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Breaking: Norwegian Cruise Line could pull ships from Florida if rule on vaccine mandates sticks


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The world’s third largest cruise company is prepared to pull its ships from Florida in the coming months if it has to comply with the state’s new law against vaccine mandates.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings president and CEO Frank Del Rio on Thursday suggested the company’s three brands — Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises — would move their Florida-based vessels to home ports in other states or even to non US ports in the Caribbean.

 

 

Great. I just booked Sirena from Miami Dec. 12 yesterday. I hope this pissing contest doesn't go on too long so we know where to fly to. I was going to arrange award flights to Miami for this cruise tomorrow, but I will hold off and wait to see where the cruise sails from. If not Miami, I will cancel. The itinerary would change, too much of a hassle to fly to Jamaica where the NCL brand ships will sail from, likely O ships too if not from Florida.

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5 minutes ago, susiesan said:

The world’s third largest cruise company is prepared to pull its ships from Florida in the coming months if it has to comply with the state’s new law against vaccine mandates.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings president and CEO Frank Del Rio on Thursday suggested the company’s three brands — Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises — would move their Florida-based vessels to home ports in other states or even to non US ports in the Caribbean.

 

 

Great. I just booked Sirena from Miami Dec. 12 yesterday. I hope this pissing contest doesn't go on too long so we know where to fly to. I was going to arrange award flights to Miami for this cruise tomorrow, but I will hold off and wait to see where the cruise sails from. If not Miami, I will cancel. The itinerary would change, too much of a hassle to fly to Jamaica where the NCL brand ships will sail from, likely O ships too if not from Florida.

It's farther in the future than your December cruise, but my wife and I are booked on the Riviera for a Miami-to-Lisbon transatlantic in March of 2022. Like you, i was already looking at flights to MIA but will have to hold off until the tug-of-war is resolved. And also like you, I have no desire to fly to Jamaica to begin the cruise. 

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, susiesan said:

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings president and CEO Frank Del Rio on Thursday suggested the company’s three brands.... would move their Florida-based vessels to home ports in other states or even to non US ports in the Caribbean.

Yay! Move the ships to Charleston or Mobile. I can leave my house at 8:00am and be at either one of these ports by lunch time. Norwegian has operated Caribbean cruises from Charleston in the past. It wouldn’t be far fetched to sail from there again. 
 

http://scspa.com/news/norwegian-cruise-line-adds-charleston/

Edited by Tapi
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58 minutes ago, Tapi said:

Yay! Move the ships to Charleston or Mobile. I can leave my house at 8:00am and be at either one of these ports by lunch time. Norwegian has operated Caribbean cruises from Charleston in the past. It wouldn’t be far fetched to sail from there again. 
 

http://scspa.com/news/norwegian-cruise-line-adds-charleston/

And we're only going to Miami because it's [kinda] on our way to Mobile.  Cruising Oceania out of Mobile would be heaven for us [and lots of midwestern Snowbirds]!

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26 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

And we're only going to Miami because it's [kinda] on our way to Mobile.  Cruising Oceania out of Mobile would be heaven for us [and lots of midwestern Snowbirds]!

How does one fly easily from Charleston and Mobile? I'm asking from Reno where they don't fly nonstop to all that many places.

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Going outside the US is far easier. I’m sure NCLH can put together charter flights out of MIA to any destination quite inexpensively. 
 

Think outside the box! All those having bought tickets to MIA will quickly and efficiently be transferred to an adjoining charter flight to wherever Oceania desires. They’ve done it for years going to Papeete.

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Also on CNN

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/norwegian-cruise-line-florida-vaccinations/index.html

 

pinotlover: you really think Oceania would pay the cost to fly 680 Sirena passengers or 1200 Riviera passengers to a Caribbean embarkation port for no additional cost? I sure hope they decide what they are going to do quickly so those of us cruising from Miami this winter can make our air arrangements or just cancel before final payment.

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3 minutes ago, susiesan said:

Also on CNN

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/norwegian-cruise-line-florida-vaccinations/index.html

 

pinotlover: you really think Oceania would pay the cost to fly 680 Sirena passengers or 1200 Riviera passengers to a Caribbean embarkation port for no additional cost? I sure hope they decide what they are going to do quickly so those of us cruising from Miami this winter can make our air arrangements or just cancel before final payment.

