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Celebrity will be restarting cruising out of St. Maarten on June 5th with Millennium


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57 minutes ago, wrk2cruise said:

 

The test booking I made didn't offer me a refundable deposit and final payment is due on 3/28.   At $300 pp/pd for my favorite aft C1 cabin with no mention of included air.  With no definition of what I'm getting for my money, no thanks.

 

I did a test booking also and it did show the option for a refundable deposit.  Also stated final payment was in May, I was booking for an August 21 sail date.  Didn't finalize the booking at this time.

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I just tried to t book the 6/12 sailing.  No A1's available, there were C1's cost for 2 with no additions for upgrades was $4400.  
Then looked at the air fare through flight s by Celebrity.  The fares were identical to booking direct with the airline and basic economy ran from $780 - $960 pp.   
Air fare price was too high for us for a 7 N trip.  So we won't be booking.

 

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2 minutes ago, Gracie115 said:

 

I did a test booking also and it did show the option for a refundable deposit.  Also stated final payment was in May, I was booking for an August 21 sail date.  Didn't finalize the booking at this time.

 

I realized after I posted about no refundable deposit that I was looking at a June sailing which was past final payment date so deposit would be non-refundable anyway.  Agree later sailings offer the refundable upcharge.

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11 minutes ago, zitsky said:

I also looked this morning at Aqua class deck 9.  Seems a lot of cabins already booked.  About half.  A little pricey.  Mine came out to $400/pp pd.  I looked at the Aug 21 sailing.

All Aft C1's booked on June cruise I test booked.  Some TA's apparently have been able to book for their clients.

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I saw one screen that implied airfare was included, but that didn’t show up when I went through a booking. Put a cabin on hold for 8/7 and will work with my TA later today to sort it out.

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Actions speak louder than words.

We had been on a track of month to month expectations, that we were really close. and the NCL CEO said 90 days till full sailing after test cruises, raising expectations a month ago that we would see sailings return in the summer, albeit with restrictions and less than 100% occupancy. We thought it was really close.

 

Heck, a year ago I thought everything would be ok by summer 2020, and now I am changing changed bookings, and I know I am not alone on that.

 

Now the CDC throws  down the gauntlet and says Nov 1  with the 4 phases.  Try reading into that whatever you want but the expectation of sailing out of US ports anytime soon-- 90 to 120 days - is diminished if not gone.

 

I have a Thanksgiving 2021 Family cruise booked before covid, 4 cabins. We already booked next years knowing we would take an 800 hit on transferring deposits unless our cruise gets cancelled before the August Final Payment. Everybody here has similar issues.

 

and we get no concrete answers. Which makes me look deeper for what is really happening.

 

Not much is simple anymore.

 

In one of my comments, I did mention that there is only so long that the Cruise lines can continue  burn cash without a serious consequence. Sailing at 60% occupancy will just reduce cash burn when they need to go cash flow positive asap.

 

These are multi-dimensional problems and you have to think this way. IMHO

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They did not throw down the gauntlet.  They say the Nov 1 date is still in place.  They also said that cruising and the Nov 1 date are currently under interagency review.  IMO that is punting for now, not throwing down the gauntlet.  

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, wrk2cruise said:

I was looking at suites this morning and many of the popular ones were taken already.   I didn't think groups actually took individual cabins out of inventory until they were actually booked.  I do wonder if some TA's do put some on hold and try to sell them.   Otherwise there was a lot of early interest in these sailings with people committing.   I don't see how without any details around protocols being published.

 

From my post above regarding no refundable fares.  That was because I was looking at a sailing in June which is already past final payment date.  Later sailings did have refundable fares.

We talked with our X PVP yesterday and asked him to reserve our cabin for our July cruise as soon as it was bookable this morning. I would imagine there were quite a few others asking their PVP/TAs to do the same as well as those simply logging on first thing this morning. It looks like the "hold" lasts for 3 days, at least the ones our PVP did. I've also noticed cabin prices going up in a few categories on some of the itineraries based on this morning's activity.

 

As a side note, being able to book our July cruise on the Millennium this morning generated a rush similar to when we were able to get in line for our first vaccine shot!

Edited by Ken the cruiser
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1 hour ago, lhsail said:

I saw one screen that implied airfare was included, but that didn’t show up when I went through a booking. Put a cabin on hold for 8/7 and will work with my TA later today to sort it out.

