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About rbt001

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Hollywood, FL
  • Interests
    Current events
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    None at the moment: Virgin Voyages, here's your chance!
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Costa Maya

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  1. The website now states: "Select beverages on us" and describes it as a selection of beverages in your suite. To me, the wording is different but the intent and offer seems the same as it was originally. I understood that what's in the minibar to begin with is complimentary, but that it would not be restocked for free. It was the Mega Rockstar Suites that got essentially an unlimited bar. I don't see details on drinks being comped at the Beach Club. Rockstar Suites retain access to Richard's Rooftop, so I would hope they still have access to the private area at The Beach Club. But on that subject... it's strange that they haven't replaced The Beach Club renderings with actual photos. I wonder if it's been completed yet.
  2. So I did go back to read a good portion of the notes that accompanied the financial statements. From what I gather, CCL has had a strong balance sheet and they boast a little more than $12 Billion of cash available through financing commitments they have in place. And some of those funds are tied directly to new ship delivery. However, it appears that none of that borrowing activity requires pledging any of their ships as collateral. The debt does contain covenants which relate to the continued good health of their balance sheet. The new $4 Billion debt, however, does pledge the ships, as well as other assets, and according to the their annual report, the net value is more than $38 Billion: The Secured Notes and the related guarantees are secured by first-priority security interests in the collateral, which generally includes (i) shares of capital stock of each subsidiary guarantor, subject to customary limitations; (ii) 86 of the vessels currently owned or operated by Carnival Corporation, Carnival plc and the other guarantors including assignments of insurance claims and earnings in respect of such vessels; (iii) the material intellectual property currently owned or controlled by Carnival Corporation, Carnival plc and the other guarantors; (iv) other assets of Carnival Corporation, Carnival plc and the other guarantors consisting of inventory, trade receivables, intangibles, computer software and casino equipment, in each case associated with the vessels being mortgaged; and (v) other assets on which Carnival Corporation, Carnival plc and the other guarantors may elect from time to time to grant a lien securing the Secured Notes (clauses (i) through (v), collectively, the “Collateral”), subject to permitted liens and certain exclusions and release provisions as further described in the Indenture and the related security documents. Carnival is giving them first position in everything, but clearly on the list, the 86 vessels are the most valuable. And yes, in first-priority interest in "perfected collateral" I take to mean there are no other claims or liens against the collateral. Interesting how the wording doesn't account for the four vessels coming into service, which I don't think would be included yet on the balance sheet. The way I read the release of funds to Carnival, as four $1 Billion distributions from escrow, is that they are solely contingent upon perfecting the collateral and not exceeding a LTV ratio of 25% of the $4 Billion debt. In the simplest of terms, once Carnival has provided documented mortgages in good order for at least $16 Billion, all the money can be released. Tongue-in-cheek: now I see the vision of Arnold Donald looking for the Car Title for the 30 year old Carnival Fantasy. "Honey, have you seen the title? I need to give it to the bank." Oh, and as for a ban, that's most likely an urban myth to scare people into just waiting, in this instance. However, I do recall reading of a couple that were banned for the chargeback of artwork that they complained about. And it was found within the company's rights to refuse to do future business. In this particular case, given circumstances, I sincerely DOUBT any cruise line would ban a passenger for taking the dispute route, given the very long delays and record-setting unemployment numbers which point to a strong possibility that some cancelled passengers need prompt credits for their personal financial survival.
  3. As I mentioned in another thread, the financial team may have begun waking up to the cash flow strains the generous 25% & 100% Bonus FCC will create as passengers with credits book cruises over this first year, paying only 75% cash or less: consuming inventory that was projected to raise 100% cash. While this compensation was common with other lines, Virgin has less inventory with one ship, making it harder to absorb the all those free credits and still generate cash to pay bills. So what about if Virgin SELECTIVELY offers to passengers an opportunity to INCREASE the value of their FCC by having the passengers agree to DEFER their FCC use until the 2021/2022 cruise season? Perhaps the greater cash flow damage is caused by the loyal passengers who rolled over their funds for the 100% bonus. That could make it easier for them to re-book in a suite (limited inventory) compared to their original booking in a non-suite cabin. I'm not sure if they were obligated to immediately re-book or they could hold the 200% FCC to book later. If they were allowed to defer re-booking, they could be offered an incentive to agree to split their credit into two bookings- one booked in months 1-12 based upon original booking and the second during months 13-24 from original booking. To be clear, I'm suggesting Virgin OFFER additional compensation in exchange for these deferrals, rather than simply changing the rules for what they've already given. While it increases the line's deposit liability, it also increases the potential for breakage. Conversely, it increases the opportunity for repeat guests while smoothing cash flows. If you currently hold a FCC, would any of these offers appeal to you?
  4. I also opted for the full refund when my Sneak-a-Peek cruise was cancelled for the end of March. I feel lucky that I received a prompt refund to my credit card, which isn't the case for many requesting refunds as the posts suggest with cancelled Princess Cruises passengers being told it could take 90 days. The 25% FCC good until March 2021 is a nice touch, and initially had me viewing cruises for later in the year, sailing in a Seriously Suite, which is what I had originally booked. I noticed a few weeks ago what appeared to be the elimination of the private transfer and premium wifi perks, so I called and got through to a CS agent with little wait. After checking, they confirmed the benefits were dropped. There wasn't any mention of a price drop. Over this weekend, when I read the topics here about the official announcement and price drops, I viewed the Costa Maya cruise dates to find that the prices have INCREASED, rather than decreased for the Seriously Suite. I think the accountants are waking up to the fact that all those 25% and 100% bonus credits can drastically reduce cash flow at a time when they need it most. So cutting expenses by reducing benefits and increasing fares are two ways to offset those credits. That's exactly why airlines place capacity controls on mileage award tickets and upgrades: they need cash to pay their bills. It's also why premium cabin service is usually gutted on routes that are predominantly vacation routes such as Hawaii: "most seats are bought with miles, lacking business travelers, so why spend cash for the usual amenities"? (Personally I don't agree with that philosophy, but it's long been a practice.)
