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I truly believe the ocean cruise ships will be gone.  I think the river cruises will survive.

So many cruiselines are now selling ships the same age as the Symphony (which will be 26 years old in May, 2021) and the Serenity to scrap yards to get cash.  
 

River cruises are getting more popular, especially with the Asian market so I think the long term viability of Crystal River Cruises is better.

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Symphony and Serenity were already on the block for replacement so scrapping both ships isn't too far fetched...  I think the only question is how much capacity is needed in order to keep the company viable enough in order to be able to rebuild in the future.  I've long said I could see them scrapping at least one ship to reduce costs and inventory, and raise a little cash, but burning the furniture to keep the lights on is a tricky game.  If Crystal shrinks too small and leaves the ocean segment completely, it will be a lot trickier to reenter it in the future -- especially with less capital flowing through the entire travel industry.  

 

That said, I think Genting still has a couple of their remaining hulls that I would expect for them to scrap before Symphony or Serenity, but that's just a gut instinct.

 

Vince

 

Edited by BWIVince
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25 minutes ago, cruisr said:

I truly believe the ocean cruise ships will be gone.  I think the river cruises will survive.

So many cruiselines are now selling ships the same age as the Symphony (which will be 26 years old in May, 2021) and the Serenity to scrap yards to get cash.  
 

River cruises are getting more popular, especially with the Asian market so I think the long term viability of Crystal River Cruises is better.


The problem for Crystal fans is that the river boats repeat the same tours over and over. I’ve done 4 river boat cruises with Crystal (3 events) and have pretty much done everything they have to offer. I did the Mozart twice, Vienna round trip, and loved, loved, loved that boat. Did a B2B on the Bach, Amsterdam to Basel and then return to Amsterdam. I see that in 2022 they have 2 different cruises on one of the boats, the Eastern Danube from Budapest to Romania/Bulgaria and return. I would consider that, but don’t see doing again what I feel like I’ve covered. 
 

Patty

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I actually believe it is the Ocean Vessels which are more profitable so I really would not count them out.  Bookings look strong as well.  I see Crystal returning and starting with one or both of them but not scrapping them.  JMHO but that is what I believe will happen and look forward to sailing the ocean vessels in 2021 and the Ocean Vessels, Expedition Ship and River Vessels in 2022.

 

Time will tell.  

 

Keith

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21 hours ago, cruisr said:

I truly believe the ocean cruise ships will be gone.  I think the river cruises will survive.

So many cruiselines are now selling ships the same age as the Symphony (which will be 26 years old in May, 2021) and the Serenity to scrap yards to get cash.  
 

River cruises are getting more popular, especially with the Asian market so I think the long term viability of Crystal River Cruises is better.

Actually I think that there are enough companies offering river cruises. I find the strength of Crystal in the Ocean itineraries. Long ocean voyages to exotic itineraries are for us a reason to cruise with Crystal. It is on those itineraries that we have learned to distinguish Crystal from their competitors. That is also the reason why we would sail again with Crystal.

Ivi

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5 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

.Bookings look strong as well


How do you know that? Has it been reported somewhere by Crystal?

 

I wonder how many of the future bookings are funded by FCC’s and prepayments transferred from cancelled cruises ie not new funds coming in

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5 minutes ago, Stickman1990 said:

I wonder how many of the future bookings are funded by FCC’s and prepayments transferred from cancelled cruises ie not new funds coming in

At this point, probably most of them.  Although since some of the FCCs were added to previous cash deposits, some of the total "amount" Crystal has on deposit may even be more than normal.  Not counting the still pending refunds, of course.

 

The total amount of FCCs is finite, though, so if they can make it over the hump, then future bookings will bring new funds in.  Hopefully that will happen before too much longer.

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1 hour ago, Stickman1990 said:


How do you know that? Has it been reported somewhere by Crystal?

