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ilikeanswers

Ten steps the cruise industry needs to take to recover

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I think it is all wishful thinking.

 

Three step plan.

 

1 Mothball the fleet.

 

2 Wait for a vaccine.

 

3. Resume cruises. With some enhanced sanitation, but largely the same as before.

 

Absent a vaccine it is impossible to operate a ship safely. And another Diamond destroys the industry to beyond the point that a vaccine would allow for a recovery.

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It is rather pointless unless and until people feel that cruising is safe from a health and well being perspective.

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Just my 2 cents...... 

 

Social Distancing:  From a practical standpoint, social distancing is impossible on a cruise ship - unless the capacity is reduced to a point where it's no longer profitable.  For example, how do they feed everyone and maintain social distancing?  There are a ton of issues here, but to name a few......  what happens to the MDR capacity if those 2-tops that are currently spaced about 4 inches apart are required to be 6 feet apart?  What happens to capacity when those shared 8-tops are eliminated and replaced with 2 or 4-tops?  What happens to capacity when the buffet is converted to another dinning room and pax who previously made a quick pit stop for food now spend 1hr+ eating a served meal?

 

Vaccinations:  A good step forward, but they will likely fall far short of the silver bullet solution many anticipate.  There is little reason to believe that a COVID vaccine will be far more effective than the common flu vaccine - which in a good year is about 50% effective and in a bad year 30% effective.  If you think that the availability of a vaccine is the "All Clear" for the high risk group, you really should read this article from stat.com (a highly respected health site).

https://www.statnews.com/2020/05/22/the-world-needs-covid-19-vaccines-it-may-also-be-overestimating-their-power/

 

The Crew:  The crew accommodations are the antithesis of social distancing.  I doubt this can be changed.

 

Passenger Experience:  If social distancing is required, it's hard to imagine that the cruise experience will resemble anything close to what it has been in the past.  This may be acceptable to some, but consider....  when you sit in the main show room, how many people are typically sitting within 6 feet of you?  If those seats are kept empty, what happens to the capacity of the show room?  Even if they add a third evening performance, seating is going to be rationed and many will not get in.  What would your favorite pre-dinner bar be like if seating was spaced for social distancing?  Think chair hogs were a problem?  Just wait until the number of pool lounges are reduced to allow for social distancing.

 

  In the final analysis I think there are currently two mutually exclusive requirements for cruise line recovery: 1) A safe environment, and 2) An enjoyable passenger experience for most.  Until/unless this coronavirus is wiped out, you can have one, but not the other.  I hope I'm wrong and cruise lines find a way to provide a safe environment while not degrading the customer experience significantly.  That would be a very good thing - I'm just not convinced it's possible.

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Second link worked. Thank you @ColeThornton!

 

Lots of wishful thinking, that at bare minimum, will take a long time to achieve. Ending interior hallways? Getting rid of all large ships? Ain't going to happen.

 

I would, however, be happy to see the cruise lines get in a battle of "who is more sterile than who?" We all would benefit from that.

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2 hours ago, ed01106 said:

I think it is all wishful thinking.

 

Three step plan.

 

1 Mothball the fleet.

 

2 Wait for a vaccine.

 

3. Resume cruises. With some enhanced sanitation, but largely the same as before.

 

Absent a vaccine it is impossible to operate a ship safely. And another Diamond destroys the industry to beyond the point that a vaccine would allow for a recovery.

I agree and that means probably two or three years wait.

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Posted (edited)

What a joke some of these points are. Get rid of the interior rooms? What's the alternative? Bigger balcony rooms only? That price increase will surely help cruising....

 

The most important thing they need to do is manage the public perception and reduce the panic. Easier said than done. The fear out there is way worse than the actual "problem".

Edited by Joebucks

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5 minutes ago, Joebucks said:

Get rid of the interior rooms?

I didn't understand the rationale on that one.

 

5 minutes ago, Joebucks said:

The fear out there is way worse than the actual "problem".

Please advise what you base that on.

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The article advocates the elimination of interior rooms. OK, but what about those "ocean view" rooms, the only difference is the window! Ain't gonna happen. There are all balcony ships, but the average cruise cannot afford that on a regular basis AND right now, it is the repeat cruisers who help the bottom line of the cruise line companies, not the once and one party-all-night crowd.

 

My biggest concern for the restart is how the cruise lines intend to handle the emergency lifeboat drill. Whether in public rooms or on an open deck (promenade-style), generally it is too close for too long. Along that same line of thinking, tendering could be a huge problem for sanitation requirements.

 

Jim

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1 hour ago, JimnKaren said:

The article advocates the elimination of interior rooms. OK, but what about those "ocean view" rooms, the only difference is the window! Ain't gonna happen. There are all balcony ships, but the average cruise cannot afford that on a regular basis AND right now, it is the repeat cruisers who help the bottom line of the cruise line companies, not the once and one party-all-night crowd.

