Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Planning Ahead – Comparing Prices

It’s been a busy few weeks around here, so please excuse the lack of posts (and follow on Facebook for other information), but I finally stopped to take a breath and realized how many cruises we have planned. I think it may be a record for us – four cruises on four cruise lines in the next couple of years (yes, we plan ahead…. a lot.)

Christmas 2019 is our first sailing on the MSC Divina. It was supposed to be our first sailing on MSC, but we had to go earlier to preserve our Black Diamond status. (See our MSC Seaside journey.) We are in the Yacht Club, their ship within a ship, because even though it is expensive, it was pretty much the same as a Norwegian balcony. (Yes, I think Norwegian is a wee bit overpriced lately.) It will be interesting to compare the Yacht Club service to the Haven on Norwegian.

February 2020 is our 20th wedding anniversary and we decided it was time to try Royal Caribbean, so we’re off on the Liberty of the Seas. This is our first Royal Caribbean sailing, and it’s sailing from Galveston, so we can just drive to the port. The itinerary is the “standard” Western Caribbean, so we’re not really going for the ports, we’re going for the ship. We will be in Cozumel for our anniversary, so I will be broke when I return.

Christmas 2020 is back to Norwegian and 14 days on the Norwegian Pearl. This should be a fun cruise, since we’ve done a similar Southern Caribbean itinerary before, and we’re sailing with friends. Plus, who doesn’t like Christmas and New Years on the same ship?

Then, in May 2021 – which may be the furthest out we’ve ever had a cruise booked (we can’t even check in online for over a year) – is a partial transit of the Panama Canal on the Carnival Radiance. This is a bucket list item for me, and our second Carnival Cruise. It will be an “almost new” ship experience, as the Carnival Victory is going into drydock and coming out as the Carnival Radiance in 2020.

I wondered about the differentials in cost between the lines – we could never find a Royal Caribbean cruise where I was willing to pay what seemed a premium – so I thought I would look at the per-day pricing. After all, a cruise ship is a floating hotel, so a cabin is just a room. How much does your room cost?

CruiseEmbarkDestinationLengthCabin Rate Per DayTotal Price Per DayNotesHoliday
MSC DivinaMiamiWestern Caribbean7 days$575$660Yacht ClubChristmas
Liberty of the SeasGalvestonWestern Caribbean7 days$408$378Balcony
Norwegian PearlMiamiSouthern Caribbean14 days$521$619Handicap BalconyChristmas + New Year’s
Carnival RadianceGalvestonPanama Canal9 days$278$394Handicap Spa Balcony

All these numbers are for two people. To try to get close to “apples to apples”, I excluded all the extra charges I could (we usually pre-pay gratuities and accept insurance) and any discounts, and used the base “cabin” fee from the invoice. I should note the Canal cruise has really high port fees. The total column is what we paid for the two of us, divided by the number of nights.

We know that MSC is trying to grow their US market, and their prices have gone up recently, but the Yacht Club over Christmas this year is about the same as Norwegian’s balcony over Christmas next year. (We’re actually in the Yacht Club because the price was not that much more than the price for a Norwegian balcony this year.) Perhaps Norwegian is a bit proud of their product? (This is why we have four cruises on four different cruise lines, instead of four Norwegian cruises.)

It's no longer a hobby

I found some notes I was making one evening, while we were waiting for our Norwegian Cruise Lines Personal Cruise Consulant (PCC) to arrive for dinner (we were in Miami, sailing the next day, so we decided to ask our PCC to dinner, since he’s booked cruises for us for nine years and we had never met him in person.)

I realized while we were waiting for Jorge to arrive that taking a person to dinner specifically because he had helped Virginia spend thousands of dollars might mean we had a slight cruising problem. Then, I realized that was probably not the only sign.

