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clojacks

Should ANY cruises have left port on March 13?

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I found the decision to leave starting ports on March 13th to be irresponsible. Not just now that we have the hindsight of seeing these ships returning to home ports 2 and 3 days later, but I felt it was irresponsible at the time. I was affected by a Constellation cruise in February that had to return to Dubai instead of finishing in Singapore, and I felt that in the majority of cases, Celebrity had done a decent job dealing with this catastrophe. But to me, this seemed like a big miscall to have ships sail hours before a 30 day ban was to take affect. Celebrity isn't alone in having made this decision on that day, the whole RCCL family probably had the most ships leave that day, that are now returning or have already returned.

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Hindsight is the key word here.  May not have been the best decision.  Quite possibly, if the RCL family were able to get these sailings started, then they wouldn't have to refund a full cruise fare.  Actually, though, even as I type this, I have no idea what the financial compensation is for the passengers who started and then returned.  Maybe they got a full refund?  Maybe someone else will chime in on that. 

Sometimes it would be nice to be a fly on the wall to hear what goes on in those closed door meetings where decisions are made.  I'm sure there was a rationale...

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12 minutes ago, clojacks said:

I found the decision to leave starting ports on March 13th to be irresponsible. Not just now that we have the hindsight of seeing these ships returning to home ports 2 and 3 days later, but I felt it was irresponsible at the time. I was affected by a Constellation cruise in February that had to return to Dubai instead of finishing in Singapore, and I felt that in the majority of cases, Celebrity had done a decent job dealing with this catastrophe. But to me, this seemed like a big miscall to have ships sail hours before a 30 day ban was to take affect. Celebrity isn't alone in having made this decision on that day, the whole RCCL family probably had the most ships leave that day, that are now returning or have already returned.

I think it was ok because they were already in town. Once on the ship, let them handle the safety issues

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I think is was a lack of realisation from RCCL that the situation was as bad as it was.

 

There's another thread on here that discusses the "voluntary cancellation" as being a "cancel now or we'll force you to stop" ultimatum from the US administration.

 

They agreed to the US based cruise starting at midnight last Friday, so that day's cruises could still depart. It was only on Saturday that they extended the cancellation world wide, and then sometime on Saturday or very early on Sunday they took the decision to turn the ships around and bring them home.

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The people who boarded those ships had the chance to cancel. If they didn't, and the cruise left before the deadline, then they expected a sailing.

 

Am I surprised they turned around? No, but decisions are being made minute by minute these days.

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1 minute ago, barbette165 said:

I think is was a lack of realisation from RCCL that the situation was as bad as it was.

 

There's another thread on here that discusses the "voluntary cancellation" as being a "cancel now or we'll force you to stop" ultimatum from the US administration.

 

They agreed to the US based cruise starting at midnight last Friday, so that day's cruises could still depart. It was only on Saturday that they extended the cancellation world wide, and then sometime on Saturday or very early on Sunday they took the decision to turn the ships around and bring them home.

I understand the timeline that the US Government imposed. That doesn't mean that if the "cruiselines" wanted to be socially responsible, that they had to FOLLOW that timeline. 

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Of course not. Decisions were being made to suspend sailings the morning of those ships sailing out. The notices came out prior to the ships leaving port so they could’ve still cancelled the cruises and had people disembark. 

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My point was that at the time RCCL cancelled US sailings, they themselves hadn't yet realised that they needed to cancel them, they were only satisfying the government's request. It took them a few more hours (after Friday's sailings had left) to come to the conclusion that further sailing was becoming impossible.

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1 hour ago, clojacks said:

I found the decision to leave starting ports on March 13th to be irresponsible. Not just now that we have the hindsight of seeing these ships returning to home ports 2 and 3 days later, but I felt it was irresponsible at the time. I was affected by a Constellation cruise in February that had to return to Dubai instead of finishing in Singapore, and I felt that in the majority of cases, Celebrity had done a decent job dealing with this catastrophe. But to me, this seemed like a big miscall to have ships sail hours before a 30 day ban was to take affect. Celebrity isn't alone in having made this decision on that day, the whole RCCL family probably had the most ships leave that day, that are now returning or have already returned.

Hindsight is 20/20.  Not worth discussing should of, would of, could of. Need to look right now at taking care of the elderly. Not griping about a decision in the past.

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Is this really worthy of a debate? It’s water under the bridge. I think it’s apparent that they didn’t think a complete suspension was happening until the very last minute (quite literally). The people that boarded that morning wanted to go and they were trying to make that happen, in my opinion. You have to draw the line somewhere. It’s unfortunate they have to turn around but i don’t think it’s fair to place blame solely on the cruise line. 

