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CoronaVirus Impact on the Cruise Industry


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The cruise industry will survive and people will forget especially when the news cycle starts treating Coronavirus as boring. But I do wonder if it might make an impact on the creation of mega ships. We already know how easily infectious diseases spread on cruise ships so perhaps there is an argument to made to limiting the maximum population density of cruise ships to something that would be manageable in time of epidemics. Imagine if Diamond Princess had been Oasis of The Seas. Japan struggled with the population of Diamond what country could handle the quarantine of a mega ship like Oasis of the Seas?

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2 hours ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

Australia is not getting hit by the virus, we have only had 22 cases so far. 15 of those were diagnosed early on, all linked to people who had travelled from China before travel bans were put in place. Many of those people have recovered. The remainder of the cases are people who were on Diamond Princess.

 

New Zealand does not have any cases of the virus. 

Facts, stop confusing people with facts.

 

Did it stop the fear mongering when cheng showed how it was not the air conditioning that spread the virus. No, because those who want to spread fear do not care.

 

So post your factual information, but don't expect it to have any effect on those whose minds are already made up.

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Corona virus is another example of illnesses that are magnified by being in close quarters.

 

Some of us already had started trying to avoid sailings that are more likely to have issues from flus and noro.

 

So to respond to original post,  probably cruises will need to adapt to people's concerns about being contained in a relatively small area with large numbers.  Lack of any type of control has concerned potential cruisers such as missed ports and changed itenaries.  This one regarding being exposed to illnesses will have an impact too.  Arguments that the concerns are or aren't logical won't really matter; people will make a different choice that they perceive is less risky.

 

Hopefully, an immunization will be developed but the underlying concern may still exist for the next illness that comes along.

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23 hours ago, Hlitner said:

We think its time to start a macro topic on what impact the CoronoVirus will have on the industry.  From what we are reading here on multiple CC blogs and seeing on other social media we now think the impact will be huge.  In fact, we now think it will be unprecedented!  Initially it looked like the virus would mainly impact a handful of Asian cruises.  But now, the near panic in Italy will likely scare away many cruisers and other travelers.  In the past when we had "cruise panic" such as during the Gulf Wars, the impact was relatively short lived and was quickly countered by the cruise and travel agency offering lots of incentives to lure folks to book.  But this situation seems to be different.  Some experts are predicting that the virus could continue to be a major issue into next year!   We see posters talking about cancelling Caribbean cruises, which at this time, are not even in an area with Coronovirus issues.  Folks are scared and/or being very cautious.   

 

We think the fast spreading virus in Italy is a huge cruise related issue.  Those with Spring/Summer cruises in Europe are generally outside of the final payment period and one can speculate that many will cancel.  That probably bodes well for the Alaskan cruise season since many will likely assume that it is one of the safer places to travel.

 

What do you think?

 

Hank


I am definitely  cancelling plans for cruising in 2020 and possibly 2021.  The Corona virus is spreading like wildfire worldwide.  I do not want to play Russian roulette with my life.  Just my luck I would be one who gets infected with the virus.  I do not want to die from contracting the virus on a cruise.  There is more to life than taking a cruise, especially now.
There are other types of travel I can take posing less risk.

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56 minutes ago, Justalone said:


I am definitely  cancelling plans for cruising in 2020 and possibly 2021.  The Corona virus is spreading like wildfire worldwide.  I do not want to play Russian roulette with my life.  Just my luck I would be one who gets infected with the virus.  I do not want to die from contracting the virus on a cruise.  There is more to life than taking a cruise, especially now.
There are other types of travel I can take posing less risk.

At last, somebody directly addressing the issue I was trying to develop with this thread.  DW and I love the cruise industry and fear the impact caused by a pandemic.  And yes, I do believe that this COVID-19 will attain "pandemic" status because of it being a highly contagious bug....unlike some of its Corona virus relatives such as Sars and Mers.  But I want to ask you a very specific question.  Viruses are a part of our world and there will always be another.  You talk about cancelling cruising for 2 years, but what about the years beyond?  One can always find another virus to use as an excuse for cancelling, especially the flu which is far more prevalent then COVID-19.  In sheer numbers the flu sickens and kills many more folks then COVID-19......at least up to now.

 

If too many folks perceive cruise ships as incubators of bugs, then how can the industry survive in its present form?  Will fear overtake facts and change the entire industry?  or, will this simply blow over in a few months as the world adjusts to the COVID-19 reality and moves on to the next news cycle?

