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SS/RCCL Finances: Improving, Options, Questions??!!


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For many of us waiting weeks and weeks for refunds from cancelled cruises, we have watched and worried about the longer-term financial health/stability of the three major cruise lines.  These cruise lines are heavy with debt and major future capital/operating obligations.  

 

From the respected Barron's business publication associated with the Wall Street Journal, they had yesterday this interesting headline: Royal Caribbean Is the Best in Class and Its Stock Is a Buy, Say Analysts” with these story highlights: “Royal Caribbean Cruises is in the best position among its peers to 'navigate through this unprecedented operating environment,' concludes Stifel research.  The coronavirus pandemic has hit the cruise operators as hard, if not harder, than just about any industry save for hotels, restaurants, and airlines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this month extended its No Sail Order , possibly into mid-July.  Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean and the other two large publicly traded U.S. cruise companies— Carnival  and Norwegian Cruise Line—are burning through millions of dollars of cash as their ships sit idle.”  This report yesterday helped push up the value of the RCL stock from about $34 to $37.  Since Jan. 17, 2020, RCL stock has gone down $135 a share to as low as $22 a month ago,

 

Among the other key Barron's story highlights: "The Stifel analysts rate Royal Caribbean stock at Buy. They maintain that the company is in the best shape in terms of liquidity, with the ability to keep things going for about 10 months. Bloomberg reported that Royal Caribbean is looking to raise more capital.  A Wells Fargo research report Thursday notes that any additional capital raise would likely be limited secured bonds or convertible bonds. 'We continue to view RCL as best in class and needing the least amount of capital, within an industry that admittedly will likely see an elongated recovery to pre-Covid-19 levels,'  according to Timothy Conder of Wells Fargo. The Stifel analysts maintain that Royal Caribbean is best positioned when cruising does resume, partly owing to its 'brand quality.'   The company’s Silversea brand, which caters to ultraluxury customers who tend to skew older, may have a challenging time initially, they observe. But that brand accounts for less than 2% of Royal Caribbean’s capacity, they note."

 

This info is somewhat encouraging for those debating whether to take future cruise credits (FCC) or grab the promise of cash being returned in one to two months.   But, if planning 2021 cruises, how much do you pay down now and how well do you have your risks covered from a worst-case financial situation affecting the cruise lines?  There are two large variables/questions: How long does the shut-down take before resuming service?  AND, how quickly will the cruise customers (many older and more vulnerable to health risks) re-gain confidence and be willing to travel on tightly-pack airlines and cruise ships filled with a diverse, international groups of passengers and staff?  Am I missing anything major or being unfair with this background and questions?

 

Full story at:

https://www.barrons.com/articles/royal-caribbean-is-the-best-in-class-and-its-stock-is-a-buy-51587653461?adobe_mc=MCMID%3D20035585715925339982782966094942319618|MCORGID%3DCB68E4BA55144CAA0A4C98A5%40AdobeOrg|TS%3D1587658128

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

 

AFRICA?!!?: Fun, interesting visuals, plus travel details from this early 2016 live/blog. At 49,228 views. Featuring Cape Town, South Africa’s coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2310337

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It seems to be a pretty simple issue for me.  We have no control over the future financial stability and strength of RCCL (and Silversea) except by our decision whether to book a future sailing with them.  So I don't concern myself with whether they will sail in the future because I have no control over that.  I only consider whether my wife and I want to sail in the future.

 

I for one decided a few weeks ago to book our first Silversea cruise for a November sailing based in part upon recommendations of friends who are regular Silversea passengers.  I also wanted to use our stimulus check to actually stimulate the economy!  So far, Silversea has impressed me.  I have also opined elsewhere that I believe Silversea, with its smaller ships, higher space to passenger ratio and higher crew to passenger ratio, is well positioned to effectively implement safety, health and sanitation protocols when sailing resumes.  It also appears to me from anecdotal information (as I have not yet sailed on Silversea) that there is little to no "crowding" or congestion on Silversea ships and therefore the ability to maintain distance from others while still enjoying their company is better than on the larger more populated cruise ships.  So while perhaps the demographics on Silversea are of an older population, the ability to manage risk would appear to be better.  Of course, that is all just my opinion.  But I am optimistic about the future.

