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CoronaVirus Impact on the Cruise Industry


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The reality is that more and more ports are going to say no to the mega ships due to lack of infrastructure. And local mayors etc that need to get re-elected. The neatest places to stop are also often unable to take on huge numbers of people at one time. The coronavirus is just one more complication for the mega ships. I don't see long term this virus changing that trend, access will and the interests of cruisers will ultimately make the choice.

 

The industry is already creating two paths because of how things are priced. The big ships tend to nickel and dime passengers once they are on board with having additional fees for excursions, bar etc. that are generally included in a higher daily cost on smaller all-inclusive ships. The only way to escape these fees is by being a return cruiser. The structure of what is free on a big ship - the dining choices and fancy water environments and deck parties - tends to encourage people to stay on board. In contrast, on smaller ships that get a crowd who wants to go out and see things, excursions are included. As to drinks, unless you cannot get through the day without hard liquor the river cruisers provide plenty of lubrication from beer and wine at meals and other gatherings. I have done two all-inclusive river cruises and the only thing that was not included was a massage the first time and at most 5 bucks a day for tips for guides and drivers. Usually less. In the last couple of years the company I travel with has also added some mixed drinks for free an hour ahead of dinner, though I found drinking one of them tended to get in the way of the better wine that was available with dinner.

 

In contrast to the 24 hour party fostered by the big ships, it is a very quiet time on a river cruiser if you decide to stay on the ship rather than do a tour on a given day. There may only be a handful of people on the ship and it becomes a time for reading or other recovery needed for the next day's excursion. Or maybe a walk into the town to check out shops, without doing the group tour. River cruisers typically dock adjacent to downtown areas, unlike the big ships, so you can choose to just walk into town.

 

These differences can get a much different crowd. If traveling with really young kids that need to get tired out, the more sedate pace of a river cruiser may not be a great fit. Plus the proximity to town makes for a much easier escape from the parents than being out in the harbor, even with someone manning the desk. Young kids can be remarkably fast. But for those like me who are there to experience places I have not been to a learn something, the big ships have less appeal than a trip to the dentist. My only exception might be something like the TCM theme cruise, where the on board stuff is what I want to see more than a port call.

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One thing to remember is that after a while, people experience 'crisis fatigue', and eventually they really just want things to get back to normal. 

 

I think too many middle-class folks like cruising for it to permanently crash, and the ports like the money and jobs too much to make drastic long term changes.

 

Just spitballing though. 

Edited by AlyssaJames
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37 minutes ago, AlyssaJames said:

One thing to remember is that after a while, people experience 'crisis fatigue', and eventually they really just want things to get back to normal. 

 

I think too many middle-class folks like cruising for it to permanently crash, and the ports like the money and jobs too much to make drastic long term changes.

 

Just spitballing though. 

 

I do wonder some if the virus can't be contained and does spread world wide, will we "return to normal" because there is no longer a need for quarantines if it has spread that much?

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1 minute ago, pacruise804 said:

I do wonder some if the virus can't be contained and does spread world wide, will we "return to normal" because there is no longer a need for quarantines if it has spread that much?

 

I'm about 50/50 each day on thinking that, yes, that's exactly what's going to happen. If it does, though, I also expect antivirals and vaccines to be rushed through at lightning speed, and for the mortality rate to decrease. (It's already decreasing, as is the daily 'death' rate. I know it seems counter intuitive because of Italy, but that's what the stats tell us right now.)
 

Not a medical professional of any sort. 

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50 minutes ago, pacruise804 said:

 

I do wonder some if the virus can't be contained and does spread world wide, will we "return to normal" because there is no longer a need for quarantines if it has spread that much?

My thought on the is not a good one. I feel that with more people ill, higher mortality results, business' reduce or for some stop production, transportation is curtailed, commerce grinds down and stocks crash, No. Things would not return to normal.

 

Edited by JMorris271
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1 minute ago, JMorris271 said:

My thought on the is that with more people ill, higher mortality results


Why do you think there will be 'higher mortality results'? Right now the number of deaths per day is generally trending downwards. 

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6 minutes ago, AlyssaJames said:


Why do you think there will be 'higher mortality results'? Right now the number of deaths per day is generally trending downwards. 

The OP asked about returning to normal IF the virus could not be contained.

Edited by JMorris271
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2 minutes ago, JMorris271 said:

My thought on the is that with more people ill, higher mortality results, businesses stop production, transportation is curtailed, commerce grinds down and stocks crash, No. Things would not return to normal

I understand many of those things happening now while they are trying to control the spread.  My question is more if it can't be controlled.  If it spreads to most large populated areas, what makes this virus different than other viruses like flu, pneumonia, and common cold that don't cause total economic shut down.

