Thursday, August 19, 2010
Renaissance VIII 1992 ( I opened this one )
Feeling a bit nostalgic right now. I helped open this ship back in 1992. When you click on the link above it will give you the details and the photo.
First I opened the seventh ship named Regina Renaissance and during the same contract headed to this one to open it as well. It was a pretty heavy duty 6 1/2 month contract.
I didn't realize how small it was until I looked at the gross tonnage of just over 4,200. Nowadays they are built way over 100 - 200,000 gross tons. All the Renaissance ships were the same build.
114 passengers was really sweet. The dining room had open seating and the relaxed personalized service you could give each guest made it enjoyable. Notice 70 crew for 114 passengers as well.
When you are choosing a ship to travel on a good indicator of how pampered you will be is noting the crew to passenger ratio. Two or less crew for every one guest is great. You can usually find that on the smaller ships.
For you waiters out there working on cruise ships you probably get your $50 a month plus gratuities. Well when I started with Renaissance the waiters got $625 a month plus tips. That would be unheard of today. Later on after the registry changed from Italy to Liberia we all made $50 a month salary. That happened soon after.
Renaissance as I knew it went bankrupt shortly after September 11 ,2001. Their margins were pretty tight and were barely making it then and with the flux of cancellations following that dreadful day it had to shut operations. Other companies bought the ships and remodeled them.
They were not like this ship though. It was like a big yacht!
Tomorrow another destination!
Radio talk show host of "The Hospitality Industry News Network" and author of "You Only Live Once" about his early years traveling around and working on ships and foreign countries Steven blogs about his thoughts on the restaurant industry as he sees it today.
Check out his web site at www.stevennicolle.com for more information.