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Everyone should read the CC News stories dated 5/6


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I understand that some posters and CC management want us to stay away from posting our own opinions.  But fortunately, the CC powers have posted some news stories (today) that do a good job of putting the CDC's position into perspective.  On the top of your screen you can use the drop down under "More" to access cruise news.  The story about Frank del Rio (Norwegian Cruise Holdings CEO) tears into the CDC and makes one wonder what FDR really thinks.  The new story and the latest CDC Guidelines also makes the absurdity pretty obvious.  As FDR says, one would likely be required to put their mask on between every spoonful of soup.

 

From my perspective this latest news makes it clear that most folks should consider cancelling any cruise booking that involves a US Port!  It seems like the future of the cruise industry now lies outside of North America (USA and Canada).  Will "Bon Voyage" from US Ports now become a distant memory?

 

Hank

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  • Hlitner changed the title to Everyone should read the CC News stories dated 5/6
Posted (edited)

"Of note, the CDC also said cruise lines should limit shore excursions in foreign ports of call to countries listed as Level 1: COVID-19 Low in CDC’s COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination, which would take a number of Caribbean destinations out of itineraries."

 

I was just looking this morning at the worst countries (level 4?) and it seemed like the whole planet, i.e., France, Italy, you name it.

 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html#travel-1

 
Edited by clo
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26 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

The story about Frank del Rio (Norwegian Cruise Holdings CEO) tears into the CDC and makes one wonder what FDR really thinks.  

 

 

Thanks for posting this.  

 

I think I was able to detect what Mr. del Rio thinks about the CDC.

 

Interesting to me that while we are hearing frequently from Mr. del Rio and Mr. Fain,  I am not reading much from Mr. Donald.  Fain and del Rio have been working together throughout this pandemic.  Mr. Donald and company seems to be absent from the coalition.  But, who knows what is going on behind the scenes?  

 

Mr. del Rio stated that it will take 90 days to get the ships out of lay-up and into service.  This is 30 days longer than what I have heard a cruise company executive say in the past.  Is the 90 day time frame hyperbole?  Or, is the continued long lay-up of the ships causing this longer time frame?  

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12 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

....Mr. del Rio stated that it will take 90 days to get the ships out of lay-up and into service.  This is 30 days longer than what I have heard a cruise company executive say in the past.  Is the 90 day time frame hyperbole?  Or, is the continued long lay-up of the ships causing this longer time frame?  

 

The extended layup would certainly account for a possible 90-day timeline to go from layup into service.  The ships have had a limited caretaker crew on board.  There would be a lot of accumulated, deferred maintenance to address.  That, and crew must be hired.   With so many stories written about crew members being stuck on ships way past their contracts who knows how many will return.  

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Keep in mind that the CDC has no authority for cruises that do not call at any US Port.  This leaves the entire world open for cruising based on the rules of the various countries.  Hence we are seeing lots of cruise activity this summer in Greece since their government has made it very clear they welcome the cruise industry and cruisers.  In fact, Greece has actually adopted a vaccination policy that gives precedence to the Greek Islands which are the destination of most cruises.  We only have two future cruises booked, which involve US Ports.  One is on MSC and we will soon move to cancel that booking or change it to a European itinerary.  The other is an Oceania cruise that only uses one US Port but it happens to be the embarkation port.  We suspect, that given Frank del Rio's recent comments that Oceania will simply move the embarkation port to one of the available Caribbean islands and alter future "O" cruise itineraries to completely avoid US ports.   I guess one could feel sorry for St Thomas where they depend on the cruise industry to support the entire island (there are days where 30,000 cruisers can be in that port).  

 

The bottom line is that the cruise industry is running out of patience with the CDC (read Mr. Del Rio's comments) and is starting to make adjustments to avoid US Ports.   The airlines are also starting to be helpful by increasing the number (and size of the aircraft) flying to open foreign destinations.   I also am puzzled by Arnold Donald's lack of response as well as the big nothing coming from MSC.  It will be relatively easy for MSC to jettison the USA from its operations but I expected more from them considering their recent expansion of US based operations.   As to Arnold Donald it is difficult to know his thinking about the CDC.  CCL is an awful position if it wants to move all of its brands out of the USA.  