My apologies, I found that screen again and was looking at it incorrectly. Does not appear airfare is included. 

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45 minutes ago, HMR74 said:

Now the CDC throws  down the gauntlet and says Nov 1

Your obvious bias leads to total distortion of the facts. The CDC's framework document dated October 30, 2020, included the provision that it was to remain in effect until the earliest of:

 

(1) the expiration of the Secretary of Health and Human Services' declaration that COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency;

(2) the CDC Director rescinds or modifies the order based on specific public health or other considerations; or

(3) November 1, 2021.

 

 

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I just priced a 7-night Celebrity cruise out of St. Maarten in June as well as a 7-night Crystal cruise out of Bimini, The Bahamas in July. The fare for a Concierge class stateroom on the Celebrity cruise with premium drinks and streaming WiFi was about $10 per night/pp less than the Crystal cruise from Bimini with an A1 verandah stateroom (equivalent to Concierge class, these are the best staterooms on Crystal below the suites classes). As a true luxury line, Crystal always includes premium drinks, WiFi, and gratuities as well as free specialty restaurants. And the Crystal ships have complimentary self-serve launderettes and complimentary pressing for all guests.  (Those in suites have even more included perks.) We do not drink alcohol, and this has always kept us away from the luxury lines because we felt we were paying a premium for something we weren't going to use. However, if Celebrity's "Always Included" fares are on par with a luxury line like Crystal Cruises, we'll opt for the luxury line, or perhaps in some cases we'll go down-market to a Carnival ship if we like the itinerary. (We don't care for the large Royal Caribbean ships.) Or we'll consider Viking, which is somewhere between Celebrity and Crystal and includes some but not all alcohol. We booked the Crystal Cruises sailing out of Bimini partly because it has an all-Bahamas itinerary that is quite interesting and which is unlikely to be offered again, once U.S. ports open. Another nice thing about the sailing is that everyone on the ship will be vaccinated and have a Bahamas health certificate so passengers will be allowed to explore ports of call on their own. We still have Celebrity cruises scheduled for November 2021 and April 2022. We got these before rates went up. We love the Celebrity ships but only if they are decent value compared to competitors. 

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20 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

We talked with our X PVP yesterday and asked him to reserve our cabin for our July cruise as soon as it was bookable this morning. I would imagine there were quite a few others asking their PVP/TAs to do the same as well as those simply logging on first thing this morning. It looks like the "hold" lasts for 3 days, at least the ones our PVP did. I've also noticed cabin prices going up in a few categories on some of the itineraries based on this morning's activity.

 

As a side note, being able to book our July cruise on the Millennium this morning generated a rush similar to when we were able to get in line for our first vaccine shot!

Just got a call from our X PVP. He was notified about an hour ago that they are now not allowing B2B cruises on the Millennium. So it looks like we won't be going on the cruise as going through all the whoops and paying for R/T air just to go on a 7 day cruise just isn't worth it to us..

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3 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Just got a call from our X PVP. He was notified about an hour ago that they are now not allowing B2B cruises on the Millennium. So it looks like we won't be going on the cruise as going through all the whoops and paying for R/T air just to go on a 7 day cruise just isn't worth it to us..

Another piece of information that Celebrity could have announced in the lead up to booking day. Communication is starting to rival IT as a definite weak spot.

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2 hours ago, wrk2cruise said:

 

The test booking I made didn't offer me a refundable deposit and final payment is due on 3/28.   At $300 pp/pd for my favorite aft C1 cabin with no mention of included air.  With no definition of what I'm getting for my money, no thanks.

When I was making my test booking, I was offered a 'refundable deposit' upgrade, and as for the final payment date, did you try a sailing more than 90 days out?

 

There is NO included air, if one were click in on the button which says "view itinerary & flights' then the cost of flights from Miami would be revealed, for each cabin class.

 

As such, I understand your hesitancy and lack of enthusiasm about booking, but without looking and exploring that front page further, one will be dismayed about information they do not see, right away.

 

bon voyage

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Just now, Fouremco said:

Another piece of information that Celebrity could have announced in the lead up to booking day. Communication is starting to rival IT as a definite weak spot.

