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MisterBill99

Did they fix Nieuw Amsterdam's azipod or is she sailing with one operational?

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1 hour ago, MisterBill99 said:

The moderator of a HAL FB group who had insisted that the ship was repaired apparently knows Orlando Ashford and has a call into him to learn the full details. He was going to get back to me when he learns more.

 

I hope that this isn't going to be a PR fiasco for HAL.

 

With people here saying that cruise ships have sailed for months/years with one pod, there's a lot of anxiety among the passengers. Someone sailing in April is inquiring about a fix. What next?

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40 minutes ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

So if they didn't fix the azipod, what did they do at the shipyard in Freeport?

 

None of us know for sure, but in past instances of pod failure the propeller blades have been removed (as @rafinmd mentioned)

.  This reduces drag coming off inoperative pod, improving efficiency and speed.  Depending on the design of the pod, it may also prevent additional damage from occurring.

 

2 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

At least in the US, the USCG requires the escort tug in all ports for ships that no longer have redundant steering. 

 

Unrelated to ships with pods, but do single screw/single rudder vessels have multiple actuators on the rudder to provide redundancy?  

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Could it be that the part needed was not readily available in Freeport?  HAL may be waiting for a specific part to meet the ship at another port, where the repair can be made.

 

We were on the Celebrity Millennium in August 2013.  The ship was leaving  Ketchikan when it had to return to port when an azipod needed replacement.  The remainder of the cruise was cancelled, but passengers used the ship as a hotel for several additional days until airplanes could be chartered to transfer all passengers to airports where flights were readily available - Seattle, Anchorage, and Vancouver.  After we finally disembarked the ship, the Millenium sailed slowly, with crew only, down the west coast through the Panama Canal to Freeport for a drydock, where the replacement azipod was to arrive from somewhere in Europe.  I believe that a few cruises after ours were cancelled because of the time needed for the Millenium to sail to Freeport for the replacement azipod. 

 

We narrowly missed a repeat, since we disembarked from the NA on the 14th. 

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5 minutes ago, sandyss said:

Could it be that the part needed was not readily available in Freeport?  HAL may be waiting for a specific part to meet the ship at another port, where the repair can be made.

 

We were on the Celebrity Millennium in August 2013.  The ship was leaving  Ketchikan when it had to return to port when an azipod needed replacement.  The remainder of the cruise was cancelled, but passengers used the ship as a hotel for several additional days until airplanes could be chartered to transfer all passengers to airports where flights were readily available - Seattle, Anchorage, and Vancouver.  After we finally disembarked the ship, the Millenium sailed slowly, with crew only, down the west coast through the Panama Canal to Freeport for a drydock, where the replacement azipod was to arrive from somewhere in Europe.  I believe that a few cruises after ours were cancelled because of the time needed for the Millenium to sail to Freeport for the replacement azipod. 

 

 

 

Their Azimuth thrusters are different from the ABB azipods. That said, I'm glad that Celebrity did the right thing.

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13 minutes ago, AL3XCruise said:

 

None of us know for sure, but in past instances of pod failure the propeller blades have been removed (as @rafinmd mentioned)

.  

 

There were reports of scuba diver activity in PE. Someone said that the propeller had been removed there??

 

 

Edited by HappyInVan

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46 minutes ago, sandyss said:

 

We narrowly missed a repeat, since we disembarked from the NA on the 14th. 

 

It apparently happened during your sailing, so you didn't really miss it, but you did miss the consequences.

Edited by MisterBill99

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1 hour ago, HappyInVan said:

 

I hope that this isn't going to be a PR fiasco for HAL.

 

With people here saying that cruise ships have sailed for months/years with one pod, there's a lot of anxiety among the passengers. Someone sailing in April is inquiring about a fix. What next?

 

Why would it be a PR fiasco for them? They managed to salvage this week's sailing and presumably plan to do next week's as well. And as i have said twice already, it is just ridiculous for someone who is sailing in THREE MONTHS to be concerned about their sailing.  People sailing next Saturday should be curious to know if their cruise will be impacted in any way. 

 

If anything, being told that ships have sailed for months with a single pod should reduce the anxiety, not cause it. I'm almost sorry that I started this thread and understand why HAL did not put the info about running on a single azipod in their release.

Edited by MisterBill99

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Sad to report tonight that the vibration is so bad, pipes are clanking behind the walls. Should be a sleepless night. Guest services came, made a report. Will check it out tomorrow. Do I really want to move from a Neptune a to a balcony cabin?  We will see tomorrow. 

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22 minutes ago, wesport said:

Sad to report tonight that the vibration is so bad, pipes are clanking behind the walls. Should be a sleepless night. Guest services came, made a report. Will check it out tomorrow. Do I really want to move from a Neptune a to a balcony cabin?  We will see tomorrow. 

 

Did you get anyone to admit what is going on?

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8 hours ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

So if they didn't fix the azipod, what did they do at the shipyard in Freeport?

