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SS Future Re-Open Plan: Timing, Testing Needs??!!


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20 minutes ago, Silver Spectre said:

Thanks for keeping us up to date Terry. It appears that RCL have enough 'cash' to make it through the rest of 2021 with minimal or no cruising, or maybe even to next spring (2022) if it takes that long to vaccinate most of the world. Even though we are vaccinated I cannot see us wanting to go anywhere that hasn't got to somewhere like 75-80% of their population protected.

 

Rules out the EU then probably!

 

Apparently International travel is allowed to continue from the UK from 17 May ....... 5 days too late for my Venice 25th Aniversary cruise. That'll be 5 cruises cancelled since my last boarding.

 

Not sure how SS will be handling the cancellation this time round

 

Edited by les37b
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3 hours ago, Lois R said:

 

So in reality, he (Fain) really still has no answers as to when sailings will resume. 

To be fair, anyone who claims to be able to give a date for resumption is either a fool or a liar. Or both. 

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19 minutes ago, Tothesunset said:

To be fair, anyone who claims to be able to give a date for resumption is either a fool or a liar. Or both. 

Hi, I agree with you. My statement was just an observation.  Nobody knows as of Feb 22nd when any sailings will resume. It may be 3 or 4 more months before

we get any answers.........who knows.

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1 minute ago, Lois R said:

Hi, I agree with you. My statement was just an observation.  Nobody knows as of Feb 22nd when any sailings will resume. It may be 3 or 4 more months before

we get any answers.........who knows.

I fear there will be many false starts  before we get anywhere close to normal cruising. 

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4 hours ago, Silver Spectre said:

Thanks for keeping us up to date Terry. It appears that RCL have enough 'cash' to make it through the rest of 2021 with minimal or no cruising, or maybe even to next spring (2022) if it takes that long to vaccinate most of the world. Even though we are vaccinated I cannot see us wanting to go anywhere that hasn't got to somewhere like 75-80% of their population protected.

 

Appreciate ALL of these various  comments and follow-ups.  Very good insights from Silver Spectre, Les, Tothesunset and Lois.  Right now, too much is unknown and the Royal Caribbean officials were careful not to speculate beyond what is known with some certainty.

 

From the Miami Herald this afternoon in the headquarters heart of the cruise business, they had this headline: More people are booking Royal Caribbean cruises this year, even as they remain banned with these highlights: “Royal Caribbean Group is seeing an increase in bookings as the company nears the one-year mark without any cruises in the U.S., its biggest market.  Despite U.S. cruises being banned indefinitely, on Monday Royal Caribbean Group executives said the company has seen a 30% increase in future bookings since the start of the year compared to November and December.  The booking increase is a bright spot in an otherwise bleak business update. The second largest cruise company in the world reported a fourth straight 10-figure quarterly loss.  One of its ships, Quantum of the Seas, is operating with passengers in Singapore."

 

Here is how this newspaper reported on the biggest question:  "So when will U.S. cruises be up and running again? It’s too soon to say, according to executives.  'We are really in an interim period where the vaccines are still relatively new,' said Chairman Richard Fain. 'They’re coming out amazingly quickly, but it will take months to get huge numbers of people vaccinated. We and the CDC and governments around the world are looking at how that will change [cruising]. We don’t have answers yet.'  Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is in play, those protocols will have to be altered, said CEO of Royal Caribbean International Michael Bayley.  'As we continue to see infections decline and vaccinations increase, we’re going to move to some sort of protocol that is a hybrid of vaccine and testing,' he said.

 

Full story at:

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/tourism-cruises/article249427065.html

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Completed 2019 summer with Calgary, Jasper/Banff National Parks, Western Canada Rocky Mountaineer rail adventure, Vancouver, sailing up to Alaska on Silver Musse, post-cruise excursion to Denali, etc.  Many visuals and details from our first in these scenic areas!  Live/blog: 

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

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From the sister newspaper of the Fort Lauderdale publication this afternoon, they had this headline: “Royal Caribbean confident that CDC will allow cruises to resume soon with special focus on the details discussed about Royal Caribbean's opening success/process in Singapore since December 2020.

