Posts from the ‘Cruise’ Category

UPDATE: Costa Cruise Line, offers passengers €11,000 ($14,503 Cdn) but class action suit is underway already

Giglio Island, Italy - Costa Cruise Lines have made an offer to surviving passengers of the tragic accident off the coast of Italy on January 13th. Some may take the settlement, but it is highly unlikely, as a class action suit is currently underway.The offer made, of course has strings attached, they must agree they will not make any further claims and must take the money within the next few weeks. The other option, for the surviving passengers only, (crew is not included in this offer) is to wait it out, for an expected over $100 million class action suit, which is being prepared.

The only problem with waiting, is it could take years to sort this out in the courts, and there is no guarantee that anyone will receive anything.

It appears that the settlement amount of €11,000 (euros) may be equivalent to, either twice or three times of the passengers fare. The settlement would also offer additional funds for medical bills (after the accident,) lost baggage and psychological trauma incurred because of the tragedy. Costa Cruise Line have said they would reimburse the full cost of the cruise, and any travel expenses related to the grounding of the Concordia, wow are they ever generous.

Fares vary, depending on what type of cabin you request, but it has been determined (by calling to make a reservation) that a similar cruise by Costa on the Cruise Liner Magica would cost around $4000 (USD) if purchased today, that is for double occupancy plus taxes. I asked if there were any other charges, and they said “no.”

But don’t forget, you have to get to Barcelona to catch the Magica at your own expense.

But further research showed, that to have a postcard mailed from the ship, that’s an additional $2 per postcard, and a picture with the Captain, would be $20. That doesn’t include all the other extras, I’m sure would be aboard, as there is nowhere else to shop, once you’re at sea. The phone lines were quite busy, which astonished me, but that may be because of the people cancelling their cruises. Oh yes, don’t forget if you book in June, and you want to cancel, there is some small print, if you cancel 90 days before she sails, “they say” you get a full refund, (less a standard deduction of $800.) If you cancel 44-50 days prior, it’s a 50% charge, or if you wait until less than 14 days prior to sailing, you lose 100%.

If you take a booking in June 2012, The Magica would sail from Barcelona, Spain to Sicily, Italy and back with several stops along the way, and include your Cat B1 cabin and meals. It’s all inclusive package for the Western Mediterranean Cruise, but any alcohol and tips are extra.

If you have never taken a cruise before you may be surprised by how much extra tips actually add onto the fare and Cruise Critic is a great resource for info about the cruise industry. And then again, there are the extra charges onboard, which really add up quickly.

After careful consideration, I think we will stay in Canada and just take a bus to Calgary, or maybe a train to Quebec City, it seems a little safer, and I don’t have to learn how to swim.

“Welcome aboard!”

dandmb50flickr's photos on Flickriver
Daniel … Toronto, Canada
My take on everything
@dandmb50



Hidden costs/FEES – As reported in the Toronto Star (AP)  today
“Codacons, a consumer group which did not participate in the negotiation, is collecting names for a class action suit to be filed in Miami requesting 125,000 euros for each passenger.”

UPDATE: Costa Concordia, confirmed death tole now ’16’ confirmed dead – Costa Cruises denies offering any discounts

Giglio Island, Italy - The death toll has risen to 16 confirmed dead and the fuel removal is expected to begin on Saturday. Many ships are currently on site for salvage purposes and a large ship is expected to  offload the 500,000 gallons of fuel. Many are still missing but rescuers claim they have checked every cabin and found no more survivors. The salvage crew SMIT  from The Netherlands, has been charged with the removal of the fuel and salvage operations.

In a statement on theiwebsite, Costa Cruises  said Tuesday, January 24/2012  “The company has never offered any discount on future cruises to guests who were on board the Costa Concordia for the cruise of January 13th and involved in the tragic accident. The information published by a newspaper and reported in various news outlets is totally unfounded”

A recent audio of the original statement from the Captain Francesco Schettino, and promoted in 2006  (Dubbed ‘Chicken of the Sea by The New York Post) has been released and can be heard on  The Telegraph UK website  regarding  black-out claims. Schettino is still under house arrest and charged with manslaughter, abandoning ship and causing a shipwreck.

As reported by Reuters Captain Schettino was told to ‘sail past’ the coast,

“Fabri … anyone else in my place wouldn’t have been so nice as to go there because they were breaking my balls, saying ‘go there, go there’,” Schettino says in the conversation taped while he was being held following his arrest over the incident.

