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Canada bans cruise ships until October 31, 2020

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I have reservations for the Quebec City to Miami cruise and agree with those who suggest that Crystal should announce plans ASAP so I can plan ahead. Perhaps they could issue a FCC to those who would like to book another Crystal cruise. Waiting may limit the choices of passengers . I recognize that all cruise lines would like to hold onto cash for as long as possible.

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Posted (edited)

Claudia, at least one other person is thinking the same way.  Me.

Edited by saminina

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4 hours ago, May B said:

I do think both Symphony and Serenity can make it under the Sunshine Skyway. But as you point out, it might just be Symphony.

 

Clearance for the Skyway is 180 ft.  For comparison, the Sydney Harbour Bridge has a clearance of 161 ft.  The Quebec bridge is 151 ft and is upstream from the Quebec cruise port.

 

Not sure what the "air draft" for Symphony and Serenity are -- couldn't find the data quickly.  Perhaps someone has that info.

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26 minutes ago, Orator said:

I have reservations for the Quebec City to Miami cruise and agree with those who suggest that Crystal should announce plans ASAP so I can plan ahead. Perhaps they could issue a FCC to those who would like to book another Crystal cruise. Waiting may limit the choices of passengers . I recognize that all cruise lines would like to hold onto cash for as long as possible.

 

I would think this may be throwing a wrinkle in anything happening sooner instead of later, in terms of announcements.  If Crystal is hoping to restart operations and tap the growing interest, they're going to have to redeploy the ships, which is WAY more time consuming than waiting for the no-go criteria to be met for a cancellation.  Ports have to be negotiated, itineraries planned, and a slew of contracts have to be negotiated for chandlers, destination management/tours, bunkering, etc., at least on a high level to make sure there aren't any deal breakers for the itinerary...  ALL with a severely reduced office and operations staff, which of course slows the whole process. 

 

Given the screaming and crying that's happened over the past five years among Crystal's passengers (especially here) over half-baked plans and premature announcements, I can understand Crystal's hesitation in announcing anything before they have most of the details figured out.

 

8 hours ago, May B said:

Vince, since the discussion went down this path, may I please ask for your professional opinion? The American Contract Bridge League had to cancel two of the three major tournaments for this calendar year. They cancelled March in Columbus after the governor placed restrictions on gatherings and they cancelled July in Montreal after the government placed restrictions. Tampa is scheduled for eleven days beginning on Thanksgiving. Generally those tournaments attract players from around the world, perhaps 10% from out of the ACBL member countries, the rest from all around the US, Canada, Mexico and Bermuda. Would you care to guess whether this tournament will take place?
 

On a different note, I can hope that Crystal might try a few months out of Tampa, to do eastern, western and southern Caribbean, in case air travel out if the US continues to be problematic. Can you guess about those chances, too? Everybody could chime in for that question! Tampa to New Orleans with stops at the ABCs would be particularly nice! 

 

Hi Muriel!  Heaven only know what's going to happen this fall, this is a complete shot in the dark...  But I will say that I also have a Tampa-area event in November in my portfolio, and of ALL the events I touch this fall, and I feel like that one has the highest likelihood of actually getting pulled off successfully.  That's just a gut feeling though, and of course another wave of infections (either locally or nationally) in the fall would put all of that as risk, plus I don't know what the physical distancing requirements of events would do to a bridge group yet -- so those are probably the biggest wildcards right now.

 

Regarding Tampa as a port, I think Tampa is a great port.  Unfortunately I think Crystal would prefer to use Miami or Port Everglades over Tampa for demographic purposes, but depending on what's available and what type of itineraries they are planning, Tampa is always an option.  My hunch is they have more active prospects in the Miami area pool, and it would be easier to get the Tampa area passengers to come to Miami than get all of the eastern FL passengers to come to Tampa.  Just a hunch though -- if the season ends up being long enough, they may need both.

