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Rhapsody to Sail from Barbados in 2022-2023


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I don't think Barbados was a reaction to the CDC.

Royal lost their place to move older ships when Pullmantur went away.  That left them with the need to do something with some ships.  

Grandeur was successful, or at least bookings were strong so many weeks ago they hinted they'd repeat Barbados the following year but they hinted it might not be Grandeur.

Contrast that with Adventure and Vision where bookings are not as strong so far. 

If you are seeking evidence of CDC motivated new home ports keep an eye on Nassau but so far the booking trends are too early to call.   

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11 minutes ago, Jill said:

@twangster do you think Grandeur would possibly end up with Pullmantur? Last I heard they were reorganizing and taking 2 Celebrity ships. Sailings to possibly start December of 2021. 
https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/23950-pullmantur-could-mount-comeback-with-two-celebrity-ships.html

 

No way to know.  

The news of Celebrity moving ships to Pullmantur was refuted by Celebrity.  

Grandeur was supposed to go to Pullmantur before the pandemic struck.  That transfer was cancelled when Pullmantur ran into trouble resulting from the global cruise shutdown.

I have no insight how likely it is that Pullmantur will be able to rise from the ashes at this point.  If they do all bets are off for what ships might be used.

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25 minutes ago, twangster said:

Contrast that with Adventure and Vision where bookings are not as strong so far. 

 

I was really surprised by this. When I was looking at cabins for Aug 14 on Vision, I was surprised by how many were still available. I’m wondering how much of that was previously due to the high airfares relative to the cruise price, prior to the announcement of subsidized airfares just a few days ago. I know that for me it was a huge deciding factor, as the cheapest flight to Bermuda for 2 would have been 2/3 the cost of the cruise.

Are most people still unaware of the subsidized flight pricing with basically unchanged cruise fares? Is the vaccine  requirement proving to be a blocker for more people than Royal expected? (either because of unavailability before the last week or so, or because there are so many who flat-out refuse to get it)

My TA said she’s just as surprised by the lack of demand, and expects the cruise fares to start dropping soon on top of the flight subsidies. Otherwise forget about 50% capacity; she said Royal will be lucky if they see 30% or even 25% on any given sailing.

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12 minutes ago, Mike.s said:

2 of our favorite places, Barbados and Rhapsody of the Seas, certainly like the look if some of the itineraries, and no better time of year to visit.

Rhapsody cabins like the corner afts on deck 7 are going quickly.  So far these look to be as popular as Grandeur but there does appear to be a price increase over Grandeur.  

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6 minutes ago, twangster said:

Rhapsody cabins like the corner afts on deck 7 are going quickly.  So far these look to be as popular as Grandeur but there does appear to be a price increase over Grandeur.  

certainly cheaper for me to book via US site. price difference is huge! honey moon cruise 2022 here we come

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8 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

I was really surprised by this. When I was looking at cabins for Aug 14 on Vision, I was surprised by how many were still available. I’m wondering how much of that was previously due to the high airfares relative to the cruise price, prior to the announcement of subsidized airfares just a few days ago. I know that for me it was a huge deciding factor, as the cheapest flight to Bermuda for 2 would have been 2/3 the cost of the cruise.

Are most people still unaware of the subsidized flight pricing with basically unchanged cruise fares? Is the vaccine  requirement proving to be a blocker for more people than Royal expected? (either because of unavailability before the last week or so, or because there are so many who flat-out refuse to get it)

My TA said she’s just as surprised by the lack of demand, and expects the cruise fares to start dropping soon on top of the flight subsidies. Otherwise forget about 50% capacity; she said Royal will be lucky if they see 30% or even 25% on any given sailing.

I don't know.  I've always questioned the notion of moving offshore as a replacement to US based home ports.  I didn't see it working.  Some have gloated at my incorrect predictions that they wouldn't do it but with each passing day I'm kind of feeling vindicated.  

I think many people see light in the tunnel.  The overwhelming sentiment seems to be the CDC is just so wrong and way off-base that soon enough they'll have the rug pulled out from under them and cruises will restart.  The CDC is on thin ice and while they haven't gone through the ice yet it's just a matter of time before the administration puts them in their place.  That glimmer of hope I think may be keeping many from booking offshore.   

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28 minutes ago, twangster said:

I think many people see light in the tunnel.  The overwhelming sentiment seems to be the CDC is just so wrong and way off-base that soon enough they'll have the rug pulled out from under them and cruises will restart.  The CDC is on thin ice and while they haven't gone through the ice yet it's just a matter of time before the administration puts them in their place.  That glimmer of hope I think may be keeping many from booking offshore.   

Which could lead to an interesting dynamic. Royal has already canceled through June 30. They’ll probably cancel July unless the CDC caves before mid-May. August sailings will be canceled if the CDC digs in its heels until mid-June or even July 4 (Biden’s originally stated goal date with enough vaccinations to allow gatherings to resume, which it seems we’ve semi-hit).