 

In the absence of any wake at all on the starboard side, I would guess that they removed the propeller blades from that pod and locked the shaft.  If the failure was anything other than a bearing failure, they would have left the shaft free to "free-wheel" in the wake, and you would have seen a low rpm display and a faint wake on that side, and this would have reduced drag.

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1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

In the absence of any wake at all on the starboard side, I would guess that they removed the propeller blades from that pod and locked the shaft.  If the failure was anything other than a bearing failure, they would have left the shaft free to "free-wheel" in the wake, and you would have seen a low rpm display and a faint wake on that side, and this would have reduced drag.

 

The vessel is definitely seaworthy as wesport would attest! Wonder if they will close the cabins aft of the ship. You did know that the NA has NS cabins as low as Deck 3?

 

 

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3 minutes ago, HappyInVan said:

 

The vessel is definitely seaworthy as wesport would attest! Wonder if they will close the cabins aft of the ship. You did know that the NA has NS cabins as low as Deck 3?

 

 

Not sure why I would care that there are cabins on deck 3.  The vibration will vary with weather conditions, so I doubt they will close off an entire block of cabins aft.  They can also find the bad harmonic frequencies of the hull that create the worst vibrations and try to change propeller speed and itineraries to avoid those frequencies.

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6 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

Not sure why I would care that there are cabins on deck 3.  The vibration will vary with weather conditions, so I doubt they will close off an entire block of cabins aft.  They can also find the bad harmonic frequencies of the hull that create the worst vibrations and try to change propeller speed and itineraries to avoid those frequencies.

 

Didn't Doone note that the NA had a lot of vibration aft (in Post #6). 

 

BTW, didn't someone say that the pods run at low RPM. The solo pod seem to generate a huge wake.

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16 minutes ago, HappyInVan said:

 

Didn't Doone note that the NA had a lot of vibration aft (in Post #6). 

 

BTW, didn't someone say that the pods run at low RPM. The solo pod seem to generate a huge wake.

That post was long before this, and with two azipods, and as I said, some combinations of wind, seas, vessel speed, and propeller rpm can induce vibration in any ship.  And feeling vibrations is a personal thing, some are more sensitive than others.

 

When I say that azipods run at low rpm, I am trying to compare it to what most non-maritime people understand.  An outboard propeller on a boat will turn from 800 - 1000 rpm, while a ship's propeller turns at 120-130 rpm maximum.  The size of the wake is not caused by the speed of the propeller so much as the power that the propeller is using to move the ship.  Most large electric motors (and the azipod motors are in the 20,000 kw range) run at 1800 or 3600 rpm when 60 Hz power is supplied.  The azipods have variable frequency drives that convert the 60 Hz power (the same power as provided in the US) to variable frequency so the motor can run at variable speeds.  The azipod will run from 0 to 130 rpm as commanded to provide the speed requested from "stop" to "full sea speed".

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11 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

That post was long before this, and with two azipods, and as I said, some combinations of wind, seas, vessel speed, and propeller rpm can induce vibration in any ship.  And feeling vibrations is a personal thing, some are more sensitive than others.

 

 

 

Westsport had this to say. Is this really subjective?

 

"Sad to report tonight that the vibration is so bad, pipes are clanking behind the walls."

 

Since you are the expert, how low would the speed have to go to make the cabins habitable? 

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Wesport, how was your night? Did you get any sleep? Will they move you to another cabin? 
 

We also were on the Dec 7-14 sailing, in 4166, which is on the port side near the back of the ship.  We experienced a LOT of vibration on the last night. It felt like driving on a washboard surface. We did not get much sleep and it did make me feel nauseous, sort of like you were in a paint shaker! so we were glad to disembark. I feel for you if you are experiencing that all the time. Hopefully they can find you a better cabin, or figure out a fix that will work for you.

 

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15 minutes ago, sp2 said:

Wesport, how was your night? Did you get any sleep? Will they move you to another cabin? 
 

We also were on the Dec 7-14 sailing, in 4166, which is on the port side near the back of the ship.  We experienced a LOT of vibration on the last night. It felt like driving on a washboard surface. We did not get much sleep and it did make me feel nauseous, sort of like you were in a paint shaker! so we were glad to disembark. I feel for you if you are experiencing that all the time. Hopefully they can find you a better cabin, or figure out a fix that will work for you.

 

They offered to move us for the night, but we decided to stay. Halfway through the night the seas calmed down and only minor vibrations. The metal clanking is only sporadic. The noise is actually coming from behind the walls. Has been a great cruise so far and this is only a hiccup. Ship is absolutely beautiful.

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The most serious and more fundamental issue regarding sailing with only the port azipod operational, is what would be the situation if, by chance, something happened to compromise that unit? A ship at sea without propulsion is a very serious issue for all aboard, guests and staff. I would like to see the "clearances" issued by the flag state, port state(s) and classification society.

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3 minutes ago, NavArch64 said:

The most serious and more fundamental issue regarding sailing with only the port azipod operational, is what would be the situation if, by chance, something happened to compromise that unit? A ship at sea without propulsion is a very serious issue for all aboard, guests and staff. I would like to see the "clearances" issued by the flag state, port state(s) and classification society.

