As a new feature on Cruzely, we wrap-up of what’s happened in cruising, what we’re watching, and more. The aim is to be informative, but also fun. Be sure to comment below and enjoy!
1. More Cruise Cancellations
Another week down… and another round of cruise cancellations. This time Carnival cancelled all their cruises through January 2021. And just this morning Princess cancelled all of their sailings through March.
Frankly, we’d expect more cruise lines to follow suit. The new CDC Framework to return to sailing is promising, but it doesn’t give a specific timetable when cruises can sail again. Instead, the CDC lays out the required steps and several of those steps have long lead times.
For example, before a ship can sail a simulated voyage, it must give at least 30 days notice. Then there needs to be at least 60 days prior to the anticipated return before cruise lines apply for certification to sail.
In other words, a January return of sailing seems too early in our opinion.
2. 100,000 Sign Ups for Simulated Voyages
Speaking of simulated voyages, Royal Caribbean’s CEO Michael Bayley announced that more than 100,000 volunteers have signed up for the cruise line’s test cruises within days of the announcement they were taking interest from volunteers.
There is still no word on how they will actually choose who gets to sail from this list. All we know is that the CDC requires passengers on test cruises be at least 18 years old and have no conditions that put them at higher risk of COVID. You can learn more about signing up here.
3. Delayed Return?
With the extended cancellations of both Carnival and Princess, it seems possible to us that Carnival Corporation could return later than other lines.
As explained here, one of the first steps in returning is to have a “No Sail Order” response plan in place. Several lines went through this process and it took months with lots of back and forth before the CDC approved the plan.
According to the CDC, Carnival removed its ships and thus their plan was held and not reviewed. Maybe they can get the plan in place more quickly than others?
4. Which Line Has the Best Pizza?
Which cruise line do you think serves the best pizza?
Two of our favorites are MSC and Carnival. Two totally different pies, but both are delicious. MSC offers up the big slices that fold perfectly. Carnival has the personal pizzas that are handmade around the clock right in front of you.
No matter who wins, they are both way ahead of some other lines that serve pizza that tastes more like cardboard.
5. Awkwardness on a Cruise Ship
One interesting thing to watch is how passengers interact with one another once they are back on the ship. For months we’ve (almost) all been isolating, masking up, and keeping our distance. For some people it’s likely to be awkward getting back to interacting in a public setting around strangers. You may feel comfortable chatting up with someone… but do they feel the same?
We’d expect the first day or two might be like a junior high dance where many people stick to themselves until they feel more comfortable. (Of course, alcohol might help reduce that time.)
6. Will a Vaccine Make Cruise Changes Pointless?
At this point we do have to wonder if the changes to cruising and worry about what the experience will be like may be for naught.
With the promising vaccine news lately and the CDC pathway likely taking several more months before ships sail again, could it be that the pandemic is largely on the decline by the time people are back on ships?
Obviously no one knows what the future will hold, but it’s something to watch. It could be that COVID never goes away. For now, the right move is continuing to plan like this is something the world will have to battle well into the future. Plan for the worst… hope for the best.
7. Always Included: Tips, Drink Packages, Wi-Fi
Celebrity Cruises has rolled out a new feature while cruises are paused. Its new Always Included program is across all its cruises. The program includes your gratuities, the basic drink package, and basic wi-fi with your fare. So if you book a cruise, you automatically have all these amenities.
Would you be in favor of something like this? No word on how prices have changed, but seems safe to assume they have risen to compensate for the extras.
8. Two Major Hurricanes Hit Central America
Something that has been lost in the news cycle between the election and COVID is that Central America had two enormous hurricanes hit almost the exact same spot within two weeks of each other. Not only do cruise lines visit this region on many trips, many crew members come from the area.
Hurricane Eta (there have been so many storms this season they ran out of names and went to the Greek alphabet) made landfall on November 3 as a Category 4 storm. Hurricane Iota made landfall on November 16 as a Category 4 as well. Iota’s landfall was just 15 miles south of Eta’s in Nicaragua. There’s major flooding around the entire region.
Honduras is within the top 25 poorest countries in the world and has suffered the flooding consequences of two major hurricane disasters within the last two weeks.
— Scott Duncan (@ScottDuncanWX) November 18, 2020
If you’d like to help, the Pan American Development Foundation is accepting donations.
9. Cruise Sunsets
Let’s end on a happy note. After all, Thanksgiving is next week.
Is there any place that’s better for a sunset than a cruise ship? The sun sets every day (trust us, we’ve done the math), but it seems rare that many of us take the time to sit and enjoy it — or have a spot to take it in.
On the ship, you have both the time and the view to be able to watch it. It never gets old.
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