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What was cruising like just after 9/11?


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We went on the Radiance OTS out of Seattle right after 9/11.  I have to say the cruise was one of our very best ones!  The thing that was un-nerving was being in our pre-cruise high-rise hotel in downtown Seattle in the flight path of SEA-TAC.  When we were in the hotel room on the 19th floor, every time a plane flew right toward us, it made me catch my breath.  We were in a corner suite and had glass walls on both sides so it really looked like the planes were coming right at us.  I almost freaked out a couple of times but our kids were with us and I didn't want to upset them.  
The only real changes we noticed for the cruise was an increase in security protocols which we appreciated.  Otherwise, the atmosphere seemed very positive and passengers seemed happy to be there.

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Wasn't just 9/11 was Anthrax scare right after in Oct also. Prices were down threw 2002. I Cruised 4 Cruises from Oct2001-May2002. Included was a 5nite for $9(plus $50tax) $59total and a 7 nite in Cat B for $799. This was total prices, no single supplement and still couldn't get ships Full, ship's sailed at 85% cabin occupancy(not passenger) on their newest/largest ships... One my Cruises ended in Dec2001 day of Shoe Bomber. Got to airport with Security already tight, took almost 4hrs me get to Gate, line was out the door as suddenly everyone had take off shoes. 

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We sailed out of Ft Lauderdale in Oct.  Ship could have  held 1200 passengers. Had about 500 to 600. They only used one level of dining room. To get to pier you drove thru armed guards, coast guard surrendered ship and escorted us out about 3 miles. Had to show all kinds of ID about 3 times. It was strange like our own 900 ft   ship. It was eerie. Had pool to yourself at times 

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36 minutes ago, ZoeyVictoria said:

There were no changes to the booking process, or onboard procedures, or entertainment and excursions?  How long did it take to get back to fully booked cruises?

 

I don't think you can compare cruising after 9/11 to how it will be after the COVID-19 virus. Totally different scenario with what has happened on ships and the current CDC No Sail order. Time will tell what new requirements there will be and how fast the cruise lines can comply. IMHO many will be hesitant to cruise due to the virus and what happened on some ships. 

Edited by suzyluvs2cruise
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1 minute ago, suzyluvs2cruise said:

 

I don't think you can compare cruising after 9/11 to how it will be after the COVID-19 virus. Totally different scenario with what has happened on ships and the current CDC order No Sail order. Time will tell what new requirements there will be and how fast the cruise lines can comply. IMHO many will be hesitant to cruise due to the virus and what happened on some ships. 


You are right, it is totally different.  I thought there might be some similarities or lessons learned, but I see now that is not the case.

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Sailed out of Cape Canaveral on Disney Magic shortly after 9/11. Coast Guard escorting us out to sea was armed with a browning 50 caliber deck gun, manned. Both reassuring and frightening at the same time.

 

 

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1 hour ago, bigrednole said:

Not sure about cruises, but we did Disney World for our Honeymoon. It was a ghost town two months later.

Agree, was there in Oct week of Anthrax scare hit Florida. No wait lines. Though was when they started seaching, EVERYTHING! Diaper Bags, Purses, even semi Frisked me under my coat. Had tables in Temp Tents, like with Airports didnt have any permanent area setup yet. The Happiest Place on Earth!

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13 minutes ago, jelliot4 said:

Sailed out of Cape Canaveral on Disney Magic shortly after 9/11. Coast Guard escorting us out to sea was armed with a browning 50 caliber deck gun, manned. Both reassuring and frightening at the same time.

 

 

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They still do that, not a 50 though, use M-60's. Port Everglades always has 2-3 boats around us... Road in a Shuttle Van from Hotel to Port Everglades 2yrs ago with couple Families from Sweden. They saw all dozens Police/Security in and around Port and they got really scared, thought was Terrorist attack. Told them was every day thing in US security armed with Semi-Auto Rifles

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On 4/20/2020 at 4:30 PM, suzyluvs2cruise said:

 

I don't think you can compare cruising after 9/11 to how it will be after the COVID-19 virus. Totally different scenario with what has happened on ships and the current CDC No Sail order. Time will tell what new requirements there will be and how fast the cruise lines can comply. IMHO many will be hesitant to cruise due to the virus and what happened on some ships. 

That's why its similar. After 9/11-Anthrax Scare ships sailed with many empty cabins, took almost yr before they filling up again. They were giving cabins away, took 5 Cruises from Sept2001-May2002. At most was 6-10 us Diamonds, this on the newest/largest ships. Even though they wont start back up for few months there is already deals to have. Last 4weeks have scored $3500 in reductions of upcoming Cruises, DBP on my Fall sailings going for $39 per, even the Soda plan being offered at $7.99 per for Fall Cruises, and there is never sale on that. We'll see if CV scare will keep Cruisers away or almost equally important how many the 70+ Dr release requirement effects

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We sailed the Enchantment is the Seas the 3rd week of September, 2001.  We were more concerned whether or not air travel was available or not.  Of course it opened up by then.  
 

The cruise seemed to be close to capacity.  I do remember RCCL offering incredible deals to stay on for another week.  7 day alternate Eastern and Western.  $300 for inside, $400 for ocean view, $500 and up for balcony/suites per person.  Would have definitely stayed for another week if I had the vacation.

 

Jason

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We were on Explorer of the Seas September 21, 2001, so very soon after.

