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  1. Cash flow doubtless is a factor in the delay in processing refunds. But other factors come into play. In another thread, I quoted an explanation from BWI Vince of factors impacting refunds. His career has been in this territory. If you want to see his explanation (as quoted by me), you might check out post #20 in a thread titled "An Apology" on the Silversea board. I hope you do not give up on Silversea. I think you will be missing something wonderful if you do.
  2. I take your point. The cost of selling through agents must be very high for the cruise line, and it's not at all clear to me in the internet/social media environment what value an agent adds for a knowledgable traveler loyal to a given line. I now (very happily!) book directly with SS. A few years ago, I booked a cruise on a luxury line other than SS. The agent -- highly recommended by others on social media -- offered little more than sharing of commission and a tour sponsored by the agent's consortium. The agent did, however, carelessly include with the cruise ticket/documents a copy of the agent's invoice from the cruise line. It specified the commission the agent was earning (not including any incentives for booking lots on that line.) I was astonished by the high amount of the commission. Having said this, I think an independent (pre RCI) SS could have more easily pushed direct sales than can the current RCI/SS line. If SS went more aggressively to direct sales, one can imagine the agent community retaliating by directing passengers away from RC ships.
  3. Renaissance -- not quite a luxury line -- had the same idea some years ago: cut out the agent and sell direct. The agent community rebelled, this initiative bit them in the tail, and the line failed.
  4. It would be good to see confirmation and clarification of meaning of "the inaugural cruise season." Moon cruises still appear on website (though that fact may not be dispositive). Nonetheless, moving Moon directly to cold layup may make a lot of sense and save a lot of money.
  5. An interesting idea. I would resist this, because I have been very disappointed by Crystal's ability to deliver hot dishes at anything like the proper temperature. I stay in standard cabins, not suites. I understand that butlers for suites have warming ovens and are better able to deliver food at appropriate temperatures.
  6. Thanks for your thoughts. This sentence brings up two more possibilities: Walking in hallways would be one way. So walking on the port hallway would be aft facing, and the starboard hallway forward facing. This might require some extra steps (not always a bad thing) as one circles around to one's room. The same for stairs (as I recall there are two sets of stairs between most decks). Elevators are more problematic. Perhaps there could be a strong expectation that, absent disability, people would take stairs if the trip was less than three decks.
  7. I am interested as to what in the "experience" would be a deal breaker for you (and others!). I too worry about "the experience" as I look ahead. Would being required to wear a mask outside the cabin be a deal breaker? Requirement for daily COVID19 testing? Return to (early and later) fixed sittings for dinner in Waterside in order to ensure social distancing? Much more restricted experience in Marketplace (metering of people entering, no self-service, etc.) Restricting access to speciality restaurants to guests in suites? Metering of people in Cove, Avenue, etc. to maintain social distancing? Requiring tickets/reservations for shows? Closing swimming pool and hot tubs? Please understand: I am not proposing any of these steps. Instead, I am curious as to limits of guests' tolerance for a (perhaps only temporarily) changed "experience"
  8. I understand your points, though I am more hopeful about the emergence of an effective vaccine. I understand that we must weigh what risks we are willing to take. But I think a parallel question is: If we have negotiated the risk issue and want to return to cruising, what compromises are we willing to endure in the traditional luxury cruise experience? Are there some aspects of the experience that we deem essential and we would not cruise if they were absent? Are there some requirements (wearing of masks, etc.) that would be deal-breakers?
  9. I think a lot will depending on the circumstances "once sailing starts again." If there is an effective vaccine and all passengers are required to be vaccinated, if there is an accurate, easily administered test, etc., the buffets may be much the same as before the suspension of cruising. If sailing resumed this month, major changes would be necessary in La Terrazza.
