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Everything posted by bobroo

  1. I do not understand the benefit of wholly owning Silversea at this point in time. Crazy...
  2. I think the company that operated the Royal Up program has been gone for months and will likely never return. Going forward, Royal Up is unnecessary. Royal is simply substituting much higher pricing for balconies and above from day one. I know it's unpopular here, but if they need to trim the manifest for social distancing purposes; it will strictly be done by 'How much did you pay?'.
  3. We went in August of 2014 and only have good memories of the ruins at Tulum and of the Mía Restaurant & Beach Club who was the vendor for our beach break. Yes it was hot and humid, it would be disappointing if it wasn't. I have very high regard for the Mayan culture and I don't think I'm going to far out on a limb by saying and hot and humid as it was touring the ruins, it was very much likely hotter and more humid at other places inland. The Mayans chose the locations for their settlements for astrological reasons; but I also think the Tulum location was chosen for it's ocean breezes and therefore cooler than other areas. The Mayans were not dumb by any stretch. The ruins are wonderful and speak for themselves. It was the beach break that was the surprise! What a refreshing, well done experience! Yeah, it was hot back on the bus. I think it's fair to say nobody thought the air conditioning was adequate. I remember the ride taking 45 minutes or so. I also remember the road we took being no wider than the bus itself in places. But the Mia Restaurant and Beach Club more than made up for any discomfort. It was wonderful!!! A nice of a place as one could expect. Wave hopping in the surf, clean and friendly, and Oh! the buffet of food! The abundance of guacamole was stunning. Their molcajetes must only make guacamole in 5 gallon increments, and they are not shy about making another batch. Would I do it again? ABSOLUTELY! Will your excursion go to the same resort? Well....who knows? Vendors change, prices change; and truth be told you will never actually find out until your bus pulls into their parking lot. A simple search on Google Maps will tell you all you need to know about the location of Mia Beach Club, what it looks like; and it's many neighbors who offer very similar services. OH! You could grab a quick shower just before getting back on the bus to go to the ferry. That bus ride was far, far less uncomfortable.
  4. Of interesting note, do you know how TA’s check for price reductions? No, they don’t have a software program that monitors their customers pricing; they do it through mock bookings at royalcaribbean.com just like you and me. We all need to appreciate our TAs more.
  5. I gotta tell you guys I am troubled by Matt's recent post about the proposed EU guidelines. I've been thinking about it quite a bit over the weekend. It's not the guidelines themselves, they seem so simple. I have always thought that when cruising resumes the change in culture will be harder than the changes themselves. That's why I have been upset that Royal has not come out and said "we are going to create many areas for hand washing", "we are going to reform the old practices of embarkation to allow for social distancing", or "we are changing the way we serve food"; very, very easy and conscientious changes that cost very little. And, it's not that our promised "Blue Ribbon Panel" may in fact be those VP's who co-authored the EU guidance. It's the reaction to the post. It's the thought that all people care about is whether they have to wear a mask. Wearing a mask is the deal killer; nothing else matters. They don't give a damn about changes that improve passenger's safety and cleanliness. What matters is Are you going to make me wear a mask??? If "Are you gonna make me wear a mask?" are the type passengers filling Royal ships is the future, then I don't think I want to be sharing the ship with you folks for a week; I'm not that kind of person.
  6. It would come as no surprise to me if 10 or 15 Royal ships were decommissioned by the end of the summer.
  7. Just my opinion: if losing online contact with this company brings a big knot in your stomach; you should probably be reevaluating the value in your life you are allowing Royal to have. Jus' say'n
  8. I suspect Vanessa's (Insiders) predicament has resonated through the corner offices in Miami. Therefore there are good reasons (and perhaps correctly) to price those newly opened big rooms sky high. There is also likely a minority saying "that's price gouging, there are marketing problems with that". So they have decided not to make a decision.
  9. I have had thoughts about Royal having an art liquidation auction before they tow the Oasis class ships to some foreign soiled scrapyard. And the prices received being far, far less than what we have been told the art installations onboard are worth. I think Super Mario could pick up that million dollar spinning head on Harmony for just a thousand or two.
  10. Is it not impossible to think that the cold shoulder by the CDC is due the fact that cruisers are notoriously sloppy and lazy? The demographic class of the typical cruise ship passenger is over 60 years old and has known health issues? The reason the CDC has been deliberately silent is because a cruise ship has so many factors making it a pandemic bullseye that at this point in time it's off-the-charts crazy to change behaviors and make them a safe place??? Also, you are aware of what happens if any single person; passenger or crew, enters the medical facility on floor two not feeling well with a respiratory problem? You know the chain of events, right?
  11. Let me ask, you would have no problem with you and your family boarding Enchantment, Vision, Independence, Adventure, or Liberty this weekend from some Florida port? Let’s say sailing an exciting itinerary of Labadee, Colon, Maracaibo, and top it off with a stop in Mobile? Is it of any significance Royal has implemented zero changes In passenger health and safety over the past 3 months? Would you like your cruise to be “business as usual” of Coca Cola freestyle machines, escape rooms, rides on a North Star 300’ in the air, or zip lining, rock climbing, or maybe iFly (as long as the kids wear a helmet)? How about a 50 person hot tub in the afternoon? An inside cabin to keep cost low? You would not bat an eye to doing any of this?
