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FEMA to charter three Carnival ships for refugees

FEMA to charter three Carnival ships for refugees

Sep 3rd, 2005, 08:02 PM
  #1  
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FEMA to charter three Carnival ships for refugees

MSN is carrying this story today: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9188316/

Apparently, Carnival ships from home ports of New Orleans, Galveston, and Mobile are being rented for six months to the US government to house up to 7,000 people displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The passengers who had booked passage on these ships will be refunded, and the Carnival CEO apologized to them, and said they would receive a $100 credit on a future cruise.
kswl is offline  
Sep 4th, 2005, 03:18 AM
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Sounds like a better idea than the Astrodome, but I have my doubts about any refugee camp (and that is really what it is) working. The unfortunate reality is it looks like it will be longer than 6 months until most people can return to New Orleans - and some never.

Recall comments here about how small cabins are on ships - usually responded to with "but you never spend any time in your cabin anyway". These refugees are not going to have the usual diversions of a cruise nor are cruise ships designed for continuous occupancy for months. My prediction is that both the Astrodome and these ships will escalate into the desparation and lawlessness that developed in the Superdome. A large group of idle people with little hope and an uncertain future is not a good mix.

Cities have found that crowded housing projects do not work well and many have moved towards smaller housing groups of dispersing people among rental units within a city. We have a big country - we need to do this on a larger scale with those who wish to relocate over the medium-term.

(OK - I am off my soapbox now) - if I had booked a cruise on one of these ships it would almost be worse than having it cancelled for weather or equipment problems - you can't really complain since ship is being used to house the homeless, but on the other hand, you would still feel that vacation-cancellation letdown and feel guilty about it.



gail is online now  
Sep 4th, 2005, 03:27 AM
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Gail you have turned such a positive into a negative. After what they have been through being on a cruise boat should seem like a haven from the storm and literally is. It is not a long term solution but to those afflicted it has to be a much needed sign that someone cares. Long term is another matter but this is not so intended. We'll see how it developes over time. JM2C.
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Sep 4th, 2005, 03:38 AM
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I do not consider it "such a positive" - we will agree to disagree on the wisdom of this move.
gail is online now  
Sep 4th, 2005, 04:56 AM
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Now a mandate from you? Looks like you are back on the soap box! . The shelter provided by the Superdome in no can be compared to the shelter of the Astrodome and the crusie ships. In the former there was no power, food, water, sanitation and security and most significantly no light at the end of the tunnel. In the latter you have all of what was missing andd most importantly you also have some hope. Would your solution be to NOT use these temporary facilities and leave them there? The long term fix is very far away. They need help now or have you not been watching the news? I think you need to back off and rethink your position. JM2C.
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Sep 4th, 2005, 07:28 AM
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I is being reported on the CruiseCritic board that the cruise ships will house FEMA workers, elderly & handicapped refugees, etc. The homeless are already placed elsewhere.

The displaced people are not in a prison, they can come & go - go to school, get a job, move to family - don't know what will happen to the welfare checks,ADC checks, etc.if the gov't is paying for food & housing, etc.

The Carnival passengers are being offered their money back and a $100 pp shipboard credit (according to CC). However, some are upset that other cruises at that time are more money than the one they chose. Some feel that Carn. should have subsituted (at no extra charge) another ship.

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Sep 4th, 2005, 07:55 AM
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Where exactly did you see that on cruisecritic? I read that the ships will be chartered by FEMA but did not see that they will house FEMA workers, the elderly and the handicapped. I read this note from a subheadline on the front homepage. Is this other info elsewhere?
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Sep 4th, 2005, 09:52 AM
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This is very good news for the victims (not for the Carnival passengers that had cruises booked).

I heard on the news that the Governor of Louisiana and the Mayor of New Orleans may be pressured to resign for not calling for a mandatory evacuation.
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Sep 4th, 2005, 10:17 AM
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I don't know what a 'subheadline on a front homepage' is. But on the Carnival board there is a thread about 'sheep' there is a poster that explains about the FEMA plan about 10 posters down from the original one.

That post is getting pretty hot & ugly and might be pulled. I did read about the plans for the Carn. ships somewhere else this past couple of days but don't remember where.

I did hear that the Louisiana officials did not heed early warnings then waited too long for other things to get organized. Some, innocent people are getting unfairly blamed because people do not know the behind the scenes manouvers which are starting to come to light now.