 

As far as booking future cruises, just pay by credit card and purchase travel insurance at the time of initial booking.  Between the supplier default/insolvency coverage of the travel insurance and the ability to dispute and chargeback a credit card purchase up to 540 days from the transaction date when services aren't provided as agreed, passengers should have more than adequate protection in the event RCCL and Silversea becomes insolvent. 

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3 hours ago, alexandria said:

It seems to be a pretty simple issue for me.  We have no control over the future financial stability and strength of RCCL (and Silversea) except by our decision whether to book a future sailing with them.  So I don't concern myself with whether they will sail in the future because I have no control over that.  I only consider whether my wife and I want to sail in the future.

 

I for one decided a few weeks ago to book our first Silversea cruise for a November sailing based in part upon recommendations of friends who are regular Silversea passengers.  I also wanted to use our stimulus check to actually stimulate the economy!  So far, Silversea has impressed me.  I have also opined elsewhere that I believe Silversea, with its smaller ships, higher space to passenger ratio and higher crew to passenger ratio, is well positioned to effectively implement safety, health and sanitation protocols when sailing resumes.  It also appears to me from anecdotal information (as I have not yet sailed on Silversea) that there is little to no "crowding" or congestion on Silversea ships and therefore the ability to maintain distance from others while still enjoying their company is better than on the larger more populated cruise ships.  So while perhaps the demographics on Silversea are of an older population, the ability to manage risk would appear to be better.  Of course, that is all just my opinion.  But I am optimistic about the future.

 

As far as booking future cruises, just pay by credit card and purchase travel insurance at the time of initial booking.  Between the supplier default/insolvency coverage of the travel insurance and the ability to dispute and chargeback a credit card purchase up to 540 days from the transaction date when services aren't provided as agreed, passengers should have more than adequate protection in the event RCCL and Silversea becomes insolvent. 

Your last paragraph was exactly what I needed to hear. I feel better about booking for September 2021. Thank you for the insight. 

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A caveat to my earlier post.  While both Mastercard and VISA provide extended protections for services not performed, I am unaware of whether AMEX or Discover (or any other credit card) provides those protections.  Here are the relevant provisions from Mastercard and VISA:

 

(Mastercard Chargeback Guide, beginning at page 49:  https://www.mastercard.us/content/dam/mccom/en-us/documents/rules/chargeback-guide.pdf)

(Visa Chargeback Guide, beginning at page 687:  https://usa.visa.com/dam/VCOM/download/about-visa/visa-rules-public.pdf)

 

Essentially, those policies provide that a dispute timeline can be based on one of two start dates. Either the dispute must be processed within 120 calendar days of the transaction processing date OR within 120 calendar days of the last date the customer expected to receive the goods or services (but not to exceed 540 days of the original transaction processing date). 

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I consider myself a fairly dedicated SS cruiser, but there is no way I would be giving SS, or anyone else in the cruise industry my money right now or even in the foreseeable future.

Cruise ships may not freely sail and visit ports for another 5 years or more, there is no way to tell.

I opine that the industry will functionally collapse and that a quite different model will evolve, offering endless sea days, with bars pools and bingo as the primary attraction. Port visits other than the origin will likely be non existent.

 

The Covid 19 pandemic remains a fox loose in the hen house and there is absolutely no science that suggests a return to the previous" laissefaire" world of International travel at any predictable time. There are conceptual estimates based upon previous pandemics, but pandemics are all unique and, to that end, completely unpredictable.

We  cannot reliably test for it, we cannot reliably treat it and we cannot vaccinate against it.. we really are just hens facing the fox.

Some countries may functionally eradicate the disease (au/Nz/Greenland)and some isolated areas (the beautiful places we all want to visit) will also remain disease free.  To maintain their "clean"  status , they will have to introduce draconian ingress and egress regulation including long periods of funded quarantine.

Now there will be many who will disagree with my post, but wishin' and hopin' will not turn the fox away.

Science will eventually provide some tools but it is going to take a long time.

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As you know tgh I am not nearly as pessimistic as you.We will learn to live with this virus as shutting down the economy for a year or more will cause much more harm than the virus and more deaths as well.

I am thinking though that cruising probably won't be returning until 2021.

