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What would the theoretical first signs of sailings restarting in the US be?


joshgates
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Spent some time this morning deciding how I wanted to handle upcoming final payments, current FCC's, etc and started to wonder, what would the initial signs be that Royal (or any major cruise line in the US) be that they're confident in restarting sailings and what would a timeframe from those signs be?

A few things that I figure we'll see first, and I'm going to use the assumption that they are confident in their ability to protect themselves, their crew, and passengers.

  • Detailed plans announced for mitigation (reduced capacity, reserved seats at shows, how dining/bar services will work, etc.)
  • Confirmation of agreement with the CDC that the line has met or exceeded their requirements
  • Removal of no sail order (by expiration or otherwise)
  • Announcement of additional cancelations excluding specific ships (assuming phased startup)
  • Staffing up of a(or multiple) ships
  • Announcements of changed itineraries on select sailings

I'll admit though, I don't know much about the actual operations of a cruise line, so would love some feedback/discussion on what others would expect to see logistically that some sailings would be resuming within a couple months?

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17 minutes ago, joshgates said:
  • Staffing up of a(or multiple) ship

I think this is the one that will actually mean something.  Of course, Royal will never announce that they are recruiting/manning ships, but we will know...there are plenty of people out in the etherworld that have connections and will hear when Royal starts to hire.  That is when we will know things are moving.

Presently, they are still trying to get staff OFF the ship and back home so it doesn't seem like things are turning the corner yet.  ...but I am sure we will hear about it once Royal, or any of the other lines, start hiring.

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3 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

I think this is the one that will actually mean something.  Of course, Royal will never announce that they are recruiting/manning ships, but we will know...there are plenty of people out in the etherworld that have connections and will hear when Royal starts to hire.  That is when we will know things are moving.

Presently, they are still trying to get staff OFF the ship and back home so it doesn't seem like things are turning the corner yet.  ...but I am sure we will hear about it once Royal, or any of the other lines, start hiring.

Yeah, to me that's the main indicator that they have confidence in sailings resuming shortly in some capacity.  

I just have no clue what it takes to get a ship/etc ready that's been without passengers and a large portion of the staff/crew for several months, if there are other indications that a ship is being prepared for passengers again.

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I’ll call my friend who was a former hotel director for Royal and pick his brain. He’s currently HD for a river cruise line here in the states but stays in contact with his RC peeps. Of course he felt we’d be good by October but we all know now that isn’t happening. 
 

Your very first signs will also be when we can gather in larger groups again. That has to happen on land before it can happen at sea. 

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Id keep and eye on Chris Wong's channel on You Tube. I imagine the employees wont be allowed to announce anything, though....but staffing the ships for sure, will be a good sign. First and foremost, the CDC has to lift the no sail order. At this point, I sincerely doubt my March sailing on Harmony will go.....or at least it wont be what it is now. Less days, different ports, and such. 

 

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Lines getting their CDC back to sail plans approved by the gov't.  That's one enabler.  Ports opening another...  Rumors of crews coming back to ships.  Some ships are on min manning and a lot of people will need to get into the right position.  Guessing just a few ships to start - then gradually build back up the itineraries.    I think we still have a long wait.

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On 8/7/2020 at 12:21 PM, Jill said:

Your very first signs will also be when we can gather in larger groups again. That has to happen on land before it can happen at sea. 

I think this. And also, the US needs to start on a downward trend on new cases/day, and keep going down. I simply don't see the CDC even considering letting cruising start from US ports before then.

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5 hours ago, Th3CruiseGuru said:

I think another great indicator will be how the ships that are about to start sailing over in Europe perform.  I believe AIDA is starting up September 6th.  If that goes like the last few ships to sail I am afraid its going to be a while before we see ships sail in the US.   

Certainly if things go well in Europe it will help the Global restart, by the end of September/early October there should be 4 cruise lines sailing, TUI will have 3 ships, Costa are starting up sailing with Italian residents only, as mentioned AIDA are due in September and Marella (also confusingly owned by TUI) are looking at the beginning of October.

I've seen no negative press from the first couple of TUI cruises, funny that, had there of been a problem the press would of been all over it 

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Well...here's this...sorry if anyone takes issue with my mistrust of governments and health authorities...I understand...no ill will...