 

Vince

 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/29/2020 at 3:07 PM, BWIVince said:

 

THIS!  I've mentioned several of the reasons Crystal doesn't just cancel everything en masse in other threads, but the industry is seeing some VERY interesting data right now around consumer confidence.  The latest Engagious/ROKK 2020 Back to Normal Barometer (https://engagious.com/backtonormalbarometer) -- one measure many of us are using in the travel industry to tell where we're at --  has consumer "without hesitation today" level of confidence for taking a cruise up to 66% -- and about half of the balance would feel comfortable returning with enhanced safety measures (that the cruise lines are working on).  That's up from 39% on 4/1, and to give some context around the number, only 48% would see a movie in a theater without hesitation today and 52% would stay in a hotel.  Unfortunately for my industry, only 48% would attend a conference or convention, which mirrors polling my clients have deployed to their participants within 5 or so points, so that seems pretty accurate.

 

IMHO, these stats completely flip the conversation on whether it's more "customer friendly" to cancel cruises more than 90 days out, while lines are actively working on defining safety measures to restart.  With the vast majority of passengers now wanting to sail either without hesitation as things stand today or with enhanced safety and cleaning measures, I think the moral argument changed.

 

Vince

 

Consumer confidence does not really affect how soon this outbreak will be under better control.  Obviously, cruise lines would like to have high consumer confidence when they are able and willing to operate cruises again, so it is possibly good news to the travel related industries, though.  Also, I would certainly hope that cruise lines are liability-conscious enough not to start cruising before the outbreak is under better control, even if there is a demand.  And regardless of how many people are willing to take a cruise now, slow-walking of cancellations just to maintain liquidity is not morally justifiable.

Edited by Psoque

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32 minutes ago, FlyerTalker said:

 

Clearance for the Skyway is 180 ft.  For comparison, the Sydney Harbour Bridge has a clearance of 161 ft.  The Quebec bridge is 151 ft and is upstream from the Quebec cruise port.

 

Not sure what the "air draft" for Symphony and Serenity are -- couldn't find the data quickly.  Perhaps someone has that info.

It should either clear or be very close as Francis Scott Bridge in Baltimore has a clearance of 185 feet and Serenity has been here.

 

Roy

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, Psoque said:

Consumer confidence does not really affect how soon this outbreak will be under better control.  Obviously, cruise lines would like to have high consumer confidence when they are able and willing to operate cruises again, so it is possibly good news to the travel related industries, though.  Also, I would certainly hope that cruise lines are liability-conscious enough not to start cruising before the outbreak is under better control, even if there is a demand.

 

I didn't say it did...  But one of the biggest eye-openers for me in the past few weeks has been how irrelevant control of the outbreak has become.  I live in one of the states that's been handing this more cautiously than most, and yet almost every type of business has now been given approval to reopen in my county despite my county being nowhere NEAR reaching the CDC's gating criteria.

 

At the end of the day, the same thing is going to happen with other service business, including cruise lines.  IMHO, the CDC will compromise and work with cruise lines to create more practical plans the same way the health departments across the country did (and the CDC to a degree), based on pressure from the public -- and these numbers show the shift away from fear that a lot of us see locally.

 

That doesn't mean we shouldn't be afraid, I'm just saying fewer people acting and saying they're afraid -- and THAT is what drives the restart.  Not science, unfortunately -- as we now see in most of the US.  

 

What a rise in cases will do, is anyone's guess of course.

 

Vince

 

Edited by BWIVince

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2 hours ago, claudiaYVR said:

I don't know if I'm alone in this but my biggest concern related to Covid for 2021 is the long-haul flying to get to/from a cruise, not the cruising itself.

 

I would love for Crystal to develop a bunch of east coast and west coast round trip itineraries with one of the ships based in Florida and other other one in California. It won't work for everyone but it will allow a very large number of people to get to and from port on short, direct flights or driving.

 

I know a lot of people will poke a lot of holes at this but I didn't sleep well last night, I miss cruising and I'm cranky.

 

This would probably work with Serenity. They could bring her to Florida around the time she would have come back from Europe and run Caribbean cruises until the World Cruise, always assuming the WC is a go, or goes with a modified itinerary. The wild card here is Symphony. Is there some technical/legal reason why Crystal has kept her out of the North American market for this year and next?? 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, BWIVince said:

That doesn't mean we shouldn't be afraid, I'm just saying fewer people acting and saying they're afraid -- and THAT is what drives the restart.

