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Allure & Symphony get test cruise approval


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I will say this. They need to fire whoever is in charge of Marketing/PR.

Michael's Bayley FB post was tone deaf. Yippee!!! is how he starts? Does he not realize how that will be received by customers on July/August sailings that for the first time they realize that their sailings will be cancelled?? Not every cruiser keeps up with cruise news and boards like this. They trust Royal and what they are told. Bayley's FB message was totally tone deaf and put TAs in a terrible position today not to mention those poor customer service reps that man the phones who are now being instructed to outright lie to paying customers. This is a PR nightmare. It would have been better to announce cancellations FIRST and then announce test cruises. I get it, Bayley is rightfully excited about test sailings but did he even run this by his fellow execs and Marketing/PR departments before he announced on FB? If so, did no other exec stop and give him some pause as how this would be received by passengers on July/August sailings? 

This is truly an unforced error by Royal in customer relations and PR

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I know this is a long shot, but is there any chance that the test cruise announcement will end up being nullified by the upcoming agreement between Florida and the cruise industry to allow vaccine passports?

The CDC guidelines state the cruises with the 98/95 ratio do not need to do test cruises--maybe I'm absurdly hopeful/optimistic, but I really don't want my honeymoon cruise on Allure next month to be canceled :(

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10 minutes ago, NickNafster79 said:

I know this is a long shot, but is there any chance that the test cruise announcement will end up being nullified by the upcoming agreement between Florida and the cruise industry to allow vaccine passports?

The CDC guidelines state the cruises with the 98/95 ratio do not need to do test cruises--maybe I'm absurdly hopeful/optimistic, but I really don't want my honeymoon cruise on Allure next month to be canceled 😞

RCL has stated that they are not going to go the 98/95 route, which is why they have to do test cruises. They are still requiring all eligible passengers to be vaccinated, though. I’m so sorry about your cruise! What a disappointment. 

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43 minutes ago, LovetoCruise87 said:

Holding out hope that my Aug 22 cruise on Allure will still be a go.......

And I'm holding out hope my Aug 15 Allure cruise goes forward... if I was RC I'd just say for the Aug cruises everyone needs to be vaccinated to cruise so they aren't dependent on CDC approval of the test cruise.   Otherwise they are likely canceling another round of cruises waiting for the CDC approval.

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10 minutes ago, NickNafster79 said:

I know this is a long shot, but is there any chance that the test cruise announcement will end up being nullified by the upcoming agreement between Florida and the cruise industry to allow vaccine passports?

The CDC guidelines state the cruises with the 98/95 ratio do not need to do test cruises--maybe I'm absurdly hopeful/optimistic, but I really don't want my honeymoon cruise on Allure next month to be canceled 😞

I could see the CDC lowering the percentages to a "herd immunity" percentage, or remove those under 12 from that calculation.

 

AS it is now, 95% is a random number not based on any science, but to force a de factor vaccine mandate.

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43 minutes ago, LovetoCruise87 said:

Holding out hope that my Aug 22 cruise on Allure will still be a go.......

And I'm holding out hope my Aug 15 Allure cruise goes forward... if I was RC I'd just say for the Aug cruises everyone needs to be vaccinated to cruise so they aren't dependent on CDC approval of the test cruise.   Otherwise they are likely canceling another round of cruises waiting for the CDC approval.

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31 minutes ago, UNCFanatik said:

I will say this. They need to fire whoever is in charge of Marketing/PR.

Michael's Bayley FB post was tone deaf. Yippee!!! is how he starts? Does he not realize how that will be received by customers on July/August sailings that for the first time they realize that their sailings will be cancelled?? Not every cruiser keeps up with cruise news and boards like this. They trust Royal and what they are told. Bayley's FB message was totally tone deaf and put TAs in a terrible position today not to mention those poor customer service reps that man the phones who are now being instructed to outright lie to paying customers. This is a PR nightmare. It would have been better to announce cancellations FIRST and then announce test cruises. I get it, Bayley is rightfully excited about test sailings but did he even run this by his fellow execs and Marketing/PR departments before he announced on FB? If so, did no other exec stop and give him some pause as how this would be received by passengers on July/August sailings? 

This is truly an unforced error by Royal in customer relations and PR

I thought the exact same thing when I saw his post.  It was completely tone deaf.

 

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43 minutes ago, LovetoCruise87 said:

Holding out hope that my Aug 22 cruise on Allure will still be a go.......

And I'm holding out hope my Aug 15 Allure cruise goes forward... if I was RC I'd just say for the Aug cruises everyone needs to be vaccinated to cruise so they aren't dependent on CDC approval of the test cruise.   Otherwise they are likely canceling another round of cruises waiting for the CDC approval.

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10 minutes ago, NickNafster79 said:

I know this is a long shot, but is there any chance that the test cruise announcement will end up being nullified by the upcoming agreement between Florida and the cruise industry to allow vaccine passports?

The CDC guidelines state the cruises with the 98/95 ratio do not need to do test cruises--maybe I'm absurdly hopeful/optimistic, but I really don't want my honeymoon cruise on Allure next month to be canceled 😞

The challenge with summer sailings to Caribbean is that its prime family season and those vaccinated thresholds may not be able to be met on those sailings that are already booked with the amount of children 12 and under plus the hesitancy of parents who may not want to have their 12-16 year olds vaccinated. I think that is why Royal chose the test sailings route

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This is super annoying, I am supposed to be on Aug 7 with Symphony of the Seas but clearly that won’t be happening. They need to just up and cancel those cruises already so people can either rebook or make other plans. At this point they know July/early Aug won’t be happening, so it’s really bad customer service that they aren’t moving forward with that information. 