  5. Reading what you described in your paragraph #1, my immediate thoughts were this funding relates to or coincides with the four ship deliveries scheduled for 2020. I then went back to the SEC filing you referenced, and it too leads me to think that the quartering of the $4 Billion into four releases dates, which seem to be subject to a loan-to-value ratio that does not exceed 25%, means that as the company takes ownership of the completed vessel from the shipyard, placing it on the books as an asset, more funds can be released as the vessel is pledged as additional collateral. Before reading all of this, a few months back when the shutdown started, my initial vision was a surrealistic view of Carnival Brand (in particular) ships being lifted on a tow truck to be hauled away by the Repo Man. Reading that they've agreed to borrow money with contingencies for a 25% LTV ratio leads me to believe that their ships are not as highly leveraged as I thought. Though I'm pretty sure I read they depreciate their ships over a 30 year life. My first impression is that no one would want to sail on a ship that old. But, surprise: Carnival Fantasy just celebrated 30 years, with delivery in 1990. All this being said, I'm not sure I'd be waiting 60 or 90 days for my credit card refund; in fact, I'm sure I would have disputed it at the 7 day mark from my request for refund.
  6. CASH FLOW is probably the primary reason why Princess --and possibly the eight other Carnival Corporation brands-- could be dragging their feet. When a merchant, such as Princess submits refunds/credits to customer credit cards, the money typically is debited from a bank account the next business day while it may take another few days for the credit to flow through to the card holder's account. In other words, the cash has to be in the bank for the cruise line to issue refunds. Yes, someone did point out that Carnival Corp did raise 6.4 Billion dollars. I read the same in a Barron's article which stated that $4 Billion of the 6.4 Billion carries interest at a rate of 11.5%, which is steep. I also went to look at Carnival Corporation's Annual 10-K report released in January 2020 for the fiscal year ending November 30, 2019. It's a document well over 100 pages, dense with footnotes and statements explaining the numbers. For investment purposes, it's critical to read all those details to fully understand the numbers. Also note that Carnival does not provide detailed financial breakouts for each of its nine cruise line brands. The numbers presented are consolidated for all operations. Here are a couple of high-level observations that puts the $6.4 Billion cash raised into perspective. As of 11/30/19 Carnival reported that it held FOUR BILLION SEVEN HUNDRED THIRTY-FIVE MILLION DOLLARS of customer deposits. The same report shows cash on hand of just $518 million and that during this current fiscal year the current portion of long-term debt, payable between 12/2019 to 11/2020 is $1.596 Billion. The annual report shows that Carnival brought in close to $21 Billion last year, but after paying operating expenses, it was left with about $5.4 Billion of cash (that's operating income plus depreciation & amortization,) but before any debt payments are made. Again, note that these figures are at one point in time: as of November 30, 2019. And since the current fiscal year began with the holiday period, typically marketed by fewer discounts and higher guest counts/greater number of on-board buying units as families cruise together, the year may have started well. But with the "no-sail order" came an abrupt halt to the $20+ Billion Annual Cash Flow. Yet there remains a significant amount of cash burn. The Barron's article from 4/24/20 reports analyst's consensus that Carnival is burning an estimated $830 Million monthly. CREDIT CARD CHARGEBACKS- The first responsibility of the cardholder is to make a reasonable attempt to work out the dispute with the merchant, and then to give the merchant a "reasonable" period of time to rectify the situation. I would expect every credit card issuer to entertain the dispute when you tell them the reason is: "Goods and/or services not received as promised. They canceled my cruise." Bank Card issuers (Visa/Mastercard) must follow strict rules set-up for customer disputes. And that's why the first question they always ask is "Did you contact the merchant." If you haven't attempted to first resolve this with the merchant, then they can't take your request. When they do take your request, the merchant must also follow strict rules. The most ominous rule for the merchant involves a timely reply. If the merchant does not respond to the customer dispute by the deadline given, then in almost all cases the matter is resolved in the customer's favor with any temporary credit becoming permanent. An overwhelmed system may mean cardholders win disputes by default. There's nothing to say a cardholder has to wait 60 or 90 days for a refund. That there's a pandemic doesn't prevent the merchant from acting timely. At the very least, the card issuer should provide a temporary credit while the dispute is investigated.
  7. I was in a Seriously Suite for the S-a-P 3/26 cruise, and am looking at one for a sailing in the Fall. They seem a little larger than terrace rooms and are positioned mid-ship. And yes... the suite perks sound great!
  8. Yes, I would hope many of the restaurants will be open for lunch on sea days... and a few open on port days.
  9. We've heard that there will not be a "cruise director" with staff... But will they at least publish a daily program with activities, outlet hours and entertainment?
  10. Imagine the tremendous expense of disposing of all the beer on hand. Beer is perishable, and this three month delay probably means a lot of waste! Or... the first passengers will need to check the freshness date of the bottles.
  11. Did anyone receive their bands for an upcoming cruise that was then canceled? I was on the Sneak-a-Peek 3/26 and never got mine.
  12. rbt001


    But... My concern is the furnishing in public spaces. Will there really be enough room for people to find a place to relax and feel comfortable when there's close to 2,700 people on board?
  13. How about reporting on how quickly you reached Sailor Services to rebook or cancel.
  14. As corona virus dampens our economy and pinches worker pockets, I wonder if there will be a shift in demographics during the first year with less discretionary income.
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