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About jenidallas

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Fort Worth, TX
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  1. I had a few preconceived stereotypes about Crystal based on my interactions with them in pre- or post-cruise hotels or private shore excursions or during air travel. They struck me (as a general group) to be more prone to name dropping and trying to size up the relative value of those around them. I’ve very rarely run into Crystal aficionados on Seabourn but I do recall meeting one couple onboard their first Seabourn sailing after many cruises on Crystal. They shared that they were having trouble settling in onboard because they just could not figure out “who their people were”. Silly me... I thought they were perhaps shy and having trouble meeting others and offered up a few suggestions. But no... it turned out to be an issue of what they thought were “wealth indicators” that they were having trouble spotting - obvious designers, insignia from private clubs, name-dropping - whatever they thought would help them identify people they thought were on a socioeconomic tier equivalent to or higher than their own. The husband commented that people made it very difficult to tell their net worth. That revelation was so exhausting to think about but seemed on the level with my own observations about the line’s passengers. And who wants to be exhausted while on holiday? Not this gal!
  2. Holiday Panama Canal? That’s the one we are seriously considering. Hubby and I, that is.
  3. It would seem odd to retire Sojourn before Odyssey since that ship has been in service longer. Sojourn is only 10 years old although I’m sure it felt older to you having sailed on both of the big sisters first. Odyssey is 11 years old and Quest is 9 years old. They had the little sisters for between 20-25 years before selling them.
  4. We proactively cancelled our December Sojourn sailing last week. Now it seems like great timing to have done so! We are going to sit out on any more bookings until we’ve got a better idea of what a return to sailing looks like. Tonight will be 154 in a row in my own bed, something I had not done in decades prior to this. Right now our idea of a big voyage is donning a mask to pick up groceries or get a haircut. I miss cruising and long to be back on Seabourn, but not quite yet.
  5. Isn’t there a new regulation for cruise ships in Antarctic waters that will make the Quest no longer permissible for those sailings after this Antarctic season?
  6. Someone mentioned in a Seabourn-related Facebook group that they should be sharing their resumption strategy today so I suspect we’ll know more sooner than later. So far what I’ve seen from other lines has been mostly around health/safety precautions and not hard/soft changes to the passenger experience so I don’t know if we’ll really learn much until passengers sail and give us first-hand accounts. And I can’t say I’d be enthusiastic about being one of those early reporters... not at normal fare premiums anyway!
  7. I’ve done both routings and really the deciding point for me would be timing as I like the ports on both. I’ve been personally missing Istanbul though so I’d probably lean toward that. Venice, Athens, and Istanbul are three of my favorite food cities.
  8. It’s interesting to begin to speculate on what cruising will look like when it resumes. I think it will be difficult for the industry to mount a proper comeback without both a vaccine and widely available cost-effective rapid testing. I say comeback because I doubt we see a full return to what 2019 levels looked like in the coming decade. I think that buffets are over with the exception of perhaps individually packaged grab & go snacks. (I could reasonably see individually wrapped pastries, jars of yogurt, and containers of fruit available for an early risers breakfast, for example.). The Colonnade may go on but not with self-service. I would not be sad to see that happen... I’ve observed some gross behavior at cruise buffets, even on Seabourn. i think social distancing will be a real thing for some time to come. The upside for Seabourn is they already have a good amount of this built in - tables in dining venues are not on top of each other, seating in the theatre and lounges is already spread out, cabins are spacious and not tightly clustered. I anticipate expanded dining times to accommodate less tightly clustered onboard activity, more outdoor dining seating (perhaps this finally kills The Retreat on the larger ships to make way), and more emphasis on spreading passengers out with things like staggered embarkation/disembarkation times, popular events spread across multiple venues (the way the Captain’s welcome Is distributed across several venues on the bigger ships - we might see Trivia offered in the theatre, Rock the Boat in 2-3 venues, safety drills in shifts), longer port stops (to allow for staggering of movement and necessary health screenings), and more thorough contingency plans (like the quarantine and repatriation plans in the EU guidelines). I think a heavy emphasis will be placed on personal safety with mask wearing and frequent hand washing encouraged. Carnival-partner Princess has already patented and implemented a cardless smart system for passengers that can suggest activities based on where there is less crowding on the ship. I would not mind scanning a pass at a kiosk to see where I could find a quiet place to read or which restaurant had less people in it at a particular time. Cruising will evolve - it has to - and it has before. (I still watch old Love Boat episodes and try to spot all of the things that were okay then but would not be considered safe by 2019 standards... glassware in the pool, streamers tossed at sail away, candles on tables, self-serve poolside buffets.) I am hopeful that we get back to safely cruising sooner than later. We are still holding our spots on the Sojourn holiday cruise, just in case. I think Seabourn’s smaller size will make it easier to implement necessary changes quickly.