 

I don't think many of us are not driven by just fear.  I and many others are in support of a more data-based and scientifically driven strategy in dealing with this outbreak, which did not occur, especially in the US, from the beginning.  I am confident that, if we continue to "compromise" to "pressure from the public," and not really think about the long-term goals, both in terms of outbreak control and future economic prosperity, we are doomed.

 

Current rush for US businesses to re-open is driven by many reasons,.  Some of the reasons appear reasonable, at least superficially ("People need to get paid."  or "We can't stay at home forever."), but some other reasons, in my opinion, are either misguided, shortsighted, or downright malicious ("Our company would rather re-open and start making money, and we don't care if some of our minimum wage workers get sick...they will deal with it or we can replace them." or "Our state cannot continue to pay for unemployment." or "I am young/healthy/don't have diabetes so I have the RIGHT to do everything while the others "at higher risk" should have the responsibility to take care of themselves.  They need to stay home.").  I have NEVER heard anyone say that "we can reopen because we now can do this safer." Also, I have never heard any government officials define what metric would be used to decide if/when a reversal of the easing should occur.  It is clear to me that the overall motive is to just to reopen, regardless of what the outbreak decides to do in response to it.

 

It is my assumption that what we, especially in the US, are doing now by reopening prematurely is exactly what we would do if we want the outbreak to become worse and last longer, which is exactly what is bad for the long term economic healthy of this country.

Edited by Psoque

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5 hours ago, Psoque said:

I have NEVER heard anyone say that "we can reopen because we now can do this safer." 


I agree with what you’re saying, I think this is where it gets sticky though.  “Safer” is relative and is a spectrum, and it is definitely what’s being sold here in my area.  (All businesses here are outlining what they’re doing differently and what they expect from you in order to engage with them.). That said, no one is claiming it’s “safe”.  What’s implied is that it’s an acceptable balance of safer and feasible (regardless of whether that’s true or not), and it’s meeting the public demand for now.  If I had to guess, this is the same kind of balance cruising will find.

 

Vince

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15 hours ago, BWIVince said:


I agree with what you’re saying, I think this is where it gets sticky though.  “Safer” is relative and is a spectrum, and it is definitely what’s being sold here in my area.  (All businesses here are outlining what they’re doing differently and what they expect from you in order to engage with them.). That said, no one is claiming it’s “safe”.  What’s implied is that it’s an acceptable balance of safer and feasible (regardless of whether that’s true or not), and it’s meeting the public demand for now.  If I had to guess, this is the same kind of balance cruising will find.

 

Vince

Here is the problem, especially in the US:

The actual incidence of the viral infection is higher now than 2.5  months ago, and the numbers are still going up, not down, as far was we know.  Only things that have changed are that businesses are now more eager to make more money, and people are getting more tired of the restrictions, and many ex-wager earners are suffering.  The outbreak situation, in the US, has not changed to make it more "safer" to reopen.  It is actually the opposite.  So if anything, re-opening the society (in the US, compared to other countries that has successfully contained the virus, perhaps not permanently, but at least better than what US) is going put people at a higher individual risk AND it could increase the chance of our healthcare system collapsing.  So, from what I can gather, the impetus to reopen is based on a one-sided "logic" if could even call it that.

 

The free-maket economy is not going to eliminate the outbreak, or for that matter the need for us to take the outbreak seriously. 

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Psoque said:

Here is the problem, especially in the US:

The actual incidence of the viral infection is higher now than 2.5  months ago, and the numbers are still going up, not down, as far was we know.  Only things that have changed are that businesses are now more eager to make more money, and people are getting more tired of the restrictions, and many ex-wager earners are suffering.  The outbreak situation, in the US, has not changed to make it more "safer" to reopen.  It is actually the opposite.  So if anything, re-opening the society (in the US, compared to other countries that has successfully contained the virus, perhaps not permanently, but at least better than what US) is going put people at a higher individual risk AND it could increase the chance of our healthcare system collapsing.  So, from what I can gather, the impetus to reopen is based on a one-sided "logic" if could even call it that.

 

The free-maket economy is not going to eliminate the outbreak, or for that matter the need for us to take the outbreak seriously. 


Yep!  Preaching to the choir...  I’m not disagreeing with any of that — I shared the survey results not because it was about the science of the pandemic or the wisdom of any of these options, just because it’s being used as an input in the decisions that travel suppliers are making — for better or worse.

