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Sovereign and Monarch coming back?


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I noticed news from several different sites today mentioning that Sovereign and Monarch could be coming back to RCI? Could that be true? I doesn't seem to make much sense, as Royal Caribbean have made no secret where their fleet was headed in terms of vessel size. There's been so much talk in the last few months about how smaller ships could be the future, but this is pretty surprising. 

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It depends on the financing terms of the transfer that put these ships into the Pullmantur fleet. 

Were they paid for in one lump sum or were they being paid off on a monthly basis or some sort of lease like arrangement.  

There would be a cost to bring them back to RCI to participate in cruising.  Under normal times that would involve a lot of signage and branding.  That adds up and I'm not sure there is budget for that right now.  If there remains debt obligation that a reorganized or dissolved Pullmantur can no longer service then the ships might return to RCI ownership.  That doesn't mean they'll enter the fleet and be offered for cruises by Royal.

If you sold a car to a neighbor and you offered financing to them then they stopped paying the monthly loan you might file to repossess the car.  The ownership returns to you but you might store the car and try to sell versus driving the car on a daily basis. 

Royal may claim the assets before a bankruptcy court tries to but they could just go into cold storage or be scrapped wearing the current Pullmantur paint job. 

Time will tell. 

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On one hand it wouldn't make sense as they probably want/need the bigger ships if social distancing and Covid-19 is going to be around for awhile yet...

 

yet I still say the demand is NOT there yet for cruising(even though Royal says 2021 is like normal??!)…..so not sure those big ships are worth the cost if they are half empty or less...

 

We are in unknown times..anything is possible..

 

We still have a 2nd wave to worry about with this..plus they already say there is a new SARS virus that at any time could become the next outbreak/pandemic......seriously worry for the travel/tourism industry worldwide.

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It's the same old story.  Old ships like an old car may be paid for but have a higher operating cost.  New ships like a new car cost less to operate and are more fuel efficient plus they have the latest features and options but they come with a loan payment. 

I own a 20 year old car.  No loan payment but stuff breaks on it all the time.  It's easy to work on but it's work that costs money.  Fuel economy sucks relative to new cars but there is no loan payment.  It doesn't have anti-lock brakes or power windows or a navigation system or bluetooth.  Still fun to drive and did I mention no loan payment?

I can't use it to offer ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft - it's too old.   They know their customers want to be serviced in something newer.  

Cruise ships follow this analogy.  Old ships are not fuel efficient and have higher operating costs, they tend to break down unpredictably like when Grandeur's rudder broke last year. 

However Royal finds themselves with these ships back under their ownership.  Royal faces a choice - spend millions to rebrand them as Royal ships, sell them as-is or scrap them.  Who is buying old, used cruise ships right now?  Not many.  Do they need another two ships offering cruises right now?  No.  Do customers want old ships lacking modern decor or features?  Some might but most do not.  

Selling for scrap may be the most logical choice given the times we live in.  

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TUI has been going bigger and they have several new builds in the works.  I'm not sure adding old, small ships to the fleet is consistent with their playbook or even a possibility with the newer ships coming.  

The partners in the joint venture may not be warm to the idea that TUI is used as a dumping ground for Royal's unwanted ships.

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Would the smaller ships be of any use to reintroduce Royal to Southern California?  I don't know..... just a thought..... or perhaps to introduce more US ports (like Charleston) to sail from.  Just spit-balling here.  Or perhaps reintroduce South America into the fold...

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53 minutes ago, twangster said:

TUI has been going bigger and they have several new builds in the works.  I'm not sure adding old, small ships to the fleet is consistent with their playbook or even a possibility with the newer ships coming.  

The partners in the joint venture may not be warm to the idea that TUI is used as a dumping ground for Royal's unwanted ships.

The German part of TUI cruises is having a number of new builds, here in the UK the British part of TUI Cruises (Marella) is completely made up of hand me downs. That's part of the attraction to us, we've booked on Marella Discovery next year, in a previous life she was Splendor of the Seas, a class of ship we love

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17 minutes ago, coneyraven said:

Would the smaller ships be of any use to reintroduce Royal to Southern California?  I don't know..... just a thought..... or perhaps to introduce more US ports (like Charleston) to sail from.  Just spit-balling here.  Or perhaps reintroduce South America into the fold...

I would think those older ships would never be able to comply with the environmental requirements of sailing out of CA, which is primarily the reason RCCL isn't sailing out of CA now !  Charleston or Jacksonville or Norfolk all sound like great ideas to me....but I doubt Royal is looking to expand their coverage at this point.  I really just do not see a use for those ships again.  IMO, they are going to be getting rid of even MORE of the small ships.

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9 hours ago, twangster said:

If you sold a car to a neighbor and you offered financing to them then they stopped paying the monthly loan you might file to repossess the car.  The ownership returns to you but you might store the car and try to sell versus driving the car on a daily basis. 

I like the analogy.

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Everything of value has already been removed from the ships. I’d say they’re going to scrap. I’ve sailed both. Monarch in her inaugural year. They’re not efficient. They’re a drag on the bottom line. One thing this virus has done: eliminate the weak. 

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9 hours ago, Jmccaffrey said:

What RC could do is just take over the route of the old Pullmantur Cruises. The cruise line made money in 2019 and they have a market for it. RC  could just start a new  cruise line for Spain owning it 100% with the 3 ships and the one that they were going to tranfer in 2021

Or send Grandeur and Empress and maybe Majesty over. At least those ships are currently in better shape. Monarch and Sovereign have been basically stripped. 

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