Carnival Corp. Names Navy Vice Admiral to New Chief Maritime Officer Position

It’s nice to see a former Navy Admiral take an important position at an American shipping company but I have to ask, from a completely selfish point of view, what does this mean for American mariners? My first thought is “NOT A DAMN THING!” but the vain sentimentalist in me has some bleak romantic hope that this honored sailor of the nation’s noblest maritime institution, the Navy, all recent scandals aside, might champion the cause of American mariners within this shipping conglomerate’s ranks. What say ye’, citizens of gCaptain?

Carnival Corp. Names Navy Vice Admiral to New Chief Maritime Officer Position
BY MIKE SCHULER ON DECEMBER 5, 2013


Carnival Triumph seen adrift in the Gulf of Mexico in February 2013. The incident was just one of a series of mishaps that has led the public to question the safety of the company’s ships and the cruise industry at large. Photo: U.S. Coast Guard


Vice Admiral (ret) William R. Burke

Carnival Corporation (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world’s largest cruise company which has been struggling recently to overcome a long list of blemishes to its safety record, has been appointed a former U.S. Navy vice admiral to the newly created position of Chief Maritime Officer.

Carnival made the announcement Thursday that it has appointed Vice Admiral William Burke to the new position effective December 9, 2013. Burke will report directly to Chief Operations Officer, Alan Buckelew, and will have oversight of the company’s global maritime operations, including maritime quality assurance and policy, shipbuilding, ship refits, and research and development.

“Bill had a distinguished career with the U.S. Navy, and we are excited about him joining our leadership team, especially in a key position new to Carnival,” said Buckelew. “In addition, Bill has deep experience in overseeing large maritime operations, both at sea and in shipyards, and his knowledge and expertise will be a major asset. But just as importantly, he is highly respected as a dynamic leader with a strong record of building high-performing teams.”

Prior to this new position, Burke spent 35 years in the U.S. Navy with experience in safety, engineering, strategic planning and operational readiness. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1978 with a degree in systems engineering, Burke served various active duty positions around the world for the Navy.

In recent positions, Burke served as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Systems directing the team that planned, programmed, budgeted and executed a large annual budget for Navy personnel, training, readiness, maintenance, platforms, and ordinance for all ships, submarines, aircraft and aircraft carriers, and as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics for Navy readiness and maintenance of all ships, submarines, aircraft and aircraft carriers, along with shore readiness and maintenance, logistics, and environmental and energy programs.

Carnival Corporation & plc CEO Arnold Donald added, “We are excited that Vice Admiral Burke is joining the Carnival family. His leadership and deep experience will serve us well in managing our fleet of over 100 ships carrying more than 10 million guests a year.”

Carnival Corporation’s portfolio consists of 101 total ships across 10 different cruise brands that include Carnival, Cunard, Holland America, Princess, Seabourn and Costa, to name a few. An additional eight new ships are scheduled to be delivered between spring 2014 and fall 2016.

In March, the company announced the launch of a comprehensive safety review across its entire fleet following a series of high-profile mishaps, culminating with the Carnival Triumph incident in the Gulf of Mexico in February, which left over 4,000 passengers adrift at sea for days with out power.

Lol what the, for lack of a better term, FUCK, does and admiral know/care about maritime shipping? It isn’t naval shipping! It’s all for the Cronie/connection game. What a joke. I’d say anyone on her minus the list of idiots (oregonblitzkrieg, tmacadet, etc) would be able to do a better job for about 20 minutes effort a week.

[QUOTE=z-drive;125674]Lol what the, for lack of a better term, FUCK, does and admiral know/care about maritime shipping? It isn’t naval shipping! It’s all for the Cronie/connection game. What a joke. I’d say anyone on her minus the list of idiots (oregonblitzkrieg, tmacadet, etc) would be able to do a better job for about 20 minutes effort a week.[/QUOTE]

Don’t forget our other targets of abuse - Uniblab and Commodorecruiserforum come to mind.

That’s really about it - 4 oddballs is not bad for any forum.