 

Here are some of the highlights from their writer in this story: “Royal Caribbean executives won’t predict a date for the company’s return to cruising from United States ports, but they say they’re confident it’s going to happen soon.  Tracking bracelets and facial recognition software being tested aboard the company’s Quantum of the Seas voyages from Singapore could be among safety measures passengers will find throughout the company’s fleet when operations resume.  In a conference call Monday with investors to discuss the company’s $3.9 billion net loss in 2020, executives said they’re heartened by data showing that infections are declining and vaccinations are increasing.  The trends 'are building confidence that we’re getting closer to the other side of this and people are beginning to realize that travel should be here sooner rather than later,' said Jason Liberty, chief financial officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.  Investors reacted favorably to the executives’ optimism, driving Royal Caribbean Group’s stock price up 9.51% to close at $86.37 on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. Competitor Carnival Corp. benefitted as well. Its stock prices closed up 5.61%, to $25.97.  The increase in bookings point to a 'pent-up demand for vacations,' noted Richard Fain, chairman and CEO. 'People are clamoring for opportunities to have experiences outside their home.'  The CDC was especially interested in 'game-changing' contact tracing technology installed on Quantum of the Sea.  It involves requiring passengers to wear bracelets — or 'tracelets' — that let the company track passengers’ every movement aboard the ship. 'You can tell exactly how long they’ve been in contact with everyone else who wears a tracelet.'  Data from tracelets is verified by facial and body recognition software that analyzes footage from video cameras mounted throughout the ship.”

 

It is interesting to read how different reporters from various news sources covered this conference call this morning and which aspects where they gave the most attention. These details all sounds familiar and match my notes.  NOW, we need to see what happens next . . .AND WHEN??

 

Reaction, comments and questions?  

 

 Full story at:

https://www.baltimoresun.com/travel/fl-bz-royal-caribbean-earnings-call-20210222-b5t3luls5bfh5hqzxcwakaoydi-story.html

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Barcelona/Med: June 2011, with stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Great visuals with key highlights, tips, etc. Live/blog now at 252,938 views.

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Good morning Terry,  Soon? So they can't say how soon is soon.......4 weeks

 away? (I seriously doubt it)...........or 4 months away?.......those executives you are 

referring to? They probably were told by another boss what to say.........soon?

Soon soon? Or just not as far off as they are thinking.

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2 hours ago, Lois R said:

Good morning Terry,  Soon? So they can't say how soon is soon.......4 weeks

 away? (I seriously doubt it)...........or 4 months away?.......those executives you are 

referring to? They probably were told by another boss what to say.........soon?

Soon soon? Or just not as far off as they are thinking.


I think they really don’t know when and where they are going to start cruises again.   I take their “soon” to nothing more than a place holder because they don’t know but don’t want to say they don’t know.  You might see some more bubble cruises like those in the Asian market and those being planned for Italy this spring.    Personally my estimate is we’ll see the start of the return to general cruising this fall. 

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5 hours ago, Randyk47 said:

I think they really don’t know when and where they are going to start cruises again.   I take their “soon” to nothing more than a place holder because they don’t know but don’t want to say they don’t know.  You might see some more bubble cruises like those in the Asian market and those being planned for Italy this spring.    Personally my estimate is we’ll see the start of the return to general cruising this fall. 

 

Agree that the varied vagueness and multiple meanings for "SOON" would be the $64,000 Question to pick up a phrase from the title of a famed TV quiz show popular many decades back.  Lois and others are frustrated!!  Legitimately.  Randy hits on good points with solid, smart comments and his fall estimate.   

