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Is Viking Sky having problems?


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Viking Sky has been rocking and rolling some since my wonderful Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl last ni...I mean since we left Colon, Panama last night. One person in our party of 8 is a bit green around the gills.  I hope I don’t chop off a finger at our cooking class at the Kitchen Table this morning. Maybe I should change into a red shirt. 😉  The seas are about the same today as we enjoy a sea day in the way to Montego Bay. 
 

Viking had a BBQ buffet by the pool last night for the game. It’s clear that Bergen isn’t located on the outskirts of Memphis. Having grown up near Kansas City, lived in Texas for 30+ years, and being a certified KCBS judge, I can tell you that they won’t win any awards for their ribs. But it was a nice attempt at a tailgate party for the game. If only they had a cruise-ship-sized smoker up on the Sports Deck somewhere. 😋

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4 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

LOL, Tim. As a resident of New England, I feel the same way about lobster night. It never is as good as what I can get at home.

 

 

Yep, I hear ya. My wife is from Maine , so we are generally underwhelmed by lobster on cruise ships and many restaurants outside of NE. 

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On 1/20/2020 at 5:46 AM, chengkp75 said:

I saw the "bat signal" and came over here.  The requirements for tugs in a US port is when the ship has lost it's redundant steering, not propulsion.  So, a ship like the Sky with shafted propellers and rudders would only need a tug escort if the ship lost two of the four steering systems (two for each rudder), not for loss of one propulsion system (one propeller).  The other thing is whether the tug escorted the ship all the way to the sea buoy or not.  It would have to be at least following along (likely not tied up) all the way out of the port if it was a "steering escort", but if only used at the dock, then it was merely an operational decision, perhaps caused by prevailing weather.

 

While cruise ships only make up about 5% of the world's shipping, they are the main users of multiple propellers.  Most ships have only one propeller, and one engine bolted to that propeller, so operating with only one means of propulsion is almost ubiquitous.

 

My guess for the Sky is that they've either had another engine down for overhaul (which can take 3-4 weeks), and the 4 engine configuration of the Viking ships makes these overhauls more critical to itinerary completion, or they've had an engine failure, or that the problem they had with the Star early on with the transformers for the propulsion motors has cropped back up.

I’ll be on the Sky (hopefully) in October.   See you are a graduate of KP.  I worked for  S/L, USSM and MLL.  I’m sure our paths have crossed at some point.  

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On 2/3/2020 at 2:05 AM, Heidi13 said:

Might not want to believe everything you read on the internet, especially when it is comes from what is basically a union. Didn't read the link, since I noted the "ITF" in the URL. They aren't known for balanced reporting.

 

Thanks for the info, but having spent 40 years in the Merchant Navy mostly on passenger vessels,

 


I was United States Navy, so I know something about the subject myself.

I will NEVER ride on a ship flying a Flag of Convenience. It's a human rights issue and a moral issue. Norway, of course, is a NATO ally with a decent Navy, though not as powerful as ours or that of Britain, so definitely not a FoC. Places like the Bahamas, Bermuda, Panama, etc., those are your flags of convenience.

 

" Flags of convenience are a huge problem that enable many illegal practices, including forced labor, "
--Abby McGill, International Labor Rights Forum

 

https://www.logisticsmgmt.com/article/flags_of_convenience_are_another_wrinkle_in_human_trafficking_tragedy

 

Edited by neutrino78x
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"The exploitation of factory sweatshop workers in countries with cheap labor is well-known.  There is also serious exploitation in another sector of the labor market.  Seafarers are essential to the operation of the global economy with about 90 percent of all international cargo transported by sea.  These workers are underpaid, overworked and subjected to dangerous onboard conditions.  Limited international regulation of maritime labor and "flags of convenience" exacerbate the problem, leaving crews with little recourse against exploitative practices."

https://www.globalpolicy.org/nations-a-states/state-sovereignty-and-corruption/flags-of-convenience/49819.html?ItemId=1032

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Yale University is extremely well regarded throughout the world.