 

The problems though are firstly how many countries will have closed borders.Here in Australia we will likely open up travel between australia and New Zealand this year.possibly even a cruise or 2.But extremely likely any one coming from elsewhere will still have to undergo 14 days of mandatory quarantine.basically meaning the only inbound tourism will be Kiwis.

 

Secondly it will be how many ports will allow cruise ships to dock.There is a lot of bitterness to the cruise industry in many places.

 

Certainly though if cruising does restart and Silversea has an itinerary that interest us we will be on it.Silversea from my perspective has done well handling this crisis.The Silver Shadow had 1 case and no more.

the Silver Explorer had 6 cases.7 developed symptoms after leaving the ship-4 of those were in South Australia.

compare that though to an Australian Expedition ship-

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/greg-mortimer-australians-on-coronavirus-hit-cruise-set-for-easter-homecoming-after-weeks-at-sea

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-31/aussies-stranded-worried-they-will-be-forgotten-amid-coronavirus/12105048

 

So repatriated 19 days after being put into isolation and over 60% of passengers and crew infected.As well this ship departed for the cruise the day the Silver Explorer was barred from entering a Chilean port and 2 days after cruise lines announced a 30 day cessation of cruising.

 

 

But Silversea passengers and crew were able to travel home within days unlike the case with some other lines.In Australia our authorities and Princess cruises stuffed up big time allowing all passengers from the Ruby Princess to disembark in Sydney on March 19th.It was not until April 23 that some of the crew went home on a charter flight.The ship then left Australia but still with many non essential crew on board.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/apr/23/ruby-princess-crew-fear-for-their-health-as-ship-leaves-australia

 

That ship is responsible for at least 10% of Australia's cases and a quarter of our deaths.It was also a Ruby Princess passenger who died in one of our Tasmanian hospitals ended up causing over 100 cases at the hospital and so the hospital was closed.I am currently working at the nearest hospital to that - 140 Km away - so we have been extremely busy with nearly a doubling of medical patients in the last 2 weeks.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-25/north-west-tasmania-coronavirus-outbreak-warning-for-nation/12181256

 

All up cruise passengers have ended up being responsible for a third of all Australia cases hence why many Australian's don't want cruising to restart.

Edited by drron29
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Interesting to read two differing perspectives from Australia.  So if I may be so bold, let me ask this.  Oceania is high up on this American's bucket list of places we want to see some day, preferably by a SS cruise, but perhaps some other way i.e. a direct flight and air bnb.  Your countries (Aus and NZ) seem remarkable in so many ways.  When will we be welcome to visit?  Or would you wish that we stay away?

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Interesting posts tgh and drron29,

 

 

The issue I find so interesting, sometimes in an odd and somewhat worrying way is how little of the discourse I read from ordinary simple folk like me is the lack of understanding that governments and authorities are interested in populations and economies and aren't unduly concerned about any particular individual's death. Bluntly, what may be good for the country or an economy may not be good for a particular individual, and in the end it is for individuals to make judgements about what is good for them and those that matter to them.  It seems to me that many do not seem to grasp this.

 

At the same time as those things, it seems to me also that a failing of human nature that we often unconsciously place more weight on opinions that agree with us but more dangerously tell us what we want to hear and reassure us, but less weight on stuff that inconveniently would point us in a direction we do not really want to take. Clever people listen carefully to contrary and unattractive opinion. Two people with totally opposing opinions on a topic can read the same article and be content that the article confirms their point of view even though opposites. Also people that are truly blessed are those that are older and have a sense of intuition with a good track record on which they place almost entirely their trust even when their intuition is at odds with arguable logic. Intuition and instinct is one of the least under appreciated and developed senses. But only for those that have one that on the whole has does them good.  Ignoring nagging doubt is often a bad thing.

 

It is also interesting that many people's enjoyment of their travels starts when they book it. So not having any bookings means that they have nothing to look forward to and keep them going. People want to book things and the FCC for example harnesses that driver. It might not be necessary to book things now but I guess that some feel that they will not have anything to look forward to unless they make that booking NOW! 

 

Anyway, as usual, I ramble. 🙂

 

Safe times all.

 

Jeff

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, tgh said:

I consider myself a fairly dedicated SS cruiser, but there is no way I would be giving SS, or anyone else in the cruise industry my money right now or even in the foreseeable future.

