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About jeff92k7

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    Half Moon Cay

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  1. I completely get that. To expand on my comments and put some numbers on them, I did some googling. Carnival seems pretty tight lipped on the cost of their refits, but here's what I can find. The expected renovation cost to turn the Triumph into the Sunrise is reported to be ~$200 million. That will be a complete refurbishment of the entire ship, adding decks, cabins, and remodelling all other areas. Likely, there will be mechanical upgrades as well. For all intents and purposes, they are building a new ship inside an existing hull. However, that ship is much larger than the 2000 and smaller capacity that this discussion is about. The elation and paradise (~2000 double occupancy) recently received major refits (undisclosed cost) where they remodeled all the passenger cabins and most of the common areas. They also added another deck with more cabins (now 2200 double occupancy). Untouched were the aft lounge, casino, theater, lobby, and nightclubs; though I believe many of those did get new carpet and upholstery. Still, not near the extent of the aforementioned Triumph/Sunrise. An uneducated guess is that it probably cost them $40-50 million. (Side note: When the major refits were announced for the Elation, there were rumors that Carnival was doing that to prep it to be moved to Princess. That hasn't happened (yet), but then again, Carnival doesn't announce plans like that ahead of time either.) So, continuing the discussion, to move to HAL, they would have to remodel all those same areas as well as the untouched common areas to give it a "HAL" feel. So I would guess that it would cost ~$100 million to refit a ship of that approximate size into a HAL ship (or other brand). Going back to my original comment, the spirit class of ships would be good options for this. They aren't much bigger than the Fantasy class, so the cost to renovate should be roughly similar. Their passenger capacity is ~2100 at double occupancy which is just over the 2000 mark, but still more likely than any new build at that size. So Carnival Corp would be looking at a cost of ~100 million to refit an older ship, versus $500 million plus to build a new ship around 2000 passenger capacity. I don't see them building new ships at that size, and it seems that pretty much everyone on this thread agrees with that, but I would still argue that they may refit older ships and rebrand them to maintain that relatively smaller and less crowded feeling. All said, I think we are both saying the same thing... the cost to benefit just isn't there for new ships at HAL. Refits may be the best option if HAL is to remain as a slightly upscale/premium mass market brand. The only other options are to get rid of HAL, or add giant 5000+ capacity ships. Honestly, I don't see the latter happening. I think that size ship would turn away many HAL customers who specifically avoid the giant amusement park of the seas type of ships.
  2. I can't speak to the extra inspections and related costs, but that does make sense. I don't know what that would be, but I would be curious to see how much more expensive that is and if those increased inspections go by the original date of the hull, or the date of some other equipment (last major refit, for example). My comments about using older ships is that even though they may be less profitable per sailing than newer ships, there isn't the giant price tag of actually building a new ship that they have to subsidize over those sailings. That would offset the reduced revenue per passenger, assuming the same ticket fares. The older ships are all paid off and there is a big difference in a $20 million dollar refit, versus a $500 million dollar new build. You can get a lot of sailings out of that older ship before the cost of that extra $480 million price tag would be paid off. I'm sure Carnival Corp has many a bean counter looking at all that stuff. If those older ships weren't still profitable in some fashion, then the Fantasy class would have been retired already. They are all over 20 years old and the oldest will hit 30 in two years. Yet Carnival continues to refit them and just did major renovations/upgrades on two of them (the two newest that have azipod propulsion, which may have had some bearing on why those two got such big overhauls). It seems Carnival has plans to keep at least some of them around for a while longer. We know the Fantasy will hit 30 years old in service since they have already announced that sailings on her will continue into 2021. Now, for sake of discussion, if they were to transfer one of their older Carnival ships to HAL, the cost per passenger would increase a bit since HAL does have higher fares than Carnival. That additional per passenger revenue could, again, offset some of the costs of maintaining an older ship. I'm not saying that this is going to happen... just bringing it up as an option that no one had yet mentioned in this thread.
  3. So I just came across this thread. My wife and I are Carnival cruisers but are seriously looking at moving "up" to HAL in the next couple of years as our kids grow and we no longer need the family activities and atmosphere that Carnival provides. Everything I see about HAL basically works exactly like Carnival (which we like) but is a step or two up in quality. We're not rich so we will never go on the ultra luxury lines, but something like HAL sounds perfect for us. After reading this thread and all the talk of new ships, I had a couple of comments. Most of the talk is about new ship builds which are too expensive (and I totally get that). However, no one has said much about refitting older ships and I haven't seen anyone mention the possibility of bringing over ships from Carnival's other brands. For example, the Spirit class of ships that Carnival uses are ~88,000 tons and ~2100 passengers. Those are also mostly balcony cabins and seem right in line with what we see on HAL. Those ships would be a great option for Carnival to refurbish and transfer to HAL. Carnival already has experience refitting ships. They have recently done major refits on the Elation and Paradise (Fantasy class ships) as well as the Destiny (now Sunshine), and they have plans to do two more Destiny class ships (the Triumph and Victory). Those Destiny class refits are so extensive that Carnival has totally renamed the ships and is calling them Sunshine class ships now. Refits are far more cost effective than new builds and can allow Carnival corp and it's many brands to keep ships in service much, much longer which continues to make money for the company and keep fares lower. As to the comments about no cruise line keeping ships older than 30 years... I just don't see that as being an issue at this point. When we were on the Fantasy last year, we did the behind the scenes tour and one of the things we learned was that the Fantasy (1991) was the first cruise ship with diesel electric propulsion instead of direct drive propulsion. This means that the props are turned with electric motors that get their power from multiple generators as opposed to a large engine directly turning them. In practice, this is a lot more reliable and can, and likely will, keep ships in service much longer. It is far easier and more cost effective to replace one of 7 generators than it is to replace an entire direct drive engine. Previous classes of ships would see dramatic increases in maintenance costs as they age which led to earlier retirements on those ships versus the newer ships. As such, it is entirely feasible that Carnival may continue to refit ships and could keep them in service for 30 or 40 years (or more) provided the hulls remain in good condition. Everything else inside could be gutted and replaced, keeping the ships like new. This is even more possible when you think that Carnival is building these new 5000-6000 passenger monstrosities (Mardi Gras). Eventually, they will have to do something with the smaller ships as the big ones take over sailings. They can't keep adding more home ports indefinitely. Since building smaller ships is not cost effective, the idea of refitting and moving the ships to other lines (like HAL) enables them to continue to make money and keep the tiered brand structure in place servicing all types of customers in the cruise market.
