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richard1s

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  1. Than you for posting this link; I read the entire articl and it was sobering, distressing and provided an insight most of us can't imagine. When it come to corporate behavior I am a skeptic and unfortunately believe that most companies and political leaders react to catastrophic events with decisions that are more about "damage control" and "saving face" than showing any true commitment to doing the right and ethical thing. How sad - but this article also illustrates the enormously complicated logistical and business challenges that this industry faces. I hope all crew are cared for in the end and that good judgement guides the cruise industry leadership so it can return a product that so many enjoy. Again, thanks for sharing.
  2. Hey man, that started long before covid-19. When "Botex demonstrations" and "guess the art value" starting showing up as daily activities, I knew Celebrity customers were in trouble.
  3. There is no reason to believe that once this is completely behind us, and it will be, that there will be any reason for people to be wearing masks or taking any other similar precautions on cruises, flights or any where else. This will be over and the world we once knew and is fresh in our mind will return as if this never happened. It would be a good thing if people were a little more considerate when coughing, sneezing, washing hands exiting the bathroom etc., but I wouldn't even count on that changing too much over the long term.
  4. Alaska has done a commendable job containing covid-19 and it seems unlikely, to virtually impossible to think that they would jeopardize this success until this virus is contained. And yet, as unconscionable and absurd as it is, Celebrity is still promoting and booking July cruises to Alaska. What is wrong with the management of RCL and Celebrity? Do they really believe that this comes remotely close to good business ethics? Taking your money for something they can't provide. And who would even be so naïve to book this? I don't care what kind of an "optimistic, glass half-full" kind of person you think you are, it is ludicrous to believe it's remotely possible.
  5. Thank you for your comment; I am in complete agreement. Just up until a few days ago, Celebrity was still promoting and selling May 2020 cruises. To me, this redefines bad business practices; it is incredibly deceptive and approaches criminal conduct; it might well deserve a future segment on "American Greed", but there isn't too much "American" about the industry. P.T.Barnum supposedly said "there is a sucker born every minute". We have witnessed many things in the past few years to give that expression an incredible resurgence; now this from a cruise line and brand that many of us loved gives that expression new meaning. So sad.
  6. Thanks so much; I'm glad I could help you see things differently. And I'm sure you agree that it's always better to make decisions and manage expectations based on actual information and facts rather than the "metrics in your head". And I do admire your confidence, despite some of the truly outrageous and totally irresponsible decisions lately from Celebrity and parent company RRCL. While it doesn't seem like they were looking out for the safety and best interest of customers and crew over the past several months, there is always room for being optimistic that, as they get painted into a smaller and tighter corner, they will finally choose to do the right thing.
  7. Not sure what the basis of your extreme confidence in Celebrity/RRCL is but have you ever taken a look at the RRCL Balance Sheet, the ratio of liabilities to assets, the enormous debt that they are carrying? While I certainly hope that everyone is made whole by this fiasco, the RRCL financial statements, pre-pandemic, suggests a different outcome and if you can't see that, I have to praise your blind confidence. Maybe someday you'll even get a chance to see their tax returns, once they're done being audited that is.
  8. I cannot recall ever seeing a brand implode at this level in my entire lifetime; and I'm someone who actually bought a Ford Pinto in 1971. While everyone deserves to be treated fairly, someone like you who has demonstrated such a profound loyalty deserves so much more than the brush-off you describe here. I am shocked by their response to you. And the absolute shame is that Celebrity is still hawking May 2020 cruises on their website. To me, this is beyond deceptive business practices and approaches the line of out and out theft. Good luck with this and I hope it is all resolved to your satisfaction.
  9. LOL, "how can we help Celebrity?". You mean the same Celebrity that acted so incredibly irresponsible when this entire mess started, the one that left customers stranded, exposed employees and customers to unprecedented health hazards, the one that used some kind of sneaky "strategic" thought process with cancelling sailings to limit cash refunds to customers putting even more stress and pressure on them? Or do you mean the Celebrity who for years "reserved the right" to do whatever they pleased because it was right there, hidden in their one sided cruise contract that you, loyal passenger happily signed? Or are you talking about the RRCL registered offshore in the Bahamas in order to avoid paying US taxes? Or the one caught dumping chemicals and waste at sea, polluting the worlds oceans while they reminded you not to get a fresh towel everyday in order to "save the waves"? Or the one that paid outrageous bonuses to Richard Fain, LLP, Larry Pimentel et.al. while they nickeled and dimed loyal repeat customers on every occasion? If anyone wants to help right now, I suggest that you start right in your own community and help those truly in need. And Celebrity - do the right thing and refund the money due your customers.