 

I wonder how many of the future bookings are funded by FCC’s and prepayments transferred from cancelled cruises ie not new funds coming in

From looking at actual voyages on the Crystal Cruises web site starting late next summer into mid  2022 and seeing categories fully booked or with very little availability and also hearing from friends who are booked and whose TA’s have told them bookings are strong

 

Keith

 

 

 

 

 

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My TA (a personal friend as well as TA) said all her Crystal bookings for 2021 are using FCCs.  NO new money coming in.  I choose a refund as I didn’t want to take a chance of becoming one in a long line of creditors.   She had five other couples who took refunds, which on average, were 120 days.

 

They can have strong bookings but no revenue to add to their bottom line.  They will also, no doubt, be selling fewer cabins to comply with CDC rulings (keeping cabins empty for isolation, etc)


 Time will tell

 

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The world cruise 2022 shows little availability. My other two booked cruises show still many cabins available (November 2021 and August 2022). I imagine that fewer people are making new bookings right now. There is a certain mistrust in relation to Crystal because of the way how refunds have been handled. I have heard that Oceania, Seabourn and maybe Regent are selling well, but I do not know if this is the case. I am confident however that cruise bookings will increase once the Pandemic is under control. 
Ivi

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7 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

From looking at actual voyages on the Crystal Cruises web site starting late next summer into mid  2022 and seeing categories fully booked or with very little availability and also hearing from friends who are booked and whose TA’s have told them bookings are strong

 

I admire your optimism but I don't think the public website reflects the definitive booking status and what capacity Crystal are releasing into that inventory

 

It will be interesting to see what happens after the Deposits due under the current offer of no deposits due until 5 January 2021 kicks in (https://www.crystalcruises.com.au/special-offers/easy-book-program)

 

Apart from those who have chosen to roll their payments over and/or take FCC's plus the outstanding refunds that Crystal is withholding even though it's long overdue.  I'm not sure how much new money there is flowing into their Treasury - clearly not enough to honour the payments to those still waiting on refunds who have not been able to seek the help of their credit card companies with disputes with Crystal

 

I'm seeing several regular World cruiser's confirm they're booked for 2022 and onward but given the numbers on the recent World Cruises (around 300 or so I believe) that's not enough to fund Crystal - but hopefully it's enough for them to start providing the outstanding refunds. If the WC 2020 is heavily booked it will only be in certain classes as I can see plenty of availability on the segments I've checked for availability

 

It's interesting your friends TA is telling them that bookings are strong as that's not what I'm hearing - oh well is this where we say "time will tell"?

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47 minutes ago, Stickman1990 said:

 

I admire your optimism but I don't think the public website reflects the definitive booking status and what capacity Crystal are releasing into that inventory

 

It will be interesting to see what happens after the Deposits due under the current offer of no deposits due until 5 January 2021 kicks in (https://www.crystalcruises.com.au/special-offers/easy-book-program)

 

Apart from those who have chosen to roll their payments over and/or take FCC's plus the outstanding refunds that Crystal is withholding even though it's long overdue.  I'm not sure how much new money there is flowing into their Treasury - clearly not enough to honour the payments to those still waiting on refunds who have not been able to seek the help of their credit card companies with disputes with Crystal

 

I'm seeing several regular World cruiser's confirm they're booked for 2022 and onward but given the numbers on the recent World Cruises (around 300 or so I believe) that's not enough to fund Crystal - but hopefully it's enough for them to start providing the outstanding refunds. If the WC 2020 is heavily booked it will only be in certain classes as I can see plenty of availability on the segments I've checked for availability

 

It's interesting your friends TA is telling them that bookings are strong as that's not what I'm hearing - oh well is this where we say "time will tell"?

I'm just basing this on looking at the Crystal site myself as I've always done in past.  Have a bit more free time these days for things like that.

 

Actually I mostly looked at it to look at potential cruises and to look at ones we already have booked to see how they were looking.  I find the Crystal Cruises own website to be good when it comes to that. 

 

In terms of friends I just want to note it I am talking about several different friends who with one or two exceptions have different TA's from one another.