 

Hank

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11 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

At last, somebody directly addressing the issue I was trying to develop with this thread.  DW and I love the cruise industry and fear the impact caused by a pandemic.  And yes, I do believe that this COVID-19 will attain "pandemic" status because of it being a highly contagious bug....unlike some of its Corona virus relatives such as Sars and Mers.  But I want to ask you a very specific question.  Viruses are a part of our world and there will always be another.  You talk about cancelling cruising for 2 years, but what about the years beyond?  One can always find another virus to use as an excuse for cancelling, especially the flu which is far more prevalent then COVID-19.  In sheer numbers the flu sickens and kills many more folks then COVID-19......at least up to now.

 

If too many folks perceive cruise ships as incubators of bugs, then how can the industry survive in its present form?  Will fear overtake facts and change the entire industry?  or, will this simply blow over in a few months as the world adjusts to the COVID-19 reality and moves on to the next news cycle?

 

Hank


Hopefully a vaccine will be developed within the next two years.  Until then I’m putting a cruise vacation  on hold.  Cruising is just not that important to me.   That’s just me, and my own risk assessment.

Edited by Justalone
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11 minutes ago, Justalone said:


Hopefully a vaccine will be developed within the next two years.  Until then I’m putting a cruise vacation  on hold.  Cruising is just not that important to me.   That’s just me, and my own risk assessment.

So consider that fewer then half the folks in the USA bother to get the flu vaccine and yet the flu continues to kill about 80,000 a year.  And, so far. COVID-19 has not killed a single person in the USA.   And yet, you can be sure that many Americans who are in fear of COVID-19 have not gotten a flu shot.   And assuming that a COVID-19 vaccine is developed one can assume that fewer then half of Americans will get that shot.  And what will you do in two years when there is another new virus?

 

Fear seems to be a huge motivator.  Facts and logic less so.

 

Hank

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

Fear seems to be a huge motivator.  Facts and logic less so.

 

I totally agree. And ignorance. And I don't mean that as an insult to anyone. But if one remains ignorant on a particular subject then it leaves the door open for fear. IMneverHO

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RCL has dropped from about $115-120 per share to under $90 in the last month, with large drops yesterday and today. The whole market is down, of course, but cruise stocks are down more than the average. 

 

I think I said this before, but if you've been waiting to buy stock in your favorite cruiseline for shareholder benefit, they're on sale now.

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2 hours ago, Hlitner said:

At last, somebody directly addressing the issue I was trying to develop with this thread.  DW and I love the cruise industry and fear the impact caused by a pandemic.  And yes, I do believe that this COVID-19 will attain "pandemic" status because of it being a highly contagious bug....unlike some of its Corona virus relatives such as Sars and Mers.  But I want to ask you a very specific question.  Viruses are a part of our world and there will always be another.  You talk about cancelling cruising for 2 years, but what about the years beyond?  One can always find another virus to use as an excuse for cancelling, especially the flu which is far more prevalent then COVID-19.  In sheer numbers the flu sickens and kills many more folks then COVID-19......at least up to now.

 

If too many folks perceive cruise ships as incubators of bugs, then how can the industry survive in its present form?  Will fear overtake facts and change the entire industry?  or, will this simply blow over in a few months as the world adjusts to the COVID-19 reality and moves on to the next news cycle?

 

Hank

 

Based on those who have responded on Cruise Critic, there is a big concern with COVID-19 and cruising.  I'm not sure that is indicative of the industry as a whole though.

 

My husband and I have two cruises booked this year: Eastern Caribbean in May and Southern Caribbean in November.  We have no intention of canceling either, but did get insurance before COVID-19 was announced.  If we can't go we can't go, but I see no reason to cancel yet.  If we are blocked from ports it will be disappointing, but we've sailed before where we missed a port.  The biggest issue we would face is a quarantine upon return, but I suspect even that could be worked around since DH can work remotely and I am a homemaker and can arrange others to keep the 15 year old.  If the virus spreads enough that all cruises to the Caribbean are affected/canceled then obviously we won't be able to go.

 

 

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I am reading some of what is above in the way of prognistications and have to disagree with parts. The powers that know more than I do are saying as of this morning that we are settling in for a long run, still unpredictable and the feel-good theories that have been floated about warmer weather and short shelf life of the virus are all wrong.

 

I am watching every blip on this thing because I will be on a river cruise up the Rhone in five weeks, with three nights in Barcelona, and it appears that I will not be able to escape being within easy mass transportation of a hot spot. Best I can hope is that I don't end up sailing into the middle of a hot spot. It could easily happen.

