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tert333

What is it going to take to restart Cruises?

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I have been trying to get my head around what will it take to get cruises started again.  Below is a summary of what I see as the issues.  Not sure what the answers are to many.

 

  1. Getting People to take cruises again.    I think this may be the easiest of the group.  People have a tendency to have short memories.  Most people who have taken cruises, enjoyed them and will take a cruise again if the cruises have convinced the authorities that they are safe.
  2. Getting Governments to agree to restart cruises.   While the cruiselines made the decision to cancel cruises, I believe the governments would have shut them down, if the cruiselines did not do it.   There will be intense pressure for the cruiselines to prove to the authorities that they can contain an outbreak.   This includes insuring that they check passengers for illness when they board and then manage the sick people during the cruise to prevent the spread.   Many people are talking that there could be a resurgence next year of the coronvirus.   Nobody knows for sure, but this provides more arguments into the cruiselines must show that they can manage issues like this going forward.  This too me is the biggest issue and I am not sure what the answer is.
  3. Getting Cruiseports to take cruiseships.  This is linked with the second problem.   This is a double edged sword.  Most of the cruiseports need the tourism revenue for them to thrive.   Taking the caribbean islands, for example, many of them have grown due to toursim.   Their economies will struggle without the revenue.   However, they do not have the infrastructure to support a large coronavirus outbreak.  The cruiselines have to convince them that they can effectively manage and outbreak will be a challenge.
  4. Getting Staff to work on a cruiseship.   While I think this may be a minor issue, I think, similar to passengers, staff will work on cruiseships as time passes.  Not a lot has been said about the staff's issues during the coronavirus, but I am sure they were very concerned as their living quarters were a lot more condensed than the passengers. 
  5. Countries experiencing Coronavirus.   As of this morning there have been almost 1/2 million people having the coronavirus.   This continues to escalate according to the WHO.   Italy, and Spain are two major ports in the summer for crusing.  Scandinavia is another area where there are large outbreaks of coronavirus.   I dont see them opening up for tourists for many months.   

 

I do not think it is going to be easy to address the above issues.   I cant see the cruiselines restarting for a few months.  I am hoping that I can cruise again, but unsure what is going to take to get it started again. 

 

I believe that once we have a vaccine, it will improve.  We are some time away before this happens.   Interested to see how some of the current treatments for the coronavirus proceed.   Hopefully, we hear positive results soon!

 

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15 minutes ago, tert333 said:

I have been trying to get my head around what will it take to get cruises started again.  Below is a summary of what I see as the issues.  Not sure what the answers are to many.

 

  1. Getting People to take cruises again.    I think this may be the easiest of the group.  People have a tendency to have short memories.  Most people who have taken cruises, enjoyed them and will take a cruise again if the cruises have convinced the authorities that they are safe.
  2. Getting Governments to agree to restart cruises.   While the cruiselines made the decision to cancel cruises, I believe the governments would have shut them down, if the cruiselines did not do it.   There will be intense pressure for the cruiselines to prove to the authorities that they can contain an outbreak.   This includes insuring that they check passengers for illness when they board and then manage the sick people during the cruise to prevent the spread.   Many people are talking that there could be a resurgence next year of the coronvirus.   Nobody knows for sure, but this provides more arguments into the cruiselines must show that they can manage issues like this going forward.  This too me is the biggest issue and I am not sure what the answer is.
  3. Getting Cruiseports to take cruiseships.  This is linked with the second problem.   This is a double edged sword.  Most of the cruiseports need the tourism revenue for them to thrive.   Taking the caribbean islands, for example, many of them have grown due to toursim.   Their economies will struggle without the revenue.   However, they do not have the infrastructure to support a large coronavirus outbreak.  The cruiselines have to convince them that they can effectively manage and outbreak will be a challenge.
  4. Getting Staff to work on a cruiseship.   While I think this may be a minor issue, I think, similar to passengers, staff will work on cruiseships as time passes.  Not a lot has been said about the staff's issues during the coronavirus, but I am sure they were very concerned as their living quarters were a lot more condensed than the passengers. 
  5. Countries experiencing Coronavirus.   As of this morning there have been almost 1/2 million people having the coronavirus.   This continues to escalate according to the WHO.   Italy, and Spain are two major ports in the summer for crusing.  Scandinavia is another area where there are large outbreaks of coronavirus.   I dont see them opening up for tourists for many months.   

