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About Laurostar

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    Cool Cruiser
  1. As a recent past guest of Azamara I received an email survey last night from Azamara which I found the most inane survey I have seen for some time. I would have thought that the number one topic of all cruise lines would be the attitude of past guests as to whether they still had sufficient confidence in the cruise industry following Covid 19 to undertake another cruise in future and specifically with Azamara. Yet this survey never asked that question. Rather it was asking about potential destinations, possible departure dates over the next two years and various qualitative assessments of issues of concern/interest and there was simply no provision to say anywhere, well actually I will not to choose to cruise again, be it Azamara or anyone else , which after being regularly cruising since 1978, is where I now am at personally. So completing that questionnaire as structured may well lead to quite misleading responses and one just wonders whether the management of RCI/Azmara are just kicking the can down the road and remain in denial that it is going to be a very long and painful road for the cruise industry to recover from what has happened. I was left with the distinct impression that the last thing the survey was intended to do was ask the most fundamental question of a past guest, are you likely to cruise again and if so when and then with whom? I really enjoyed my time on board Azamara but that must be tempered by the personal risk now attaching to cruising that was so evident from the scale and extent of infection on various cruise ships, particularly Diamond and Ruby Princess and Artania. For me, one who is in his mid 60's and with no health issues, I would prefer not to take any unnecessary risks, pity that Azamara management seemingly does not want to know what its past guests are truly thinking. I hope for the future of Azamara and its wonderful people that I am an absolute exception to most of its past travelers, who will continue traveling with them as they have done so in the past.
  2. Very Busy day in Fremantle tomorrow with FIVE cruise ships in Port World Seaborne Sojourn Amsterdam Crystal Serenity Pacific Princess Given the big cloud over the cruising industry globally I suspect it is a fair bet to say that we will never see that many cruise ships in Fremantle on one day ever again.
  3. According to Fremantle Ports, Seven Seas Mariner has arrived at Fremantle but is sitting off Gauge Roads between the coast and Rottnest Island. Probably waiting for Costa Deliziosa and QM2 to depart this afternoon/ evening as things may be a bit chaotic at the moment handling all the departing Pax. Also note that CMV's Vasco da Gama which was hoping to land in Colombo has been denied entry and will now be coming to Fremantle due 27/3/2020 to disembark passengers then leaving on 30/3.
  4. According to Fremantle Ports it is due to arrive in Fremantle on 27 March and leaving on 30 March 2020. Looks like it will be coming to drop off passengers like QM2 and also like QM2 then sailing elsewhere without pax. I understand that if they have been at sea for 14 days and no outbreak, the pax could then land in Australia for flying onwards to destinations without quarantine period. Fremantle is exceptionally busy handling terminating cruises with Costa Deliziosa, QM2 and Seven Seas Mariner all in port today As well as The World with Amsterdam , Seaborn Sojourn and Crystal Serenity all due in the next week.
  5. Fremantle Ports now showing Majestic Princess is due to leave at 12.30 WST today and next port is Penang? I thought it was going straight into into Dry Dock in Singapore?
  6. As per the main Cunard Board, The Captain of QE has just announced to all pax that itinerary of QE will be changed such that it will not now be going to Asia and Japan on route to Alaska. It will be staying in Australian and New Zealand waters for an extended period and will be doing a Tasmania and a couple of New Zealand cruises and then finishing with a 28 day circumnavigation of Australia before then crossing the Pacific to Vancouver. The bookings of 27 and 27 April at Fremantle that appeared yesterday are part of the circumnavigation cruise. Apparently the bookings for these new cruises open 21/2/20.
  7. So its visit to Fremantle on 27/4 and 28/4 will be as part of the circumnavigation of Australia cruise. Good to hear no change to the Alaskan season. All good.
  8. Further to concerns on the QE voyage from Melbourne via Asia to Alaska, it appears that something might be going on. Yesterday 18/2/2020, Fremantle Ports Cruise ship Schedule added the following movement Arrival 27/4/2020 Queen Elizabeth 0630 Departure 28/4/2020 Queen Elizabeth 1800 Port of Origin and departure not indicated. If this is right then looks as though contingency planning may be no travel to Alaska, rather staying in Australia and New Zealand until Mid April and then if coming through Fremantle, most likely then to Colombo then Suez back to the UK or Mediterranean. QM2 is currently in Fremantle Port, leaving this evening for Darwin after over-nighting here yesterday. Majestic Princess is due in Fremantle on 22/2 with onward cruise to Singapore being terminated here with all pax being offloaded and will now be staying in port for 2 nights when they will then proceed to Singapore for Dry-docking without Pax. Meanwhile Arcadia rerouted away from Asia will be arriving in Fremantle on 10/3 after traveling around the south coast of Australia for an overnight stay, departing for Colombo on 11/3 when it will resume its previous World Cruise Itinerary. Meanwhile Princess have formally announced yesterday that Sapphire Princess which is currently in Singapore and due to proceed to Japan is currently cancelling cruises in March and will be relocating to Australia, starting with a series of 8 cruises from Fremantle on 1 May 2020 including a circumnavigation cruise of Australia later in the year. All in all a very fluid situation at the moment with a lot of activity at Fremantle Port. Hope for the sake of future guests of Queen Elizabeth that the Fremantle booking is only for contingecies and does not play out.
