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Hlitner

The Cruise and Travel Industry is in a very bad place!

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Call this a mild rant based on a realistic analysis.  Here we are in mid-October when many folks are now trying to plan travel/cruising for 2021!  Many here on CC (and elsewhere) assumed that things would start to get back to normal in early 2021 but now it looks like that is very far from reality.  In fact, things seem to be getting worse...not better.  As we predicted last March (in some CC posts) COVID is here to stay!  It is not going away, it is not morphing into something else, and all the mitigation efforts (shut downs, masks, social distancing, travel restrictions) have only had marginal impact (that issue will be argued for decades).  

 

Where does this leave the travel industry?   Without a safe effective vaccine and widespread immunizations things are not going to improve.  It now appears that if (a big IF) there is a safe/effective vaccine it will not be in widespread use until at least the 2nd quarter of 2021...and even this is being optimistic.  Forget the promises of a vaccine by Nov or even Dec because the truth is that things in the drug world do not move that fast despite our best efforts.  It takes time to work through the various side effects and efficacy formulas.  We are already seeing evidence (in various surveys) that any attempt to shortchange the normal (and thorough) procedures would simply result in a low percentage of the population not seeking the vaccine because they do not want to be a Guinea Pig.  Also keep in mind that if we do get a safe/effective virus the initial distribution will be aimed at health care workers, first responders, and those in high risk groups).  It will be months until any vaccine is available to the general population about half of whom have already said they would not even be willing to get a vaccine.  That means the virus will still be spreading around the world (albeit at a slower rate) and there will be pressure on the travel industry to somehow mandate vaccinations (which will also lead to controversy and resistance from the anti-vaccine crowd).

 

Where does this leave the cruise industry?  In big big trouble.  The various mitigation procedures are almost laughable for a virus that is generally spread via the air.  Social distancing has been used for thousands of years against epidemics and is pretty effective.  Stay away from everyone and you are likely going to be fine.  But you cannot possibly stay away from everyone when in travel mode dealing with airports, buses, taxis, terminal buildings, cruise ships, elevators, stairs, etc etc.  Wearing a N95 mask might be helpful but does nothing to keep the virus out of your eyes!  And the truth is that other then N95 and KN95 masks, the other things being used for masks do little to keep you from breathing in any virus that might be in the air. 

 

No matter how careful we are when we travel there is going to be some risk.  And with that risk will come the inevitable infections followed by the inevitable panic and overreactions.  And what has not been discussed much here on CC is that all the cruise line mitigation plans talk about reducing capacity which substantially reduces profits and likely means more loses.  In order to deal with these loses cruise lines will either need to increase the cost of everything or further reduce quality and services.   We doubt if there is going to be a huge demand for cruises where folks are treated almost as prisoners ("you will wear your mask,"  "you will only get off the ship if you book our overpriced tours,"  "you will not socialize,"  etc etc.  

 

And finally we think the nail in the coffin of cruising (in the near future) is going to be the very limited number of ports that will allow cruise ships in their waters.  Why should they welcome ships?  They generally do not contribute that much to the local economy (especially when cruise line excursions keep passengers out of local shops and restaurants) and will be seen as a possible spreader of more virus.   Yes there are some areas like South Florida where they are getting for the return of cruisers.  On the other hand, when ships tried to dock in South Florida with cases (or even suspected cases) of COVID the outcry from those same locals was deafening.  How soon we forget the debate among the Broward County officials.  Sure, now they want the ships to return...but that will quickly fall away to new whining when they get more cases of COVID.

 

What do you think?

 

Hank

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You've pretty much put into writing what I've been thinking for several months. Those who think leisure travel is going to return to the old "normal" next year are in for a rude awakening.

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I think you probably had a bad night and woke up feeling down.  Sometimes patience is worth waiting for.  

 

No:   quick gratification of the cruise urge is not in the cards.  But can you name ANY plague in history which impacted any particular area for more than two years — and that is without vaccines?

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Two bad news in Sweden today:

 

1. We have our first confirmed case of a reinfected person. (Two different strains of virus so defenitely a reinfection.)

 

2. The masses shall not expect a vaccine until 2022.  

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I'll call it a realistic analysis.  The economic impact of Covid will far outlive the pandemic itself.  

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For the last few months my opinion has been that I am not interested in returning to cruising before 2022--and not January 2022.  Availability of a vaccine by 2Q21 would be an indication to me that my 2022 target date is still good.  I suspect that I would not be eligible for the vaccine--or, even, desirous of getting it--for several months after initial availability.  My hope is that a enough people will be vaccinated in the twelve months after introduction to make cruising safe.

 

Even with a vaccine, though, restrictions such as masks might cause me to further postpone my return to cruising.

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In Sweden we have 30 people in intensive care because of Covid-19 right now. MUCH less than the 558 it was April 26 but also much more than the 12 it was September 11.

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1 hour ago, navybankerteacher said:

I think you probably had a bad night and woke up feeling down.  Sometimes patience is worth waiting for.  

 

No:   quick gratification of the cruise urge is not in the cards.  But can you name ANY plague in history which impacted any particular area for more than two years — and that is without vaccines?

 

Yes there were several, most recently the Third Plague Pandemic which started in 1855 (in China) had spread across the globe by the end of the 19th century, and didn't Peter out until the 1950s.

https://www.history.com/news/6-devastating-plagues

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I have stated from the very beginning that the critical piece is treatment, not a vaccine.  Having a vaccine is not a bad thing but it won't be the ultimate answer - and even less so when they are talking about relatively low (i.e., 50%) effective rates being acceptable to the experts in public health.