Here’s the list from that night, edited for clarity (never write notes in a bar):

  • Your PCC is on your Christmas Card list
  • You invite your PCC to dinner
  • You invite your PCC to dinner at Scarpetta because you’re trying to outdo your friends who had already taken him to dinner before their cruise
  • Your PCC is in your phone speed dial
  • Your PCC is in your phone speed dial ahead of your spouse
  • You have 3 future cruises booked and you’re looking at itineraries
  • You spend an hour determining why the sea is rough
  • You are friends with multiple crew members on Facebook
  • You are friends with multiple officers on Facebook 
  • You can say “new ship smell” non-ironically
  • Having the Hotel Director recognize you at the Meet & Greet, because he remembers you from another Meet & Greet
  • Having a favorite bartender on multiple ships
  • Knowing when crew members change ships
  • Telling a Cruise Director you know his friend, another Cruise Director, and that he says, “Hello”
  • You keep saying, “Alexa, find me a cruise” just to see what will happen
  • You’re afraid to visit the Philippines because you might be recognized 

Kokomo Cruises

We were on a boat back to the ship from one of our excursions this week, and they were blaring music to keep everyone entertained (I think I have a short video of people doing “Baby Shark” and the adults seemed more into it.)

Then, they played “Kokomo.” It’s a song you really want to hate because it’s such an earworm, but it’s the Beach Boys. In fact, I think it’s their last #1 hit. So, from a songwriting standpoint, it’s wildly successful.

However, from a navigation standpoint, and yes, I am a navigation nerd, every time I hear the chorus with all the ports, I think about how implausible a cruise it would actually be – and I’ve actually been to most of the ports. So, I thought I should map it. Given the amount of posts you can find about the song, I may not be the first one to do so, but I’m the first one on this site.

This was just going to be the map, but as I tried to find the lyrics to make sure I had the islands correct, the story of the song started coming out, and it’s just .. interesting, to say the least. A Beach Boys song without Brian Wilson, written by two other California songwriters of great renown, punched up by Mike Love, and recorded for a Tom Cruise movie that I remember seeing – and I had no recollection the song was in the movie.

The mileage noted in the map is approximate, in nautical miles, from the previous port and onto the next port. I had to substitute a couple of ports since the Sea-Distance site didn’t have all the ports (strange!) but it’s probably because a couple aren’t actually cargo or cruise ports, so I just used something close (Key West is less than 100 miles from Key Largo, I used Falmouth for both calls in Jamaica because it didn’t have Montego Bay.)

I would have just asked Alexa but she tends to return distances “as the crow flies” and you can’t just sail across Florida (easily.)

Here’s our itinerary quoted from Google’ version of the lyrics:

Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take you to
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego, baby why don’t we go

Songwriters: Michael Edward Love / Terry Melcher / Scott Mckenzie / John Phillips
Lyrics Copyright (c) Walt Disney Company

Those are some heavy hitters in the song writing department. Mike Love is a co-founder of the Beach Boys, Terry Melcher produced all sorts of California bands, Scott McKenzie gave us “San Francisco” (wear some flowers in your hair!) and John Phillips founded (and was principal songwriter for) the Mamas & the Papas. John Phillips wrote the original version with Scott McKenzie, it’s on Apple Music here (I had never heard it.) Mike Love added the chorus, so the map is his fault. I’m pretty sure he did not consult a nautical chart when mapping the chorus – or he did, and he really likes sea days. However, it’s what makes the song stick in your head until you have to play something else to get it out.

Six fairly random ports in the Caribbean and Atlantic, and apparently this is a repositioning cruise, since we won’t return to the original port. We do call on Jamaica twice, though. The one place you can’t go is Kokomo itself, since it’s a fictional place.

This is over nine days of sailing – just the sailing – at eighteen knots. It’s a nice cruise, just wandering around a lot.

Cruising Ducks

QuackMail

As usual, I’m probably overthinking things, but that’s how I roll.
Since people seem to think one major inhibitor of being notified about their Cruising Ducks or Pirate Ducks being found is the whole “joining the Facebook page” issue, why not invent another way to let people report?
I realize the idea of being notified is another can of worms, but so it goes.
So, while most plastic animals don’t have email, their owners do, so I decided email was the best way to communicate, at least until I figure out how to get a GPS reporting unit inside a plastic duck.
On the other hand, you probably don’t want your personal email address on a bunch of easily lost or discarded tags, so why not have a domain just for plastic ducks? That way, if one address gets compromised, we just throw it away and create another one.
That’s the idea behind QuackMail. I registered quackmail.net and it has 100 free forwarding accounts (I can always get more if this turns out to be popular), so you can now request a quackmail account that forwards to your real email. The only concern I have is making sure people have unique QuackMail names.
[contact-form to=”kjg@cruisexriva.com” subject=”QuackMail Request”][contact-field label=”Your Name” type=”name” required=”1″ /][contact-field label=”Your Email (where QuackMail is forwarded)” type=”email” required=”1″ /][contact-field label=”QuackMail Name (your name@quackmail.net)” type=”text” required=”1″ /][contact-field label=”QuackMail Name (Second Choice) ” type=”text” /][contact-field label=”Comments” type=”text” /][/contact-form]
It’s probably overkill, but we are talking about people who think leaving plastic ducks with personalized tags in various places on random cruise ships is a reasonable activity.
The webpage points back here for now, but eventually, I will get around to creating a real site to let people register online and replace the form above. Eventually.
I realize this is the first step towards re-inventing geocaching, but that was my first thought when I heard about cruising ducks.
We’ll see what happens.
 

