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


TLCOhio
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36 minutes ago, les37b said:

 

Unfortunately that is very true. I hope they don't try to overwrite the previous T&C's I bought my current 3 bookings with. I trust the other CL I've started using don't play these games. There are already too many changes (Crazy price hikes, paying for excursions I don't want and home transfers I don't need) that ensures I have and will look elsewhere. The loss of EBB and this non refund policy has just broken my camels back.

 

I'm not sure this has been thought through, the impact it will make and where they think the replacement guests will come from to buy a pretty dire incentive less package that is (IMHO) not very competitive anymore and has just got less so. 

 

 

The final straw for us after 22 successive years of wonderful SS cruising?LES 37B...Hope SS do the right thing and abide by the original contract terms of your 3 bookings already made.Surely it would be against the Law to amend the T&C s at a later date!!

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1 minute ago, brimary said:

The final straw for us after 22 successive years of wonderful SS cruising?LES 37B...Hope SS do the right thing and abide by the original contract terms of your 3 bookings already made.Surely it would be against the Law to amend the T&C s at a later date!!

 

I genuinely think its a contract - but if changes were made (like a cancellation and rebook) then suspect I'm now part of any changes. Obviously the EBB and non refundable deposit shouldn't be an issue - unless I personally decide to end that re-booking and forfeit that money (?) It could of course affect any VS status bookings in the exchange.

 

It wont however affect any bookings after these 3 as I don't think there will be another without a SS rethink. I really can only imagine Silversea believes loyalty is a given and will go on regardless of practices they must know will alienate. C'est la vie.

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I don't want to get to far off topic but I've done numerous price comparisons of SS, Seabourn & Regent starting in 2023.  Once you take everything (airfare, excursions etc) into account SS is quite often the least expensive although marginally.  That analysis is based on taking all the excursions.   It is a nice feature of Regent not to owe anything at  the end of the cruise but its irrelevant to the decision making process.

 

The skeptic in me feels that the new SS "door to door" policy, which includes excursions, is a façade for getting every passenger to pay for every excursion.  In our future cruises I can see several occasions where we would prefer to explore on our own or get an independent tour guide.  I would imagine that for many frequent cruisers "included excursions"  could just be considered a price rise.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, RetiredandTravel said:

I would imagine that for many frequent cruisers "included excursions"  could just be considered a price rise.

 

I remember that was the howl and cry of loyal Regent customers back a decade ago when they were the first to make some excursions in every port "included." Since they never wavered or reversed direction, I assume that Regent management concluded that they pleased more customers than they displeased. And it appears SS has decided to follow suit in the race to see who can claim to be more all inclusive. 

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3 hours ago, RetiredandTravel said:

I would imagine that for many frequent cruisers "included excursions"  could just be considered a price rise.

It is certainly how we view the included excursions.  
 

And, now that we have the new P2P (port-to-port) program (on about 11% of the available voyages) in addition to the D2D (door-to-door) program, we can see what the true cost of the included transfers are.  For 2022, the cost of all the transfers in aggregate are generally between $1,200 - $1,700.  That’s just ridiculous.  

 

3 hours ago, RetiredandTravel said:

The skeptic in me feels that the new SS "door to door" policy, which includes excursions, is a façade for getting every passenger to pay for every excursion.


We have to remember that as passengers, while we are the target, we aren’t the primary constituent.  The sales distribution channel is.  Competing primarily in a three tier system, SS is trying to convince the 2nd tier to book their cruises over competitors.  So, by moving to this new D2D program, they effectively raise prices on the 3rd tier while dramatically increasing margins in order to pay more aggregate commissions to the 2nd tier.
 

The question yet to be answered is how much of the burden can (or will) SS’s third 3rd tier bear?  The line has gotten so far away from its original intent (ultra luxury sailing vs. yacht ownership) due to the addition of capacity, it’s forced the company to change it’s strategic direction and broaden its appeal to the aspirational luxury market.  So, how large is this aspirational market?  Stay tuned over the next decade and we’ll see.

 

35 minutes ago, cruiseej said:

I remember that was the howl and cry of loyal Regent customers back a decade ago when they were the first to make some excursions in every port "included." 

 

I think that is when we started seeing several Regent cruisers start to appear in this forum.  It wasn’t as if they were completely defecting from Regent, but rather supplementing their desire for a cruise only fare program (remember that back during the financial crisis?) by transitioning some dollars away from Regent.  For us, Regent’s all-inclusive program was why we never sailed the line to begin with.

