According to a well-connected source, US cruise lines do not intend to sail again until 2021.
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Rumors Suggest Cruise Lines Postponed Further
According to a very well-connected industry source, the major cruise lines serving US ports will not resume sailings until at least 2021. While the source couldn’t disclose specific information (as they did not have the approval to make any official announcements), the source indicated that no cruise line for which they are aware intends to operate before 2021 at the very earliest.
No Official Announcement
The US government blocked cruise lines from disembarking in the US and serving US ports. The initial stoppage occurred shortly after the first outbreaks of COVID-19 in the spring and has extended several times, the latest through September.
There has been no further announcement beyond the end of September from the CDC with respect to official restrictions. The rumor suggests that it is coming from the cruise lines and not the State Department.
Whenever Cruises Restart, They Will Be Empty Initially
Whether the cruise lines start in October/November/December, or even March of 2021, initial bookings will be light. There are two reasons for this. First is that the public will need to be convinced that ships are safe for those concerned about contracting COVID-19, or heaven forbid, COVID-20 (or whatever mutation we see in the coming seasons.)
Cruise lines will need to be creative to get passengers booked on ships again. It could be in the form of discounts, incentives, and likely a reduced rollout.
Like the airlines, the cruise companies will have to at some point sail knowing that empty cabins will be more common than filled cabins. It’s not possible to fully consolidate sailings and destinations to fill ships fuller because of the myriad of destinations, timelines, and coordinating with other governments who may have a number of differing requirements for accepting passengers.
Airlines, in contrast, have mostly the same guidelines domestically and can consolidate some flying and eliminate other destinations but they have to maintain a routine schedule in order to have any passengers at all. Cruise passengers who may have wanted to visit many destinations over a two-week period may have to settle for shorter routes to nearby destinations.
While it’s only a rumor, it seems highly plausible that cruises will not sail in the rest of 2020 and perhaps a few months into 2021. There are simply too many moving parts with both US and foreign governmental restrictions. Customers will also need to be reassured that cruises are safe and that the experience onboard will be one that they want to take.
What do you think? Do you think the rumor is true? Would you sail in the next 60-90 days?
The first real issue is how full can they book these ships? Until there is a real effective vaccine that has been in use for at least 6 months worldwide not sure how much traction cruise lines and long haul flights will get. Sure there are certain that will go to say they went, some “daring” people and mostly not so bright ones going somewhere just to say they went. Many of us experienced travelers realize this mess is not going away anytime soon and caution/patience is the key word going forward. We have cancelled two long standing international trips so far and not happy but not stupid either
@Ghostrider – we agree on the ability to fill ships, but I have to ask regarding the vaccine. We have a vaccine in the form of a flu shot. Every year people still contract it despite the availability and taking the vaccine. In the US anywhere between 12-62,000 people die from the flu annually. While even 62,000 is a far cry from the COVID-19 US death toll, it still nags me that there may never be a true vaccine that ends COVID-19 (20 or 21 or any other mutations that follow.) And if there’s not, what does that look like for those who are not, as you put it, “daring.” I have relatives that have already decided not to go on a family reunion next summer because they aren’t confident we will yet have a “good vaccine.” They are in the critical age group but do not have pre-existing conditions (for which I am aware) and are very healthy, active people.
I don’t find myself in this camp so it’s a genuine question and I will be receptive to responses on the topic. Is there an acceptable annual mortality even with a vaccine? Will the avoidance of participation continue if there’s no vaccine after 18 months, 24 months, 36 months?
I just called three cruise lines. They said your information is false. Because they would post it online and plus send everyone a email about it. So therefore stop spreading rumors about the cruises or they will get you.
The title is literally “US Cruises Rumored Postponed Until 2021” and I was clear that no official announcement had been made. In fact, that’s an entire headline within the post entitled “No Official Announcement.” I don’t know how much clearer I could have made any of this for you. However, because no official announcement has been made, but it’s rumored to be happening, the call center employee isn’t going to confirm that they are, in fact, not sailing. If you have any suggestions on how to make “rumor” “unconfirmed” and “no official announcement” any clearer, I am always open to feedback.