  9. Easier to refer to a great piece from Harvard Business Review on this very question “what does a chief strategy officer do?” as I think they explain it well. https://hbr.org/2007/10/the-chief-strategy-officer In short, a CSO has a high level of familiarity and experience in many functional areas (which sometimes comes from years of management co suiting for a specific industry) and is charged with driving organizational change from the top down and ensuring that strategic plan execution is at the forefront of every decision. The CSO should be the person in the room that prevents other executives from making rash or whimsical decisions that take focus or resources away from the goal at hand. As an example, if Seabourn has a strategic plan goal (and they very well might have such) of maintaining status as the premier luxury cruise line in the world and the CFO comes to the table with the idea of cutting costs by eliminating complimentary caviar and champagne, the CSO is going to work with the CFO to reframe that decision If it’s out of line with the strategic vision. From what I do on the consulting side, we often work with clients to help develop the framework in which they make these decisions (and help them gather the data they at need to properly evaluate them). Using the example above, often the CFO has evaluated how much the line spends on caviar and champagne and has thus concluded that be eliminating them they can save X dollars per year. A CSO or strategy consultant would reconsider that as a larger framework - what are competitors doing, what differentiations are actually strategic advantages, what additional revenue might be realized/lost by changing the status quo, and how the decision compliments or contradicts the strategic plan, mission statement, and other service promises of the organization. I see having a former CSO in charge of Seabourn as an assurance that any bean counting will be offset by someone asking “but WHY are we doing this and WHAT does it do to advance our strategic plan”?
  10. I wouldn’t place a lot of stock in the antibody tests meaning anything because: * There is no proof having antibodies prevents you from testing positive again. I know someone who was hospitalized in March and later tested clear after being discharged who contracted it again in June. (And yes, that story was all over the news a couple of weeks ago.) * There are numerous reports of patients who were positive in March who have been tested for antibodies and have none (particularly asymptomatic infected) * The virus has already mutated into strains and there is some thought among immunologists that there could be seasonality to this, like the flu, but it will be a couple of years before that is known.
  11. With two decades as a partner at McKinsey in Miami, I don’t doubt he knows his way around the industry from past engagement work before joining Carnival (very likely with Carnival) and how to assess operational and financial performance. I think (and I may be biased as I’m also a strategy consultant) that he’s what the brand needs right now. For a line like Seabourn that is heavily vested in providing a socially integrated luxury experience, figuring out how to deliver that safely in a post-Covid world is going to require a very strong strategic vision. I am glad they brought someone in who is familiar with the Carnival portfolio as he’ll at least have a good operating familiarity with the shared services within the portfolio that may need to be leveraged to adjust operations to safely deliver a luxury experience.
  12. That was announced on May 6 and was and extension of the original three month pause. The post I was referring to implied that they’d just pushed back another month within the last few days. That has indeed been rumored for both HAL and Seabourn but I still have yet to see it in writing.
  13. Is there a press release or official announcement out on that yet? If so, I’m hoping someone will post it here as it’s not yet on the website.
  14. My understanding from various Seabourn crew over the years is that they are 2 per cabin (at least the passenger facing crew are) and some positions rate a solo cabin. While their accommodations are definitely not on par it’s passengers, they have their own housekeepers who service their cabins daily as well. The handful of crew I stay in touch with are looking forward to a return to the ships when crew are called back. While we may not see them all return, I think a good number will be back... the line treats them well and I understand from them that Seabourn is considered a desirable line to work for as a result.
  15. Cruise - April 20 Cancellation date - March 30 (request submitted the same day) Refund date - June 4
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