If we see someone in their 70s with co-morbidities and a high-stress job get infected and cured within 10 days, THAT is more important than a marginally effective vaccine, in my book.

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With few exceptions, the whole world is in a very bad place. Nothing new here.

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People laughed at me when I said that cruising will not resume until 2023.

Cruising has already started in Europe (MSC, Costa, TUI) and the world will go on.

 

 

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I'll call it a realistic analysis.  The economic impact of Covid will far outlive the pandemic itself.  

regarding economic impact-- the stock markets all around the world are booming.

MOST OF THEM ARE CLOSE TO THEIR ALL-TIME HIGHS.

 

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16 minutes ago, drsel said:

Cruising has already started in Europe (MSC, Costa, TUI) and the world will go on.

 

 

I was referring to cruises leaving from the US.

In my humble opinion the world as we knew it will never be back.I am fortunate to be in my 9th.decade of life and have experienced wonderful times.

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12 minutes ago, drsel said:

regarding economic impact-- the stock markets all around the world are booming.

MOST OF THEM ARE CLOSE TO THEIR ALL-TIME HIGHS.

 

 

I'm sure that's of little consolation to your Average Joe who owns no stocks and is unemployed because of the Covid.

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2 minutes ago, ColeThornton said:

 

I'm sure that's of little consolation to your Average Joe who owns no stocks and is unemployed because of the Covid.

Agree - IMHO, the booming stock market mostly benefits the wealthiest (upper 10% of the population) among us. Sure, I see gains in my monthly statements but it is small consolation when considering the misery I see all around our country.

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3 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

... But can you name ANY plague in history which impacted any particular area for more than two years — and that is without vaccines?

 

While under completely different conditions of medical understanding, the Black Death lasted for about 4 years in Europe according to Wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Death

 

2 hours ago, mnocket said:

The economic impact of Covid will far outlive the pandemic itself.  

 

This is a very true statement.  COVID will create some eventual winners in the long term along with many losers at least in the near to mid term. 

 

1 hour ago, sfaaa said:

But cruising has already resumed in Europe and Asia.

 

Can't comment on Asia, but it seems that cruising in Europe will be increasingly challenged to continue in the short term as cases seem to be increasing rapidly.  The ships will at some point need to stop or just accept that infections will occur.

 

https://www.euronews.com/2020/10/15/record-breaking-day-in-europe-with-highs-of-daily-covid-19-cases-in-germany-italy-and-pola

"Germany, Italy, Poland and the Netherlands were among the nations to set new individual records as they each counted thousands of new infections of COVID-19"

 

59 minutes ago, ColeThornton said:

 

I'm sure that's of little consolation to your Average Joe who owns no stocks and is unemployed because of the Covid.

 

Totally agree and this "average joe" in the US is many times better than almost all those individuals who once worked in service positions on cruise ships.  Same for people who work in the "informal economy"  who don't get any benefits from governments.

 

Here is a story from Jamaica -

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20201010/covid-19-highlights-vulnerability-informal-economy-says-jcc

 

Noting that COVID-19 has “brought out the vulnerabilities of the hundreds of thousands of Jamaicans workers who earn a livelihood in an informal way,” Distant said that the situation serves as a reminder of the crucial need to make the transition from an informal to a formal economy “a priority area for our national policies”.

 

To the OP -

 

I think governments in most places are accepting that some level of infection will occur regardless and that the economic costs are too great to just shut things down.  This will result in tourism being available, but at a much reduced level.  Some of this may be counterbalanced by increased testing like we are seeing with airlines, airports and cruising.  In the end,  it will likely become increasingly a personal risk decision.  

 

I also think the knowledge is much higher now and it may be that the pushback from FL regarding cruise-related COVID cases will be less.  Of course I could be totally wrong on this front.

Edited by SelectSys

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1 hour ago, Toofarfromthesea said:

 

Yes there were several, most recently the Third Plague Pandemic which started in 1855 (in China) had spread across the globe by the end of the 19th century, and didn't Peter out until the 1950s.

https://www.history.com/news/6-devastating-plagues

My post specifically referred  to any plague  “ which impacted any particular area for more than two years” —  while the Third Plague Pandemic did go on - it never hung around any particular area for more than two years — New York, or Florida or wherever is likely to be done with COVID by early 2022.

Edited by navybankerteacher

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The lines for free food in Fort Myers are longer than the line of people waiting to see the president here today.

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1 hour ago, dogs4fun said:

Agree - IMHO, the booming stock market mostly benefits the wealthiest (upper 10% of the population) among us. Sure, I see gains in my monthly statements but it is small consolation when considering the misery I see all around our country.

Mine are doing great, but I know I'm very blessed/lucky and am in a small minority compared to how hard this is impacting so many around our country and the world. 

Hopefully things will turn around soon and we all can get back to a happy, healthy life.

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1 hour ago, drsel said:

regarding economic impact-- the stock markets all around the world are booming.

MOST OF THEM ARE CLOSE TO THEIR ALL-TIME HIGHS.

 

 

I'm amazed that the stock market has been so strong so far this year.

 

The value of my investments dropped almost 40% between February 20 and March 20. After that the value has almost doubled and so far this year I'm more than 30% up. Maybe not supergood but absolutely okay under the circumstances. ( I know why and I am thinking about selling everything because I'm not sure that it will last.) 

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18 minutes ago, evandbob said:

The lines for free food in Fort Myers are longer than the line of people waiting to see the president here today.

I've spent a great deal of time visiting many years ago my grandmother in Fort Meyers and it hold's great memories for me.

I'm very sad to hear about all those standing in the food lines...however I have no feelings for those that feel the need to

stand in line to see this president.

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