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Which ships will sail first?


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With the recent interviews of RCI leadership, I am aware that they indicated potential to start cruising again early in Asia/China area. (Not interested in Asia/China area.)   I'm wondering what some of you more "experts" (I mean that in a complimentary way) who track RCI closely think would be the first ships to start cruising?  Do you think they would have any go out of USA (contingent on CDC not extending the no-sail order)  to Caribbean?  Will they use the same ports that Carnival Cruise Lines has indicated they will start in August?  I'm thinking of potentially the Harmony of the Seas in early September from Port Canaveral; do you think that might go or likely not and if not, why do you think not (e.g., ship is doing repatriation in Europe or something)?   I know it will be different cruising than we are used to (we are not big buffet partakers anyway).  Just trying to assess if even worth reserving at this time.  (I do know that there is a risk that could be cancelled if a second wave happens or if CDC extends no-sail; so don't need to hear that restated here.  Just want to hear from some of you who are more in-tuned than I am as to what you hear/sense on RCI restart.)  Thank you in advance.

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I believe it will be the Mariner, out of Port Canaveral.  There is less COVID-19 in that area than in South Florida, so hopefully a lesser chance of it being brought onboard by local cruisers.  The Mariner does short three and four night cruises to Nassau and Coco Cay.  Even if Nassau is not open to cruise ships, Coco Cay should be available.  The Harmony is scheduled to go to Coco Cay plus seven other ports during the rest of 2020 and I don’t believe some of those ports will be open.  I think the 3- and 4-night itineraries would be an easier trial period than the 7-nighters on Harmony, and the Mariner requires fewer crew members.  
 

I had (cancelled) bookings on the Mariner for June and July, and will try again in August because I believe it will be one of the first ships to sail.

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My money is on the short Florida cruise market. 

 

Fewer people fly for short cruises which is consistent with their projections that initially the drive market will represent the majority of bookings.  With fewer guests flying it reduces the exposure that guests arriving on an airplane, staying in a hotel and riding in a taxi bring to the ship.  Local guests driving to the port won't have that exposure vector so they represent less risk.   

 

Utilizing CocoCay opens a revenue source directly to Royal that also minimize exposure while guests are out of the country.

 

Voyager class is a reasonable size to allow social distancing.  When Dorian approached I was on Navigator.  The light guest load during that time represents what a return to cruising might look like with ships half full.

 

On the other hand they could place an Oasis class ship on a 3/4 rotation and send her to CocoCay half full.  

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Could there really be that many people who live within driving distance and hasn't been

to a Caribbean port more times than they can count? Hard to imagine finding that many

people every three or four days.

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2 minutes ago, Milwaukee Eight said:

I agree. Better profit margin half capacity versus Mariner half capacity. More room to social distance. 

 

And how about this for a quarantine deck and expanded medical center.

283967148_Deck3crop.thumb.jpg.a36d85a7a55389697e56623bb8b10cdf.jpg

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I'm thinking Harmony & Mariner for sure. May even change itineraries on a couple other ships to have them sail to Coco/Labadee. I would be willing to board. Just cancelled my July 31st sailing on Navigator. 😞.  Oh well.. more to look forward to. Fingers crossed.

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3 minutes ago, atanac said:

Could there really be that many people who live within driving distance and hasn't been

to a Caribbean port more times than they can count? Hard to imagine finding that many

people every three or four days.

 

I'm guessing your not familiar with the regular crowd out of PC

 

They do it every weekend

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12 minutes ago, Heymarco said:

If a cruise is already booked over half capacity, which half will get to go? 🤔

 

If they drop the 7 day trips in favor of 3/4's that's not an issue.

 

All new bookings with limited capacity

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I thought it was interesting that Bayley mentioned China the other day:

 

"Royal Caribbean is extending its sailing suspension through July 31, Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, revealed on the cruise line's parent company's first-quarter earnings call Wednesday.

 

"The only exception to the suspension will be China operations," Bayley noted".

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2020/05/20/royal-caribbean-suspends-saying-through-july-except-china/5222647002/

 

Also Michael Goh, president of Dream Cruises and head of international sales of Genting Cruise Lines — the parent company of Star Cruises, Dream Cruises and Crystal Cruises said:

 

Skift: For Asia, how soon do you think we can restart cruising? What’s the timeline that you are expecting?

Goh: We hope to start cruising very soon. When you talk about cruising business, we are talking about homeports as well as the ports we are calling to. Our ship in Singapore calls into Malaysia and Thailand, so we have to depend on when these countries reopen their borders and allow ships to go into their waters.

 

Before the borders open we hope to start cruises to nowhere in July or August and at least enable guests to have a good time or enjoy activities on board the ship. We are looking at very short cruises of two or three nights, then five nights, before we go on longer cruises. A cruise ship itself is actually a destination. For short cruises, we don’t need a destination to support the cruise experience, because there are plenty of activities on board.

 

https://skift.com/2020/05/18/asias-genting-cruise-lines-to-offer-short-sailings-without-any-stops-in-ports/

 

So it makes me wonder if RCI will start something in Asia in addition to any US based sailings and that's why Bayley made a point of saying that about China operations being the only exception to the July 31 suspension. Could they start there first, maybe beginning first part of July? Hmmm 🤔

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13 minutes ago, Milwaukee Eight said:

How many Pinnacles are within easy driving distance to Port Canaveral?

 

I have no idea. 

 

Overall the available population within 500 miles of PC is around 42 million. Ft Lauderdale/Miami is only 24 million

 

And to further drive that point, every person within 500 miles of Ft Lauderdale is also in that pool for PC

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2 minutes ago, scorpluvsdolphins said:

If you mean 4 hours or less, hundredS. 
 

 

I like to think driving distance is closer to 8 hours, however, that probably involves a hotel stay an that could be a problem

 

Interesting enough, Sumter County (The Villages) is not within a 200 mile radius of Miami

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