  12. Maybe a good way to avoid all the nonsense it to book last minute only. Meaning, you'l know if two weeks from now the sailing is going to happen. You'll know what the conditions are onboard. And, you'll know how much it is going to cost. I know it's not the way Royal wants us to play the game, but there are just too many variables that negatively affect passengers. Don't be a bag holder.
  13. A couple observations. It should not go unsaid that the majority of work TAs are doing today is for free. TAs do not get paid to Lift and Shift. TAs don't get paid to fight for refunds. TAs certainly don't get paid by the hour while they are on hold. We, as advanced cruisers, should be the adult in the room. Even though it is not required, if you've used your TA to save your bacon recently I think an envelope with a thank you and a gift card to your TAs local grocery store is absolutely in order. There is no such thing as "free". Royal Caribbean frequently makes foot faults but this Allure situation is different. This is directly throwing passengers under the bus. Add in the "Oh yeah, newsflash; in case you didn't notice Allure is not being amped" The sun rises the next day. "Up, up, up, up, hang on......yeah we already contracted and may have even paid for design work, engineering, and contractors to make fancy, colorful additions so.....we are just going to implement them at a later date. But you shouldn't like Allure any less." My take is that these two events show a lack of caring and frustration at the Miami headquarters. A lack of a plan and a lack of leadership. It is of the first "pain" passengers are going to feel because of the financial situation. Your red flag meter should be going crazy. I've said long ago that hospitality has left the cruise industry. I'm fearful that going forward, a dishrag might make a better host. We should be seeing another TA video from Richard Fain soon, I am hoping for some WOW!, not what's sitting in my kitchen sink.
  14. There's a reason only part of the screen is shown in the original image because if you saw the remainder it would totally discredit what you want this list to mean. Officers on board Royal Caribbean ships have have "leaked" exactly ZERO information over the past 20 years. Sorry guys, Royal Caribbean is in no way shape or form ready to resume business anytime soon and is no closer to sailing today than it was last March. It would come as no surprise to me if the actual source were some spreadsheet from a company that is contracted to recalibrate GPS guidance systems or something similar.
  15. Oh, and hey ladies! Please don't read this part....guys only. Guys...you gotta know of those eight people, there is one man who gets nothing but grief every day from his wife that they bought that el cheapo inside cabin on deck 2. Ya' know she's look'in around and seeing all those empty cabins with whirlpools and special soaps and balconies with binoculars on 'em and door bells and she is making her husband pay for making such a bad decision. Poor guy.
  16. If you are one of these eight people, what kind of tip do you leave on the dresser in your stateroom???? https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/artania-cruise-ship-docks/index.html I mean, yeah over the past 4 months you've 'prolly gotten good at guessing the price of the Peter Max and now know all dance steps to every 70's night song. Hell, they might have even taking turns dressing up as the indian. But....on the other hand the cruise line almost nearly killed you....or worse. So, what kind of tip do you leave behind???? On the other hand, how do you bring all those fancy, flashing light cups home; 'cause it's like A LOT of 'dem.
  17. In all the recent events, I don't remember an announcement of Rhapsody being retired. https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1997/cruise-ship-2417-passengers-stock-no-s2509-3024096/ The asking price of $85M is really cheap; and I bet you could buy it for a whole lot less than that today.
  18. Allow me to throw out this suggestion, release deployment schedules and allow bookings that are ambiguous. Let me explain: Anthem of the Seas 7 night cruise departs from Tampa June 15, 2023 Use standard pricing: Inside cabins are $175 a night, Porthole are $200 a night, Balconies are $275, etc. etc. Sell the benefits of the ship and all the activities that offers, the itinerary? That'll be announced at some point in the future. Many people would be happy to put deposits down for future sailings with unknown itineraries, particularly marquee ships like Anthem, Harmony, and Odyssey.
  19. Wow, knock me over with a feather!!!! Guidance, leadership, taking initiative, creating an acceptable path forward, being a role model......I think American Queen and their fleet of riverboats are going to be very successful and be the first to return back to a profitable enterprise. Meanwhile, judging from Richards Fain's MSNBC interview; Royal Caribbean's plan is to just sit idle "until they tell us what we have to do". No commitment to resume cruising. Then there is the laughing at getting employees back home <shakes head, very disappointed> Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1Q of 2021.