Cruise ships may not freely sail and visit ports for another 5 years or more, there is no way to tell.

I opine that the industry will functionally collapse and that a quite different model will evolve, offering endless sea days, with bars pools and bingo as the primary attraction. Port visits other than the origin will likely be non existent.

 

The Covid 19 pandemic remains a fox loose in the hen house and there is absolutely no science that suggests a return to the previous" laissefaire" world of International travel at any predictable time. There are conceptual estimates based upon previous pandemics, but pandemics are all unique and, to that end, completely unpredictable.

We  cannot reliably test for it, we cannot reliably treat it and we cannot vaccinate against it.. we really are just hens facing the fox.

Some countries may functionally eradicate the disease (au/Nz/Greenland)and some isolated areas (the beautiful places we all want to visit) will also remain disease free.  To maintain their "clean"  status , they will have to introduce draconian ingress and egress regulation including long periods of funded quarantine.

Now there will be many who will disagree with my post, but wishin' and hopin' will not turn the fox away.

Science will eventually provide some tools but it is going to take a long time.

 

I agree 100 percent with all this, especially the cruises which won't go anywhere except sail out-and-back for varying durations.  I was hoping to return to Antarctica and South Georgia this year but now I know that my last cruise was my last cruise. 

Edited by Fletcher
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12 hours ago, QueSeraSera said:

Interesting to read two differing perspectives from Australia.  So if I may be so bold, let me ask this.  Oceania is high up on this American's bucket list of places we want to see some day, preferably by a SS cruise, but perhaps some other way i.e. a direct flight and air bnb.  Your countries (Aus and NZ) seem remarkable in so many ways.  When will we be welcome to visit?  Or would you wish that we stay away?

 

Appreciate the excellent range of varied comments, insights and follow-ups on this thread.  Nice spectrum of views from Australia, the UK, etc.  Everyone has added some very good perspectives.  Some more pessimistic. Other leaning positive and/or more hopeful.  Maybe??!!   For us, the idea of just "float on a boat" offerings would not be of interest.  We like the food and time on a ship, but our top, HIGHEST priority are focused around the itineraries and interesting ports.  

 

For QueSeraSera, YES, Australia and New Zealand are BOTH super wonderful.  Well worth exploring and enjoying!!  Even with a cruise, you need to do a combination of land and sailing. Before and after your sailing.  Do both!!  As detailed below in my 2014 live/blog, we did the spectacular Great Barrier Reef/Rainforest and Kangaroo Island before our cruise from Sydney.  Need to do flying around as Australia is so big and sprawling.  Earlier this year, we had a week plus to explore New Zealand's North Island.  In my view, just a cruise is not enough as the options are so many there.   

 

 

From Barron's (associated with the Wall Street Journal) yesterday, they had this headline: “Cruise Lines Are Burning Through Cash. Their Survival Depends on Luring Back Customers Post-Virus.” with these story highlights: “Anne Burkel, a 71-year-old retiree from Belleair Beach, Fla., is willing to go on a cruise even after the coronavirus pandemic fades. Just not the way the cruise operators need for their long-term success. 'My husband and I both feel the large ships are petri dishes,' she says. 'It probably will be a long time before we would ever go on a big ship again, if ever.'  For Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian —probably docked at least through mid-July by no-sail orders that are siphoning away millions of dollars each day—the Burkels’ view illustrates the long-term challenge that cruise companies face if they’re able to survive the cash crunch caused by the coronavirus crisis.”

 

Smaller ship will have some attractive appeal/advantage, if you can afford their generally higher cost.  That's an advantage for Silversea with their smaller size and nice style of service and positive passenger base. 

