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Everything posted by twangster

  1. The true purpose of the scheduled dry dock was for marine maintenance required to keep her certificate to sail. The amplification was tacked on since she would be in dry dock. The amplification may not occur to the same extent as planned but the marine maintenance MUST occur or she can't sail at all. There will be a dry dock as close to schedule as possible. Fortunately she already received a lot of amplification like upgrades before any other ship was amplified so she isn't too far off that already. Her sisters were being caught up in their amplification with just a few new things tacked on.
  2. At a time when they can't predict when cruising will resume or the effort required to get ships back into position so that booked cruises can occur it must be chaos in the planning department. Despite that it would be prudent for the 2023 schedule to be released so that new bookings could be made resulting in cash flow inbound.
  3. That's a relief, at least from a cruise ship transiting through Hawaii to reach Alaska is concerned. Radiance was already skipping Hawaii this fall going direct to Japan. Ovation and Quantum were already coming to Alaska VIA Russia also skipping Hawaii in 2021. With the 2020 Alaska season in flux any 2020 Royal visits to Hawaii are in flux since the ships are out of position. If the Alaska 2020 season never happens neither will the 2020 Hawaii season. Indeed it may not be until 2021 before Royal ships visit Hawaii again, specifically Radiance and Serenade coming North from Australia. That result isn't from a travel restriction, just the way it may work out due to the virus, if the 2020 Alaska season doesn't happen.
  4. In that other thread you posted a graphic showing that 35% of all cases are asymptomatic. These people don't know they are infected and never show any signs of the infection but carry the virus and spread it to others. The other use case involves presymptomatic individuals. These are people who have become infected but they haven't shown any symptoms yet but eventually do. The source for the graphic quoted can be found on the CDC's website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html Asymptomatic carriers, overall 35% Presymptomatic carriers 40% - with a mean time to show symptoms at 6 days. For 6 days days people in this category have the virus and are capable of spreading it but have no idea they are infected. The purpose of wearing the mask is to slow the spread from asymptomatic and presymptomatic carriers. These are the individuals who don't know they are infected. We need to reopen, we all see the devastating impact of shutting down the economy. The virus isn't over so how do we reopen while the virus is still aggressively spreading? The wearing of masks is a simple action that allows us to move forward and reopen more safely while taking steps to reduce spread resulting in fewer deaths.
  5. Since testing is not widely available the death toll is the most viable measure of how the virus is progressing. It's not a contest to determine a Guiness record of lives lost or a means to trivialize it compared to cancer, car crashes or suicide. It's pointless to compare death counts to other causes. The flu kills 40k per year, COVID-19 did that in a month and only slowed because of actions taken. Lives lost in WWII make everything seem inconsequential and that was a man made event. Deaths from car crashes, or gunshots or being impaled by a pitch fork while sitting backwards on a tractor on a Tuesday are all irrelevant as a point of comparison. Every life lost has the potential for us to learn something even if we choose to prioritize the economy. This won't be the last pandemic the world faces, at least next time we will better understand and have better modeling to guide future decisions. Stay at home and close restaurants, 4 in 1,000 die. Do nothing and let the virus go, X in 1,000 die - we'll have a better idea in a couple months time what X equals. By this time next year we'll have the clarity of hindsight which is always 20-20.
  6. No one knew months ago how this would play out or where we would be right now. Even now we still don't know how this will play out going forward. When does the first wave officially end? Will there be a second wave? If so when? Fain is simply stating the obvious - he doesn't know when cruising will resume, period. Sort of qualifies for a "thank you captain obvious" reaction. The cruise lines own crystal balls are working no better than yours or mine. Cruising will resume when it can. Bars will be back to normal when they can. School will be back to normal when it can. Fain must be getting tired of the question "when will cruising start again?". He doesn't know.
  7. They were pretty standard as a CAS benefit and very frequent. Even though all access tours may still be in the cruise planner I expect they'll be cancelled as part of the new norm. The changes that are forthcoming are still in flux. Until (or if ever) we are fully past this virus these are exactly the kinds of things that will be reviewed and probably suspended. Announcing the discontinuation of all access paid tours would require refunds to be issued. They'll more likely announce it on board and issue a refundable OBC hoping people spend it on other things on board. CAS and Suite tours will mostly likely simply not be offered and when a guest inquires the concierge will then let it be known that they aren't being offered because of the risks. I doubt they'll make a point of making an public announcement about it, that's just fuel for an anti-cruise blogger/lawyer to seize upon.
  8. First of all please understand I know these are stressful times and money Is near and dear. I have my own CV experience with that to drive it home. If you have a travel agent that should be your primary point of contact. That’s one of the tremendous benefits of having a TA during moments like this. Let them deal with the cruise line while you tend to other things. When you have a TA booking but intervene directly it can introduce confusion and unintended results. Regardless I hope you are able to work through it to resolution.
