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Beardface

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About Beardface

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Raleigh, NC
  • Interests
    Cruising
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    MSC
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean

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326 profile views
  1. MSC is very much more upfront with their pricing than NCL. Yeah, you get these 'Free at Sea' promotional deals with your booking. Ooh, you can even add on Free wifi and a free drink package, awesome! Except.... Yeah, they might be 'Free' but there are still fees associated with each item you add on. Drink Package added on? $250-$400 per person to choose it. And that's just the one that I remember when I switched my booking from NCL to MSC late last year. NCL might advertise a lower up front price, but we ended up sailing cheaper in the Yacht Club on the Seaside for cheaper than a simple basic balcony would have been on the Encore (which, despite being a brand new ship wasn't marked up compared to the Escape). And we had a far, far more All Inclusive experience than we would have had on NCL
  2. But does that outweigh higher maintenance and operating costs as well as a higher crew to passenger ratio Especially during a time where you are effectively getting zero revenue while still incurring daily operational expenses.
  3. Yep, all of this. And lets be honest for a second, the cruise industry had probably grown a little too large for its own good in recent years, so a bit of downsizing here isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sunsetting ships in the mainline fleet that are 20+ years old is probably a good idea to keep everything fresh and pushing toward the future, especially given we know that there will be new guidelines and regulations coming out of this than there were going into it. You're probably looking at mandatory retrofitting across the industry before anyone is going to be allowed to sail in US waters again to bring everything up to the new medical codes that we all know are going to be coming. Getting rid of the oldest ships that will cost the most to bring up to code is probably just good business. And, lets not forget that its costing the lines money to keep these ships afloat right now. There are daily operating expenses that we know are hurting, otherwise we wouldn't be hearing about how much financial strain everyone is under. Scrapping the oldest ships, with likely the highest operating budgets with a skeleton crew, is probably something we are going to see everywhere. Its why the Vision, Millennium, Sovereign class ships are up for sale through Royal and why the Fantasy class is up for sale from Carnival. (Also happened to see the Dreamward class (SuperStar Gemini and SuperStar Aquarius, fka the Dreamward and Windward for NCL) up for sale as well, and they are 28 years old as well. And another added bonus, if they are able to drop off the older ships, then it leaves them room to keep innovating with new ships and new classes down the line while still keeping demand for each sailing strong, even if total demand drops in the short term.
  4. Vision Class (RhapsodyOTS) - 23 years old Radiance Class - 16-19 years old Sovereign Class (Majesty OTS) - 28 years old Millennium Class - 20 years old They're all getting up there and would not be shocked at all to see them all gone after this COVID period is behind us. Radiance Class is the only one where maybe they won't scrap them right away, but the Vision and Sovereign class are probably all but done. Millennium seems to be a good candidate to get outright sold given the introduction of the Edge and Apex.
  5. If they need money and there are no buyers, you could end up seeing a decent number sold for scrap just to get whatever they can out of them.
  6. Was pointed toward Apollo Duck last night based on a show by Josh Hocum, and..... Well... Looks like several Radiance Class ships, the Rhapsody of the Seas, the Millennium Class ships within Celebrity, a few Pullmantur ships, the old Sun Viking, some TUI ships, the Majesty of the Seas, and that entire class , some Azamara Ships, among many others, have all been put up for sale in the past month or so. For the record, there are several Carnival ships listed as well. It certainly looks like there is a looming selloff around the industry.
  7. Went on my first MSC cruise (and my first non-Royal cruise in 25 years) literally right before the lockdown happened and stayed in a Yacht Club balcony on the MSC Seaside for the same price we booked the Oasis balcony 6 years prior. I'm not going to lie, it was the best experience I've had on a ship. The ship within a ship concept is great for those willing to pay for it, and it doesn't have to break the bank to be experienced. That said, I am looking forward to getting back to Royal for our next, though now with us having a 2 year old it very well could end up with a slight detour through Disney before coming back.
  8. I don't fear them going OOB. I think both Royal and Carnival have enough other interests they could shutter (many other smaller subsidiary lines that will go away before the main one is in jeopardy) that in the long run, they'll be ok. I do worry about NCL, they weren't exactly a healthy company before this all hit, and they were one of the first to have financial issues reported after it all began. I agree with @joelheather earlier saying they are probably going to go through a merger, either hostile or arranged, and I think MSC will be the ones to do it. Their styles already align regarding the ship within a ship format (Haven in NCL, Yacht Club in MSC), and the new Project Leonardo that NCL is introducing is based on the Seaside class with MSC. There's already a lot of overlap there, and with MSC being private and financially propped up by a shipping industry, it just seems like a natural fit. The others? Outside of Carnival doing something like sunsetting the Princess brand because of the association with the outbreaks and merging those ships within another line, or Royal shuttering Azamara and putting it under Celebrity, I just don't see much happening. You'll probably just see a lot of older ships sold off for scrap to save money.
