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There was also some positive news from Chris Hipkins (our Covid minister) who has said he expects cruise ships to be welcomed back by October. Apparently they will be defining the protocols within the next few weeks.

Maybe I can get excited for our Ovation cruise to NZ in October now.

 

 

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On 4/14/2022 at 1:30 PM, F1guynz said:

There was also some positive news from Chris Hipkins (our Covid minister) who has said he expects cruise ships to be welcomed back by October. Apparently they will be defining the protocols within the next few weeks.

I would suspect it'll be the same rules as any other tourist who enters the country in that they have to be fully vacinated. I wouldn't be surprise to see the cruise lines also add testing at depature (Govt may alos add this but I suspect the cruise lines will anyway if the rest of the world is anything to go off).

The interesting bit will be do they treat a cruise ship like any othe bit of transport (i.e must wear a mask) or like a entertainment venue such as a resturant/bar (Don't have to wear a mask). 

Of course there is a lot of water to go under the keel before October so I imagine things will change multiple times before then.

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10 hours ago, EmersonNZ said:

The interesting bit will be do they treat a cruise ship like any othe bit of transport (i.e must wear a mask) or like a entertainment venue such as a resturant/bar (Don't have to wear a mask).

I don't think this will be a requirement as it is not part of the Australian protocols as 95% of passengers will need to be vaccinated. It would be a bit odd that while leaving Australia you wouldn't wear a mask and then at some point you would need to put one on to satisfy NZ requirements.

I think in practice if this was the case then a lot of Australian's would not come to NZ on a cruise. Also once they were here doing shore tours there are a lot of places were a mask is not required (bars, cafes, outdoors etc.) so it just wouldn't make sense (not that that stops politicians passing unworkable laws).

  

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1 hour ago, twangster said:

At least it isn't Carnival.

Are they overdoing the Funderstruck marketing in Oz?  I'm so tired of it here in the US.

I think it’s one peg below carnival but at least I will appreciate RC.

 

 

 It’s starting to look like the islands may be turning the corner on Covid.

Vanuatu has just come out of a 2 months lockdown and is letting citizens return. They haven’t put a time on it but they are working on allowing tourists back.

If so , it’s good news for ovation and especially Quantum as it does most of this season to the islands from Brisbane.

 

https://www.dailypost.vu/news/curfew-lifted/article_36153ed6-ef18-5a70-a840-9556ec591bbe.html

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5 hours ago, Chili said:

How low can a human being go ? Almost 3 years away from RC .

Im booked on P&O Australia Pacific Explorer, on the 7th June.

It is a suite and it’s free but the humiliation.

I looked into cruising Pacific Explorer from Freo to Exmouth for the solar eclipse in April 2023.  It's a five-nighter and you don't get off the ship, but you'd be anchored off Exmouth for the eclipse.

It seemed like a good idea but then I Youtubed the Pacific Explorer. I was put off completely. I'm literally trying to arrange accommodation in the caravan park instead, LOL.

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20 minutes ago, KWofPerth said:

I looked into cruising Pacific Explorer from Freo to Exmouth for the solar eclipse in April 2023.  It's a five-nighter and you don't get off the ship, but you'd be anchored off Exmouth for the eclipse.

It seemed like a good idea but then I Youtubed the Pacific Explorer. I was put off completely. I'm literally trying to arrange accommodation in the caravan park instead, LOL.

I saw it in Sydney on Tuesday, I don’t have big tastes in life but it looked pretty sad.
All the glass had rust stains that it looked like it was hard to see through because of the rust.  Just a old sad ship, a carnival ship.

Hopefully they will clean it up a bit before it goes to work.

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1 hour ago, mattymay said:

Interesting Virgin

I am curious to try the ship. Read so much positive and negative reports about the ship and its offerings. It is a good sign of confidence in the Australian cruising market and may attract new cruisers. I hope that with the added competition, it may drive prices down and possibly change Royals offering, offering more inclusions such as wifi and maybe even drinks.   

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13 minutes ago, CruisingOz said:

I am curious to try the ship. Read so much positive and negative reports about the ship and its offerings. It is a good sign of confidence in the Australian cruising market and may attract new cruisers. I hope that with the added competition, it may drive prices down and possibly change Royals offering, offering more inclusions such as wifi and maybe even drinks.   

I booked the 2 nighter to Tasmania just to test it out. 

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46 minutes ago, mattymay said:

The curse of the Ruby Princess continues.. 

image.png.38405bd2a9a88b333d36536ff2b0d2cf.png

Following 73 on the previous cruise so trending the wrong direction, yet what the raw numbers don't tell is that they are all minor symptoms like common colds, yet "cases" and "cruise ships' are words that are just way too juicy for the media to resist.  

Our VP is now positive with no symptoms and we have government officials dismissing it suggesting "zero cases was never a goal".  

