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Everything posted by FiredogCruiser

  1. As a shareholder, I have mixed thoughts regarding the comments relative to fees being charged. This pandemic has put Carnival Corporation through some extremely tough financial times. Despite being back to sailing, they are not at 100%, either in passengers per ship, nor number of vessels sailing and as a result are still in a position of losing large amounts of money, in spite of the fees. Additional costs are also being incurred due to the pandemic precautions that are being taken in attempts to insure safety for passengers. Money has to come from someplace, and that place is from customers. So they have to balance the entry price of the cruise against revenue that can be obtained on board. Its a tough situation to be in, and there certainly isn't any way of approaching the matter that would satisfy everyone. Personally I would prefer a little higher entry point price, and less on board charges. That way I believe I would have a much better feel for the overall cost to be incurred. But having read the comments people have made regarding the more all-inclusive nature of pricing on several other lines, I realize that many would rather have a lower entry point and then have the ability to determine what additional costs they decide to incur on board. But my feeling is that would lead to decisions to short change experiences over a fear of overspending. I am looking forward to Carnival Corp. returning to profitability and am doing my part. We have two cruises currently booked on Carnival and one theme cruise booked with Holland.
  2. After having our MardiGras cruise cancelled twice, we gave up on 2020 and 2021 and rebooked for January of 2022. One can only hope they survive until then. We had an RCL cruise also cancelled for January 2021. We are requesting a refund on that one, and will be interested in seeing what and when we actually receive any refund, and whether or not it is a full refund. I have no confidence in the government getting cruising operational, regardless of the procedures and precautions the cruise lines put in place. I am convinced that since the vast majority of cruising is done on foreign flagged vessels, resumption of cruising, and the jobs it provides, is simply not a priority. Florida seems to be the only place actively interested in the resumption of cruising, and that is only at two of the five ports that I am aware of.
  3. I think it has to do with the Canadians decision to keep their ports closed through the 2021 Alaska season. So unless the US Govt foregoes the requirement for a Canadian stop on foreign flags, there goes the season.
  4. Perhaps encouraging to see, but I sincerely doubt it will have an impact on decision makers. Despite peoples comments to the contrary the CDC is as much a political animal as any other bureaucracy. While they have a job to do, expecting that it is immune to political ideology is foolish. Science has always been full of political fearmongering. From global cooling of the late 1950's to global warming to now climate change, history is full of what turned out to be incorrect science determining public policy. Medical emergencies have been no different. Just look at the inconsistent guidance that has come out regarding this. On suggestion I read, and have seen no public support being generated, is for each home port to commit to having the ability to handle a set number of cases reported on inbound ships. One number U saw was 12. Any ship exceeding that would be diverted to one of three ports designated as pandemic receiving ports with the shore side response capabilities to handle. Three were suggested to be designated, one in the east, one in the south central and one in the west. While no actual ports were mentioned, I thought of Miami in the east, Galveston in the south central, and perhaps L. A. in the west. The three would receive federal assistance in stockpiling necessary response supplies and trained personnel. Made a lot of sense to me, yet beyond some emergency management threads I have seen nothing further.
  5. I think at this point it is still far to early to draw any conclusions about when cruising will resume, and more importantly where. While everyone seems focused on the CDC and their no sail order, and whether or not they will extend it again, I am more interested in shore side emergency management decisions in port cities, which will determine whether or not ports open, and or to what extent. I am more concerned about ports refusing to open, or dramatically limiting throughput, due to their inability to manage shore issues. What I have read regarding the science does not jell port opening recommendations I have seen. For example if one person on a ship were to test positively upon return, the science does not justify refusal, or 100% isolation, yet that is what is being proposed in some places I see. Additionally, cruising has traditionally been attacked, unjustifiably by environmentalists, as being a major source of pollution, which it is not, yet I see a number of environmental activists urging more draconian measures be employed against the industry.
  6. We did three cruises out of NOLA, two on the Dream and one on the Elation. Have been to NOLA a number of times, business and pleasure and always had a great time there. Probably our favorite city to visit. Unquestionably our favorite city to eat in.
  7. Not ready to give up. Have two booked presently, first one January 2021, second January 2022. Looking at other options in addition.
  8. Under current conditions, the facts are no plan that would be submitted would be acceptable, or enable sailing. Why would anyone submit a plan that would not result in a positive outcome? Answer no one, which is why none of the lines have submitted anything to this point. I believe it would be far more constructive if the CDC were to actually sit down with the industry, and jointly develop an acceptable plan, but so far the CDC has been unwilling to take that approach.