  4. My wife and I did an aft extended balcony on the Breeze a couple years ago. We will not book that cabin type again. It was very hot because of a lack of air movement. Additionally, we had sun on the balcony nearly the entire time. Because of the sun's position and the direction of the ship, we didn't get much shade at all, while the balconies on the sides of the ship would have shade for half the day. We also noticed that the chairs and table seemed a bit dirty from the soot coming from the funnel. Being at the back, the smoke would get sucked down in the low air pressure behind the ship - right where those balconies are. It was never bad enough to not breathe or anything. It was just enough to get an occasional puff of smoke on the balcony and a light layer of dirt and soot on the chairs over time. When we wanted to sit and enjoy a nice, peaceful view of the ocean, we would go to deck 5 and sit in deck chairs along the side of the ship. That deck would have people walking around, but the chairs were nearly always empty so it was never crowded. At least there, we would have shade and a nice breeze. Granted, that's a different class of ship, but I said that to explain how little we liked that aft balcony. On the other hand, my sister (same cruise, adjacent cabin) absolutely loved the aft balcony. She has booked that type of cabin on other cruises since then. She says that the extra space and the sound of the propeller wash make it worth it for her.
  5. That changed early last year and is unrelated to the new website look. You cannot begin Check-Ins until 90 days before a cruise.
  6. On mobile, they show up under the “to do list” drop down. On desktop, they are just right there on your booking and very easy to see. However, it appears that they don’t show up at all until you are within 90 days of your cruise, have completed check in, and have paid off your cruise.
  7. Pretty sure you can order starting at 1:30p (when the cabins are available).
  8. I had the new layout briefly last month as well. Then it was back to the old one the next day. Today, it's back to the new one. I'll be different from most people here and say that I like the new layout better. Instead of showing me a bunch of tabs across the top, it now combines all the bookings for the same cruise together and displays the cruise info in a drop down. This makes it a HECK of a lot easier to know which cruise I'm looking at instead of clicking multiple tabs with cryptic booking numbers to find the cruise I want to look up. Admittedly, this is less of an issue if someone only has one cruise booked, but we typically have multiple future cruises booked and multiple cabins (bookings) on each one between us and the kids. The overall layout will take some getting used to, but I think it will be easier to use in the long run. It seems like everything is flatter and easier to see, whereas the old layout had multiple links/buttons for different things within a single booking. This new layout also shows ALL related details for all the different booking numbers under a single cruise. No more switching between tabs to review the cabin assignments, purchased excursions, etc. It all shows on one page for all the cabins which is a LOT better.
  9. I have a couple of questions on this topic... We already booked Balmoral with lunch, but reading reviews is really making me think that canceling that and booking the Blue Lagoon family with lunch would be better for our family of five (three teen boys). Through Carnival, it says that the water park is not included. Does anyone know how much that costs separately on the island? (I'm assuming that is the inflatables). What about shade? are there a lot of beach chairs in the shade or would we have to rent a clamshell (cost?)? Or is Balmoral perfectly fine?
  10. Oh my gosh...this is so aggravating. On our last cruise, someone had put a dirty tray of half eaten food outside our door. It was so gross. We had to slide it over to get out of our cabin. What makes it so annoying is that we were not in a long hall of cabins but around the corner in a front facing cabin. Our own kids were across the hall (door right around the corner) so someone had to physically take their tray around the corner to put it in front of our door. I can understand trays in the hall that are pushed away from someone's door and end up closer to another cabin... but for someone to physically take their tray around a corner to leave it in front of someone else's cabin door is intentionally rude and disgusting.
  11. That you can get multiple appetizers, entrees, and/or desserts in the main dining room.
  12. I think you're probably fine to book whenever. Rates rarely change very much, and if they do go down at some point, you can just call your PVP and request the rate adjustment (Assuming you book with a PVP). Most of the "sales" are just in-category upgrades or discounts on deposits that aren't really discounts on anything wince you still have to pay the full fare eventually. By waiting, it's possible you could get a good last minute deal with whatever cabins are left over, but you miss the chance to pick your cabin if you prefer a certain cabin/type/location.
  13. Yep... I already mentioned that here... https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2600481-summer-2020-dates-opening/
  14. I like the new livery a lot. Looks fresh and updated. The current livery isn't bad, it's very clean and white, but it has been pretty much the same thing for 30 years now (longer?). It's about time to update it. That said, it certainly isn't as bad as the RIDICULOUS lips and eyes on the Aida ships.
  15. A TON more dates just opened for 2020 and beyond. My PVP called me a few hours ago to help us book one in June 2020 that we have been waiting on. About an hour ago, those dates appeared online as well. Let the early booking rush commence....
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