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2 hours ago, twangster said:

yet "cases" and "cruise ships' are words that are just way too juicy for the media to resist.  

This is a prime example of how the cruise lines are held to a double standard.

Did the author compare the amount of covid cases on that ship that came into San Francisco to all the covid cases that came into KSFO airport that day?

Oh that's right, there's no testing of airplane passengers.

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4 hours ago, CruisingOz said:

I am curious to try the ship. Read so much positive and negative reports about the ship and its offerings. It is a good sign of confidence in the Australian cruising market and may attract new cruisers. I hope that with the added competition, it may drive prices down and possibly change Royals offering, offering more inclusions such as wifi and maybe even drinks.   

As much as I would love to see that happen unfortunately it will not. 

Here in the US Virgin Voyages entrance into this market had no impact on prices in fact Virgin on many of their 4 night cruises from Miami is more expensive than Royal and in some cases even Celebrity on 7 night cruises.   And don't be fooled by their all inclusive drinks and wifi.  The all inclusive Wifi is the basic/slowest Wifi when can only open simple pages  or emails and after a certain point they begin throttling your usage. If you want faster Wifi for streaming, working or if you use a lot of data you have to purchase it  The all inclusive drinks does not include alcoholic drinks, fresh pressed juices, or speciality crafted coffees and they do not provide any "traditional" drink packages.  You have an account that you can load $200, $300, dollars or more on and you are charged for each alcoholic drink at full price. If you are a person who likes to drink when on vacation you bar tab will get expensive VERY QUICKLY ( I know someone a coworker of mine who did a 5 night cruise and end up with a $1000 bar tab because they love to drink on vacation). Sometimes they do run specials where if you load $100 dollars on your bar tab pre-cruise they will credit your account with an additional $50 dollars.  HOWEVER be warned if you do load money on your bar tab pre-cruise and do NOT use the entire tab any money that remains on the tab even if it is your money not a credit from Virgin is NONREFUNDABLE. 

Some people I know who've cruise with Virgin Voyages absolutely love them and others not so much.  One of the biggest complaints I've heard from people who've cruise them but are seasoned cruisers is their staterooms are small and their bathrooms are especially small compared to most other cruise lines and there is little to no in room storage in any non-suite stateroom.  Nearly every person I've spoken to who has actually cruised with Virgin says the food is amazing but portion sizes can run small.  

I am interested in trying out Virgin Voyages it won't happen this year, maybe in 2023 just so I can see for myself and draw my own conclusions but my suggestion would be do your homework don't just buy into their advertising campaign because they have there pros and cons. 

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7 hours ago, Chili said:

Noumea is looking very positive,no more masks,QR codes or quarantine.

No cruise ships at the moment but it shouldn’t be far off.

Vanuatu is looking a bit more difficult but is progressing.

 

https://www.newcaledonia.travel/au/coronavirus

Yep, Noumea is looking back to normal.

I agree on Vanuatu, what's yours/others thoughts on Vanuatu being good by 2023.

Disclosure.....I have a vested interest via a 9 night South Pacific departing 4 Jan 2023 lol.

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45 minutes ago, Avfrattner said:

Yep, Noumea is looking back to normal.

I agree on Vanuatu, what's yours/others thoughts on Vanuatu being good by 2023.

Disclosure.....I have a vested interest via a 9 night South Pacific departing 4 Jan 2023 lol.

Vanuatu???
They have started repatriation flights for citizens.

You still have to get permission to enter the country.

A couple of provinces have gone back into lockdown.

Its a bit hard to get information but I think the biggest problem is their vaccination rate is pretty low.

Heres a article from the local paper.

https://www.dailypost.vu/coronavirus_updates/27-repatriation-flights-from-april-to-june/article_36156e23-607e-5860-b49e-27c2933cc42b.html

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fingers crossed, it would be awesome. Give P&O and Carnival some competition. In the article it mentions homeport at the new Brisbane terminal. I hope it will be Sydney as the city has far more to offer visitors and access to public transport than Brisbane and if they are looking at three/four day itineraries, far more convenient.   

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22 minutes ago, CruisingOz said:

Fingers crossed, it would be awesome. Give P&O and Carnival some competition. In the article it mentions homeport at the new Brisbane terminal. I hope it will be Sydney as the city has far more to offer visitors and access to public transport than Brisbane and if they are looking at three/four day itineraries, far more convenient.   

Enchantment could stay here but I would like to see something better.

Radiance has a booking in Hawaii in October 2023 along with Ovation,Quantam and enchantment.

I don’t know if it’s on the way back to the Panama Canal or where.

https://hawaii.portcall.com/#!?tab=2

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8 minutes ago, Chili said:

Enchantment could stay here but I would like to see something better.

I was discussing this with family, and they all agreed that Royal should bring back the Voyager for a full time ship. It offers many more family friendly activities, such as water slides, and is a nice alternative to Radiance and Ovation.