 

I do not think it is going to be easy to address the above issues.   I cant see the cruiselines restarting for a few months.  I am hoping that I can cruise again, but unsure what is going to take to get it started again. 

 

I believe that once we have a vaccine, it will improve.  We are some time away before this happens.   Interested to see how some of the current treatments for the coronavirus proceed.   Hopefully, we hear positive results soon!

 

Vaccine.

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while it is not necessary to quote this with a response - but that is a very solid posting .. Well Done

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23 minutes ago, cscurlock said:

Vaccine.

then this time next year … or later 

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Or medication they know will successfully treat COVID-19.

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1 hour ago, cscurlock said:

Vaccine.

 

They can't wait for a vaccine. We will be waiting until the cases have peaked and start to level out and then they will try to get up and running again. Maybe late may to June. Then we will get back to the "new normal" until they have a vaccine next year. 

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2 hours ago, tert333 said:

Most of the cruiseports need the tourism revenue for them to thrive.   Taking the caribbean islands, for example, many of them have grown due to toursim.  

It seems you're equating tourism with cruising. Sure, the Caribbean and other islands but there's tons of the world that does great without cruise ships. There are places that may use this as a reason to ban them. I think of Dubrovnik which has had the UNESCO heritage status threatened due to crowds.

 

2 hours ago, tert333 said:

I believe that once we have a vaccine,

IF we get a vaccine. And we may not. And will this turn out to be like our annual influenza where it mutates with some years the vaccine not being nearly as effective as other years. 

 

I also wonder how on earth they can adequately clean a ship between sailings. With a viral RNA sample having been recovered after 17 days it sure gives me pause.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if the industry never recovers. Perhaps some but not all the way. Just my thoughts.

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Late May or June has not a chance. this will peak in the US around May/June with millions of infections. Whilst I would not go so far as to say the industry will not recover it will take literally years to get back to where it was. The chances of a vaccine in a year or so may prove wrong, or even impossible. Ports like Dubrovnik and Venice may decide enough is enough and rely on air tourism and a bigger income boost because of hotel/restaurants would generate either more money or the same money with fewer people.

 I think as Clo above, there will be dramatic consolidation of the industry and a lot os ships mothballed or converted for other use.

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44 minutes ago, Cee_Jay said:

Late May or June has not a chance. this will peak in the US around May/June with millions of infections. Whilst I would not go so far as to say the industry will not recover it will take literally years to get back to where it was. The chances of a vaccine in a year or so may prove wrong, or even impossible. Ports like Dubrovnik and Venice may decide enough is enough and rely on air tourism and a bigger income boost because of hotel/restaurants would generate either more money or the same money with fewer people.

 I think as Clo above, there will be dramatic consolidation of the industry and a lot os ships mothballed or converted for other use.

Nobody can predict when the peak is going to occur...

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The OP makes many good points.  But, I really wonder about point #1.  Consider that DW and I have been avid cruisers since the mid seventies and have generally cruised 70-110 days a year with many different lines.  This year we had 4 cruises booked (14, 16, 28, and 30 days) several of which we planned to extend with significant time on land pre/post cruise.  We love to be on ships and do not have to be "sold" on cruising.  And yet, this morning, I heard my DW tell one of her best friends that we may never cruise again!  Why?

 

There is a new normal for cruises.  One will now get on a ship and wonder if it will be allowed to dock at any of the ports and quickly allow passengers off the ship to enjoy their day?  And then what happens on any ship that has even a single passenger or crew member that develops a cough and or flu-like symptoms?  There is no longer any reason to expect ports to welcome cruise ships!  and now there is the new likelihood of becoming a prisoner on any cruise and held, against ones will, for an indeterminate sentence!

 

What is ironic is that a few cruise lines had adopted new policies where older cruisers were going to need to convince the cruise line that the folks were "fit to cruise."  But we think those cruise lines had it all wrong.  If they now want my money, the cruise lines are going to need to convince me that they can deliver the promised cruise!  Otherwise, it just makes more sense for us to jump on a plane to Europe or Asia and simply do our own thing.  So perhaps the new question we all need to ask is that, given the new world situation, are cruises going to be a reasonable travel option.  

 

Hank

 

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1 hour ago, Hlitner said:

So perhaps the new question we all need to ask is that, given the new world situation, are cruises going to be a reasonable travel option.

I think your post is perhaps the best I've read on the subject.............I started writing more but just couldn't find the energy. We have a FCC with Hurtigruten and will likely do a NB coastal cruise along with our original now canceled itinerary of more of Norway and then to Paris and who knows. I don't see us cruising past that point...for the reasons you stated. Thanks, Hank.

Cath

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6 minutes ago, clo said:

I think your post is perhaps the best I've read on the subject.............I started writing more but just couldn't find the energy. We have a FCC with Hurtigruten and will likely do a NB coastal cruise along with our original now canceled itinerary of more of Norway and then to Paris and who knows. I don't see us cruising past that point...for the reasons you stated. Thanks, Hank.

Cath

I am going to keep positive that the issues that I identified can be resolved.   I am sure the cruise companies have a lot of smart people thinking through the issues.   According to CNBC today, the cruise industry employs over 400,000 people in the US(not including all of the non-resident employees).   There is a vested interest to get this resolved. 

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#2 and #3 are going to be a huge hurdle.  As much as cruise lines like to claim the local economies, they really don’t.  Non-cruise tourism is much better tourism.  Hotels, eat dinner at restaurants not just lunch, rent cars.  Cruise ships tend to overwhelm the area by dumping 3000 people onto an area at once without bringing in that much commerce. Does anyone really think Venice is wants the ships back?

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1 minute ago, ed01106 said:

#2 and #3 are going to be a huge hurdle.  As much as cruise lines like to claim the local economies, they really don’t.  Non-cruise tourism is much better tourism.  Hotels, eat dinner at restaurants not just lunch, rent cars.  Cruise ships tend to overwhelm the area by dumping 3000 people onto an area at once without bringing in that much commerce. Does anyone really think Venice is wants the ships back?

THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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Venice is going to boot the ships from the middle city, but they are not likely to turn down the cruise tourism brings. 
 

Many smaller islands throughout the world have become dependent on the money that cruises bring.  These smaller islands would never attract enough people to vacation on them, if the tourist had to fly to the location. Enough to entertain for eight hours, but not eight days. 

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10 hours ago, CruiserBruce said:

Nobody can predict when the peak is going to occur...

Anyone can predict - just not with any certainty!

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21 hours ago, sanger727 said:

 

They can't wait for a vaccine. We will be waiting until the cases have peaked and start to level out and then they will try to get up and running again. Maybe late may to June. Then we will get back to the "new normal" until they have a vaccine next year. 

The virus has no timetable and it has no borders.  Until people are vaccinated or have been verified to have the anti bodies that shows they have already had the virus those people will not be allowed to work or go on a ship or get back to normal. 

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24 minutes ago, cscurlock said:

The virus has no timetable and it has no borders.  Until people are vaccinated or have been verified to have the anti bodies that shows they have already had the virus those people will not be allowed to work or go on a ship or get back to normal. 

 

I disagree. Shutting down the country for months is extreme but will hopefully slow the spread. Shutting it down for a year or more will destroy people's lives. Wuhan has been battling this virus for 3-4 months and is starting to get back to "normal". It will happen for us to. And it won't take 18 months for it to happen.

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7 minutes ago, sanger727 said:

 

I disagree. Shutting down the country for months is extreme but will hopefully slow the spread. Shutting it down for a year or more will destroy people's lives. Wuhan has been battling this virus for 3-4 months and is starting to get back to "normal". It will happen for us to. And it won't take 18 months for it to happen.