 

My key response?  It is going to be a "staged re-opening" spread over a lengthy period of time.  Different countries are going to have varied rules, requirements and regulations.  It will take many months for the cruise lines to "ramp up".  They cannot just "flip a switch" and be back in business as if nothing had happened during the past year.  Medical conditions will vary, depending on the country, vaccine uses there, etc.  If you are limited to only be doing ship excursion with tight rules and little flexibility, that will narrow the numbers of passengers willing to sail during the start-up periods.  As is happening in Singapore, their ship is only operating at a 50% capacity.  Many, many factors involved.  Or, said another way, it's "COMPLICATED"!! 

 

From the London/UK Guardian today, they had this headline: “Air New Zealand to trial Covid vaccine passport on Sydney flights" with this sub-headline: "Airline aims to ‘streamline health verification’ for travel as vaccinations begin.”

 

Here are the story highlights: “Air New Zealand will trial a digital vaccine passport in April on flights between Auckland and Sydney with Qantas investigating similar technology.  As vaccination begins in Australia, attention has turned to the potential resumption of international travel and how Australia could track whether potential visitors have been vaccinated.  Several tech companies have been working with the World Health Organization to develop a secure digital vaccination record system that could be used to prove to airlines and governments that passengers have had a Covid vaccine.  One such app, Travel Pass, developed by the International Air Transport Association, will be trialed by Air New Zealand from April to 'streamline the health verification process to help customers know what they need to take their next international trip safely'.”

 

Any reactions or comments on this story from those "down under" or in other parts of the world?

 

Full story at:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/23/air-new-zealand-to-trial-covid-vaccine-passport-on-sydney-flights

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise from Copenhagen, July 2010, to the top of Europe. Scenic visuals with key tips. Live/blog at 241,369 views.

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

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Hi Terry, I am not really frustrated.....I have sort of given up about trying to find out any true

information on when sailings will resume.  I always appreciate your postings though.  And I 

agree with Randy, they are just saying what they are saying because they just don't want to say

"We don't know when cruising will resume".

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My contributions to these discussions have been generally negative.

I would like to redress the balance a tad and say that the combination of vaccination and a quite mysterious "x factor,"  has the infection rate worldwide falling like a stone.

I am nowhere near ready to give my money to a cruise company , BUT opine that cruising and travel in general now seems likely to slowly ramp up as time passes.

There is a world of hurt out there and the Renaissance will be slow.. but at least I now believe it is happening.. Hallelujah !!!!

 

..the x factor??.. someone prophesied that the virus would fall as quickly as it arose, I assume thats where the ex potus got his info...😉

 

 

 

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On 2/22/2021 at 2:51 PM, les37b said:

Apparently International travel is allowed to continue from the UK from 17 May ...

Coincidentally, the Silver Cloud is scheduled to dock at Tower Bridge at 6:30 pm May 16, to disembark May 17.

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5 hours ago, tgh said:

My contributions to these discussions have been generally negative. I would like to redress the balance a tad and say that the combination of vaccination and a quite mysterious "x factor,"  has the infection rate worldwide falling like a stone...the x factor??.. someone prophesied that the virus would fall as quickly as it arose, I assume thats where the ex potus got his info...

 

Great comments and follow-ups.  There is something true per TGH about an "X-Factor"??!!  

 

Part of "it" is in the major news coming out this morning.  Royal Caribbean's stock is up nearly 7% at mid-morning to $96.15 per share.  Wall Street is seeing a re-opening getting closer.  

