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Will USA Lose It's Cruise MoJo To New Foreign Homeports?


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Very interesting article from CruiseHive...

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SWill We See Cruise Ships Homeport In Cozumel?
 
 
 

The recent events concerning an additional year-long shut down of operations in Canada, the slow-moving CDC, which has not yet given out instructions on how to proceed with test cruises, and the general uncertainty of when cruises will be resuming in the US are worrying facts for the entire industry. Yet, there seems to be a small light at the end of the tunnel.

The Mexican island of Cozumel is now investigating what the chances and opportunities are to become a homeport, to at least some ships.

While the island would be far too small to offer anything remotely like the infrastructure set up in most US homeports, the island has a significant amount of docking areas; it would allow ships to sail the Caribbean.

Cozumel Talking To European Cruise Lines

Cozumel relies heavily on cruise ship incomes throughout the year and has been hit hard by the pandemic. Island Major Pedro Joaquin Delbouis believes that bringing in some ships to homeport from Cozumel will bring life back to the island and provide much-needed income at the same time.

Cozumel, Mexico Cruise Photo By: Russell Otway

The major has already been in contact with the management at Swiss-based Cruise line MSC Cruises, as Riviera Maya News reported.

As there are no plans from the United States authorities and the Caribbean Cruise Association to have any cruises sailing this first quarter, there isn’t anything stopping the town, Major Pedro Joaquin Delbouis:

“If they cannot leave from the United States, let them make a route to the Caribbean sailing from Cozumel. We know that supply logistics is not easy and more so from an island, but it can be done.”

“There is still no answer with the US lines, but we are in talks with MSC, which previously managed an itinerary through the Caribbean without touching North American soil.”

Cozumel isn’t the only place eyeing a spot as the homeport for ships. Progreso, in the Yucatan, and perhaps more surprisingly, Havana, Cuba.

MSC Cruises has been extremely successful with making cruises from Italy since August last year, which puts the Europeans in the top spot to make these plans a reality. Couple that with the fact that the company has significant experience in Cuba and the current flexible travel requirements that Mexico has might make the idea feasible.

Also Read: Useful Things To Know About Cozumel Cruise Ports

Mexico- Is It Wide Open?

A resumption of cruising from Mexico and specifically an island in Mexico would not be a bad idea. The country is currently one of the few countries in the world where travel is unrestricted.

Tourism is currently open for all tourists to visit. There is no mandatory quarantine period, neither is there a need for a COVID diagnostic test to enter the country. The only drawback is that tourists from the US are not allowed to cross the border by car. There are no restrictions for any tourists from the US if they arrive by plane.

Useful Things To Know About Cozumel Cruise Ports Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive

The fact that Cozumel is an Island also plays into the hand of the cruise lines. Instead of testing all passengers on the pier side, a testing facility could be set up in neighboring Playa Del Carmen. Guests could be tested before they arrive on the island and board any ships.

Does it all sound unrealistic? Keep in mind that cruises are successfully running in both Europe and Asia, and neither of these has had any signs of significant outbreaks or even minor outbreaks.

Cruise lines are busy setting up new health guidelines, and a cruise from Cozumel, or even Havana, could be the next step that the industry takes towards recovery.

 
 
 
 
 
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Interesting....and I am actually surprised more haven't thought about this...although i am sure the logistics of doing something like that is huge and of course we keep hoping its just another  month or two and we can start getting back to normal so why look into adding/changing home ports.

 

But we all know this isnt going away anytime soon and god help cruising  if Covid-20 ever comes along....?

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1 hour ago, cruisellama said:

If this shutdown is artificially stretched into '22 - there will have to be some sort of port migration just to start flowing cash and keep things afloat.  These companies cannot service all the debt for years with nothing coming in.

I've got wind that July/August would be the threshold before a certain cruise line will make a drastic move if there are no cruises sailing out of U.S. ports. I wonder what that "drastic" move would be.

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Look at Barbados, they already had some infrastructure as a departure port and had some cruise lines that departed from there.  Their airport structure was a little more robust mainly do to the travel there from the United Kingdom.  They are just barely getting started and with only one small ship.

I still think Vaccine is the answer.  The US is only 60 days into vaccination and 10% of the population has received at least the first dose, with another vaccine ready to be rolled out, I would suppose that everyone who wants the vaccine will have it no later than the end of this year.  Then the question is what will the CDC do??

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If this drags out into the fall I say bring on Mexico and Barbados.  Most people who don't live in Florida or near a homeport like New York or Long Beach already know we have to think about airfare when we cruise.  Even before COVID a round trip to Mexico wasn't that expensive at least not from Chicago.  Ticket prices depending on the airline were about $30-$40 dollars more than a flight to Florida. If the CDC wants to continue to punish cruise lines I say move some of these ships to a new homeport even if it's only temporary.  It is a shame the disparity in how the CDC has treated the airlines v.s. the cruise lines.
 

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Interesting to see Ms. Freed's comments that a relationship with a government body (the CDC) is a 'partnership'. She's delusional. The definition of a partnership includes the goal of mutual benefit.

She has confused the concept with what is called 'regulatory risk' in the business world. The CDC has now proven themselves to be massive regulatory risk...businesses will find a way to reduce or eliminate regulatory risk (especially if it is overbearing), it just takes a little time.

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30 minutes ago, Gears said:

Interesting to see Ms. Freed's comments that a relationship with a government body (the CDC) is a 'partnership'. She's delusional. The definition of a partnership includes the goal of mutual benefit.

She has confused the concept with what is called 'regulatory risk' in the business world. The CDC has now proven themselves to be massive regulatory risk...businesses will find a way to reduce or eliminate regulatory risk (especially if it is overbearing), it just takes a little time.

Eliminating regulatory risk rarely involves agitating an omnipotent regulator in the public media.   That's not smart business.  She is playing it smart.  

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