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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/8/2005 3:39:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2005 3:48:03 AM EDT by cool-e]
The cruise ship plans for here in good old Galveston have been shit-canned, but the ships might be moved somewhere else. $236 million taxpayer bucks and FEMA does not want to talk about it.

Here's the article from todays paper:

Plans for shelters on cruise ships dropped

By Laura Elder
The Daily News

Published September 8, 2005

GALVESTON — Federal officials have abandoned plans to house more than 4,000 Hurricane Katrina survivors on luxury liners in Galveston.

With scores of volunteers and city officials on alert, word came Wednesday that there still were no takers among evacuees for the floating shelters.

The decision ended a chaotic week for city officials, who for four days raced to sort out the logistics of providing transportation, water and school buses to cruise ships that would essentially house small cities on public docks.

The refusal of survivors to leave Houston for the cruise ships also raises questions about the federal government’s unusual agreement to pay Carnival Corp. $192 million to provide the temporary housing.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency last week also agreed to pay Carnival $44 million for fuel reimbursements related to the shelters for an agreement worth $236 million.

‘We have options’

When it was obvious storm survivors weren’t willing to leave Houston, federal officials were defending their decision to charter the cruise ships.

“We have options,” James McIntyre, a FEMA spokesman said. “The ships will be used and the money well spent.”

Last week, the federal agency chartered three Carnival cruise ships as temporary housing for those displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Renting cruise ships for emergency housing is an unprecedented move.

Two of the ships — Sensation and Ecstasy — were supposed to dock in Galveston for six months. A third ship, funded though the same contract, is supposed to be berthed at the Port of Mobile, Ala.

Just how Sensation and Ecstasy will be used in Katrina relief efforts now wasn’t clear late Wednesday.

Sailing on

The ships may sail to either New Orleans or Biloxi, Miss., said Randy Welch, a FEMA spokesman. Federal officials said they would use the ships to house evacuees or emergency workers near other ports.

Federal officials declined to make public terms of their six-month agreement with Carnival.

“It’s an open-ended contract; it’s not finalized,” McIntyre said. “The contract has contingency amounts that may or may not be tapped depending on logistical considerations.”

Some Carnival Corp. representatives this week traveled to Houston shelters in an attempt to answer questions evacuees had about taking refuge in the ships.

Federal officials say they never expected such resistance.

But some shelter residents, traumatized by the destruction they saw in New Orleans, said they feared being near water again. Others, who the storm separated from family, said they were reluctant to leave Houston shelters until they reconnected with relatives. Some said they didn’t want their lives uprooted again.

“I think they wanted to know about the ships and what it’s like,” said Tim Gallagher, a Carnival spokesman. “It was becoming apparent that some of them were not familiar with cruise ships.

“With everything they had been through, the unknown perhaps was a little daunting.”

At $236 million, the cost of housing a single evacuee for six months would range from $30,000 to $60,000, depending on how many evacuees took shelter in the ships.
Carnival Corp. would not disclose typical earnings from the three ships in a six-month period, but said the federal contract was not particularly lucrative.

Taking the ships out of commission for half a year has forced Carnival to cancel trips, offer refunds to nearly 100,000 passengers or move them to other vessels, Gallagher said.

Changing course

“It’s extremely disruptive to our organization and to our business to pull three ships out of service on such short notice and for such a short period of time,” Gallagher said. “We will not make more money on this charter than we would have if we had simply operated these three vessels under a post-Katrina plan.”

A five-day cruise could start at $100 a day, depending on the accommodations. Housing evacuees in cruise ships could cost about $133 a day, federal officials said.

Carnival had planned to use its staff and provide meals to evacuees in Galveston. Because staff couldn’t depend on tips, the cruise line would pay its shelter staff more, Gallagher said.

Federal officials sought Carnival out and not vice versa, Gallagher said.

Some island residents have questioned the wisdom of sending thousands of storm evacuees to Galveston, a city vulnerable to hurricanes.

But both Carnival and federal officials said the ships would simply sail to safe harbors if a storm threatened the city.

Lower earnings

Carnival Corp. on Monday said severe weather caused by Hurricane Katrina and the use of its three ships in relief efforts would lower its earnings for the fourth fiscal quarter by up to 3 cents a share, or $25 million.

Normally, federal agencies move people displaced by catastrophes into neighborhoods of manufactured homes or encourage them to move to rental housing already available in their cities. But Katrina was so devastating, neither were options in New Orleans.

Cheaper, efficient

Floating shelters were cheaper and more efficient, federal officials said.