 

Vince

Edited by BWIVince

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, Psoque said:

Here is the problem, especially in the US:

The actual incidence of the viral infection is higher now than 2.5  months ago, and the numbers are still going up, not down, as far was we know.  Only things that have changed are that businesses are now more eager to make more money, and people are getting more tired of the restrictions, and many ex-wager earners are suffering.  The outbreak situation, in the US, has not changed to make it more "safer" to reopen.  It is actually the opposite.  So if anything, re-opening the society (in the US, compared to other countries that has successfully contained the virus, perhaps not permanently, but at least better than what US) is going put people at a higher individual risk AND it could increase the chance of our healthcare system collapsing.  So, from what I can gather, the impetus to reopen is based on a one-sided "logic" if could even call it that.

 

The free-maket economy is not going to eliminate the outbreak, or for that matter the need for us to take the outbreak seriously. 

 

Edited by almostretired
delete

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Wonder how long it takes a cruise line from getting a go to actually being able to go. Sure it isn’t a week but???

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We were booked (deposit) for the 10/22 Serenity NYC to Quebec City.  Wondering how long before Crystal announces cancellation so we can file trip insurance claim on the flights.  I expect this will take months.  Yes this was to be our 1st Crystal cruise but not ready to take FCC until the dust settles.  From what I am reading it’s taking a long time to process and we are going through a new TA...feel very badly for her and the agency.

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49 minutes ago, 360Guy said:

We were booked (deposit) for the 10/22 Serenity NYC to Quebec City.  Wondering how long before Crystal announces cancellation so we can file trip insurance claim on the flights.

 

The fact that a cruise is cancelled has ZERO effect on air travel refund policies.  And if you are going to claim insurance coverage, you had best check the terms and conditions, especially the exclusions, for a passenger-initiated cancellation.

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I booked my flight via American Express Travel and paid with points.  I canceled the cruise a month ago and Amex told me to wait to cancel the flight because there is a window where they will refund 100% to me on a canceled trip. I think it was July for the October cruise

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7 hours ago, ChatKat in Ca. said:

I booked my flight via American Express Travel and paid with points.  I canceled the cruise a month ago and Amex told me to wait to cancel the flight because there is a window where they will refund 100% to me on a canceled trip. I think it was July for the October cruise


Kathy,

 

thanks for this info as I booked my Montreal flight with Amex points.

 

Nancy

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Remember that if you are using Amex MR points to directly buy travel, you are only getting an effective 1% rebate on your spend.  A penny a point is half what you can get with a 2% cash rebate card.

 

Now the way to go is to transfer your MR points into an airline program and buy your ticket with those miles.  Just transferred MR points into AF and got business class between the USA and Europe for about 55,000 points each way.  Had I used that as a cash equivalent, I'd have only gotten $550 for the same number of MR points.

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On 6/1/2020 at 10:50 AM, FlyerTalker said:

 

The fact that a cruise is cancelled has ZERO effect on air travel refund policies.  And if you are going to claim insurance coverage, you had best check the terms and conditions, especially the exclusions, for a passenger-initiated cancellation.

Fortunately the airlines are being very flexible on the tickets so we will be able to use the full value for other travel.  Appreciate you pointing this out.  

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We were just notified that October 14, 2020 Serenity from Quebec City to NYC has been officially canceled.  Now to make the decision of FCC or refund. 

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Posted (edited)

Looks like they're going to announce an earlier opening of Caribbean season with Serenity.    Not too keen on this territory before mid December. 

Edited by saminina

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On 6/2/2020 at 9:09 AM, FlyerTalker said:

Remember that if you are using Amex MR points to directly buy travel, you are only getting an effective 1% rebate on your spend.  A penny a point is half what you can get with a 2% cash rebate card.

 

Now the way to go is to transfer your MR points into an airline program and buy your ticket with those miles.  Just transferred MR points into AF and got business class between the USA and Europe for about 55,000 points each way.  Had I used that as a cash equivalent, I'd have only gotten $550 for the same number of MR points.

If you buy tickets with miles (Pay with points/miles) sometimes you are lucky and find a sale. I was shopping for flights and found a sale - If I'd paid cash the coach fare was $300 from Palm Springs to DFW and DFW to Montreal.  For 2. and then the open jaw Miami to DFW to PSP was included. $700 for 2 including the seat upgrades ....I about fell out of my chair for that fare.