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10 minutes ago, dandi799 said:

RCL has stated that they are not going to go the 98/95 route, which is why they have to do test cruises. They are still requiring all eligible passengers to be vaccinated, though. I’m so sorry about your cruise! What a disappointment. 

Where did they say that? Not doubting you, just wanting to read it with my own eyes (and the inevitable tears that will follow).

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30 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

PR is a fickle thing.

 

The good PR from announcing test cruises, even if it has a negative impact on some booked passengers is a better approach than the larger negative PR from cancelling more cruises up front.

But they have to announce more cancellations anyway. Just a matter of time now. We all know it

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I agree with a post earlier. Royal should have just gone ahead and announced cancellations that would be caused by the test sailings instead of announcing the test cruises first. It's still a hard pill to swallow knowing your cruise is cancelled, but I would rather hear that first, than to be sitting in a black hole not hearing if my cruise is cancelled or not. 

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38 minutes ago, UNCFanatik said:

I will say this. They need to fire whoever is in charge of Marketing/PR.

Michael's Bayley FB post was tone deaf. Yippee!!! is how he starts? Does he not realize how that will be received by customers on July/August sailings that for the first time they realize that their sailings will be cancelled?? Not every cruiser keeps up with cruise news and boards like this. They trust Royal and what they are told. Bayley's FB message was totally tone deaf and put TAs in a terrible position today not to mention those poor customer service reps that man the phones who are now being instructed to outright lie to paying customers. This is a PR nightmare. It would have been better to announce cancellations FIRST and then announce test cruises. I get it, Bayley is rightfully excited about test sailings but did he even run this by his fellow execs and Marketing/PR departments before he announced on FB? If so, did no other exec stop and give him some pause as how this would be received by passengers on July/August sailings? 

This is truly an unforced error by Royal in customer relations and PR

This! I prefer Royal over any other cruise line. I’m also a TA. This entire announcement and the confusion it has caused would have been alleviated if they had moved forward with cancellations. Nobody wants to learn their cruise was cancelled by reading it on Facebook, especially when the message starts with “Yippee”. What do I as a TA say to clients? 

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13 minutes ago, NickNafster79 said:

Where did they say that? Not doubting you, just wanting to read it with my own eyes (and the inevitable tears that will follow).

If you go here , Richard Fain talks about it in the video, and Matt writes about the vaccine protocol in the blog post. I totally understand needing to see it with your own eyes. There has been a lot of "i heard x is happening" lately! And, as someone mentioned above, anything could still happen, but this is what the plan is currently. 

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12 minutes ago, jensspark said:

This! I prefer Royal over any other cruise line. I’m also a TA. This entire announcement and the confusion it has caused would have been alleviated if they had moved forward with cancellations. Nobody wants to learn their cruise was cancelled by reading it on Facebook, especially when the message starts with “Yippee”. What do I as a TA say to clients? 

My Father is also a TA and he has absolutely no clue what to tell people on this situation either. They’ve really fumbled the ball on the whole PR aspect of this. It wouldn’t have been that bad if they had just cancelled first, but now there will be extra angry customers who see this news and are confused about their status.

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My 2 cents: No cruises through Octoberish timeframe will sail as booked currently. Most of these ships are being repositioned which means cancellations. The best way for Royal to handle this is month by month cruises. When they start selling Freedom and Symphony sailings from their respective new home ports, they will have to cancel all other sailings on the ship and people will rebook. This is similar to when Adventure of the Seas was scheduled out of another home port and moved to Nassau. They cancelled all June-September sailings and people rebooked for Nassau.

This is all just my opinion, but it seems Freedom is doing 3/4 night cruises out of south florida, instead of its usual 7 night cruises.

All in all, I hope I am wrong! BRING BACK US CRUISES 🙂

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50 minutes ago, jensspark said:

This! I prefer Royal over any other cruise line. I’m also a TA. This entire announcement and the confusion it has caused would have been alleviated if they had moved forward with cancellations. Nobody wants to learn their cruise was cancelled by reading it on Facebook, especially when the message starts with “Yippee”. What do I as a TA say to clients? 

The "Yippee" thing kills me.

I get that it's a big step forward to getting restarted, but the news means a lot of us are likely having our cruises canceled. This was my first cruise in almost 20 years and my honeymoon, so "Yippee" doesn't quite capture my mood at the moment (as I'm sure it doesn't with many others, as well).

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I would be good to have some kind of "scoreboard" showing the Ships, their test cruise dates (requested/approved) and their "estimated" first official cruise time frame...  (of course, no one knows what Royal's plans are for which ships they may try the 95/98 plan).  I was feeling good 2 weeks ago about my Sep (Explorer) and Oct (Navigator) sailings...  now, not so much...  😒

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17 minutes ago, Snotarni said:

I would be good to have some kind of "scoreboard" showing the Ships, their test cruise dates (requested/approved) and their "estimated" first official cruise time frame...  (of course, no one knows what Royal's plans are for which ships they may try the 95/98 plan).  I was feeling good 2 weeks ago about my Sep (Explorer) and Oct (Navigator) sailings...  now, not so much...  😒

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1eOu1H7Y5xtnJEW-MxkCZ7WjoIR4cHcR_Zr6jx7pU-lw/edit#gid=0

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