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chengkp75

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About chengkp75

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    Maine or at sea
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    Former cruise ship Chief Engineer

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  1. And they are welcome to them, for putting the smiling face on the operation. The only time my guys got some tips were the few occasions where someone dropped jewelry down the sink drain, and the plumbers took the trap apart and got it back.
  2. And you know for a fact that the NCL rep, or the TA, whomever, used the word "connecting"? Not that the woman wanted connecting, heard "adjoining" and assumed that meant "connecting"? There is no price difference for a connecting cabin over a non-connecting cabin of the same category.
  3. In order to book the cabins, they needed to book one adult in each, and one child in each. As everyone here on CC knows, once onboard everyone in this situation switches who sleeps where by getting extra key cards. Whether you want to consider this "deception" or whatever towards the cruise line, its a common practice and the cruise lines know it goes on, but this still does not show any fault by the line. So, as far as NCL was concerned, they allowed a permissible booking, one adult to a cabin, but as we all know, they don't do bunk checks to see that those people are actually in those cabins. So, regardless of whether the cabins were connecting or just adjoining, they were booked with an adult in each, so there was no problem from NCL's side, and no breach of contract.
  4. Ummm, LOL, but it clearly states that an "adjoining" stateroom is acceptable. Dictionary.com: Adjoining: adjective being in contact at some point or line; located next to another; bordering; contiguous:the adjoining room; a row of adjoining town houses. I don't think that "adjoining townhouses" means there is a doorway between neighbors. Perhaps the woman did not understand the difference between "connecting" and "adjoining".
  5. And if you go to the first item in Amazon's list of "cruise safe" devices (the "Cruise On" device), and look at the photo that the manufacturer put out for the back of the unit, it has clearly written on it "VPR(L-N): 800V". "VPR" is voltage protection rating, and is a measure of when a surge protector activates, so this device is surge protected.
  6. Not a contest at all. Yes, some of the violations were about improper practices with silverware, and some about food handling practices and record keeping, but some were about the potable water condition (engineering), pool condition (deck and engineering), water leaking from overhead (ceiling)(engineering), undercounter refrigerator out of service (engineering), hot cabinet with slotted fasteners (engineering), improper rinse temperature on a warewashing machine (engineering), bulkhead under a back bar counter in disrepair (engineering), steam pipes in the galley soup station leaking (engineering), lighting (engineering). USPH does not allow broken equipment to be in a food service area. If it is a small item, it needs to be removed completely from the galley until repaired, or if it is a large, fixed item like an undercounter refrigerator, you will get at teh very least an observation that it is out of service (if there are not too many, they may just make a "zero point deduction" notation to get it repaired as soon as possible. USPH covers more areas than simply food safety, they inspect potable water, pools, ventilation, lighting, construction of food areas, medical center, kids center, housekeeping, laundry, hazmat procedures, pest control. As noted above, there are many engineering violations noted on the Fantasy report, that had nothing to do with the engine room (the only ones were the potable water issues). Engineering keeps all of the ship operating, not just the engine room. We fix the machine that folds the sheets in the laundry, we fix the machine that rolls out pastry dough, or that presses dough into the little fluted tart cups. We fix the stoves, blast chillers, tilting pans, rack ovens, hot and cold holding carts, steam tables, drink machines, bar guns and water dispensers throughout the galleys and food service venues. We repair the AC all throughout the ship, the plumbing everywhere in the ship, including passenger cabins. We repair the pool equipment. All lighting. Virtually every part of a USPH inspection has some engineering aspect to it, as the hotel staff are operational, not technically trained, and there are no Maytag repairmen (except the engineers) at sea. If it breaks, or needs preventative maintenance, then engineering is called, no matter what it is. The time frame for the FDA/CDC switch on the Aloha was in the 2004-2008 time frame. I was Staff Chief during that time as well. Both governmental agencies made it very clear that there was little love lost between the two, and each felt the other was not doing a good enough job. USPH does not inspect the engine room (except for areas like potable water tanks, piping, and chlorination systems and records). They have absolutely nothing to do with fire safety equipment. As stated, I would spend the entire time with the USPH inspectors ("food inspectors" as you call them), inspecting throughout the hotel areas (front and back of house). The Staff Chief is considered to be just as important as the Hotel Director in hotel operations, as the HD depends on the Staff Chief to keep all of his equipment in top condition. Daily morning meeting of ship's management consisted of Captain, Hotel Director, Chief Engineer, and Staff Chief.