If you look at his picture you’ll see he is a submarine officer. They wanted a guy who will be a hard ass about engineering, or at least give the appearance of it. Hopefully he fully grasps engineering culture in the maritime world before he tries to “help” or “fix” them… It can be quite a shock coming from his background. With that said I believe he will dig hard on this repeated single point of failure that is ailing their fleet.

[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;125672]It’s nice to seea former Navy Admiral take an important position at an American shipping company …[/QUOTE]

To start with, Carnival is a FOC operator sucking the cream off the American taxpayer supported infrastructure. Carnival could care less about American mariners, they just see the US as a source of feed stock to fill the cabins.

I seriously doubt if that bemedalled admiral even knows that the crews on his new employer’s ships are not American and Americans are not welcome. I doubt he even knows that there is a faint shadow of an American merchant fleet. He was probably hired because he knows the right people in the right places to enhance Carnival’s efforts to extract more cash from the American pot.

Less fires, more collisions…

as far as I am concerned, all the major cruiselines are a blight on the term “maritime” and Carnival is a disease…

What would you do if you were in Burke’s shoes right now? I’m not asking to be contentious, I’m genuinely curious in your opinion.

I’d stick to blatantly ripping people off with my admirals title; maybe lobby for sweet shipyard schemes to pork the American people directly, encourage collisions/groundings/scandals, that kind of thing. Make quicker dough.

[QUOTE=z-drive;125717]I’d stick to blatantly ripping people off with my admirals title; maybe lobby for sweet shipyard schemes to pork the American people directly, encourage collisions/groundings/scandals, that kind of thing. Make quicker dough.[/QUOTE]

Hahahaha I didn’t say “what would you do if you were the admiral”, I said “what would YOU do if you were in his shoes”. No hiding behind all those shiny bars there! Unless, are you an Admiral? Uh-oh…

He got the job because he played golf with all the right people. Flag rank officers are pure politicians these days.

He won’t do a blessed thing to change Carnival for the better because it turns a profit…burning, disabled floating shitboxes and all. In fact, he’ll probably try to expand the behemoth in new markets.

Profit wins.

[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;125721]Hahahaha I didn’t say “what would you do if you were the admiral”, I said “what would YOU do if you were in his shoes”. No hiding behind all those shiny bars there! Unless, are you an Admiral? Uh-oh…[/QUOTE]

I would do what my Chairman of the Board told me to do…keep CCL profitable. He’s got his marching orders. He is not going to execute sweeping change and be the Gandhi of the marine industry.

Should he decide to kick off his traces, he will be voted out the door by the board. See, in a publicly owned company like CCL, you need approval to do big things, and if those things cost money and don’t return much of a profit, guess what?

See my previous post.

[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;125716]What would you do if you were in Burke’s shoes right now? I’m not asking to be contentious, I’m genuinely curious in your opinion.[/QUOTE]

well, certainly look at the electrical engineering philosophy used in all their existing ships and immediately implement a program to upgrade their systems to prevent massive single point failures of same. Secondly, find any masters or senior officers involved in any shenanigans with other crew or passengers and dismiss or demote them immediately. Third, find any and all “near misses” which have gone unreported and investigate not only the root cause of the incident, but sack or demote any found involved in a burying the fact.

In conjunction with head of hotel services, implement the installation of barriers to keep people from jumping or being thrown over the side. Implement a clear policy of preventing any passenger from becoming so inebriated to the point where they are a danger to themselves or others. Pay for the USCG to put riders aboard with law enforcement authority to arrest anyone cause breaking any US law if that ship sails from or calls at a US port including crew who sexually molest female passengers.

IN OTHER WORDS, CLEAN THE FUCKING SHIT UP THAT THE LINES HAVE BEEN EITHER GETTING AWAY WITH OR HIDING NOW FOR DECADES EVEN AT THE EXPENSE OF PUBLICLY EXPOSING THEIR BULLSHIT!

.

It is what I would do!

In all seriousness I’d hire American officers as 3rds and over time promote to master/chief engineer. It’s an American company, regardless of flag they should have the officers be Americans. All bullshit aside it would increase accountability and confidence from customers I would think.

