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About snowglobe

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • Interests
    Archeology, history, snorkeling, marine life & wildlife, food & wine, independent & solo travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Azamara
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Pacific, Med, Alaska

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530 profile views
  1. As more revenue is lost, I would gamble less and less on actually getting cash back. There is no way that I would contemplate making a final payment on a cruise booked for 2020. I seriously doubt that even if a ship is brought back into service, that any itinerary booked would remain as previously planned.
  2. From the Bloomberg article’s description of a cold lay-out, and how much will have to be done to put Journey and Pursuit back into service, it looks as if Quest may be the ship that will “test the waters” for Azamara, if the brand sails again. Given winter conditions for doing outside work, I can’t see Quest being put to sea from Glasgow again until Spring 2021. I can’t see corporate being able to market a thrown-together itinerary that stays close to where Quest is currently berthed, for later this year. I certainly don’t see any several-days-at-sea itineraries or TA/TPs even happening in 2021 at all either... which *may* see all three ships back in the waters in 2021, but deployed in three different regional markets (maybe Europe, Asia, Australia?)... who knows... The only certainty is that our world has now profoundly changed. C-19 is turning out to be a much broader ripple-causing change-maker event than 9/11. No way would I have even guessed 2020 would unfold like this, when I boarded the Journey back in January.
  3. Interesting article. Puts into serious doubt all of Azamara’s early-to-mid 2021 itineraries in the Southern Hemisphere, IMO.
  4. Who would have guessed that travellers from the US would not be welcomed in the EU, yet here we are. The resurgence of cases in Florida and the climbing national rate does not bode well for any confidence coming back for cruising for the rest of 2020, I’m afraid. Cruising is such an international industry, with guests filling Azamara ships mostly from both sides of the pond and the Antipodes, that it must be hellish for corporate to juggle where to position future cruises, and for which market, since throwing everyone together may not be workable for a while yet. Azamara’s narrow niche will make it even more difficult, I suspect.
  5. German-based Wirecard is not only a payment processor, but it also holds RCCL crew wages. Does RCI use Wirecard for Azamara crew and officers as well? Over a quarter of Wirecard’s assets are missing, and allegations of a cover-up and dodgy books have been going back to over a year ago. In 2018, RCI employees also fell victims to fraud due to a Wirecard hack fraud. Wirecard will likely sink (pardon the pun.) Employees need to trust that they will be paid and that their earnings are safe.
  6. Are Azamara’s crew members and officers caught up in the same way as other Royal Caribbean International’s employees that are at risk with their earnings tied up in Wirecard? With the announcement of the loss of a quarter of Wirecard’s assets to fraud, and its now likely demise, this could also shake up these employees’ trust in the parent company - and make rehires difficult for their experienced assets across the brands.
  7. This week-end, some of the Journey’s crew members were finally able to board a flight in Manila to their Eastern Europe home. The one who posted on FB was finally headed home to Belgrade.
  8. If I’m not mistaken, the “Lift and Shift” rules allow for the new itinerary to be +/- one night in cruise duration, *similar* (but not exactly the same itinerary), same cabin category, with a cruise date -4 weeks before or +4 weeks for the same date in 2021. (I’m pretty sure that this was outlined in another thread.) Added: I believe that under the parent company rules, that ships can be substituted. If the itineraries are close enough, your agent may be successful in making a case to switch your cruise to maybe this one: https://www.azamara.com/en-ca/voyage/qs07m473/7-night-rivieras-and-harbors-voyage Go online on the Azamara site & see if anything else seems to fit the bill. Give this info to your TA and instruct them to make the change. Put it in an e-mail.
  9. Travel insurance is going to be an ongoing factor as well, as long as there’s an issue with the emergency medical coverage/repatriation (Covid-19 related) that is/will be left out of individual travel insurance policies and from group plans. This will particularly have an impact for Azamara and their target demographics, esp. since their itineraries typically bring a majority of their passengers far from home. Different insurance markets have different rules. In Canada, most travel insurance contracts’ fine print have allowed the providers to exclude new Covid-19 related medical claims, even for insurance bought for future travel before all of this started.