Galveston officials never asked for the floating shelters, but said they were willing to help.

McIntyre said FEMA chose Galveston to berth the cruise ships because the city is homeport to Carnival ships and near Houston, where thousands of storm victims last week were living in mass shelters.

But what if island officials had declined to take in storm evacuees during hurricane season? Would federal officials have been able to trump city leaders? Federal officials declined to say whether they had final say.

‘We negotiate’

“We negotiate, we don’t force anything on anyone,” McIntyre said. “We had complete support from the governor of Texas, from communities in Texas and that’s why we didn’t have to go into any laws. Every community stepped up to help fellow Americans.”

Some island businesses near the port waited Monday for Katrina evacuees to arrive at the Pier 25 cruise terminal.

Juan Cardona, a chef at nearby Fisherman’s Wharf, said he and other employees had been looking out for the busloads of evacuees that were supposed to make their way down Harborside Drive. He said he wasn’t surprised to hear they weren’t coming.

“Being that they (the cruise ships) are in the water, maybe people would be afraid,” he said.

+++

Reporter Sarah Viren contributed to this report
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 5:02:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2005 5:07:03 AM EDT by torstin]
someone in the chain of command probably read the thread here and decided to cut their losses. but still, 236M out the door for this plan?? wtf thought it was ever a good idea is what id like to know.

eta i'll be happy to provide some housing for less than $5000.00 a month.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 5:06:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2005 5:08:27 AM EDT by -Duke-Nukem-]
More like the cruise lines really didn't want their expensive ships to be totally ransacked and set on fire. They pulled up, took a look at what was going on shoreside, and promptly "reconsidered" the plan. I have a hard time believing that people would rather sit in a plastic chair in the Astrodome than stay on a cruise ship. People pay alot of money to be on those boats for days at a time, alot more than you pay to watch a baseball game in a place that is only designed to keep you relatively comfortable for a couple of hours at a time.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 5:07:25 AM EDT
Last I heard there are still plans for using two ships. I wondered why the other ship had been dropped.

Just another fine example of the efficiency of the US government machine at work, blowing our money at warp speed.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 5:11:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By -Duke-Nukem-:
More like the cruise lines really didn't want their expensive ships to be totally ransacked and set on fire. They pulled up, took a look at what was going on shoreside, and promptly "reconsidered" the plan. I have a hard time believing that people would rather sit in a plastic chair in the Astrodome than stay on a cruise ship. People pay alot of money to be on those boats for days at a time, alot more than you pay to watch a baseball game in a place that is only designed to keep you relatively comfortable for a couple of hours at a time.



Why would they give a shit?

If there was damage, they would just bill us for twice the cost of repair.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 5:14:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By -Duke-Nukem-:
More like the cruise lines really didn't want their expensive ships to be totally ransacked and set on fire. They pulled up, took a look at what was going on shoreside, and promptly "reconsidered" the plan. I have a hard time believing that people would rather sit in a plastic chair in the Astrodome than stay on a cruise ship. People pay alot of money to be on those boats for days at a time, alot more than you pay to watch a baseball game in a place that is only designed to keep you relatively comfortable for a couple of hours at a time.



That's fine.... They can walk from the 200+ million too. I don't care what else they use them for but unless those boats are filled with people who could not be housed elsewhere this is a collosal waste of tax money. Hell, it's not even tax money.... it's just magic money that we don't actually have.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 5:16:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By -Duke-Nukem-:
More like the cruise lines really didn't want their expensive ships to be totally ransacked and set on fire. They pulled up, took a look at what was going on shoreside, and promptly "reconsidered" the plan. I have a hard time believing that people would rather sit in a plastic chair in the Astrodome than stay on a cruise ship. People pay alot of money to be on those boats for days at a time, alot more than you pay to watch a baseball game in a place that is only designed to keep you relatively comfortable for a couple of hours at a time.



it's a lot harder to get crack on a cruise ship than on the streets of Houston.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 5:17:29 AM EDT
Fuck, I wouldnt mind spending a week or two on one of those ships.

<­BR>

But not with them folks.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 5:22:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 5:27:55 AM EDT


The Love Boat


Love... exciting and new,
Come aboard,
We're expecting you-

And love, life's sweetest reward,
Let it float.
It floats back to you-

The Love Boat,
Soon we'll be making another run.
The Love Boat,
Promises something for everyone-.
Set a course for adventure,
Your mind on a new ro-mance.