[QUOTE=z-drive;125741]In all seriousness I’d hire American officers as 3rds and over time promote to master/chief engineer. It’s an American company, regardless of flag they should have the officers be Americans. All bullshit aside it would increase accountability and confidence from customers I would think.[/QUOTE]

They should, just from a moral standpoint, but there is no legal requirement for them to do so and as long as our do-nothing politicians don’t see this as a crisis, nothing will change.

CCL has no shortage of customers, by the way. They have a cadre of loyal repeat customers and plenty of people willing to risk as low as a few hundred bucks on a weekend drunk-athon. Hell, they were selling out cruises right after that cluster-fuck in the GoM this year.

[QUOTE=c.captain;125728]well, certainly look at the electrical engineering philosophy used in all their existing ships and immediately implement a program to upgrade their systems to prevent massive single point failures of same. Secondly, find any masters or senior officers involved in any shenanigans with other crew or passengers and dismiss or demote them immediately. Third, find any and all “near misses” which have gone unreported and investigate not only the root cause of the incident, but sack or demote any found involved in a burying the fact.

In conjunction with head of hotel services, implement the installation of barriers to keep people from jumping or being thrown over the side. Implement a clear policy of preventing any passenger from becoming so inebriated to the point where they are a danger to themselves or others. Pay for the USCG to put riders aboard with law enforcement authority to arrest anyone cause breaking any US law if that ship sails from or calls at a US port including crew who sexually molest female passengers.

IN OTHER WORDS, CLEAN THE FUCKING SHIT UP THAT THE LINES HAVE BEEN EITHER GETTING AWAY WITH OR HIDING NOW FOR DECADES EVEN AT THE EXPENSE OF PUBLICLY EXPOSING THEIR BULLSHIT!

.[/QUOTE]

And this is why the original question is impossible to answer honestly.

I’d reform the shit out of CCL, too, if I were Queen of the F!cking World, but since I’d only be the CEO and accountable to the Board, I would not be able to get much done.

People need to stop buying tickets to this floating abortion like, yesterday, but getting them to do it is nigh on impossible!!

[QUOTE=catherder;125752]I’d reform the shit out of CCL,![/QUOTE]

Look at the history of Carnival, Ted Arison and the corporate view of its relationship with the United States. It is an interesting read.

[QUOTE=Steamer;125778]Look at the history of Carnival, Ted Arison and the corporate view of its relationship with the United States. It is an interesting read.[/QUOTE]

yes, read “Devils on the Deep Blue Sea” and all is clearly learned

[B]Books of The Times | ‘Devils on the Deep Blue Sea’[/B]

Taking a Cruise? Great, but Don’t Read This Book

By JANET MASLIN
Published: June 21, 2005

According to one survey about the supposed romance of the ocean cruise, 25 percent of passengers would jump overboard to save a favorite hat. Only 13 percent would do the same to save a spouse. This is just the faintest whiff of evidence, among all the data provided by Kristoffer A. Garin’s new investigative book, that the cruise ship industry is significantly at odds with its public image.

“Devils on the Deep Blue Sea” is the book’s title, and it succinctly captures the author’s point of view. While Mr. Garin maintains that “ideologues of whatever persuasion will be disappointed to find cruise shipping ill-suited for propaganda purposes,” his book doesn’t waste much space on accentuating the positive.

Instead it describes a “rapacious,” $13 billion industry, half of it effectively in the hands of one company (Carnival Cruise Lines) that has relentlessly devoured its competition. Given the humble origins of Carnival’s founder, the Israeli-born Ted Arison, who had already gone bust with one shipping enterprise before founding Carnival in the mid-1960’s, this book is indeed a story of “what happens when little guys become big guys.” How big? Put it in perspective. Even though it leaves the colossal new Queen Mary II out of this study, the book’s statistics are staggering. The immense Voyager of the Seas, owned by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (the cruise world’s other giant, which, together with Carnival, controls 90 percent of the industry), carries 300 tons’ worth of passengers - and they will gain an additional 15 tons or so during their cruise. It can disgorge 8,000 people, replace them with 8,000 others and head back out to sea, all in the course of eight hours.