I have a feeling that it wouldn't be possible for a newer ship covered by "safe return to port" rules, but most requirements are not retroactive.  The odds of a total failure are very small and an azipod failure would not mean a loss of power on the ship.  Nothing is 100% save, and you would likely have a greater chance of a problem driving to the airport than embarking on a transatlantic with one good azipod.

 

Roy

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7 minutes ago, NavArch64 said:

The most serious and more fundamental issue regarding sailing with only the port azipod operational, is what would be the situation if, by chance, something happened to compromise that unit? A ship at sea without propulsion is a very serious issue for all aboard, guests and staff. I would like to see the "clearances" issued by the flag state, port state(s) and classification society.

Well put. And exactly why the US Coast Guard requires tugs in attendance for ships -- like NA -- which lack the fundamental safety redundancy provided by two Azipods. In other words, every non-US port without tugs would be off-limits if HAL held itself to USCG rules. So those on board NA today -- without full disclosure from HAL -- are apparently taking on a level of risk considered unreasonable by the USCG when visiting ports without tugs available and deployed. That extra risk may be minimal. But then all risks seems minimal until they aren't.

 

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The ship is fine under optimal conditions. The big problem is that we don't know how long HAL will run the ship with one pod.

 

The longer the ship runs with one pod, the bigger the risk that the sole pod will malfunction. Or, that the vessel will run into heavy seas. And, under worst case situation, a failure of the last pod in heavy seas.

 

One consideration is the nature of the pod's electrical-mechanical design. Mechanical systems tend to fail progressively. You get advance warning as the operating parameters deteriorate.

 

The prudent master will divert his single engine-propeller vessel to the nearest port with facilities. The master earns his pay whenever he makes such a decision.

 

On the other hand, electrical systems tend to fail suddenly and completely. On or off.

 

There is a wise old saying that goes something like this...

 

Two is One

One is None

When Murphy comes calling

His cousins too

 

To be fair, HAL and the Captain know all this too. That's why I was confident that HAL would be looking for a quick fix (if possible). IMO, HAL will repair the pod sooner rather than later. The ship won't run months with one pod.

 

To be fair to future passengers, HAL needs to be transparent. What is the timeline for the fix? Passengers who haven't made final payment have their decision to make.

 

 

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4 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

In the absence of any wake at all on the starboard side, I would guess that they removed the propeller blades from that pod and locked the shaft.  If the failure was anything other than a bearing failure, they would have left the shaft free to "free-wheel" in the wake, and you would have seen a low rpm display and a faint wake on that side, and this would have reduced drag.

 

Thanks for the explanation. 

 

3 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

Not sure why I would care that there are cabins on deck 3.  The vibration will vary with weather conditions, so I doubt they will close off an entire block of cabins aft.  They can also find the bad harmonic frequencies of the hull that create the worst vibrations and try to change propeller speed and itineraries to avoid those frequencies.

 

QE2 had some major harmonic issues. She always vibrated at the stern, but some speeds were worse than others. At just the right speed, the vibrations matched the natural frequency of the shafts at the mid-aft  "E" elevators and those elevator cars really shook. Farther aft, "F" and "G" elevators didn't shake because the shafts weren't as long (didn't reach as many decks). Physics, it explains everything!! (almost)

 

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2 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

 

Westsport had this to say. Is this really subjective?

 

"Sad to report tonight that the vibration is so bad, pipes are clanking behind the walls."

 

Since you are the expert, how low would the speed have to go to make the cabins habitable? 

It may only require the change of 1 rpm up or down, to take the hull out of harmonic vibration, and for the vibration to reduce by orders of magnitude.  A ship's hull is like the soundbox of a musical instrument, when the right frequency of vibration strikes it, it magnifies the vibration in the structure.  And, as noted, a change in the environmental conditions changes the frequency of the input vibrations to take the section of hull out of harmonics.

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2 hours ago, wesport said:

They offered to move us for the night, but we decided to stay. Halfway through the night the seas calmed down and only minor vibrations. The metal clanking is only sporadic. The noise is actually coming from behind the walls. Has been a great cruise so far and this is only a hiccup. Ship is absolutely beautiful.

I sort of suspect that the "clanking" noise has nothing to do with the azipod, but is caused by the "storm valves" on the exterior deck drain lines.  These drains take the water from the open deck areas and balconies, and runs down below the water line to discharge to sea.  Since the pipe goes below the water line, there is a need for a method of sealing this pipe should there be damage.  Yet, you want it to be free flowing 99% of the time, so there is merely a flapper type non-return valve located near where the pipe goes out through the hull, and this flapper allows water to flow down the drain and out to the ocean, but when the ship rolls to that side, and the sea level rises on that side of the ship, the flapper stops sea water from flowing back up the pipe.  If not adjusted properly, or if worn, these valves in certain seaways can clank as you describe.

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