If you’ve ever looked at the fine print regarding a cruise ship, you’ll find that the vast majority of the ones that sail to, from and around the United States are registered outside the U.S.. Whether it’s Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian or even as-American-as-apple-pie Disney Cruise Lines, their ships, along with over a thousand other cruise ships, tankers, bulk carriers and cargo ships, are registered in the small Bahamian capital of Nassau, while others may be registered in Panama, Bermuda, Italy, Malta and the Netherlands.
Why this is the case all comes down to one thing – money. Who’s surprised? Anyone? Bueller?
However, there is one (and only one!) ship that’s registered in the U.S. The reason why makes perfect sense, once you hear it. Take a look…
Pretty interesting, huh?
However, I’ll tell you that from 1980 through late 2001, there was another U.S. flagged cruise company, called American Hawaii Cruises. It was started for the same reason as Pride of America – to cruise around the Hawaiian islands without having to stop in another country.
The reason I know this is because Joe and I were supposed to take a cruise around Hawaii on one of American Hawaii Cruises’ ships, the Independence, during our honeymoon in February 2002. Unfortunately, American Hawaii Cruises filed for bankruptcy in late 2001, following the September 11th terrorist attacks.
The bad news was that we had already paid for our cruise when this happened.
The good news was that we had gotten travel insurance (WHEW!),
The bad news was that we had gotten the travel insurance through American Hawaii Cruises, so it was null and void (UH-OH!),
The more good news was we had charged the cruise on our AMEX, so we put it into dispute and got our money back (SO THERE!).
And the best news was that we still went to Hawaii. The travel agent we used felt bad for us and somehow got us a travel agent rate at a fancy hotel on Maui, to go along with the rest of our Hawaiian honeymoon that we somehow put together with very little time ;-).
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary