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Spif Barwunkel

A LONGER LAYOVER TIME BETWEEN SAILINGS

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Posted (edited)

There has been lots of discussion relevant to the future of cruising and its co-existence with Covid-19. While Celebrity awaits official directions – as do all cruise lines - based on CDC guidelines, we the cruising crowd continue to discuss what those instructions could or should entail.  From embarkation to buffets to public spaces, with masks on or off, enough has been written to fill a section in the library.

 

I have not seen any commentary regarding the completion of a cruise and the beginning of another. I think this is a significant factor which deserves consideration. Moreover, debarkation would be affected, in a positive way, with changes to beginning the subsequent sailing.

 

I believe that the ensuing cruise should depart the following day, no earlier than 6:00pm. Yes, itineraries would have to be modified and perhaps ports-of-call switched around, or, in some cases deleted, for other ships as well. However, the logistical inconvenience that would occur, for the short term, would give way to a safer cruise on a more sanitary ship. That happens because the cleaning process is not hurried, perhaps to the point of cutting corners in order to accommodate the next onslaught of passengers. The crew will have more time to thoroughly fulfill their responsibilities and extra time to rest and rejuvenate. Hold firm to not boarding passengers before 12:00 noon. Again, more time for the crew to ease into the start of a new day before accepting new guests.

 

Of course, some might assume that the added down time would lose money for the company. I don’t think so. When a ship is not sailing and no passengers on board, it is not rigorously burning fuel, wasting food or soiling eating utensils and linens. Hence, less fuel consumption, water usage and trash operations.

Debarkation would not be as frenzied. Whereas you want to empty the ship as quickly as possible, hurrying passengers along in a cattle-call format will not be necessary. A more easy-going approach can be utilized.

 

I can’t help but feel that this approach will fit very well with forthcoming changes. Actually, I think it’s a better process even if C19 is not part of the equation.

 

Edited by Spif Barwunkel
grammar

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Unless forced to, I don’t see this happening.

Every day passengers are not onboard is lost revenue.  Busy ports; Rome, Barcelona, Miami, Port Everglades, Galveston, etc  would  be able to accommodate far fewer ships if they arrive 7a.m. and leave at 6 the next day that means 1 less ship at each berth.  

 

Having everyone one off by 9-9:30 and not having boarding until 3 vs 11 (departure permitting)  would provide extra time for cleaning and those that fly in on the embarkation day would have more breathing room for delayed flights.

 

If cruising starts with 30-50% of ships sailing your plan  could work.

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Posted (edited)

Not only would the ship lose a full day's revenue, but it would cost them an extra day's  port fees. If you think those costs wouldnt be reflected in increaeed costs in your cabin booking, youre kidding yourself. I doubt that exta day would happen unless the line was forced to do so by law. 

Edited by mom says

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whats the difference between sailings vs going to individual ports?

 

to me, the exact same procedures need to be followed anytime anyone leaves the ship. period. end of story. taking a week between cruises is pointless if you let people get right back on at all the other ports. its literally the same thing. people mingling with the natives on land. 

 

more problems but no practical solutions. just  crusies to private islands and back. 

 

 

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It seems to me that after major noro outbreaks, ships undergo deep cleaning without spending an extra 24 hours in port. They may be a few hours late departing, but they more or less keep to their normal schedule. As far as I know, the process and time required to deep clean for the SARS-CoV-2 is not significantly different. I just can't see cruise lines voluntarily lose a full day's profit while absorbing doubled embarkation port costs for each and every cruise. Especially given the financial conditions of most line, and the recent de-emphasis by medical experts on surface contact as a major contributor to COVID-19 infection,

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What about all those cruisers who are in the middle of a B2B, would they be expected

5 hours ago, Spif Barwunkel said:

 

I believe that the ensuing cruise should depart the following day, no earlier than 6:00pm. Yes, itineraries would have to be modified and perhaps ports-of-call switched around, or, in some cases deleted, for other ships as well.

 

 

 

 

What about all those cruisers who are in the middle of a B2B, will they be expected to disembark the ship and find accommodation on shore for 1 night? and If so who picks up the tab for this?

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28 minutes ago, GeroWA said:

What about all those cruisers who are in the middle of a B2B, 

Maybe no B2B cruises will be allowed on initial sailings of 3/4 days ( from ports that you can drive to).

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As corona virus can survive on surfaces for up to 72 hours, a three day gap between sailings seems a very sensible way to go initially.

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10 hours ago, Spif Barwunkel said:

The crew will have more time to thoroughly fulfill their responsibilities and extra time to rest and rejuvenate

If you think that the crew will not be assigned additional duties to "fill the time" of the extra day, you're a bit naive.  As for "rest and rejunvenate", they are paid for a 12-14 hour day, they will be working those same hours, whether passengers are onboard or not.  Cruise lines will not adopt any more sanitation procedures than whatever is mandated.

 

While the cruise line may see reduced cost for a day without passengers, it will also miss a day of onboard revenue.  The operating costs will be covered by the cruise fares, which will still be the same as they charged for a 7 day cruise, even though you only get a 6 day cruise, because we all know there is no way they will sit a day without revenue.  However, onboard revenue is the profit center for the ship, and missing 14% of their profit stream will be unpalatable.

