Refugees on a Cruise

I could have sworn I heard on the new last night that the federal government has leased three Carnival cruise ships for the New Orleans refugees, and the ships were to be docked in Galveston and…grrr…I wish I had a link for this.

I had real mixed feelings about this, but wanted to get the opinions of a few Dopers…

So, opinion up, please.

Evacuees, not refugees. :smack:

I need a nap now.

I dunno, being trapped in a large structure, surrounded by water, and with nowhere to go sounds like the last thing Superdome refugees would want.

But at least the plumbing should work.

Last I heard the plan was scrapped (sorry, no cite). At this point they’re stuffing people anywhere they can find.

Yes, they are planning on placing about 4,000 “displaced persons” in a cruise ship in Galveston. However, the plan is currently on hold as many of the “displaced persons” want to concentrate on finding family members at the moment. These people will be moved from the Astrodome and Reliant Center to the cruise ship. I think it’s a good idea. It’s not like they are getting a free Caribian cruise. I think any plan to lessen the congestion in the Astrodome is a good plan.

A cruise ship is basically just a hotel that floats.
The rooms are a lot smaller than most hotels-- but, hey, it’s a private room with its own bathroom. That must be a whole lot better than living on an exposed cot on a basketball court with 3000 neighbors sharing communal restrooms.

Fixed for accuracy.

Carnival worker checking in. I work at Port of Galveston. Our current ships are the *Elation, *and the Ecstasy. Added to the regular routes are the *Sensation *and the Conquest, which usually sail from NOLA.

The Elation, Sensation and Holiday have been commandeered by FEMA by way of the MSC (Military Seacraft Command) to house refugees/evacuees until March 2006. This comes directly from the memo I got at work yesterday morning. Our staff was asked to report to work today through Friday to help check in and situate the busloads of people expected to start arriving Monday at 4 pm.

Yesterday was an emotionally trying day. We spent all morning offloading 5000 people and all afternoon turning away the passengers who Carnival hadn’t been able to contact about the change of plans.

I learned about the change of itinerary online that morning before I went in. Thank you, Fark! Most people were understanding but one was so upset that she whoopsed all over the sidewalk. To be fair, she had a wedding planned for Saturday in Cozumel. I’d be a bit upset, too.

On my way to work this morning the boss called and told us we were all to stay home; the evacuees were refusing to be moved.

Now we’re on call.

And supposed to report Wed, Thur, and Fri. I’m not allowed to give statements to the media but I can update you guys with non-priorietary info.

Thanks for the facts, davmilasav!

Well, they’d hardly be “trapped” – I imagine they could come and go as they please, even though there’s really nowhere for them to go. As for being surrounded by water, I’d think knowing that the structure floats would be important to their peace of mind. :slight_smile:

My thoughts, exactly.

I bet the tips on those boats are really going to suck.

Dunno. The linked article seems to imply that there are a lot of scared people -= the ones in thae article seem to be near retirement age – who have been tramautized by the floods and the last thing they want to do is be on some big-ass boat.

I don’t know which article you read, but the one in davmilasav’s post only mentioned two people who professed fear of being on the water (one of whom can’t swim, so I doubt her fear came on suddenly with the hurricane … though I’m sure it is now exacerbated), one 55 and one 25 – neither anywhere near retirement age. And those two weren’t presented as representing the feelings of lots of other people.

To me, the linked article doesn’t imply “a lot of scared people,” it implies – actually outright states – that a lot of people prefer to stay behind and search for loved ones, and a lot of people simply can’t stand the idea of being relocated again.

Of course people are scared. Of course there will be people who can’t take the idea of living on a ship. All I did was speculate that, far from being “trapped and surrounded by water,” some folks might take comfort in knowing that ships float, and that these particular ships are built to withstand storms at sea; these ain’t no Gilligan’s Island boats (RIP, Bob Denver). All most of us are doing is speculating, but I think you’ve misinterpreted/misstated the information from that article.

[moderator underoos on]Do not “fix” the quotes of other posters.[/moderator underoos on]


It’s amazing to think that so many people will be homeless (or refugees, or evacuees, or whatever the AP is calling them today) for so long.

A few years ago, my mom took a cruise. While on board, she became very chatty with many of the employees (she’s nosey like that, and people love to talk to her). One of the things she discovered was that the employees worked for little more than peanuts, and many were people who originated from another country, and would take their pay and sent it “back home” to their families. The tips were a large portion of this pay, and without it, they wouldn’t be making much money at all. I’d be curious as to how the cruise lines will handle their employees if the employees are basically without a large portion of their salaries until March 2006. Volunteering is one thing, but being without a large portion of one’s salary is another.

And, yes, I realize that the refugees may be without employment for far longer, so don’t jump on me for that.

I have to be honest, I live, and have worked in the city with a population who are “below the poverty line”, and I can’t help but wonder at the condition of the cruise ships by March 2006. And, this ain’t the Pit… I just hope the cruise line is heavily insured.

I’m wondering just how the cruise lines are preparing the ships to be used as temporary housing. Will those living there have access to just the rooms and dining areas? How will they determine who gets the big suites and who gets the tiny cabins? Will they remove all the stuff in the boutiques, other shops and casinos? Will the lounge areas be off limits? Cruise ships are huge with lots and lots of facilities. It’d be interesting to know (mostly because I’ve been on a big cruise ship) just what the plans are for housing people for a long period of time on a cruise ship. The really big ones are more like small cities huge hotels. I spent an entire day just exploring all the places on the ship I was on and still missed some spots.

Please tell me the moderoos are worn under clothes. I’m getting a bad, bad vision of Czarcasm doing a Tom Cruise Risky Business song & dance while moderating. :eek:

Back on topic: While FEMA et. al. can commandeer the ships what about operating them? I’m assuming they can’t force the companies to provide manpower. If FEMA does as good a job supporting the ship as they did the Superdome I suspect it won’t be floating very long…

Would it be the typical refugee camp set-up, where access on and off the ship/camp is controlled by the authorities?

Are the ships to be moored or are they to stay offshore?

If moored, can the evacuees come and go at will?

Depending on how FEMA handles it, it could be a floating hotel, or a floating prison.

The ships will be moored at Pier 40, just up the channel from Piers 25 & 27 where they are currently located.

BTW the *term du jour *for the refugees is “guests.” As in, “These people are not technically our passengers but they are our guests.” As guests, they will be allowed to come and go freely by day but a curfew will be in place at night.

Today I was one of 105 Carnival staff who showed up to work. The local paper ran a request for volunteers and I don’t know how many of them showed up, but it was at least 25. So 130 of us were ready, willing and able to handle the 4000 expected guests.

Wanna know how many showed up? Eighteen. Not eighteen thousand. Not eighteen buses. Eighteen people. Yup, two baseball teams worth of people. :smack:

We were sent home at 1:30 and we’re not going back tomorrow.