Jump to content

Expectations of the Caribbean Cruises


Recommended Posts

This is JMO and certainly no inside information.

 

I know some are posting that they hope (and hope is great) that there will be a robust enrichment program on each ship since they don't care a lot for the Caribbean Ports.  

 

My own opinion is enrichment will be pretty similar (but likely a little less) than one might see on a port intensive cruise.

 

I say this for several reasons.

 

First is simply profit.  Remember, a certain number of rooms will need to be available should there be COVID issues on the ship.  By using some rooms which normally had enrichment people in them versus ones which were strictly revenue this balances overall revenue with overall costs allowing for profit.  The reality is these cruises are going to have some higher costs than other cruises for things such as COVID-19 testing, PPE, they type of cleaning and several other items related to keeping everyone safe, well and healthy.

 

I also think social distancing could play into some of the enrichment activities.  An example is no Ambassador Hosts but that could extend to other programs.

 

My own belief is people can wish for a lot of enrichment because they don't wast to get off the ship and they don't care for the Caribbean and particularly in the summer but in terms of expectations if people are expecting lots of enrichment programs because of this I think they will be disappointed.

 

I also think flexibility will be key on the cruises.  I used Northwest Passage as an example as there were certain rules we needed to follow due to the use of Zodiacs and the size of the places we visited in terms of population.

 

I see specific times for boarding because the process should take longer given COVID-19 tests at the pier.  I see some type of schedule for the tender service (at least getting from ship to island) to allow for social distancing on the tenders, and keeping things orderly at the tender landings and nearby stairwells.

 

They will need to fit in at least one COVID-19 test on the ship for those returning to their home countries who require a COVID-19 test although it's is possible the requirement could change.

 

Seven day cruises always have challenges getting people into the Specialty Restaurants due to the simple math of their seating capacity and unless hours could be extended if seating capacity is less than before it will have its own set of challenges.  

 

Getting elevators might take more time.

 

I think all of the positive attributes of cruising are far far far greater than the downside of these items and the idea of cruising after most people have not cruised for a minimum of 16 months and in some cases 2 years or more will make the cruises wonderful along with all of the excitement of getting back to some normalcy.

 

But I do think  it best to set expectations that these cruises will have some differences compared to other cruises and realize that it's nice to be hopeful about certain items (tons of enrichment) will add to people having a much better time.

 

I am not sure about most of you, but in our early days of cruising we did cruise the Caribbean the first few times and in our case because we took our children with us we did go in the summer as we did to other places such as Walt Disney World.  Yes, it can be hot.  Yes, it can be humid.  Yes, after the ports that many of us who have cruised a lot have seen, it is certainly not like visiting Europe or Australia, etc.  But it is part of the world we live in and giving a choice of cruising the Caribbean in the summer versus no cruising opportunities and staying at home as most people did last Summer, I think these Caribbean cruises should be winners and should bring lots of joy to those who will be on-board.

 

Knowing Crystal as so many of us do they will make it the best they can do given some of the limitations.  And I do believe the excitement that guests and crew will have to return to sea will offset some of the limitations.  And I believe if people have reasonable expectations and don't expect business to be completely as usual these will turn out to be wonderful cruises.  They might not be for everyone though so like most things good to just think it all through.

 

And remember, should there be a costume party at night you already have your masks so you don't have to run out to find one.  🤣

Link to post
Share on other sites

Keith, you make some excellent points about what to expect in the enrichment arena this summer.  Besides Ambassador Hosts, the art classes, magic shows, trivia, and possibly some of the fitness activities might be problematic in terms of social distancing. 

 

But the enrichment lectures that are recorded would seem to be a great way to enhance the experience for all, and would not need to involve any crowding.  Perhaps some would not want to attend in person, or perhaps some might not fit in a socially distanced Galaxy Theater, but the live broadcasts and recordings would still be available as an on board activity.  Normally such a port intensive week would not have a lot of lectures, but I really feel that they should make an effort to have more for the Bahamas itineraries.  Whether or not they will do that is another question entirely.  But it seems to me that particular onboard activity would be a good way for Crystal to make these voyages a little more special.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My only concern is that Crystal be aware that there will be more folks on the ship on port days than usual and figure out how to make those days more "enriched" than usual.

Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, bitob said:

My only concern is that Crystal be aware that there will be more folks on the ship on port days than usual and figure out how to make those days more "enriched" than usual.

 

I totally agree, but I don't think that's unusual for Crystal...  I've been on PLENTY of cruises with Crystal to less-than-bucket-list destinations where hardly anyone got off the ship, or if they did it wasn't for more than 5 or 10 minutes tops.  (They're often the ones I can afford.)  Not every Crystal cruise sails to the capitals of Europe and Asia. 

 

To Keith's point though, even in those cases where they knew everyone was still staying onboard, they still treated it like every other port in terms of entertainment.  They knew how to calculate service and dining needs and made those changes accordingly, though, but they kept the activities quiet.

 

Vince

Link to post
Share on other sites

IMHO

 

We, the loyal Crystalites who are willing to pay top dollar to go somewhere we do not really want to go on a Crystal ship should be "rewarded" with suitable on board activities on port days.  These cruises are different from the usual ones you mention , Vince. People crave the ship.

 

Crystal may not see it that way -- but we are all helping keep the cruise line afloat by booking these Bahamas (and Caribbean) sailings.

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, bitob said:

IMHO

 

We, the loyal Crystalites who are willing to pay top dollar to go somewhere we do not really want to go on a Crystal ship should be "rewarded" with suitable on board activities on port days.  These cruises are different from the usual ones you mention , Vince. People crave the ship.

 

Crystal may not see it that way -- but we are all helping keep the cruise line afloat by booking these Bahamas (and Caribbean) sailings.

 

Trust me when I say, those itineraries were EXACTLY like these, and everyone onboard was there for the same reason.  If anything, based on the posts here, there actually seems to be more interest in the ports than the "stay aboard" cruises I was on!  The only difference was there were only a couple of those scheduled in a row max before the ship arrived in the next region, and they weren't doing loops of them....  But that didn't change the port dynamic one bit.

 

I'm not saying that Crystal won't change their M.O., but I certainly wouldn't book these expecting Crystal to suddenly change the way they schedule in-port activities.  Anything could change, but that's not have they handled "throwaway" itineraries before.

 

Vince

Link to post
Share on other sites

Vince I agree with all you have said.

 

I do think as Vince said people will get off the ship.  Remember, some of these places most guests have not been to before.  Even though it might be hot and humid I see them getting off even if it's for a couple of hours.  

 

As I said I would go into this with an expectation that enrichment will be as it normally is on a port intensive cruise.  If they do a little more great but I don't think they will.

 

I expect we will see lectures late afternoon as they do on those port intensive cruises, evening entertainment but possibly using different venues with more spacing, movies, etc.   

 

There are just some programs that don't fit social distancing and I am reminded that Jack Anderson said they will error on the side of caution.

 

I think it will all work out but it's JMO it's not gong to be what you would expect to see on a crossing, or a themed cruise, but more in line with a port intensive cruise with a few items potentially not there because of the protocols.

 

Maybe there will be more movies and I like the idea of lectures recognizing as SusieQft said the ability to watch them on TV. On a personal note, my wife and I have been following our own protocols which have similarities to the ones we will now be asked to follow.  As such for the past couple of years of cruising my wife watches the lectures in our room and I watch most of them like that unless I know I can social distance in the Galaxy.  In the perfect world we both like to see them in person to also show our support for the lecturers but given a choice of getting sick or watching them in our room we do the latter and this has served us very well.

 

Let's see what happens.  I believe for the reasons I have mentioned the enrichment will be more in line of a port intensive cruise with a lot happening on the single sea day and some things happening on the other days.