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Posted (edited)

O.P.  good thoughts!

I always thought there should be a one day gap with a much less frantic turnover process.

 

Ports ( and some airports like FLL) are very congested as some pax are leaving while others are arriving,  Always seems rushed and hurried... and the staff gets no time to  truly prepare properly. Why not let everyone take a deep breath and focus on getting the ship ready? 

 

Our Captain on EDGE mentioned during his lecture that  with so many ships coming on line, it  would necessitate that  ships would  have diff scheduled  arrival/ departure days in the future.. Not everyone would cruise on Sat and Sunday..but schedules would be  have to become staggered. 

 

OP raises what might be  the next logical step..  The new normal....less stress on everyone,  and ships  could be cleaned better and sanitized by specialized service companies that use very high tech methods.  Many offices are having this  done this  on weekends already.  NYC subway cars are now being cleaned overnight.  At first fewer ships will be sailing so that would be a good time to try  something like this.

 

  Added costs for all...but might be worth the price! Maybe cruising should be a more upgraded  activity, less like a day at the mall....cruise less but enjoy more!

Edited by hcat

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11 hours ago, Spif Barwunkel said:

There has been lots of discussion relevant to the future of cruising and its co-existence with Covid-19. While Celebrity awaits official directions – as do all cruise lines - based on CDC guidelines, we the cruising crowd continue to discuss what those instructions could or should entail.  From embarkation to buffets to public spaces, with masks on or off, enough has been written to fill a section in the library.

 

I have not seen any commentary regarding the completion of a cruise and the beginning of another. I think this is a significant factor which deserves consideration. Moreover, debarkation would be affected, in a positive way, with changes to beginning the subsequent sailing.

 

I believe that the ensuing cruise should depart the following day, no earlier than 6:00pm. Yes, itineraries would have to be modified and perhaps ports-of-call switched around, or, in some cases deleted, for other ships as well. However, the logistical inconvenience that would occur, for the short term, would give way to a safer cruise on a more sanitary ship. That happens because the cleaning process is not hurried, perhaps to the point of cutting corners in order to accommodate the next onslaught of passengers. The crew will have more time to thoroughly fulfill their responsibilities and extra time to rest and rejuvenate. Hold firm to not boarding passengers before 12:00 noon. Again, more time for the crew to ease into the start of a new day before accepting new guests.

 

Of course, some might assume that the added down time would lose money for the company. I don’t think so. When a ship is not sailing and no passengers on board, it is not rigorously burning fuel, wasting food or soiling eating utensils and linens. Hence, less fuel consumption, water usage and trash operations.

Debarkation would not be as frenzied. Whereas you want to empty the ship as quickly as possible, hurrying passengers along in a cattle-call format will not be necessary. A more easy-going approach can be utilized.

 

I can’t help but feel that this approach will fit very well with forthcoming changes. Actually, I think it’s a better process even if C19 is not part of the equation.

 

You've put a lot of time and thought into something that's not going to happen.  There is already too much going into "deep cleaning" at stores, restaurants etc.  Most infections are from virus in the air, not surfaces.

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Spif- you raise a very interesting issue in your post.  So there are two ways to do this I think. Let's use a 7 day cruise as example.

1) There could now be 6-day cruises (less expensive hopefully) with day 7 being turn-around day for crew only. No schedule changes at the departure port.  But one less port or sea day on board. So at most 1 cancelled port stop in current schedules.

2) There could be 7 day cruises with Day 8 being the turn-around day.  So all future cruises would need to be shifted forward by one day in their schedule but of course there would be a compounding effect over time.  So cruises would leave any day of the week instead of mostly Sat or Sun.  I see this the less popular and more problematic choice for currently scheduled cruises.  What do you think?

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I cannot even imagine that this would happen, nor does it need to.  The costs alone would price most people out of cruising for good.  I could see them hiring more shoreside staff to help do a deeper cleaning before boarding.   Could possibly happen for a few months? Perhaps but I doubt it.  Most of the infection comes from air particles, so all that cleaning would add little benefit

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, phoenix_dream said:

  Most of the infection comes from air particles, so all that cleaning would add little benefit

Exactly.  Much of this "deep cleaning" at restaurants, retail stores etc is a waste of time and money.  I feel sorry for the business owners who are being forced to do so much of it.  We were in a large retail store yesterday where someone with covid reported they had shopped earlier in the week.  They were told to "deep clean" the entire store overnight.  It's getting beyond ridiculous.

Edited by bouhunter

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Lines used to do this - a generation ago (or more...).  My first cruises in 1972 had a day between...I think.  Well, I gained a boyfriend int he crew and the ship had a night in port before sailing the next day.  He would visit me that day/night.  That changed in 1973 when he moved to a different ship.  EM

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1 hour ago, Essiesmom said:

Lines used to do this - a generation ago (or more...).  My first cruises in 1972 had a day between...I think.  Well, I gained a boyfriend int he crew and the ship had a night in port before sailing the next day.  He would visit me that day/night.  That changed in 1973 when he moved to a different ship.  EM

I love romance.  So little of it on CC!

