Posted on Wednesday, August 1, 2012 by Martin Cox
Update August 6 : Cruise Industry News reports that the OCEAN STAR PACIFIC may soon be sold, although Ocean Star Cruises is still interested in basing another ship on West Coast of Mexico at some point in the next two years. Meanwhile, Peter Villiotis through his ship management company, ALAS/PV Enterprises International, has allegedly made a $5 million down payment on the ship while also working towards getting the crew paid and spending some $285,000 on food and provisions for the ship’s 150 member crew for 65 days. OCEAN STAR PACIFIC is reportedly ready to sail with class notation by Det Norske Veritas.
Update August 3: Despite attempts to reach Ocean Pacific Cruises for comment on this story, MaritimeMatters has been unsuccessful. Meanwhile, the crew report new talks have taken place regarding back pay and continued trading of the OCEAN STAR PACIFIC. MaritimeMatters wishes the crew and their ship all future success.
Second officer Spyridon I. Diakoumakos of Ocean Star Cruises’ MV OCEAN STAR PACIFIC has alerted MaritimeMatters about desperate conditions on board the ship, which is currently moored at Mazatlan, Mexico.
Diakoumakos and his crew have reportedly been unpaid and provisions are running out. Mr. Diakoumakos describes how Greek, Bulgarian, Romanian and Indonesian deck and engine crew and officers are living “like prisoners” in unsanitary conditions and subsisting on expired food with no help in sight.
MaritimeMatters last reported on this ship after a generator fire ended her second cruise off the coast of Huatulco forcing the evacuation of 522 passengers and 226 crew in April 2011. She was eventually towed towed to Salinas Cruz for repairs. A report this past spring about a possible charter for use as an hotel ship in Korea has apparently fallen through.
A pioneering cruise ship, OCEAN STAR PACIFIC was built in 1971 as the 724 passenger NORDIC PRINCE for Royal Caribbean Cruises and lengthened in 1980 with a new midsection. In 1995, she was sold to British operator Airtours and renamed CAROUSEL and in 2004, she was sold to Louis Cruises, who renamed her AQUAMARINE the following year. Between 2006 and 2008, the ship was chartered to German-based Transocean under the name ARIELLE before reverting to Louis again as AQUAMARINE. In late 2010, AQUAMARINE was sold to Ocean Star for USD $23 million.
Between early January and late March of 2011, OCEAN STAR PACIFIC underwent an extensive refurbishment in Curacao with newly redesigned Lido buffet, pool area and reception by Athens-based AMK (Katzourakis). New lounges, children’s areas, shops and a casino were added along with a new spa and nightclub. The refit work was executed by Piraeus based JGP Hellas and Finland based Riverco Oy.
In July of 2012, the ship was issued several interim and temporary safety certificates, presumably to allow further refitting.
The remaining crew aboard are asking to be paid and wish to return home.