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Trends in new ship design and furnishings may help spread COVID


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I believe most  of the recent trends in ship design and furnishing choices may encourage COVID spread.  Small nearly unusable balconies and no real promenade deck.  This was clearly done to encourage people to crowd inside the ship where they can spend money, rather than relaxing in privacy on their balconies or reading in the fresh air on the promenade deck. No midships elevator means more crowing of existing elevators. Social distancing wouldn’t be easy on the Royal class.

 

But fleet wide furniture decisions may also encourage virus spread.   let’s not forget the heartless decision to remove the chairs from the cabins.  Anything to discourage people from enjoying time in their cabins. Even those with back pain could not be guaranteed a chair.  Large tables were removed from the balcony discourage room service.  Loungers were removed even from caribe deck balconies.  Miserably uncomfortable balcony furniture replaced the comfortable furniture.  Fees for room service were tried.  Again, anything to drive people out of their cabins and off their balconies.  Princess makes no money from people enjoying their private space.
 

Then there was the erosion of benefits for the most loyal cruisers.  Some even said the the cruise lines really don’t want these passengers and would prefer newer younger cruisers who spend more money.  Celebrity seems even more blatant in their distain for older passengers...blasting loud prerecorded house music throughout the ship and using very low chairs that old knees don’t like. 
 

Well, the industry may get their wish.  We are older and will not cruise without a vaccine.  The risk/reward isn’t worth it.  Many older people we know feel the same way.  Maybe the future for Princess is a much smaller fleet for younger and more affluent cruisers.  But will young people be willing to try their first cruise?  Even young people are at some risk.  I read that young affluent people are very interested in VanLife.  sales of fancy camping vans are way up...many buyers are young, first time campers. So what demographic remains for the cruise industry?

 

I just read on another board that passengers will not be able to go shore unless they are on a ship-organized excursion and they will have no interaction with locals except for their guide.  That will not appeal to many.  Most of the affluent younger people want to interact with locals and truly experience the cultures.  

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57 minutes ago, Loreni said:

I believe most  of the recent trends in ship design and furnishing choices may encourage COVID spread.  Small nearly unusable balconies and no real promenade deck.  This was clearly done to encourage people to crowd inside the ship where they can spend money, rather than relaxing in privacy on their balconies or reading in the fresh air on the promenade deck. No midships elevator means more crowing of existing elevators. Social distancing wouldn’t be easy on the Royal class.

 

But fleet wide furniture decisions may also encourage virus spread.   let’s not forget the heartless decision to remove the chairs from the cabins.  Anything to discourage people from enjoying time in their cabins. Even those with back pain could not be guaranteed a chair.  Large tables were removed from the balcony discourage room service.  Loungers were removed even from caribe deck balconies.  Miserably uncomfortable balcony furniture replaced the comfortable furniture.  Fees for room service were tried.  Again, anything to drive people out of their cabins and off their balconies.  Princess makes no money from people enjoying their private space.
 

Then there was the erosion of benefits for the most loyal cruisers.  Some even said the the cruise lines really don’t want these passengers and would prefer newer younger cruisers who spend more money.  Celebrity seems even more blatant in their distain for older passengers...blasting loud prerecorded house music throughout the ship and using very low chairs that old knees don’t like. 
 

Well, the industry may get their wish.  We are older and will not cruise without a vaccine.  The risk/reward isn’t worth it.  Many older people we know feel the same way.  Maybe the future for Princess is a much smaller fleet for younger and more affluent cruisers.  But will young people be willing to try their first cruise?  Even young people are at some risk.  I read that young affluent people are very interested in VanLife.  sales of fancy camping vans are way up...many buyers are young, first time campers. So what demographic remains for the cruise industry?

 

I just read on another board that passengers will not be able to go shore unless they are on a ship-organized excursion and they will have no interaction with locals except for their guide.  That will not appeal to many.  Most of the affluent younger people want to interact with locals and truly experience the cultures.  