  7. As I said, when I was Staff Chief, I spent the entire 8-10 hours of the inspection with one or another inspector, typically being called to various locations by various inspectors as needed. Staff Captain, Hotel Director, all stayed with the inspectors the full time. Department heads as their departments were inspected. Received the same training from USPH and from NCL corporate USPH compliance as the Executive Chef or the Hotel Director.
  8. And as an engineer, the Staff Chief Engineer and Chief Engineer have responsibility for the maintenance of the equipment that is regulated by the USPH inspections, and under them the hotel engineers, the refrigeration engineers and the electricians. The Staff Chief Engineer, in particular, is responsible for maintenance throughout the hotel (all areas outside the engine room, as well as being the supervisor of the First Engineer who is responsible for the engineering spaces. So, the engineering officers have to be trained in USPH requirements, and the Deck officers (primarily the Chief Officer, Staff Captain, and Captain, as they are responsible for the Medical Department, the pools and recreational water facilities, and the Hazmat storage, all of which fall under the USPH inspection. During the monthly USPH inspection done by ship's management, these deck and engine officers will attend along with the hotel supervisors. And during a USPH inspection, the Staff Chief will be with the inspectors almost constantly to respond to questions about equipment status and maintenance, and the other deck and engine officers will attend as needed. At NCL, the Staff Captain is tasked with ensuring USPH compliance by all departments, and the Staff Chief is his deputy for this process.
  9. That will come as a surprise to the USPH inspectors I have worked with. "Under Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act, FDA may inspect U.S. flagged vessels engaged in interstate traffic to prevent the introduction and transmission of communicable diseases." Note that this applies strictly to US flag vessels, which are the ones subject to FDA regulations. It also restricts it to US flag vessels doing "interstate" traffic (coastwise). The USPH are under the Surgeon General, who reports to the Assistant Secretary of HHS for Health. The Commissioner of FDA reports directly to the Secretary of HHS. The link you provide is for the CDC VSP, which is not for US flag vessels, and while derived from FDA regulations originally, are now under the CDC, who use USPH uniformed inspectors to complete the inspections. "Every vessel that has a foreign itinerary and carries 13 or more passengers is subject to twice-yearly unannounced inspections and, when necessary, reinspection." So, the CDC inspects vessels that are making foreign voyages, while FDA does domestic voyages. I have personally worked under both the USPH and FDA inspection regimes, as I stated earlier, when the US flag Pride of Aloha went from USPH (as the foreign flag Norwegian Sky) to "coastwise" voyages (all within Hawaii) as the US flag Pride of Aloha, under FDA, and then under the USPH again when the US flag ship started Hawaiian voyages that included Fanning Island (becoming a foreign voyage). When under the USPH, the inspectors were uniformed USPH officers. While under the FDA, the inspectors were civilian FDA employees. They made it very clear that they were completely different entities.
  10. How do you prove a negative? I would assume that there is some anecdotal evidence about fly droppings on wine bottles (if not all the foil wrapper is removed before pouring), causing illness. Again, I'm not an epidemiologist, so I won't question the experts, but feel free to ask. There is a contact information on the CDC VSP website, and I have used it to question the water depth in swim diaper splash areas, when the VSP was being revised (originally there could be no standing water, but RCI complained that kids were burning their feet on the splash deck, so the VSP was modified to allow 2" of standing water).
  11. I see that she was built in 1990, so I don't think there is any way she meets the new (effective 2018) PC-6 class rules, as built. It is also almost impossible, fiscally, to retrofit a ship to these new standards. Again, little information available, but typically "ice reinforced" meant one of the lowest classes of the old "Ice Class" rules. Those old rules, which varied by classification society, had a Finnish "Ice Class 1A", and most existing ice classed cruise ships met this standard. This old standard is now the lowest of the new Polar Classes (PC-7), and passenger ships must now meet the stricter PC-6 standards.
  12. Yes, we are talking about different things. USPH is mandated to prevent infectious diseases into the US, not contagious diseases. While things like e coli are not contagious (person to person), a person who has the disease can spread the disease to the food supply (through poor hand hygiene, just like noro), and thence to other persons. Why would cholera not spread in the US, since its most common transmission vector is fecal-oral cross contamination, just like noro spreads, and most of the food borne diseases spread.
  13. I can't find any information whether the Saga ship is Polar Class or not, but any of the older ships, especially the Marco Polo will not be allowed north or south of 60* in the future.
  14. There is really no "sulfur free fuel", there is low sulfur fuel, and all ships are required to use it (or an exhaust gas scrubber which replicates the sulfur emissions of low sulfur fuel) when in and ECA (Emissions Control Area), like the North American (extends 200 miles from the US and Canadian coast), North Sea, Baltic or Arctic zones, and when in every EU port.
  15. While you are correct that the left side of the ship is always port, if I'm facing aft and pointing to port, I use my right hand, so port is not always "to your left", and there in lies the distinction. Your two sentences even make the distinction: "port is to the left", and "left side of the ship".
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