 

My biggest concern for the restart is how the cruise lines intend to handle the emergency lifeboat drill. Whether in public rooms or on an open deck (promenade-style), generally it is too close for too long. Along that same line of thinking, tendering could be a huge problem for sanitation requirements.

 

Jim

My biggest concern is the elephant in the room:  which is what cruise lines are completely avoiding mentioning.  What will be their protocol for dealing with any COVID cases which might come up?

 

Will they isolate cases and hope they will be stabilized until the end of the cruise so they can be off-loaded without a problem?  Will they be dumped willy-nilly at the next port ?Will the line advise upcoming ports about cases on board?  Will the line carry additional medical staff and equipment to deal with infections which may come up?

 

Or, what seems to be the case, are they simply ignoring the question and hoping that enough avid cruisers will also?

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4 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

 What will be their protocol for dealing with any COVID cases which might come up?

Absolutely. Will every ship have medical professionals who can do all that an ICU unit can do? There are people who crash quickly.

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Love the fact that they trot out the "Trump bailed out the cruise industry" myth.  As for the "flags of convenience", first off, they don't even discuss the difference in cost that reflagging would entail, and it's effect on fares.  It also does not mention that the other 99% of the maritime community also uses the flags of convenience, but if we required that, then the price of our Iphones and TV's would increase, and we can't have that.  As for crew pay, that old saw is really worn out, there is a statutory minimum wage for all seafarers, regardless of nationality, flag state, or type of ship.  While this wage may be "inadequate" by first world standards, they are middle income figures for most of the crew's countries.  Finally, the minimum wage is set by the IMO and the ILO, of which the first world nations where the passengers come from, and who feel the crew pay is "inadequate", are member nations, and could have set the minimum higher if they felt there was an injustice.

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Honestly, I get very little out of articles such as these, which seem to be written to fill net-space (we used to say to fill up pages, lol). It's a lot of gobbledygook put together from other headlines with little or no factual evidence to support it.

 

A couple of examples: 

 

Inside cabins must go? What the hey?  The writer seems to think inside cabins were only added to ships in recent years in order to pack more passengers in and create greater density in order to make more money -- when in fact, the exact opposite is true. Newer, larger ships offer far fewer inside cabins than older ones. (And there is never any proffered explanation as to why inside cabins themselves are 'bad' -- presumably only because they contribute to more passengers on board?)

 

Big ships must go -- but why is that again?  Several times we are told that bigger ships cannot survive this COVID-19 world. And then, a bit further down, we read "Yes, ships have become too big (see step five) but much smaller ships than the Ruby Princess, such as the Greg Mortimer, also succumbed to COVID-19, with devastating results during the recent emergency."  Yet in the very next sentence they are on again about big ships, saying "building of ever-bigger and supposedly better cruise ships may no longer impress."  Oh-kay. Got it. Noted.

 

Also -- yes, the statement on Donald Trump intervening to bail out the industry is just false and sloppy reporting.

 

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1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

Love the fact that they trot out the "Trump bailed out the cruise industry" myth.  As for the "flags of convenience", first off, they don't even discuss the difference in cost that reflagging would entail, and it's effect on fares.  It also does not mention that the other 99% of the maritime community also uses the flags of convenience, but if we required that, then the price of our Iphones and TV's would increase, and we can't have that.  As for crew pay, that old saw is really worn out, there is a statutory minimum wage for all seafarers, regardless of nationality, flag state, or type of ship.  While this wage may be "inadequate" by first world standards, they are middle income figures for most of the crew's countries.  Finally, the minimum wage is set by the IMO and the ILO, of which the first world nations where the passengers come from, and who feel the crew pay is "inadequate", are member nations, and could have set the minimum higher if they felt there was an injustice.

 

I think you missed the point about Flags of Convenience. It is about the preception. The other 99% percent of the maritime industry are not dependent on convincing people to pay money to board their ships, therefore different rules apply. If they are going to get people back on ships they need to build up good will and make potential customers feel good about putting their money into the cruising industry. At the moment their reputation is trashed so if re flagging ships builds up the good will that makes people want to go cruising then that could be money well spent.

 

29 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

Big ships must go -- but why is that again?  Several times we are told that bigger ships cannot survive this COVID-19 world. And then, a bit further down, we read "Yes, ships have become too big (see step five) but much smaller ships than the Ruby Princess, such as the Greg Mortimer, also succumbed to COVID-19, with devastating results during the recent emergency."  Yet in the very next sentence they are on again about big ships, saying "building of ever-bigger and supposedly better cruise ships may no longer impress."  Oh-kay. Got it. Noted.

 

That is the point he is making. Telling people small ships are just as likely to have infection as big ships doesn't stop people from viewing big ships as bad. Big ships have a big PR problem, so getting rid of the ships that are viewed as problematic might also help re build the reputation of the industry.