“…the rock was there but it didn’t show up in the instruments I had and I went there … to satisfy the manager, ‘go there, go there’.”

dandmb50flickr's photos on Flickriver
Daniel … Toronto, Canada
My take on everything
@dandmb50



UPDATE: Costa Cruise Line, offers 30% discount on ‘next cruise’ insulting, give me a break

Giglio Island, Italy - Reports have said that Costa Cruises have offered 30% discount on the ‘next cruise’ to survivors rescued Friday 13th. That is if you weren’t one of the 15 already dead from the tragedy in Giglio Island, Italy.
Costa Concordia one of the largest cruise ships in the industry had 4200 aboard (including staff and crew) when it crashed into the rocks near Giglio Island, Italy while the ship made a ‘hot dog’ sail past, near the hilly coastline of Italy.
Costa Ship Lines who’s parent company is Carnival Cruise Lines out of Miami, USA, has tried to distant itself from the accident, as many will undoubtedly launch $100 million class action suits after the tragedy.
So far 15 passengers have been confirmed dead and almost 20 are still reported missing. It was just revealed yesterday that there may also be unregistered people that were on the ship as stowaways that could also be missing on the ship.
The offer made to survivors of this terrible tragedy is insulting, and I seriously doubt if anyone would accept such an offer. This would also be no comfort to the 15 who are already dead from no fault of their own.
The Captain of the ship Francesco Schettino (dubbed the ‘Chicken of the Sea’  by the New York Post) has been put under house arrest and is expected to be charged with abandoning ship, and manslaughter. It has been reported that he was ‘showboating’ when he went off his regular course by Giglio Island and steered closely to the shore and became grounded in the rocks.
Schettino even went as far as to say he “tripped and fell into a lifeboat” which just happened to have other officers from the ship in it. He is denying he abandoned ship on purpose.
In the video a crew member tells passengers, “go back to your cabins, everything is OK, we just have a small electrical problem.” As it turned out, much of what the passengers were told, was not completely accurate.
Salvage crews are waiting in the wings as the ship is still sitting on the rocks, and the plan is to remove the fuel and then somehow upright the ship.
For over a week the Italian Government has had an oil/fuel boom in place in case this becomes an environmental issue, but at this point there has been no spills reported.

dandmb50flickr's photos on Flickriver
Daniel … Toronto, Canada
My take on everything
@dandmb50



UPDATE: Cruise Ship ‘Costa Concordia’ was there ‘stowaways’ on the ship of 4200?

(Near) – Giglio Island, Italy - It appears there may have been unregistered passengers (stowaways)  aboard the Costa Concordia of over 4200, (including staff and crew) and more may be missing, than the original 20 that had been previously reported.

It’s a practice that has been in place forever, and it’s more unusual in the last hundred years but it still does go on, in ships, planes and yes, on trains.

Reports say that Hungarian passenger relative has come forward and said their daughter may have been on the Costa Concordia, and not a ticketed passenger. Some get on in many different ways and if that is the case, many more may be missing than the amount of about 20 passengers, and because they hide in unknown locations, it will be more difficult to find them.

dandmb50flickr's photos on Flickriver
Daniel … Toronto, Canada
My take on everything
@dandmb50



UPDATE: Cruise Ship ‘Costa Concordia’ ‘Just go back to your cabin everything is OK’ – 13 confirmed dead

(Near) – Giglio Island, Italy - An unidentified Costa Concordia staff/crew member in her black blouse is making an announcement to the passengers just after the accident occurred, or the electrical problem surfaced. She says “But I ask you couteously, go back to cabins, and sitted down, everything is under control.” (her words not mine)

I’m sure the 13 dead and almost 24 missing would have a different take on that.

NOTE: To read the closed captioning (Translated to English) on the video, be sure to click the ‘CC’ button at the bottom of the video, you may also increase the size (full screen) of the video by clicking the furthest right box at the bottom of the video.

A little cruise history, we all remember Titanic sinking on it’s maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City in April 14/1912, when 1522 died and only 705 were rescued by the Carpathia on April 15/1912.
Many have said the accident reminds them of the Titanic, but it reminds me more of the motion picture Poseidon Adventure, 1972 where the ship completely turns over and passengers must make their way to the stern and exit through the propellers. But then, that was not real, it was a movie, the Costa Concordia is real.

Since the official ‘Costa Concordia’ website, (only a statement is available) is shutdown right now, let me list some of the amenities that were on board during the cruise. There was a 65,000 square foot fitness centre, four swimming pools, a casino, five restaurants, discotheque, 13 bars and many other features, which are all gone now.

I haven’t read it before but the people of Giglio Island, Italy must be given a great deal of thanks for their help in this tragedy. Many came forward and brought supplies and blankets to the many that were rescued and even offered lodging to those that needed it, well done.

If you are unable to read the book, at the very least checkout Cruise Critic  for information about the cruise line or your ship, and tips galore.

dandmb50flickr's photos on Flickriver
Daniel … Toronto, Canada
My take on everything
@dandmb50


UPDATE: Cruise Ship ‘Costa Concordia’ Relax people, it’s just a small electrical problem ….