 

Hank

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1 hour ago, Hlitner said:

I understand that some posters and CC management want us to stay away from posting our own opinions.  But fortunately, the CC powers have posted some news stories (today) that do a good job of putting the CDC's position into perspective.  On the top of your screen you can use the drop down under "More" to access cruise news.  The story about Frank del Rio (Norwegian Cruise Holdings CEO) tears into the CDC and makes one wonder what FDR really thinks.  The new story and the latest CDC Guidelines also makes the absurdity pretty obvious.  As FDR says, one would likely be required to put their mask on between every spoonful of soup.

 

From my perspective this latest news makes it clear that most folks should consider cancelling any cruise booking that involves a US Port!  It seems like the future of the cruise industry now lies outside of North America (USA and Canada).  Will "Bon Voyage" from US Ports now become a distant memory?

 

Hank

Are you seeing this just through 2021 or into 2022 as well? Appreciate your response/thoughts and for posting a heads up on this article.

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22 minutes ago, Ashland said:

Are you seeing this just through 2021 or into 2022 as well? Appreciate your response/thoughts and for posting a heads up on this article.

I sure wish I had a crystal ball.  But reading the CDCs latest guidelines it does sound like the agency has become intransigent where the cruise industry is concerned.  They periodically seem to hold out an olive branch (like their announcement last week) and then when they provide written details they seem to be designed to destroy the cruise industry in the USA.  We can all speculate as to why this is happening but what is relevant that it is happening.  You would have to ask yourself is there any reason why the CDC would change its position?  After more then a year it becomes less likely.  

 

At this point the best outcome for the cruise industry would be if the CDC lets their framework expire on Oct 31, 2021.  But there does not seem to be anything to prevent them from extending their guidelines and even making them permeant.   Mr. Del Rio makes it pretty  clear that he sees no rationale for the CDC's position so why should we assume they will become any more rational in the future.  

 

What many of us sometimes forget is that the cruise industry continues to lose huge amounts of money every month (measured in the Billions) and their ability to survive these loses wanes every day.  The CDC can certainly wait out the cruise industry until there is no cruise industry left in the USA.  So I do think that unless the CDC quickly changes their attitude the cruise industry is likely to be destroyed in the USA and will need to regroup and relocate all operations outside the USA.   If I were the CEO of a cruise corporation I would be gradually moving all operations out of the USA, ruling out serving any USA port, and working on finding/developing embarkation ports in the Caribbean (Europe already has many ports).  

 

Here is the question folks need to ask themselves.  Why should we expect the CDC to change in the next few months or even the next few years?  They seem to want a cruise world where masks must be worn everywhere except in one's cabin.  Not many folks are going to pay big bucks for that kind of vacation.  As I just discovered (last week) one can go to an all-inclusive where nobody wears masks anywhere!  That is a much better option then a cruise with the CDC restrictions.

 

Hank

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If I can longer sail out of Ft. Lauderdale, San Diego, Seattle, etc., my cruising is going to be limited to a cruise every  year or two.

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1 hour ago, Hlitner said:

   As I just discovered (last week) one can go to an all-inclusive where nobody wears masks anywhere!  That is a much better option then a cruise with the CDC restrictions.

 

Hank

Where were you last week?  I am really glad we (just by luck) did not have a cruise booked when all this started and until I know that restrictions such as masks etc. have been lifted we will not be cruising.  I am starting to assemble a list of places to go where I know for certain masks etc. will not be required.  So far we are going to South Dakota this summer and to our beaches here in Florida.

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1 hour ago, Roz said:

If I can longer sail out of Ft. Lauderdale, San Diego, Seattle, etc., my cruising is going to be limited to a cruise every  year or two.

 

For me, if ever again.

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3 hours ago, Hlitner said:

The airlines are also starting to be helpful by increasing the number (and size of the aircraft) flying to open foreign destinations.

 

My travel agent e-mailed me an attractive offer for a Seabourn Odyssey cruise from Barbados in early October, 2021.  Researching air itineraries from my location to Bridgetown for the dates was an interesting experience.  Delta?  Nothing.  American?  Nothing?  United?  Yes, but one possible itinerary included a red eye flight!  Jet Blue?  To book such out of either JFK, Boston, or Newark would require a change of airlines as well as terminals, I expect.  