  9. If you booked through a TA your TA should have requested the refund. It sounds like your TA made a mistake. Did your TA have an explanation why you got FCC instead of a refund?
  10. When I needed to make a claim for missing a cruise due to a covered reason I was required to get a statement from the cruise line that outlined any refunds (port fees and taxes) and exactly how much I didn't get back. I had used an FCC towards my cruise and that came off the total amount I was eligible to claim as I was able to get the FCC portion reissued. I think the best way forward is to find a way to forgive NCL and to book a cruise with them. Expecting a different, unrelated company and their stakeholders to incur a loss to make you whole because you don't like NCL anymore even if it did pay out, which I doubt it will, is wrong. It's almost like walking into a bank with a gun and demanding that amount of money. Why should a bank who had nothing to do with it incur a loss just to make you whole? Even if you could scheme a way for an insurance company to pay out, it isn't much different than stealing the money from a bank. The only difference is you don't have a gun in your hand. Either way it's wrong. In the early days of March I was on a cruise heading to Spain. In the days leading up to getting on a plane and boarding the ship our government was ignoring and downplaying the virus. No cruise line had a crystal ball to foresee how this was going to play out. Royal didn't deliberately put me at risk, they didn't know any more than I did how this was going to turn out. Neither did NCL. Looking back all the signs were there but we all ignored them. Hindsight is always 20-20. I'm sure Royal, NCL and Carnival would all like a do-over. At one point in time you make the decision to book with NCL. That was a choice and you made it. Thankfully you do have a $4k credit with NCL so find a way to get back to that happy place when you decided to book with NCL and go forth with an open mind and open heart. Enjoy your cruise.
  11. Current deal breaker is a cruise that requires international travel before or after the cruise prior to 2022. I can deal with onboard restrictions and limitations as needed but I want to embark and debark in my own country through 2022 at least.
  12. I understand the frustration that is being caused by all of this but I'm not sure how much action you'll get seeking governments to look into it. Tens of millions unemployed, 100k dead so far. Companies are disappearing and others filing for bankruptcy. "I didn't get my refund in a timely manner and I don't like how they handled the situation" during the worst event in modern time on a global scale that impacts the entire world's population may not yield a quick response from your government.
  13. Absolutely, but given this is a travel forum I tried to stay on point and related to the cruise industry. Unfortunately the media paints the cruise industry with a very different brush compared to other industries and that will be a factor reopening travel. By CDC statistics cruise ships account for 1% of norovirus outbreaks. Schools and daycare account for 6% and land based restaurants 22% of all norovirus outbreaks yet the media have labeled noro as the "cruise ship virus". By the statistics it would be more accurate to call noro the "highschool virus" or the "fast food virus" yet the media ignores statistics and blames the cruise industry. Clearly restaurants have been acknowledged to represent a significant risk in spreading COVID-19 which is why they were some of the first businesses to be shut down. Yet cruise ships have fared much worse in COVID-19 press coverage over restaurants. As all businesses look to restart many of those businesses don't have to worry about slanted and unfair media coverage waiting for a single infection. Right now, this weekend someone has already been infected with the virus in a restaurant that just reopened. You won't read about that in the news. When cruise ships start sailing the first claim of an infection on a ship, regardless if the infection was actually on the ship or not, will be broadcast around the world. Business must reopen and we all must accept the consequences. People will die. Travel businesses must reopen too and people will die. In both cases most people will live through the infection but there are some that will die. Loosely following noro trends we know more people will be infected from land based restaurant exposures compared to travel exposures so we all need to keep that in mind when the media lose their minds upon the first claim of a ship infection.
  14. Drink prices are pretty consistent across the fleet. Sometimes a glass of wine might be a dollar more or less but for the most part if a beer costs X on one ship, it also costs X on another ship. Any variations (if any) are negligible in the big picture. Also keep in mind the drink menus are really just to give people something to look at when they walk up to a bar and are undecided. Most bars make all the common drinks and some bartenders have their own concoctions they can whip up. The drink menus are not the only drinks that are available.
  15. Not so much in September in AK. Sunset in September is not much different than summertime in Florida where ships still sail at 4pm and sunset is experienced at sea. In Florida I suspect port operations and pilots drive the tradition we know of ships departing at or around 4pm. Port operations may be a factor in moving ships away from the pier when they do. For many itineraries the next stop is close enough to allow a later departure. As we look to restart the travel industry traditions we are used to have to re-examined. Most airlines turn a plane in under 60 minutes and boarding typically starts 30 minutes prior to departure for most domestic flights. Perhaps that needs to be re-examined during a pandemic. A slower boarding process reduces risk of exposure. A longer turnaround time leaves more time for cleaning between flights. A slower turn reduces airline revenue since a plane may not fly as many legs in a day. Slowing the cruise ship boarding process will reduce risk and exposure but it will come at a cost. Casinos can't open on time, pilots may charge more after dark, ships have to increase speed to arrive at the next stop on time, etc. However if that allows cruising to restart then the decision must be made to accept the costs if a delayed departure as the new normal means cruising can restart with greater safety during a pandemic.