 

Here is some of the financial background from this Barron's article about the three major cruise companies:  "Meanwhile, analysts remain fairly upbeat on Norwegian and Royal Caribbean but less so on Carnival. About two-thirds of the ratings on Norwegian listed on Bloomberg, for example, are Buys. It’s about 60% for Royal Caribbean and roughly 20% for Carnival.  Many of their bonds have come under pressure, too. Royal Caribbean in early April was downgraded to BB, below investment grade, by S&P Global Ratings, and Norwegian earlier this month was lowered deeper into junk territory at BB-minus. Carnival has maintained its investment-grade rating, although it’s at the lowest rung, at BBB-minus.  The Big Three cruise companies aren’t sunk yet. Although they were shut out of federal virus-relief aid, they appear to have enough cash and borrowing capacity to survive into the autumn, or even longer in some cases, with no sailings. And customers are booking cruises for later this year and beyond. Meantime, they’re moving to conserve cash by cutting capital expenditure and looking to push out debt payments. The industry has also demonstrated resilience in past economic and public-relations crises, such as the 2001 recession and the deadly accident in 2012 when Carnival’s Costa Concordia ship ran aground." 

 

Full story at:

https://www.barrons.com/articles/cruise-lines-are-burning-through-cash-their-survival-depends-on-luring-back-customers-after-coronavirus-51587741331?adobe_mc=MCMID%3D10326912056629181020345459322407662032|MCORGID%3DCB68E4BA55144CAA0A4C98A5%40AdobeOrg|TS%3D1587749674

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Sydney to NZ/Auckland Adventure, live/blog 2014 sampling/details with many exciting visuals and key highlights.  On page 23, post #571, see a complete index for all of the pictures, postings.  Now at 229,743 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

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14 hours ago, drron29 said:

Here in Australia we will likely open up travel between australia and New Zealand this year.possibly even a cruise or 2.But extremely likely any one coming from elsewhere will still have to undergo 14 days of mandatory quarantine.basically meaning the only inbound tourism will be Kiwis. Secondly it will be how many ports will allow cruise ships to dock.There is a lot of bitterness to the cruise industry in many places.  All up cruise passengers have ended up being responsible for a third of all Australia cases hence why many Australian's don't want cruising to restart.

 

Appreciate these details and  background from the travel savvy Dr. Ron.  Did not fully realize the depth of the damage and impact caused in Australia by the mis-management from certain cruise ships.  Very sad and tragic!!  It's going to take some time for ALL of this to "heal", especially given that so many of the cruise ship customer base tends to be older.  In our state of Ohio, the death totals have been kept relatively low by smart/strong leadership starting in early March.  But, of the 690 virus-related deaths in our state, 48% are people age 80 and higher.  When looking at all of these deaths in our state of 11.7 million people, 75% were people age 70 or higher.  Those older are more vulnerable and have paid a heavy price. 

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise from Copenhagen, July 2010, to the top of Europe. Wonderful scenic visuals with key tips. Live/blog at 239,137

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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Some great information and input.   Lots of information and food for thought.  I talked....well actually exchanged text.......with a local travel agency friend over the past couple of days about this very general subject.  Granted it is only her and her agency’s point of view but they are very concerned about the whole leisure travel industry over the next year.   Their main concern is a potential second wave of the virus this coming fall and winter.   For them it could mean closing the business as their business travel has also virtually disappeared.   

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DrRon, appreciate you comments and perspective as always.

 

i am thinking the expedition ships could be among the first to resume as they can go places where there literally are no people.  On our Antarctica/ South Georgia cruise, we saw no other people (other than people on the ship) for almost 3 weeks.  Galapagos cruises could resume and just leave out the visits to the towns and tortoise sanctuary.  Most Arctic cruises could resume with a little modification to avoid towns.

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1 hour ago, Randyk47 said:

For them it could mean closing the business as their business travel has also virtually disappeared.  

 

Very true.  While I don't think many agencies and agents will tear down their shingle in the next 3 - 5 months, I do find those agencies who are touting they haven't laid anyone off a bit disingenuous when they aren't taking such action because they have a forgivable loan from the U.S. federal government.

Let's check back-in and see how many of those agencies haven't laid off, or filled empty positions, come late this summer or early fall if countries don't reopen to travel during said time frame and no further 8-week payroll loan guarantees are provided.

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3 hours ago, Randyk47 said:

For them it could mean closing the business as their business travel has also virtually disappeared.   

 

I think that one of the unintended but inevitable consequences of the current  complete shutdown of business travel will be that much of it will not return after the virus.  

 

Business people will have discovered that they can conduct most business via conferencing and all the sophisticated presentational and group meetings software tools now available will make many businesses realise how unnecessary and wasteful much of it is.