You asked for a suggestion on how to make “rumor” “unconfirmed” and “no official announcement” any clearer, you are open to feedback. And you said your well-connected source did not have the approval to make any official announcements.
My suggestion: if a source cannot put his or her name to it, one, the source should not disclose it, and two, if the source cannot put his or name to it, don’t report it. Hiding behind anonymity is cowardly. You didn’t have permission to say something you said. That smacks of dishonesty.
@Wally – I appreciate your perspective and will consider your recommendation. Where I struggle is my responsibility to get information from a credible source that doesn’t have the ability to confirm the details out to our readers over waiting for the news officially. There’s a number of times in which this has been beneficial or even been an advantage to our readers and it seems wrong to deprive them of an opportunity to act. Had I not marked that it was a rumor in the title, not made clear that the source couldn’t confirm and that no announcement had been made then it would have been deceptive, and inaccurate.
I guess I am one of the daring ones. I am ready to cruise. I am fine wearing a mask. I also live on the edge and dont get the flu vaccine either. I cruise for the sheer pleasure of the ship slicing thru the waters. I dont gamble much, dont care about the shows . I simply like the solitude on my balcony.
I agree with you. Just the sheer pleasure of sitting on your balcony, looking at the water and the beauty of the ocean is enough for me to “get cruising again”.
Cissy – you and me both, though I am less willing to wear a mask. Will wear only when absolutely forced to….and will wear if I need to, to cruise.
Part of this no one seems to be aware of is that some of us know (in very real terms) that we are not going to live forever. I do NOT want to spend the rest of my life hiding under the bed from an invisible boogey-man. I want to CRUISE!! And those who don’t or are afraid, or whatever the reason….you are quite welcome to stay home.
Btw I do have a cruise scheduled for November this year, and February next year….Sure hope all your info is wrong, Kyle, but I have a feeling it’s correct. Bummer.
The flu vaccine isn’t as widely used as it should be. A rough estimate shows over 50% of eligible adults choose not to get it every year. It’s also not a particularly effective vaccine at prevention because the flu virus mutates in material ways constantly but it does make any infection far less severe and reduces mortality materially in high risk groups. For most people, our immune systems have the experience of fighting off some sort of flu at least once and that makes the outcomes predictable.
The difference with COVID-19 is that its a completely alien virus from another species. We don’t really know what our own response will be until we actually get it because it is something completely new to our immune systems. On the bright side COVID doesn’t mutate as quickly so there’s no reason a vaccine should be at least as good as the annual flu shot. There is high confidence in it at the very least allowing your body to develop the memory of an immune response. For most healthy individuals, that should take severe outcomes off the table and allow us to return to our pre covid lives. As a healthy individual with no co morbidities I see no reason why I shouldn’t go back to my life after a vaccination. If I get it I’ll get over it. If someone chooses not to vaccinate themselves at that point, that’s on them, not me.
So waiting for a vaccine to start again probably isn’t entirely effective.
So incredibly frustrating that we even have to deal with this idea!! My son and I had our first trip together just the 2 of us, our first time cruising, to the Bahamas, Oct 5th…canceled. 🙁 We are now rescheduled for Dec 12th, slightly different itinerary…and now hearing this possibility is heartbreaking. And let me elaborate…my son just returned home from Basic Training for the National Guard 2 weeks ago, this trip was to be his graduation gift from me. Now what boggles my mind is that it was totally fine to for my son to make the decision to go to GA for basic training, where there have been ALOT of cases of covid…but, he is not allowed to make the decision to take a cruise??? Makes me so angry! I feel that bottom line it should be our own decision to do things or not do them! We can’t live like this forever…if so we would have already been in quarantine long ago due to MANY diseases…like the flu!!
