Posted April 29th, 2009, 08:37 PM
Last edited by melissa@cruisecritic; April 30th, 2009 at 12:42 AM
Royal Caribbean President Adam Goldstein participated in an online chat today, and the issue of swine flu came up several times, not surprisingly. Here are some snippets from the chat, if you missed it! We have not necessarily edited for spelling and grammar
G-307085243 asks: I was recently informed of a change in itenary from mexico to pacific northwest. due to the swine flu. Why was that the route change and why not someplace warm as per the reason we choose the mexican cruise to begin with? why not hawaii?
Adam: Of course I am receiving many questions on Swine Flu and I apologize if I cannot answer all of them. For Mariner of the Seas, we must reach a qualifying foreign port of call to offer a legal itinerary out of Los Angeles. If we are not going to Mexico, our only other choice is Canada. We also were focussed on keeping a seven-nigh offering. To go to Hawaii, and also make a legal itinerary, would have resulted in about a three week cruise.
yellowlabs asks: Do you plan on halting cruises to Mexico after June 14 our cruise is the mariner of the sea leaving June 21 I don't want to go to Mexico at all and was told I cannot get a refund. I would never have booked a cruise to Mexico if I had known all this was going to happen. I dont think its right for you not to refund the money and you can't guarantee my health.
Adam: Like anyone else we are dealing with uncertainty as best as we can. We don't know how long swine flu will be a health issue. In order to move quickly, we selected sailings through the departure of June 14 on Mariner of the Seas. And I have to ask your patience in waiting for more information concerning your departure on June 21 and later sailings. If the same level of concern exists for June 21 and later departures, I'm sure our approach will be similar to the prior sailings. I don't believe our policy addresses the question of selecting into a modified sailing from a later Mexico sailing. Please contact us if you want to discuss that.
K asks: With current economic conditions and the most recent situation in Mexico, any suggestions on how to generate new business? Bookings are very very slow in coming...
Adam: Even before the outbreak of Swine Flu, we and the rest of the travel industry were confronting the recession just like everyone else. We are stressing the value that a cruise represents. There is no other way to gain such a variety of experiences for the price. We hope that as many travel agents and consumers as possible will understand and respond to this value.
madoma asks: well... Adam, since you do not seem to know about Mariner and whether pools are covered or not, and if there is one for adults that is covered and one for teenagers... I will have to try and find someone with authority who does. If not getting an answer from you is the "gold anchor" wow... than it should be called the ouch.. not the wow. I am sorry if I seem upset... but all my questions are being ignored.. and a Royal rep. told me to come here today. Adam, why wont you give an answer to our questions we have been asking you?? since the ship is now going north... will the pools be covered for the adults only area and also for the teenagers??? it is a simple question!!!
Adam: Thank you. I just got off the phone with the ship. The pools on Mariner of the Seas are not covered but we are hopeful given the time of year that we will offer a positive pool experience.
Director, Product Development