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Ocean Cruising - January or not


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We are nearing a final decision point - our final payment for the January Miami to LA Serenity cruise is due on 6 November.  If the cruise is a go, I would think we might see the ship start moving - maybe to pick up part of the crew soon.  Depending on the ships speed, the voyage can be 30 to 45 days via the Suez and Med.  I think that an additional 15 days would be needed to gather crew (who knows how many may return), provisions the ship and train the crew in the new Covid procedures.  The crew might need a refresher on their regular duties.  We stay in touch with several crew members but they have been silent on what is happening.   The task for the Symphony is easier as they start from Bangkok --- or from Singapore if they delay a few days.  Any thoughts. 

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With winter season Covid spike starting, IMHO there will be zero cruising from the U.S. until at least April and by then who knows if Crystal will be in any kind of financial position to operate. I would not give them a dime of my money.

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The January Symphony cruise from Bangkok to Singapore also looks unlikely.   Thailand is effectively closed down for new visitors and there are no international passenger flights into the country.  I'm not sure how anyone can be expected to board the ship if they can't get into the country.

 

For your fun consideration: the Thai government had floated an idea that would have allowed non-Thai nationals to enter the country.  It involved a 31 step process, including a mandatory 14 day pre-paid quarantine at a government facility.  It also had requirements of a mandatory pre-payment for 90 days of hotel stay, $100,000 of mandatory health insurance, a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival, and arrival by either a private or charter flight.  That proposal eventually went into the circular file.  (Though it could have given a reason to use the Crystal Skye).

 

The newest plan under consideration is a bit less onerous, but still would be difficult.  14 day quarantine, tracking devices and a requirement to avoid places where Thai people go.  Plus, you would have a 24/7 "covid minder" following you every minute.  No word on how this idea is faring in the Thai government.

 

For now, it's still shutdown and more shutdown.

 

https://viewfromthewing.com/the-31-strange-steps-thailand-wants-visitors-to-go-through-as-it-re-opens/

 

https://viewfromthewing.com/thailands-tourism-re-opening-plan-includes-following-visitors-24-7-banning-contact-with-locals/

 

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With New Zealand, Australia and virtually all of the South Pacific islands shut down to cruise ships, I fully expect Crystal to cancel the World Cruise by November 1. Even if for some reason they don't, given the refund situation, if I was your TA I could not in good conscience recommend that you make that final payment. I wish it were otherwise, but.......

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Don't see it happening including for many reasons including the cost of going through the Panama Canal.  

 

Not sure time frame for Serenity to start sailing but would think it would be short itineraries and not going back and forth between Miami and Los Angeles as if this first segment went it couldn't go further West of California.  

 

Cruise will happen IMHO but the question is when and where.  Remember everyone can't sail Miami or Fort Lauderdale. 

 

Time will tell.

 

I suspect you will hear before time frame to make a final payment as others are in the same "boat" with you.

 

We were supposed to be on this one but cancelled and moved the money to another cruise when we thought the timing made more sense for us.

 

Keith

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15 hours ago, edgee said:

With winter season Covid spike starting, IMHO there will be zero cruising from the U.S. until at least April and by then who knows if Crystal will be in any kind of financial position to operate. I would not give them a dime of my money.

I think April is optimistic.

I have a trip planned for the end of April and about 2 months ago I thought it MIGHT happen.

With the second wave of COVID just beginning in the US and in Europe it looks highly unlikely that any cruising will begin before the 3rd quarter of 2021 -- and that is only  if there is a vaccine, the cruise lines are still in business and COVID is somehow under control.

 

US citizens will not be welcome anywhere for a long time

 

Sad for all of us who love to travel.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Roland4 said:

With New Zealand, Australia and virtually all of the South Pacific islands shut down to cruise ships, I fully expect Crystal to cancel the World Cruise by November 1.

 

Are you contending that the entire WC will be cancelled, or merely the first segment or two?

 

Significant difference.

 

 

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1 hour ago, FlyerTalker said:

 

Are you contending that the entire WC will be cancelled, or merely the first segment or two?

 

Significant difference.

 

 

 

I suspect they will cancel the entire WC in the same way that Regent and Seabourn have. Looking at the itinerary, realistically the first place they could re-start it would be in Hong Kong on March 1/21, which is the start of the fourth segment. Obviously they could do sailings in Asia/South-East Asia through January and February, which would save them the cost of moving the ship to Miami, but realistically, how many WC guests are going to want to fly to Hong Kong, always assuming Hong Kong would let them in! 