And love... won't hurt anymore,
It's an open smile, on a friendly shore.
It's love-, welcome aboard it's lo-o-ove
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 5:34:24 AM EDT
Every "undocumented shopper" that refused to go aboard the ships, ought to be kicked out onto the street with no further benefits.

Ungrateful deadwood.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 5:44:07 AM EDT
Hell, I know I would jump at an opportunity to crash on one of those ships. I cant think of a safer place to be housed during hurricane season. Another hurricane comes and they can pull up the anchor and set sail for somewhere sunny and warm.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 6:46:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By PokeChoke:
The Love Boat


Love... exciting and new,
Come aboard,
We're expecting you-

And love, life's sweetest reward,
Let it float.
It floats back to you-

The Love Boat,
Soon we'll be making another run.
The Love Boat,
Promises something for everyone-.
Set a course for adventure,
Your mind on a new ro-mance.

And love... won't hurt anymore,
It's an open smile, on a friendly shore.
It's love-, welcome aboard it's lo-o-ove



The Loot Boat

Loot, exciting and new
Some on board
We're victims for you

And loot, life's sweetest reward
......
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 6:49:02 AM EDT


Good riddance, another stupid 'gubment plan flounders. People SHOULD NOT have to sacrifice their vacation plan$ and time because the 'gubment wants to shelter the dregs of society.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 7:55:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
Every "undocumented shopper" that refused to go aboard the ships, ought to be kicked out onto the street with no further benefits.

Ungrateful deadwood.



+1

Using those ships was a good idea.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 8:09:36 AM EDT
I was on the phone with the engineering contractor recruiter the other day and he said lodging was the challenge for moving recovery teams into the disaster area. He told me some guys he'd placed were living in air conditioned tents. I am hoping that by the time I am called to go down there they will have one of these bad boys ready for me!



Link Posted: 9/8/2005 8:27:45 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 8:32:10 AM EDT
The buzz around here now is that one ship is going to NO and the other to Biloxi to house work crews that are working on the recovery. And unlike other rumor mills, gossip lines and 10th hand hear-say, our rumors are the shizzle
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 8:33:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
Every "undocumented shopper" that refused to go aboard the ships, ought to be kicked out onto the street with no further benefits.

Ungrateful deadwood.



well said OP
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 8:35:56 AM EDT


Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
Every "undocumented shopper" that refused to go aboard the ships, ought to be kicked out onto the street with no further benefits. hauled out into the gulf and threw overbo.........uh, nevermind.

Ungrateful deadwood.



Link Posted: 9/8/2005 8:49:29 AM EDT
.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 8:52:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mojo:

These refugees don't know what they're missing...On cruise ship...Food is 27/7...The air condition in each room; quarter is probably tight, but privacy is there....Activities....What else do they want? Please sign me up.



I knew they fed you good. But damn, they went to the trouble of adding three hours to the day just to extend the buffet.

Link Posted: 9/8/2005 8:56:38 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 9:30:37 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 3:14:10 PM EDT
Beautiful golf course! Got a hell of a watertrap though...
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 3:26:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By -Duke-Nukem-:
Beautiful golf course! Got a hell of a watertrap though...



I'd need a couple of dozen balls to get through 9 holes.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 3:47:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2005 3:47:45 PM EDT by SUPERSPORT]
Good idea. The people go on a one way trip and the ships comes back for the next 4,000.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 3:54:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By -Duke-Nukem-:
More like the cruise lines really didn't want their expensive ships to be totally ransacked and set on fire. They pulled up, took a look at what was going on shoreside, and promptly "reconsidered" the plan. I have a hard time believing that people would rather sit in a plastic chair in the Astrodome than stay on a cruise ship. People pay alot of money to be on those boats for days at a time, alot more than you pay to watch a baseball game in a place that is only designed to keep you relatively comfortable for a couple of hours at a time.



I have first hand information about this. Most evacuees want nothing to do with water. When they got off the buses here the first thing they asked was "How far are we from the water?". Houston centers began calling around yesterday to outlying counties to ask for volunteers. We got none from ours. The whole idea was a bad one from the begining.

The evacuees were only to be housed in the ships and fed. They would have no access to any of the amenities on the ships. They were only going to be allowed the use of the state rooms and the dining rooms. This was not going to be some luxury stay. Just cramped staterooms and nothing to do. So all opted to stay put.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 4:05:41 PM EDT
Personally, if I had gotten out with nothing, I'd be on one of those ships so fast, with my $2,000 debit card, you'd be waving goodbye to my shadow.
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