 

Not encouraging for this cruiser to consider.

 

 

3 hours ago, Hlitner said:

It will be relatively easy for MSC to jettison the USA from its operations but I expected more from them considering their recent expansion of US based operations.   As to Arnold Donald it is difficult to know his thinking about the CDC.  

 

MSC Meraviglia has been docked in the Port of Miami for several days which, I view the web cams for the ports, is quite unusual.  Why?  Something is going on with MSC's thinking, I suspect.  

 

How much influence on Mr. Donald's thinking is the thinking of the Chairman of the Board of Carnival Corporation?  

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The article just goes to show you that Del Rio never went to a Diplomat Training school. 😁

 

I might be switching  to a NLCH brand for that rant alone.  

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2 hours ago, Hlitner said:

As I just discovered (last week) one can go to an all-inclusive where nobody wears masks anywhere! 

At this point in time, I wouldn't go there either. We've been wearing masks and social distancing for over a year. No big deal. I think if social distancing is done around pools, the mask requirement might be changed to going to the lounge chair and leaving it. Like in restaurants here.

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@rkacruiser the flight supply situation can change pretty quickly, dependent on the ability of the airport to handle the increased flights. The airlines have surplus planes available...unlike normal, non-Covid times, when the airlines rarely have many available planes and crews. Airlines are ramping up, and resuming pre-existing service to countries opening up fairly quickly, as they sense the demand about to jump.

 

Barbados is a fairly small country. The ground transport and hotel capacity might be the more complicated logistical problem if a number of ships start sailing, or wanting to sail from their relatively small port. Plus the food and other re-supply issues.

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16 minutes ago, clo said:

At this point in time, I wouldn't go there either. We've been wearing masks and social distancing for over a year. No big deal. I think if social distancing is done around pools, the mask requirement might be changed to going to the lounge chair and leaving it. Like in restaurants here.

I am assuming you have not read the latest CDC dictates (posted today) which requires masking even around the pool but "generously" says folks do not need to wear masks in the pool as long as they are 6 feet from the nearest person (except family).  I assume whoever wrote that has never seen cruise ship pools :).  And of course it is "no big deal" (to quote you) that folks would need to put their mask on between dining courses or perhaps even between spoonful's of soup (this was Frank del Rio's interpretation).  But I have no problem with folks such as you who are OK with social distancing for the rest of your life as well as wearing a mask.  Why for the rest of your life?  What is going to change in the future.  COVID will continue, probably about 30% of the population will continue to refuse vaccinations, and the bureaucrats at the CDC will likely continue to dig in their anti-cruise, pro mask, anti social (distancing) heels.

 

Fortunately the AI which we just visited for 8 days does not need your business.  They are just about completely booked through the end of this year (we have not looked at next year's calendar).  Seeing honeymooners enjoying themselves, groups of middle aged adults smiling and partying, and we older folks also doing our bit to add to the party atmosphere was very uplifting.  DW and I were somewhat surprised not to see a single person wearing a mask (for our 8 day visit) but it did feel very comfortable.  Of course as soon as we met our driver (to go back to the airport) we did put on our masks in order to comply with local rules.

 

Hank

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52 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

Barbados is a fairly small country. The ground transport and hotel capacity might be the more complicated logistical problem if a number of ships start sailing, or wanting to sail from their relatively small port. Plus the food and other re-supply issues.

 

I cannot envision Barbados permitting an avalanche of cruise ships visiting Bridgetown.  The port can handle 3-4 ships as port calls, as I recall.  The terminal, to be used, for a turnaround port with disembarkation/embarkation, for anymore than one the size of a Seabourn ship along with a larger sized vessel, chaos would ensue.  

 

Re-supply of the ships?  P&O Cruises have used Bridgetown as a turnaround port for years.  It must be successful or they wouldn't continue using it as a seasonal homeport.  