Wow.  Sure a lot of theories here that Princess has conspired against your ability to have fun, fresh air and to grab your life savings. Sorry you won't be sailing until there is a vaccine and maybe even then you won't be happy with the latest designs that you feel will contribute to any new spread of any virus.

We will continue to be happy to be on our balcony which is a good size for us, stroll the shops and if we decide to purchase something we can't live without we will, ride the mid-ship elevators, which are on all the Royal Class ships, up and down to our hearts content, start wondering about what possibly were the benefits that have been eroded after our 45 voyages, see if we can find that thoughtless and "heartless" person that decided to remove that cabin chair to create more space, and more importantly find who are all these "young affluent cruisers" that are spending more money than our demographic that spends more time and money cruising because we have the time and money.

Have a good life, be happy and safe and hope to see you on a voyage soon.

#PrincessLoyal  #PrincessStrong

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Interesting observations. I am 39 and have been fortunate to have been cruising for the last 30 years or so. In that time, I have seen many changes but one notable change is the more inward trend of ship design. As the OP suggested, I too consider this to be a way for people to stay inside and hopefully focus more on onboard spending. Keep people inside to bolster onboard revenue. Most of the new ships lack an outdoor promenade deck which I miss greatly and if they have one it is sheltered with lifeboats and very narrow with no seating.  I remember reading this was done as an enhanced safety measure but there are new ships still built with an open air promenade deck with chairs. These ships are mainly sailing for deluxe and luxury cruise lines. I do think having outdoor open spaces and less crowds would help the industry recover post COVID. Going forward people will not be happy cramming in crowded cruise ship elevators. I have been feeling that the newer ships will not help the cruise lines instill trust with travelers. While I do love the new ships of all mass market lines for their forward thinking interior designs, I feel they carry way too many people and don't allow for passengers to spread out. 

 

I agree, I feel the lines want younger guests. My last few Celebrity Cruises I found music was blaring in the atrium all day long. Don't get me wrong, it was the music I love to listen to, as I am guessing I am the demographic they are trying to please but in my opinion play that stuff in the clubs. I would definitely go visit one of the clubs to here music from 90s but in the atrium I thought it was tacky and intrusive. I teach middle school, the last thing I want to hear is nonstop noise! I can go to work for that. Don't want to come off as snobish, but I am finding paying more and trying more deluxe lines like Azamara I am able to recapture what cruising used to be about. Rest, rejuvenation, and connection to the sea - these are the reasons I love cruising. 

Edited by nycruiser80
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Whether these trends you point out help spread COVID or not is a non-issue for me as I will not be cruising again until it is safe.  That said, many of these trends do degrade the cruising experience for me.  If it turns out that this pandemic causes cruise lines to reverse some of these changes it would be a rare silver lining to this whole COVID mess.

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33 minutes ago, Steelers36 said:

Please define "safe".

I'm sure you recognize that this is a personal assessment that will vary from individual to individual.  My measure of "safe" is meaningless to others as they will make their own judgement for themselves.  But, since you asked about my definition of "safe" in the context of cruising, here you go......

 

For me, it will safe to resume cruising when:

  • Masks are no longer necessary aboard ship
  • Social distancing precautions have been lifted.
  • Cruises across most lines have been sailing for at least 6 months and...
    • There have been no ship or large scale passenger quarantines in the past 4 months
    • Any onboard COVID cases have been rare and have been effectively responded to such that widespread infection was avoided.
  • Port restrictions are lifted
  • Onshore (incl tour) restrictions are lifted
  • Travel insurance covers COVID infections

Note:  I don't care about CDC approvals or cruise line plans or the availability of a vaccine, these don't ensure safety - I care about a proven track record of results.  If any of the items I've listed do not exist, that indicates to me that cruising is not yet safe (for me).  There will need to be others to blaze the trail in order to establish this track record, and there seem to be many eager to do just that.  I do not judge them for having a different viewpoint of "safe cruising" than I. I wish them well and hope to join them in the future.

Edited by mnocket
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1 minute ago, mnocket said:

I'm sure you recognize that this is a personal assessment that will vary from individual to individual.  My measure of "safe" is meaningless to others as they will make their own judgement for themselves.  But, since you asked about my definition of "safe" in the context of cruising, here you go......