 

From the New York Times lead story this morning, they had this headline: “Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Protects Against Severe Illness and May Reduce Transmission, F.D.A. Analyses Find” with these highlights: “The one-shot coronavirus vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson provides strong protection against severe disease and death from Covid-19, and may reduce the spread of the virus by vaccinated people, according to new analyses posted online by the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday.  The vaccine had a 72 percent overall efficacy rate in the United States and 64 percent in South Africa, where a highly contagious variant emerged in the fall and is now driving most cases. The efficacy in South Africa was seven points higher than earlier data released by the company.  The vaccine also showed 86 percent efficacy against severe forms of Covid-19 in the United States, and 82 percent against severe disease in South Africa. That means that a vaccinated person has a far lower risk of being hospitalized or dying from Covid-19.  The analyses confirmed that Americans are likely to benefit soon from a third effective coronavirus vaccine developed in under a year, as demand for inoculations greatly outstrips supply. The F.D.A. could authorize the vaccine as early as Saturday, depending on a vote of its vaccine advisory panel on Friday after it discusses the newly released documents.”

 

More good news!!  Added time is still needed for cruising to resume, but things are moving in a positive direction.  Light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer.

 

Full story at:

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/02/24/world/covid-19-coronavirus

 

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 232,437 views.

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

Edited by TLCOhio
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As to that magic, massive question of "TIMING", here below is more from a former EDA Commissioner and current top consultant to two of the three largest cruise companies, including Royal Caribbean.  

 

From this Salt Lake City newspaper this morning, they had this headline: Return to normal by April? It’s unlikely, former FDA chief says” with these highlights: “There are a lot of answers out there. But the optimistic answer — spring or summer 2021 — might be the right direction, Dr. Scott Gottlieb recently told CNBC.  Gottlieb, the former Food and Drug Administration chief, told CNBC he doesn’t think the U.S. could reach 'herd immunity' — where enough of the population is immune to a virus, allowing the population to return to normal — by April.  'I think if there’s going to be a normal time over the next 12 months, it’s likely to be this spring and summer,” he told CNBC.  Dr. Fauci says ‘help is on the way’ to end COVID-19, but don’t let up yet.  Some theories have suggested April might be when there’s enough immunity. Gottlieb disagreed with that timeline.  'I do think that as we get into the warm weather, as we vaccinate more of the population and in view of the fact that at least one-third of Americans have had this, I do think that infection levels are going to come down dramatically over the course of the spring and summer,' Gottlieb said.  Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that as of Monday the U.S. has seen a 29% decline in new COVID-19 cases since last week, according to CNN. That is the steepest drop in COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began in spring 2020, CNN reports.  Gottlieb’s comments about April come after Dr. Marty Makary, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health, wrote for The Wall Street Journal over the weekend that the United States would reach herd immunity by April.”

 

Here is more from this news story: "Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the top infectious disease experts in the United States, told CNN over the weekend that a 'return to normal' wouldn’t likely happen until 2022.  Fauci told CNN it is “possible” Americans will need to wear masks in 2022 to protect themselves from COVID-19. He said the U.S. will hit 'a significant degree of normality' by the end of 2021."

 

Full story at:

https://www.deseret.com/2021/2/24/22296971/return-to-normal-april-summer-2021-gottlieb

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Venice: Loving It & Why??!!  Is one of your future desires or past favorites? See these many visual samples for its great history and architecture.  This posting is now at 89,648 views.

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14 hours ago, tosteve1 said:

 

Very solid and excellent article with beneficial insights.  Well worth reading!!  As all of us are doing now, there was solid speculation/guessing as to the timings when we can see positive changes ahead. Not overly optimistic.  Seemed realistic!!   Great sharing by our North Carolina neighbor. 

 

Here, in my view, is the most important summary from this writer: "Life this spring will not be substantially different from the past year; summer could, miraculously, be close to normal; and next fall and winter could bring either continued improvement or a moderate backslide, followed by a near-certain return to something like pre-pandemic life."

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

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Central NHS just opened vaccine booking to everyone over 60 I have been assured, even though it says over 64. If you are in the UK and you put your NHS No and DoB you should be good!

 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/?fbclid=IwAR0KKVDX1MJHihqx0_2FAEZnTh4zHeuZvMOGI1GR5X_gz-VODIqEXxVIAgc

 

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1 hour ago, worldtraveller99 said:

Central NHS just opened vaccine booking to everyone over 60 I have been assured, even though it says over 64. If you are in the UK and you put your NHS No and DoB you should be good!