As for “rumors”, I have heard frequently that things could change QUICKLY after the election…we will see I suppose. The CDC conducted a survey about cruising and it showed that people ARE and HAVE BEEN ready for some time to go back to cruising. So this makes me question the validity of your information just a bit…Royal Caribbean has said they are getting ALOT of bookings, like nearly normal numbers! So there is NO indication that people are going to need to be “coaxed” back into sailing. They are ready and waiting…not so patiently anymore though…
First thank your son for his service! However, it isn’t the government saying they can’t cruise, it would be the cruise line’s choice and the limitations from other countries letting ships in with people from the US. The cruise lines are in a financial catastrophe, so if they feel it is safe to sail they will get it going ASAP. If they feel they risk having people die on their ship or be quarantined at sea for weeks they may choose to postpone again. 🙁 It isn’t an “individual choice” issue, it is a business decision, in my opinion. 🙁
You neglect the fact that cruise lines are taking reservations for cruises scheduled starting October 1. They don’t cancel until they absolutely have to. There are plenty of people that are ready to cruise now although I am not one of them. So Cruises may not be full when they start but they won’t be empty.
Taking reservations doesn’t mean they won’t cancel. I hope they don’t. I’d love to see the industry restart happen with cruises. And I’d be happy to jump onboard as well, but I feel I have a responsibility to relay the information to our readers.
There are thousands of us that sail regularly through casino offers. Based on my experience, that of cruising friends and hundreds of posts in our Carnival Casino players Facebook group, there is no shortage of cruisers booking and anxious to sail again. Same with groups of Platinum and Diamond cruisers. Why publish rumors? It does nothing but create doubt, fear and misconceptions. Pretty heartless when thousands of crew members are praying to get back to work, as are people who are employed at ports and sell products and services to crew lines here in the US, Stick to facts! Quoting unnamed sources usually results in spreading erroneous information.
@Trina – Thanks for reading and for commenting. There is always a challenge in deciding when and when not to publish unverified information. One argument is that as long as it is clear that facts haven’t been confirmed, it’s better to have the information out than not – that it would be a disservice to withhold the information from readers when I had it. Another is that there is a potential danger in publishing unverified information. In this instance, there’s no threat that the cruise industry or CDC is checking my posts for ideas about how they should react or making policies from it, and withholding it when I had it could do a disservice to our readers, who we cherish. Therefore, I make it clear (rumor in the title, “No Official Announcement” headline) and disseminate it. It’s incumbent on the reader, in this case, to determine if the smoke I point out is from an actual fire or not.
Technically, I wouldn’t call a flu shot a “vaccine”. True vaccines provide immunity (polio, small pox) so you never get it. We may some day have a flu shot like treatment for COVID but may never have a true vaccine.
And this is what confuses me about those who say they won’t go back to normal life until there is a vaccine, in the case of one of my extended family members it’s qualified as a “good vaccine.” For those that follow this protocol, does that mean that they won’t travel, won’t dine out at restaurants, won’t take off their mask in public places in perpetuity? If a vaccine takes five years, ten years, do they really see themselves following these guidelines that long? I am genuinely curious.
“Not so bright”?
I’m bright enough not to fall for a hoax. That alone makes me brighter than you. Sucker!
I sincerely hope you are wrong.
I would book and go a cruise right now if I could. How can anyone definitively say we will not cruise? Especially if a vaccine and rapid test is available? Yes there will be some new procedures that will need to be adhered too, and I am alright with that. But to just throw our hands up and say no cruising for the rest of this year is irresponsible and shortsighted and quite frankly a contributing factor in keeping things shut down. We do not need anymore of the cruise lines executive’s caving in to fear mongers and naysayers, stand up and fight for your customers and let us help you and the industry to recover. Just my opinion..
I’d love for my source to be wrong on this.
I don’t need a vaccine to cruise and I really don’t think there will be issues getting people to cruise. I’ll be the first to go!
Sweeden never locked down and its over there..more panicked scared decision making ruining lives and industries far more than a virus that can be treated right now moving forward.
mid year 2021 earliest. will have to show bonafide evidence of vaccine. will have to be subjected to daily testing.
i know someone who’s April cruise has just been canceled.