 

It wouldn’t surprise me if 30% of business travel never returns which will give airlines some new challenges because that is where their profit was. 

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2 hours ago, RachelG said:

i am thinking the expedition ships could be among the first to resume as they can go places where there literally are no people.  On our Antarctica/ South Georgia cruise, we saw no other people (other than people on the ship) for almost 3 weeks.  Galapagos cruises could resume and just leave out the visits to the towns and tortoise sanctuary.  Most Arctic cruises could resume with a little modification to avoid towns.

Unfortunately, Rachel, you will need to fly in and then fly out to somewhere like BA/Ushuaia and in the present climate you will never get to the ship.  

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16 minutes ago, Fletcher said:

Unfortunately, Rachel, you will need to fly in and then fly out to somewhere like BA/Ushuaia and in the present climate you will never get to the ship.  

Yes, that is the sticking point.  

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On 4/24/2020 at 4:24 PM, tgh said:

I consider myself a fairly dedicated SS cruiser, but there is no way I would be giving SS, or anyone else in the cruise industry my money right now or even in the foreseeable future.

 

It has been very much a one way street.   Cruise lines are happy to collect deposits for future cruises.  More worrisome is demanding full payments 90 days out for sailings very unlikely to happen.   Is any company paying out refunds?   I do not think so.

 

Just my opinion, the Baron's article is upside down.  I rate financial strength in this order.  CCL, RCL, NCL. 

 

Like Jeff writes, we tend to attach to opinions that validate  our own thoughts.   It baffles me that someone can feel better about a decision after reading a stranger's opinion on here.

 

But the line I like best is Fletcher's "but now I know that my last cruise  was my last cruise."    Over 1200 days aboard ships the past eight years, am thinking same.

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4 hours ago, saminina said:

Just my opinion, the Baron's article is upside down.  I rate financial strength in this order.  CCL, RCL, NCL. 

 

Like Jeff writes, we tend to attach to opinions that validate  our own thoughts.   It baffles me that someone can feel better about a decision after reading a stranger's opinion on here.

 

Thanks,

 

I'm not going to make a general comment about the motives and reliability of market comments or the article itself but as a case in point to "our point", it is interesting that not a single comment or concern regarding the single comment in the item about Silversea that jumps out .........  

 

"The company’s Silversea brand, which caters to ultraluxury customers who tend to skew older, may have a challenging time initially, they observe. But that brand accounts for less than 2% of Royal Caribbean’s capacity, they note."

 

So, if a disposal of assets were being considered to raise ESSENTIAL cash then (a) only a 2% loss of capacity of (b) older passengers less likely to be the group that will restart cruising first ie a slow restart whilst draining precious operating cash.   These two factors may or may not be a significant pointer when cash raising options are being considered by the parent company.  There might also be a market for some hugely enthusiastic funders of a restart of what SS use to be many years ago that many original cruisers mourn.

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19 hours ago, UKCruiseJeff said:

Business people will have discovered that they can conduct most business via conferencing and all the sophisticated presentational and group meetings software tools now available will make many businesses realise how unnecessary and wasteful much of it is.  It wouldn’t surprise me if 30% of business travel never returns which will give airlines some new challenges because that is where their profit was. 

 

Appreciate ALL of these varied comments and thoughtful follow-ups.  Of special interest is the above points about changing business travel and conferencing by UK Jeff.  YES, things will be changing and it will affect many cities that have depended on revenue/jobs from  conferences/conventions, inflated hotel rates, profitable airline traffic, dining, tourism, etc. Excellent insights from internationally savvy Jeff.  Keep it coming!!  Great sharing.  Education at all levels and work-related training will also see significant impacts as online and AI technology and usage increases/improves.  

 

From the Tourism Review news trade publication to come out tomorrow, they had this headline: “CRUISE LINES READY TO SET SAIL AFTER THE PANDEMIC – WITH CHANGES”. Here are some of their story highlights: “After the pandemic, the voyages will be different. Some experts even agree that COVID-19 might have changed the rules forever.  There is no set date for the industry to resume activities. Most believed that it would last one or two months, but for now, the large companies expect that operations will resume in June, although the decision solely depends on the governments of each country.  One immediate consequences is that trips will be shorter, mostly because the reopening of ports won’t be the same in all countries. It is likely that some European countries might happen to agree on dates, but Caribbean, ports may remain closed longer.”

