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Everything posted by Cruise-y

  1. I agree. I've rarely met anyone on any cruise who even knew about Cruise Critic. It's a very small subset of the total cruisers, for sure. So don't let a few vocal posters put you off (or on) to a particular cruise line. I do use Cruise Critic to read opinions on particular features of a cruise line, like food quality and enrichment, just like I would use TripAdvisor or Yelp.
  2. I’ve actually had tour “hosts” that were gift shop employees and computer instructors.
  3. I agree that things won't be the same, and sad too. Even if we have a miraculous turnaround with a working vaccine by spring, it will take months and months to get it to everyone. Some people won't even take it and the virus isn't going to be eliminated even with a vaccine, so new protocols will always be required. Crystal will have new crew members by then because others will have moved on. Itineraries will still be completely iffy based on individual country rules and changes. Will they be able to provide the same product, appeal to the same clientele, go to the same exotic places and still
  4. Of course right now, U.S. citizens are not allowed in Portugal for non-essential (tourist) travel. That could be lifted by April, and I certainly hope it is, but residents in many Portugal municipalities are in a new lock-down that just started October 23. Last April, most thought this might be kinda over by now and many, including me, were tentatively planning Fall cruises. We seem to have made zero progress in that direction. I'm not trying to be negative at all.... I'm trying to get overseas myself to see my kids so I'm closely watching. I don't even care about crui
  5. While I still think it’s much better for Crystal to be cautious and mindful about starting back up (to avoid stutter steps), I agree it is beginning to get worrisome to see cancellations so far out - but only from the standpoint of their future viability. Because their appeal is their ever-changing variety of venues, they really can’t plan any itineraries. There are just too many uncertainties with all the closed ports. The question is....how long can they hold on? I hope they can make it to summer when maybe we’ll see vaccines working, if we’re lucky. And maybe some open ports.
  6. So, obviously, this thread’s topic “Cruising in January or Not” is (and has been for some time, regardless of optimism) a definite Not. As are February, March and at least most of April. It’s doubtful we’ll be sailing until summer. It doesn’t matter what the CDC is strong-armed to allow and when. Or what the mass-market lines leap to do. Crystal has to rationally consider what is practically achievable, the risk levels, all the country unknowns, the US infection rate, the expense of staging the crew, and so forth. I appreciate their seriousness and thought rather than rushing to
  7. While I appreciate Anderson’s comments, I’ve never known an interim CEO to make major changes. An interim is almost always an insider and is there to “keep on keeping on” until a permanent CEO is in place or until a pending merger/buy-out completes. At least in my experience.
  8. I don’t necessarily think that was a cost-saving measure. We never ate our chocolates (sure way to not sleep) and they all just piled up in a corner. But maybe we’re the exception!
  9. Crystal will need to clarify what they mean by insurance, but my interpretation of the protocol is that they do not want any financial responsibility for refunding a cruise or quarantining you somewhere or making adjustments to your flights if you arrive at the dock and test positive.
  10. There was no way cruising could start back during the time of Covid with anything less than these protocols. A protective bubble (after double testing) keeps the passengers, crew and port cities safe. It’s probably the only way the port cities would allow cruise ships back in.
  11. I’m no expert but I think the reason for the home test is so that if you are positive, you don’t travel to the port and infect others. Then a second test at the port (several days later) is just more insurance over the incubation period. It’s not perfect but it is better than just one test IMO.
  12. The problem with short cruises or “cruises to nowhere” are that they still involve crowded areas in closed spaces, which are the biggest spreaders of the virus. I’m sure we’re all responsible here, but any cruise will have people who will “forget” to wear their masks in narrow hallways, elevators, dashing upstairs for coffee, or worse. Crystal can’t police that constantly. Yes, a test at boarding will help, but it won’t catch crowd exposure (airports, ports, etc.) on the way to the cruise. I’m not risk adverse and not afraid of getting sick, but that isn’t the
  13. Agree. It’s not like Crystal is sitting on a pile of money and refusing to pay it back. Through no fault of their own they have cash flow issues. Litigation would be costly (for both parties) and fruitless.