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12 minutes ago, ilikeanswers said:

 

That is the point he is making. Telling people small ships are just as likely to have infection as big ships doesn't stop people from viewing big ships as bad. Big ships have a big PR problem, so getting rid of the ships that are viewed as problematic might also help re build the reputation of the industry.

 

Guess I put more stock in reality than perception. :classic_wink:

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8 minutes ago, ilikeanswers said:

I think you missed the point about Flags of Convenience. It is about the preception. The other 99% percent of the maritime industry are not dependent on convincing people to pay money to board their ships, therefore different rules apply. If they are going to get people back on ships they need to build up good will and make potential customers feel good about putting their money into the cruising industry. At the moment their reputation is trashed so if re flagging ships builds up the good will that makes people want to go cruising then that could be money well spent.

While I agree with you that the major hurdle is perception for the cruise lines, the "other rules" that apply to the 99% of the world's maritime industry, that carries 80% of the world's economy are simply whether it affects their pocketbook (and whether they would see the effect of reflagging cargo ships, or whether it would remain a "hidden cost")

 

As for "money well spent", reflagging cost is not a one time expense.  The article, like most, assumes that the cruise ships would be US flag in the US, and government studies have shown that for a cargo ship with a crew of 20-25, it is 2.7 times as expensive to operate as foreign flag ships, and a major cost factor is crew cost, which is about 5 times as expensive, so when you expand this study to a ship that has 1000-1500 crew, how much will operating expenses increase with reflagging?  And how much would cruise fares rise in consequence?

 

Much as I would desire a US flag cruise ship industry, I am enough of a realist to know that the industry would not survive the increased cost and loss of demand caused by higher fares.

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11 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

Guess I put more stock in reality than perception. :classic_wink:

 

If you spent any time in the advertising industry you would realise unfortunately preception is way more powerful than reality😣. It hits the emotional part of the human brain and we react more strongly to emotions than we do to facts. It is why memes are so poweful. People reading it don't care if it is true as long as it fits their preception of the world. If you can make people feel good about something they are more likely to purchase it. If people did care more about facts a lot of problems in the world would be fixed😂 but the cruise industry has to deal with the world as it exists and currently preception is king.

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Just now, ilikeanswers said:

 

If you spent any time in the advertising industry you would realise unfortunately preception is way more powerful than reality😣. It hits the emotional part of the human brain and we react more strongly to emotions than we do to facts. It is why memes are so poweful. People reading it don't care if it is true as long as it fits their preception of the world. If you can make people feel good about something they are more likely to purchase it. If people did care more about facts a lot of problems in the world would be fixed😂 but the cruise industry has to deal with the world as it exists and currently preception is king.

 

I know you are right. I am a very logical, factual-based person and have come to understand over many years that most people are not. They are unable to understand the concept of 'risk'. And personal anecdotes and "n of 1" experience is king....

 

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1 hour ago, ilikeanswers said:

 

That is the point he is making. Telling people small ships are just as likely to have infection as big ships doesn't stop people from viewing big ships as bad. Big ships have a big PR problem, so getting rid of the ships that are viewed as problematic might also help re build the reputation of the industry.

 

It is not just perception but a mathematical fact.  If 1 in 10,000 people have an undetected disease the chances of  at least 1 person being infected on a ship of 5000 is appx 5x greater than on a ship of 1000.  That changes if 1 in 100 have the disease as in that case both ship have over a 99% of having at least one case.  But if we have that many cases, the ships aren’t sailing.

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8 minutes ago, ed01106 said:

 

It is not just perception but a mathematical fact.  If 1 in 10,000 people have an undetected disease the chances of  at least 1 person being infected on a ship of 5000 is appx 5x greater than on a ship of 1000.  That changes if 1 in 100 have the disease as in that case both ship have over a 99% of having at least one case.  But if we have that many cases, the ships aren’t sailing.

 

 

Crap.  No one told me there was going to be a math test this morning.   I need more coffee.

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17 minutes ago, ColeThornton said:

 

 

Crap.  No one told me there was going to be a math test this morning.   I need more coffee.

History test in 3 hours.Bring your own beverage.

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Since cruise lines did not spread the virus as much as  air travel did, why not eliminate air travel or at least make sure that no one is seated closer than six feet.  Also, stop serving and food or drinks.  Make sure all passengers are not sick of have any temperature above 100.  

 

What about sports?  Need to reduce that crowds at spotting events to about 10% of current.  Also no food or drink sales.

 

What about movie and live theater?   Stop it all?? 

 

I guess even when that is over and people vaccinated we should all were maskd all the time. 

 

And no more sex. 

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3 minutes ago, lenquixote66 said:

History test in 3 hours.Bring your own beverage.

Early on a friend of mine posted about the difficulties of home schooling math and science.  She loves history but hates math, I now have an interest in history but hated it in school.

My response to her: 

You as a student: When am I ever going to need to understand an exponential function in real life?

Me: Why do I need to learn about some sick people during WWI?

Both of us now: Oh......

 

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