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23 minutes ago, az_tchr said:

Hindsight is 20/20.  Not worth discussing should of, would of, could of. Need to look right now at taking care of the elderly. Not griping about a decision in the past.

Whew...for a while there, I thought I was going to have to make decisions on my own on what was appropriate to discuss on a public forum, or not. For someone who apparently has the occupation TeaCHeR in their ID, I would think wanting to discuss lessons that could be taught for the future, from past failures, in some of our opinions, would be a real valuable exercise.

 

By the way, we should have also been looking out for the elderly on March 13th who were on board the ships that sailed....

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1 minute ago, clojacks said:

Whew...for a while there, I thought I was going to have to make decisions on my own on what was appropriate to discuss on a public forum, or not. For someone who apparently has the occupation TeaCHeR in their ID, I would think wanting to discuss lessons that could be taught for the future, from past failures, in some of our opinions, would be a real valuable exercise.

 

By the way, we should have also been looking out for the elderly on March 13th who were on board the ships that sailed....

My point was made, and if the mods feel this isn't a topic of value here, I have no problem as the OP, of having them shut it down and delete it. By the way, as I said in the original post, I was affected by one of the first cancellations/altered itineraries from Coronavirus, over a month ago. I agreed with that decision then, and I would have agreed if they had stopped sailing 10 days ago when it is apparent that Coronavirus was going to take off like a rocket!

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So, people get criticized for trying to discuss what the future might hold. Now people get criticized for trying to discuss what has happened. Maybe the problem really lies with all the critics.

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1 hour ago, barbette165 said:

My point was that at the time RCCL cancelled US sailings, they themselves hadn't yet realised that they needed to cancel them, they were only satisfying the government's request. It took them a few more hours (after Friday's sailings had left) to come to the conclusion that further sailing was becoming impossible.

 

That is what I was thinking also.  Celebrity got their arm twisted into doing a halt on US cruises, and things changed so fast that they voluntarily halted all cruises the next day.  The way they calculated the 30 day pause seems to indicate they did not really want to pause.  On no calendar I have seen is there 30 days between March 14 and April 10. 

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Global health authorities have their hands full.  Don't need to don't need to deal with cruise ships carrying several definitely infected and many more possibly infected.  

 

From Dow Jones today (sorry for length):

 

 

Coronavirus Hits More Cruise Ships, Leaving Vessels Stuck at Sea

Passengers on several cruise lines have tested positive for the new coronavirus in recent days, complicating efforts by the industry to suspend its operations and return 90,000 passengers still at sea.

One British cruise ship is asking Cuba to allow it to dock after other Caribbean islands denied it entry because it has a coronavirus outbreak. Several Carnival Corp.(CCL) and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.(RCL) boats have stopped in places such as Brazil, Tenerife or Puerto Rico to drop off passengers who tested positive for the disease.

The respiratory illness prompted the four major operators to suspend their sailings for a month and has crippled the roughly $40 billion U.S. cruise industry. An estimated 500 sailings have been canceled over the next month, draining at least $1 billion in revenue. Carnival said Monday it was borrowing $3 billion to cover its needs for six months, drawing down all of its credit lines.

There are about 40 ships at sea looking to unload their passengers, many of whom are seniors, as well as crew. Several countries have banned cruise ships from docking or restricted air travel, complicating efforts to repatriate travelers to dozens of countries.

"We want to get all passengers home safely and then hopefully take a breather," a senior U.S. cruise line executive said. "We will work 24/7 to get ships at port and everyone out, while coronavirus cases are still popping up aboard vessels. This will go on until the end of the month when all ships will have docked."

Cruise Lines International Association, an industry trade group, said 90,000 passengers were at sea on March 13 when the companies said they were suspending cruises. Eleven of those 40 cruises are scheduled to complete their trips on Monday with the rest scheduled to dock at various dates, to March 30.

A married couple who disembarked from Carnival's Costa Luminosa in Puerto Rico on March 8 have tested positive for Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. A passenger on a previous cruise who disembarked in Grand Cayman on Feb. 29 also tested positive and died Saturday, Costa Cruises said.

Royal Caribbean's Silver Shadow cruiser with 600 guests was docked in Brazil after a Canadian passenger tested positive. "Two guests aboard the Silver Shadow have been medically disembarked in Recife, Brazil, and one has tested positive for Covid-19," Royal Caribbean said.