  14. While the delay in refunds is certainly disconcerting, this just seems like the old adage of squeezing blood out of a turnip. Maybe I’m oversimplifying - but it seems obvious this is a cash flow problem. The parent corporation has announced they are seeking investors and working on debt restructuring. They are trying to stay viable so Crystal can sail again. It’s a business. Of course they want new bookings. The CEO can only say we’re working through this as best we can. He can’t really come out and say we have no money to pay you back right now. It is what it is.
  15. Remember this cruise goes to the same ports over and over (where they have agreements on the tour logistics) and is restricted to clients who can (theoretically, for the most part) arrive by car, embarking at different cities. I don’t know if this is a model for Crystal or not. ??
  16. Like all of us who love Crystal, I've been thinking about their future a great deal. We are attracted to their intimacy, fine cuisine, inclusive service, small size, intellectual enrichment and ambiance. Not to mention their wonderful, unusual and always-changing ports of call. With only a few ships, they rely on a smaller audience with the means to invest in a superior experience. I've tried to imagine how this model can survive without a widespread, effective vaccine. I certainly don't mind wearing a mask onboard, but there seem to be so many other hurdles too. As I see MSC seemi
  17. I don't disagree at all, but the problem is there is no money to refund. Hence GHK has suspended payments to creditors and has "formed a steering committee to evaluate a planned restructuring proposal."
  18. Finance is not my area of expertise, so I'll state this less eloquently than others, but I have been a creditor who was owed money by a company that restructured their debt. They stayed in business but reorganized and worked out a plan to pay back their debt with future earnings (because at the time they had no current earnings). There was an order of who got back back when (some debts were a higher priority than others, based on regulations) and all of the creditors knew that order. It was a slow process. Based on this (albeit limited) experience alone, I would assume a restruct
  19. Yes, thanks. I remember now that is MSC’s m.o. I guess that means less air travel as people can embark in ports closer to their homes. Nonetheless, one account says there are 4000 people on board. Yikes! It’s a mega ship so that may be 50% capacity plus crew, not sure. It just seems to me that, even if no C-19 is detected while on board (and the cruise declared “safe”), it can still be silently transmitted through/to all these different port cities as people get on and off. I wonder if any tracking is going on after people leave the cruise? The statistics are just not good
  20. I know MSC isn't Crystal. But how successful other lines are at starting back can be a deal maker/breaker for the rest of the industry, at least for a while, so to me it is of interest to follow. Apparently MSC plans embarkation from multiple ports so they can board over many days with less people in each port, but with continual overlaps of passengers throughout 2 weeks of cruises (if I'm reading this correctly). I'm not sure if this is good or bad, but part of the reason is because everyone is getting a nasal swab test upon boarding and that takes time. They are also issuing R
  21. It's great to try safe protocols, I guess, but there still seem to be a lot of sieve holes to me. You can only leave the ship on an MSC sponsored tour - does that mean you never get off the tour bus? What about the dock workers who are loading supplies at every port and interfacing with the crew? Are they being controlled and monitored? If you get Covid 19 and have to be isolated (in one of those 10% rooms), what about everyone on the ship with whom you have been in contact? Can they just leave and go home at the end of the cruise? I'm always
  22. MSC to set sail Aug 16 in the Med https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.travelpulse.com/news/cruise/msc-cruises-returns-to-service-in-the-mediterranean.amp
  23. I’m trying to envision how this might be Covid-related. I would think all the new protocols would be rolled out at once? And closer to re-start? Couldn’t they just say only one person in the laundry room at a time? Maybe I’m a weirdo but even when I’ve had free valet laundry service I’ve never used it. I just like casually doing my laundry on a sea day and I love the (also free) laundry rooms on Crystal and I’m picky about my laundering. So if this is an incentive I need a different one! Ha
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