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1 hour ago, CruiserBruce said:

the flight supply situation can change pretty quickly,

 

Thanks for reminding me of this.  But, to book a cruise that begins outside of the United States with air arrangements that are as sketchy as what I have found today. no, I am not comfortable in doing such.  

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I can't speak for Hank but so far in the past couple of months I've been to Cabo and Cancun.

The AI resorts are even offering free Covid tests for return back to USA.

Everywhere we went,,,, I would say it was 90% masks worn/10% not wearing masks. The hotels and restaurants/bars did request mask be worn. Temps taken and hand sanitizer encouraged.

Walmart and Costco even had restrictions.

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1 minute ago, rkacruiser said:

 

I cannot envision Barbados permitting an avalanche of cruise ships visiting Bridgetown.  The port can handle 3-4 ships as port calls, as I recall.  The terminal, to be used, for a turnaround port with disembarkation/embarkation, for anymore than one the size of a Seabourn ship along with a larger sized vessel, chaos would ensue.  

 

Re-supply of the ships?  P&O Cruises have used Bridgetown as a turnaround port for years.  It must be successful or they wouldn't continue using it as a seasonal homeport.  

Agree!  The Caribbean islands do not currently have the infrastructure to support a busy cruise industry.  But using a combination of islands (which is what is now happening) will be able to kick start the industry.  St Maarten is probably best suited to handle lots of embarkations (their port can handle at least 6 ships at a time).  I think Antigua can handle 3 ships (I might have this wrong).  Freeport and Nassau also have the ability to handle multiple ships.  Aruba should be able to handle two ships per day.  Meanwhile, the cruise lines working with some islands will need to improve/expand some ports and help build infrastructure.  This is all going to take a few years but it is probably now seen as a better option then trying to deal with the CDC.  The US Airlines will readily provide increased flights/capacity to meet any demand.    This is not an ideal situation but, for the cruise industry, it is a matter of survival.  Putting themselves at the mercy of the CDC has proven near fatal (and it might even turn out to be fatal) and history tells us that once a government agency grabs power they never relinquish it unless it is forced by Congress or the Courts.  With the current administration there is no reason for optimism that they will be helpful and ability to win through the courts is a long shot (at best) and would likely take years.

 

As to resupply that should not be a major problem.  Container ships can handle much of the logistics and entrepreneurs will quickly fill in the gaps.   

 

Hank

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Posted (edited)

The CDC is targeting cruise lines. With their tactics, the same conditions needs to be forced on all international travel. That means everyone on an airplane traveling must conform to the same set of rules. The CDC will need to provide watchdog police for everyone traveling to make sure they are always wearing a mask, carrying a 6' stick to make sure social distancing, and enforcing all of their rules outside of the US.

 

 

 

Edited by bigrednole
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Thanks for drawing our attention to this, Hank.  Let it be known that I love you and respect your opinions.  But the extensive requirements the CDC demanded for test cruises seem to be only for the test cruises.  One of these per ship should be enough unless someone screws up or something really bad happens.  And test voyages can be avoided entirely with a strict enough vaccination policy by the cruise line.  If I were in Del Rio's shoes I would immediately investigate what's behind door #3 - what restrictions would be put on a fully vaccinated cruise out of New York in July?  There might not be any! (except for the mask requirement in U.S. waters).  Or there might be the same group that's listed here under the test cruises, which would be bad - but at least then we'd know.

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I know, I know.  I didn't take the time to read the "article"...

 

I did see on my TV news today that NCL is threatening to pull from Florida because DeSantis did the Executive Order prohibiting a business from requiring a vaccination or asking about vaccination status.  Between this and the people of Key West voting to prohibit ships with more than 1500 passengers (which DeSantis is working to overrule), Florida doesn't seem like the best place to think about as a place to use as cruise ports right now. 

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I think NCL is serious.    

 

Its like a big high stakes game of Texas Hold-Em;

 

and they are going ALL-IN in the middle of the flop.

 

They probably can't afford to stick around and wait for the river card.

 

Hopefully they know when to hold em,  and when to fold em.

 

 

 

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I'm out, at least until the rules change.

 

I won't try to second-guess the CDC as to whether these rules are necessary, but the conditions created by the rules aren't those by which I'll choose to spend my travel dollar cruising.

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