It also said its Silver Explorer vessel with 230 people on board was docked in Chile after an 83-year-old passenger tested positive. "One guest aboard the Silver Explorer has been medically disembarked in Castro, Chile, also testing positive for the virus," the operator said.

The Trump administration issued on Friday an exemption to its travel restrictions for non-American citizens arriving on cruise ships, which will allow cruise passengers to disembark in the U.S. and then fly home. But some ships have been diverted by other countries.

The MS Braemar cruise ship, which is on a trans-Atlantic cruise with roughly 1,000 passengers and crew, has confirmed five cases of coronavirus. The ship, owned by U.K.-based Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, has been denied entry on several Caribbean ports.

Forty passengers and crew are being quarantined with flulike symptoms. The boat is currently off the Bahamas, and the U.K. is in talks with Cuba to allow the ship to dock. "We are waiting for an all clear from Cuba to dock there," a company official said. "We don't know when the ship will arrive."

Two Costa Luminosa passengers with respiratory problems were also disembarked on the island of Tenerife over the weekend, Costa Cruises said. A third passenger was also disembarked after registering an above-normal temperature, the company said. The ship, which has about 1,400 passengers, is on its way to Marseille, France, after it couldn't debark at Spanish ports due to restrictions.

Pressure began building on the cruise industry in February after two Princess Cruises ships, one near Japan and another headed for California, suffered outbreaks of respiratory illness. The U.S. State Department and health officials subsequently advised Americans not to take cruises and the U.S. imposed flight restrictions.

Executives have basically written off this year with cancellations running up to 50% for the busy Mediterranean summer and bookings for next year, down even more.

"Italy is shut off and Greece just said [Sunday] that it won't accept cruise ships," said an executive from a major European liner. "The year will be really bad, but the worrying thing is that a vaccine is 18 months away."

Write to Costas Paris at costas.paris@wsj.com and Dave Sebastian at dave.sebastian@wsj.com

  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  03-16-201142ET

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5 minutes ago, Baron Barracuda said:

Global health authorities have their hands full.  Don't need to don't need to deal with cruise ships carrying several definitely infected and many more possibly infected.  

 

From Dow Jones today (sorry for length):

 

 

Coronavirus Hits More Cruise Ships, Leaving Vessels Stuck at Sea

Passengers on several cruise lines have tested positive for the new coronavirus in recent days, complicating efforts by the industry to suspend its operations and return 90,000 passengers still at sea.

One British cruise ship is asking Cuba to allow it to dock after other Caribbean islands denied it entry because it has a coronavirus outbreak. Several Carnival Corp.(CCL) and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.(RCL) boats have stopped in places such as Brazil, Tenerife or Puerto Rico to drop off passengers who tested positive for the disease.

The respiratory illness prompted the four major operators to suspend their sailings for a month and has crippled the roughly $40 billion U.S. cruise industry. An estimated 500 sailings have been canceled over the next month, draining at least $1 billion in revenue. Carnival said Monday it was borrowing $3 billion to cover its needs for six months, drawing down all of its credit lines.

There are about 40 ships at sea looking to unload their passengers, many of whom are seniors, as well as crew. Several countries have banned cruise ships from docking or restricted air travel, complicating efforts to repatriate travelers to dozens of countries.

"We want to get all passengers home safely and then hopefully take a breather," a senior U.S. cruise line executive said. "We will work 24/7 to get ships at port and everyone out, while coronavirus cases are still popping up aboard vessels. This will go on until the end of the month when all ships will have docked."

Cruise Lines International Association, an industry trade group, said 90,000 passengers were at sea on March 13 when the companies said they were suspending cruises. Eleven of those 40 cruises are scheduled to complete their trips on Monday with the rest scheduled to dock at various dates, to March 30.

A married couple who disembarked from Carnival's Costa Luminosa in Puerto Rico on March 8 have tested positive for Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. A passenger on a previous cruise who disembarked in Grand Cayman on Feb. 29 also tested positive and died Saturday, Costa Cruises said.

Royal Caribbean's Silver Shadow cruiser with 600 guests was docked in Brazil after a Canadian passenger tested positive. "Two guests aboard the Silver Shadow have been medically disembarked in Recife, Brazil, and one has tested positive for Covid-19," Royal Caribbean said.

It also said its Silver Explorer vessel with 230 people on board was docked in Chile after an 83-year-old passenger tested positive. "One guest aboard the Silver Explorer has been medically disembarked in Castro, Chile, also testing positive for the virus," the operator said.

