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About Hlitner

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    New Cumberland,PA, USA
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    International travel (77 countries at last count(
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  1. It does appear to apply to all of their short term Voyager or Trekker policies. Take a look on their web site under the Coverage FAQs. Here is a link: https://about.geo-blue.com/crisisalert/covid19-members Hank
  2. Some great questions and I do not have the answers to most since it depends on your specific policy and, to some degree, the insurance company. Hank
  3. Multiple sources including several major online financial services. There is no secret to the CCL cash situation as it was common news on the "street" this past week. As to putting ship's into cold layup this is something that has generated curiosity among many industry followers. The best readable story I have seen on the subject can be found at https://thepointsguy.com/news/cruise-lines-could-store-ships-months-coronavirus/ The editor of that site, Brian Kelly, is a very highly respected travel insider with an impressive track record. On this particular topic we have no hard info that any of the cruise lines have finalized decisions on cold layups.....but there is little doubt that its an idea under consideration. Hank
  4. It has been reported that CCL is burning through about $1 Billion a month. If they cannot resume operations within a reasonable amount of time and some how manage to fill their ships, the money will not last forever. Hank
  5. So lets talk about some facts. CCL is currently bleeding approximately $1 Billion per month. Last week CCL worked at increasing their cash and credit and likely have access to over $7 Billion cash. They are now contemplating putting some of their vessels into what is known as "cold layup" which is a complex operation intended to prepare a vessel for many months of inactivity with only a minimum number of maintenance personnel aboard. CCL says they can save about a million dollars per month per ship once the vessel is in "cold layup." CCL has just over a hundred vessels so you can do the math. Getting a ship back into operation after cold layup will take at least 3 weeks. As to reduced fares, we expect the opposite! Why? CCL cruise lines have been giving out very generous FCCs and now have a huge future liability related to those FCCs. One easy way to devalue the FCCs is to increase prices...in a big way. In fact, if they were to double the price of a cruise, any applied FCC would essentially be worthless if you compared it towhat you would eventually pay to the cruise you cancelled. I am not sure this is what is going to happen, but there have been numerous posts that similar cruises a year from now have very high prices. Since the FCC's generally must be used within one or two years it might be hard to find bargains during that time frame. Hank
  6. Perhaps, but you must read the specific language in your policy. But if you paid for a cruise, in the USA, with a major credit card you would be able to put any of the cruise charges "in dispute" and get a credit card refund. We have previously had to do this with two cruise line bankruptcies. I think a bigger issue with bankruptcy would be with outstanding Future Cruise Credits which would likely be completely lost. That is one reason we would accept a refund over a more generous FCC. Another issue with FCCs is that they are time-limited and the cruise lines could increase the cost of all their cruises during that time period.....which would effectively devalue the FCCs. Hank
  7. You truly need to read the specific policy and check that insurance providers online info. Most insurance companies have posted some detailed info on their own web sites pertaining to their own position vis-à-vis COVID-19 and sometimes will also reference places that have Level 3 and/or Level 4 warnings. My GeoBlue policy has no language about when anything is booked as it is simply an annual travel medical policy. But they have adopted new language that specifically speaks to Level 3 Warnings and the lack of coverage to those who go to those areas...which include any cruise. For those that are already on trips they do continue to get coverage but must make an effort to get back the USA ASAP. We have purchased this insurance for years and this is new language. The thing about Level 3 warnings is that until this March, they were only issued to specific limited areas/regions. But when CDC decided to make all international travel and cruises part of a Level 3 Warning it was a big game changer. Bottom line is that the US Government does not want anyone to leave the country and they have reinforced that policy with the Level 3 designation. The insurance companies are simply piggy backing on the US policy. Nobody can predict when these Level 3 warnings will be lifted or modified. But my own speculation is that as long as Level 3 Warnings apply to cruises and International travel there will be no cruises by any of the US based cruise line. The US CDC's Level 3 Warning on International travel uses this specific language: "CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to all global destinations:" which is pretty clear. Their Level 3 Warning for cruises includes this clear language" CDC recommends that travelers defer all cruise travel worldwide. There also this additional reference; U.S. Department of State advises travelers to not go on cruises. Hank
  8. The problem with your thought is that it is likely that "Cancel for Any reason" insurance is quickly becoming the thing of the past. Several major travel insurance companies have already pulled this type of insurance off the market and their are indications it will disappear or possibly return with new exclusions and much higher cost. I recently did a post, elsewhere on CC, about insurance and how most policies have now been modified to exclude anything related to COVID-19 or future pandemics. Some excellent travel health policies, issued in the USA, have also excluded most coverage to areas that have a government Level 3 warning which now includes ALL cruises and ANY international travel. There are also issues regarding cruise line's and their own insurance providers. Keep in mind that no cruise line will operate any ship without adequate insurance and this will play a major part in when cruise ships can resume operation. Hank
  9. Just a heads-up to future cruisers and travelers to carefully review any travel or medical insurance prior to taking a trip or making a final payment. Many policies have now written in exclusions for just about anything related to COVID-19. This is even true for many travel med policies as well as the popular Cancel for any reason policies. A good example would be our own GeoBlue Global Trek policy which is an annual travel medical policy we have long recommended. They now have an exclusion which limits coverage for travel anywhere that has an existing Level 3 government warning for those of us in the US. Currently, there is a Level 3 Warning for ALL cruise and International travel. Many other policies now have similar COVID-19 and/or Level 3 exclusions. Folks booking or taking trips may well find out that they have absolutely no insurance even though they have paid for a policy. Bottom line is that it is your own responsibility to read your policy, check the latest from your insurance provider, and make sure that you get any assurances in writing. What somebody tells you over the phone if worthless unless you have it in writing. Be careful, be skeptical, and be safe! Hank
  10. They made an unscheduled "service stop" at Barbados where they got kits and then took them back ashore to be analyzed at a local lab. Hank
  11. I was just watching a TV news report where they mentioned that the two passengers who died on the Coral both passed away last night. What was not said was that those deaths occurred hours after those two could have been in Ft Lauderdale medical centers if the ship had been permitted to dock, on Saturday, at Port Everglades. Whether those two could have been saved in a land-based hospital is something we do not know, but it certainly is fruit for thought. Hank
  12. Looking at the AIS system it does look like Coral moving towards Port of Miami at 18 knots. Hank
  13. It would be more likely they would sell-off the cruise ship division, but after this virus mess it might be difficult to find a buyer. The cruise industry will need to spend a lot of money and effort to rebuild their image. Hank
  14. Guess I have been around the finance/economics world long enough to understand that nobody is too big to fail. Yes, MSC has deep pockets because of its lucrative Container Ship business. But it also is the only major cruise line that is family owned which can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to needed a lot of capital. All the cruise lines are now bleeding cash at a massive rate and their ability to survive will ultimately be determined by how long the shut down and subsequent slow down continues. MSC's primary cruise market is in Europe and somewhat centered on Italy....and this is not a good thing during the current crises. MSC also has a lot of new financial obligations due to its progressive expansion and ship building program. We hope for the best for MSC. Hank
  15. I have some questions. Did you book "Flex Air?" If you did book Flex, did you specifically ask that your flight be ticketed early? Some folks do ask for Flexair to be ticketed early, despite many of us posting for years that it is not a good idea, and this can be a problem. Once your flight is ticketed, EZair normally is governed by the airlines own cancellation policies. If you do choose "Flexair" and did not request early ticketing you should get a complete refund from Princess. The normal ticketing time for FLEXair is about 45 days prior to embarkation.....UNLESS you asked to be ticketed. Hank
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