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America is really good at being # 1 in number of things
it ranks top in quantity of Waffle Houses,
它是华夫饼屋 沃尔玛 登月次数
Walmarts,moon landings,American Civil War Victories, Americans
But one thing that it does not have more than anyone else of is cruise ships.
That’s because there is only one sole cruise ship based in the US.
Now, for the purposes of arbitrarity,
when I’m talking about cruise ships,
I’m talking about one of these big boy ocean ships that carry thousands of people
not one of those low tier ships that go on rivers or lakes or stuff like that.
In that category, this ship, the aptly named Pride of America,
is the only American flagged,
American based cruise ship.
Now, to that, you might ask, “huh?”
You see, the reason this is is because of a little thing I like to call, “the law.”
对此 我认为可以归因于 “法律”
Onboard ships, the laws of the country in which they are registered apply.
That is to say,
if you’re on an American flagged ship
you can’t drink till 21;
if you’re on an Singaporean flagged ship,
chewing gum is illegal;
and if you’re on a British flagged ship,
you’re allowed to invade and annex any country you want for recreational purposes.
Trust me, I’m a lawyer.
But what that also means is that
those boring kind of laws doing silly things like,
“protecting employee rights,” and,
“preventing labor exploitation,” also apply.
Of course, in the US,
one of those labor laws is the minimum wage
which is $ 7.25 an hour,
enough to buy an avocado cracker in San Francisco.
But surprisingly, United States law does not apply
in the rest of the world.
In Panama, for example,
the minimum wage for ship workers is $ 2.32 an hour.
So let’s say and hear me out here,
we take a ship, register it in Panama,
and pay people $ 2.32 an hour.
“Genius, you’re hired, ” says the cruise industry
because that’s exactly what they do.
Considering cruise companies pay for their employees food and housing onboard,
They are able to hire labor from low wage countries and,
because they typically register the ships
in places with low or no minimum wage like
Panama, Singapore, or Liberia,
如巴拿马 新加坡 或利比里亚
they are legally allowed to pay them very little.
Those workers are allowed to work on the ship no matter where it sails,
since for all intents and purposes
it’s the territory of the country in which it’s registered.
But there is one major exception for the extra special gold
star country that is the United States.
You see, the US has a law known as the Jones Act
but that is officially titled,
“the Merchant Marine Act of 1920.”
Believe it or not, this law, passed in 1920,
is potentially, possibly, a tiny bit antiquated
not that this is a political video or anything.
It stipulates that,
in order to transport goods or passengers between ports in the US
a ship must be American built,
and American flagged.
Now, if this were a political video I might say something like,
现在 如果这是个政治视频 我会说：
“this significantly increases the cost of transporting goods between US ports
and therefore raises the cost of living in isolated regions of the US
like Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico”
But of course this is not a political video,
so I won’t say that.
Working on a US flagged vessel also requires the right to work in the US
which is not easy to get in comparison to the right to work in a place like Panama,
which makes sure regulations are easy for its registered ships
since ship registration is big business for them.
Now, these laws all also apply to cruise ships since,
technically, when a cruise sails between US ports,
it’s transporting passengers between US ports.
This presents a problem for the cruise industry
which simultaneously wants to build and register their ships outside the US
and also cruise to places like Alaska and Hawaii.
They figured out two unique solutions, though.
One is to sail to the US from not the US.
Cruise ships are allowed to sail between multiple US ports
if they start outside the US as long as everybody gets back on the ship
that way nobody’s getting transported between US ports,
they’re just stopping off.
Therefore a lot of cruises to Alaska start
in one of the not-yet United States of America—Canada.
The other solution, though,
that exempts the ships from the Jones Act,
is to make a stop outside the US.
That’s why most every Alaskan cruise leaving from Seattle
stops in Victoria, British Columbia.
They usually make sure the American passengers aren’t too distressed, though,
by keeping to stop to only a few hours,
rather than the typical full day.
Now, that works fine for Alaska Cruises but what about Hawaii?
If a cruise is going from the US West Coast,
to Hawaii, and back to the West Coast,
they will typically make a stop in Ensenada, Mexico,
even though that adds up to two days for a
round-trip Hawaii cruise from San Francisco.
If a ship wants to do a cruise exclusively around Hawaii, though,
there’s really no foreign country nearby that they can stop in.
That’s why there are basically no cruises around the islands roundtrip from Honolull
except for one.
Norwegian Cruise Line,
persuaded by the potential of an all Hawaii cruise,
and a huge amount of federal subsidies,
went through the enormous expense of building a cruise ship
mostly in America for the first time in a while,
registering it in America, and crewing it with Americans.
This ship, the Pride of America,
is now the only full-size American cruise ship and
it is also the only cruise ship making trips exclusively around the Hawaiian islands.
Of course, American labor is not cheap
and so the seven night trip on the Pride of America
starts at $ 1,200
exactly triple as much as their seven night cruise from Alaska to
Seattle via Vancouver.
Of course, rule number one of cruising is
that the wifi is expensive and sucks.
That’s why, before you go,
you should download one of Skillshare’s 25,000 courses
on their iOS or Android app
for some aquatic skill acquisition.
One course that I might recommend for anyone taking a trip this summer,
cruise or not,
is their one on iPhone Photography.
It teaches all about composition, lighting,
and other tips for mobile photography that
can really spice up the photos
even from the device you hold in your pocket.
Of course, there are more than 25,000 other courses to take
当然 除此以外 skillshare还有
after or instead of this one
all of which you will have unlimited access to for free for two months
only by signing up at https://skl.sh/hai24
and you’ll be supporting HAI while you’re at it.
This video was made possible by Skillshare.