  9. I wonder if they'll work with any of the theme parks to offer a park and cruise plan like Disney obviously has and RCCL has with Universal. (That is, as a tack on to our 2016 sailing on the Freedom of the Seas, we added on a 3 day stay at Cabana Bay with 2 days worth of park passes that we booked with Royal, which included transportation to/from the airport to the resort and the resort to the port).
  10. Going to be weird to see the Seaside not porting out of Miami anymore. The ship was literally designed based on the architecture of that city with multiple venues named after it. Would have thought she would be a permanent mainstay there, even with the Seashore coming over, but I guess not. Maybe one day in the future. That being said, if any ship was going to head to Canaveral, I'm glad its her.
  11. Butcher's Cut. Though, the steaks in the YC are pretty good on their own
  12. Its equivalent to the Premium Drink Plan and it works all over the ship. For an additional $17 per person per day, you can upgrade to the Premium Plus which is literally anything you want.
  13. I am assuming you are talking about the NCL video they released last week. I just watched the video, and they are, in order. 1 - Health Screenings at Embarkation and constant temperature monitoring of passengers and crew 2 - New Air filtration - New Medical grade filters that remove 99.95% of airborne pathogens 3 - Disenfecting the ship before every sailing. Also continuous disenfecting of public areas 4 - Reduced capacities to allow better social distancing measures to take place. All current venues will be open, but may have hours shifted. 5 - Enhanced Medical Resources to provide medical centers with latest testing kits and supplies, better equipment as well as increasing onboard medical staff with a new medical head. 6 - Only visiting ports that are safe given the current environment, with areas that are willing to work with the line to ensure passengers are safe on shore. I'm not sure they are draconian measures. Heck, they sound like things they should have been doing all along. And it seems like it would be a logical permanent shift going forward, except for the social distancing aspect once the disease is behind us.
  14. There are no special lines once you are in the hands of Customs, which you are once you enter the baggage area. Embarkation on the Seaside was awesome. Showed up to the YC tent, signed some papers to say we were there, and was white gloves whisked through security to the YC lounge to finish paperwork. Once there was a group of about 6 of us, we were all escorted through the health check and onto the ship. We were the last ones in our group to check in, so we were taxi to Top Sail Lounge in 15 minutes. Disembarking was similar. When we were ready, our Butler escorted us down the elevator and to the head of the line, much to the ire of one lady in line who was demanding to speak to security because we cut them in line. At that point we were just another passenger needing to get through US Customs, so we had to wait in all the wonderful lines with everyone. Even then, I think we were Top Sail Lounge to taxi in 30 minutes
  15. I don't think you are going to see any of the CLIA requirements are going to be relaxed until the global numbers start to significantly decline, signaling we're past the worst of the disease. South Korea, long championed as the pinnacle of keeping this under control, is beginning to see their cases spike now that they are starting to relax their quarantine measures. Given the very public backlash and the fact that multiple governments have specifically scapegoated the cruise industry for the global spread of the disease, this industry is going to be the absolute last to relax its standards. Not because they won't want to relax, but because they know the ramifications of appearing to not be doing everything in their power to stop it from happening on their ships could cause irreparable damage to the entire industry. Lets not beat around the bush here, the cruise industry as a whole is in jeopardy of completely going out of business, and there are prominent people globally who would relish that happening. The ships themselves aren't environmentally friendly at all, the countries the ships port into largely hate the influx of tourists, there isn't a good reputation on being a member of the cruise staff, and its hard to contain an outbreak of a disease on a ship, as we've all seen the past few months. So yeah, tangent aside, until those global numbers start significantly tailing off, I would expect the cruise industry to be very selective on who they allow on ships going forward. Yes, I would expect you to have to get a doctors note if you are a high risk demographic. I also would not be shocked if local governments force 14 day stay-at-home quarantines on any of their citizens returning from a cruise. Like it or not, there is a global stigma right now that cruising is not safe in the era of COVID-19, and the industry is going to need to bend over backward to at least attempt to show it is, knowing they simply don't have the money to not completely bow to political pressures.
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