  10. To answer your question, of course I wouldn't. You are writing as though cruising begins tomorrow -- with no discernible progress in testing, vaccination, therapeutics. I would need to be comfortable with at developments in at least two of these three categories before I expect I would cruise. Please note that I referred to 2022 as a date when cruising might return to something resembling normalcy. I would not take a cruise this summer, and I do not know that Silversea will offer any. I believe that things may be very different (and better) a year from now. If not, I won't be sailing. It may be that I have more confidence than you in the power of medical science and the resilience of humanity. I am old enough to remember the scourge of another virus, polio, which like COVID2 spread from person to person. For many, it greatly limited acceptable activities in the summer ("polio season"). A vaccine was developed, and in much of the world polio became little more than a sad memory. The resources being devoted to a COVID2 vaccine are far, far greater than those supported by the March of Dimes for polio. I sailed on Whisper from Dublin on the afternoon of 9/11/01. There was lots of time on that crossing for speculation on the precariousness of travel, the likelihood that people would not fly anymore, etc. The Port of New York was closed and the ship was diverted to Philadelphia. My flight from PHL may have had 10% occupancy. A holiday cruise that December that would otherwise have been fully booked had few guests. But travel eventually rebounded. These are desperately sad days. Many have died. Many will bear psychic scars from this ordeal. Many have lost their jobs or their businesses. I think often of those in the hospitality industry (most immediately our beloved crew) who can least afford the loss of a paycheck, benefits, etc. But I have hope -- no! confidence -- that we will negotiate these challenges as we have so many others. Again, I think we have to be clear about timing. Are we talking only about the current reality? Are we dismissing the possible development of powerful therapeutics? In any case, even currently it is hardly accurate to suggest that a person with confirmed COVID19 should instantly receive prompt care in an ICU. A very, very small percentage of the people with COVID19 end up in an ICU. A pulmenologist who knew of my sailing and who also enjoys cruising on luxury ships remarked last week that s/he thought that a person who presented with symptoms might enjoy better and safer care from the doctor and nurse on a luxury cruise ship than by going to a hospital A&E/ER.
  11. I very much agree with you, if you are speaking about an instant re-opening of the industry (say, cruises beginning early June.) I am not certain that the odds would be the same for cruises in 2022. A lot can happen in 18 months. Some of it may be unwanted (a second wave, evidence that one does not gain immunity from having been infected, suggestions that the vaccine would have to be administered more than once, etc.) Other developments may be very encouraging, as in development of an efficacious vaccine, launch of effective therapeutics, availability of low-cost, easily administered, highly accurate tests. I agree that the cruise experience of the future will likely be different in various ways from the experience of the past. However, I would be interested to know what in your opinion those "exceptional opportunities" for "exceptional leadership" might be.
  12. CDC says that the efficacy range of the vaccine for seasonal flu is 40-60%. So 40% is at the bottom end of the range. And the seasonal flu vaccine presents particular challenges because authorities must predict many months in advance (in order to manufacture/distribute the vaccine) what strains will be circulating that year. Though the COVID2 virus will mutate a bit, the nature of the virus will be fairly well understood and the guessing game will not be necessary. Great strides are being made in testing and I would imagine there would be even greater progress by the time the industry opens up again. Especially on smaller ships like those of Silversea, even daily testing of guests and crew could be undertaken. It would hardly be a great imposition. I assume you are positing a 10% chance of dying. The mortality rate from COVID 19 is nowhere near to that. This speculative figure seems to be unnecessarily alarmist.
  13. I agree that the industry is not going to recover this year -- or perhaps even in early 2021. But your doomsday scenario does not allow for the power of medical science and the possibility -- I would imagine likelihood-- that an effective vaccine will be widely available in a year or so, that cruise lines will require proof of vaccination, and that effective and fast acting therapeutics will be available in the event some passenger/crew member still contracts and spreads the virus.
  14. Hooks on which to hang some optimism? First: the discovery/production of an effective vaccine. It won't happen tomorrow or next month. But, given the resources being devoted to this matter (and the profits to be earned by successful producer!), I have little doubt that there will be a vaccine available within the next year or so. Many of us travelled with yellow fever cards. We had to have smallpox immunizations. This may be similar. Second, the discovery/production of a highly effective therapeutic. Again, perhaps not tomorrow or next month. But in time (I think/hope) for my next cruise. BTW: Getting annual medical certification of fitness to travel would not be entirely novel. I have to get such certification for the medical evacuation insurance I carry. The doctor says s/he does many of these.
  15. I believe that the atmosphere is far more like a WC than a series of b2b's. It would start with a very nice pre-departure hotel stay/cocktails/dinner for bonding. There are various receptions/parties during the voyage. There are also some quite special land-based events at various ports for Grand Cruise passengers (dinner/cocktails at places to which public access is not generally easy). I believe there are also several nice gifts distributed during the cruise.
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