  10. I was. I first went to a local Assessment Center, then was transferred over to Emergency for a further scan of my lungs. That night in the hospital was horrible. I was placed in a section that had 5 other Covid-19 patients. I was the oldest person there by at least a decade, with most in their 30s - and I was the least sick. I was sent home with the warning that it can suddenly progress downward very quickly, so for the next 10 days we were *very* afraid. I honestly don’t know how I got so lucky.
  11. I agree with that statement. The more that can be transferred through FCC and “Lift and Shift” into 2021 bookings, the better for them to seek additional financing.
  12. I did say that it was a shrewd corporate move for RCI. And I agree that “Lift and Shift” is likely not a good fit for Azamara. I was very sad to lose all of the excursions and onboard packages that I had bought for our Dec. 20 cruise. They will be refunded in full to my CC, and I fully expect to not get the same “deals” that I had been able to score, for the 2021 cruise (especially during the Black Friday sale.) There is no way that I expect any cruise in 2021-2022 to be like what we have known - especially when it comes to flights and shore experiences.
  13. We had a great trip in Australia post-cruise (had the pleasure of spending time in the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale 🍷regions + lots of wacky animal encounters). By mid-March we had arrived in the Northern Territory and decided to cancel the rest of our planned itinerary. We had quite a bit of difficulty with several cancelled & repurchased flights, but finally arrived home on April 1st. During the 4 days that it took us to get from Darwin to Ottawa, I somehow got infected despite taking all possible precautions (except for the one that we could not control: social distancing.) I first starting showing symptoms on April 4th, without fever. Luckily, I only had a mild case of Covid-19 and it did not go down into my lungs. A full month later and I still have residual symptoms; which seems to be quite common with its course. Even more lucky, I did not pass it on to Bill - he tested negative a week ago. My Hematologist quipped: “Diane, your next cruise will be on a boat in the Rideau Canal”... I’ll be following that directive as a Sicilian follows the rules of the road... I’m interpreting it as a “suggestion”. 😂 However, we did cancel all of our other future travel plans until Fall 2021. We had a multi-generational family cruise planned for this December, and were able to use the “Lift and Shift” option to move it to Dec. 2021. The “Lift and Shift” is one smart marketing move on RCI’s part - having retained my deposit $$, plus now showing a set of reservations on their books for 2021 that otherwise I would not have made. It was a very shrewd corporate move - better than FCC - for them to help secure further financing to stay afloat, IMO. It’s just unfortunate that it’s not as easily applicable to most non-standardized Azamara itineraries, as it is for the Royal and Celebrity brands.
  14. I think that cruising in general will resume on a regional basis, with fewer ships, and more restricted itineraries initially. Just as Azamara banned certain nationalities from boarding in the early days of Covid-19, it will have to continue doing so in the early days of resuming operations I believe. Azamara knows full well who their market demographics have been (and relied on.) They will have to weigh carefully how & when to resume operations, if any of their key market segments shall be confined behind a set of travel bans - both for cruising, and for flying (with transiting en-route as well.) Different phases of “re-openening” won’t likely happen in sinc. As long as the U.S. does not control its outbreak, borders will remain closed to its citizens. Ditto with anywhere else that may have active flare-ups in subsequent waves. The various travel bans and advisories will greatly affect both the movement and confidence of future travellers. I think that we’ll be playing whack-a mole with flare-ups of this virus for a long while yet, and I believe that public health systems with have to develop robust testing/tracing/isolating strategies to get really good at it. Personally, I’m not sure that enough is yet known about this virus to quickly develop an effective vaccine quickly - it’s too much of a moving target right now and may behave on the immune system in ways that more closely resembles the common cold or HIV. I’d have better confidence in having solid treatment options in place to turn around the severe outcomes, and to deal with the residual symptoms. I was browsing different future itineraries for 2021, and I’m not sure that when cruising resumes, that Azamara will be able to keep many of their booked cruises’ itineraries as they have been initially offered. Some ports may be off-limits for far longer than others. Some regions may now be ‘unsellable’ for the foreseeable future. These are random thoughts that I’m spending more time than usual pondering...
  15. On the flip side, some ports may further limit the max size and number of passengers into their ports, making Azamara’s ships’ size interesting to address this market.
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