With each cancellation round, Royal could see a small flood of people decide to immediately transfer to a close-in sailing on Adventure (more likely from folks in the south / Florida imo) or Vision (less-likely even from folks in the northeast, but still possible). The enthusiasts like us got the advantage of early booking and cabin selection, maybe even some initial price drops; while those who held to hope might then be subject to surge pricing and more limited inventory.

Or those folks will just rebook for later in the year, or even 2022, and Royal will have some very lightly filled ships going out this summer.

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8 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

while those who held to hope might then be subject to surge pricing and more limited inventory.

I think this will definitely happen as soon as cruises start. There will be a certain amount of people that will pay seemingly anything to cruise again. At least short term.

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1 hour ago, steverk said:

Hmmm. Is this a taste of things to come? RCG stationed older ships in some unusual ports to respond to the CSO.  Are they going to make the arrangement permanent? Kinda looks like it!

I like your thinking!  Once upon a time, people said Royal would not start cruises outside the US ports based on the CDC being sticklers (bite my tounge).  IT COULD'T BE DONE!  We now have two out of Barbados.  And no matter how you would like to twist the story, it happened!!!!!

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My look into the crystal ball says, Freeport will be the next port Royal bases a ship from!  Grand Bahama International airport has a 11,020 foot runway which can easily accommodate 737 aircraft.

Bahamas Air just placed an order for 737's for Royal's charter service (Just Kidding LOL)

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21 minutes ago, RBRSKI said:

My look into the crystal ball says, Freeport will be the next port Royal bases a ship from!  Grand Bahama International airport has a 11,020 foot runway which can easily accommodate 737 aircraft.

An 11k foot runway can accommodate pretty much every aircraft, especially at sea level

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7 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

An 11k foot runway can accommodate pretty much every aircraft, especially at sea level

I texted my son that exact question and he confirmed what you just said!  He is an aspiring pilot and loves aviation.

 

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1 hour ago, JLMoran said:

Royal has already canceled through June 30. They’ll probably cancel July unless the CDC caves before mid-May. August sailings will be canceled if the CDC digs in its heels until mid-June or even July 4 (Biden’s originally stated goal date with enough vaccinations to allow gatherings to resume, which it seems we’ve semi-hit).

While I listened to Biden's "relaxing" mitigation measures announcement yesterday, there were no surprises. He did emphasize returning people to their jobs and getting businesses up and running again. There is only one sector of the US economy - the service sector and in particular the travel and leisure sector - that has a problem with getting "people back to their jobs" or "businesses up and running."

I'm not talking about restaurants and bars. There's a dynamic there where US citizens sill receiving unemployment benefits - both state and federal - aren't going to go back to work in those jobs yet. That  dynamic, though, doesn't apply to the cruise industry that typically doesn't hire Americans or to the hotel, rental car, port workers and the myriad ancillary jobs that support cruise ship operations. If the cruise lines would be allowed to resume operations from US ports, we're talking a real boost to the economies of states that host cruise ships.  

The CDC locking down the cruise industry is a huge deal from a US and global economic standpoint. I remain astonished that the Biden administration isn't applying some heat to HHS. Rescinding the CSO/NSO seems to me to be a no brainer at this point. So, I look for reasons that the thing is still in effect. I have no doubt there's some behind the scenes stuff going on and some of that has to do with the reality that the clock is ticking on the FL law suit. I think that has a very good chance of producing the injunction the state seeks. IMO, that's a pretty big black-eye for the Biden administration if it happens.

I think there's middle ground that the two parties - HHS and FL - can reach and we may just be waiting for that to be formalized. The intent is not to make the CDC look uninformed and not up to date with the science (even though it's becoming increasingly obvious the CDC is over-cautious) while at the same time recognizing the risk, albeit fully mitigated, IMO, of sailing aboard a cruise ship.

These are smart people involved in this. The question at the top of my list of questions: is there clear top down leadership and attention to the details driving things to a reasonable conclusion? I'm less confident about that than I am that the federal court will make the decision for the Biden administration and the CDC for them.  There is the distinct possibility that allowing the courts to make the decision about restarting cruising from US ports lets the CDC off the hook if something goes wrong and a significant outbreak occurs on any given sailing. I'd call that a default or no-fault (for the Biden Administration/CDC) position.

We'll see. No moves by the Biden administration in the next 2 weeks would seem to predict a default outcome.  Either way, things are aligning to make the chances for a July restart from US ports pretty good. JMO, YMMV.

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3 hours ago, Jill said:

@twangster do you think Grandeur would possibly end up with Pullmantur? Last I heard they were reorganizing and taking 2 Celebrity ships. Sailings to possibly start December of 2021. 
https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/23950-pullmantur-could-mount-comeback-with-two-celebrity-ships.html

 

As of right now, there ARE Grandeur sailing scheduled after her run in Barbados ..... for a while, she's supposed to sail out of Galveston, then, for the 2022 - 2023 season, go out of Miami on 5-nighters that are supposed to include Key West AND labadee..... but with all the hub-bub coming out of KW regarding Cruise Ships.... that may be altered.

Heck, Personally, I'd be happy with a 5-nighter that only went to Labadee and/or Coco Cay.

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