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On Cruise Ships and Ocean Liners

Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America

Look what appeared when I looked out the 24th floor window of the Ilikai Hotel one morning. The mammoth cruise ship dwarfed the buildings and even the telecommunications tower in its berth at the Pier 2 Cruise Terminal.

A little googling told me that the ship has a grand staircase and a glass elevator, but it does not have the fun fair park that is popular on so many cruise ships these days.

I would enjoy cruising around the Hawaiian Islands aboard this ship, but I'd rather sail aboard one of the old ocean liners, such as the SS Monterey, which we saw in "Killer at Sea" (Season 6) or the SS Constitution, which appeared in the still-popular movie An Affair to Remember, which co-starred Richard Denning, who portrayed the governor on Hawaii Five-0. Now, those ships had style!

Another quick google told me that only one ocean liner still sails. She is the RMS Queen Mary 2. Several other ocean liners, such as the original Queen Mary, serve today as permanently moored floating hotels. The Queen Mary is in Long Beach, California.

The SS Monterey was purchased by Matson and converted to a passenger ship from a cargo one in the 1950s. In 1970, Matson sold her to the Pacific Far East Line, which used it until 1978, when it was laid up for undisclosed reasons. In 1988, after being laid up for ten years, she was acquired by Aloha Pacific Cruises, which rebuilt it into a full-time cruise ship.  Passenger shipping was a dying trade in those days, and within a year, Aloha Pacific was bankrupt. Two years later, she was chartered and then purchased by Star Lauro -- later, Mediterranean Shipping Cruises (MSC) -- which used it successfully in the Mediterranean until 2006, when serious boiler problems caused her to be withdrawn from service, sold for scrap, and sent to Dubai, where she was beached at Alang.

The SS Constitution had a sad ending. After completing her trans-Atlantic sailing career, she served as a cruise ship around the Hawaiian Islands. In 1995, she was decommissioned as being no longer seaworthy. Indeed, in 1997, while she was being towed to be scrapped, she broke apart and sank 700 miles north of the Hawaiian Islands.

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