The Book of Cruises

I just remembered that my wife and I wrote a treatise on cruising for my son and daughter before their first cruise (they ignored it, since they were going with us.) Then, we updated it for my niece and nephew (she actually read it, I think, even though they were going with us).

So, now I’m trying to decide if I should re-update it, try to make it fit a more generic audience, and put it out to the world. Part of this site was supposed to be documenting where we have gone and part of it was supposed to be documenting what we’ve learned – if we break it first, maybe others won’t have to do so. It’s not really long enough to be a book – because we knew nobody in the family would read it if it were. A Cliff’s Notes for cruising, except that’s a trademark, so I’ll have to get another name.

There’s a part of me that thinks most of it might be useful to someone and there’s a part of me that thinks it’s probably three or four weeks worth of posts if I serialize it, and I’m running low on subjects at the moment. (Any suggestions? Leave a comment.)

That’s the next project, I guess. That, and working on building up my travel agent knowledge, since after going on cruises and talking to people about cruises, the next step is selling people cruises. Any takers?

Cruiseaholics

I realized the other day that I might have a problem with cruising when someone called me an “aquaholic.” (In this case, it may have been a case of “pot-kettle.”) This is a great term for someone addicted to cruising, and a domain squatter thinks so, as well, since the Internet domain could be mine for only a hundred and fifty grand.
Luckily, I’ve had cruiseaholics.com registered for years, and it points here, so I’ll just use that term, instead.
I didn’t really take offense at either term, because they’re humorous (and they’re true.)
I was trying to develop a twelve step program to break yourself of cruising, but I realized that nobody afflicted would be interested. So, I decided to just document the warning signs. My wife, Virginia, helped, by suggesting some and living the others.
The first warning sign is that you understand any of this list, so tread carefully.
For Norwegian Cruise Line, your cruise consultant at the cruise line (as opposed to an independent travel agent) is called a Personal Cruise Consultant – your PCC. Passengers of other lines just change PCC in this list to your term of choice.
With that, the warning signs:

  • You’ve actually read the Cruise Contract and Terms & Conditions.
  • You can quote the Cruise Contract and Terms & Conditions.
  • You have quoted the Cruise Contract and Terms & Conditions to some idiot online who is slagging your cruise line of choice.
  • Your PCC is on your cell phone’s Favorites list. (This was an old joke I had about my wife’s phone – Virginia’s speed dial list was all our veterinarians, all her siblings, our PCC and then me. See next item, as this is no longer just a joke.)
  • When you’re staying in Miami the night before a cruise, you decide you want to visit Scarpetta, a lovely restaurant by Scott Conant, a chef you have seen on Food Network. (This seems normal, although you may watch Food Network too much.) Three weeks before the cruise, you decide to invite your PCC to dinner, as well. This is borderline. He accepts. Now we’re getting into dangerous territory. You tell him at the end of a lovely meal to mention to your friends (some of his other Cruiseaholic customers) that the restaurant you took him to was better than the one they took him to. This is a definite sign. For the record, Virginia took out her phone at dinner, and her favorite list is me, her sisters and our PCC. I’m pretty sure she edited the list to lower him before she showed it.
  • You realize you should invite your PCC to dinner because on your previous cruise, you had dinner with him and his parents.
  • You have three cruises booked and you’re still trying to decide where to go “next.”
  • You change cabin preferences based on the ship.
  • You know it’s a “cabin”, not a “room.”
  • You know it’s a “ship”, not a “boat.”
  • You spend an hour with GPS, the navigation channel and weather reports, trying to determine why the seas are rougher than usual. (We’re on the Norwegian Bliss currently – a ship we sailed last August in Alaska. This is a rough trip – not bad, just a bit rough. So, I started making some notes. Our cabin is forward, not aft. We’re on a different deck. We’re on a Caribbean cruise, not Alaskan. We’re not actually in the Caribbean, we’re in the Atlantic. We have a stiff headwind. It’s rainy weather.)
  • You enjoy the “new ship” smell, and can say so without giggling.
  • You know what a Meet & Greet is.
  • You’ve attended a Meet & Greet on more than two ships.
  • You know Norwegian’s Meet & Greets are better than Carnival’s.
  • You’ve organized a Meet & Greet.
  • The Hotel Director recognized you at the Meet & Greet.
  • You’re invited to the Captain’s Private Reception and you don’t go, because you had dinner reservations and because you met him last time, anyway.
  • You know what ships your favorite crew are on.
  • You know what ships your favorite crew are on because you’re friends with them on Facebook.
  • You tell one Cruise Director you know his friend, another Cruise Director, and you can discuss his startup business at home.
  • You’re afraid to visit the Philippines because you’re afraid you’ll be treated as a god.
  • You’ve considered moving to Miami to save on airfare.
  • You laughed at anything on this list.

