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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 05:49 AM
Original message
NOLA Cruise Ship deal for $236 million
FEMA criticized for cruise ship deal
Hasty negotiations lead to $236 million agreement
By Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post
Updated: 11:41 p.m. ET Sept. 27, 2005

On Sept. 1, as tens of thousands of desperate Louisianans packed the New Orleans Superdome and convention center, the Federal Emergency Management Agency pleaded with the U.S. Military Sealift Command: The government needed 10,000 berths on full-service cruise ships, FEMA said, and it needed the deal done by noon the next day.

The hasty appeal yielded one of the most controversial contracts of the Hurricane Katrina relief operation, a $236 million agreement with Carnival Cruise Lines for three ships that now bob more than half empty in the Mississippi River and Mobile Bay. The six-month contract -- staunchly defended by Carnival but castigated by politicians from both parties -- has come to exemplify the cost of haste that followed Katrina's strike and FEMA's lack of preparation.

To critics, the price is exorbitant. If the ships were at capacity, with 7,116 evacuees, for six months, the price per evacuee would total $1,275 a week, according to calculations by aides to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). A seven-day western Caribbean cruise out of Galveston can be had for $599 a person -- and that would include entertainment and the cost of actually making the ship move.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9507503 /
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:04 AM
Response to Original message
1. Should have the ships comandeered for coastal evacuations....
rather than just used as temporary housing after the fact. How many people could have been moved out of the area via ship prior ot Katrina's landfall?

Not a bad idea to use the ships this way, but the cronyism, greed and corruption tarnish such efforts.
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OmmmSweetOmmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:07 AM
Response to Original message
2. I heard somewhere that some of the cruise ships were being used as
residences for workers.
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. The article only indicates they are half empty
I heard early after their arrival that the evacuees didn't want to live on board a ship.
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OmmmSweetOmmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:24 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. I knew I heard about it.
http://www.maritimematters.com/shipnews.html


New Orleans Ships Skip Second Storm
September 22: The two Carnival vessels leased by FEMA for hurricane housing sailed from New Orleans, Louisiana, this afternoon heading for safety at Mobile, Alabama until Hurricane Rita makes landfall on the Gulf Coast. CARNIVAL ECSTASY and CARNIVAL SENSATION had been moored in New Orleans as part of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort, housing emergency service personnel. Relief workers will not sail with the ships which are expected to return to New Orleans on September 24 or 25th. CARNIVAL HOLIDAY, home to about 275 evacuees from Mississippi, is expected to relocate from Mobile to Pascagoula, Miss., once port repairs are completed

snip

Accommodation Ships Arrive in New Orleans
September 12: Carnival Cruise Line's ECSTASY tied up at the Riverwalk in New Orleans today while police officers and their families took up new temporary quarters on board. It was reported that 70% of the remaining police force are homeless at present. Carnival's SENSATION also docked today. She is further east along the New Orleans wharf and will be home for firefighters and emergency medical services personnel, starting tomorrow. The two 2,600 passenger cruise ships join the USS IWO JIMA, a U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship that arrived in New Orleans on September 5 to support rescue helicopter missions into the city. The 1991-built ECSTASY and 1993-built SENSATION were chartered by the US Government for six months to provide shelter to evacuees following Hurricane Katrina. Both were moored at Galveston, Texas, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency dropped the plan after displaced residents did not want to move again or risk not finding relatives, jobs or schools. Others cited a fear of being near water.
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DrDebug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:13 AM
Response to Original message
3. But.. but.. the Bush sr appointed ambassador to Spain
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 06:15 AM by DrDebug
is on the board of directors of Carnival Cruise. And the demand for cruises have gone down since Katrina and he is too old to be appointed ambassador in another country.


