January 13, 2021
In this Issue
Here are some of the news articles we are following:
- The 11 days of drama at sea that changed cruising forever
- Carnival Cruise Line Cancels February Sailings, More Adjustments
- Sailing in safe hands with Columbia Cruise Services
- Former Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Gets New Life
- What’s the best piece of cruise advice you have ever received?
- “Paisano promotes Paisano” Is this a common practice on cruise ships?
- Going on a cruise? Here’s how to stay healthy onboard
- Why you can't trust online reviews of cruise ships
- Retire at Sea? Living on a Cruise Ship May Be an Adventurous Alternative
- The top crew members to find if you have a problem onboard your cruise
- MSC Cruise Ship Postpones Sailings in Greece
- Why you shouldn't avoid older and smaller cruise ships
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The 11 days of drama at sea that changed cruising forever
As the calendar turned over to January 1, 2020, out on the world's oceans, it looked set to be another glorious year for cruising. Then, in the space of a few disastrous weeks, everything changed.
Carnival Cruise Line Cancels February Sailings, More Adjustments
Carnival Cruise Line announced today that it is informing guests and travel agents that it has cancelled select itineraries for specific operations in 2021, as it implements its plans for the resumption of cruising in 2021, including cruise operations in February from Miami, Port Canaveral and Galveston and moving the inaugural sailing of Mardi Gras until April 24, 2021. “We apologize to our guests but we must continue to take a thoughtful, deliberate and measured approach as we map out our return to operations in 2021,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Our commitment to the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit is at the forefront of our decisions and operations.”
Sailing in safe hands with Columbia Cruise Services
Columbia Cruise Services (CCS) has put together a Health and Hygiene Consultancy Project Team with a unique set of experts in the fields of public health, hotel services and technical operations. The team is developing holistic and tailor-made health and hygiene programmes for cruise operations and hotels. “Our consultancy programme offers the 3-steps of services to suit individual business needs, clientele, budgets and health and hygiene goals,” says Olaf Groeger, managing director of CCS. The team starts by assessing a cruise operator’s business to help plan for the resumption of commercial operations. “We work through the most up-to-date information and procedures in line with all of the major public health guidance that is applicable to an organization’s business practices,” says Groeger. “We address business continuity planning, including risk management prior to a disease outbreak, support in the event of an outbreak, and assistance in returning to operations afterwards. Our team of experts provide a complete outbreak management service, including company and guest prevention plans and advanced outbreak management plans.”
Former Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Gets New Life
Cruisers with fond memories of Royal Caribbean’s 1990-built Empress of the Seas will be happy to learn that the ship is not heading for the scrapyard after being sold recently along with sister Majesty of the Seas. Instead, Empress is heading to India to serve as flagship for a new cruise line there. Empress of the Seas.
What’s the best piece of cruise advice you have ever received?
The proverb, "experience is the best teacher" is a famous proverb of Julius Caesar, and it applies to so many aspects of life, including going on a cruise. I reached out to other Royal Caribbean cruisers to get their single best piece of cruise advice they ever received to share with you here. There is tremendous value in hearing a tip or bit of advice that positively impacted your vacation. I know that hearing tips or tricks from other cruisers has made my cruise experience significantly better. In just 24 hours, I received over 450 responses from cruise fans that run the gamut of guidance, from pre-cruise planning to onboard activities to saving money.
“Paisano promotes Paisano” Is this a common practice on cruise ships?
The crew members who work hard, execute their duties and responsibilities flawlessly, and as the cruise lines love to say “Going above and beyond guests’ expectations” are often promoted to higher positions. In theory, this is the only way to get promoted with more responsibilities, but also more money on the paycheck. However, many crew members say that there are other ways for some crew to get promoted. Every cruise line provides an opportunity for their employees to build a career, but the procedure and requirements for receiving a promotion depend on your evaluation by your direct supervisor. Apparently, it is much easier to get a promotion if your supervisor or other high-ranking manager is from the same country as you are, or as we say on the ships Paisano. This is not something new in the cruise industry, but many crew members say that this practice has gone too far.
Going on a cruise? Here’s how to stay healthy onboard
Viruses and bacteria spread quickly on ships, but experts say good hygiene and advance planning can help you keep sickness at bay. When passengers booked their vacations on the ill-fated Diamond Princess, they were likely looking forward to hanging out in a hot tub, not a hot zone. Now most of them are quarantined off the coast of Japan, hoping to avoid testing positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus, which has already infected more than 200 people on the cruise ship. The fact that the largest outbreak of COVID-19 outside of mainland China is happening on a cruise can’t be reassuring to travelers who are already skittish about health issues on boat-based trips, which are well known incubators of gastrointestinal illnesses. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a helpful database of cases, broken down by year. The vast majority of cruises don’t experience any problems. But confined spaces mean that even one sick person can create a serious situation, explains Tullia Marcolongo, executive director of the nonprofit International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers. “It’s the domino effect, and you have nowhere to go,” she says.
Why you can't trust online reviews of cruise ships
When you are ready to book a cruise, basing your decision of which ship you should pick based on others reviews is actually a bad idea. While online reviews are a popular way to share experiences, relying on online reviews to pick the right ship for you often paints the wrong picture and confuses first time cruisers.
Experience is a good teacher, but here is why you should not trust online reviews for picking your cruise.
Retire at Sea? Living on a Cruise Ship May Be an Adventurous Alternative
If you're looking for the retirement adventure of a lifetime, cruise ship living may be for you. If there's one thing retirees love to do, it's travel. Nearly half of baby boomers plan to travel both domestically and internationally, and they'll take, on average, four or five trips each year, according to AARP's 2019 Travel Trends Survey. These trips can be expensive, though. According to the survey, boomers spend an average of $6,600 per year on leisure travel. While traveling the world is certainly a fun way to spend retirement, not all retirees can afford to do so. In fact, a third of boomers have less than $25,000 saved for retirement, according to a survey from Northwestern Mutual.
The top crew members to find if you have a problem onboard your cruise
While you will likely have a great time on a cruise without running into any problems, occasionally something happens that needs attention of someone who can quickly remedy the issue. Just like when at a resort, casino or theme park on land, cruise ship guests can sometimes run into a problem. Rather than just chalking it up to bad luck, you can (and should) let Royal Caribbean know about the problem to get it rectified. You should start with the front-line crew member you have easy access to first, but if things are not moving, then it may be time to escalate. The key is knowing who to contact onboard to get things solved, so here are some important people you can reach out to during the cruise for results.
MSC Cruise Ship Postpones Sailings in Greece
Voyages on board MSC Magnifica, which were supposed to start sailing on January 7, 2021, to Greece and the Greek islands, have been postponed once more. The vessel will now operate starting February 14, 2021. Already on December 7, 2020, Greece announced it would be going into a full lockdown to curtail the effects of the second wave of infections. While Schengen country nationals are still able to enter the country, cruise ships are only allowed to make technical calls at this time.
Why you shouldn't avoid older and smaller cruise ships
The newest cruise ships will offer the latest and greatest developments that a cruise line has, but older and smaller ships in the fleet should not be overlooked as a great choice. If you see a Royal Caribbean television commercial, it probably shows off the newest amazing things you can do on one of its newest ships. While they do look amazing, other ships in the fleet that are a bit older are still a great choice for a cruise vacation. Royal Caribbean sails 26 ships, and while new cruise ships will always get the most attention, here are some important reasons to not skip out on older and smaller cruise ships.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the articles above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this e-Newsletter
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