SHOULD the industry deal with Covid?

Do you change the ships or wait it out?


  • Total voters
    51

TiggerBouncy

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 4, 2013
They have proposals. They have costs... it’s not an inexpensive thing to modify ships. There is a chance that on 8 months the nightmare will be completely over. Enough people are vaccinated or immune to make regular interaction safe.

Or maybe not. Maybe we will have to have some level of increased safety forever.

If you ran DCL...would you spend millions of dollars changing and upgrading ships? Hundreds of thousands on test cruises and filing safety regulations? maybe millions more in a year to undo it all? Or wait it out and hope for the best?

You are in charge of DCL. Make your choice.
 

DLgal

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
I would invest in things like improved cleaning products and protocols, as well as things like rapid tests, but that is as far as I would go. I would not invest in anything to retrofit into the ships to create distance or separation, like plexiglass. The plexiglass thing is the dumbest waste of money for a virus that is airborne. I may forever change the layout of the buffet areas, and make them no more self serve, which likely requires more staff, so increased costs there too, perhaps.

I haven't really read much on this, but what types of things are they proposing cruise ships do?

The test cruises and certifications are required, aren't they? No way around that.
 

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  • Karin1984

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 5, 2012
    Waiting it out is not an option. As if you do not make the investments, you will seem irresponsible and turn off people. To win those people back will cost more time than when you have waited it out.
     

    gotomu212

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2010
    I‘d be very interested to see what demand is for cruising right now. It’s hard to gauge on a cruise fanatic message board. However, how are first time bookings? How are bookings with closer sail dates. How many people have parked money with DCL based on the generous cancellation/reschedule policies that make your reservation pretty low risk as long as you will eventually cruise? Are there 5k or 10k a week ready to cruise, along with the international travel hurdles, and under very different conditions like masks?

    I know there were concerns at WDW that the demand has been pretty heavy with local APs but not travelers who are booking hotels/food/tickets. So I’d want a way to feel better that we’d be able to fill ships, without major discounts, to offset the costs of changes and the risk of something going badly.
     

    mrp4352

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2002
    I would spend the money - putting the better HVAC equipment in, cleaning materials/protocols, etc will not only help with this situation, but would be good to have in place overall. (Hopefully we'll not see another crisis like this, but better safe than sorry!)
     

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  • TiggerBouncy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 4, 2013
    You're also assuming this is a one-time issue. We solve this virus... what's the next one that emerges?
    Well, I am not assuming anything. I have not taken a side necessarily. I am just interested in what people think. Many of the "changes" are procedural - which ports get visited and what you can do while there. These do not cost a lot of money (other than port and slip fees). Many more are of limited scope and easy to undo such as the number and placement of some tables, the requirement of masks and not allowing meet and greets.

    Others could get expensive.... Do we have to redesign the dining rooms because some of those tables are built in? Do we have remove pools? Hot tubs? Or at least redo them? Remove other water playgrounds or remake them? Kids clubs?

    And when we say the next virus... will the next virus be "solved" the same way? It may transmit differently. We do not know that the same protocols that worked with one will work with another.
     

    TiggerBouncy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 4, 2013
    I would invest in things like improved cleaning products and protocols, as well as things like rapid tests, but that is as far as I would go. I would not invest in anything to retrofit into the ships to create distance or separation, like plexiglass. The plexiglass thing is the dumbest waste of money for a virus that is airborne. I may forever change the layout of the buffet areas, and make them no more self serve, which likely requires more staff, so increased costs there too, perhaps.

    I haven't really read much on this, but what types of things are they proposing cruise ships do?

    The test cruises and certifications are required, aren't they? No way around that.
    Very practical. As I mentioned in another reply, mostly the cruise lines are trying to keep it procedural and practical, like upgrading air filtration, better cleaning, things like that.

    There are some proposals that would require retrofitting or elimination of pools, hot tubs, kids clubs, water areas. Dining rooms may have to be completely redone. removal of self service drink systems, buffets, ice cream, etc. Some of those may make sense... Others get expensive.
     

