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About mahdnc

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    ORD (03-?), SDF (97-03), PHL (83-96), LAX (82-83)
  • Interests
    cruising, national parks, photography, astronomy, blackjack, Pokemon Go
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity Cruises
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Of our cruises so far, our favorite is the Mediterranean; but I would love to do a Canal cruise!

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  1. This was published on May 27: Royal Caribbean announced today it has rehired over 100 employees that were laid off in April 2020 in order to help with the significantly long phone hold times. https://www.*****.com/sites/default/files/fb/phone-call-center.jpg Royal Caribbean Senior Vice President of Sales and Trade Support & Service Vicki Freed made the announcement during a webinar with travel advisors that it was aware of very long hold times, and the cruise line decided to bring back employees to help with the issue. "I do want you to know that we're not just talking about it, that we're doing something about it. And over the weekend, we've called back over a hundred people that we had to lay off to come back, call center people and help us in the call centers. So many of them came in on Sunday and Monday of this week. They're in training right now because there will have been more suspensions since we had our layoff and they should be up on the phones this week and next week." "So that should help on the long hold times. And again, I sincerely apologize to our value travel partners because this is not the kind of service we want to provide you. We want to give you excellent service." A separate email sent to a travel agent specified that Royal Caribbean hired back 130 reservation agents. https://www.*****.com/sites/default/files/styles/500px/public/blog-images/hire-back-letter.jpg?itok=MIn6FuAS Thanks to Katina Bradley for providing this email Royal Caribbean has experienced longer than normal wait times due to the "snowball" effect of multiple cruise cancellation announcements, that has overwhelmed call centers. Compounding the issue was the lay offs the company made last month, which reduced call capacity
  2. I believe that Silhouette is like Equinox--it got revolutionized, but not all of the work got done because the drydock work had to be quickly moved from Grand Bahama to Cadiz.
  3. During Wed's earnings call, Richard Fain also said (full transcript😞 Richard D. Fain -- Chairman and Chief Executive Officer "And Felicia, this is Richard, and I'll just comment on the process of returning to service. I think we don't expect that this is going to be that someday somebody blows a horn and all the ships start operating right away. We think that it will be a gradual start, a little bit like societies opening up gradually. And so we would imagine that we would start with smaller, with fewer ships and more likely to be more drive markets in the beginning, and it would then evolve and grow from there. I also think coming back to the earlier question, there's such big differences between what's happening in different countries, what's happening in the local society, what different mix of where the ships are and where they're going. So I also think that you'll see that high degree of variability depending on what area of the world you're talking about. But to answer your second question, we see that as a slow and gradual thing, not suddenly a lot of ships coming back in the market."
  4. They needed 30%-50% load factor to break even on an EBITDA basis which strips away RCL's huge depreciation cost. Royal Caribbean's 2017, 2018, and 2019 full year EBITDA was reported to be $2.7B, $3.0B, and $3.4B, respectively. Jason Liberty (RCL CFO): "Yeah. It's an almost impossible question to answer, because it's just fluid in the situation. What I would say is that, what we find is, for our newer ships, you need about 30% load factors to kind of breakeven on an EBITDA basis. And then they skew to about 50% load factor onto our older ships. So it's -- I would kind of -- if you wanted to kind of build the model, I would think about it that way. But we've done a lot to right-size our costs. We've done a lot to minimize our capital, so that as we return to service, you certainly do not need the entire fleet operating at full levels to breakeven. And you don't need load factors to be exceptionally high either. I think we just -- a slow return to service gets us back to a breakeven EBITDA in a relatively short period of time."
  5. Here is the complete transcript of yesterday's Q1 2020 earnings call, courtesy of Motley Fool: link
  6. @kwokpot and @kk99, thanks for the information.
  7. I am very sorry to hear about your sister's situation. This message board is a good forum to ask your particular question. When I look at it, most of the responses were geared towards answering your question. So hopefully you can talk to your sister and figure out what she wants to do. It would be nice if you posted back afterward on how things turned out so that we can also learn from your experience.
  8. Yes, the holder of the reservation should make/send the email request.
  9. Hi. My wonderful travel agent, who owned a small travel agency, tragically and suddenly passed away in 2017. With the new ownership came a new set of employees and the customer service was very bad. I sent an email to agencychanges@rccl.com requesting that the booking for my next cruise be transferred to another agency I specified and I detailed the reasons why. I did not receive any acknowledgement or reply, but in 7 days the new travel agent contacted me to let me know that the booking transferred over to her. So that is my suggestion--send an email to agencychanges@rccl.com and state your request and your reasons. Good luck. David
  10. My recent experience was more positive. I used the link and entered in the requested information for two bookings. In about a week I got an email confirmation that the $250 OBC was being applied to one sailing. About a month later, I got an email that saying that the other sailing didn't qualify for the OBC (which is what I suspected due to the booking date).
  11. A Bloomberg Business article detailing the bond offering: Behind Royal Caribbean’s Lifeline, a Shrewd Bond Market Maneuver It was published this afternoon. If you don't have a subscription, the website usually allows you a few free articles per month. Here is an excerpt containing the first few paragraphs: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. was in a quandary. The company needed to raise money while its ships were docked amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and the bond market was open if Royal Caribbean was willing to mortgage ships as collateral. Similar deals had worked for rivals like Viking Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Royal Caribbean had plenty of ships to offer. The problem? S&P Global Ratings had slashed its credit grade to junk, and the cruise company was expecting Moody’s Investors Service to follow. With those downgrades came steep restrictions on how much of its assets could be pledged to bondholders. The firm knew it needed more than the $1.66 billion of secured debt it would be permitted to raise to get through the crisis. Miami-based Royal Caribbean ultimately found a new structure that would let it sell more than $3 billion of debt linked to ships without running afoul of restrictions known as covenants embedded in its existing debt documents. It sold half of the debt as a traditional secured offering, and gave investors priority guarantees in the form of ship stock pledges for the rest.
  12. @ECCruise, my wife's family is from Asheville and that is where we got married some 34 years ago. They lived in Weaverville where her grandparents owned a small motel (there's that tourism connection). Her parents now live over in Etowah.
  13. All the warmth of video blackjack.
  14. Our family usually cruises once a year. Our 2020 cruise is actually scheduled for Jan 2021 and it is out of Sydney going to New Caledonia and Vanuatu. It seems like a bunch of things would have to fall in place for us to be able to take this cruise, so we may not be cruising this year as well. I have made back up plans for a land vacation in Death Valley National Park for our family to re-unite (below sea level) over the upcoming Christmas holidays.
  15. Here is a news article posted by NBC News: link Apparently there are 50 Flora crew members that have been diagnosed with coronavirus.
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