  9. Looks like changes are being made to Queen Elizabeth as well with a booking appearing today into Fremantle Ports register in on 27/4/20 and out on 28/4/20 destination unknown. Looks like the QE departure from Melbourne to Japan and then onto Alaska on 5/3/2020 is not happening and the Alaskan cruising season is being canned if this booking in Freo is correct. Probably heading for the Med via Colombo and Suez. Will also mean QE is extending its Australian season for 6 weeks before heading to Europe. Going to be a lot of bargains around.
  10. Looks like its not the only Cunarder coming to Fremantle with the Fremantle Ports Cruise Ship Schedule showing a new update today that Queen Elizabeth is booked to now arrive in Fremantle on 27/4/20 overnighting and then out on 28/4 destination unknown, but looks like the Alaska season is being scrapped and probably heading back to the UK, suspect via Colombo and Suez. QE was supposed to be leaving Melbourne on 5 March 2020 for Singapore, Japan and then on to Alaska so looks like the Cunard/Carnival schedulers have been absolutely working overtime with all these changes to QM2, now looks like making substantial changes with QE and the arrival of Sapphire Princess in Fremantle from 1 May 2020 for a series of 8 visits. This will probably mean that Cunard will extend their Australian season for QE from 5 March until late April 2020. Going to be a few bargain basement sales in the next few weeks to quit all this this inventory. The cruise companies must be in a world of pain right now.
  11. Looks like Fremantle is in for a busy time over the next few weeks. QM2 is due in tomorrow 18/2 for 2 nights after being rerouted with no stops in Asia and is now doing a partial circumnavigation of Australia returning to Freo on her original scheduled stop on 11/3 then proceeding on her scheduled itinerary to Cape Town and Southampton. All pax on the scheduled visit of Majestic Princess on 22/2 are being offloaded at Fremantle and is proceeding to Dry Dock in Singapore without passengers. Arcadia has announced that they are not proceeding to Asia from Australia on the world voyage and will now be coming around the bottom of Australia arriving in Freo for two nights on 10/3 before proceeding direct to Columbo to rejoin the original schedule. Would also appear that both Costa Deliziosa arriving Freo on 16/3 and CMV's Astor on 4/3 may also be doing the same and rerouting away from Asia. As previously covered Sapphire Princess has recently been booked for a number of Freo visits this year starting in July. Can see a few ships being in Asia being removed or laid up this year until confidence returns in what will be a very tough year for the global cruise industry
  12. Looks like cruise planners at major cruise lines are looking at activating Contingency Plans B, C and D in the light of the severity of the impacts on the cruise market globally but especially in the Asia Pacific Region. Apart from the immediate events such as QM2 bypassing Singapore and coming straight to Fremantle which now entails QM2 being in Fremantle port from 1.00 pm 17/2 until 2000 19/2, other things are changing on expected arrivals. Of particular note Sapphire Princess is now slated on crusie ship movements for a number of visits to Fremantle Port from 24/7 /20 through to October 2020, when according to current schedules it is supposed to be cruising in Japan. Given the issues with Diamond Princess in Japan at the moment I suspect that the Japanese cruise market might be pretty hammered for at least this year, so looks like alternatives are in advanced planning. Looks to me as though Asia is pretty much going to be a no-go zone for the cruise industry this year, but given existing softness in the Australian market this year, even before the virus (just ask Celebrity about that) it would seem a big ask for the local market to step up and fill increased capacity from reloctions such as may be contemplated for Sapphire Princess. Would not be surprised to see some early retirements from fleets plus maybe some layups may be in the wings. Has happened before in the early 1970's when the oil crisis hit. Going to be a very challenging year for the Cruise companies, something being reflected in the significant declines in their share prices. They are pretty leveraged so drastic steps may have to be made. Interesting times
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