    MomOTwins

    The Mommy Fairy
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2018
    Very practical. As I mentioned in another reply, mostly the cruise lines are trying to keep it procedural and practical, like upgrading air filtration, better cleaning, things like that.

    There are some proposals that would require retrofitting or elimination of pools, hot tubs, kids clubs, water areas. Dining rooms may have to be completely redone. removal of self service drink systems, buffets, ice cream, etc. Some of those may make sense... Others get expensive.
    I answered spend to start cruising during covid, but I don't think it will actually be a huge undertaking. The main changes that need to happen are (1) upgrade the medical facilities; (2) filtration/ventilation; (3) stickers and ropes/signage to maintain social distancing.

    I very much doubt pools/hot tubs will be retrofitted--they will just close the pools if they do not want to allow the risk. Drink stations can also just be closed and people can get their sodas from the quick service like at WDW; or they can open the drink area with an attendant filling the drinks for peak times during the day. For buffet, they can have staff fill plates from behind the counter, like they do when there is a norovirus outbreak on the ship, or switch to AYCTE family-style platters like they are doing at the parks.

    Main dining rooms are interesting. I suspect that rather than uproot all the tables and space them, they will alternate tables and mark some unavailable. They may need to have "overflow" seating in other areas as a result--e.g., rotating some guests in Cabanas or consolidating the upcharge dining into just one space (e.g., seat all the upcharge adult-only dining guests at Remy, and use Palo's seating area for the MDR overflow). Another option is to serve dinner at a slightly faster pace to allow three seatings instead of two (e.g. 4:45, 6:30, 8:15). But if bookings are down and with limited capacity, that might not even be necessary. Regardless, there are ways to do it without re-designing the MDR seating arrangements.
     

    tvguy

    Question anything the facts don't support.
    Joined
    Dec 15, 2003
    As a Disney stockholder, I say invest the money. Face it, ships have been floating illness breeders for decades....think norovirus. Make it safer, pass the cost onto the customers. While many complain about the current cost of DCL cruises, and rate hikes, they keep coming back for more.

    Historically Disney has made investments that may not be my preference, but it seems to pay off. All the Star Wars stuff is lost on me. I was burned out on the franchise after about the third movie. But it is drawing people.,
    Then there is California Adventure. Many of us Disneyholics figured that was just another land at Disneyland, not a second park with second admission. It fell short, and they spent another BILLION dollars trying to make changes to convince folks it is worth the price of admission. I think they still should just made it a new land at Disneyland and not charge extra admission, but up until the pandemic, they seemed to be making money on it, just not as much as they would like.
     
  • BartmanLA

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 26, 2013
    The changes slated to be done to the ships is really money already spent, as most of the changes were most likely done in Brest, France since all the ships were there for periods of time for work to be done, not saying that other things won't be implemented down the road but I think they've already invested in those changes, as for the procedures that every cruise line will have to go through to be able to resume revenue cruises these aren't issues that DCL can "duck" away from. The exciting and swift moving news about TWO vaccines that are finished with their trial test periods and are ready to apply for Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA/CDC and the revelation that they're quickly ramping up for production as soon as they get approved for Emergency Use, could mean that Critical need individuals will get the vaccine first (Pfizer has indicated they can meet production quotas for 100 Million doses by early 2021, with another 200 million by late summer) could mean that we might see some relief and cruise lines might very well be positioned to resume operations by possibly late summer 2021, waiting for a vaccine might be more practical so they may not have to go through the potential of on board infections, the risk of a ship wide quarantine, and also the tragic sickness and hospitalizations that could result from an on board infection. We just don't know what direction DCL will take, but as quickly as the situation is changing, factoring in the incoming Administration that could possibly assist the cruise lines with distribution and inoculations for crews, taking a bit of a longer pause might just allow everything to get a "fresh" start once we all have protection and can sail with little worry.
     

    Heather07438

    WDW Apprentice
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2015
    You're also assuming this is a one-time issue. We solve this virus... what's the next one that emerges?
    I think this situation created a new perspective where consumers are more aware of contagions and vulnerabilities on cruises. Many of them will expect to see upgrades on the ship and improved protocols for handling sickness.
     