I love Radiance class and would also be happy with the Enchantment, but we are mid 50's and just want to chill and enjoy the cruise. If Royal wants to target the family market, without the price tag required for a Quantum class, a Voyager class ship which has been amplified would make more business sense to me. 

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28 minutes ago, CruisingOz said:

I was discussing this with family, and they all agreed that Royal should bring back the Voyager for a full time ship. It offers many more family friendly activities, such as water slides, and is a nice alternative to Radiance and Ovation.

I love Radiance class and would also be happy with the Enchantment, but we are mid 50's and just want to chill and enjoy the cruise. If Royal wants to target the family market, without the price tag required for a Quantum class, a Voyager class ship which has been amplified would make more business sense to me. 

I agree with a voyager class. They are to sort of in a twilight zone,they are too big for ports such as Tampa,Baltimore and are eclipsed by Quantam and oasis class .

We haven’t see Adventure in the pacific?

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14 hours ago, Chili said:

Gavin Smith said they want to deploy a ship year round in Australia.

I believe him, but I feel an Oasis class ship in Australia is in Royal's plans if/when everything goes perfectly.

It reminds me of when you day dream about winning the lottery and after you get that billion dollars, you might toss your second cousin a couple thousand for being nice.

I'm not saying there won't be an Oasis Class ship in Australia ever. I really do think there will be one, but I wouldn't expect one anytime soon.

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8 hours ago, Matt said:

I believe him, but I feel an Oasis class ship in Australia is in Royal's plans if/when everything goes perfectly.

It reminds me of when you day dream about winning the lottery and after you get that billion dollars, you might toss your second cousin a couple thousand for being nice.

I'm not saying there won't be an Oasis Class ship in Australia ever. I really do think there will be one, but I wouldn't expect one anytime soon.

I don’t think we will see a oasis for a few years.

If things get back to normal and Lelepa is operating it will happen. A oasis here in our main season and off to Singapore or LA in the northern summer.
But for a year round ship it would have to be a Voyager class to compete with carnival and P&O . Something for the kids and the whole family.

vision and radiance wouldn’t have the family appeal,I think Adventure of the seas will be the ship. They can advertise a brand new ship for the pacific,water slides,flow rider,ect.

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21 hours ago, Matt said:

It reminds me of when you day dream about winning the lottery and after you get that billion dollars, you might toss your second cousin a couple thousand for being nice.

Like in 2026.. 

Bayley: Hey Gav, we've built two new Oasis and three new Icon class. I told Dick before he left we had nowhere to park them. Got any idea where we can offload some old ships ? 

Smith: I know just the place Mike!

 

 

On a serious note: a year round ship is most likely to be a Quantum out of Brisbane I believe. Warmer climate in winter and a colder weather ship, just makes sense. With 3 new Icon's they should be able to spare a Quantum sized ship.

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9 hours ago, mattymay said:

Like in 2026.. 

On a serious note: a year round ship is most likely to be a Quantum out of Brisbane I believe. Warmer climate in winter and a colder weather ship, just makes sense. With 3 new Icon's they should be able to spare a Quantum sized ship.

It could be earlier than 2026.

Odyssey 2021, Wonder 2022, Icon 2023, Utopia 2024, Unnamed (Icon Class), 2025, Unnamed (Icon Class) 2026.

Looking at the delivery schedule and the total number of ships Royal will have in their fleet I think Royal could potentially be sailing year around from Australia starting in 2024.   And with three Icon Class ship coming also can see Royal home-porting either the second or third Icon Class ship in Australia.

I know in the past I've link Australia's chances of getting an Oasis Class ship to the recovery of the Chinese cruise market. However if by the time Utopia launches Royal is not seeing the demand in China they may send her to the U.S. like they did with Wonder which may cause some reshuffling. With either Ovation or Quantum remaining in Australia year around, Royal isn't going to give up that summertime capacity in Alaska with Alaska cruises being so popular.  I'm thinking they move Anthem to the West Coast to replace either Ovation or Quantum for the 2024 Alaska cruise season. Icon would leave Florida go to Europe for the European cruise season (South Hampton) and Oasis would leave Florida going to New York for the summer season. At the end of the Northern Hemisphere's summer Anthem could be moved down from Alaska to Los Angeles (or maybe San Francisco (Carnival is launching cruises from San Francisco, Royal may want a piece of that action)), Oasis goes back to Miami and Icon comes back to the US and replaces Anthem in New York (since Icon will be an all weather ship), and Australia gets its year around Quantum Class ship starting in 2024.   

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I noticed in that article about icon that the captain of Wonder is

Hindrick Loy .
He was the captain of Ovation, I remember talking to him at a suite party about his career with RC.
He said he went through the construction of Ovation and he specialises in Asia for RC.

Maybe Wonder is still destined for our region??

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