Economy Plus)

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Just received notice that the October 30th Serenity cruise has been cancelled.

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Canada/New England season officially cancelled. Caribbean season extended with an October start.

 

BREAKING NEWS

  • Cruise Cancellations: Crystal Serenity 2020 New England & Canada Voyages

     

    UPDATED Friday, June 5, 2020 1pm EST 

    Like our guests, Crystal is eagerly anticipating the days when its ships can return to sailing the world again and welcome guests back on board. Unfortunately, the global Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact when and where this can happen.

    The Canadian government has determined that no cruise ships carrying more than 100 passengers are permitted to operate in Canadian waters until October 31, 2020. Because of this restriction, Crystal is compelled to cancel the planned 2020 New England & Canada itineraries aboard Crystal Serenity. We understand and apologize for the inconvenience and disappointment caused by this disruption to our guests’ planned Crystal vacation.

  •  

     

    We are pleased to provide guests booked on these affected sailings with Credits* equal to 125% of their cruise fare paid, based on fully-paid fare – valid on any Crystal experience (Ocean, River, Yacht or Expedition) embarking through December 31, 2023 - along with a refund of port charges, taxes, and fees, and air and hotel packages booked through Crystal.
  •  

     

    For guests who would like to cruise with Crystal this October through December, we will be introducing a new collection of 7- and 14-night Caribbean escapes aboard Crystal Serenity in the coming week to extend the season earlier in 2020.
  •  

     

    We encourage our guests to contact their travel advisor to assist them with rebooking their ideal future Crystal cruise. Full year voyage collections for each Crystal experience – through 2022 are available now to review and our 2023 Ocean collection will be online in early July of this year with 2023 deployments for River, Yacht and Expedition following in due course.

    With more than 30 years of cruising to the far reaches of the world, Crystal has a long tradition of implementing and maintaining the highest health and safety policies at sea. While our fleet is paused, the Crystal team is developing new procedures and policies that will support all public health and regulatory requirements and ensure that our guests’ vacations continue to be not only relaxing and pleasurable but safe and healthy. Details of these new measures and initiatives will be announced soon.

    Additionally, the inherent design of Crystal ships maximizes personal and public space, offering plenty of options for those who choose to keep a healthy distance during their voyage. All Crystal ships across the fleet including Ocean, River, Yacht and Expedition offer nearly double the space per person than ships of a similar size, which is among the highest space ratios in the industry and their social spaciousness will be further augmented through the new measures we will be implementing. Further, Crystal Endeavor and Crystal’s River ships are all-suite, featuring all-balcony suites and most staterooms on our two Ocean ships feature private verandas for fresh airflow. 

    Please know that our guests’ and crews’ safety is our number one priority and we will resume service only when our expert team as well as global health and government authorities indicate that it is safe to do so.

    We will be communicating these changes to our booked guests and their travel advisors directly. On behalf of everyone at Crystal, we thank our guests for their understanding and patience as we navigate this ever-changing situation, and we look forward to welcoming them on a future voyage.

    *The 125% Credits option is comprised of two coupons: a 100% Future Cruise Payment (FCP) representing cruise fare paid, and a 25% Future Cruise Credit (FCC) bonus discount. Credit coupons may be used separately or combined on any non-fully paid, future booking. Credits may be used with Crystal’s 2-for-1 Fares and Book Now Savings.

    Future Cruise Payment (FCP) may be applied to multiple future bookings and may be used towards deposit requirement on your new booking.

    Future Cruise Credit (FCC) may be applied to one booking as a savings; is not available to incentive groups, or guests under charter contracts; not combinable with any other savings – including Flex Fares, Best Available Fares (River) and Advance Purchase Savings; non-transferable, non-refundable, and cannot be used in lieu of the deposit requirement on your new booking.

    Note: If an affected guest is unable to redeem their Credits by December 31, 2023, they may request a refund of the original cruise fare paid. We ask that guests please allow up to 90 days from receipt of their request for refunds to be processed.

    To request a refund, please visit crystalcruises.com/requestrefund to submit the online form.

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