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Since Dec. 1, 2021, the Royal Caribbean stock has moved up, UP from $64 a share to the current level of nearly $76 early this afternoon today. See the Wall Street Journal chart below to reflect this stock's movements during the past month.

 

Yes, Wall Street is feeling more confident that this new variant will not be a risky as originally guessed.  Right?

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

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21 hours ago, Stumblefoot said:

 

The question yet to be answered is how much of the burden can (or will) SS’s third 3rd tier bear?  The line has gotten so far away from its original intent (ultra luxury sailing vs. yacht ownership) due to the addition of capacity, it’s forced the company to change it’s strategic direction and broaden its appeal to the aspirational luxury market.  So, how large is this aspirational market?  Stay tuned over the next decade and we’ll see.

 

 

 

What you are implying is that most SS customers have historically chosen to sail SS vs buying their own yacht?  Perhaps a very few customers are in that strata, a very few more choose SS instead of chartering a yacht but let’s face it, most of the rest are aspirational luxury consumers.  

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3 hours ago, Gourmet Gal said:

What you are implying is that most SS customers have historically chosen to sail SS vs buying their own yacht?

No.  Only in the beginning (1990s).  This is why I said "original intent", because it referred to the time period of the beginning of the line with just two ships; Cloud and Wind.  I then noted how as capacity was added the strategic direction of the company changed.

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2 hours ago, Stumblefoot said:

No.  Only in the beginning (1990s).  This is why I said "original intent", because it referred to the time period of the beginning of the line with just two ships; Cloud and Wind.  I then noted how as capacity was added the strategic direction of the company changed.

Sounds like Econ 101 to me.

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Appreciate these above comments and follow-up about Econ 101.  Sadly, many never took that course in college.  Or?  Maybe forgot what should be remembered?  Congress and politicians cannot changes these "Laws" of Economics, Physics, etc.  They are THERE and must be considered as "reality" for many questions/factors in life, business, etc.  

 

Below are the charts for the cruise stocks during the past week.  As an example, Royal Caribbean started out early on Monday morning at $68.33 and finished up this afternoon at $75.50.  That's a jump of $7.17 in five days per share.  Or, up by 10.5%.  Nice upswing after the overly negative, initial reactions as the news of latest variant hit the news cycles.  Right?

 

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

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

 

 

From the Wall Street Journal late Friday afternoon, below are the charts reflecting the trends for the three major cruise lines during the most recent five trading days.  The movement?  Upward, significantly!:

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

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2 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

Econ 101.  Sadly, many never took that course in college.

 

Neither did I.  I had a choice of Econ 201, Sociology 201, or Political Science 201.  Needed two of the three.  Econ 201 lost out for a variety of reasons.  But, I think I have learned a good deal about economics since those years in college.  

 

2 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

 Nice upswing after the overly negative, initial reactions as the news of latest variant hit the news cycles

 

Yes.  But, what will a new week bring?   

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On 12/10/2021 at 7:59 PM, rkacruiser said:

I had a choice of Econ 201, Sociology 201, or Political Science 201.  Needed two of the three.  Econ 201 lost out for a variety of reasons.  But, I think I have learned a good deal about economics since those years in college.  Yes.  But, what will a new week bring?   

 

Great to see the comments and follow-up from our Ohio neighbor near Dayton.  Glad to know you have learned so much about economics since your college days.   Agree 100% about your excellent question as to what will this week bring as to how the stock market views the cruise line shares.    

 

From the Wall Street Journal below this morning at 10 am, you can see in the chart below for how Royal Caribbean stock moved sharply downward during the first half hour at the NY Stock Exchange today.  The other two major cruise lines were down by around a 5% level with these opening trades.  What does this mean?  Why?   Maybe driven by the announcement of the first death from the new variant in the UK? 

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

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From MSN News and the below connected website late this morning, they had this headline: Why Norwegian Cruise, Carnival Corporation, and Royal Caribbean Stocks Just Crashed with these highlights: It's Monday, cruise line stocks are down, and the reason -- as always -- is coronavirus.   Over the weekend, conflicting but generally negative stories about the new omicron variant of COVID-19 had a deleterious effect on the share prices of Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, and Carnival Corporation.  Oomicron is spreading across the country and around the world just as we feared it would. Dr. Anthony Fauci ran the Sunday morning talk show circuit over the weekend to encourage Americans to get 'optimally protected' by 'absolutely' getting booster shots. But even so, the president's chief medical advisor admitted that omicron seems able to evade immunization conferred by currently available COVID-19 vaccines. The UK just recorded its first death from omicron. And over in Israel, an early adopter of widespread vaccination, a study conducted by the Health Ministry's Central Virology Lab just concluded that even taking three injections of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine (i.e., getting fully vaccinated, plus getting a booster) leaves people four times more vulnerable to infection by omicron than they would have been to the delta variant of coronavirus.  Now, if you think that might spook travelers and potential cruise customers just a little bit, well, judging from today's share prices I'd say you're right about that.