 

People associated with Yale wrote:


" As Singapore-based writer Michael Richardson shows, drugs, banned weapons, and contraband items are hidden in the cargo hulls of ships officially meant to be carrying goods as innocuous as timber or scrap iron. In the most recent extension of the global war on terrorism, however, the US is considering partnering with allies to interdict suspect ships on the open seas. Whether Washington will pursue this without a mandate from the United Nations is still uncertain. One course would be to tighten shipping regulations and enforce them better. But if there is any indication of an imminent transfer of weapons of mass destruction to a likely hostile group or nation, Washington - in its current mood - may decide that the end justifies the means. - YaleGlobal "

https://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/crimes-under-flags-convenience

 

FishWise is a credible organization associated with various famous marine biology and oceanographic research aquariums such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Aquarium of the Bay here in California. They say:

" Unfortunately, fishing related industries–most notably shrimp peeling and processing operations in Thailand and “Flag of Convenience” (FoC) fishing vessels throughout South East Asia and West Africa–have been linked to human trafficking. "
https://fishwise.org/human-rights/human-trafficking-and-imported-seafood/

 

It's a big issue for many reasons.  Labor issues, safety issues, national security issues. Others can do what they feel comfortable doing, but personally, I definitely would not support FoC under any conditions.

Of course, that has nothing to do with Viking, because their ships are registered under the flag of Norway, a NATO ally which is NOT a Flag of Convenience. I would gladly sail with Viking any time, because of that.

 

But I would never sail on the FoC ships that NCL operates, for example, for the reasons I have already stated, among others. I would sail on the US Flag ship operated by NCL, however, since it is not a FoC and doesn't have the issues associated with FoC.

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5 hours ago, neutrino78x said:


I was United States Navy, so I know something about the subject myself.

I will NEVER ride on a ship flying a Flag of Convenience. It's a human rights issue and a moral issue. Norway, of course, is a NATO ally with a decent Navy, though not as powerful as ours or that of Britain, so definitely not a FoC. Places like the Bahamas, Bermuda, Panama, etc., those are your flags of convenience.

 

" Flags of convenience are a huge problem that enable many illegal practices, including forced labor, "
--Abby McGill, International Labor Rights Forum

 

https://www.logisticsmgmt.com/article/flags_of_convenience_are_another_wrinkle_in_human_trafficking_tragedy

 

Since most cruise ships are registered in what are generally consider FoC countries, you don;t have much choice. Viking are Flagged in Norway, most HAL ships are Dutch, some Princess ships are UK, but most others are FoC.

 

Sorry, but having spent years at sea, the size of the Navy is totally irrelevant to the employment standards I experienced.

 

Our son also worked for a mainstream cruise line that had ships flagged in both UK & an FOC state. As a Canadian, he was on a North American contract, which was the lowest standard. He experienced exactly the same employment conditions on the UK Flag as he did on the FoC ship.

 

Those of us that work the merchant side know that we choose a company over the flag any day.

 

If I was working cruise ships again today, I would opt for Viking over any other company, not because they are Norwegian Flag, but simply because they treat employees like the valuable resource that they are. Viking has a 96% crew retention rate and that has ZERO to do with Flag State, it is all to do with company policy.

  

 

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At a certain level, it's interesting to learn about two mariners and their respective experiences.  But this thread has veered seriously off-topic.  Can we return to the Sky? 

Edited by DaveSJ711
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On 2/2/2020 at 11:47 PM, neutrino78x said:

No FoC for me. As a Navy veteran I would never support that. That's why Viking would be a top choice for me, and I would cease sailing with them if they changed flags to a FoC. :)

One last comment to this poster, who seems passionate about ship's registry, but sadly misinformed.  Viking ships are not registered in the Norwegian registry (NOR), but the Norwegian International Registry (NIS), which, while not considered to be a "FOC" by the ITF (a maritime trade union group), is essentially Norway's FOC, whereby normal Norwegian labor standards are bypassed.  While the NIS is a "white list" registry, so are the major FOC nations (Bahamas, Panama, Marshall Islands, Malta).  And, while talking about "white list", the US is on the Paris MOU "gray list" in 43rd position with regards to port state detentions.

 

Now, back to the Viking Sky, and if neutrino wants to discuss maritime labor and safety in general, he needs to start a new thread in the general forums.