 

For me, it will safe to resume cruising when:

  • Masks are no longer necessary aboard ship
  • Social distancing precautions have been lifted.
  • Cruises across most lines have been sailing for at least 6 months and...
    • There have been no ship or large scale passenger quarantines in the past 4 months
    • Any onboard COVID cases have been rare and have been effectively responded to such that widespread infection was avoided.
  • Port restrictions are lifted
  • Onshore (incl tour) restrictions are lifted
  • Travel insurance covers COVID infections

Note:  I don't care about CDC approvals or cruise line plans - I care about a proven track record of results.  If any of the items I've listed do not exist, that indicates to me that cruising is not yet safe (for me).  There will need to be others to blaze the trail in order to establish this track record, and there seem to be many eager to do just that.  I do not judge them for having a different viewpoint of "safe cruising" than I. I wish them well and hope to join them in the future.

Excellent list. 

 

I agree - don't want to be wearing a mask all day.  Ports need to be back to normal - or close to it.  Of your list, I'd consider going with occasional mask usage - such as in an elevator (but I like to take the stairs anyway).

 

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5 minutes ago, mnocket said:

I'm sure you recognize that this is a personal assessment that will vary from individual to individual.  My measure of "safe" is meaningless to others as they will make their own judgement for themselves.  But, since you asked about my definition of "safe" in the context of cruising, here you go......

 

For me, it will safe to resume cruising when:

  • Masks are no longer necessary aboard ship
  • Social distancing precautions have been lifted.
  • Cruises across most lines have been sailing for at least 6 months and...
    • There have been no ship or large scale passenger quarantines in the past 4 months
    • Any onboard COVID cases have been rare and have been effectively responded to such that widespread infection was avoided.
  • Port restrictions are lifted
  • Onshore (incl tour) restrictions are lifted
  • Travel insurance covers COVID infections

Note:  I don't care about CDC approvals or cruise line plans - I care about a proven track record of results.  If any of the items I've listed do not exist, that indicates to me that cruising is not yet safe (for me).  There will need to be others to blaze the trail in order to establish this track record, and there seem to be many eager to do just that.  I do not judge them for having a different viewpoint of "safe cruising" than I. I wish them well and hope to join them in the future.

in the year 2025, if man is still alive, if woman can survice, they may find ....

 

GHOST CRUISE SHIPS RUSTING AWAY ...

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4 minutes ago, voljeep said:

in the year 2025, if man is still alive, if woman can survice, they may find ....

 

GHOST CRUISE SHIPS RUSTING AWAY ...

lt's entirely possible that my definition of "safe cruising" will never be met.  If so, I will not be cruising again.  If there are enough others with similar thoughts, your words/lyrics may be prophetic. 

Edited by mnocket
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OP, very well stated.

 

You effectively linked the last 5 or so years of increasingly anti consumer cruise line actions, to the set up for and feeding of covid.

 

Could not agree more.

 

Magnificent analysis. Thank you for posting.

 

 

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Still amazes me the folks still blame the positioning of the tenders/lifeboats was to eliminate the Promenade Deck and force folks inside so they can spend more money instead of asking why that was really done - all in the name of safety and quick positioning of the craft and ease of getting pxs and crew aboard.

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34 minutes ago, Grego said:

Still amazes me the folks still blame the positioning of the tenders/lifeboats was to eliminate the Promenade Deck and force folks inside so they can spend more money instead of asking why that was really done - all in the name of safety and quick positioning of the craft and ease of getting pxs and crew aboard.

This is not quite correct.  The larger boats used on the newest ships are not made to be hung in gravity davits like the smaller boats.  This is why they are in fixed or telescoping davits, not for any "speed or ease" in getting pax into the boats.  All boats, whether in fixed, telescoping, or gravity davits are required to be capable of being loaded within 30 minutes.  The promenade decks were reduced in size not to get more people inside to spend money, but to increase revenue generating space, cabins, and add a deck of additional balconies since the boats no longer rise to the deck above for storage.  The positioning of the newer boats has nothing to do with additional safety.