Unfortunately we don't have the capacity to do the draconian measures the Chinese did.  Which means it will take a lot longer to achieve the same result.  At some point a lot of people will have been verified to have the antibodies and then those people will return to the work force and begin to restart the economy.  The rest will wait till a vaccine is available. 

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15 hours ago, ed01106 said:

#2 and #3 are going to be a huge hurdle.  As much as cruise lines like to claim the local economies, they really don’t.  Non-cruise tourism is much better tourism.  Hotels, eat dinner at restaurants not just lunch, rent cars.  Cruise ships tend to overwhelm the area by dumping 3000 people onto an area at once without bringing in that much commerce. Does anyone really think Venice is wants the ships back?

Just saw a statement by Port of Seattle that the cruise season brings 900 million to the Washington state economy. Keep in mind Seattle is a small cruise port...max 3 ships at a time, and not every day. Now translate that to Florida...4 cruise ports, about 14 or 14 ships possible at a time, some year around...many billions, probably into the tens of billions, I am sure.

 

I think Alaska would disagree with your comments on how much money cruises bring to town.

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7 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

Just saw a statement by Port of Seattle that the cruise season brings 900 million to the Washington state economy.

So less than 0.1% of the states total economy.  

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Posted (edited)
On ‎3‎/‎26‎/‎2020 at 1:15 PM, tert333 said:

 I have been trying to get my head around what will it take to get cruises started again.  Below is a summary of what I see as the issues.  Not sure what the answers are to many.

 

  1. Getting People to take cruises again.    I think this may be the easiest of the group.  People have a tendency to have short memories.  Most people who have taken cruises, enjoyed them and will take a cruise again if the cruises have convinced the authorities that they are safe.

 

I totally disagree sadly.  Getting people back on ships (in normal numbers) will be extremely difficult for probably the next 2 years imho.  It's not a question of whether people think they are "safe", it never was.  It's simply a question of what protocols the cruise lines are forced to follow if/when there is a COVID-19 case on-board.  The draconian and disastrous measures of the Diamond Princess were a wake-up call for all and will continue to be so.   I'd love to cruise again but I absolutely won't if the cruise lines are going to either :

 

1.  Quarantine every passenger in their cabins when there is ONE case of COVID-19 on-board

2.  Cancel the cruise and send everybody home via flights if there is ONE case of COVID-19 on-board

 

Many people cruise because they refuse to fly at all.  Therefore threatening to dump people in foreign ports and force them to fly home is not going to be a welcome protocol.

 

The future of cruising IS NOT dependent on flattening a curve of COVID-19 spread.   It is totally dependent on what type of protocols cruise lines are going to be forced to follow from this point on for years to come.  

 

Coronavirus isn't going away.  It will be with us just like Influenza is always with us imho.  Just like Influenza they will eventually produce a vaccine and some people will routinely go and get it.    We will always have the risk that a passenger or crew member on a ship may get Influenza or COVID-19.   What we have to do is find ways to deal with that without disrupting the entire cruise for everyone else.  Unless that happens, there will never be the audience for cruising that previously existed.    I would also not be surprised if there are older vulnerable people who have already decided that they will never cruise again because of the risk to their health and life, however small that is.   They will opt for a different holiday.

 

 

Quote
  1. Getting Governments to agree to restart cruises.   While the cruiselines made the decision to cancel cruises, I believe the governments would have shut them down, if the cruiselines did not do it.   There will be intense pressure for the cruiselines to prove to the authorities that they can contain an outbreak.   This includes insuring that they check passengers for illness when they board and then manage the sick people during the cruise to prevent the spread.  

 

There's the rub.  Have you seen the way people are being tested abroad?  Long thin flexible sticks with a pad at the end stuck up into the nose and right through into the nasal cavity.   I can't imagine many really want to go through that and I dread to think what additional check-in time that will create at embarkation.

 

Furthermore, the potential exists for any passenger or crew member to acquire COVID-19 at any port on the itinerary.  So if you are going to check people at embarkation you are also going to have to check everyone as they come back to the ship at each port.   To not do so would render the initial checks at embarkation a complete farce.   How long do those tests take to produce a result?  Some order of minutes I would think so again what will that do to the process of returning to ship?   Fancy standing in 40 degree heat in huge queues on the dock side waiting to be tested and let on-board?!