 

At 12:17 pm today, Royal Caribbean was down 4.6% to $72 on the NY Stock Exchange per the Wall Street Journal.  BUT, both Carnival and Norwegin were down over 6%.  Why a sharper drop for those two lines versus RCL?

 

Full story at:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/why-norwegian-cruise-carnival-corporation-and-royal-caribbean-stocks-just-crashed/ar-AARLZub?ocid=BingNewsSearch

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

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7 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

Why Norwegian Cruise, Carnival Corporation, and Royal Caribbean Stocks Just Crashed with these highlights: It's Monday, cruise line stocks are down, and the reason -- as always -- is coronavirus.   Over the weekend, conflicting but generally negative stories about the new omicron variant of COVID-19 had a deleterious effect on the share prices of Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, and Carnival Corporation.

 

It is not just due to the virus.  The anticipated actions by the Fed is being "baked into the cake".  I believe.  

 

7 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

conflicting.......reports of COVID-19.....

 

When the new Administration began on January 20th, I expected the mixed messaging about this virus would end.  It continues.  That does not help to "calm the nerves" of many investors.  

 

Buy quality.  Buy companies in which one believes.  And, hold.  Consider adding to one's holdings when others are heading for the lifeboats.  

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On 12/13/2021 at 7:48 PM, rkacruiser said:

It is not just due to the virus.  The anticipated actions by the Fed is being "baked into the cake".  I believe.  When the new Administration began on January 20th, I expected the mixed messaging about this virus would end.  It continues.  That does not help to "calm the nerves" of many investors.  Buy quality.  Buy companies in which one believes.  And, hold.  Consider adding to one's holdings when others are heading for the lifeboats.  

 

Very good, as always, above comments and follow-up from our SW Ohio neighbor.  Below are this week's stock charts for the three major cruise lines.  Is "wild" a good summary description for the week??   Big, BIG drop in the middle of the week, but then a major upswing today when the overall market was down by a significant margin.  How to explain it all?  

 

From the Wall Street Journal this week, they had a company press release with this headline: “CARNIVAL TO PROVIDE FOURTH QUARTER 2021 BUSINESS UPDATE” and these highlights:Carnival Corporation has scheduled a conference call with analysts for Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, at 10 a.m. (EST); 3 p.m. (GMT) to provide a business update.   A simulcast of the call will be available via the company's websites at www.carnivalcorp.com and www.carnivalplc.com. Interested parties who wish to ask questions may participate by calling 415 226 5359 in the U.S., or 44 (0) 208 196 2145 in the U.K.

 

Will plan to listen on Monday morning to see how and ifs the top Carnival executives can explain ALL of crazy business challenges during this Covid period where it goes on and on, plus market conditions where many customers are still being justifiably careful and conservative.  

 

Full story at:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/carnival-corporation-plc-to-provide-fourth-quarter-2021-business-update-01639500962?tesla=y

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

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From the Wall Street Journal late Friday afternoon, below are the charts reflecting the trends for the three major cruise lines during the most recent five trading days.  The movement?  Down and back upward, with significantly wild moves?!:

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

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2 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

“CARNIVAL TO PROVIDE FOURTH QUARTER 2021 BUSINESS UPDATE” and these highlights:Carnival Corporation has scheduled a conference call with analysts for Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, at 10 a.m. (EST); 3 p.m. (GMT) to provide a business update.   A simulcast of the call will be available via the company's websites at www.carnivalcorp.com and www.carnivalplc.com. Interested parties who wish to ask questions may participate by calling 415 226 5359 in the U.S., or 44 (0) 208 196 2145 in the U.K.

 

Thank you.  I will try to access this report.  

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On 12/17/2021 at 7:50 PM, rkacruiser said:

Thank you.  I will try to access this report.  

 

Did listen this morning to the financial analyst reporting conference by the Carnival CEO and CFO. Per their CEO, he read a long statement full of optimistic and positive spin.  He noted that Carnival is approaching 90% occupancy on current sailings.  Total customers deposits have grown. They have $9.4 billion cash on hand.   They have 68% of their ship capacity now in operations.  They look to be at having 100% of their ships in operation by spring.  Their general comments claimed that the variants have not negatively impact their operations, but they are ready for any potential volatility due to Covid.   