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50 minutes ago, Grego said:

Still amazes me the folks still blame the positioning of the tenders/lifeboats was to eliminate the Promenade Deck and force folks inside so they can spend more money instead of asking why that was really done - all in the name of safety and quick positioning of the craft and ease of getting pxs and crew aboard.

 

What doesn't amaze me is the ability for people to comment on things they know nothing about while speaking with an authoritative voice which implies that they do.

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6 hours ago, hobbyfarmer2 said:

Pretty sure Royal class ships have 3 banks of elevators with 6 at midships.

You are right.  When sailing the Royal Princess we've  had a cabin near the aft set of elevators for access to the buffet areas.  And midships had the usual set of elevators including the two glass elevators facing the atrium.  

 

We tried the Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas, and it only had the two sets of elevators, midship and forward.  Perhaps the OP has his cruise lines mixed up.

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On 8/7/2020 at 6:16 AM, Loreni said:

I believe most  of the recent trends in ship design and furnishing choices may encourage COVID spread.  Small nearly unusable balconies and no real promenade deck.  This was clearly done to encourage people to crowd inside the ship where they can spend money, rather than relaxing in privacy on their balconies or reading in the fresh air on the promenade deck. No midships elevator means more crowing of existing elevators. Social distancing wouldn’t be easy on the Royal class.

 

But fleet wide furniture decisions may also encourage virus spread.   let’s not forget the heartless decision to remove the chairs from the cabins.  Anything to discourage people from enjoying time in their cabins. Even those with back pain could not be guaranteed a chair.  Large tables were removed from the balcony discourage room service.  Loungers were removed even from caribe deck balconies.  Miserably uncomfortable balcony furniture replaced the comfortable furniture.  Fees for room service were tried.  Again, anything to drive people out of their cabins and off their balconies.  Princess makes no money from people enjoying their private space.
 

...
 

Well, the industry may get their wish.  We are older and will not cruise without a vaccine.  The risk/reward isn’t worth it.  Many older people we know feel the same way.  Maybe the future for Princess is a much smaller fleet for younger and more affluent cruisers.     <content deleted>

 

.  Most of the affluent younger people want to interact with locals and truly experience the cultures.  

The size of the balcony doesn't affect the ability to get fresh air at all, as it only takes minutes for an open balcony door to completely refresh the air in a room.  We've found the balconies on Royal Princess to be totally adequate, and have spent many an hour outdoors on our balcony enjoying the sea air.

 

We are not spring chickens but we also enjoy cruising and experiencing the local culture where possible and safe.

 

Where we agree is that cruising is not in the cards for us until vaccines are out and proven effective (not this 50% goal that is being pushed right now - that's a coin toss.)  However money is not the issue and one doesn't need to be affluent to cruise.  I think you've got the future market wrong, or perhaps one that is more applicable to Carnival or RCCL.

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On 8/7/2020 at 9:39 PM, Lucky TGO said:

Mnocket,

I totally agree with you on your definition of SAFE on a cruise ship. 
Tony

I just hope it turns out to be a list the cruise industry can accomplish in the next year or so.  Probably looking at 2022.

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15 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

This is not quite correct.  The larger boats used on the newest ships are not made to be hung in gravity davits like the smaller boats.  This is why they are in fixed or telescoping davits, not for any "speed or ease" in getting pax into the boats.  All boats, whether in fixed, telescoping, or gravity davits are required to be capable of being loaded within 30 minutes.  The promenade decks were reduced in size not to get more people inside to spend money, but to increase revenue generating space, cabins, and add a deck of additional balconies since the boats no longer rise to the deck above for storage.  The positioning of the newer boats has nothing to do with additional safety.

Interesting reply but it contradicts the information we received from multiple ship's officers during private conversations both on the bridge and at other functions. I can see the logic in what you are saying and there is certainly a reason to think you are correct.