  10. Nicely said and thanks for some great insight; I completely agree with you and find those comments totally irresponsible in many situations. The worst to me are those boneheads who respond to a post about any form of concern, be it this awful crisis or concerns about crime etc. with - "I'm not going to live my life in fear and hiding under a rock". So not only are they getting a chance to exhibit their profound courage from the comfort of their keyboard, but they are branding you a lowly coward for even expressing your concern.
  11. A great and provocative question. After the obvious "please don't decide to sail with a worldwide pandemic underway" - I think it would be great to see a biased, one-sided cruise contract replaced by one that is equally fair to the cruise company, as well as the passenger. The sellers market has rapidly changed, please start listening to and appreciating your customers RCL, CCL, NCL et al.
  12. Very well said. The behavior of some of the cruise lines is a travesty, and for Celebrity to be taking new bookings for an April sailing in the middle of all this is absurd. And to keep so many booked passengers in limbo regarding cancellations is criminal; so much for any commitment or concern for your customers. Right now, I imagine Celebrity executive management is in "saving your career mode". The reality in my opinion is that they should be given their walking papers for their abysmal handling of events surrounding this disaster - and shown the door without some golden parachute. This executive crew has spent the past few years trampling on a once amazing brand.
  13. It is good to know that my wife, a cancer survivor and thankfully in good health now, will have to burden her oncologist for documentation that she is fit to travel just to take an overpriced, boring Celebrity cruise. I am certain that her doctor has nothing better to do than this. This is just another in a very long list of missteps by incompetent, out of touch Celebrity management - led by the brilliant LLP. Up until just a few years ago, we absolutely loved the Celebrity product and always believed it provided exceptional value and our experience always exceeded our expectations. But based on our past few cruises with them and much of what I read on this site, we no longer feel that way. I wish that the RCL Board would look long and hard at the direction the Celebrity executives are taking this brand and listen to the feedback passengers are providing. Shame on you Celebrity.
  14. The casino has always been one of the many things my wife and I enjoyed on our over 30 cruises. However on our last cruise 2 years ago on the Equinox, we decided to take a hiatus from cruising altogether. The dismal effort put forth by Celebrity with their casino was one of the reasons. My wife loves slots and I also enjoy machines as well as all table games. However I found the table minimums way too high for my comfort level on this cruise. While I can afford a $15 BJ minimum, I also know that you can lose very fast at that level. I am mainly there to pass the time and have some fun and experience interaction with fellow passengers and dealers. Those minimums are too high a price to pay for that benefit. A $10 minimum on 3 card poker quickly becomes a $30 hand, and wagers at craps play can also get really steep, really fast. Needless to say, the casino was dead the entire week; very few players. As I recall, only about a third of table games even had a dealer in attendance at any given time. I mentioned this to one of the managers and he commented that at least for recent voyages, this was the personnel cost cutting direction someone made. After this voyage, in addition to some other aspects of the direction Celebrity has taken with regard to entertainment and activities, we decided to take a break from cruising. As it turned out, on that last cruise we had about $800 in OBC. We used it for wagering and on one of my few visits to the casino, I played 3 card poker and hit a straight flush early on that paid about $500; I quit immediately and didn't play again the entire week. I also won a little at video poker; but what I really wanted and missed on that trip was the fun of a vibrant and exciting casino. Along with other aspects of cruising, I guess those days are gone with Celebrity.
  15. First, nicely done calling out some smart a** buffoon who finds it necessary to put down someone because they have a legitimate question that they don't approve of or think is silly. Disregard moronic comments such as this along with "I'd be more worried about travel to Chicago or Miami" etc. Secondly, you have already received some good advice and I will provide mine based on 4 decades of travel in almost every Latin American country. Many of these trips were business related and involved extended visits to some of the more dangerous places such as Columbia in the 1980's, the interior of Mexico as well as Brazil and Venezuela. For 20 years of my career I was responsible for border security for a major Mexican multi-national corporation. Being a victim of crime at home or abroad is often extremely random; it truly can happen anywhere. Statistically the odds are against it but of course tell that to someone who becomes a victim - it is not very comforting. And it is always prudent to be mindful of travel warnings. But in your situation however, I would not be overly concerned about a ship sponsored excursion such as you describe. First, I believe cruise companies perform decent and timely due diligence with regard to what is going on in the area, as well as the vendors selected for these excursions. If the worry is too much for you to handle, maybe you should consider another options but chances are extremely good that you will be fine. Whatever you decide, have a great time!
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