 

There is still so much to enjoy as we all know just being on the ship.  They will be great cruises and I think people will have a great time just because they are cruising and back on board Crystal Cruises.

 

Keith

Link to post
Share on other sites

We are going on the first two segments with an expectation that things will certainly be different than we are used to. But we are hoping that things won't be TOO different, and that Crystal will manage the new protocols efficiently.    We are also hoping that before July, the CDC will come out with guidance that says vaccinated people can dine with other vaccinated people (Or have they already said that?) and that Crystal will follow suit.  It's a great way to meet people.      And with respect to enrichment, we know there will be lecturers on the cruise, as a past lecturer we've been in contact with told us he wanted to go on the early sailings but the enrichment lecturers were already booked.  (As of now, Crystal is not showing any info on its website about entertainment, etc. for the Bahamas sailings, but they are showing for a December cruise we have booked.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Who's to say the enrichment folk aren't also desperate to get back on board and for a $50 fare reduction wouldn't grab the chance to cruise - and make the cruise a success for everyone!

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, gwesq said:

We are going on the first two segments with an expectation that things will certainly be different than we are used to. But we are hoping that things won't be TOO different, and that Crystal will manage the new protocols efficiently.    We are also hoping that before July, the CDC will come out with guidance that says vaccinated people can dine with other vaccinated people (Or have they already said that?) and that Crystal will follow suit.  It's a great way to meet people.      And with respect to enrichment, we know there will be lecturers on the cruise, as a past lecturer we've been in contact with told us he wanted to go on the early sailings but the enrichment lecturers were already booked.  (As of now, Crystal is not showing any info on its website about entertainment, etc. for the Bahamas sailings, but they are showing for a December cruise we have booked.)

Very well said.

 

Right now the CDC guidelines about those who are vaccinated pertain to small get togethers.  For example you can have a small group of people to your home and if they are all fully vaccinated they can be together with no masks.  Or you could be indoors with one other couple who have not been vaccinated without a mask or six feet apart.

 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html

 

I know Dr. Fauci said more updates are coming for those who are fully vaccinated and the good news is the first sailing is still close to three months from now so more can change and Crystal continues to update their protocols.

 

I am supposed to hear back when the enrichment lists will be published.  I know they are busily working on this including having already scheduled people on the various Bahama Cruise as you noted with the lecturer you heard from.

 

Keith

Link to post
Share on other sites

Keith,

 

Are you going to book any of the new cruises?  We can’t wait to get back on one of the ships, but we really don’t care for warm weather itineraries.  If the itineraries were in a more northern climate, I’m sure we’d book at least one and probably a B2B.

 

Nancy

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Keith1010 said:

Very well said.

 

Right now the CDC guidelines about those who are vaccinated pertain to small get togethers.  For example you can have a small group of people to your home and if they are all fully vaccinated they can be together with no masks.  

 

Keith

But Crystal is LIKE HOME, isn't it?   🙂

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, gwesq said:

But Crystal is LIKE HOME, isn't it?   🙂

Absolutely.  For us, our second home.  😃  Or even first home.  🤗

 

Keith

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am thinking that this cruise will be a mixture of people with different expectations. I see a lot of people who don't seem to want to get off the ship and want lectures, etc. My husband and I are the total opposite. We are doing a back to back so that we can have a mixture of days on and off the ship. We are looking at this cruise as a really good way to see multiple areas in the Bahamas that are normally not visited, and after this year probably won't be again. We are much more interested in food/wine/music and won't step foot near a lecture while on the ship. I also have a feeling that there will be quite a few people like us that are trying Crystal for the first time and won't have the same expectations as frequent Crystal cruisers. I certainly hope that everyone who wants enrichment programs will get them. I also hope that the social distancing won't affect the live music.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Thank You for 25 Years - Click for Fun Stuff!
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: American Queen Steamboat Company
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com - June 2021
      • ICYM Our Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Explore the Remote World with Hurtigruten!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...