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Got Out There

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  1. We are not likely to cruise anytime soon for essentially what OP said. Not interested in wearing a mask period. And yes we are fully vaccinated. Just returned home from what was our fourth week long trip to Mexico over past twelve months. Thought about Adventure out of Nassau but we were not confident we would enjoy our trip with current protocols. Mexico top rated AI seems to be working wonderfully for us. (Excellence Resorts ). We still look at pricing on cruises and what I find interesting is how the prices are so low with number of cabins available for sale so low too over the next few months. Granted this is low season, but wow rates are low…..seems like there are many like us just looking elsewhere for vacations rather than cruising.
  2. I think you are spot on...... this is good news that a 'sister ship' to Liberty is in Galveston. This would be an easy substitution for the Liberty which appears to be headed for a dry dock in July. I would be very disappointed if Indy is not announced shortly as an approved test cruise out of Galveston...things are heating up!!!!!
  3. Returned last night from Cancun...Hotel had already started free testing on site. Unfortunately the 7-10 day quarantine upon returning home is causing a large decrease in immediate bookings/cancelations at resorts. The resort we stayed at implemented a layoff of a number of employees while we were there. Staff shared this with us and noted it was due to a huge increase in cancellations.
  4. I can see this happening.....and there may be a few ships that will used solely to quarantine returning crew. They can test them before they board, isolate them individually to guest cabins with balconies for a few weeks, test them again and then transfer them to other ships via ship or flights if available. Whatever way they end up going it will be a logistical nightmare and take many weeks to staff up ships.
  5. Yes and No, as far as if we miss cruising... We typically cruise 3-5 times per year, all booked relatively last minute (two weeks out), so typically we are not looking forward to our next booked cruise since we book last minute. Last month we travelled to Cancun and stayed at Excellence (PM) AI resort, we generally try not to stay at AI resorts unless they are 5 star rated. This was first time at an Excellence resort and we completely enjoyed it, outstanding service (best we have ever had on any vacation) and the report was impeccable. We are already looking to squeeze another trip back within the next 60 days, it was that good! Felt very safe with Covid protocols in general......with two exceptions, the flights and other quests at resort. We were in fist class, however both flights were oversold and the thought of all of us on a plane (with masks) for 2+ hours was not comforting. Additionally, at the resort pretty much all gusts did not wear masks. Fortunately the resort occupancy was capped at 30% (I think it was actually closer to 50%), so we were able to social distance. We sat on the beach all day and were socially distanced from others. We missed having drinks at the bar with others, but felt it would be safer to stay clear of the crowds. We both agreed it was an excellent vacation and we were able to leave everything behind and just relax and enjoy each other. While we were at Excellence we discussed how we really were not missing cruising as much as we thought we would. However, this changed when I read a post here on Cruise Critic that there were rumors of staff and crew being called back to re-staff the ships! I guess this stoked the idea that cruising would be possible again in the near future...this lead us to begin to miss cruising again! It will be interesting to see what happens when they actually do start sailing again.
  6. We have done several; Sandals, Secrets and most recently Excellence. Last month we went to the Excellence in Cancun (PM), was the best AI that we have stayed at so far. Highly recommend that Excellence property. Service was outstanding, best we have ever experienced in any vacation. Food was very good, better than most RCCL food. Resort was impeccable! Cost was comparable to 7n balcony with drink package. We are already trying to figure out when we can go back in the next 60 days.
  7. There is no way cruises will begin before next year, in fact I would guess at least a year from now...….The need for a vaccine is paramount, without it cases will continue to happen, period. The new normal a month or more after we come down from the peak will continue to include social distancing at a minimum. This will last until a vaccine is readily available. One year minimum. Until then, as you said above, RCCL will continue to take your new reservations and your payments, fully knowing that the cruise will not happen for many months. I saw book on for those of you that want to provide RCCL with interest free loans.....
  8. This is very true....RCCL is happy to take payment (deposit/final) on cruises that are not going to happen, when they cancel most people take the FCC, RCCL keep the cash...… Not really free cash, but none the less cash to keep the afloat.
  9. I saw the latest video from Richard Fain...he does a nice job with these quick little videos. For some reason I got to thinking about Adam Goldstein, his former right hand person. I had the chance to meet both of them several years ago and they surely, in my opinion, could not be much more different then they are from one another. RF, seemed more passionate about the business and less about the details, on the other hand AG seemed far more engaged with the financial aspects of the business and came off not as passionate as RF. I could have them both wrong, to be honest it was a 10-15 minute chat with the two of them, separately at different times. Both appeared to be very competent leaders and very driven. So with AG's departure in early March, makes me wonder if the early stages of Covid-19 accelerated his departure. Not from a cost perspective, but perhaps a disagreement with the outlook and strategy. His departure did seem to somewhat come out of nowhere. Regardless of all of this, the potential startup of the cruise industry seems to not be right around the corner or perhaps even this year. I find it odd that everyone is focused on "when is the peak" of Covid-19 will occur, and then assume that perhaps a month or two later all will be back to normal. The reality is that the virus is not going away and one of three things needs to happen for cruising to start.... A vaccine is developed and readily available. A magic pill is created that quickly and effectively treats the virus. Or some sort of quick result test becomes readily available and passengers can be screened quickly before boarding. I have thought about this some, with the incentive being that my wife and I would like to cruise again soon, if it is safe. There are probably other options that I have not considered, but the bottom line is we are looking forward to sailing again soon and hope that Royal is still there flying her own colors and the drinks are flowing..... One can hope right?
  10. Based on current market value if anyone does this it will likely be out of desperation. You know the old saying you never want to sell at the bottom. We have seen this in the airline industry, they start selling off assets towards the end out of desperation. I happen to have a front row seat to this about 30 years ago.... cash flow was so bad at the airline I worked for, no one would give us credit. Watched an operations team member count out $2k in small bills from cash collected on the plane from drinks. Handed it over to an airplane mechanic who went to a vendor to buy a part for a plane!!! Essentially we were bankrupt but somehow another airline bought us a few weeks later.....
  11. Thanks. I need refresh my reading list and I will add this..... somehow I have more time in my hands lately 😀
  12. One thing you can’t speculate is when the cash runs out then something has to give. Not sure what the cruise lines cash burn rate are, but whatever it is it is not sustainable. I guarantee beyond what has been in the press with regards to cash infusions (credit or otherwise)....there are a small group of top executives at each line that are searching for all options to survive. And yes I do believe they are or will be fighting for their survival.
  13. Interesting to see if there will be consolidation ...... who will buy who? Not many big players out there beyond the big four (carnival, Royal, NCL, MSC) .... From a RCCL perspective, I recall years ago Carnival tried to buy them, but the Pritzker family came in and saved the day..... later RCCL tried to buy Princess but Carnival out bid them. Been sometime since any significant merger or buyout. Interesting to see what happens going forward .
  14. Thanks for the great idea. On our return flight one bag was over 6lbs , glad we checked in with outside skycap. A quick twenty to him and problem solved.
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