 

The other wild card in this is GHK's financial restructuring. No one is going anywhere until that is complete, and I don't see many people being willing to make a final payment on Nov 6 if that is still up in the air. This is all idle speculation, but I know if we were booked on the WC/WC segments we would not be making the final payment.

Edited by Roland4
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I am booked on the next-to-last segment of the WC, April 24.  In discussing with my TA the fact that I will not be making an early payment, she said that the final payment date has been moved for that segment from January to Match 24.  Of course, I think it's a moot point.  Julia

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Not very optimistic, but still booked on this cruise. I am paid in full since I switched this cruise from one that was cancelled. Have looked at future cruises for a likely switch. Hope they let us know soon so I can make plans. More optimistic about my Crystal Bach river cruise on May 7, 2021.

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25 minutes ago, Jinn said:

I should have typed March 24 not Match 24.  Old age!  Julia

Julia:

 

I know the feeling. I just blame it on auto correct so I don't take the blame.  LOL.

 

I can't see them doing the World Cruise and I would just think if the World Cruise won't happen most segments won't happen.

 

I would think notification should come soon given when the final payment is due for the full world cruise.

 

It can't be easy trying to figure out the itineraries not knowing what will be open and what won't and further complicated by the fact that COVID-19 is increasing not only in the USA but in some other places such as in Europe.  They say the next six to eight weeks may be very bad at least here.

 

Keith

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I think zero chance your cruise sails.  I also think the world cruise will be cancelled. 

 

If I were booked on either cruise, I have to say I would not go.  Just too much risk.   The cruise lines have to consider protocols onboard plus the ever changing protocols at different ports. 

 

Sad times......

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One other factor in the mix

 

Somewhere I read that Frank Del Rio stated that it takes a full 60 days to get a ship ready to sail.

 

I wonder if that takes into consideration that cruise lines may have no idea which crew members will be available to return to service.

 

Sad times for sure.

 

 

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I did not mention the WC as 1) I am only on Miami to LA and 2) there are too many obstacles and too much risk.  I do think there are alternatives - stay in the Caribbean or possibly make the cancel transit and stay on the west coast of CA and Mexico.  The cost to transit the Panama Canal may point towards Caribbean voyages as better options.  And then there is the need to market and sell new voyages.  We have decided that we will cancel the January Mia to LA cruise - too many restrictions in place that would lower the enjoyment but not the price. 

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I too am booked on the next to last WC segment as Jinn.  Dubai-Rome on April 24th.  Cannot guess what will be the

situation 6 months from now.   Then a river cruise 2 month later.  Just in holding pattern until decision made by Crystal. 

Was looking forward to flying Emirates for the first time.   Will wait and hope if not happening can do it later ! 

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2 hours ago, MsCrystalina said:

Was looking forward to flying Emirates for the first time.

 

Not meaning to burst your bubble, but the Emirates experience highly depends on the actual aircraft you will be on.  The business class experience/seating is night and day between the 380 and 777.  Even the coach product is better, IMO, on the 380.  But Emirates (EK) has cut back 380 service, and the only route that has the 380 penciled in is LAX-DXB.  Depending on how things work out, the 380 may be back on other routes - but who knows which and when.  And even though EK is updating their 777 product, there are lots of aircraft with their old, dated 777 layout.

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I have thoroughly researched the equipment used by Emirates .  I have even found which seats to avoid.   They are having  great problems with a  profound  88 percent or more  reduction of their routes/passengers due to the virus  in a recent WSJ.   Dubai is really suffering from the lack of their employees spending and supporting the city.   We are not welcome anywhere I would like to visit at present.     Hopefully by six months time , there will be some flights from the USA.    Of course all in flux for now! 

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1 hour ago, FlyerTalker said:

 

Not meaning to burst your bubble, but the Emirates experience highly depends on the actual aircraft you will be on.  The business class experience/seating is night and day between the 380 and 777.  Even the coach product is better, IMO, on the 380.  But Emirates (EK) has cut back 380 service, and the only route that has the 380 penciled in is LAX-DXB.  Depending on how things work out, the 380 may be back on other routes - but who knows which and when.  And even though EK is updating their 777 product, there are lots of aircraft with their old, dated 777 layout.

 

We live to the north-east of YYZ.,  directly under the approach from the east of two of the three east/west runways , and just to the south of the third, which is the only one that can take the 380. When they resumed flights, Emirates was flying only 777s, but for the last few months they have been alternating, in no particular pattern, the 777 with the 380. Having flown Business and First on the 380, and Business on a fairly new 777, I would agree, there is a definite difference in the experience. Of course, in our limited experience, nothing compares to First on an Emirates 380!

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