The Trump administration issued on Friday an exemption to its travel restrictions for non-American citizens arriving on cruise ships, which will allow cruise passengers to disembark in the U.S. and then fly home. But some ships have been diverted by other countries.

The MS Braemar cruise ship, which is on a trans-Atlantic cruise with roughly 1,000 passengers and crew, has confirmed five cases of coronavirus. The ship, owned by U.K.-based Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, has been denied entry on several Caribbean ports.

Forty passengers and crew are being quarantined with flulike symptoms. The boat is currently off the Bahamas, and the U.K. is in talks with Cuba to allow the ship to dock. "We are waiting for an all clear from Cuba to dock there," a company official said. "We don't know when the ship will arrive."

Two Costa Luminosa passengers with respiratory problems were also disembarked on the island of Tenerife over the weekend, Costa Cruises said. A third passenger was also disembarked after registering an above-normal temperature, the company said. The ship, which has about 1,400 passengers, is on its way to Marseille, France, after it couldn't debark at Spanish ports due to restrictions.

Pressure began building on the cruise industry in February after two Princess Cruises ships, one near Japan and another headed for California, suffered outbreaks of respiratory illness. The U.S. State Department and health officials subsequently advised Americans not to take cruises and the U.S. imposed flight restrictions.

Executives have basically written off this year with cancellations running up to 50% for the busy Mediterranean summer and bookings for next year, down even more.

"Italy is shut off and Greece just said [Sunday] that it won't accept cruise ships," said an executive from a major European liner. "The year will be really bad, but the worrying thing is that a vaccine is 18 months away."

Write to Costas Paris at costas.paris@wsj.com and Dave Sebastian at dave.sebastian@wsj.com


  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  03-16-201142ET

What was that someone said about hindsight?? If the cruise industry had this much info at their disposal, AND they waited until the President MADE them stop sailing, then, shame on them.

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The cruise lines had all the info they needed to voluntarily make the call a week before they did.  I agree it was irresponsible for them to send any more ships out, especially knowing what was about to happen with the shutdown.

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2 hours ago, clojacks said:

I found the decision to leave starting ports on March 13th to be irresponsible. Not just now that we have the hindsight of seeing these ships returning to home ports 2 and 3 days later, but I felt it was irresponsible at the time. I was affected by a Constellation cruise in February that had to return to Dubai instead of finishing in Singapore, and I felt that in the majority of cases, Celebrity had done a decent job dealing with this catastrophe. But to me, this seemed like a big miscall to have ships sail hours before a 30 day ban was to take affect. Celebrity isn't alone in having made this decision on that day, the whole RCCL family probably had the most ships leave that day, that are now returning or have already returned.

No , absolutely not responsible or ethical.  I don't know if it was greed or arrogance but by FRIDAY all the cruise lines clearly saw what was coming and to try to run itineraries still was flat wrong.  I really thought by the night of 3/12 they would have cancelled and saved people the effort of even going to the ships.  

 

I have to put this right out there; the actions of all the cruise lines on 3/13 have caused me to reconsider if I will spend money with any of them in the future.  I always KNEW I was just a database entry with a wallet, but this really confirmed the profit > people aspect of it.  I guess they thought it would be better to lose some money/maybe break even on a trip versus having to refund everyone but that is exceptionally shortsighted. 

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2 hours ago, clojacks said:

I understand the timeline that the US Government imposed. That doesn't mean that if the "cruiselines" wanted to be socially responsible, that they had to FOLLOW that timeline. 

Then I take it we as passengers could not be proactive and cancel if we felt imperiled by or fearful of the situation?

 

We, as the passenger, could have beat the cruise lines to the punch.... maybe or maybe not? We had information to make the decision, right?

 

May be that most passengers were wanting to take the sailing and decided to sojourn onward?

 

May be some passengers were hoping for a deal and left for the ship anyway?

 

May be, may be, may be we as passengers were shortsighted and chose to go anyway? After all, many posts similar to this are the ones with crystal balls and neglected to advise the rest of us beforehand.

 

Is 'socially responsible' in this case a one way street? Or just convenient to pass the blame or responsibility off to someone else other than ourselves?

 

Are you indicating that X was not pro-active early enough and needs to bear the bulk of the responsibility for COVID-19 and all of the ancillary challenges that go along with it, beyond offers for cancelled sailings (which are ever evolving, to be sure)?

 

I do believe and you can correct me if not quite correct, X did help those who booked all of their arrangements through them, to return to their point of origin. Not sure if those passengers had to be out of pocket to get home or not.