 

For "Passenger Control", this article noted: "In the No Sail order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prohibiting cruise ship activity in the United States, it was specified that companies should implement new security measures to avoid the spread.  After the pandemic, cruise lines will carry out regular health checks on passengers, although coming up with methods to do it quickly while boarding and disembarking will be a challenge.  cruise lines will perhaps require travelers aged over 70 to show medical exams showing that they are COVID-19 free and in good health for the trip."

 

And about ship buffets, they shared: "Self-serve buffets will need more involvement from the crew than before, or maybe the popular custom could be suspended for the first months and replaced by traditional restaurant menus, as several hotels are doing. The only problem lies in the fact that this will represent costs for cruise ships as more personnel will be needed."

 

Full story at:

https://www.tourism-review.com/cruise-lines-plan-major-changes-news11501

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Amazon River-Caribbean 2015 adventure live/blog starting in Barbados. Many visuals from this amazing river and Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, San Juan, etc.).  Now at 66,208 views:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

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Here is the first of two interesting articles related to when and how do cruise lines start to return to "normal", their financial recovery, etc.  

 

From the Travel Section of the London/UK Telegraph two days ago, they had this headline: “The end of the buffet, and other ways cruises will change because of coronavirus ” with these highlights: “A cruise is one of travel’s most sociable experiences, but when that yardstick is two yards long, camaraderie is likely to be challenging.  When the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a recent ‘No Sail Order’ for cruise ships in US ports, the agency advised the need for far more robust rules before the industry could resume operations. Close scrutiny of the nine-page Order reveals several directives the industry must address.  The density of guests onboard a cruise ship is defined as the passenger space ratio – the higher the number, the greater the space per guest.  Nowhere will measures on minimising social contact be more imperative than cruise ship’s food and beverage outlets. Buffets have long been a magnet for cruisers throughout the day and night.  Buffets will no longer be self-service and the number of guests entering this area will also be strictly controlled.”

 

Here are more details outlined in the article: "Crew will also be positioned at the entrances and exits of every dining outlet to ensure mandatory hand sanitisation. Plus all touch-points will be disinfected by handheld electrostatic sprayers; these include ship’s handrails and lift call buttons.  Artisans of leisure will discover the sunloungers on deck spaced further apart, gala dinners a tad less convivial and Captain’s welcome parties have gone west; but each and every ship will be half full rather than half empty. "

 

Reactions?  Predictions?  Different views?

 

Full story at:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/cruises/articles/cruise-experience-post-coronavirus/

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

 

Lisbon, NWSpain, Bordeaux/Brittany: Live/blog, June 2017 from Portugal to France along scenic Atlantic Coast.  Now at 30,478 views.  Many interesting pictures, details for history, food, culture, etc.:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2511358

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We kind of assumed and understood that the U.S. government would not be bailing out the cruise lines.  But, from the Wall Street Journal this afternoon, they had this headline: “How Fed Intervention Saved Carnival” with this sub-head: "The cruise line asked hedge funds for cash before central-bank intervention reopened bond markets".

 

Here are some of their story details/highlights: “It was mid-March and the vultures were circling Carnival Corp. The company, forced to virtually shut down by the coronavirus outbreak, needed billions of dollars fast. With financial markets frozen, executives were forced to consider a high-interest loan from a band of hedge funds who called themselves “the consortium.”   That all changed on March 23 when the Federal Reserve defibrillated bond markets with an unprecedented lending program. Within days, Carnival’s investment bankers at JPMorgan Chase & Co. were talking to conventional investors about a deal. By April 1, the company had raised almost $6 billion in bond markets, paying rates far below those executives had discussed just days earlier.  The previously unreported tale of Carnival’s rescue shows how effective the Fed has been in turning the debt spigot back on for large corporations. Carnival may still founder if tourists shun cruises over the long term, and its new debt carries a far heftier price tag than previous offerings.”