He's keeping the 3 day holds on our cabin just in case the powers that be change their mind again in the next few days. 

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18 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

Your obvious bias leads to total distortion of the facts. The CDC's framework document dated October 30, 2020, included the provision that it was to remain in effect until the earliest of:

 

(1) the expiration of the Secretary of Health and Human Services' declaration that COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency;

(2) the CDC Director rescinds or modifies the order based on specific public health or other considerations; or

(3) November 1, 2021.

 

 

I only care about the bottom line and the  bottom line, when not deep in the weeds,  is regardless of it all, something has to change big and soon in order for US ports sailings to happen.And it appears the time line involves November 1.  I do not want to get hung up with the minutia, just look at the more likely end result. And right now, unless something changes, there will  be no US sailings for a while. I am beginning to be concerned about spring 2022 cruises and how much the Caribbean can absorb for sufficient activity with its lack of infrastructure.

 

That puts a kabosh in the plans of many.

 

but if you want to talk about your specifics, go right ahead. 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, MarkWiltonM said:

I just priced a 7-night Celebrity cruise out of St. Maarten in June as well as a 7-night Crystal cruise out of Bimini, The Bahamas in July. The fare for a Concierge class stateroom on the Celebrity cruise with premium drinks and streaming WiFi was about $10 per night/pp less than the Crystal cruise from Bimini with an A1 verandah stateroom (equivalent to Concierge class, these are the best staterooms on Crystal below the suites classes). As a true luxury line, Crystal always includes premium drinks, WiFi, and gratuities as well as free specialty restaurants. And the Crystal ships have complimentary self-serve launderettes and complimentary pressing for all guests.  (Those in suites have even more included perks.) We do not drink alcohol, and this has always kept us away from the luxury lines because we felt we were paying a premium for something we weren't going to use. However, if Celebrity's "Always Included" fares are on par with a luxury line like Crystal Cruises, we'll opt for the luxury line, or perhaps in some cases we'll go down-market to a Carnival ship if we like the itinerary. (We don't care for the large Royal Caribbean ships.) Or we'll consider Viking, which is somewhere between Celebrity and Crystal and includes some but not all alcohol. We booked the Crystal Cruises sailing out of Bimini partly because it has an all-Bahamas itinerary that is quite interesting and which is unlikely to be offered again, once U.S. ports open. Another nice thing about the sailing is that everyone on the ship will be vaccinated and have a Bahamas health certificate so passengers will be allowed to explore ports of call on their own. We still have Celebrity cruises scheduled for November 2021 and April 2022. We got these before rates went up. We love the Celebrity ships but only if they are decent value compared to competitors. 

Crystal pricing is competitive with Celebrity at this time so it would be a no brainer for me. The Serenity is a beautiful ship and you will enjoy the service. The Crystal crowd is not really interested in ports, the ship for many is the destination. 

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13 minutes ago, HMR74 said:

I only care about the bottom line and the  bottom line, when not deep in the weeds,  is regardless of it all, something has to change big and soon in order for US ports sailings to happen.And it appears the time line involves November 1.  I do not want to get hung up with the minutia, just look at the more likely end result. And right now, unless something changes, there will  be no US sailings for a while. I am beginning to be concerned about spring 2022 cruises and how much the Caribbean can absorb for sufficient activity with its lack of infrastructure.

 

That puts a kabosh in the plans of many.

 

but if you want to talk about your specifics, go right ahead. 

 

 

Sorry, I didn't mean to derail your story with actual, verifiable facts. 

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6 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

Sorry, I didn't mean to derail your story with actual, verifiable facts. 

my final comment to you is what are the verifiable facts you are using going to get you  in terms of results?

 

US President Biden is hopeful that if we all behave right, e can have small gatherings for July 4th holiday. If we need to wait for the earlier of the CDC or HHS director to change their minds or Nov 1, then plan on Nov 1  and that might be optimistic if the variants strike or what if the cruise lines will need 90 days to get fully up and running from Nov 1-

nothing has been easy in this process.

 

TATA

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I just compared a standard balcony cabin on Crystal vs. Celebrity, and the difference was approx $900 per person for a 7 night cruise.  For an $1,800 savings, I would go with Celebrity.  I have sailed both lines, and believe that Crystal is worth paying more for, but not that much more.  Additionally, from reading the Crystal boards, I learned that Crystal is extremely slow in issuing refunds for cruises it has cancelled.  

