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About kk99

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
  • Interests
    Travel,All Water Related Sports
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Azamara, Princess, Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    The Baltics

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  1. The CNBC interview with Mr. Fain today. https://www.cnbc.com/video/2020/05/21/watch-cnbcs-full-interview-with-royal-caribbean-ceo-richard-fain.html?__source=sharebar|facebook&par=sharebar
  2. I listened to the entire call . Some of the takeaways include 1. 150-175 million per month in costs. Ships in warm layup cost 2-2.5 million a month per ship, cooler layup costs per ship per month are 1-1.5 million. 2. New builds will slow and there will be a permanent shift. 3. All cruises cancelled through July 31st, only exception may be China operations. Announcement later today. 4. Guests other than N. America are choosing cash refunds at a higher rate, 45% overall cash requests as opposed to future cruise credits. Baby boomers are choosing more fcc. 5. Currently all ships available for sailing in 2021. 6. Newer ships need a 30% load factor, older ships a 50% load factor for break even. Mr. Liberty did not estimate what current load factors are. 7. Ships in the industry will be retired at a higher rate or be sold. 8. In discussions with over 40 ports about when the ports might reopen. 9. Their goal is to get back to an investment grade rating. The call did not address any future cancellations beyond July 31st , what the slow return to service would involve, or any consumer issues.
  3. I found out when I called in last Friday, and asked for employees by name in the shoreside casino operations department. The director of casino performance and at least one manager are still there, at least two other managers are furloughed, and the Florida account executive and people in the Florida casino department who I have dealt with numerous times over the years were permanently laid off. The telephone calls are still being answered and sailings booked. I do not know if they are using employees in the Kansas main call center, or employees in other departments in Florida to fill in. There is no link or announcement by Celebrity other than the announcement through Royal Caribbean of the furloughs and permanent reductions of employees through the three brands. As to shipboard employees in the casino, I have no idea as to timeframe when they or anyone else working on the ships will be recalled or how many , other than a guess they will staff the ships as needed shortly before the ships are sailing again once restrictions are lifted. I do wish all of those former employees all the best for the future. They were always great to work with.
  4. Update for Blue Chip Players A few days ago RCL announced significant furloughs and permanent layoffs due to world health conditions that currently prevent the ships from sailing. Most of the current shoreside employees who worked with the Blue Chip Club casino program for the past several years were permanently laid off. I wish them all of the best, as they were wonderful to work with, and I hope they have better days ahead.
  5. The latest targeted offer was sent out to members of the Blue Chip Players Club, and it was for specific dates and sailings for veranda cabins and sent to a large target of the casino pool of players. You have to pay port charges and taxes, and did not include any perks. If you are a higher tier member of Blue Chip, then you could qualify for free internet, drinks, and gratuities based on the tier status. You always get any Captain’s Club benefits that you qualify for, and it is a very short term offer to fill cabins. The written offer does not have a requirement for average bet size or hours played. However, if the player does not play enough to cover the cost of the comped room, they would not be likely to get the same offer again. This past week, most of the shoreside representatives who worked with the casino program were fired, and a few furloughed, along with many other wonderful Celebrity employees due to downsizing during the current world health events. I wish those former employees all of the best, and hopefully they can find new employment shortly.
  6. I have a friend who works on the ship. I can only hope that everyone’s health is restored, and the safe return to their loved ones as soon as possible.
  7. We were supposed to sail Flora this month. This was posted on the Crew Center site. I hope everyone recovers, and no more spread is announced. I do not see Ecuador recovering in the immediate future and wish the residents better days ahead. Galapagos health authorities announced on Tuesday that 48 crew members aboard the cruise ship Celebrity Flora tested positive for COVID-19. The tests were carried out on all 69 crew members currently on board the ship, and 48 tested positive for the virus. The crew is isolated in single cabins and the ship is under quarantine. Authorities say this is a significant increase to the total number of cases in Galapagos Islands which had only 24 cases reported on the Archipelago. Galapagos Emergency Operations Committee released the following letter informing the community regarding the COVID-19 tests of Celebrity Flora crew.