 

This is a highly-detailed story that was first broken by this newspaper.  Their website has a paywall, but the arcitlce can be found at:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-fed-intervention-saved-carnival-11587920400

 

At the end, this story noted: "The idea of a cruise company raising so much new debt even as the pandemic worsened caught many by surprise. Nevertheless, fear of missing out attracted more investors. When Carnival officially sold a $4 billion bond on April 1, it had enough demand to cut the interest rate down to 11.5% and issue a $1.75 billion bond that could convert into stock."    In the end, that is a large amount of added debt at a fairly high interest rate.  Digging out is not going to be cheap for the cruise lines.  

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

From late 2018, see “Holy Lands, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Dubai, Greece, etc.”, with many visuals, details and ideas for the historic and scenic Middle East. Now at 18,206 views.  Connect at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2607054-livenautica-greece-holy-lands-egypt-dubai-terrypix’s/

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6 hours ago, zqtchas said:

I inquired about our moon trip and was told it was for new only. If rebooked would lose obc & early booking etc. it’s hard to buck the system. 


But, the price on that voyage is much, much higher now than when it was released for booking.  

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For those waiting on refunds and/or betting long-term on being able to use future cruise credits, the good news is that the Silversea parent of RCL still has a decent pile of cash, for now, on hand.  And the Wall Street folks are sending upward the stock values for the three main cruise ship owners.  The "money people" are "betting" that a recovery will happen and that their is hope ahead.  See the detailed charts below as of this morning.  Is Wall Street reading and guessing the cruising future correctly?  Only time will tell??!!  RCL hit its recent stock market low on March 18 at a value of $22.33. Now as of 10:30 am today, the stock of the Silversea owner is up to $47.00.  On Jan 17, 2020, RCCL was all of the way up to $135 a share.

 

From the MarketWatch.com website connected with the Wall Street Journal this morning, they had this headline: “Half of all Americans are canceling their summer vacations — what to expect in refunds from cruise lines, hotels and airlines” with these details highlights: Forty-eight percent of Americans have canceled summer travel plans because of the global coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey of 1,200 people from personal-finance website ValuePenguin . Comparatively, only 16% of people said they have not canceled their summer itineraries, while the remaining respondents had no travel planned for the warmer months.  Meanwhile, some 46% of people said they had lost money on nonrefundable travel expenses due to COVID-19-related cancellations. Those who cancelled plans lost more than $850 on average..

 

Here are more details from this story reported this am: "Not all travel providers are offering cash refunds — and even those that are will have limitations on who can receive them.  Many cruise lines are also offering refunds to travelers who have either canceled planned trips or who are unable to go on their vacation due to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s no-sail order, according to travel website Cruise Critic. Travelers could encounter difficulty getting refunds though if the trip was paid for using points or gift cards.  Book trips with the right credit card. Many credit cards offer travel protection as one of their perks — and that protection can come in handy in the current situation. Not all travel insurance policies will help. If you didn’t purchase your travel insurance before the coronavirus first cropped up, it likely won’t cover any losses from canceling a trip. The only exception are 'cancel for any reason' policies — but these are usually more expensive and can have their own exclusions."

 

Full story at:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/half-of-all-americans-are-canceling-their-summer-vacations-what-to-expect-in-refunds-from-cruise-lines-hotels-and-airlines-2020-04-30?adobe_mc=MCMID%3D01264689716718636342489400464648177494|MCORGID%3DCB68E4BA55144CAA0A4C98A5%40AdobeOrg|TS%3D1588254403

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

 

Completed last summer Calgary, Jasper/Banff National Parks, Western Canada Rocky Mountaineer rail adventure, Vancouver, sailing up to Alaska on the Silver Muse, post-cruise excursion to Denali, etc. Live/blog at: 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2682584-live-terryohio-silver-muse-alaska-canadarockies-pix’s/

 

From this morning's Wall Street Journal at roughly 9:45 am, below are the stock market positions and trends for the past week of the three main and largest cruise ship firms. During the past five days, there has a positive upswing in their market values.:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger/better!)

1766345636_ScreenShot2020-04-30at9_44_43AM.thumb.png.6b5279a23a39a167071aedd1434ba00e.png

1994973639_ScreenShot2020-04-30at9_46_30AM.thumb.png.1433eb2e0ed1c0b63fdd9def4b5ce19b.png

 

49546111_ScreenShot2020-04-30at9_45_56AM.thumb.png.a5c127a17dd7c8a4f4eb93829d275c01.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

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