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About Robisan

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  1. This was published March 15th and may only reflect the view of the author (a Carnival shareholder) at this time, but it appears Motley Fool has changed their view. Will Carnival Survive the COVID-19 Crash? Mar 27, 2020 at 9:57AM Conclusion: Based on the obligations Carnival has ahead, it has a challenging future, and investors buying now may simply be buying a sinking ship. They should be on the lookout for better-positioned companies in the market. More from the article: Here are Carnival's debt maturities by year as of Nov. 30, 2019. Year -- Annual Debt Maturities 2020 -- $1.83 billion 2021 -- $1.92 billion 2022 -- $1.35 billion 2023 -- $2.23 billion 2024 -- $680 million Thereafter -- $3.63 billion Total -- $11.63 billion Since that November date, Carnival withdrew the remaining $2.8 billion of its $3.0 billion revolving credit facility, which expires in 2024, to bolster the $518 million in cash it had on the balance sheet. What investors will want to note is the debt that's coming due in the next year while this crisis will be in effect. ~~~ According to its 2019 10-K, Carnival has committed $4.81 billion in 2020 to new ships, $3.62 billion in 2021, and a total of $14.53 billion in future orders. Management recently said there's $2.8 billion of liquidity available to fund ships this year and $5.9 billion for deliveries in 2021 and beyond. But there will still be a shortfall of about $2 billion this year alone. These new ships will not only result in cash outflows to complete and deliver, but they'll also increase operating costs just to keep them afloat. This is not a time when Carnival needs an expanding fleet. ~~~ Let's now focus on Carnival's cash situation in 2020 because ... the company is already in a difficult position. Item -- Available (Obligations) Cash (Nov. 30, 2019) -- $518 million March 13, 2020, revolving credit drawdown -- $2.8 billion New ship commitments -- ($4.8 billion) New ship liquidity -- $2.8 billion 2020 debt maturities -- ($1.83 billion) Total -- ($512 million) That last line best explains why cash refunds haven't been forthcoming in a timely manner. The whole article is worth a read. I think the niche Seabourn business unit is small enough (just five ships) and well positioned to be sold or spun off if Carnival doesn't survive, though it's also possible another line could acquire the ships for use under their brand. Looking at the cruise industry at large, I just don't see how it resumes until there is a vaccine that has been fully implemented worldwide, which is unlikely to occur before mid-2021 at best. Testing alone won't solve the problem. Even if you can assure pax and crew are 100% negative at embarkation, every port call is an opportunity for infection. From the port's POV, every ship not tested immediately prior to arrival is a potential carrier. Finally, of course, you need pax willing to resume travel without fear of being stuck on a floating petri dish of disease. Absent near eradication it's hard to see how cruising as usual can resume.
  2. Those of us fortunate enough to still have enough occasionally unruly hair, particularly in combination with bald spots needing sun protection, find caps/hats extremely useful and frankly preferable in appearance to the alternative (sweaty hat hair? yuck!) when returning indoors on a hot and/or windy day. That something so trifling causes offense sufficient for complaint is really quite sad. Relatedly, I've never understood why resort quality shorts in the evening, outside of the dining rooms, when traveling in the tropics is inappropriate. If it's appropriate for say a Four Seasons hotel in the South Pacific, why not a cruise ship in the same locale? (Sorry for the interruption. Please carry on.)
  3. Seabourn comedy stylings, July 2019... "While every bartender on board is well-versed in the art of classic and contemporary cocktail-making, the line’s mixology program created through a partnership with world-renowned mixologist Brian Van Flandern keeps recipes fluid and intriguing, with local spirits – limoncello from Sorrento, for instance, or single malt Scotch from micro-distillers in Scotland – often fashioned into drinks that are reflective of the regions guests are traveling through. Whatever the beverage, Seabourn’s service staff are kept at the top of their game..." "Keeps recipes fluid" may be the bad pun, Freudian slip of the year.
  4. If they're putting people who can't properly make a top shelf margarita (not a complicated drink) behind the bar, perhaps the Beverage Manager is part of the problem, rather than a solution.
  5. I suspect that RC, where bar service is a revenue generator instead of a cost center, has more competent, attentive bar staffing. Evidently, basic competence (let alone attentiveness) is now an unreasonable ask on SB.
  6. Concur. Lately we've been avoiding LAX even if it means taking one-stop flights. If the layover time is reasonable it's much less stressful than getting to and dealing with LAX. Another option is John Wayne Airport about 25 miles south of the LA/LB cruise terminals. American, Delta and United all have service there and adjacent Newport Beach / Costa Mesa is a much nicer area to stay for a day or two if you're flying in early.
  7. We have occasionally used GoSedan for executive sedan transfers to/from LAX. Competitively priced and reliable. By all appearances TPTB at LAX aggressively and gleefully seek to make the entire airport ever more user unfriendly. https://gosedan.com/
  8. In fairness, there's not a lot of tech talent in the Seattle area.
  9. Fyi I just received a Chase Offers email and it says credits should on your statement in 7-14 business days.
  10. Thanks everyone for your comments. I'm happy to provide generous gratuities for good and/or extraordinary service whenever it's customary, usual and appropriate. Indeed, my chief concern here is at least the appearance of blurring the lines of what's expected and appropriate on Crystal such that guests must concern themselves with not being inappropriate when making special requests. I do think, however, that on a luxury all-inclusive line, management should be concerned that staff accepting gratuities in advance of and as impetus for extraordinary service is a slippery slope.
  11. This is a disappointing anecdote made a bit more disturbing by the fact that there's been no comment or concern expressed about it here. Is this now "consistently" a customary, usual and expected practice aboard Crystal?
  12. Just to be clear because several people have rebutted my quote with pricing, my Crystal comment was about the quality and "capability" of their Internet, not about it being included in the price.
  13. Yes, I just factor it into the cruise fare. That said, the limitation of one device at a time per paid access is annoying, so the overall convenience of included Internet for all wins out if the adjusted pricing is comparable. However, overarching all of that is paying extra for very low bandwidth, limited utility, dodgy Internet. IMO the overall SB Internet offering is falling behind its competitors and the expectations of next generation, well-heeled travelers heading into the 2020s. Bottom line is I'll pay extra (factor into cruise fare) for Internet but it needs to be reliable*, usable quality for a reasonable number of devices per suite. * Good wifi connectivity throughout the ship, but also understanding that satellite Internet can be problematic in some sea locations.
  14. That is good to hear and much needed.
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