 

bon voyage

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1 hour ago, barbette165 said:

My point was that at the time RCCL cancelled US sailings, they themselves hadn't yet realised that they needed to cancel them, they were only satisfying the government's request. It took them a few more hours (after Friday's sailings had left) to come to the conclusion that further sailing was becoming impossible.


But that’s not true. We were already discussing the Royal suspension of cruises while Reflection was still in port. It would’ve taken Royal hours to discuss making that decision before it reached us in the public. The moment they came to their decision and assigned someone to write up the announcement and then have it approved to go out they could’ve been on the phone to Reflection and told the captain not to sail.

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2 minutes ago, Bo1953 said:

Then I take it we as passengers could not be proactive and cancel if we felt imperiled by or fearful of the situation?

 

We, as the passenger, could have beat the cruise lines to the punch.... maybe or maybe not? We had information to make the decision, right?

 

May be that most passengers were wanting to take the sailing and decided to sojourn onward?

 

May be some passengers were hoping for a deal and left for the ship anyway?

 

May be, may be, may be we as passengers were shortsighted and chose to go anyway? After all, many posts similar to this are the ones with crystal balls and neglected to advise the rest of us beforehand.

 

Is 'socially responsible' in this case a one way street? Or just convenient to pass the blame or responsibility off to someone else other than ourselves?

 

Are you indicating that X was not pro-active early enough and needs to bear the bulk of the responsibility for COVID-19 and all of the ancillary challenges that go along with it, beyond offers for cancelled sailings (which are ever evolving, to be sure)?

 

I do believe and you can correct me if not quite correct, X did help those who booked all of their arrangements through them, to return to their point of origin. Not sure if those passengers had to be out of pocket to get home or not.

 

bon voyage

 

Social responsibility is not a one way street, but Celebrity is the one that runs the cruises, not the guests, and the decision to operate was with them.  I also think people that were going on vacation on 3/13 were socially irresponsible.  I would state my opinion as that Celebrity was not proactive enough in dealing with this situation. 

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1 hour ago, clojacks said:

My point was made, and if the mods feel this isn't a topic of value here, I have no problem as the OP, of having them shut it down and delete it. By the way, as I said in the original post, I was affected by one of the first cancellations/altered itineraries from Coronavirus, over a month ago. I agreed with that decision then, and I would have agreed if they had stopped sailing 10 days ago when it is apparent that Coronavirus was going to take off like a rocket!

Of course your topic is of value here, to many even if some disagree with you.

 

It is a valuable point which needs to be expressed and discussed and agreed with or dis-agreed with.

 

In health and bon voyage

 

 

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I understand this discussion but right now dealing with the "what ifs" are for a later date.  At this point there are to many other decisions and things to take care of.  The past and decisions happened, was it right or wrong I am not sure.  I prefer to stay on the glass is half full mentality for dealing with this and the next hour will be better than the last. Im in Health care and its such fluid situation, Im waiting for the all non essential to work at home call to come thru very soon.  Im surprised it hasn't and Im at a lvl 1 trauma hospital.   Looking back there was no perfect date to stop the cruises for any of the lines.  The main thing is everyone gets home and be safe currently.  Ill let the crisis mgmt teams figure this out for cruise lines, this is an unprecedented event that is happening and right now going back and re evaluating what could have/should have is not in the works for many.   

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1 hour ago, clojacks said:

Whew...for a while there, I thought I was going to have to make decisions on my own on what was appropriate to discuss on a public forum, or not. For someone who apparently has the occupation TeaCHeR in their ID, I would think wanting to discuss lessons that could be taught for the future, from past failures, in some of our opinions, would be a real valuable exercise.

 

By the way, we should have also been looking out for the elderly on March 13th who were on board the ships that sailed....

History and using it is absolutely important. However if one looked at cruising with a historical context of disease there would be no cruising. It would have been stopped long ago. With an older group on ships it only takes a few irresponsible individuals to bring disease on board. From the person who refills a drink glass, handles food inappropriately at the buffet or doesn't wash their hands we have always Bern at higher risk. Noro, flu and very limited medical facilities.

Should X have stopped cruising. Yes. The problem is it was a random date that was applied instantly.  They should have said there will be a cessation of cruises after X date. That would have been less disruptive.

Back to you comment - I have to go back to 1917 to find a pandemic similarly disruptive. Since it was during WWI there really was little pleasure ship travel.  Still think we need to move forward. The learning part would be cancelling cruises - which I fully expect is coming - at least one week or more before sailing date. That would be the learning part along with policies that are clear and consistent and remain in place if possible.

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