Unemployed Pirate

As we are currently underway on cruise number eighteen, I can finally admit that am an unemployed pirate. It is an interesting job. Well, it’s not really a job, if I’m unemployed. I suppose I’m an unemployed chef, as well, because I made fish sticks for lunch the other day.

Ye host, the pirate. Arrr.

Jimmy Buffet sang, “Yes, I am a pirate … 200 years too late”, and I know the feeling. I want to be a pirate. Actually, I want to be a movie pirate. For real pirates, the hours aren’t that good, there’s apparently lots of work, and you might get killed or imprisoned.

It seems much simpler (and safer) to just take a cruise, demand drinks and food from the cheerful staff, and say, “Thank ye, matey!” when your order is delivered. I’m pretty sure most pirate ships didn’t have room service.

Still, it seems like putting “Pirate” on a resume (or a business card) would stand out as a desired position, and then you would also have the advantage of writing off all your vacation cruises as job training. Tax piracy is still piracy, right? (This is why www.texaspirate.com now redirects to this site. Planning ahead.)

So, take a GPS on your next cruise. There’s probably one built into your phone. Track your coordinates as you travel from port to port. Now, you’re a navigator. Sure, you probably still need to know how to read paper charts and use a sextant, but that’s just if you forget to charge your phone.

Tell your traveling companion to go get you a drink. If you get a drink, you’re the Captain. If you’re told to get your own damn drink, you’re probably just the First Mate. Just don’t ever both wear T-shirts with your “ranks.” It’s very non-pirate, no matter how cute they are.

Yes, I am a pirate. I’m simply unemployed, and I would like a pirate job with decent hours, a medical plan more extensive than just an eye patch and a hook, room and board, and a good chance of advancement. I’d also like a retirement plan a bit more extravagant than a stud earring. Oh, and little chance for arrest.

I should also thank my doctor for the eye test, since otherwise I never would have found a patch. I’m just annoyed he wouldn’t let me keep it. Arrr.

Loyalty Is Overrated

We have been on eighteen cruises (so far.) All but one have been on Norwegian Cruise Lines (one was on Carnival, and I didn’t mind it, but my wife detested the food.) We’re Platinum Plus on Norwegian, and might make Ambassador before we die, but it’s a long haul. (That’s another discussion – the levels in a loyalty program and how unevenly spaced they are.)

Loyalty has its perks, but the perks have lessened over the years. It is nice to preboard (sort-of – behind the gamblers, the handicapped, the Haven, the suites.) It’s nice to just get on a tender instead of having to get a tender ticket the night before – assuming the port requires tenders.

Loyalty has kept us sailing Norwegian, even as the fares have crept ever higher and the benefits have stagnated or lowered. However, this year seems to be the year that they finally overdid it – and not just for us, we’ve had other friends mention that the fares are sky-high all of a sudden.

Now, as a stockholder, I don’t mind too much, because I will reap the benefits in stock value (at this point, they don’t pay dividends.) However, as a passenger, it’s now time to look elsewhere.

I don’t really like starting over with any line (there was a slight difference between how we were treated on Carnival as newbies and Norwegian as Platinum Plus), but sometimes, loyalty is just not worth what it costs.

