the US, is one of the American military's most important bases in the Pacific. The Los Angeles-class submarines are 109.73 meters (360 ft) long and are classed as attack vessels, designed to counter enemy submarines or surface vessels. They are equipped with a single nuclear reactor. The vessels carry a crew of 137.

Published: 2005/01/08 13:30:03 GMT

Freedom of the Seas

The Freedom of the Seas is floated out for the first time all was good. Though, I am not impressed with the new name - i feel a clunky marketing campaign to americans is afoot - which probably cheepens this new impressive ship given the current political misuses of "freedom".

The ship is being built in at the Aker Yard in Turku Finland. Where alot of other Royal Carribean ships have been built. The new ship is impressive in numbers, but not soo much for its innovative features, other than the cool new surf pool and other passenger amenities. The ship itself is nearly identical to its cousins in the Voyager class. The Freedom is pretty much identical in design and machinery to the 5 Voyager Class ships allready in service, except it feaures one additional fire zone, extending the lenght overall and passenger capacity and related amenities. The propulsion plant of the Freedom is the same as the Voyager class which comprise of six Wartsila 46 V12 each rated at 12.6 mW (~17,000hp) diesels driving electric generators at 514 rpms. Three pods, two of them azimuthing, one fixed are used for propulsion along with 4 bow thrusters.

There is two ships ordered, the Freedom due out in April 2006. The engineering department crewing is underway, starting out with my old chief engineer from the Rhapsody taking one of the Chief Engineer positions.

The Voyager class is great success story for RCI despise the negative comments that were floating around when they were built. Too big this, too big that, but really all naysayers have been silenced as they are very popular ships, always filled to capacity.

I suspect that RCI will be recognized for not just having 7 of the biggest passenger ships afloats, but also experimenting with new ideas and contributing to the development of new marine technology and style.

Check out the pretty cool website featuring pics and videos of the build at, and the builder Aker Finnyards at which also features a construction video.