Friday, November 12, 2010

Personal Prerogative: Why?

This has nothing to do with politics. Nothing at all.

As I was watching the footage of the cruise ship being towed back to port in San Diego after an engine fire rendered it a very large buoy, I began thinking, "WHY?"

Why on Earth do we need a floating Las Vegas hotel? These super massive cruise ships just scream problem. An aircraft carrier was activated to help get food and supplies to the stranded passengers, and the close to 4,500 passengers and crew finally were able to get on dry ground after three long days at sea. No one was injured...just probably mildly annoyed with the Spam diet.

On the other coast, the world's largest cruise ship, Royal Carribean's Allure of the Seas arrived for service at Port Everglades in Florida. This vessel is an 1,200 feet long. Built in Finland, it squeezed under the Store Belt Bridge in Denmark by a mere 18 inches. The bottom of the bridge is over 21 stories above the water, and the ship is some 236 feet tall. The captain had to drop the retractable exhaust pipes to squeeze under.

By contrast, the RMS Titanic was 882.5 feet long and 175 feet from water to smokestack funnel. I really don't have anything else to add, but I think these floating cities are remarkable, but I guess I just don't get it. Whatever happened to the good old days of Captain Stubing and the Love Boat. The 550 foot Pacific Princess looks quite tiny compared to today's behemoths. The old Love Boat is still in service, by the way, according to Wikipedia. It operates out of Nassau, Bahamas, and it has dropped the Princess from its name. It's just the Pacific now.

1 comment:

varangianguard said...

Too many Americans want to experience exotic locales, but are loathe to give up on personal amenities that many of us are so very used to (like familiar foods).

Plus, I think that there is some sense of imagined safety by being on-board, rather than staying ashore somewhere.

Likely, there can be more factors, but mostly they consist of intangible reasons, rather than anything concrete that one might point to.