When Frank DelRio took over Norwegian (the parent of Norwegian, Oceana and Regent Seven Seas), he told analysts that he wanted another $40 per day out of each passenger. Apparently, he has changed that to “per hour.”

We’re sailing on the Norwegian Bliss this month, and it is almost as expensive as a Christmas cruise – and it’s not that spectactular a cruise. It’s Eastern Caribbean, but it’s St Thomas (meh), Tortola (haven’t been in eight years or so) and Nassau (bleh.)

The selling point for this cruise I think is that it is a new ship (she just completed her inagural season in Alaska – including our first Alaska cruise), and now is sailing the Caribbean for the winter. So, new ship, high prices.

Here’s the issue (for me) with the megaships – they have a lot of stuff I don’t use. I’m never going to do the ropes course or slide down the slides or have someone in the kids’ club (unless the grandkids travel with us someday.) So, that’s a lot of wasted space that attracts families with … teenagers. I am rapidly becoming one of the “get off of my lawn” old farts. I don’t need that many teenagers.

I prefer smaller ships.

The other issue is that megaships can only dock at so many ports because of their size and because of the number of passengers they hold. I asked about it at a Q&A session on one cruise, and the Captain said the ships could go anywhere, but you don’t want to spend the amount of time it takes to tender 5,000 people off and on the ship, so you go where you can dock, which makes loading and unloading much faster and easier. This means St Thomas, Tortola, Nassau on the East.

The smaller ships go to more interesting ports. Choose accordingly – sail for the ship or sail for the destinations.

So, we’re paying to cruise and see a ship we were already on – but the Alaska itinerary was about the sights. With the Caribbean itinerary, there’s time to actually see the ship and all she has to offer.

However, this is a really expensive way to see a ship. Granted, it’s over Valentine’s Day, but I didn’t expect there to be a premium like a Christmas cruise.

This was the first cruise where the final bill made me say, “Ouch.” Alaska did, but it was a new ship (then) and it’s Alaska where everything is trucked or shipped in and the people have to make enough on a six-month cruise season to last all year. Everything’s expensive in Alaska.

This is a Caribbean cruise with ports that for me are fairly boring.

The charges creep up on you, which is always a warning I give new cruisers. Don’t just look at the base fare. The base fare may be $1900, but by the time you add taxes, port fees, pre-paid gratuities, insurance, gratuities on the “free” perks, and WiFi (I’m working and going to grad school, so I need WiFi), it’s a five thousand dollar cruise.

That’s a lot of money.

Worse than the actual total fare for some of the people traveling with us, the Ultimate Beverage Package (UBP – often billed as “open bar”) had a number of items reclassified from “included” to “extra charge” in the last couple of weeks, and Patron (the only alcohol one of our friends drinks) is now “extra charge.”

That’s a problem.

Now, the cruise lines all have very similar contracts, and they all pretty much say they can change anything at any time, but this is getting ridiculous. Drink prices especially are through the roof and it’s because the prices are all based on the UBP, which means they can charge $19 for a shot of Patron because people with the UBP will only pay $4 (the overage.) Find me a bar that charges $19 for Patron and is still open.

My assumption is that the marketing department thinks people will get the UBP as a “free” perk, pay $200 for gratuities (instead of over two grand for the full-price package), and then when they have to pay $4 to get their brand of choice, they’ll think, “$4 for a drink is cheap.”

They haven’t noticed yet that what actually happens is people begin to think, “I need somebody with less upcharges.”

So, on one hand, I have to admire Frank DelRio. He’s made the stockholders some money, he makes the analysts happy and the bottom line is pretty good. As a loyal passenger, I really don’t like him very much. As a stockholder, that worries me, because if he chases us off, how many of the formerly loyal passengers are fleeing?

We’re sailing on the MSC Divina for Christmas this year. We were able to get a cabin in the Yacht Club for just over what Norwegian wanted for a regular balcony. The Yacht Club is MSC’s version of the “ship within a ship”, with a private restaurant, butler, concierge, private pool and more. MSC’s included stuff is actually included – there were a lot less hidden fees. If you’re in the Yacht Club, all drinks are included. The minibar in the room is included. You get a free spa treatment. (We’ll see how it goes.) That’s when even my wife decided to try someone new. This will be our eleventh Christmas Cruise, and the first that’s not on Norwegian.

I wish I felt more guilty about it.