 

At the moment I have face masks on the list for my trip, at least for airports, will reduce clothing to fit in more medical supplies lest I get stuck. The bright spot is all of this is dampening the euro/dollar conversion rate to a good bit lower than the last two times I traveled. I will take advantage of that before I go.

 

Happily I had decided a few months ago to look at putting together a longer trip in 2022 rather than turning right around on another cruise sooner. It seems my timing was good.

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13 minutes ago, sayanne said:

I am reading some of what is above in the way of prognistications and have to disagree with parts. The powers that know more than I do are saying as of this morning that we are settling in for a long run, still unpredictable and the feel-good theories that have been floated about warmer weather and short shelf life of the virus are all wrong.

 

I am watching every blip on this thing because I will be on a river cruise up the Rhone in five weeks, with three nights in Barcelona, and it appears that I will not be able to escape being within easy mass transportation of a hot spot. Best I can hope is that I don't end up sailing into the middle of a hot spot. It could easily happen.

 

At the moment I have face masks on the list for my trip, at least for airports, will reduce clothing to fit in more medical supplies lest I get stuck. The bright spot is all of this is dampening the euro/dollar conversion rate to a good bit lower than the last two times I traveled. I will take advantage of that before I go.

 

Happily I had decided a few months ago to look at putting together a longer trip in 2022 rather than turning right around on another cruise sooner. It seems my timing was good.


It will be interesting to hear back from you regarding your river cruise and Barcelona.  Since Barcelona has reported some cases of the Corona virus.
Have you heard anything regarding river ships being denied docking at their port of calls or Barcelona?

Hoping you have a safe and enjoyable cruise!

Edited by Justalone
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At present there is one case that is physically within Barcelona, a woman who had traveled to the areas of Italy that have since been identified as risk zones. She is in isolation and they have identified the people with whom she was in contact, they are also isolated. The remaining situation in that area is a four star hotel on one of the Canary islands that is on lock down due to one doctor who was id'd with it. He also traveled from somewhere else.

 

I am flying into Barcelona, that is a land based piece so the only thing that could impact me there is if tours of the Gaudi places etc are shut down. But that would be if things exploded in Barcelona while I am there. I am not seeing anything that would shut down docking in Barcelona if that was a cruise piece.

 

The cruise piece along the Rhone is at this point unaffected. In fact a river boat full of mostly US and Canadian citizens, the folks who make up the majority of these cruises, is probably more welcome in most towns than trains and buses that cross the border from Italy. If someone from the train from Italy comes back and carries anything to their friends and family in towns along the Rhone, I expect the ship could dock but the excursions may have to end up being replaced by a whole lot of wine tasting on the ship. Happily I have a nicer room for this trip than usual.

 

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8 hours ago, pacruise804 said:

 

Based on those who have responded on Cruise Critic, there is a big concern with COVID-19 and cruising.  I'm not sure that is indicative of the industry as a whole though.

 

My husband and I have two cruises booked this year: Eastern Caribbean in May and Southern Caribbean in November.  We have no intention of canceling either, but did get insurance before COVID-19 was announced.  If we can't go we can't go, but I see no reason to cancel yet.  If we are blocked from ports it will be disappointing, but we've sailed before where we missed a port.  The biggest issue we would face is a quarantine upon return, but I suspect even that could be worked around since DH can work remotely and I am a homemaker and can arrange others to keep the 15 year old.  If the virus spreads enough that all cruises to the Caribbean are affected/canceled then obviously we won't be able to go.

I checked my travel insurance and they don’t cover pandemics or CDC warnings or FEAR of getting sick. Sure so wish I had sprung for Cancel For Any Reason Insurance.  I have till the end of March till we sail so we shall see how the US cases go.

 

 

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I'm in the UK and hoping to do a New England/Canada cruise in October.  CFAR is not offered here by any insurer (mores the pity) but having carefully read through our policy we spoke to our insurer yesterday for clarification on any claim we may have to make, etc.

The answer was to simply keep looking at the Government's website for travel advice and if at the time of booking there is no 'do not travel' notice we would be okay.  However, she then added that the insurers advice is to wait a few weeks to see what happens!!

Not really helpful as the cruise we are looking at is selling fast and in a few weeks time I guarantee it will be sold out.  BTW I would book but DH is much more cautious and we will wait a little longer.

 

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The images and memories of the Diamond Princess won't die easily. 

 

I don't recall any hotels or resorts being put in lockdown only a cruise ship. People who were in the same places as Diamond Princess passengers are home now while the cruisers are still under lock and key. 