 

I am not trying to minimize what others are going through now.  I also referred to "normal" in quotes as it will possibly be a new normal but not the crisis mode we seem to be discussing of closed borders.

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10 minutes ago, JMorris271 said:

The OP asked about returning to normal IF the virus could not be contained.

 

Right, but you seemed to be implying (and correct me if I'm wrong) that a higher mortality rate would cause industry/commerce to fail. Maybe I misunderstood why you expect those things to happen.

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I am also confused on the higher mortality rate.  I thought I've generally been seeing around 2% with the caveat that is from confirmed cases and there are likely many more unconfirmed cases where the patient recovers normally and would make the mortality rate lower.

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1 hour ago, pacruise804 said:

 

I do wonder some if the virus can't be contained and does spread world wide, will we "return to normal" because there is no longer a need for quarantines if it has spread that much?

I'd had the same thought. Thanks.

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1 hour ago, pacruise804 said:

 

I do wonder some if the virus can't be contained and does spread world wide, will we "return to normal" because there is no longer a need for quarantines if it has spread that much?

“Normal” is not carved in stone.  Until a decade or so ago the “normal” ship carried about 2,000 passengers.  With economies of scale being grabbed by the lines it became “normal” for an increasing portion of the cruising public to sail on ships carrying 4,000 or more passengers.  It is quite possible that, along with a growing distaste for being inundated by thousands of budget-minded cruisers, reluctance to incur risk of spreading infection may inspire more and more ports to refuse entry to such mega-ships.  Such large ships (in a sense destinations in themselves)  may be just seagoing all-inclusive resorts with perhaps occasional stops at private islands — with the result that typical “normal” cruise ships will carry up to 2,000 passengers.

 

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On 2/24/2020 at 5:21 PM, KnowTheScore said:

 

 

Hi Hank

 

I'm relatively new here so don't understand who you are referring to when you say "We think it's time to start a macro topic"

Could you elucidate please.

 

Aside from that yes I totally agree that the COVID-19 situation is going to devastate the cruising industry and likely a number other industries and businesses related to both travel and holiday provision.  I personally think at this time that the cruise industry is staying pretty quiet and has been hoping to play the entire thing down when it knows patently that lots of cruises are going to be compromised either by having COVID-19 on-board or by having people with cold/flu on-board and thus having to see ports refuse entry until people can be tested and cleared.

 

I've outlined in another thread the true heart of the problem.

 

The problem is NOT with the virus.  The problem is NOT with people overly worrying about contracting the virus (as they will surely get it on land soon enough anyway as it spreads).

 

The problem is solely and 100% the imposed medical protocols and quarantining powers of the authorities that are currently associated with this specific virus.

 

We know already that compared to Flu, this virus is utter child's play.  Flu kills 100s of 1000s of people every year.

 

The CRUCIAL difference is that when we get Flu, whether on land or at sea, the authorities are not required to suddenly go to Def Con 4 and march in with hazmat suits and lock everyone in their cabins for 2 weeks or alternatively march people off the ship to some foreign containment or FEMA style camp.

 

THAT is the problem with COVID-19.  It is how it is being treated by the CDC and WHO and thus the desperate nightmare scenarios that are FORCED on travelling passengers as a result.

 

I personally feel I know exactly why they are doing this and making such a big deal of it but that's another story (let's just say vaccine sales and leave it there !)

 

Meanwhile this authoritative 1984 style dystopian approach to the virus WILL absolutely cripple and devastate the industry and will continue to do so pretty much indefinitely unless and until they change their approach.

 

It's crazy that whilst Flu kills 100s of 1000s of people a year that they don't take the same quarantine measures when someone on a ship gets Flu.  Thereby imho can we tell the true reason they are making such a huge issue of COVID-19 (did I mention vaccine sales?!).   If Flu kills vastly more people than COVID-19 then surely when someone gets Flu on a ship they should equally be quarantining the victim and quarantining the rest of the passengers in their cabin for the duration just as they are for COVID-19.

 

But they aren't.

 

So the cruise industry has an enormous problem and could feasibly be held totally to ransom by the CDC and WHO.

 

The ONLY WAY that the industry will be able to effectively operate going forward is if the CDC and WHO relax this astonishing response protocol to someone coming down with the virus.   They are going to have to allow cruise lines to simply quarantine and/or remove an infected passenger whilst allowing everyone else to get on with their holiday.   Just as with cases of Flu, cruise passengers are going to have to be allowed to take their chances on the ship and exercise their own personal hygiene standards and avoid sneezing and coughing passengers.

