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Breaking ...... Or At Least Pretty New


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Celebrity is in the process of formalizing multiple changes involving 8-10n itineraries. I had an 11n/10n B2B that spanned most of March out of Fort Lauderdale. I had decided that booking was unlikely to sail in it's present configuration. So, I looked to see if the Equinox - the only ship from the RCG that is sailing the Caribbean during the traditional hurricane season (not sure about Silver Sea) was doing those two itineraries or something like them in August. Nope.

Surprisingly, I was able to cancel the first leg of the B2B and rebook (same fare, different ship, same class but different cabin, no penalties) an 8n Equinox sailing out of Fort Lauderdale but not a sequential 8n sailing right after it. Go figure???

 I did not rebook the the second leg of the B2B, a 10n March sailing that probably won't go. I want to see what Celebrity is going to do with this - final payment due second week in December and no changes yet. I doubt that one will sail but it's close.

Just 30 minutes ago I logged in to the Celebrity site and located a page showing about 15 itinerary changes most of them shortening 8 or longer night cruises to 7n and giving 6n cruises a 7th night. They had just been published. According to the letter on the page that I will probably receive late tonight I'm getting a $100 CC and a refund on a prorated basis for the lost day. I'm fine with that.

It appears that Celebrity is re-jiggering a whole slew of ships and itineraries in 2021. Lots of changes up to August. After that, no changes..... yet. I have an 8n Equinox Cruise out of Fort Lauderdale sailing August 7th. The changes stopped right before this sailing. In this re-jiggering, I got jobbed on a cancellation of a 5n Infinity Cruise that was a L&S from a cancelled Infinity Itinerary over New years leaving 12/28. I don't know where Infinity is headed but it's not doing the previously scheduled 5n/4n sailings in Caribbean waters through April. Then, a week later they cancelled the sailing that I had L&Ss to. I was not happy. I lost a ton of perks and a very good fare. I took a refund as you can only L&S once (you know this). I got over it. Hard times and Celebrity is doing its best.

Bottom line if you are booked anytime between January 1st and July 31st keep a sharp eye out for itinerary changes. You don't want to cancel anything on a whim as it's unlikely you'll be able to find a cabin on a Caribbean sailing during this period. If you do want to change, make sure you can cancel and rebook successfully and at the same time before you pull the trigger.

Edited by JeffB
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I think it is really hard to predict what RCL and Celebrity are going to do heading into March, 2021 and through the summer. The situation is terribly fluid. Some factors:

If vaccines are actually distributed around 12/15/20 you're 10 weeks into distro by March 1st. There's ample evidence that the vaccines will be available on ever-enlarging scale. That is going to have a major impact on the cruising landscape. While, at first, who gets the vaccines will be limited in numbers and targeted, as production scales up - and when there is a huge market for a product companies will go out of their way to match or exceed demand producing big profits - it will scale up very rapidly.

Keep in mind, there is already vaccines produced and on the shelves at all three companies that are in the lead to receive EUA. Once all three are in full-scale production mode and the Feds have got distribution down, it will be reversal of the exponential spread of the virus in that vaccinated persons, not new infections will increase exponentially. The numbers of new COVID cases will decline steeply. Then we have J&J saying they will be seeking EUA as early as February, possibly earlier - a 4th company in max production mode. I also can see other foreign companies seeking EUA for their vaccine products in the US. So, there could even be more vials of the vaccines available and more rapidly expanding numbers of vaccinated persons than we imagine right now or could have even thought possible 6 months ago. Free markets can do that.

What is the CDC going to do wrt their restrictions and protocols directed at the cruise industry as vaccines become more and more available. I can't imagine that the protocols they've designed won't be modified as potential cruise passengers become vaccinated and the CDC can no longer demand compliance when a ship full of vaccinated otherwise healthy people, a lot of them 65-80 year olds who will probably be first in line, sails. We should see a steep reduction in mitigation measures as early as March and definitely as vaccine reaches full scale production and distribution in June/July.

I think you can already see Celebrity - the one I'm keeping close track of - hedging their bets thinking that there's no need to undertake major re-jiggering ships or itineraries after July 31st because vaccines will be out there at scale. While they aren't booking 8n and longer cruises right now and some have been removed altogether, some of them are still on the books - like my August 7th, 8n itinerary. 

I've been overly optimistic in my takes before and this may be a repeat but if vaccine producers jump in with both feet like I believe they will out of sheer profit motive, if the Fed has planned wisely and it turns out they have the infrastructure and can efficiently execute vaccine distribution at scale throughout North America, we may see a faster return to full scale cruising than Europe will obtain - I feel like the EU is going to get bogged down with boarder closings and distribution efforts complicated by Brexit. North America won't have to deal with that mess. 