Fill a 200- 300 passenger plane full for a short (ish) charter flight. Maybe a couple hundred apiece. Remember they’ll be bringing passengers back on the return trip. $200 gets buried in the costs. Remember, this is something they did for years in sailing out of Papeete.

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14 hours ago, Tapi said:

Yay! Move the ships to Charleston or Mobile. I can leave my house at 8:00am and be at either one of these ports by lunch time. Norwegian has operated Caribbean cruises from Charleston in the past. It wouldn’t be far fetched to sail from there again. 
 

http://scspa.com/news/norwegian-cruise-line-adds-charleston/

I can be in Charleston  in under 2 hrs. Sounds good to me😀

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4 minutes ago, pinotlover said:

Fill a 200- 300 passenger plane full for a short (ish) charter flight. Maybe a couple hundred apiece. Remember they’ll be bringing passengers back on the return trip. $200 gets buried in the costs. Remember, this is something they did for years in sailing out of Papeete.

They would need more than 1 plane. Plus the charter flights would have to coordinate with everyone's fights to and from Miami. Flight time between Miami and Montego Bay is 1hour 45 min, not that short. Jet Blue flies this route for $350 RT.

 

This could all be arranged by Oceania for the pax who are using O air but would be a challenge for pax doing their own plane arrangements. Do you think they would pass on the extra cost to those of us already booked or would the additional $200-300 for a charter flight would reflect in the price for new bookings only?

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

And we're only going to Miami because it's [kinda] on our way to Mobile.  Cruising Oceania out of Mobile would be heaven for us [and lots of midwestern Snowbirds]!

Mobile would be Okay, but Charleston would be a dream.  Can't get a bad meal and the charm overwhelms.

 

Edited by marieps
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2 hours ago, susiesan said:

They would need more than 1 plane. Plus the charter flights would have to coordinate with everyone's fights to and from Miami. Flight time between Miami and Montego Bay is 1hour 45 min, not that short. Jet Blue flies this route for $350 RT.

 

This could all be arranged by Oceania for the pax who are using O air but would be a challenge for pax doing their own plane arrangements. Do you think they would pass on the extra cost to those of us already booked or would the additional $200-300 for a charter flight would reflect in the price for new bookings only?

Never confuse the price of retail airfare with bulk rate ticket pricing or charter air prices.

 

2 hours ago, marieps said:

Mobile would be Okay, but Charleston would be a dream.  Can't get a bad meal and the charm overwhelms.

 

Charleston would be a dream. I’d go in several days early just to eat. People would soon be spoiled though. Those Specialties wouldn’t seem near as special. 

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 I went ahead and just booked award flights to Miami for Sirena cruise Dec. 12-22, 2021. AA has some very attractive rates and if I cancel the miles will be redeposited without a fee. I can also change without cost.

 

I'm going to sit back and watch the pissing contest, see who blinks first. Someone on the NCL board posted this:

NCL has sent scouting teams to Savannah and Charelston to look for new and permanent terminals 

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13 minutes ago, susiesan said:

 I went ahead and just booked award flights to Miami for Sirena cruise Dec. 12-22, 2021. AA has some very attractive rates and if I cancel the miles will be redeposited without a fee. I can also change without cost.

 

I'm going to sit back and watch the pissing contest, see who blinks first. Someone on the NCL board posted this:

NCL has sent scouting teams to Savannah and Charelston to look for new and permanent terminals 

I just did the same for my January Sirena cruise. After seeing this thread, I checked mileage rates for flights to Miami with Delta and was pleasantly surprised at how few miles I needed to use - even for upgraded seats.

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22 minutes ago, samiam0403 said:

I just did the same for my January Sirena cruise. After seeing this thread, I checked mileage rates for flights to Miami with Delta and was pleasantly surprised at how few miles I needed to use - even for upgraded seats.

Does Delta allow you to cancel or change award flights without a cost? AA recently made this change. The timing worked out well for me.

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12 minutes ago, susiesan said:

Does Delta allow you to cancel or change award flights without a cost? AA recently made this change. The timing worked out well for me.