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I looked at these cruises but they are quite expensive when I compare to a 7 day European cruise with 7 ports.  I did a western Caribbean for $3200.  Now they want $5600 for a 4 port cruise.  All inclusive with elevate.

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15 hours ago, HMR74 said:

Let me suggest that this issue with CDC AND other agencies is much more than we are thinking. Its going to be controversial, I am sure , so I will post it and let the board do the talking. I as well have more thinking to do on this. So I am throwing it out there.

 

First, I do think this is CDC  retaliating against Richard Fain and RCL for daring to leave US ports. It is a power and control issue, but now that I think of it, its more. 

 

Its about the "New Green Deal", and "not letting a good crisis go to waste" .

 

Whether you or I agree with it , or not, we know the current policy is to do away with fossil fuels asap.  In calendar 2019, RCL spent 680 million on diesel fuel, and the other big 2 or 3 have to be in the same ballpark.

 

By using covid, and CDC, good,  bad or indifferent, they have been able to shut down the cruising industry and 2/3 of the airline industry and of course ancillary businesses, that all use energy-eg work from home.. (I said this would be controversial, but a good businessperson must consider everything). I now think there are a lot of people happy  on this. we are now talking about shutting down an industry  for 2 years , and severely curtailing others (Airlines, hotels-where do you go if hotels are shut down) .  Even though its killing the economy. (I am all for improving our environment but for crying out loud, not overnight at such a hefty cost).

 

Even the move to electric vehicles restricts long distance trips, and vacations. because not only do the cars have batteries limiting distance , but recharging times are far longer than filling a tank with gasoline. And the lead time to build out  new electric power stations that do not use coal or nat gas is a very long time.

 

Just think about this in an independent manner. We do not have to agree whether its right or wrong, just that it could be happening. That's perhaps  why the CDC director said other agencies were involved: eg EPA, transportation, DOE, probably more.

 

The easiest way would have been if we all just steered away from cruising as being too dangerous. Novo virus did not stop us (being the big group us). If what I say is true, we should be flooding out Congress reps with e mails,  calls and letters, unless, of course,  we want to live with the consequences of the New Green Deal, .

 

When I was thinking about it a little while ago it was at first crazy, but it does check off boxes for those pushing new green deal.

 

And never let a good crisis go to waste-that was from Rahm Emanuel--who I met at a fundraiser in Chicago and talked with me  until  he found out I could not help him  and dropped me like a hot potato.

 

Have fun with this.

.

Conjecture, bullcrap and rumormongering.  Just what we need.

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2 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

He's keeping the 3 day holds on our cabin just in case the powers that be change their mind again in the next few days. 

I doubt that they will.  If someone were to be infected and infect others the odds of any number of individuals showing symptoms or for that matter event testing positive during a single seven day cruise is low.  Go to back to back to back and that changes.  The worst events during the early days of the pandemic - Diamond, Grand, Ruby were on longer than 7 day cruises, where the infection started on board prior to the cruise where it really broke out.

 

On the fairly recent case on the Viking ship in Norway, the infection started on the cruise before the one where it was recognized.

 

Doubt you will see back to back cruises allowed until you see a return to longer cruises as well.

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If I have a cabin on hold through the Celebrity website, is it on hold for 24 hours from the time I made the reservation, or is it until the end of business the next day?  Thanks.

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9 minutes ago, nocl said:

I doubt that they will.  If someone were to be infected and infect others the odds of any number of individuals showing symptoms or for that matter event testing positive during a single seven day cruise is low.  Go to back to back to back and that changes.  The worst events during the early days of the pandemic - Diamond, Grand, Ruby were on longer than 7 day cruises, where the infection started on board prior to the cruise where it really broke out.

 

On the fairly recent case on the Viking ship in Norway, the infection started on the cruise before the one where it was recognized.

 

Doubt you will see back to back cruises allowed until you see a return to longer cruises as well.

OTOH if the folks on B2B cruises were tested towards the end of each leg like others who will be departing the ship will be, and they tested positive, then the applicable protocols would be put into play (as would be the case for those only sailing one leg) and their remaining legs would be refunded. But, that's not my call. It's theirs. 

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