  

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12 hours ago, JeffB said:

Keep in mind, there is already vaccines produced and on the shelves at all three companies that are in the lead to receive EUA.

AstraZeneca has now admitted that they had errors in their trial -- some patients were given too large a dose / dosages were not uniform for all participants. True efficacy of their vaccine is now in doubt, won't be surprised if their emergency authorization is now denied until they run a whole new trial. And there are apparently some other problems around how they have been reporting their results that cast even more doubt on the whole thing.

Quote

Scientists and industry experts said the error and a series of other irregularities and omissions in the way AstraZeneca initially disclosed the data have eroded their confidence in the reliability of the results.

Officials in the United States have noted that the results were not clear. It was the head of the flagship federal vaccine initiative — not the company — who first disclosed that the vaccine’s most promising results did not reflect data from older people.

The upshot, the experts said, is that the odds of regulators in the United States and elsewhere quickly authorizing the emergency use of the AstraZeneca vaccine are declining, an unexpected setback in the global campaign to corral the devastating pandemic.

We still have two vaccines that appear to be viable and measuring up to their reporting, but the situation is definitely still more fluid than I think any of us would like.

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19 hours ago, JeffB said:

I think it is really hard to predict what RCL and Celebrity are going to do heading into March, 2021 and through the summer. The situation is terribly fluid. Some factors:

If vaccines are actually distributed around 12/15/20 you're 10 weeks into distro by March 1st. There's ample evidence that the vaccines will be available on ever-enlarging scale. That is going to have a major impact on the cruising landscape. While, at first, who gets the vaccines will be limited in numbers and targeted, as production scales up - and when there is a huge market for a product companies will go out of their way to match or exceed demand producing big profits - it will scale up very rapidly.

Keep in mind, there is already vaccines produced and on the shelves at all three companies that are in the lead to receive EUA. Once all three are in full-scale production mode and the Feds have got distribution down, it will be reversal of the exponential spread of the virus in that vaccinated persons, not new infections will increase exponentially. The numbers of new COVID cases will decline steeply. Then we have J&J saying they will be seeking EUA as early as February, possibly earlier - a 4th company in max production mode. I also can see other foreign companies seeking EUA for their vaccine products in the US. So, there could even be more vials of the vaccines available and more rapidly expanding numbers of vaccinated persons than we imagine right now or could have even thought possible 6 months ago. Free markets can do that.

What is the CDC going to do wrt their restrictions and protocols directed at the cruise industry as vaccines become more and more available. I can't imagine that the protocols they've designed won't be modified as potential cruise passengers become vaccinated and the CDC can no longer demand compliance when a ship full of vaccinated otherwise healthy people, a lot of them 65-80 year olds who will probably be first in line, sails. We should see a steep reduction in mitigation measures as early as March and definitely as vaccine reaches full scale production and distribution in June/July.

I think you can already see Celebrity - the one I'm keeping close track of - hedging their bets thinking that there's no need to undertake major re-jiggering ships or itineraries after July 31st because vaccines will be out there at scale. While they aren't booking 8n and longer cruises right now and some have been removed altogether, some of them are still on the books - like my August 7th, 8n itinerary. 

I've been overly optimistic in my takes before and this may be a repeat but if vaccine producers jump in with both feet like I believe they will out of sheer profit motive, if the Fed has planned wisely and it turns out they have the infrastructure and can efficiently execute vaccine distribution at scale throughout North America, we may see a faster return to full scale cruising than Europe will obtain - I feel like the EU is going to get bogged down with boarder closings and distribution efforts complicated by Brexit. North America won't have to deal with that mess. 

  

One of the US vaccines (think Pfizer) has a cold refrigeration requirement (-60 not sure C or F), but either way, creates a logistical speed bump for distribution - but it is surmountable.   May have to go out and buy Dip-n-Dot freezers...

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19 hours ago, SpeedNoodles said:

Infinity sailing the med in June 2021 is still on the website.

Yes but anticipating the worst.   One issue not discussed, the ship hasn't had the "IT" upgrade for the new Muster 2.0 format.  (perhaps won't matter for European operations) Guess they could be working it.  Heard on news, looking for print version - But  apparently CDC issued a new recommendation for Americans returning from Europe.  Must have Covid test within 72H of getting on return flight  to US.  So will complicates US guests return logistics.  Trying to track that one down.  TA was also trying to run to ground for me.  Grrr.  If it tanks, we'll try to L&S to next season.  https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-snapshot-idINKBN29C0L5?edition-redirect=in

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