  16. Flu vaccines are stated to be around 40% to 60% effective. Each year different vaccines are developed. Flu season is typically comprised of at least two major types each peaking at different times - they have their own unique epidemiology. Most of us just call it "the flu" but there are many variations impacting different groups of people differently. For the U.S. we have grown to accept that somewhere around 40,000 of us will die each year from the flu. Many people are cavalier regarding the flu and spreading it. They may know they have something more than a common cold but off they go riding public transportation, going to work, going to school, going shopping, going to church, going on an airplane, going on a cruise and in doing so, spreading the flu. I suspect we will reach something like this with COVID-19. Like "the flu" it will mutate over time. Eventually there may be some sort of herd immunity against the more common variations. There are promising signs that a vaccine will be forthcoming but like "the flu" (as if there is only one flu) no single vaccine may protect us from all variations and vaccines most likely won't be 100% effective. Each year different vaccines may be required. Like "the flu" we may grow to accept that each year a number of us will die from COVID-19 variations. In 1918 the second wave of the flu was particularly impactful. There was a world war going and that took precedence over the science that the flu would spread. In the era of 1918 that world had known a lot of infectious diseases. Going back hundreds of years it was common during times of disease for an arriving ship to be quarantined before allowing anyone to step on land. They may not have understood a virus or be able to view it under a microscope but in the 14th century ships were at times placed under quarantine upon arrival. They did understand the concept of social distancing and isolation as a means to stop a virus from spreading even if they didn't understand the virus itself. Note though they didn't stop ships from sailing, commerce took precedence. It's easy to imagine in 1918 they simply didn't know what might occur but they did know and science did predict what the outcome might be. The world chose to ignore the science because there was a war to win and so they continued to move troops around the world, spreading the virus and exposing different regions to new flu variations. It's too early to know if we are repeating history. Science is telling us the second wave is coming. Some are choosing to ignore it and are prioritizing a return to normal. Only time will tell if the second wave will look like it did in 1918. Perhaps the second wave will be nothing and cruising can restart in the midst of the second wave of COVID-19 or perhaps the loss rate for those impacted by the second wave can be acceptable to society because keeping the economy shutdown is not considered by many as a long term viable option. In that event I just hope the cruise or travel industry in general isn't singled out and vilified because society collectively decided to bravely move forward and reopen. Keeping the travel industry shutdown will save lives but at what cost? Eventually companies will be forced to close. Hertz just filed for bankruptcy. Hopefully they can navigate through bankruptcy and survive. If we don't restart the travel industry soon more companies will fail including some cruise lines. That means restarting the travel industry before a vaccine is developed, produced and distributed to the masses. If the cruise and travel industry is to survive society must be willing to accept the risks by restarting before a vaccine is commonly available to everyone. In so doing society must not turn around and blame the travel industry when some lives are lost as if no one knew that was a possibility.
  17. Itinerary allows it I suppose. San Juan typically also features a later departure.
  18. There has been a lot of discussion about JS access to CK and much of it based on assumptions and misinterpretations. For example in some cruise compasses it states that CK is GS and above. It doesn't mention that is breakfast and lunch only but some JS guests have assumed it included dinner so they didn't even try. To make matters worse it's inconsistent across the fleet with some cruise compasses listing it properly while others display it differently. On Pinnacle heavy cruises they limit how many CK reservations Pinnacle can make. I suspect we may start seeing this more often or it might become a standard policy for all sailings. In my experience as a JS guest CK access is best on Quantum class and less available on Oasis class. Trying early in the cruise is best, visit CK on day one to inquire.
  19. On Oasis class you can bang on the door to get the attention of the host/hostess or tailgate and follow someone in. I've had success calling them over on the phone. On Oasis the ext. is/was 29190. On Quantum class the host/hostess stand is in the hall outside of Coastal Kitchen so it's easier to just walk right up to them.
  20. I know right? I think they had been dealing with it for several sailings. The concierge had the canned responses committed to memory and she was firm. It wasn't her first time dealing with it.
  21. I thought UK based sailings already banned indoor smoking on ships. Is this not the case?
  22. Another data point... Cancelled a fully refundable 2021 booking on May 11. $450 deposit refund posted to my credit card May 21. Business as usual the refund came in the form of three line items of various amounts that sum to $450. I've been meaning to cancel this one for a while even before the virus. I would have applied this towards another reservation but that wasn't an option.
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