 

Everyone was nervous beforehand, but once we were out to sea it was a wonderful cruise.  We were starved for information from home though.  I remember one person hearing someone else say something about Boston (it might have been something like he grew up there, but the person only heard the city's name) and they ran over and asked "Boston, what happened in Boston?"

 

The cruise was only half full.  People were afraid to fly.

Everyone was offered another week for only port fees and taxes.!

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On 4/20/2020 at 7:33 PM, ZoeyVictoria said:


You are right, it is totally different.  I thought there might be some similarities or lessons learned, but I see now that is not the case.

 
    Thank you!! You took a position ... then you learned otherwise as time went on ... and you changed that position. 👍


   It's astonishing ever week to see people continue posting about the chances for summer cruises. They dismissed COVID-19 as "just the flu" and they simply can't get past that entirely false concept.

 

     The sept 11 comparison is similar. As horrible as that time was, the actual damage was largely very limited in time. And it was a man-made threat that was defeated by things within our control - cooperative international intelligence, vastly improved security, financial tools used against terrorist organizations, etc.

 
      But a public health pandemic doesn't yield to political will, military strength, or

personal resolve.  And we are only at the very earliest phase of what shapes up as a years-long struggle with the coronavirus.

 

     It's going to reshape cruising so very, very much more than Sept. 11 did. 
     Post-Sept. 11 cruises had Coast Guard ships conspicuously nearby entering or leaving ports, and I recall more portside security (sometimes military) at the piers when we returned to the ship after a foreign port visit. Sharper screening at embarkation.  Ultimately, virtually no big-scale changes that the passengers saw.

 

    But this time, whatever remains of the cruise industry will have to re-engineer every bit of the passenger experience 

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On 4/20/2020 at 7:01 PM, ZoeyVictoria said:

There were no changes to the booking process, or onboard procedures, or entertainment and excursions?  How long did it take to get back to fully booked cruises?

Having lived in the heart of 9/11 ( I really have to get out of NY) The biggest fear for most was flying. Personally I never felt more safe. Everyone was on high alert and still is.  I never felt that cruising wasn't safe during this time period but having to fly to port probably stopped many from cruising. People still continued to work in Manhattan after the event. There was no shelter in place and everyone was encouraged to go on with their life. Covid 19 is far worse for NY. The death toll is even higher.

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Our first Royal cruise was in November 2001.  RCL gave special discounts or free cruises to those directly affected.  Our table mates were in the Pentagon that day.  While the cruise was very relaxing and exciting for us - for them they were very nervous and apprehensive over every little noise.  I can see most seasoned cruises being apprehensive in the coming months.   

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Sailed Nordic Empress,  Empress of the Seas, April 2002 on a repositioning from San Juan to NY.  Price was good if I remember correctly.   What was strange was that we were the first ship with passengers allowed back into NY, May 2002 (weren't using Bayonne yet).  They didn't know what to do with us.  They sent immigration officials to Bermuda,  last port, and gave us instructions on when to appear the last sea day.   Problem was that of the 4 they sent, 2 got seasick!   Then when we got into NY, they decided to xray all the bags getting off the ship.  It took more than a little bit of time.  No issues at any of the ports we visited. 

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We didn't start cruising until 2005, but even then they had signs on the back of the ships stating to stay away by so many feet. I think it was like 100 feet, but can't remember. I just remember the signs draped across the back. Even in 2005, they checked ID in EVERY port.  It took a few years for those to go away.

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9 hours ago, Iamcruzin said:

Having lived in the heart of 9/11 ( I really have to get out of NY) The biggest fear for most was flying. Personally I never felt more safe. Everyone was on high alert and still is.  I never felt that cruising wasn't safe during this time period but having to fly to port probably stopped many from cruising. People still continued to work in Manhattan after the event. There was no shelter in place and everyone was encouraged to go on with their life. Covid 19 is far worse for NY. The death toll is even higher.

We flew to New Orleans in March 2002 out of JFK. Security was so lax that I went to the airline customer service desk and told them there was more security at my local library than at their airline.

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That's why its similar. After 9/11-Anthrax Scare ships sailed with many empty cabins, took almost yr before they filling up again. They were giving cabins away, took 5 Cruises from Sept2001-May2002. At most was 6-10 us Diamonds, this on the newest/largest ships. Even though they wont start back up for few months there is already deals to have. Last 4weeks have scored $3500 in reductions of upcoming Cruises, DBP on my Fall sailings going for $39 per, even the Soda plan being offered at $7.99 per for Fall Cruises, and there is never sale on that. We'll see if CV scare will keep Cruisers away or almost equally important how many the 70+ Dr release requirement effects

I have 3 upcoming cruising September, November and December. So far I was able to upgrade to a balcony and save $670 on my September cruise and also was able to upgrade to a balcony and saved $68 on my November cruise. I keep checking daily, these were all booked about 18 months ago so the prices were already pretty impressive! If they continue to drop I will book a few more lol


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On 9/11, I was on board the S.S. Norway, about a day and a half out of Greenock, Scotland.  This was the Norway's last crossing:  A 16 nighter sailing from Miami to Southampton.  We had been docked in NY on 9/5.  It's hard to describe what we felt like when we got the news of the towers being attacked:  There we were, on the (then) largest cruise ship in the world, in the middle of a big ocean, not knowing what was going on.  When we reached Scotland, then Ireland, France and finally England, upon disembarking the ship the port crews grabbed us and hugged us and many tears were shed.  Our cruise ended on 9/17.  I didn't sail again till '03, so I really can't address the question of changes in cruising after 9/11.

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