 

Knowing that the risk exists during a viral outbreak of being confined to your cabins for two weeks in close quarters with infected people to only then face two more weeks of quarantine when you get home will be a powerful incentive to choose land-based vacations instead of a cruise.   

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On 2/25/2020 at 8:23 AM, ilikeanswers said:

The cruise industry will survive and people will forget especially when the news cycle starts treating Coronavirus as boring. But I do wonder if it might make an impact on the creation of mega ships. We already know how easily infectious diseases spread on cruise ships so perhaps there is an argument to made to limiting the maximum population density of cruise ships to something that would be manageable in time of epidemics. Imagine if Diamond Princess had been Oasis of The Seas. Japan struggled with the population of Diamond what country could handle the quarantine of a mega ship like Oasis of the Seas?

I doubt the “population density” question will override the economies of scale which mega-ships offer the cruise lines.  

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22 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

I doubt the “population density” question will override the economies of scale which mega-ships offer the cruise lines.  

 

I have no doubt the cruise industry will want to go back to business as usual when COVID 19 dies down but I think realistically there needs to be serious discussion whether there should be limits in the population density of ships. I heard one cruise CEO proposing to have a ship with 10 000 maximum capacity😱. The dream seems to be bigger and bigger and the cruise industry is completely ignoring that things do go wrong like the Diamond Princess and the more people on a ship the more difficult it will be for countries to handle these cruise ship problems. As we saw with Westerdam all countries have a right to bar any ship from docking, and I can see a lot of countries going no thank you too hard if it was a mega ship. Either the cruise industry has to come up with a really good plan for dealing with on board epidemics or they have to keep their ships to a size that is realistic for their ports of call to manage otherwise it does feel a bit irresponsible on the part of the cruise line.

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1 minute ago, ilikeanswers said:

 

I have no doubt the cruise industry will want to go back to business as usual when COVID 19 dies down but I think realistically there needs to be serious discussion whether there should be limits in the population density of ships. I heard one cruise CEO proposing to have a ship with 10 000 maximum capacity😱. The dream seems to be bigger and bigger and the cruise industry is completely ignoring that things do go wrong like the Diamond Princess and the more people on a ship the more difficult it will be for countries to handle these cruise ship problems. As we saw with Westerdam all countries have a right to bar any ship from docking, and I can see a lot of countries going no thank you too hard if it was a mega ship. Either the cruise industry has to come up with a really good plan for dealing with on board epidemics or they have to keep their ships to a size that is realistic for their ports of call to manage otherwise it does feel a bit irresponsible on the part of the cruise line.

I am inclined to think that there will be size limits imposed upon cruise ships, but they will reflect economic interests more than anything else.  Cruise lines like mega ships because they are more efficient to operate, and can charge lower fares and attract a wider demographic.  I think an increasing number of ports (the more attractive ones) will start to limit the size of ships permitted to visit because crowds of tens of thousands of bargain-minded cruisers will diminish the value of the experience -for the passengers while destroying the ambience which attracted cruisers in the first place.

 

Such restrictions are already in place in ports like St. Barth’s, are under consideration at places like Venice and Cinque Terre, and will likely spread. 

 

Cruising has already started to have two attractions for large segments of the market: those interested in the ports and those interested in the ships.  It may bifurcate - ever larger ships primarily offering shipboard experience - with private island stops to replace tradional ports which no longer accept them,  and smaller ships actually designed for people who want to experience the ports.

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53 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

 

Cruising has already started to have two attractions for large segments of the market: those interested in the ports and those interested in the ships.  It may bifurcate - ever larger ships primarily offering shipboard experience - with private island stops to replace tradional ports which no longer accept them,  and smaller ships actually designed for people who want to experience the ports.

After two weeks in Caribbean, I would have been perfectly happy with spending all my time on the private island. We go to the Caribbean in the winter for sun and warm weather and sorry, just aren't interested in the ports and excursions. 

 

Also, after four experiences on mega ships on different cruise lines, we will definitely be looking at smaller ships (2,000 or less.)  Any day with inclement weather is really uncomfortable on the big ships. The cruise lines doubled the decks and  cabins and increased the public areas by a much smaller margin.

 

  I was recently on the old NCL Spirit before its refit and thought it to be the perfect ship for adults- no kids' programs, slides, or arcades. I would love to go on it after the redo!

Edited by Markanddonna
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  • CCHelp changed the title to CoronaVirus Impact on the Cruise Industry

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