Cruise cancellations are beginning to roll back into future schedules and it’s not a good sign.
First Cancellations Have Rolled In
One advantage to being a travel agent is seeing early announcements from travel providers.
I didn’t cheer this one on.
Celestiyal Cruises have cancelled sailing on a pair of ships in this announcement:
TO SHORTEN 2021 SEASON
Dear Valued Travel Partners, We are writing by way of advance notice, to advise you that we will shortly announce that we will shorten our 2021 operating season. Sailings on our two ships, Celestyal Olympia and Celestyal Crystal will end on: CELESTYAL CRYSTAL
August 28th – Last sailing departing August 21st from PiraeusCELESTYAL OLYMPIA
August 30th – Last sailing departing August 23rd from Lavrion
While the notice stops short of stating that all cruises are cancelled, it also does not include the resume sailing period in this notice. Celestyal is focused on Mediterranean cruises, but there have been rumblings that others specifically are preparing to shut down. Among those that may be affected by this news are:
- Carnival Cruise Lines
- MSC Cruises
- Royal Caribbean
- Holland America Line
- Princess Cruises
- and Virgin Cruises
No Sweeping Announcements… Yet
The good news is that we have not seen any sweeping or wholesale announcements yet. It seems like only yesterday that Celebrity Cruises were heading back out to sea with its cruise on June 30th ahead of precarious situations covered on this blog for its July 2, 2021 sailing.
One of the hardest-hit states for the Delta variant (and more broadly, COVID-19) has been Florida. With a number of ports throughout the state including Port Canaveral, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Tampa, another set back in the cruise industry would deal a significant blow to the sunshine state.
Cruise ships like Adventure of the Seas, and Celebrity Edge need to be in the water with passengers onboard to make money. It’s likely that the industry as a whole will be hesitant to cancel sail dates unless they must and restart the “Future Cruise Credit” (FCC) process that imperiled them before as they aimed to maintain bookings.
A Bad Sign
From Los Angeles to the United Kingdom, the Delta variant appears to be progressing quickly. While more transmissible, the variant has been less fatal causing some to wonder just how drastic measures should be pursued to stop the virus from crippling the economy again.
Delta (the airline, not the variant) already made a move to renew elite status for travelers for this year, more or less succumbing to weakening demand.
Airlines, cruise lines, and hotels should also be on guard that financial facilities available to them through special government allowances the first time may not be available again. Carriers were quick to recover pricing where possible which upset some taxpayers who felt that allowing financial security for travel providers that created no security of their own then gouged customers at the first possible sign of recovery.
The public won’t be so happy to help if another lockdown ensues.
However, it’s all but a forgone conclusion at this point that other cruise lines will follow suit. Disputes with the state of Florida and CDC have led to costly legal battles that RCCL never wanted to be a part of in the first place. Disney cruise lines will have to, at minimum, follow the same guidelines as its Florida parks which once again has visitors masking up.
It seemed inevitable but remains disheartening that some cruise lines are already shutting down future trips. It’s not yet a certainty that all cruise lines will shut down again, either voluntarily or by order, but these first few cancellations may be the canary in the coal mine. I hope, for everyone’s sake, that they are no such foreteller.
What do you think? Will additional cruise lines shut down again? Are we headed for a complete lockdown in the near future?