  9. According to their information this morning they are going to concentrate on north American drive to ports. I assume to avoid the need to fly, as people seem to be more concerned about flying than cruising. I believe John Heald did a survey a while back and the majority indicated a desire to drive to the port for their next port. They did say this morning that San Juan would remain a port of call, however, but no longer a home port until at least 2022. Personally, we have been to San Juan a number of times, both as a port of call and as a debarking port from a journey cruise. But we had never originated from San Juan, and I doubt we ever would given the cost of air travel, ship options, and itineraries offered. Our view there were always much better options available, usually at less overall total cost.
  10. Broward County, the same county that tried blaming the USCG for closing off port access to returning cruise ships, just mandated masks to be worn in homes. Needless to say, they can't cite any science supporting that arbitrary decision. Yet these are the same county officials that will be determining whether or not Port Everglades will be open to cruise ships, with mostly likely the same lack of science to support their decisions. No matter what the CDC says or the cruise line procedures are, these locals will have a go/no go authority. And are apparently free to be as arbitrary in their decision making as they want to be. With no national standard enforcement mechanism, I would hate to be in a cruise line executive position trying to get all of these local port authorities to agree on even noon versus midnight. Shoreside pandemic mitigation is, as I said, not a cruise industry responsibility. Any municipality that seeks to attract large volumes of people spending leisure dollars has a responsibility to have plans in place for their adequate protection. Many are very willing to impose all types of non-resident taxes to gain visitor dollars (resort taxes, hotel bed taxes, etc.) yet are unwilling to spend the money on required emergency management standards to protect those recruited visitors. Whether personnel, equipment, stockpiles, training, or for that matter coordination of effort between agencies and mitigation providers, visitors are left to fend for themselves, or in the case of the CONVID-19 virus refused access to assistance of any kind. (I will never spend another disposable dollar in Broward County again, and I have cruised from there, and stayed in hotels there, and ate in restaurants there, and flown in and out of there in the past.) Cruising is no different in regards to planning necessities than large sporting events, high rise towers, airports or any other venue with large population densities. So why is the industry being treated any differently? I maintain chiefly because of the negative publicity that has been heaped upon the industry for years. And I also maintain the reason for that is found in the foreign flag issue. No one has ever suggested that 100% of a cruise ship population would arrive in a port requiring critical care unit hospitalization, or 4,000 ventilators per ship, or the necessity to transport 4,000 patients by ambulance. Yet that unrealistic expectation has been cited in numerous news articles, opinion pieces, and social media postings by people with no understanding of emergency management procedures, standards or guidelines, as a reason not only for closing ports, but keeping them closed. Right now there is massive efforts to cover up deficiencies, by blaming a novel virus for inadequate stockpiles, emergency operations plans, personnel and equipment. So, while we are all carrying on about what is the cruise lines doing to protect everyone, and I won't question the validity of those question, I also want to know what the port cities are doing to bring their emergency response capabilities up to standards, and no one is even talking about that.
  11. Could not disagree more. Take a look at what Broward County just did in requiring masks in homes. Port shoreside pandemic mitigation is not a cruise line responsibility. Until these port cities are capable of meeting federal pandemic guidelines, expect ports to remain closed, and pressure to be on the CDC to continue extending no sail orders. Ports that want the vacationers dollars have a responsibility to have plans in place to mitigate. Many don't, and worse don't want to. Philadelphia, no longer a cruise departure port, just recently said they won't allow home fans at NFL games this year. Huge numbers were seen in Philly, and they did not meet pandemic guidelines, and wanted stockpile inventories confiscated from other parts of the state.
  12. I suggest greater bureaucratic control over foreign flagged ships, especially in areas of personnel management and compensation. I am waiting for greater concessions as a condition for engagement on protocols. I am also amazed that there is no discussion regarding the manufacturing flaws in some of the test kits being used which are contributing huge numbers of false positive results. Article posted just this morning regarding that, and the policy implications the numbers are having.
  13. What do you mean by "rough case against the industry"? American government agencies at all levels, from local port authorities through federal agencies have shown aggressive approaches to the cruise industry for years. In some cases bureaucrats mimicing political figures with an axe to grind because of ocean cruise ships being foreign flagged. In other instances it was the other way around, but the bottom line is that there has been long standing resentment over the lack of bureaucratic authority over the industry, despite the amount of control currently in place. A perfect example IMHO was the Broward County hearing fiasco, where local bureaucratic authority tried to make the USCG responsible for the lack of shoreside pandemic mitigation. Anyone who objectively listened to that hearing could see how unprepared they were, and how desperate they were to assign blame, and ignore completely their inability to meet updated pandemic guidelines, in place since the SARS scare. Bottom line is what we are seeing is the use of the COVID-19 fear, as cover for ports unable and in many cases unwilling, to meet pandemic guidelines. Until the shoreside deficiencies are addressed expect the no sale orders to continue.