    AquaDame

    DCL
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 7, 2010
    Of all the changes I've heard of (and I may be missing a lot, especially since its all assumptions at this point) only the plexiglass won't age well. Air filtration? Awesome. Redesigning the dining rooms for individual tables? Timeless (and I would wager those who preferred it communal are in the minority/seasoned sailors). Upgraded cleaning procedures? Love it, noro and other diseases have plagued the industry for years. Loss of buffets? You'll still be able to eat as much as you like, you will just be served, who cares. Changing the way you embark/disembark is relatively easy to roll back if they wish too, but adhering to port arrival times or using a token/magicband/whatever will hardly impact my vacation.
     

    Intr3pid

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 2, 2018
    There is the argument that if they had already spent the money or been more careful (think those Princess ships), we would not have ended up getting singled out in the first place.
     

    MomOTwins

    The Mommy Fairy
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2018
    Of all the changes I've heard of (and I may be missing a lot, especially since its all assumptions at this point) only the plexiglass won't age well. Air filtration? Awesome. Redesigning the dining rooms for individual tables? Timeless (and I would wager those who preferred it communal are in the minority/seasoned sailors). Upgraded cleaning procedures? Love it, noro and other diseases have plagued the industry for years. Loss of buffets? You'll still be able to eat as much as you like, you will just be served, who cares. Changing the way you embark/disembark is relatively easy to roll back if they wish too, but adhering to port arrival times or using a token/magicband/whatever will hardly impact my vacation.
    Converting MDRs tables would be more controversial as a long-term change though because it will reduce the number of folks who can squeeze in to early dining, and late dining is generally much less popular than main dining on a typical cruise (I know late has some die-hard fans on this board, but numbers wise main dining always “sells out” first). Individual tables for parties also requires either more waitstaff or staggered reservations instead of set dining times since otherwise the waitstaff will have timing issues serving twice as many tables or more than they do now. I don’t see DCL switching to individual tables for all without making a big change in dining times.
     

    spiders

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 19, 2019
    There is only so much money you can spend on something for it to be viable and by the time you could do many of the more costly upgrades, the worst part will be over.

    Increased cleaning protocols are a given and everyone should continue those cleaning protocols going forward (by that I mean schools, businesses, everyone).

    You can definitely improve ventilation in the newer ships but I highly doubt you’ll ever see anything significant on the Wonder/Magic. I’m sure the cost would be enormous and not worth spending on them.

    As for demand for cruising, Royal Caribbean received 100,000 volunteers to do the simulated cruises. Sure, they’re volunteers to do something free but that’s a lot of people.
     

    Joe Brig

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 3, 2018
    Investing in cleaning and filtration will encourage people to come back and are changes that everyone likes. The negative changes, like reduced entertainment, buffets, masks, social distancing, and nagging should all be eliminated once a vaccine is available.
     

    mevelandry

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2013
    They have proposals. They have costs... it’s not an inexpensive thing to modify ships. There is a chance that on 8 months the nightmare will be completely over. Enough people are vaccinated or immune to make regular interaction safe.

    Or maybe not. Maybe we will have to have some level of increased safety forever.

    If you ran DCL...would you spend millions of dollars changing and upgrading ships? Hundreds of thousands on test cruises and filing safety regulations? maybe millions more in a year to undo it all? Or wait it out and hope for the best?

    You are in charge of DCL. Make your choice.
    The changes they are going to make will make cruising safer than it ever was and the day another virus arrives, they will be ready to face it.
     

    mevelandry

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2013
    Investing in cleaning and filtration will encourage people to come back and are changes that everyone likes. The negative changes, like reduced entertainment, buffets, masks, social distancing, and nagging should all be eliminated once a vaccine is available.
    Probably not when the vaccine but maybe when most people are vaccinated (which I expect to be a whole year from the moment the vaccine is available —if everything goes well, mid-December 2020 or January 2021– ) ... I don’t expect those safety meansures to be removed before 2022.
     
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