On the board of directors we find:

Ambassador Richard G Capen Jr. - Former U.S. Ambassador to Spain

Former Ambassador To Spain To Speak At Bush Library

Richard Capen, former U.S. ambassador to Spain, will present a lecture, "The Media and International Relations in the 21st Century," at 6 p.m. Tuesday (Nov. 6) in the Bush Museum Orientation Theater at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Capen's career represents a unique blend of diplomacy and newspaper publishing, highlighted by tours as United States ambassador to Spain and more than three decades in the newspaper business. Known for his commitment to personal values and a positive approach to life, he is a nationally recognized columnist, author and speaker on contemporary trends in America. The lecture is open to the public.

http://www.tamu.edu/univrel/aggiedaily/news/stories/01/...


Edit: emphasis added
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Scooter24 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:38 AM
Response to Original message
6. They have to account
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 07:07 AM by Scooter24
for many other costs. I can tell you from experience (10+ cruises) that the price you pay for the cruise doesn't always equal the cost you end up paying. By their estimates, the difference is roughly about $650 per person. And even then their average is off because not every stateroom is priced the same. Suites, balcony cabins, and cabins with windows usually far exceed that $599 starting average. I know this because for our 7-day cruise in July 2006, for just me and my boyfriend, I paid almost $6,000.

What is also not reflected in that lower figure is-

the lost of shipboard alcohol sales (and this alone makes a bundle for the cruise lines. Example- My average alcohol/softdrink tab alone for a 7-day cruise is roughly $600 and that is alcohol/softdrinks only. I've seen families with well over $1000 in alcohol sales)

the lost of sales from photography- a big $ maker for the cruise lines
the lost of gift shop sales
the lost of revenue from spa services
the lost of tip revenue for the wait staff (about 75% of their wage)
the lost of revenue from specialty restaurants
the lost of shore excursion revenue
the administrative and labor costs for re-booking passengers from canceled cruises thru mid-2006

Not to mention that Carnival is providing a $100 per person credit to every single passenger affected by the canceled cruises.

Plus the costs to extensively refurbish the ships to have them ready for sailing.

The costs do add up. I can't really criticize Carnival for that $236 million figure because it doesn't seem that inflated to me.



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wndycty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:21 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. If we are paying for the lost sales of amenities. . .
. . .then those living on the ships should be LIVING LARGE AS HELL. This is inexcusable, however if you feel this cost is justified then fill these ships with evacuees and workers and give them the FUCKING ROYAL TREATMENT, we are paying for it.
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wndycty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:19 AM
Response to Original message
7. Damn, I thought this deal was killed. . .
. . .but obviously it is still in pay. To the feds, PLEASE DO NOT TELL ME WE DON'T HAVE MONEY TO FEED THE POOR, PROVIDE HEALTHCARE AND EDUCATE OUR CHILDREN WHEN YOU PULL THIS SHIT!
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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:48 AM
Response to Original message
9. BTW, that $599 also includes Food and Drinks
I'm sure in that cost of $1275/week does NOT include the typical food you find on a cruise.

Carnival needs to return some of that money they siphoned off of us or we need to boycott Carnival
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DrDebug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Boycott? Can you afford to go on a cruise? n/t
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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:57 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Yes, I can however and probably many other DUers can too
I'm sorry, I didn't realize I had to meet a certain poverty level in order to be a member of DU. Yes, I could afford to go on a cruise, but I'm not really the cruise type. I do know that there are many other DUers who actually do enjoy cruises and I hope they consider something other than Carnival.

I'm not rolling in the dough but I can treat myself to a nice vacation once a year - is there something wrong with that?
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Ripley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. Class Warfare.
Happens here all the time. Yes, it does seem like we aren't considered real progressives if we actually have investments, take vacations, and otherwise have middle class lifestyles.

:eyes:
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. Carnival didn't do anything wrong..
...well, not REALLY wrong, anyway. The government AGREED to the contract when there were other ways to deal with the problem.

This is clearly the government's fault, IMHO.
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
12. They need to bust out that contract, pronto.
It can be done.
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
14. I may only go on one or two cruises in my life, but I will never, ever
use Carnival.

Not after this.

It disgusts me.

How can corporations exploit Americans and profit from tragedy and still consider themselves to be good, patriotic companies?
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