Most airlines have had this option for award tickets for quite awhile due to COVID issues....we booked AA mileage award tickets for our Marina NOV 2021 cruise many months ago due to no cost to cancel and redeposit.

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1 hour ago, susiesan said:

Does Delta allow you to cancel or change award flights without a cost? AA recently made this change. The timing worked out well for me.

As long as one is not booked on a basic economy fare, yes. So if Oceania does end up moving ports, it should be fairly simple to change flights. (Unless it's Mobile, as previously mentioned, since that's only a 3.5 hour drive for us.) Nothing to do but wait and see what Oceania decides to do about Florida, I suppose.

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Posted (edited)

If Governor Desantis were to get his way, cruises would operate out of Florida with no vaccination requirement. From what I've read on these boards, most of us WANT there to be a vaccination requirement. I certainly do. I'd much rather be on a fully vaccinated cruise and not wear a mask than to be on a cruise without a vaccination requirement and then have to wear a mask indoors. I would gladly go on a fully vaccinated cruise today. The other option is a no go for me. I don't see that happening for a very long time, when--if--Covid is a distant memory.

 

The CDC gave the cruise lines an easy option by sailing with vaccinated crew and passengers to circumvent most of the CDC's otherwise onerous and even unworkable requirements, but now the cruise lines have to deal with possibly moving all of their cruises from Florida for the upcoming Caribbean season. Between Miami, Port Everglades, Port Canaveral, and Tampa, there must be hundreds of cruises scheduled for the 2021-2022 season (I'm sure someone knows exactly how many or can find out and enlighten us). I though Republican Governor Desantis was supposed to be a "friend" of the cruise industry. 

Edited by MarkWiltonM
clarity
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It's a good thing that I am not a cruise line executive because I would have told the CDC and Florida to take a flying leap by now. I have a 10-day Miami to Miami cruise to the Mayan coast booked in December. The first port is Cozumel and the last is the Bahamas. I am happy to fly in to Cozumel and either fly out of the Bahamas or take a ferry from the Bahamas to Florida (come join me susiesan!). When I booked it last month, I told my TA that I didn't care about mask mandates or cruise-only excursions, but if the Mayan ruins were close, I'd cancel. She said that the Mayan ruins and other attractions/hotels/etc. were open and she'd been arranging land-based excursions there for months. Sigh....

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AMHuntFerry: my cruise is an eastern Caribbean, does not go to the Bahamas. I did your itinerary on Sirena in Jan. 2020, just before things shut down. Like you, I don't care about masks or any of the other pandemic theater props and sets, but I do care about the excursions. If by final payment date of Aug. 13 Oceania has not clarified their shore policy, allowing pax to get off and do their own thing, I will be cancelling. After I booked this cruise I discovered there was $500 FCC in my O Club account, I have no idea where it came from. So this cruise is an even more spectacular deal!

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susiesan: I would not be shocked if your cruise sailed from the Bahamas or another port. They won't stay shut down forever (and stay solvent), and currently we can fly to many south-of-the-USA ports. Don't give up hope!

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From a UK perspective it would be welcome to fly to Charleston for a cruise. We have no interest in staying in Miami for more than a couple of nights but would enjoy Charleston & surrounds. No direct flights from UK and am unsure if I cold use airpoints.

 

I imagine they do not treat holidaymakers as criminals at Charleston Airport unlike Miami.

 

The benefit of flying from the Islands would be fewer sea days☺️

 

In comparison with the pragmatic approach that the British Government has had to cruising it is perplexing how things are so complicated and self-abusing in the States. Ignoring us holidaymakers consider the number of businesses and livelyhoods that are at stake.

 

On a personal note I would not travel on a cruise if vaccination was not mandated.

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I will cancel my Sirena Miami Jan 5 2022 cruise if there is a switch to an offshore location.  Doing an already compromised Cruise with limitations is not worth flying to a less traveled airport.   The Carolinas would be an acceptable alternative. 

 

I hope FDR's bluster is just posturing for action.

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Re Charleston, there’s already a contingent that doesn’t like even the ships making a day stop there, I can’t imagine they would enjoy being a home port any more, although there are better financial considerations in that scenario. I would prefer a welcoming environment as opposed to one that doesn’t want me there. I do really like Charleston though 

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