Ghost ship.

I believe that on each ship you sail, you leave a little something of yourself behind; a little of your soul. I think that these little pieces of soul stay with that ship forever, even after it is sunk and made a reef for recreational divers, those little pieces of soul stay onboard the ship and keep a part of her alive. Call them ghosts if you like, but I believe all ships have them and the older the vessel, the more ghosts that linger. It’s hard to see or hear the ghosts when the ship is full of people and the engines are rolling and the waves are rushing past the hull but if you have ever seen a ship that is empty, or a ship that is deserted, or even a ship wreck. Then you might have heard them, and felt them - those ghosts.

Not long ago I was onboard the Sun Princess when she was in dry dock in San Francisco. Just a few berths down from us was a great old lady, the S.S. Independence. I love ships and was thrilled to see a classic liner next to us. First chance we got a buddy of mine and I went over to check out the grand old lady.

For fifty years this ship carried passengers. And now (owned by NCL) she sits asleep in a shipyard in San Francisco (Pier 70 I think). It felt almost like looking at an old church when we got close to her. It was evening, and she had no lights on. Her mooring ropes were a bit loose and creaked as the tide raised and lowered her; and you could feel them. The ghosts. You could feel them all through her. If you listened hard enough, you could hear them. Fifty years of passengers walking her decks still. Looking up at her windows I kept expecting to see people looking back at me. We wanted to go onboard and take a look but we were not able to arrange it before the Sun Princess left dry-dock. Maybe next time I am in San Francisco she will still be sitting at pier 70, and I will get another chance. It would have been fantastic, and probably a bit spooky. There is just something about deserted ships.

She is a beautiful ship, and I hope that NCL has some plans for her other than scrap because a classic liner like her deserves a chance for a comeback! I did hear a rumor that they might put her back into service in Hawaii. But it was probably only a rumor.

I doubt if the general public is allowed into the area where she was docked, but if your ever in the area and want to see a classic liner, try and get a peak at the S.S. Independence.

There is just something about old, deserted ships.

Photo’s courtesy of Peter Varty / Gold Coast, Australia.
Info on the ship located at

Wine sir?

By John Dubbis – Crew Office Staff Writer

We all know that food onboard is included in your ticket price ( with a couple exceptions). In the dining room of any cruise ship you are welcome to have everything on the menu. No one will bill you for it. The wine you have with your dinner on the other hand is not free. Cruise ships often have a wine budget and selling wine to passengers is actually a very high priority to waiters. Some cruise lines even have incentive programs so the highest selling wine server receives a bonus. But just how do these wine selling waiters convince you to buy a bottle or two of vino? I’m going to tell you.

The full article will be in the May 1st issue of Crew office E-Zine. Sign up for your free copy now!

Size DOES matter;


These days cruise lines are competing hand over fist to build the largest, most expensive, highest capacity, most amenity packed cruise ship in existence. It all started in 1998 with the Grand Princess, followed immediately by the Voyager class from RCI. Then there was QM2, and now there is the Freedom class from RCI overshadowing all previous ships. What could possible be next? Well, how about a floating city for starters? For all of their size and amenities, the giant cruise ships of today can’t hold a candle to the future - if the future is Freedomship. It's a ship so big it’s got an airport on the roof.

The full article will be in the May 1st issue of Crew office E-Zine. Sign up for your free copy now!
5 Responses
  1. Dizzy Dame Says:

    I sailed her sister ship, the S.S. Constitution in 1987, when they both belonged to American Hawaii Cruises. What a grand lady. It was only my 2nd cruise...the first being 2 years prior on the OLD Sun Princess.

    Thanks for bringing back some great memories.

  2. mimikitti Says:

    I'm looking forward to reading the Inagural issue in May. Keep up the good work. I find myself looking for tidbits on your website several times a day! Thanks!!!!!

  3. Donna Brown Says:

    NCL also has the SS United States, and has talked about putting her back in service as well. My dad worked on her at the Newport News shipyard - if memory serves, she was the last liner built entirely in a U.S. yard.

    Know what you mean about the ghosts - when I was growing up in VA. and doing small boat sailing, one of our "thrill" rides was to sail through the "Idle Fleet" in Hampton Roads - very spooky.


  4. Deedee Says:

    I work in San Francisco, and see that ship everyday as I drive on the freeway. I never knew she used to be a cruise ship. Up until 3 days ago NCL had another ship in port for about 2-3 weeks, I drove over there trying to find it, but finally gave up after one too many dead ends.

    Thanks for the info on the ship.

  5. Jack and Craig Says:

    Great shots of the Indy... My parents sailed on her when she did the Hawaii cruises. Before she was berthed in SF she was across the Bay at Mare Island. You can go to my Webshots page and see more pictures of this grand lady.

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