(Near) – Giglio Island, Italy - There was no need to panic and abandon ship, because it was just a small electrical problem and everything was under control, a week ago today as the Costa Concordia hit a huge rock while coming close to Italy’s coastline.
Those were basically the words coming from the officers and staff during one of the most horrific tragedies at sea in the past decade. Many say it was like the Titanic, but more like the Poseidon Adventure 1972, but then that was just a movie, not the real thing.
Dean and Georgia appeared on Dr. Phil today to explain their experience as they were rescued from the disaster. It appears they were so embarrassed they didn’t even want to disclose their full names as they appeared on an “Exclusive” episode saying they had taken between 60-75 cruises over their lifetime.Something that I haven’t read about the crash was it occurred on Friday the 13th, and 11 confirmed dead and over 20 still missing.

CAUTION: This may be distasteful to some.

Contrary to many, I think it would be the best time to book a cruise, if that’s your style. Not me.
“Hello, this is Carnival Cruise Lines, may I help you?” Yes, do you have any vacancies for next week?
It truly would be the best time to find a vacancy, and I’m sure there will be lot’s of cancellations, and I’m sure you would get a discount price, but be sure to get life insurance.

Thinking of life insurance, have any of these over 20 people missing, may be missing, because they have life insurance? It’s sad to think of that, but in this day and age it doesn’t, wouldn’t, surprise me.

dandmb50flickr's photos on Flickriver
Daniel … Toronto, Canada
My take on everything
@dandmb50



NEW UPDATE: Cruise Ship ‘Costa Concordia’ currently poised on a rock near shore, pending storm, may prey it loose and sink to the bottom

(Near) – Giglio Island, Italy – UPDATE: Many updates today of Costa Concordia ship ran around last Friday and now there is a fear it may fall off the rock it is sitting on 200 feet above the sea bead. If it comes loose with a pending storm approaching, it could fall to the bottom with the 500,000 gallons of fuel, and they can only withstand the pressure of 60 feet below the surface.
It appears an environmental disaster is within sight and the government has placed oil/fuel booms around the shoreline, but will that help.


Rescue efforts have currently been suspended with the onslaught of a heavy storm and the fact that the ship has been moving the last few days, putting the rescue teams in peril.

If the ship falls off the rock and falls 200 feet to sea bottom, there is a fear that the 17 gas tanks could implode, causing an even worse situation.

Captain Francesco Schettino dubbed ‘Chicken of the Sea’ who is still under house arrest has returned to his home in Italy and found “spray painting” on the outside of his house. Everyone around the world would suspect it was negative but indeed some people are regarding him as a hero, if you can believe it.

We must admit we have not heard his side of the story, other than “I tripped and fell into the lifeboat.”  but he is still considered innocent until he is convicted.

dandmb50flickr's photos on Flickriver
Daniel … Toronto, Canada
My take on everything
@dandmb50


UPDATE: Italian Cruise Ship ‘Concordia’ runs aground in Italy, Captain ‘claims’ he tripped and fell into the lifeboat

(Near) – Giglio Island, Italy - Yes, as strange as it is to believe, it has been reported that the Captain Francesco Schettino of the grounded Costa Concordia, off the coast of Italy has said “I tripped and fell into the lifeboat.” Stranger still, is the lifeboat he fell into, had other officers from the ship in the exact same lifeboat. Coincidence? You decide.

He is currently under house arrest and could be charged with abandoning ship, and manslaughter due to the 11 dead, so far. About two dozen are still missing and considered dead, while the salvage crews are starting to move in.

The reports of those rescued have a different take and say it was complete chaos when the ship struck a rock about 200 metres off shore at about 9:45 pm (local time) When the ship was struck last Friday it wasn’t until one of the passengers called police almost an hour later and alerted officials of the tragedy. No one has reported seeing any officers helping with the escape plans, and it appears it was the staff who assisted most of the 4200 passengers to safety.

Schettino has admitted to the mistake and says “I turned to late,” to avoid the rock which opened the side of the ship and remained stuck in the vessel.

Lots of information is available about the accident with graphics showing where the ship normally sails, and it is not the first time it has sailed so close to shore in Italy. The LLyod’s List online journal is a great resource to get more real information from Maritime shipping experts.

As you can still see almost a week later the rock that was hit is still embedded in the side of the Costa Concordia.

Carnival Cruise Lines is the parent company of Costa Cruise Lines so no matter what ship you travel on dangers could exist, are you willing to take the ‘PLUNGE?’

dandmb50flickr's photos on Flickriver
Daniel … Toronto, Canada
My take on everything
@dandmb50


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