Hug the children, they have to be so scared.
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Sep 4th, 2005, 10:49 AM
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Maryann: Its one the main page, the 2nd item in "today on crusise critic."
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Sep 4th, 2005, 11:23 AM
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OK, now I understand what you meant. I have my 'favorites' set to the actual Board that I want - so I bypass the homepage. Hope you can find what I meant.
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Sep 4th, 2005, 12:11 PM
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Now you got me. LOL!
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Sep 4th, 2005, 12:13 PM
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Newyorkgolfer: Chicago area golfer her BTW. Didn't the mayor call for evacuations? I thought he did.
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Sep 4th, 2005, 05:16 PM
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At this point I have alot of mixed emotions about the use of the cruise ships for displaced people.Please don't call me a racist!!!... As Gail has said they have substituted one refugee camp for another and being in small quarters and possibler health problems I would rather see one of the ships used as a hospital. In my wildest imagination I cannot imagine these poor people having homes to go to at the end of six months. Carnival has done the right thing and a year or six months down the road I'm sure there will be many complaints about the ships and lack of facilities and I only hope and pray that each ship will have people from FEMA, the Salvation Army or the Red Cross to help each and every family find a permanent home, stabilize the ill and whatever social services they need to continue start again to rebuild their lives.
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Sep 4th, 2005, 07:08 PM
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I wondered about the advisability of this, with such cramped quarters. Some people are also very afraid of being on the water, so I hope they ask for volunteers and don't simply assign people to this refugee "camp." There are sure to be complaints tht the casino isn't open, the shows don't run, etc., that will probably sound ungrateful. But what these people need are new lives, not a temporary, stationary "cruse" for 6 months. And that timetable is about as realistic as a flying pig. In the Florida panhandle, many people are still living in "temporary" trailers from the Hurricane Ivan disaster of last year.
kswl is offline  
Sep 4th, 2005, 08:03 PM
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I think there are not that many options and this seems to be one of the best/only options. I can imagine the disappointment of those booked on Carnival cruises.

Jacketwatch, to answer your question, as I understand it on the news the mandatory evacuation was not given until Sunday night @ 10:00 Central Time, much too late to be of much good. Even if given earlier, not sure what the outcome would have been for so many live pay check to pay check and may not have had the money to fill up their tanks to leave nor the inclination. I do think that the Governor of LA and the Mayor should have reacted much sooner with a mandatory evacuation (remember the local govt. has the first line of command before the Federal govt. steps in) but I'm not sure the outcome would have been different. No one anticipated the magnitude of Katrina. Anyway, lots of spin that these elected officials should resign for not protecting "their" people sooner. The bottom line is the tragedies. There is also talk that the levies should have been stronger, sooner. They were rebuilt in the 1965 to withstand a Category 3 Hurricane. Even with notice, there would have been no time to rebuilt to withstand a category 4 Hurricane such as Katrina as this would have required years. I've also heard that it really wasn't the levies that gave way but instead the breaker walls. This could all be debated for years. In the meantime, I just pray for the survivers and their futures.
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Sep 4th, 2005, 11:47 PM
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Why have they not thought of housing these poor, distraught people and families in all of the defunct military bases across the country? Seems like a more realistic plan.
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Sep 5th, 2005, 01:28 AM
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Well, it was awfully nice of Carnival to offer 3 ships. I don't know if it's true or not, but I read on the CC board that the cruise line will get $249 million for the six-month charter. I thought they did it out of the kindness of their hearts.

I am/was booked on the Elation, 9/25 sailing. I haven't been contacted yet. Thank goodness I checked the message boards, otherwise I wouldn't have known! I had planned to get an outfit for formal nights and book more non-refundable hotel nights this week. I hope the travel insurance covers trips indirectly affected by hurricanes. I didn't really consider re-booking and would hesitate with Carnival. Don't get me wrong, I realize the gravity of the situation, but I think the cruise line could have handled their passengers better. Some people were contacted by phone right away. I would have appreciated at least a mass email.

I hope the ships will be put to good use. Housing the elderly and rescue workers sounds ideal.
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Sep 5th, 2005, 02:10 AM
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I don't know why some fail to see this as a short term solution under desperate circumstnces amd honeslty I wonder what would be said about it if those people using them were not primarily African-American. Do you assume this is just another housing project?
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Sep 5th, 2005, 03:18 AM
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Actually 2500 displaced people are being flown into Otis Air Force base in MA where there is housing and schools not to mention a hospital and a community who is ready to welcome them with open arms. One owner of a shop which maybe a toy store is providing allsorts of stuffed animals for the children.
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