  14. We have put off until the end of January 2021, and are not sure about that. Originally had been booked on the 1/30/21 Mardi Gras, but that got cancelled. So switched to RCCL HOS also out of Port Canaveral, for a day earlier. Fingers crossed. Rebooked the Mardi Gras for January 2022. Hopefully done by then.
  15. We were cancelled for our January 2021 booking, but opted to rebook for January 2022. Plan to put the $600.00 on board credit to liquid use. Going to try RCCL HOS for 2021.
  16. I am just happy to see them pulling out of Port Everglades. Personally, I will never spend another dollar in Ft. Lauderdale.
  17. Frustrating thread to follow. None of us know for sure what will happen because the cruise industry doesn't know what the governments (federal, state and local ports) are going to do or require. And that is because government itself has no idea at this point what they are going to do. They are literally making things up as they go along. Expecting government to develop a sensible response plan, set a time table for implementation and actually carry it through to completion is foolhardy. They are more interested in fighting with each other, which is where I think the comments regarding politics comes in. Will things improve after November? Maybe, simply because the election will be over and there might be a slightly greater interest in focusing on standards and plans. But I doubt it. Eventually, the pandemic will end. They all do. The question is how much non-repairable economic damage will have been done? Second question is whether the various level of governments will work cooperatively? For instance will federal standards be accepted by the states, and will local governments agree to reopen ports based upon the federal standards? I doubt that very much. Through out this pandemic we have seen a multitude of examples of every government level going off in different directions, unwilling to work together, or in many cases, even communicate. Most of that inability to work cooperatively was partisan driven. Anyone thinking whoever loses in November is going to be motivated to work cooperatively to the benefit of the public has obviously little knowledge of history. The winner, whoever that is, will gloat. The loser will whine. I would absolutely hate to be a cruise line executive in this environment. And to the extent that ill informed members of the cruising public opt to hold cruise line executives responsible for the inability of the various levels of government to work together, there is no incentive on the part of government to doing anything different. They do nothing, and the cruise industry gets to take the flack. What could be better for them?
  18. Experts? I have come to believe that X is the unknown quantity and "spirt" is a drip under pressure.
  19. Same category as retirement homes? Doesn't that mean ordering people on to them, like New York and Pennsylvania did?
  20. I have yet to meet a single bureaucrat with even the slightest concern about business profits. Any business. Some even appear to be celebrating the damage being done to a number of industries, with absolutely no concern.
  21. In light of both Carnival's decision to reduce the number of their ships, coupled with the popularity of all the Spirit Class ships, given their age I hope they decide to keep them. In this age of so called 'new normals' (a term which I dislike) I wonder how long they intend to keep them in service. I also wonder if there would be any chance, given circumstances, of a couple new builds of similar size and design being build using the newer fuel efficiency standards.
  22. Spirit class. Pride is the favorite. 6 trips on her.
  23. I wonder. According to Gary Bembridge, the newer more efficient ship have a breakeven point at about 30% capacity, while the older less efficient ships are about 50% to break even. So as I see it, they have a lot of room to limit capacity supporting whatever social distancing practices they put into place, and still maintain an opportunity to make a profit, albeit smaller. I believe it was he (although it might have been Don from Don's Family Vacations) that reported that at least one line had decided to entirely close two decks worth of cabins, which would reduce staffing requirements/cost. It will be interesting to see how the economics of this dynamic play out over time.
  24. As another long time CCL shareholder I have to agree with you on the ride. Good thing I bought the stock as wanting to own a piece of something I enjoyed doing rather than a retirement investment. As for the future, I am interested in what the shoreside port authorities are going to do. I keep reading about both nursing homes, assisted living facilities, long term care facilities, and local emergency management authorities who were no where near following federal pandemic guidelines relative to PPE stockpiles, nor meeting staffing levels and training requirements. Reopening ports will require them to step up, and I am betting many will refuse to do so. I will never spend another dollar in Ft Lauderdale for example.
  25. Performance bond probably has act of God exclusion, which would mean the pandemic renders it void. I do wonder what the initial penalty might have been for the first rescheduling of delivery prior to the pandemic.
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