Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Destroy The Cruise Industry?

Even before President Trump’s address last night, the stock market was extremely low and the cost to sail for the next few months was at an enticing low. Despite your opinions on this virus or whether the media is inducing false fear, the world, more specifically the travel industry, is being negatively affected by the Coronavirus. As of this afternoon, the cost per share of Royal Caribbean stock was as low as $29. The first thought that came to mind was “maybe it’s time to buy some stocks,” but the honest truth is we don’t know what is going to happen.

When Princess Cruises’ ships, Diamond Princess and Grand Princess, were quarantined for fear of spreading the virus, at least 21 people tested positive after being on Grand Princess. Other ships have been turned away from ports for fear of the virus, including Holland America’s MS Westerdam, which found itself in limbo in February.

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Passengers disembark from the Princess Cruises Grand Princess cruise as it is docked in the Port of Oakland on March 9, 2020 in Oakland, California. Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Every Facebook group we are part of are being filled with questions and concerns about the Coronavirus. “Should I cancel my cruise?” “Think we should book because the prices are so low?” Will Disney World be closed?” “Who’s buying stocks?” “Should I cancel my trip?”

Princess Cruises, a Carnival Cruise Line company, announced this morning that they will be suspending all sailings for 60 days. All operations will be suspended March 12 to May 10 according to a statement from the cruise line shared with USA TODAY by spokesperson Negin Kamali.

“It is our intention to reassure our loyal guests, team members and global stakeholders of our commitment to the health, safety and well-being of all who sail with us, as well as those who do business with us, and the countries and communities we visit around the world,” Jan Swartz president of Princess Cruises, said in the release.

viking

Viking chairman Torstein Hagen also announced it is cancelling cruises in a letter to passengers Wednesday that the company had made the “difficult decision to temporarily suspend operations” for river and ocean cruises beginning Thursday through April 30.

“This is a decision we made with a heavy heart, but with present circumstances what they are, we are unable to deliver the high-quality Viking experience for which we are known,” Hagen added. “We will stand by our guests, employees and partners in these challenging times and hope that they in turn will stand by us.”

As of Thursday morning, coronavirus had infected more than 127,749 people and killed 4,717 globally, according to Johns Hopkins data.

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Royal Caribbean launched the new “Cruise With Confidence” policy allowing passengers to cancel any cruise up to 48 hours before you sail and not get charged a penalty but with our upcoming sailing in April, we are sure we speak for all loyal to Royal and shareholders alike, what will happen? Will someone get sick on board and we be quarantined? Or, will RCL follow suit and halt sailings? How long will this pandemic last and will the travel industry survive?

Comment bellow.


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Royal Caribbean Lifts Restriction on Chinese Passport Holders in Place to Stem Coronavirus spread

Royal Caribbean has announced it is suspending its policy that prevented guests from boarding who held a passport from China, Macau and Hong Kong.

Royal Caribbean released a statement late last night:

“Royal Caribbean has ended its temporary general restriction on holders of passports from China, Hong Kong and Macau.  The general restriction was adopted last week in response to numerous ports and governments around the world restricting travel for Chinese passport holders, often with little advance notice.

Now that these governmental restrictions have been clarified, we are able to clarify our own policies.  Our 15-day restriction on all individuals who have traveled from, to or through mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau remains in effect, and so do restrictions on individuals who have been in close contact with persons who have traveled from, through or to China, Hong Kong and Macau in the past 15 days.

We maintain a list of our current boarding policies for all travelers, together with a list of current local travel restrictions at https://presscenter.rclcorporate.com/press-release/53/current-port-restrictions-for-china-passport-holders.  We encourage holders of China, Hong Kong and Macau passports to be aware of the potential for a disrupted vacation, and to contact us with any questions.”

The cruise line continues to have a policy in place that denies boarding to individuals that have traveled to certain Asian destinations in the past 15 days, or has come into contact with anyone from these areas.

“Until further notice, all ships in the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. fleet will adopt the following health screening protocols:

1. Regardless of nationality, we will deny boarding to

a. Any guest who has travelled from, to or through mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau in the past 15 days.

b. Any guest who has come in contact with anyone from mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau in the past 15 days. The CDC characterizes contact with an individual as coming within six feet (2M) of a person.

2. There will be mandatory specialized health screenings performed on:

a. Guests who are uncertain about contact with individuals who have traveled from, to or through mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau in the past 15 days.

b. Guests who report feeling unwell or demonstrate any flu-like symptoms.

c. Guests presenting with fever or low blood oximetry in the specialized health screenings will be denied boarding.”

Any guest denied boarding due to these restrictions will receive full refunds.

Subscribe to Royal Cruise Blog and experience Royal dining, ship offerings and how to get the most our of ports of call. There will be free giveaways and discounts along the way. Don’t forget to add your birthday, because you might get something special! 

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Royal Caribbean Taking Action Against Coronavirus

Royal Caribbean announced that it has chosen to take additional steps to mitigate the chances of a Coronavirus outbreak on any of the ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet. RCCL released a statement detailing the new measures being taken.

“We continue to closely monitor global developments regarding the coronavirus, and we are fully focused on protecting the health and safety of our guests and crew.

After consultation with medical experts and public health authorities, and in alignment with new, stricter CDC protocols, plus changes in various countries’ requirements and regulations, along with our desire to ensure that we are able to provide a great vacation experience, while we protect our guests and crew – we are implementing the following changes.

  • Through the month of February 2020, any guest that holds a Chinese, Hong Kong, or Macau passport, will be unable to board any of our ships, regardless of residency.

Additionally, we’ve tightened our health screening requirements and the following guests will need to undergo extra screenings to ensure safety at the cruise terminal:

  • Anyone that has been in contact with individuals that have traveled from, to, or through mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau in the last 15 days.

  • Anyone that feels unwell or demonstrates flu-like symptoms.

  • Any guest presenting with fever or low blood oximetry in the specialized health screening will be denied boarding.

We know that these steps are very conservative, and we apologize that they will inconvenience some of our guests. We regret to have to do this, but it is our responsibility to maintain a safe and healthy environment onboard our ships, as well as in the ports we visit.”

Since the Coronavirus outbreak began at the end of 2019, it has sickened more than 20,000, left more than 425 dead and sparked and global health emergency. With scientist racing to find a cure, the major cruise lines aren’t taking any chances. Both Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line have announced that they will be taking similar measures.

Courtesy Royal Caribbean

Subscribe to Royal Cruise Blog and experience Royal dining, ship offerings and how to get the most our of ports of call. There will be free giveaways and discounts along the way. Don’t forget to add your birthday, because you might get something special! 

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