 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/?fbclid=IwAR0KKVDX1MJHihqx0_2FAEZnTh4zHeuZvMOGI1GR5X_gz-VODIqEXxVIAgc

 

Followed you link. OH was 64 last week! Ist and 2nd appts booked - one tomorrow, the next in May. 

 

I'm not 64 until October but put my details in anyway. Got the same appt times as OH. Have to travel 15 miles to Boston but that's nothing. 

 

Very grateful for your post. Thank you so much. 

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On 2/24/2021 at 1:00 PM, dawntrdr said:

Coincidentally, the Silver Cloud is scheduled to dock at Tower Bridge at 6:30 pm May 16, to disembark May 17.

 

You will have no idea how much I will stalk Silver Cloud as it sails up and down the Thames on this journey if it happens. I doubt it will as technically embarkation is effectively your international exit. We can hope. I'm not optimistic with the logistics of all the crew being vaccinated by then, so all wishful thinking. But the thoughts if could happen are awesome! 

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From the Associated Press/AP newswire this morning, they had this headline: How would COVID-19 vaccine makers adapt to variants? with this answer: “By tweaking their vaccines, a process that should be easier than coming up with the original shots.  Viruses constantly mutate as they spread, and most changes aren’t significant. First-generation COVID-19 vaccines appear to be working against today’s variants, but makers already are taking steps to update their recipes if health authorities decide that’s needed.  COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna are made with new technology that’s easy to update. The so-called mRNA vaccines use a piece of genetic code for the spike protein that coats the coronavirus, so your immune system can learn to recognize and fight the real thing.  If a variant with a mutated spike protein crops up that the original vaccine can’t recognize, companies would swap out that piece of genetic code for a better match — if and when regulators decide that’s necessary.   Updating other COVID-19 vaccines could be more complex. The AstraZeneca vaccine, for example, uses a harmless version of a cold virus to carry that spike protein gene into the body. An update would require growing cold viruses with the updated spike gene.  The Food and Drug Administration said studies of updated COVID-19 vaccines won’t have to be as large or long as for the first generation of shots.”

 

Good news?

 

Full story at:

https://apnews.com/article/lifestyle-coronavirus-pandemic-coronavirus-vaccine-cc8f8f4ce5f5d4013be6ce2aadb29a19

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Kotor/Montenegro:  Exciting visual samples, tips, details, etc., for this scenic, historic location. Over 48,158 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1439193

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On 2/18/2021 at 2:18 AM, machotspur said:

 

Maybe this helps - the official UK Government daily tracking data.  This broadly concurs with the statement made by toSteve1 in NC. 

 

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/?_ga=2.162388156.1498870253.1613500540-249532212.1604064909

 

There is data in abundance on that site but the key graph illustrating new daily cases (rolling 7 day average) shows a reduction of 80% since the January peak :- ...

 

M-

 

Thank you for the link ... good data, goes on my Covid data bookmarks.

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This morning, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) CEO Frank Del Rio and his CFO gave a quarterly update to the top Wall Street analysts and was honest in admitting that “we’re not sure” as to their position in the cruise world and a re-opening time--table.

 

He cited vaccine progress and the strong potential for "3rd quarter herd immunity”.   There were details regarding new money raised and how they have been stretching out debt maturities.  He notes that it takes up to 90 days to ramp up a ship that has been in a cold lay-up.  They acknowledged that they still have a ways to go as to getting vaccines for their crew.    Clearly, it was noted that it is going to be a “gradual and phased” re-opening for NCLH.  