I’m booked for the week of Thanksgiving. I check updates frequently and realize that I’ll have to have negative testing paperwork in order to go. I’m a regular cruiser and historically have gone quarterly. This shutdown is driving me nuts.
@Ed Lewis – I just can’t see the industry (perhaps, almost any industry) being able to survive if a vaccine is the requirement.
I am booked on the Carnival Freedom from Galveston Texas to Panama Canal on 1 November. I hope it still goes. I booked this over a year ago before this pandemic.
FAKE NEWS…. He writes for the Washington Post, MSNBC, Yahoo!, Reuters, Huffington Post, MapHappy, Travel Codex ….. ALL FAKE NEWS…. is
Let me guess – Faux News viewer? LOL enjoy your bubble.
This is bunk. THE CDC & CLIA are making the return to cruising decsions for the USA. Go there for your sources.
A lot of people are booking new cruises and rebooking their cancelled cruises. We have had to get a little more creative in marketing to draw people back. Fear is powerful. Providing true expertise to those that want to vacation again really helps calm fears.
I didn’t perpetuate that my source was making “cruise decisions.” Maybe the industry changes its stance and proves my source wrong, it would be great if that was the case, but that’s not the information they have. You can be mad about not being able to cruise, but that doesn’t make this fear-mongering. Perhaps this helps those with holiday plans to make other arrangements.
Is Fox News your reliable news source? Grow a pair!
I do not agree with this article, but I have heard others say the same. I have a friend that is an Officer for Carnival and he has already been called back to duty to prepare for a November return to service. In regard to empty ships, capacity will be controlled, but once again Carnival’s bookings are up 600%.
This is the way rumors go, you never know. But I do hope the industry generally restarts as soon as they safely can. I don’t think anyone expects or wants them 100% full but there will have to be a first day whenever they restart operations, so the sooner that gets out of the way the better.
Your cruise is marked ‘Sold Out’ on my travel agent’s website, which means to me that they are not accepting new bookings because they have already decided to cancel this sailing.
Question number 1 is, how do you profitably run a cruise ship at 50% capacity. I’m not sure that you can. But even if you could, why would you go? I doubt you’ll have the buffet, the dining room will likely be restricted to only certain guests, you’ll be waiting an hour for an elevator after shore excursions when they limit them to 4 passengers at a time, mandatory masks outside your stateroom, etc. Doesn’t sound like an experience I want to drop several thousand dollars on.
Personnel expense (one of the biggest expenses) would be reduced because not as many employees are needed. Same with other variable costs, like food.
*I* would love to go on a cruise with fewer people. I didn’t much touch the buffet on past cruises because I’m a bit of a germaphobe to begin with, so I won’t miss it. Waiting for elevators. SMH, that’s for lazy MFers. We usually take the stairs. And I’d gladly wear a mask if it gets me in a cruise ship – especially one with far fewer obnoxious a$$holes than usual! In fact, I’ve booked one for November. If it sails. I’m on it! If not, we have a lake house in the mountains we just booked as a backup plan.
The question I have is, how much of what makes a cruise a cruise actually operate? Will they permit shows in the theater, and if so, will passengers be able to watch in person? Does RCCL allow the faux rock wall to operate? The casino? Wine tastings? Trivia night? Movies Under the Stars? None of which (except maybe the movie on the big screen) particularly lend themselves to social distancing, even if the ship is half full. If they’re going to cut a lot of that and give you a half-a**ed experience, do they cut the fare enough to make it worth your while? Maybe they’ll come up with something, or put in place a testing protocol of some kind to mitigate service cuts, but count me skeptical.
You have to realize not everyone goes for all that stuff. I promise you, if every one of those “amenities” was discontinued, not only would my cruise not change one iota, I wouldn’t even know they had changed!
Not everyone sails for the same reason.