Some of you may watch Don's Family Vacations on YT he can be a little entertaining, but is pretty infomrative...if you claim that this is isolated, I will have @CruisinForABruisin's reaction to my comment...

 

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39 minutes ago, DunkelBierJay said:

Well...here's this...sorry if anyone takes issue with my mistrust of governments and health authorities...I understand...no ill will...

Some of you may watch Don's Family Vacations on YT he can be a little entertaining, but is pretty infomrative...if you claim that this is isolated, I will have @CruisinForABruisin's reaction to my comment...

 

I dont trust the health officials, here's a shitty YouTuber i trust!

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It's a combination of things to watch, not just one thing. Cruise lines that have returned to operations in Asia and Europe are having both success and failures in dealing with infections. We hear about every misstep but hear nothing of successes so, don't despair. TUI is cruising from German ports and I guess successfully. MSC is about to make a run in the Med on August 16th and again on the 24th. AIDA will cruise from Kiel and Hamburg in September.

A resumption of cruising by RCL will be influenced by the success or failure of TUI, MSC's and AIDA's cruises. I expect that we will see RCL attempt to position ships and sail  from Italian and German ports but only with passengers from the Schengen regions permitted to board after November 15th. 

I think it is important to watch how cruise lines deal with infections v. how the press presents it. That can be hard but be wary of media reports of "massive failures" of cruise lines who restart cruising.

What we will need to assess progress will be data about the numbers of cruises that have taken place overall compared to the ones that have had a passenger or crew test + for C-19. More importantly will be information about how successfully the cruise line, port authorities, local transport and hospitals deal with passengers or crew that become infected.

Watching the CDC: I think it is pretty clear that the CDC isn't going to lift it's no-sail-order from US ports until after November 15th if then. Why would the big three cruise lines uniformly cancel cruising though that date? I do think that the US government is weighing the huge economic hit that halting cruising from US ports is taking in FL and every other city that had a busy cruise port pre-COVID. I'm not convinced this will turn into action to revive the cruise industry but it might. The politics, local and national, of cruising, like a lot of things, is fickle but make no mistake, FL is losing billions each month that the CDC keeps its ports closed to cruise ship operations. Hundreds of thousands of workers who service the various interconnected aspects of the cruise industry are unemployed. Start Cruising and unemployment in FL will drop significantly as those presently fired or furloughed return to work. Trump is likely looking at this as a means to advance his reelection campaign.

As for sailing from FL: watch Caribbean nation's health and tourism ministers. Here again, Caribbean nations are losing billions of dollars to the loss of cruise ships making calls at their island nation's ports. Compromises can be made that involve assessing risks of viral spread v.economic benefits of allowing cruise ships to make port calls. I think that this is the first place we'll see RCL, Celebrity, Carnival, NCL and HAL sail to out of FL ports. The cruises will start with 3-5d itineraries that will have at least one stop at a private island and only one, maybe two stops at cooperative Caribbean ports. Nassau, the Dominican Republic and possibly Puerto Rico as early candidates. If successful in dealing with infections, we could see a quick ramp up to 7, then 10d cruises that include Aruba - already one of the few islands that will allow American tourists.  

I'd expect each of these cruise lines to carefully select which class of ship will sail basing those decisions on profitability at reduced capacity. It seems to me that ships with under 3000 passenger capacity are more likely to sail early although the larger ships are more efficient and can operate at higher margins even with less capacity. No telling. As for dates, I think the week before Thanksgiving weekend is the target with the fall back being the December 10th through January 3rd time frame. So, watch closely for signs that crew are being called back to duty around the first week in November.

 

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Here's another thing to watch: a possible shift in testing strategies within the US in attempts to control community spread of the virus. The testing strategy employed now isn't working. The author of this article argues cheap, widespread on demand testing has the potential to control viral spread in the US "in 3 weeks." It's a novel approach that involves simple saliva tests that work much like an OTC pregnancy tests - put a sample of saliva in the testing device, wait a few minutes, if a line appears in the testing window, your contagious. 

If you want to go into Walmart, board a cruise ship, attend a baseball or football game, before you enter you get tested. If you test negative, you get in; positive, go home, isolate for 10d and come back then. The author contends after you do this for three weeks (and he does the math to show how that works) community spread of the virus stops - pretty much normal life, social and economic activity returns.

Let's do it!

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/08/how-to-test-every-american-for-covid-19-every-day/615217/

 

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