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4 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

One last comment to this poster, who seems passionate about ship's registry, but sadly misinformed.  Viking ships are not registered in the Norwegian registry (NOR), but the Norwegian International Registry (NIS), which, while not considered to be a "FOC" by the ITF (a maritime trade union group), is essentially Norway's FOC, whereby normal Norwegian labor standards are bypassed.  While the NIS is a "white list" registry, so are the major FOC nations (Bahamas, Panama, Marshall Islands, Malta).  And, while talking about "white list", the US is on the Paris MOU "gray list" in 43rd position with regards to port state detentions.

 

Now, back to the Viking Sky, and if neutrino wants to discuss maritime labor and safety in general, he needs to start a new thread in the general forums.

 

Yes, let's go back to the Sky and skip the bashing of others.  I frankly don't care whether one mariner believes that another mariner is "sadly misinformed" about ship's registry.  That opinion is off topic.

 

Edited by DaveSJ711
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On 2/5/2020 at 12:22 AM, neutrino78x said:

"The exploitation of factory sweatshop workers in countries with cheap labor is well-known.  There is also serious exploitation in another sector of the labor market.  Seafarers are essential to the operation of the global economy with about 90 percent of all international cargo transported by sea.  These workers are underpaid, overworked and subjected to dangerous onboard conditions.  Limited international regulation of maritime labor and "flags of convenience" exacerbate the problem, leaving crews with little recourse against exploitative practices."

https://www.globalpolicy.org/nations-a-states/state-sovereignty-and-corruption/flags-of-convenience/49819.html?ItemId=1032


I know there are ships that fly the Bermuda flag, but the above doesn’t describe Bermuda at all. They have a very high standard of living, a high employment rate and it’s one of THE most expensive places in the world to live.  The workers there are treated fairly well, for the most part.  

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Sorry to follow the off topic crew, but we LOVE Bermuda and I had to come to her defense! 😍

 

That said, we have 2 cruises booked on the Viking Sky so I hope she is once again ship shape!  We are on the September 15th Trade Routes of the Middle Ages and the March 9, 2021 Iconic Southern Caribbean!  Looking forward to both!

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29 minutes ago, ReaderGirl57 said:

Getting concerned about Sky again. I follow her on Cruisemapper and it looks like she may have skipped Progreso, Mexico and is headed back early to Miami. I’m hoping it’s weather related and not a recurrence of the engine problems.

 and making way at only 7 kn in calm seas. ???

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57 minutes ago, lextrvlr said:

 and making way at only 7 kn in calm seas. ???

Speed is related to arrival time at the next port and distance to cover, not just due to weather.  If they only need to make 7 knots to get to port on time, then they save a boat load of money on fuel.

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1 hour ago, Queen of DaNile said:

A friend on board emailed that there was an announcement last night at dinner that "there is none of the fuel (they are) running on available there" so they are skipping Merida and returning to Miami slowly.

 

This is most likely due to the change in sulfur limits on fuel that went into effect 1 Jan, and I know the now required low sulfur fuel is not always available.  Interesting that they would be bunkering at a port of call and not at turn around.  May have had good prices before, but for the previously allowed higher sulfur fuel.

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3 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

This is most likely due to the change in sulfur limits on fuel that went into effect 1 Jan, and I know the now required low sulfur fuel is not always available.  Interesting that they would be bunkering at a port of call and not at turn around.  May have had good prices before, but for the previously allowed higher sulfur fuel.

 

This is what my friend said they were told at today's Q & A with the Captain, Chief Engineer and hotel manager:

 

"Apparently the fuel they took on in Limon last week doesn't mix well with what they had been running on and clogged the mixer.  They were hoping to get topped off today when they discovered the issue but the Merida authorities said to would take 3 days for them to get the right fuel."

Edited by Queen of DaNile
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2 minutes ago, Queen of DaNile said:

 

This is what my friend said they were told at today's Q & A with the Captain, Chief Engineer and hotel manager:

 

"Apparently the fuel they took on in Limon last week doesn't mix well with what they had been running on and clogged the mixer.  They were hoping to get topped off today when they discovered the issue but the Merida authorities said to would take 3 days for them to get the right fuel."

Ah, a fuel incompatibility problem.  Had that a few times in the past.  Not only will they need to get new fuel, but they will need to offload the fuel causing the problem.  Probably going to get more frequent with the new fuels.

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