Also, yes I know that cruises lines can’t afford to sail half empty, but it’s going to be painful getting started again, and it will be touch-and-go for a while. Probably a long while. They definitely aren’t making money now, so it’s a matter of getting cranked up again, slowly and expensively.
@meanmeosh – I think a 50% capacity ship sounds a whole lot more attractive than fully booked. And I wouldn’t mind if the buffets weren’t self-serve. Why can’t you have a server on the other side and place a barrier blocking passenger access?
A lot of people are really, really ready to take a trip anywhere anyhow and at least half the country isn’t concerned about the virus anyway. But I also think cruises are going to be pretty affordable (though Disney hasn’t improved on this and the market is telling them it’s not good enough.)
We shall see, and as always good to hear from you again, friend.
I’d be down for an early empty cruise. Every cruise I’ve taken has been packed, and I’ve had to wait in line more times than I’d like for activities and food. It would be nice to sail with a lighter crowd first.
Just have each cruise guest and employee take the 5 minute Abbot test before sailing. The ship would then be the safest place on earth to be. Not so hard to figure out.
Sounds like a trump hating liberal Jerk…Has all the connections to the same Nothing new from jerks like this
So, you prefer to believe lying reality show conman who lives for money and greed over all else?
What is it about you that you need to believe Donald? I bet your loved ones think you are better than to believe in this conman.
So you support a racist, misogynist, xenophobic, nepotism-enabling, norms-crapping-on, do-nothing, endlessly lying a-hole? Just so we’re all on the same page here….cool cool.
No, Bill Clinton isn’t running and you better check on Joe he’s not doing well and don’t let him around your wife or daughter he will grope them
No, actually you do and worse bet you voted for Hillary?
“Basket of deplorables” more true now than ever
We booked a cruise for the middle of March. Got a free Oceanview room with $500 casino cash, Just pay port fees and taxes. Cant really beat a deal like that!
These on again, off again cruising is getting real tired. This delay is ridiculous; just tell us when cruise lines have prepared to meet the guidelines and let’s start cruising. Planning is important.
No I don’t agreed we’re not sailing this year. We’re book for November 9 on the Carnival cruise for 5 days. Group of 40 peoples…Yes we are sailing and we hope CDC won’t cancelled our Cruise.. Everybody understands the new procedure. We are ready to go….I
These on again, off again cruising is getting real tired. Planning is important. Let the new normal occur and let’s go.
Very interesting comments.
In a nutshell:
-The title of the article is: US CRUISES RUMORED POSTPONED UNTIL 2021
– Cruise lines would lovecto start asap but safety measures for passengers andxemployees comes first along with enough transportation for everybody to get to the ships snd back home.
It is as simple as this.
With or without vaccine, the World must and will continue moving forward; at a different pace and with different rules but forward.
– Be positive.By being negative or asking for a long gone vacation lifestyle you will only become more bitter.Better prepare for changes in our way of living and vacationing.Cruise lines are doing it and in a very professional way.
I guess having everything back to normal on Nov. 4 would be too obvious?
I really disagree.
1. The companies reported high volume of reservations for both 2020 & 2021.
2. Companies have started sailing already in Europe, they are not empty, and cruises are going quite well.
3. Travellers proved desire to travel despite Covid.
The only justification for this rumor (that could cause a significant stocks decrease, something the companies will not like), is that companies will come to a conclusion that financially, the cost and effort of starting cruises this year, is not worth to them. Given December’s holiday season, that’s unlikely.
Only if countries will close or strictly limit borders and ports entry, that could force further suspension.
I’m not the source of the information so al we can do is speculate, but I’d imagine that a combination of mixed entry requirements, difficulty in execution, and low sales all contribute to this, if true.
You’ll be reported to the SEC. It is criminal if you or anyone related to you is shorting cruise line stocks as a means to make profits on spreading information from an insider that hasn’t been released.
No, that’s factually inaccurate.