 

The situation is even more demanding than this though.  In order to quarantine a victim of COVID-19 you are going to need to determine if they have it, rather than just having basic cold/Flu/ILI symptoms.   As there is up to a 14 days incubation period with COVIS-19 you have a dilemma.   If the cruise staff see a person sneezing and coughing with those basic cold/Flu symptoms should they take them away immediately and quarantine them and begin testing for COVID-19 or should they let them simply carry on and see if they become so badly infected that they need real medical support down below?

 

We know that with Norovirus we immediately quarantine the victim in cabin for 48-72 hrs no question.

 

It seems likely then then that cruise lines will have to immediately quarantine anyone with cold/Flu symptoms in a similar way as a precaution in case they actually have COVID-19.   Given the plethora of people with colds/Flu/ILIs on ships such a protocol would see countless people confined to cabins and that's not going to go down well.

 

And even that is not the end of the dilemma, no the hits just keep a-coming.

 

Once you have people with cold/Flu/ILI symptoms confined in cabins you are then duty bound to inform any port you are due to visit about that and then you are at the mercy of that port authority as to whether ANYONE on the ship is going to be allowed to disembark.  If there is even the potential that one or more passengers might have COVID-19 then they may well refuse permissions simply to protect the local area and rest of the country.

 

What that equates to is that cruise lines can no longer realistically offer or guarantee any specific cruise experience.

 

I realise that even now an element of that exists.  There is always the possibility that a port might be missed for a variety of reasons but those are usually either freak weather conditions or some technical problem or if the ship has an inordinate amount of sick passengers on-board with something like Norovirus.  Everyone who cruises accepts that risk because the practical reality is that it is a small risk.  It happens but not that often.

 

Now if you are going to start quarantining people any and every time they get the sniffles then it tends to follow for me that lots of ports are going to be missed unless and until you can convince every country, every port on your itinerary that they shoulder the risks of letting passengers off when there is the possibility of someone having COVID-19 but who has not yet completed testing.   So this will require international co-operation.  It's mutually beneficial for ports and cruise lines to be co-operative because that's how they jointly make lots of money.  But there are political elements involved, the idea that a port puts everyone else in a local town or city at risk is unpalatable to many people so it might be difficult to achieve.

 

So where are we ?

 

To all practical intents and purposes the cruise industry is currently, imho, Daffy Ducked.

 

The threat of a Diamond Princess episode will keep customers away even if they don't think that they themselves will get the virus.   It's the chance that someone else will that is the issue and that will result in another Diamond Princess nightmare.

And if that IS going to happen I strongly submit it's going to happen via one of the crew because those people are on the ship for up to 9 months and getting on and off the ship all over the globe.   As the virus spreads the chances that a crew member will pick up COVID-19 ashore and bring it back aboard rises exponentially.  There is nothing a paying passenger can do about that problem.

 

So in summary:

 

1. For the cruise industry to survive this situation at all it 100% MUST NOT react to an on-board virus case in the way that the Diamond Princess did.  If CDC/WHO protocols demand that kind of response, then it is game over for cruising.

 

2.  Cruise lines are going to have to let passengers take their chances just as they do now with Flu or Norovirus on-board

 

3.  Ports across the globe likewise are going to have to allow passengers to disembark and all the locals likewise will have to just take their chances as they also do now with Flu.

 

4.  In addition, thus far unmentioned, the travel insurance companies are also going to have to play ball

 

 

I hope some of that makes sense.  Sorry for the long post but it's a complex situation.

 

KTS

 

 

 

'regular' seasonal flu reacts well to treatment of   anti-viral medications but it seems the experts have yet to announce they have an effective med to use for treatment of

 

 

 

corona virus other than comfort measures

 

 

 

Edited by sail7seas
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7 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

“Normal” is not carved in stone.  Until a decade or so ago the “normal” ship carried about 2,000 passengers.  With economies of scale being grabbed by the lines it became “normal” for an increasing portion of the cruising public to sail on ships carrying 4,000 or more passengers.  It is quite possible that, along with a growing distaste for being inundated by thousands of budget-minded cruisers, reluctance to incur risk of spreading infection may inspire more and more ports to refuse entry to such mega-ships.  Such large ships (in a sense destinations in themselves)  may be just seagoing all-inclusive resorts with perhaps occasional stops at private islands — with the result that typical “normal” cruise ships will carry up to 2,000 passengers.

 

 

Not to get too off topic, but without stopping at a private island is this feasible under current regulations?  I thought cruises to nowhere weren't legal/permitted anymore.

 

I actually don't think the CTN if large ships are destined to stick around are a bad idea.  I suspect they would still remain semi-inclusive resorts rather than all-inclusive.

