*Push back against Titanic II is going on right now. Most dislike it being called Titanic II saying it dishonors the memory of those who died in 1912. Others call it ghoulish. The pictures of what the inside will look like are erie to say the least. After all we have already had one Titanic that was unique. Titanic II would seem to take that away, at least in some people’s minds. Some object to the fact he will recreate First, Second and Third class. Palmer says it will give people the opportunity to experience what it was like in 1912.
Now I look at this as a gimmick. Cruise ships ply the waters of the globe selling spots to all kinds of people, from adventurers to eco-tourists. They go to the warm tropical waters and the icy cold of the north. Palmer wanted to do something radically different by recreating a historical cruise ship. He is onto something there. Riverboats are coming back, not as means to transport people up and down rivers or across lakes, but a tourist attractions. Cruise ships for rivers, if you prefer. The old paddle wheel driven boats have a following and are neat. So Palmer, sensing money to be made from Titanic, goes big. Really big. And he thinks he will make good money. He is probably right. A lot of people would take a cruise to see what it was like in 1912.
But it is Titanic! Well no. It is a replica. Unlike salvaging Titanic, which had many detractors since it was considered by many a grave, this merely recreates the ship but only in outward appearance. It will be a fully modern ship (except in the old fashioned gym) with all the bells and whistles except for a few things. No television and no internet for the passengers (one assumes the bridge officers though have access to it for urgent communications) in their rooms. Of course you can bring your mobile equipment aboard but there will be no wi-fi to hook up to (unless you have satellite).
I fully understand why people are not happy with Titanic II but remember you go on board by choice. No one is forcing anyone to take the ship. In fact, it could be a bust if it makes no money. There is no guarantee it will succeed. And as of this writing, no actual build contract has been signed. It could go all up in smoke and be nothing more than lots of talk in the end.
*Titanic:The Artifact Exhibition will be at the Lexington Center Museum & Gallery (Lexington, KY) from Oct 5 , 2013 – Jan 26 , 2014. You can get information about it here.
*While watching one of the early episodes of Seaquest, Dr. Ballard at the end commented about fiber optics and how they would change communication. That was back in 1993. Now in 2013 we see how accurate he was. Back then slow dial-up Internet was the norm (remember Prodigy anyone?) and Internet streaming was just a futuristic dream. Today many of us have switched to DSL for faster downloads and Internet streaming. A lot of this is possible because of fiber optics. A lot of kids born today will never know the real old days before cable (and remote controls), rotary phones, and telegrams. Email has become so common that the Post Office has lost money.
* Speaking of the old Post Office, it is in a terrible mess. It has crushing debt from pensions and declining revenues because more people use Internet that regular mail. For instance I get my credit card statements downloaded each month rather than by mail. Many of my bills I pay online as well (though not all). The day is coming when most catalogs will no longer be sent by mail but available (and personalized) from a their websites. Now I still send Christmas cards via regular mail and I get packages (usually small ones like books or other items from Amazon) via the Post Office. That is still cheaper than shipping by the private shippers like UPS. It comes as no surprise that a politician has suggested taxing email as a means to keep the Post Office afloat. It is already getting criticized but it was just a trial balloon. I suspect the plan is to surcharge every parcel shipment through a private carrier, lets say 15% of the shipping cost or a flat fee of perhaps $5.00. Since these guys cannot ever charge less than the Post Office, you are sure to bring in money. And no doubt the government could require all its contractors to ship (except for heavy freight) through the Post Office. So do not be surprised if discussion of Internet charges to fund the U.S Post Office or surcharges for using private parcel carriers gets louder.