 

There was much discussion about their new ships, including a push on LNG future for fueling and de-carbonization.  Carnival sims to be at net zero carbon by 2050 even though the CEO admitted that they have no known solution in order to achieve that green-sounding aspirational goal.  There was discussion about Carnival having exited nineteen less-efficient ships during this recent Covid shut-down period.  With LNG, they admitted that there is a challenge as to how to do that fuel sourcing in parts of world without such re-fueling facilities.

 

From Reuters and US News this morning, they had this headline: Carnival's Long-Term Demand Indicates Omicron Threat Will Fade Soon with these highlights:Carnival Corp on Monday flagged a hit to its near-term bookings from Omicron, even as demand for cruises late next year and beyond suggest a short-lived impact from new coronavirus variants.  Shares of Carnival gained 3.3% as the cruise operator said new COVID-19 variants have not had a significant impact on its plan to return its full fleet to operations in the spring of 2022.  The fast-spreading COVID-19 Omicron variant has been a cause of concern over the last month, creating some volatility in near-term bookings for Carnival and its rivals Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean Group.  'People are not cancelling their plans for May, June, July, August, because of Omicron ... Any cancellations or hesitation is really isolated to the next month or two,' Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Woronka said.  Carnival forecast a return to profitability in the second half of 2022 after a net loss in the first. '2022 will be a tale of two halves,' Chief Financial Officer David Bernstein said on an earnings call.  The company said bookings for the second half of next year and first half of 2023 were at the higher end of historical ranges even as higher prices appeared to dampen a little enthusiasm among cruisers.  Adjusted net loss widened to $1.96 billion from $1.86 billion in the fourth quarter, as the company spent heavily on preparing its ships across its several brands for sailings.

 

Full story at:

https://money.usnews.com/investing/news/articles/2021-12-20/carnivals-near-term-cruise-bookings-under-pressure-on-omicron-concerns

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

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15 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

Missed the conference call, but from what you have reported, it sounds overall positive.  Thanks for the report.  

 

As to the above comment and follow-up, yes, the Carnival executives were  very "positive" with their hopeful "spin".   BUT, I would not describe all that was discussed in the current environment of uncertainty to be all good and sure to be wonderful.  These growing questions and challenges over the variants, testing, etc., will make things more difficult for the cruise lines during the coming months, per my imperfect crystal ball and listening to the news media these days.  Am I too untrusting and negative?  

 

From the below travel news website, they had this headline: Carnival Corp. Expects Full Fleet Back in Service in Spring 2022 with these highlights:Carnival posted an adjusted net loss of $2 billion for the fourth quarter of 2021, but CEO Arnold Donald said 61 percent of the fleet was operating as of Nov. 30 and the full fleet was expected back by spring 2022.  'Our cash from operations turned positive in the month of November, and we expect consistently positive cash flow beginning in the second quarter of 2022 as additional ships resume guest cruise operations. We enter the year with $9.4 billion of liquidity, essentially the same liquidity level as last year but with significantly improved cash flow generation ahead, as ship operating cash flow and customer deposits continue to build. During 2021, we believe we have clearly maximized our return to service and strengthened our financial position to withstand potential volatility on our path to profitability.'   Customer deposits increased $360 million in the fourth quarter, marking the third consecutive quarter the company has seen an increase in customer deposits.  Occupancy in the fourth quarter of 2021 was 58 percent, an improvement over the 54 percent in the third quarter.

 

Among the questions from the Wall Street firm analysts, there was a question about whether their cruise brands would be requiring booster.  They said they would be informed by science and CDC, the rule requirements in the various ports, etc.  There was a key and telling summary point from their CEO of "Ii is a dynamic situation.”  They noted that over 10,000 of their crew have already received bookers and pushed their "Sailing with Confidence” plans.  It was also noted that there are less incidents with cruises versus as seen in society in general. 

 

On pricing, they noted that they are seeking to and seeing the customers costs are slowly moving up. They are very focused for later 2022 and for first half of 2023 as they move back to regaining profit levels.  They see higher revenues, but they danced a little as to whether that will offset the inflation rates that are happening and driving up their costs.  They noted that they do not want to get too quick back with early bookings as their goal is to maximize pricing levels to improve profits.  The point was made that bundling has helped their margins and that they are seeing more on-board spending during recent cruises.  They see much much benefit to them from pent-up demand helping boost advanced bookings and on-board spending.  Carnival has not hedged much to lock down advanced fuel purchases.  Hope these added notes and info will be of value and interest.  