 

 

Quote
  1. Many people are talking that there could be a resurgence next year of the coronvirus.   Nobody knows for sure, but this provides more arguments into the cruiselines must show that they can manage issues like this going forward.  This too me is the biggest issue and I am not sure what the answer is.

 

I agree with you here.  I also can't currently see a solution other than so many constant medical checks that people just won't want the bother and will choose an alternative holiday.   Some will cruise with the intention of never getting off the ship to avoid constant testing which in turn will reduce revenue from excursions.

 

 

Quote
  1. Getting Cruiseports to take cruiseships.  This is linked with the second problem.   This is a double edged sword.  Most of the cruiseports need the tourism revenue for them to thrive.   Taking the caribbean islands, for example, many of them have grown due to toursim.   Their economies will struggle without the revenue.   However, they do not have the infrastructure to support a large coronavirus outbreak.  The cruiselines have to convince them that they can effectively manage and outbreak will be a challenge.

 

Also agree.   As we have seen there is little point spending £1000s on a cruise only to have all the ports turn you away.

This is NOT simply a problem of cruise lines making agreements with port authorities the problem is far wider.  You now have populations of real ordinary people who hate cruise ships and see them as germ carriers and they don't want us to be there.  At some ports locals were hurling bottles and other projectiles at passengers.  The Costa Smerelda early in the outbreak saw the Italian port authority at Civitavecchia starting to let passengers disembark until the local major rushed down in his car and put a quick stop to that.   Ports like Dubrovnik and Venice already have locals greatly against cruise ships as those local people don't benefit from the port berthing fees.  Their lives are disrupted by the constant stream of 1000s of cruise ship passengers and now they will all look at each ship coming in and be fearful that it is carrying a killer virus.  So there is a battle of hearts and minds to be won by the industry which concerns real local people rather than port authorities.

 

 

Quote
  1. I believe that once we have a vaccine, it will improve.  We are some time away before this happens.   Interested to see how some of the current treatments for the coronavirus proceed.   Hopefully, we hear positive results soon!

 

The vaccine route will take years to both accomplish and rollout and get significant numbers of people to take up.

 

What is needed imo is good anti-viral treatment for those who do get the virus.   Remember that statistically the number of COVID-19 cases in the world is absolutely tiny.   The UK has seen some 579 deaths from COVID-19 yet there are 67 million people in the country.   All the deaths are tragic but those numbers are in reality tiny.   Do we want to be vaccinating 67 million people to save those 579 or would it be better to have a good anti-viral treatment just for the 579?  I'd rather it were the latter.

 

Either way though the core problem for the cruise industry remains, which is how they are forced to deal with any COVID-19 cases on-board.  Until that is solved in such a way that it doesn't disrupt the cruise for all other passengers with draconian measures, I think cruising is a dead duck personally. 

 

Edited by KnowTheScore

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1 hour ago, KnowTheScore said:

 

  I'd love to cruise again but I absolutely won't if the cruise lines are going to either :

 

1.  Quarantine every passenger in their cabins when there is ONE case of COVID-19 on-board

2.  Cancel the cruise and send everybody home via flights if there is ONE case of COVID-19 on-board

 

 

This is one of the biggest problems (well, outside of ports being shut).  With norovirus for example, they quarantine the person who has it. Not the entire ship.

 

We also have concerns with recent protocols that if you return from a cruise/flying, that we need to self quarantine for 2 weeks.  That turns a 1 week vacation from work/school into 3 weeks.  This has to be lifted once things open up again.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, KnowTheScore said:

The vaccine route will take years to both accomplish and rollout and get significant numbers of people to take up.

 

As someone here wrote, an MD I believe, there's no guarantee of a vaccine. Period. And what if COVID is more like the common cold for which there is no vaccine but with more dire consequences.

 

And let's face it: a cruise is a nice to have, not a need to have. No matter what anyone says. There are alternatives for vacations.

Edited by clo

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