I don’t.

The Brown M&Ms of the Sea

There is a famous story (that is actually true) about Van Halen and the (lack of) Brown M&Ms. The point was not excessive vanity or crazy rock stars, the point was to see if people read the entire contract.

We have a similar situation coming up. Virginia hates chocolate-covered strawberries with a passion usually reserved for one of my bad jokes. Hates them.

Unfortunately, cruise lines seem to think everyone considers them a delicacy, so it is the treat of choice for their esteemed guests.

Since we are Platinum Plus on Norwegian, we get chocolate-covered strawberries every time we board a ship. Every time. Virginia asked for something else. She finally had our Personal Cruise Consulant put in her record that she is allergic. Still they came.

So, this year, we’re sailing on the MSC Divina. A new cruise line for us, but the costs were great. We’re in the Yacht Club, their ship-within-a-ship, with a butler and a concierge and … chocolate-covered strawberries.

Virginia had our cruise consultant put in the record that she wanted something else. This is a test to see if people read the contract.

She was told if they arrived anyway, to just tell the butler to get something else. Well, yes, that is a solution, but a better one is understanding the requests your clients make and acting on them ahead of time.

We will see what happens.

Titanic II

So, the Blue Star Line is in the process of building a duplicate (almost) of the RMS Titanic, and is planning to sail the original route across the Atlantic from Southampton to New York. Hopefully, it will not duplicate the original sailing, so it will make it all the way to New York.
First of all, anyone in Dallas that hears “Blue Star” immediately thinks Jerry Jones is involved (which is why Blue Star Sports changed their name.) If Jerry Jones was involved, the ship would get within twenty yards of the port and stall.
Why would anyone do this?
I know that if you look at Disney Cruise Lines ships, they don’t look like cruise ships. They look like ocean liners, like in the old-time movies. They are much more romantic, because they stir the memories of the sea in people who don’t actually have any memories, other than through movies and television.
So, there’s the romance factor. Plus, lots of people paid to see the movie Titanic, even though everyone knew how it was going to end.
Here’s the official promo video. It’s interesting as a tribute to the original ship, and a quick overview of the proposed new version.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9GJDhd_JPo]
I thought it was an interesting concept until I saw the cabins in the video. Then I remembered that people were smaller back then. Not only that, their idea of luxury was quite different than ours.
I’m sure she was quite elegant in her day, but then again, people used to like Formica and shag carpeting.
I wonder what the fares will be. How much is a 1912 dollar (or pound) worth? (OK, one site said $1 in 1912 would be worth $26.02 today. That’s a lot of money for a small cabin.)
It won’t be an exact duplicate because the ship’s operating equipment is being upgraded – diesel-electric engines instead of steam, radar, GPS, azipods (but no stabilizers), yet the passenger experience is the  same – including bunk beds in the lower classes. I’m pretty sure the equipment upgrades had to be done or she would not be able to sail. Ships today have to meet SOLAS, which ironically was put into place after the RMS Titanic sunk.
I could see doing a night-long cruise to nowhere on a 1912-vintage-ish ship just for the experience, but if I wanted to sail across the Atlantic, I’m not sure I want to spend eight nights in an inside cabin in a bunk bed, with my wife above (or below) me, complaining about the bunk beds.
I suppose some people will want to make the trip to the New World that their ancestors made, in the approximate style in which their ancestors traveled, in a replica of a ship most famous for not completing her maiden voyage. Tastes differ.
My Grandad Gilhooly sailed from Ireland to New York to begin a new life in the New World. (I’m still trying to find an exact date and ship.) I’m pretty sure he wasn’t in first class or even second class. The Irish were not sailing to conquer new worlds, they were fleeing the old one.
I sailed from Southampton to New York in the Haven on the Norwegian Breakaway, because we were given an upgrade opportunity just before we left. We had a butler. Close enough for me.
Why not upgrade the passenger experience since you’re not 100% true to the original? Just think, if you had balconies, you could have that many more people on iceberg watch.
Also, I’m pretty sure the original Titanic did not have a “Made in China” label.
I will be interested to see if she ever sails. The project is apparently now back on track after being delayed past the 100-year anniversary.
I did try to sign up for the mailing list, just to watch progress. The link was broken. I hope their server didn’t hit an iceberg and go down.
It took six years to build RMS Titanic. She was in service five days. Do we really have to try again?