 

Time will definitely tell.  My point to another poster is it is not for certain what will happen and I believe (conjecture on my part) that the Ocean vessels have better financials than the RIver Cruise Vessels because of the ratio of guests they sail with compared to other companies who sail with the same size vessels and more guests and considering the fares between both companies and the potential overhead of the Crystal ones. 

 

But nothing is certain these days.  I will feel better when we know more about the vaccines and the rollout and how that works around the world or at least in concentrated areas and how the companies deal with those vaccinated and not and how the countries deal with opening their boarders.  It's tough enough to have something coordinated in ones own city (at least in the USA) and how all the piece parts work I am uncertain.  All of this relates to when travel gets back to some norm including cruises lines and their timing.  Even lines that appeared to be in better shape could feel additional challenges depending on when things open up. 

 

Like most things speculation is always interesting such as those who think Crystal Ocean Vessels won't be around and others who think they will. I'm hoping on the latter.  Time will tell. 

 

As to new money, I think January 5 might be a little too early for that unless lots more is known in 30 days and that I am not so sure about. 

 

Keith

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12 hours ago, cruisr said:

My TA (a personal friend as well as TA) said all her Crystal bookings for 2021 are using FCCs.  NO new money coming in.  I choose a refund as I didn’t want to take a chance of becoming one in a long line of creditors.   She had five other couples who took refunds, which on average, were 120 days.

 

They can have strong bookings but no revenue to add to their bottom line.  They will also, no doubt, be selling fewer cabins to comply with CDC rulings (keeping cabins empty for isolation, etc)


 Time will tell

 


I don’t discount the point about no new money coming in the door because that’s huge in terms of Crystal’s viability, but as an interesting discussion point there are a couple of reasons that’s disconnected from the point about whether bookings are strong or not.

 

First, I suspect Crystal will likely be unable to process any measurable volume of new payments until Crystal gets a significant cash infusion from GHK.  That makes measuring monthly revenue charged kind of worthless either way.

 

Second, for most travel companies, when accounting the revenue the money carries on the booking.  So if someone was non-revenue and they rebook to a different date, they’ll still be non-rev.  If someone paid $5000 for one date and rebooks for another, whatever revenue they carry forward (minus fees) moves to the new departure date on the books.  To the passenger the revenue may not look like money anymore, but accounting regulations minimize the use of funny money lately and companies are encouraged to keep reporting when the actual cash is finally earned by performing the company’s primary function.  
 

Therefore it’s true the FCC’s don’t help the incoming cash situation, but for the purpose of whether future bookings look strong, and will “earn” Crystal money, that part is still true.

 

Vince

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21 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

I actually believe it is the Ocean Vessels which are more profitable so I really would not count them out.  Bookings look strong as well.  I see Crystal returning and starting with one or both of them but not scrapping them.  JMHO but that is what I believe will happen and look forward to sailing the ocean vessels in 2021 and the Ocean Vessels, Expedition Ship and River Vessels in 2022.

 

Time will tell.  

 

Keith


Keith,

 

Overall I agree, I don’t see Crystal getting rid of the ocean ships, at least not both of them.  The ocean ships represent too much of Crystal’s overall business and revenue and would create a crater that would be incredibly hard to climb out of to restructure.

 

To the point of my earlier message though, it does get interesting to model a situation where Crystal ventures down a path where it does need to start burning the furniture.  The downsides of scrapping the ocean ships are greater, but there are a couple of interesting silver linings if they had to go that route.  I think at the end of the day, the condition of the industry and the unfavorable investment terms right now are the primary reality check.

 

Vince

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Vince

I read your earlier posts on credit card procedures, and appreciate your insight.  I would welcome any clarification/thoughts you have on a statement in Crystal's recent memos:

 

an agreement was reached first with one of the credit card providers to a solution on the procedures. We continue to work through procedures with other credit card providers

 

What sort of procedures?  How might they be different than regular refunds?

