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Here's some fun news to share over dinner tonight. USA Today's Cruise Log alerts us to the fact that not only is the original "Love Boat" still floating, but it can be yours for the pretty price of $2.5 million. That's how much a Turkish company paid for the 1971-built Pacific Princess only recently, with the intent to break it up and sell its famous bits for scrap. That was the plan, at least until they defaulted on payments. Whoops.
The ships has seen more than its slew of make-ups and break-ups over the decades; the Pacific Princess has also sailed under a few other names and cruise lines, finally reaching the stalemate at which she sits today. Will she be scrapped after all? Will she sail again on budget cruises? Will she be permanently docked as a hotel somewhere?
Here's our idea: somebody please buy this babe and convert her into the hotel idea, but keep her seaworthy so that the Pacific Princess can show up wherever overflow accommodations are needed, such as the London Olympics or World Cup. Heck, park it on the Hudson River in NYC during major conventions, Pride Week and the Fourth of July and we'll book a room or two ourselves. Make it happen.
Carnival Cruises just booked a huge number of passengers, and it won't even have to take them anywhere: The cruise company has been hired by Canadian police to house security personnel during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
The three ships will serve as floating hotels to ease the city's housing shortage by allowing some 4,000 private guards to cabin up. The police had earlier contracted with a rival company called Cruise Connections, who is now suing them for allegedly backing out to try and get a better deal -- recessionomics at work!
Speaking of cruises, sounds like starting a mutiny is the new calling customer service. New York Times writer Joe Sharkey is tracking the "trend" of organized passenger resistance after a recent Sapphire Princess cruise that had to skip many of its scheduled stops when typhoons whipped up seas.
Passengers angry with the unplanned diversions started cooking up schemes, says passenger Carolyn Spencer Brown, who also happens to run the influential site Cruise Critic:
First there was a group of what I'd call rabble-rousers, led by a lawyer. We were missing all of these ports, and they felt they weren't getting the truth...[at one point, assembled in the ship's theater] the attorney jumped up and grabbed the microphone away from the assistant cruise director and said: `We're taking over the stage! We have a petition!'
List of names notwithstanding, officers on-board were able to retain control, and Princess Cruises gave everyone some free spending money and a discount on another cruise. Let that be a lesson for you instigators: Just because you organize a mutiny doesn't mean you won't be invited back to sail again!
[Photo of the Sapphire Princess: SqueakyMarmot]