  20. The short answer is: That is just how short on cash Royal is and by giving obscure partial payments greatly reduces if not eliminates the legal footing a canceled passenger might bring in civil court. The long answer: All the accessible loan money probably has covenants stating that it can not be used for refunding customers. This actually makes a lot of sense, you just have to view it from the point of the bank. In commercial paper the strings attached are called covenants. Examples of covenants might be executives can not create a golden parachute for themselves with the funds, no stock buy backs, or the money can only be used for maintaining fixed assets because if this all goes down the toilet, the bank can make a legal claim against the title of those fixed assets. The bank can't make a legal claim against customers who received a refund. I'm guessing that the billions of available loans are not able to be used for this purpose. So customers desiring a refund need to be paid from cash from three main sources: cash previously on hand, cash from new cruise sales, or cash from newly sold (treasury shares) shares of stock. Common sense tells me those aren't the most robust streams of income today and with a large company like Royal there are likely a lot of other expenses and contracts contending for that pool of money. How the CFO prioritizes which squeaky wheel gets grease? This is triage. It's a day by day basis of fixing that days most urgent needs. Every workday is a nightmare and there is no end in sight. Oh, and they already spent all that cash on hand left over from last year. So there are a bunch of customers Royal rightfully owes money to. There is some cash to pay them, but not all of them in their entirety. So they drag their feet, postponing the payment of any money. The make no promises of payment but a lot of innuendo. They look for any reason to reduce those payments. And then they begin to give payments in random amounts, no certain percentage, no per diem, otherwise no recognizable methodology. Therefore it looks like a cumbersome system, Royal is just being Royal, and the IT department is now working in accounting. And customers just feel shortchanged, not out and out ripped off. And, if this were to really go down the toilet; the legal standing of a partially refunded customer is much, much weaker as to one who received nothing. And as a potential class action case of partially refunded customers, their amounts are all over the place and it's a hard to figure out because you can't just say this cruise contract was unpaid, you have to subtract a couple random amounts to come up with the unpaid balance. It's a purposeful mess. Got it?
  21. You have to want to get them home, like calling Royal Caribbean to get an issue taken care of; you have to be persistent. Like a James Van Fleet weather forecast, you have to be honest and frank. Like James Van Fleet, daily briefings and frequent updates will go a long way. Van Fleet uses a bunch of social media to get his word out. In short, honest communication will go a long way with the stranded crew if Royal is in fact trying. Today, Royal Caribbean is not trying. CDC mandates??? How about turning your negatives around into positives??? How about leadership and guidance??? This whole maritime platform is based on leadership, seniority, and wisdom; well.....I'm expecting brilliance out of highly paid people with stripes on their shoulders and corner offices in Miami and so far I'm not getting any. If I was the zookeeper I would clean the floating petri dish to the point it was a germ free environment. I would test everyone aboard twice a day. I would implement platforms and activities so that those onboard do things. I would start with the easy stuff, how can we do the dances that are done during the sail away? How can these people go to the main theater and watch a movie or a performance? How can we let them on the pool deck and occupy a lounge chair for an hour? How can we feed them all together? It means changing behaviors, it means changing norms. Instead of saying we'll just let our boat and the staff linger on some ocean; I would create a space and protocols that make a cruise ship better and safer than being on land. Someone disembarking from one of my cruise ships would be welcome in any country, in any airplane, or at any hotel. The relative few staff that are onboard would be my guinea pig, a nice small sample size to work with to establish how life and activities on future sailings might be preformed for when we pack the boat with 5,000 passengers. Imagine....people wanting to get on a cruise ship because it is a better, safer place than where they are at??? Whoa... Doing so requires leadership. It means changing things and implementing practices that other companies and institutions will look at see are a successful path going forward. It means being a pinnacle.
  22. Why do so many people here have a difficult time for Royal being exposed for doing something obviously wrong? It's clear these crew members feel marginalized. Royal has promised to send them back home and has not done so. Their feelings and concerns are valid and true; Royal is very, very wrong. Why attack the poster or the news source? As a lover of Royal Caribbean, how can you not feel sympathetic for these crew members? Or, do we only appreciate them when they make us a towel animal or bring another drink?
  23. The lay berth fee is a tax by the City of Miami. It's not the fee for the longshoremen to take a rope and put it around a cleat and later remove it, that's different. Apparently even though you spent $247M on a new terminal and a 200' longer private dock, you owe the city additional money just for having ropes attached.
  24. Yes, Royal's embarrassing blunder of watching the Super Bowl instead of weather guidance nearly cost them a brand new Anthem of the Seas. They changed weather forecasting companies and hired James Van Fleet to offer a public face to weather issues. James Van Fleet's honesty and right down to the facts style is comforting to every cruiser no matter the weather circumstances. I vote he takes over as Chairman and CEO when Richard Fain steps down.`
  25. If you are looking for an overwhelming Yes response than this is the place you will find it. But in reality people are going to transition back to normal at all kinds of different rates and as they see comfortable. There is no switch that gets flicked back normal. It will takes years to get back to 2019. That being said, people are not looking for a vacation. They have been on a vacation for a month and a half and as much as they would like to get out of their house, getting away from it all is not on their radar. I voted No. Cruises for me involve airplanes, airports, hotels, and ground transportation. I need to feel comfortable and safe with all of those things before I make the decision whether being safe on a cruise ship is even possible.
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