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7 hours ago, BigAl94 said:

As corona virus can survive on surfaces for up to 72 hours, a three day gap between sailings seems a very sensible way to go initially.

 

I'm afraid the CDC does not actually support that statement. I cannot see a three day gap at all between sailings, for reasons already mentioned in this thread.

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If ships are forced to sail at reduced capacity, say 50%, then half the cabins are not used each sailing.  Those empty cabins are clean, disinfected and ready for use on the next cruise.  Then over the course of the second sailing the first 50% can be deep cleaned.  This means only common areas need be sanitized on turnaround day.  This can be accomplished by delaying boarding until late afternoon or early evening.  

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3 hours ago, phoenix_dream said:

I cannot even imagine that this would happen, nor does it need to.  The costs alone would price most people out of cruising for good.  I could see them hiring more shoreside staff to help do a deeper cleaning before boarding.   Could possibly happen for a few months? Perhaps but I doubt it.  Most of the infection comes from air particles, so all that cleaning would add little benefit

You are probably right of course about the deep cleaning.  But being right might not count for much here.  It is entirely about what the CDC and cruiselines agree to in order to resume cruising.  They might be forced to do some level of enhanced cleaning during the cruise and especially at turnover time.  New game now.  We are all wearing masks these days with not much science to support this.  Unless I have a N-95 special mask I am not being protected from the virus.  My cloth face covering or surgical mask does little to inhibit viral droplets.  Either direction.  Better than nothing but here we are all wearing masks.  So if the CDC says jump through our hoop and spend a lot of time and money cleaning surfaces, then thats what will have to happen.

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Cruise ships are really not all that different from all sorts of other places that tend to spread virus--Las Vegas, big hotels,

Disney, etc.

Would the same sorts of protocols then need to be instituted elsewhere?

Should Disneyland and Disneyworld close at least every other day for a deep cleaning?  150,000 people come and go each day, touch all of the guard rails and rest room door knobs and more...and then leave and are replaced by 150,000 new people--That's far more people in an enclosed space than any cruise ship...

Should Vegas close down after each group of new guests?  I guess that first, you'd have to fix the problem that everyone's stays there are staggered...Right now, over 100,000 people visit a limited number of large hotels each day and stay for an average of 3.5 nights...Those casinos can spread a lot of virus...show rooms too...Guess we'll have to require them to schedule guests and then close down between each group?

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, BigAl94 said:

As corona virus can survive on surfaces for up to 72 hours, a three day gap between sailings seems a very sensible way to go initially.

 

I don't think an extra day of deep cleaning at port is likely to help. The primary transmission route of of influenza viruses, coronaviruses, rhinoviruses, etc., is through the air (sneezing, coughing, or even talking). Extra cleaning of the ship may help reduce fomite transmission (contact with objects) but that isn't going to help once people board the ship and fail to wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer and begin shaking hands, sharing utensils in buffets, touching elevator buttons, using handrails, etc. Of course, shaking hands and sharing utensils (in buffets) are unlikely to happen when cruising resumes. I think people will be much more careful with elevator buttons and handrails as well. I am an expert now at pushing elevator buttons with my elbow, and opening doors with the bottom of my shirt, etc. For those who need to use handrails on stairs, etc., bring gloves!  

Edited by MarkWiltonM

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Posted (edited)

I am totally befuddled by this conundrum, but I know that we will get there with change!  

Edited by Lastdance

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regarding the NYC subways cleaned at nite. doesnt that still leave literally hundreds of thousands of touch points dirty during the day? whats the point?

 

ditto even using every other cabin on a ship. whats the point. immediately upon stepping out of a cabin you can get infected by someone coughing on you or touching a rail. i guess in theory 50 percent less chance but still, anyone that leaves the ship for any reason is gonna have the chance of bringing somethign back with them so i think canceling all ports is the only way to keep the people happy. once on board, you never leave. zero chance of any other country contaminating us then. 

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Posted (edited)

Good thread and many good comments.

 

Those who fantasize that cruising will start up again on some near-term magical date (1 Sep?) and things will be "back to normal" need to read this.  Changes will occur, prices will increase, itineraries will be different, on board and embarkation/debarkation will be longer and require health checks.  Cruise lines have to figure out how they will recoup the $billion/month they are shedding while ships are laid up, and how to pay for those new ships that wont likely meet new CDC/national health safety guidelines.  Then they have to figure out how to get people back on board and new cruisers to give it a try...

Edited by Ride-The-Waves

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On 5/30/2020 at 5:07 PM, Spif Barwunkel said:

The crew will have more time to thoroughly fulfill their responsibilities and extra time to rest and rejuvenate.

 

There is nothing wrong with dreaming like this,  its part of the expectations management process....

 

Most people here are right though ,  the cruiselines simply aren't going to lose 1 day of revenue per sailing to overclean. 

 

I would be more comfortable with sailing at 50% occupancy,  and paying twice as much.   I could live with stewards acting more like housekeeping staff and not having to wait on us hand and foot.         

 

I actually envision a healthier cruising experience once things get going again.

 

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