 

Full story at:

https://www.travelpulse.com/news/cruise/carnival-corp-expects-full-fleet-back-in-service-in-spring-2022.html

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

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From the Wall Street Journal this morning, they had this headline: “Cruise Industry Keeps Calm and Sails On" with this sub-headline: "Cruise-line operators continue to plan for full return to seas, despite dozens of ships reporting Covid-19”.

 

Here are some of their story highlights:If you wondered who would possibly board a cruise ship again after Covid-19 hit, Carnival had some news for you Monday: 1.2 million guests have been aboard its ships since it resumed cruise operations in September of last year. And its forecast shows it intends to welcome millions more in the not-too-distant future.  The cruise giant issued a business update on Monday for the quarter ended Nov. 30. It held a number of positive data points for investors hopeful that the industry can continue to endure rough waters. Onboard revenue per passenger day was up 4% in the period relative to 2019 levels. That helped temper the company’s cash burn, which the company said came in better than expected. Carnival also said it is approaching 90% occupancy levels in the month of December with cumulative advanced bookings for the second half of 2022 and first half of 2023 at the higher end of historical ranges, and at higher prices compared with 2019 sailings.  But it certainly isn’t all smooth sailing: Carnival noted that it has logged a negative impact on bookings related to near-term sailings as a result of the Omicron variant over the past few weeks. In addition to the fact that the variant may be even more transmissible than Delta, cruisers have good reason for caution. Nearly 50 people on board a Royal Caribbean Group ship which just docked in Miami have tested positive for Covid-19, even though 95% of passengers on board that ship were reportedly vaccinated. (Children under 12 didn’t need to be vaccinated to sail on that ship.) Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings  also recently reported Covid-19 cases on one of its ships, despite the company’s vaccine requirement for everyone on board its ships, regardless of age.

 

Here is more from their reporting: "Royal Caribbean said it has no plans to cancel any coming cruises. Carnival, too, seems determined to press on with its re-entry efforts. The company said Monday in its business update it planned to have 57 ships in service by the end of the month—representing 67% of its berth capacity—with 100% of its berth capacity in service by the end of June 2022.   Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website showed 40 cruise ships operating or planning to operate in U.S. waters that have reported cases of Covid-19 as of Monday.  Cruise lines may not be too publicly concerned about current Covid-19 case reports sinking their recovery, and booking trends show die hard cruisers aren’t either. But investors may want to at least consider how much submerged ice could lie ahead."

 

Good news:  Royal Caribbean's stock was up nearly 6% at noon today.  The other two cruise lines were up 7% to nearly 9% this morning.  What does Wall Street know and how are they betting?

 

Full story at:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/cruise-industry-keeps-calm-and-sails-on-11640103963

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

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3 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

Carnival also said it is approaching 90% occupancy levels in the month of Decembe

 

What does this 90% really mean?  90% of the actual occupancy capacity of the ships pre-Covid?  Or 90% of the occupancy capacity on ships sailing with reduced guest lists due to Covid?  

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IMHO revenue or occupancy or whatever is not really important. The ships are fine, the people want to cruise, if it wasn't for Covid CCL stock would be $50 because that was its value just pre-Covid.  Plus a bit because cruise minded people have been saving. Minus a bit because 2 years of revenue is gone, but at current interest rates, it's only the future that counts. 

 

I believe Omicron will bring the cruise lines back. It is so extremely contagious that in a few months almost everyone either had an infection or has had their vaccinations. After that, they might get reinfected with Covid on a ship, and must spend the rest of their holiday in their cabin, but won't end up in hospital. In the old days, everybody knew about cruise ships and Norovirus. Noro would get you quarantined just like Covid, and nobody did not cruise because of it. Cruise ships were the "petri dishes" for Covid for a while, but now schools are. Covid has become part of daily life. And that was Delta, not Omicron.

 

Omicron will probably be a disaster.

 

But for the ships, well. Lining up to shake hands with the Captain is probably a thing of the past, and CDC will have stricter rules than before. MSN tells me the "target" for CCL is $28 in 12 months, I bet it will be $50 again in July. (And I did bet, so if you'd all buy some CCL I'd be most grateful 🙂)

Edited by AmazedByCruising
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20 hours ago, AmazedByCruising said:

But for the ships, well. Lining up to shake hands with the Captain is probably a thing of the past, and CDC will have stricter rules than before.

 

Such an activity was gone pre-Covid for concerns about virus/disease transmission.  Even if there was a reception with the Officers and select guests, "no shaking hands" was the usual experience.  Will the CDC have stricter rules in the future?  I'd be surprised if they didn't!  

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