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Just now, pacruise804 said:

 

Not to get too off topic, but without stopping at a private island is this feasible under current regulations?  I thought cruises to nowhere weren't legal/permitted anymore.

 

...

That’s why I mentioned stops at private islands.

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Just now, navybankerteacher said:

That’s why I mentioned stops at private islands.

 

Thank you, I should have been more clear.  Are there private islands within stopping distance for all the larger ships?  I know there are several in the Caribbean/Bahamas, but wasn't sure about other itineraries (and assumed large ships sailed other itineraries 😉 ).

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6 minutes ago, pacruise804 said:

 

Thank you, I should have been more clear.  Are there private islands within stopping distance for all the larger ships?  I know there are several in the Caribbean/Bahamas, but wasn't sure about other itineraries (and assumed large ships sailed other itineraries 😉 ).

Good point.  I do not think there are any in the Mediterranean - where there are likely to be more and more ports refusing entry to mega-ships.  I 

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13 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

Aside from common sense crowd control, ports are likely to start recognizing that 4,000 passengers coming off a budget ship are unlikely to contribute much more to the local economy than 500 passengers coming off a higher end luxury ship— while doing much more damage.

Superb point. We were on an escorted land trip and the streets were mobbed to the point that we left our group.  Went up enough back streets to find a locals place for a glass of wine. Then a very nice place - with a view - for a superb lunch. And not large groups. Our purchases were 'nice' food products like local olive oil.

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Impact To Cruise Industry

 

In the space of just 1 month the Carnival (CCL) share price plummeted from £37 down to £31 (mid Jan to mid Feb)

 

In the past week it has now dropped down to £26

 

That's about a 30% drop in the share price

 

Royal Caribbean shares were approx. $135 on Jan 20th

 

Now they are about $96

 

Again just short of a 30% drop

 

I'd say that was significant impact to the industry and I don't think we're anywhere near the end of the impact at this stage.

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22 minutes ago, KnowTheScore said:

Impact To Cruise Industry

 

In the space of just 1 month the Carnival (CCL) share price plummeted from £37 down to £31 (mid Jan to mid Feb)

 

In the past week it has now dropped down to £26

 

That's about a 30% drop in the share price

 

Royal Caribbean shares were approx. $135 on Jan 20th

 

Now they are about $96

 

Again just short of a 30% drop

 

I'd say that was significant impact to the industry and I don't think we're anywhere near the end of the impact at this stage.

 

That is short term panic. That has heppend before. In 2001 Royal Caribbean shares dropped from about $45 before 9/11 to  $9 a share in October 2001. ( I wish I had bought at $9) Cruise stocks tend to have wide swings. What we see now is nothing. Reading the forums it seems lots of CC members are still talking about booking cruises despite all this current  bad news,

Edited by Charles4515
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Serious question, since this seems to have gotten a lot broader... is there much chance of finding a parallel situation to this one?  The sheer number of people who are cruising, and the variety among those who are, is likely much, much bigger than the last time the world saw a disease that looked like it would escape containment. 

 

Many people on this board like myself currently have cruises booked and soon. It is harder to predict is how many people who would otherwise take an impulse sale later this year will not do so. But that might be the worst of it. 

 

Someone above said that the world is full of viruses. Ultimately this new virus will have to be just another virus requiring some diligence and habits. The cow has already left the barn and gone thru the fence. 

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9 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

It may bifurcate - ever larger ships primarily offering shipboard experience - with private island stops to replace tradional ports which no longer accept them,  

 

A private island will at least make a good place to quarantine in case of epidemic. 

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I've been watching all of the different levels of reaction to the current outbreak and situations across the cruise industry on these boards and have remained relatively quiet. In a prior career, one of the companies we partnered with was Virox Technologies, the makers of Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide, AHP for short. AHP has been the standard for disinfection on cruise ships and airlines for many years and when used correctly by the disinfection protocol, kills most types of bacteria and viruses including Coronavirus. I'm happy to see that once again, they are being seen as a solution for the disinfection of the Princess ship in Japan. This is the same product that helped knock down the SARS Coronavirus in Canada several years ago. We are sailing on the NCL Encore ourselves in a few weeks and knowing the protocols in place and their products being used in the industry gives me more confidence to sail. I'll attach the link to an article discussing the disinfection process they are using to clean up some of the infected ships. It also discusses briefly some other disinfection details.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/2020/02/24/cruises-know-how-clean-after-an-illness-outbreak-what-does-coronavirus-cleanup-look-like/?hss_channel=lcp-1070743&utm_content=118526340&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin

126a68fc56bc0a783255d34759758486.jpg

 

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

 

 

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  • CCHelp changed the title to CoronaVirus Impact on the Cruise Industry

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