Such vessels have turned a formerly exotic type of travel into one that “now feels as safe and comprehensible - and nearly as accessible - as the nearest strip mall.” Mr. Garin compiles a detailed, generally lively account of how it got that way. He also treats the cruise business as a microcosm of what happens when an industry is essentially free of government regulations and tariffs. If Wal-Mart were making money at Carnival’s profit margins, he argues, it would have earned $65 billion in 2003. In fact, playing by its own comparatively modest rules, Wal-Mart earned only $8 billion during that period - and, unlike the cruise companies for all practical purposes, paid taxes on it too.

Mr. Garin presents a timeline to explain how the cruise business reached such a profitable juncture. He goes back to the days when wooden ships carried immigrants from Europe to America and the trip was not generally regarded as a pleasant experience. Then, in the latter half of the 19th century, iron steamships greatly enhanced the speed and profitability of such shipping. But it took two forms of Congressional regulation - the Emergency Quota Act in 1921, limiting immigration, and the arrival of Prohibition when offshore drinking remained legal - to create the notion of recreational sea travel on a large scale.

Two technological changes - the advent of air travel and the birth of air-conditioning - completed the change of focus: what had once been a North Atlantic transportation business could now purvey leisure-time trips in the tropics. And those third world tropics were promoted for their fairy-tale innocence by cruise innovators. “The natives sing while they work or play … a happy lot, carefree and gay,” as one early cruise brochure put it.

This book gives itself a great deal of territory to cover. So it ranges widely, if somewhat unevenly, from passenger experiences to minutely detailed corporate takeover schemes; the material is so varied that an organizational structure does not come easily to the author. And he tends to repeat himself in describing the remarkable brazenness of Carnival (a k a “Carnivore”) with regard to other industry players. Nevertheless, Mr. Garin provides memorably chilling insights into behind-the-scenes trickery that goes into creating the illusion of fun in the sun.

Among the more striking details: the business made a major leap forward when one executive realized that small cabins would be more cost-effective than roomy ones. Tiny spaces would force passengers out into public areas, where they would contribute to the crowded, festive atmosphere and be lured into spending money. The figurative cash register is everywhere; the “web of bribes” on many ships is extraordinary. Cabin attendants must pay laundry workers if they want clean sheets; waiters must pay cooks if they want to serve hot food, etc.

The cruise companies’ treatment of their workers - including vestiges of colonialism when a ship with Dutch officers, for instance, employs Indonesians in lower-echelon positions - is also examined here. So is their effort to control passengers’ real exposure to Caribbean countries.

And so are the tax issues raised by ocean liners that make their profits from Americans but are registered to more business-friendly countries like Panama or Liberia. (Mr. Arison, of Carnival, renounced American citizenship and returned to Israel in his later years.) While this information makes Mr. Garin’s book an offshoot of “The Outlaw Sea” by William Langewiesche, published last year, there is still enough cruise-specific minutiae to deserve a book of its own.

As Mr. Garin points out, the industry’s free pass expired in the late 1990’s, when the cruise companies’ practices became the subject of much investigative reporting. Up until then, “managing the press had traditionally been a matter of making sure the right people got free tickets on a new ship’s inaugural cruise or disseminating fact sheets about the latest disco, specialty lounge or athletic facility.” So he himself has drawn on a considerable amount of previously reported information. But he has compiled and amplified it in ways that will make “Devils on the Deep Blue Sea” required reading in many a deck chair.

[QUOTE=Steamer;125778]Look at the history of Carnival, Ted Arison and the corporate view of its relationship with the United States. It is an interesting read.[/QUOTE]

Your snark detector is malfunctioning today. I am no friend of the cruise industry- saw enough “behind the scenes” when I worked for a certain water (think boilers and coolant) treatment company (the same one that tried unsuccessfully to keep NCL from ruining- and blowing up- the Norway)

:wink: