This is a little bit like British Airways registering their aircraft out of the UK, which sounds ludicrous. The QM2 is one ship that should always, always be registered in Great Britain, for she is a semi-symbol of English sea faring tradition. This is such a shame, and perhaps a straw too far for Carnival Cunard. One must not forget that had it not been for Carnival Cunard is likely not to exist anymore, but the fact that the cruising/ocean liner industry is now controlled by accountants mean they will make the biggest changes to save a penny, as they have no passion or love for what they do. I assure you if you walk into Carnival Corp. HQ
very few people who take these decisions would be truly passionate about Cunard, rather than scrutinizing every report trying to save a cent here and there. With companies like NCL
, RCI, even Carnival Cruise Line it's different, but when you get to Cunard, your dealing with more than just a cruise line, your dealing with a shipping line so deep in its history, that if you don't make a potential extra minuscule sum, but keep the brand alive in its true form, it would pay off.
A great shame.
Again, there is a difference between Seabourn, Silversea, Seadream and Cunard- they are cruise lines, not the flagcarrier of the world's civilian maritime fleet. They can almost be seen as a halo product. Just like Holland America Line would loose it if it wasn't Dutch, the Cunard Line would loose something if it wasn't truly British.
HAL still flys the Dutch flag, and they are better for it.
Where are the days of patriotism, where one was ready to not make a few thousand pounds less to make their nation shine in pride?
Today the Cunard Line finally broke off their last connection with their past, the fact that the QM2 is no longer a Royal Mail Ship, and no longer the flagship of the British Maritime fleet. For all intents and purposes, it's just another cruise line.
It was only 10 years ago that the Cunard Line sold the QE2 transatlantic crossings as ways to get from A to B, rather than as cruises. You could buy a round-trip (with some time in the USA, not just back to back) on one ticket, one way, or alternatively a crossing to the USA and Concorde back. Now that is all but gone.
Carnival saved Cunard, but Cunard also lost it's identity when it was saved by Carnival.
Also, people say that the Cunard Line needs to stay competitive- sure it does, but it currently charges the highest premium out of every mass-market line, and it's F/J product is as expensive as the ultra-luxury lines, if not more sometimes. They could easily, easily pay the crew the increase in wages, as the cruise fare itself is so inflated.
Also the way the Cunard Line is handling this is really an insult to it's passenger's intelligence. If they had simply come out and said it was getting to expensive to register the ships in GB, people would have been a lot more understanding than saying it was just to get weddings at sea, a weak and meek excuse.
[Edited 2011-10-21 03:10:53]