 

TIA

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10 minutes ago, crickette said:

Vince

I read your earlier posts on credit card procedures, and appreciate your insight.  I would welcome any clarification/thoughts you have on a statement in Crystal's recent memos:

 

an agreement was reached first with one of the credit card providers to a solution on the procedures. We continue to work through procedures with other credit card providers

 

What sort of procedures?  How might they be different than regular refunds?

 

TIA

 

Hmm, that is open to a lot of interpretation (for good reason -- it doesn't help anything for them to be specific.)  To be safe, I'd guess they're renegotiating the terms around their processing agreements. 

 

Cruise lines, like a lot of companies in the travel industry, vary greatly from retail merchants in the sense that they require escrows or some form a guarantee to mitigate the risk of holding charging cardholders large sums of money for something they promise to deliver months or years in the future.  These terms are set by the processors, and if you're a big enough fish or your entire industry hits the rocks, these terms can be negotiated or renegotiated.  I'm guessing that the banks are finally deciding to work with the cruise lines a little on these terms to help them clear the backlogs and move forward.  

 

In fairness, the funding requirements are set based on historic volume for legacy clients, which is always a problem when the industry landscape changes dramatically.  For the foreseeable future, cruise lines will be processing a fraction of the credit card charges they have in the past, so the escrows/guarantees probably deserve to be lowered once they can clear and balance the backlog of refunds and chargebacks (which have presumably already lowered the balance).

 

The merchant's acquirer (the primary processor or bank the merchant processes their transactions through) is sort of their default relationship, but to accept cards of other associations sometimes requires different terms, so these relationships can be kind of modular.  Visa/Mastercard can have one set of requirements, AmEx another, Discover/Diners a third, etc..  Therefore the process of renegotiating can be complex, since they may be in a different situation with each association, and each of them has different priorities, so different brands may come back online at different times.

 

Did I just make it even more confusing?  🙂

 

Vince

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44 minutes ago, crickette said:

Vince

I read your earlier posts on credit card procedures, and appreciate your insight.  I would welcome any clarification/thoughts you have on a statement in Crystal's recent memos:

 

an agreement was reached first with one of the credit card providers to a solution on the procedures. We continue to work through procedures with other credit card providers

 

What sort of procedures?  How might they be different than regular refunds?

 

TIA

 

Will be waiting for Vince's response, but if I were to hazard a guess, I think the credit card company is going to eat some of the refund for now until Crystal has the cash to refund them, or the credit card company will eventually be a creditor to get in line after bankruptcy.

 

Patty

 

P.S. I see Vince posted at the same time. Will now read his words of wisdom!

Edited by Texas Tillie
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Somewhat off-topic but does anyone know how the Crystal charter plane business is doing? The upcoming Atlas Ocean Voyages is adding a very interesting twist to its Antarctica itineraries by doing included charter flights from Orlando straight to Ushuaia (following included flights from a number of US and Canadian gateways to Orlando). I wonder if this is something Crystal may explore for Endeavor's Antarctica season. This may be very attractive for those who are focused on Antarctica and would rather avoid all the extra travel time usually needed to get there and back. 

 

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/atlas-ocean-voyages-announces-innovative-private-charter-jet-service-for-winter-202122-antarctica-luxe-adventure-expeditions-301181601.html

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2 hours ago, claudiaYVR said:

Somewhat off-topic but does anyone know how the Crystal charter plane business is doing? The upcoming Atlas Ocean Voyages is adding a very interesting twist to its Antarctica itineraries by doing included charter flights from Orlando straight to Ushuaia (following included flights from a number of US and Canadian gateways to Orlando).

 

Lots of companies offer charters in/out of Ushuaia.  Most are just from Buenos Aires, but this could be as effective IF they are mostly with North American passengers.  Note that these are merely listed as "wide body" charter aircraft, so it could be just a old 767 or 330.