  8. Here is a screenshot of the early Summit sailings with the changed itineraries in May-June 2020
  9. I've done three Celebrity Christmas cruises on ships other than Edge. We will being doing Edge this year for Christmas. On all of the three prior Christmas week sailings, all of the wonderful decorations were up with garlands, trees, and floral arrangements. On Christmas Eve, the officers, staff and guests had a singalong around the main staircase on the M class ships, and on the S class ship, it was held in the main atrium area. On Christmas Day, there was a "Santa" parade, and the children were each given a small present by Santa and his elves. The main dinner on Christmas Day did include turkey, and dressing, and the regular menu items. There was a service on Christmas Eve. The decorations on all of the ships were beautiful. We will be on Edge for Christmas, and we were on just prior to Christmas last year. The ship was all in silver, white and crystals as opposed to the more traditional red and green decorations, and lots of gingerbread decorations on the M class and S class ships.. On all of the ships, the theatre held a holiday show. It was festive, but low key. For Hanukkah during one of the prior cruises when it fell during the same time period as Christmas, the electric menorah is lit each night, and there are activities for the children, and a Hanukkah service. They do extra dessert and cookie creations on the buffet, as the pastry chefs are very talented. We have always enjoyed Christmas cruises, and being with family. I hope you have a wonderful time on your vacation.
  10. Hi everyone, We sailed for 2 cruises a preview and the inaugural on the Edge penthouse. We then sailed again on Edge in a lesser suite category 5 months later. I personally would not sail in the PS again on Edge unless it was for a cold weather cruise, or extremely port intensive. The two bedrooms, two bathrooms are very nice and functional. The decor is a personal taste question, and most of the mechanical kinks of the room have been worked out , as I have other friends who have sailed in the suite recently. the indoor massive jetted tub would be fine for cold weather cruises. It has a high step up, and over into the tub. The balcony is narrower and shorter in length than the S class penthouses, and has a large overhang(great for rainy weather). It also had way too much furniture on such a small space, but again they have corrected some of that since we originally sailed. If you want a mostly sunny balcony, then you will need to go to the Retreat sundeck, or book cabins not on deck 12. We are going back on Equinox ( on only the shortened drydock revolution) and on Summit post revolution in the same category. I liked Edge as a ship much better on our last voyage, with less space, because we had a more usable( to us anyway) balcony.
  11. I believe that the issue is with the permits for the ship. When Celebrity started building Flora, the company( Ocean Adventures, S.A.) associated with the ships Athala (now Xploration) had 16 passenger permits, and Eclipse ( now Xperience) had 48 passenger permits. Xpedition had 100 passenger permits and was already sailing. When Flora came out, Celebrity used the 100 passenger permits from Expedition to transfer to Flora which is currently sailing. Celebrity applied through Ocean Adventures, S.A.) and was originally granted the right to use the other permits(64) to be transferred to Xpedition which would then sail with 64 passengers, and the two other ships would no longer sail under Celebrity. Marcelo Mata Guerrero, the Minister of the Environment of Ecuador reversed the permission on June 26 ,2019 and posted the notice on his twitter account. http://www.ambiente.gob.ec/ministerio-del-ambiente-revoca-el-permiso-de-operacion-al-barco-celebrity-xpedition-en-galapagos/ So Celebrity has offered passengers up through the July 13, 2019 sailing either to cancel and receive a refund, a transfer to the smaller ship, with a significant discount ,or some have switched to future Flora sailings. I believe that Celebrity will get it worked out hopefully in the near future. Most of the Galapagos ships are smaller passenger vessels, with the larger ones being 100 passengers. I have not read of any environmental damage caused by the Xpedition ship posted by the Minister. I do believe that they are trying to limit the tourism to the Galapagos to protect the environment and wildlife.
  12. Here is the notice https://mobile.twitter.com/Ambiente_Ec/status/1144410967176073218/photo/1 I hope this gets worked out shortly.
  13. I am so very sorry for your loss of your lovely wife, Carol. I had the pleasure of sailing with the two of you a few times, and the cruising world was a better place because of her joyful spirit and happiness with you. Thank you for sharing with us and bless you.
  14. We requested the deposit cancellation in early January when Virgin released the itineraries as 4 and five day cruises, as we don't like short cruises. I received the cancellation confirmation and was told 5-7 business days to process the refund. On February 6th, I called again, and they said they "lost" the refund request information. It was reprocessed on February 6th, and again told 5-7 business days for the refund, and once again received written confirmation of it. I called them today, and was told the paperwork was processed today, and the refund credit should be back on the credit card in another 5-7 business days. The Virgin employees told me that they are processing every request manually, as they had many cancellations. At this point it is not even about the funds. It is about the complete lack of appropriate follow through by the company. I have flown on Virgin before and like quite a few of Mr. Branson's products and ideas. It will have taken two months to get a simple deposit back. I hope they improve their business model for others in the rollout of the ship.
  15. Wonderful photos and narrative Norris. The Boys of Summer by Don Henley I believe. Perfect cruising around town music. Thanks for taking all of us vicariously on your and Carol’s adventures in Cuba.
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