Said it once and will say it again: My belief is that many of the illnesses that befall most cruisers is getting to the embarkation port by airplane. Being sealed up in a metal tube for 2-10 hours with 300+ passengers from all over the place is a recipe for a health disaster. That plane may have been used 3 or more times in a day with maybe a once daily cleaning. I prefer 7 days on a cruise ship with my own private cabin than 7 hours on a commercial aircraft trying to get to the port.
As it turns out, with current load factors on airplanes in the US, chances of contracting on a plane are sub 1:7700. https://bit.ly/3auSG9n
Cruise bookings are up 40% year-over-year. This article is the author simply projecting his fears onto an entire industry. If a cruise ship was suddenly leaving Miami tomorrow a quick review of cruise message boards indicates it would sell every available cabin in hours. Cruise ships also make profit at less than 50% capacity because of all the secondary spend. And COVID-20, COVID-21? Fear mongering. Sheesh!
In the past, I’ve linked to this article (https://bit.ly/3bwOgzu) suggesting that cruise bookings could be the bellwether for committed leisure travelers restarting the industry. An industry leader indicating they have information cruises won’t go until 2021 does not make for fear mongering.
I agree with you. Just the sheer pleasure of sitting on your balcony, looking at the water and the beauty of the ocean is enough for me to “get cruising again”.
I agree that 2021 is far more likely than late 2020, but I do disagree with the premise that lines have to drop prices or otherwise be creative in their offerings to get people to vacation with them again. We’ve heard time and time again from industry executives that bookings for 2021 and later remain very strong, surprising even them. I think there is enough pent up demand that prices will stay the same or increase (especially if there is a substantial decrease in offered cabins).
There are a few things that I think could really impact the timeline. One: the experiments that MSC and Costa are running with their med cruises. So far everything I’ve heard is they’ve been quite successful. Everyone is going to be watching MSC to see if they actually have a guest experience that is enjoyable but still takes as many proper precautions as practical.
The second will be the deployment of rapid antigen testing. The FDA has issued an EUA for an Abbott Labs manufactured rapid test that promises reasonably accurate results (at least as accurate as present PCR testing) in 15 minutes for $5/test. This is not fully deployed yet, but the cruise industry will toss money at this like no tomorrow.
Many of you will consider me crazy and maybe you are correct. I have a Tahiti cruise booked for February 2021 and a river cruise booked for September 2021 in Portugal. Both ships have a capacity of under 150 passengers. I’m one of those rare people that have been exposed a few times in close quarters and didn’t contract the virus. I’ve had 4 negative Covid-19 tests. I wear a mask and social distance now, but I was exposed before this was suggested as good protocol.
My concern is two fold.
1) What happens if someone else tests positive while I am traveling?
Windstar advised they will quarantine the person and traveling companions to their cabin and continue sailing. Everyone in Tahiti must test negative before boarding their flight and also 4 days after arrival. Yes, Paul Gauguin cruises did have 1 passenger test positive on the 4 day test and they canceled the balance of that cruise.
2) If I get the Covid-19 vaccine, will it cause my pre travel test to show a false positive?
Yes, I want the vaccine. I always get a flu vaccine and never get sick. I also have been vaccinated for pneumonia and shingles. I’m not afraid of the vaccine….just what it might do to test results.
We have had 2 cruises canceled already, and another one is scheduled for November. I’m ready to get back out there and I’m not living in fear of Covid. Hoping that when we do get back out on the water that they don’t try to force masks. I would go today, full capacity, if I could.
I’m scheduled in January 2021. If they sail, I’ll be in it.
If planes we traveling all along and didn’t get serious until July and they are back to capacity, and ports are open to visitors, then item crossing back up.
What about the fact that the ships are now traveling back towards the US? This would present foresight that they are immobilized back to us for near future cruises. I’m not sure who your fear mongering/rumor contact is… and i would be reluctant to put words out to the public about what an anonymous source tells you, when they don’t want identified….but actions speak louder than rumor. I say we’ll be back on the waters by December.
Time will tell, I hope you’re right.