 

2 hours ago, claudiaYVR said:

I wonder if this is something Crystal may explore for Endeavor's Antarctica season. This may be very attractive for those who are focused on Antarctica and would rather avoid all the extra travel time usually needed to get there and back.

 

Well, since the "Skye" only seats 88, what are you going to do with the other hundred or so guests aboard the ship if this was "included"?  It would only make economic sense if you had relatively full capacity for both directions of the flights to/from USH, and could get enough people to pony up for the extra of having a seat on this flight (since you can't include it in the cruise fare because of capacity issues).

 

Many of the flights between the USA and deep South America are kept viable because of the cargo earnings in the belly.  (Note that aircraft sit on the ground during the day in EZE and SCL - not earning any revenue).  The Skye would have to make it all on passenger revenue in/out of USH, as cargo wouldn't be adding to the revenue total.

 

Thought problem:  If they haven't figured out a way to make this economically viable for ocean itineraries with a 800+ passenger ship, how would that be any easier with a 200 passenger ship?

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Financial details and future dates that are pertinent to the  BANKRUPTCY?  topic----

 

Crystal’s financial statements are not disclosed.  Genting Hong Kong’s statements are published about 4 months after a reporting period ends.  Latest results can be found here:

 

Interim Report for the six months ended 30 June 2020

 

Footnotes indicate that the company has begun a “consensual solvent restructuring solution”.

 

“The principal activity of the Company is investment holding. The Company’s subsidiaries are principally engaged in the business of cruise and cruise-related operations, shipyard operations and leisure, entertainment and hospitality activities.”

 

“The Directors are also in the process of seeking additional equity or debt funding from private investors and have received indicative letters from the investors, expressing interest to invest in one of the Group’s cruise brands. The Directors are in discussion with the investors on the terms and conditions of the funding and consider that there is a reasonable prospect will be able to obtain the funding within the next twelve months from 30 June 2020.”

 

The company has the following relevant loan agreements:  “(i) the First Vessel Loan Facility Agreement; (ii) the Second Vessel Loan Facility Agreement; (iii) the Crystal Vessel Loan Facility Agreement (for Serenity and Symphony); (iv) the US$500 million Facility Agreement and (v) the River Cruise Ship Facility Agreement”.

 

“As at 30 June 2020, the aggregate principal amount under the above facility agreements was US$1,675 million and the aggregate outstanding loan balance thereunder was approximately US$1,186 million. The Group has reached debt holiday agreements with certain lenders deferring principal repayments. Principal payments under the Second Vessel Loan Facility Agreement otherwise due by 31 March 2021 have been deferred and deferred payments are repayable in instalments within the following 4 years. Principal payments under the River Cruise Ship Facility Agreement otherwise due by 30 April 2021 have been deferred and deferred payments are repayable in instalments within the following 4 years. The Group is currently negotiating with the lenders for debt holiday arrangement for principal repayment due by 30 April 2021 under the Crystal Vessel Loan Facility Agreement and US$500 million Facility Agreement (for Serenity and Symphony).”

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jim9310
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3 hours ago, claudiaYVR said:

Somewhat off-topic but does anyone know how the Crystal charter plane business is doing?

 

Not so well.  This spring/summer, they were doing a bunch of flights in/out of Shanghai - presumably with cargo.  Now, not much.  In November, they did a round-trip LA - Rome.  In October,  a Fort Myers - LA - Tahiti round trip.  And another one-off r/t in September.  Currently, the Skye is sitting in San Bernardino.  Can't speak to the Challenger.

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On 11/30/2020 at 9:17 PM, Stickman1990 said:

 

It's interesting your friends TA is telling them that bookings are strong as that's not what I'm hearing - oh well is this where we say "time will tell"?

Recently a large, well known travel consortium advised their member agencies not to book Crystal until further notice. This was quite a bombshell because the consortium is a top tier rainmaker for Crystal. I just cancelled my April 2021 river cruise and was told the deposit refund will take a minimum of 90 days be processed.  Never ever would I have thought Crystal would be in this situation. 

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