 

They have raised $6.5 billion from various sources since the onset of the pandemic, allowing the company to withstand a prolonged voyage suspension.  For their fire priorities, they noted that there is a need to “Address Global Port Availability and Travel Restrictions”, “Activate Sales and Marketing Machine and Stimulate Demand” and “Initiate Gradual Phased Relaunch”  

 

As to specific questions raised, Del Rio noted there have been attempts to salvage some of Alaska season and that tourism there is the third largest industry in that state.  The CEO said they are “cautiously optimistic” and "hoping" for Alaska during the 2021 season.    

 

“We are in a more encouraging place than six weeks ago” because of the vaccines, etc., but Del Rio gave no specific guesses as to when and how re-opening will happen.  They noted it would probably take 90 days to complete the CDC-mandated test cruises, but maybe that requirement could be shortened down to 60 days.  NCLH is cancelled through the end of May.  

 

There was much discussion around activity by the 65+ age demographic.  They see this mature group as a key target in bookings for their upscale brands of Regent and Oceania. They see strong resilience in the market, especially by those older who have the time, money and interest in travel.  

 

They noted that NCLH has the youngest fleet, has not any sold any ships, nor has plans/needs to do that.   They view in being the smallest of the "Big Three", that they can be more "nimble".   Overall, it will take six to seven months to ramp up their entire fleet and that it would be done at the rate of a ship a week.  Much will also depend as to when and what ports are opened.  

 

NCLH is not doing as much with FCC these days.  They are just doing cash refunds now.  Their cash burn is down to around $190 million a month.  There are no target occupancy standards/rules coming from the CDC.  They are assuming initially to be doing around a 50% occupancy level for these early, re-opening cruises.  NCLH is not that worried as to demand and filling up their ships. Long-term, they are aiming to do more marketing via the digital world.  They do not believe there will be a need to do cost discounts to spike demand.   They believe demand will exceed supply, plus the pent-up travel desires and the money already in the consumers' pockets.  

 

As a key closing comment, Del Rio said: “We all knew vaccinations would be the deciding factor in achieving the herd immunity that allows us to operate safely.  Just like with the flu, it will be viewed as more of a seasonable event.”

 

From the Wall Street Journal's sister publication of Barron's this morning, they had this headline: “Norwegian Cruise Line Racks Up More Losses as Ships Remain Sidelined. Shares Sink.” with these highlights: “On an adjusted basis, Norwegian posted a fourth-quarter loss of $684 million, or $2.33 a share, down sharply from positive $156 million, or 73 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue plunged from $1.5 billion to $9.6 million 'due to the complete suspension of voyages in the quarter,' the company said in a release Thursday.”

 

While NCLH is a different company than Royal Caribbean and Silversea, hopefully this background and these comments are of interest and insightful.  And, helpful??

 

Full story at:

https://www.barrons.com/articles/norwegian-cruise-line-racks-up-more-losses-as-ships-remain-sidelined-51614269534?adobe_mc=MCMID%3D47931700801430249238004664831516250621|MCORGID%3DCB68E4BA55144CAA0A4C98A5%40AdobeOrg|TS%3D1614269924

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Dubrovnik!  Nice visual samples, tips, details, etc., for this super scenic and historic location. Over 47,778 views.    

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1439227

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https://www.sfgate.com/news/editorspicks/article/COVID-19-variants-vaccines-effective-San-Francisco-15961073.php
 

I wish I knew how to “snip” the appropriate segments of this interesting interview. I haven’t reviewed the studies personally but apparently the JNJ vaccine was 100% effective in preventing hospitalization in South Africa. Maybe the variant issue is overblown somewhat?

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An upbeat report in the Times of London today. The European Union have agreed to introduce vaccine passports by the summer.

 

Angela Merkel said  “Everyone agreed that we need a digital vaccination certificate, this will make traveling within the EU possible and could pave the way for further travel from third countries into the EU.”

 

 I would imaging that the travel industry will welcome this initiative.  It seems to me the most obvious way of getting people safely back on planes and ships.  The desire to travel is there people are itching to book holidays. The future has to be looking brighter.

 

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