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On 8/7/2020 at 12:45 PM, mnocket said:

For me, it will safe to resume cruising when:

  • Masks are no longer necessary aboard ship
  • Social distancing precautions have been lifted.
  • Cruises across most lines have been sailing for at least 6 months and...
    • There have been no ship or large scale passenger quarantines in the past 4 months
    • Any onboard COVID cases have been rare and have been effectively responded to such that widespread infection was avoided.
  • Port restrictions are lifted
  • Onshore (incl tour) restrictions are lifted
  • Travel insurance covers COVID infections

 

Pretty good list. I can't imagine cruising if I have to wear a mask at all times. I don't even know how that would possibly work with dining or in lounges. Hard to eat or drink with a mask. I like your other items, too. Well done.

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On 8/8/2020 at 10:25 PM, mnocket said:

I just hope it turns out to be a list the cruise industry can accomplish in the next year or so.  Probably looking at 2022.

Agreed. All of our 2020 cruises have been Covid-Cancelled (except January 4, which we cancelled at the last minute, because I was extremely sick: Covid? Maybe). We chose to cancel or Lift&Shift our 2021 cruises and have a number of cruises booked for 2022. We will be land-cruising in our motor home until then, which enables us to keep our distance while still traveling. 

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I think the biggest ""recent trends in ship design""   is the size... so many people in one place....

 

Personally i feel 2500 is as much as one can handle....... will mega cruise ship go the same way as the A380 ????  only time will tell....

 

Don

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On 8/7/2020 at 4:16 AM, Loreni said:

I believe most  of the recent trends in ship design and furnishing choices may encourage COVID spread.  Small nearly unusable balconies and no real promenade deck.  This was clearly done to encourage people to crowd inside the ship where they can spend money, rather than relaxing in privacy on their balconies or reading in the fresh air on the promenade deck. No midships elevator means more crowing of existing elevators. Social distancing wouldn’t be easy on the Royal class.

 

But fleet wide furniture decisions may also encourage virus spread.   let’s not forget the heartless decision to remove the chairs from the cabins.  Anything to discourage people from enjoying time in their cabins. Even those with back pain could not be guaranteed a chair.  Large tables were removed from the balcony discourage room service.  Loungers were removed even from caribe deck balconies.  Miserably uncomfortable balcony furniture replaced the comfortable furniture.  Fees for room service were tried.  Again, anything to drive people out of their cabins and off their balconies.  Princess makes no money from people enjoying their private space.
 

Then there was the erosion of benefits for the most loyal cruisers.  Some even said the the cruise lines really don’t want these passengers and would prefer newer younger cruisers who spend more money.  Celebrity seems even more blatant in their distain for older passengers...blasting loud prerecorded house music throughout the ship and using very low chairs that old knees don’t like. 
 

Well, the industry may get their wish.  We are older and will not cruise without a vaccine.  The risk/reward isn’t worth it.  Many older people we know feel the same way.  Maybe the future for Princess is a much smaller fleet for younger and more affluent cruisers.  But will young people be willing to try their first cruise?  Even young people are at some risk.  I read that young affluent people are very interested in VanLife.  sales of fancy camping vans are way up...many buyers are young, first time campers. So what demographic remains for the cruise industry?

 

I just read on another board that passengers will not be able to go shore unless they are on a ship-organized excursion and they will have no interaction with locals except for their guide.  That will not appeal to many.  Most of the affluent younger people want to interact with locals and truly experience the cultures.  

Why don't you stop creating these posts,?   Troublemaker

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We don’t need Covid to show us how cruise ships magnify otherwise manageable risks. Noro has been proving this point for years. Noro is everywhere. Universities. Hospitals. Hotels. Office buildings. But when it grabs hold of a cruise ship, it’s a whole new ballgame. Same with Covid. There is nothing about mega ships that works to counter these risks. The nature of these beasts is that they make bad situations worse. Recent design features may contribute marginally to the problem. But the fact is, the problem was already there. And it’s not just cruise ships. The Navy is seeing similar results. Crowded, close quarters is a virus’ dream scenario. 

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