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Executive Response to the Changes in Cruises

Glimmers of hope with Carnival Cruise Line sailing on August 1

Executive Response to the Changes in Cruises
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Two executives from Cruise Planners, Michelle Fee, CEO and Founder, and Vicky Garcia, COO and Co-Owner, shared their response to changes in cruises including the changing sentiment of cruising. They discussed the financial aid cruise lines have received, Carnival Cruise Line‘s sailings for August 1, and how travelers can prepare for the resurgence of travel on the journey back from COVID-19.

What could it mean for the US that out of 113 global ports, 56 are open such as Edinburgh, Stockholm, Oslo, and St. Petersburg?

M: The fact that 56 of the 113 global ports are open is a glimmer of hope for our industry’s resurgence.

M: While I don’t expect all ports to re-open as swiftly, it brings me much joy knowing our industry is preparing for the return of cruise ships.

Why is it good news for travel advisors that cruise lines have secured additional liquidity and cash-flow?

M: The government’s travel restrictions during the global COVID -19 pandemic was a thunderous blow to the cruise industry. The additional liquidity cruise lines secured will allow them to take measures to ensure the viability of these cruise lines not only in the short term but for many years to come.

M: It’s important that all cruise lines remain financially strong so that when this is finally behind us, travel advisors have great options for their clients. It also helps secure the future of cruising which provides jobs to thousands of people in the US.

What benefits may trickle down to travel advisors from Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise line’s export credit agreements?

M: The export-credit agreement has provided Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines with the cash flow needed to cover their expenses during the “No Sail” government restrictions, including payroll and ability to prepare to resume sailings with the utmost in health and safety precautions for guests.

What should travelers do who want to travel immediately after the lock-down has been lifted?

V: Travelers should work with their travel advisor to get an expert’s recommendation on where to go and how to navigate the new norms of travel post-COVID-19.

How can travel advisors be helpful to the online obsessed millennials looking to travel ASAP?

V: This isn’t the moment to scourge the Internet for cheap deals and steals. That may lead consumers to disreputable travel booking sites or worse, predatory scammers. Now is the time to rely on a reputable travel expert to facilitate travel booking experience and ensure your travel investment is protected regardless if you are a millennial or not. *There [are] also stats that show that millennials are the most adapt to use an advisor.

Are travel advisors prepared to guide their clients back into the world of travel after being locked in for 6 weeks?

V: Travel advisors have been monitoring industry updates and government travel restrictions more closely than ever. They have direct access to the latest information affecting their industry. Travel advisors are not only seasoned professionals in organizing the ultimate vacation, they are preparing for the doors to re-open to guide their clients back into the land, sea, and air.

What is your take on Carnival Cruise Line’s August 1 sailings?

V: What a momentous day to learn that Carnival Cruise Lines will resume their sailings August 1. The news could not be better received as we celebrate Travel Advisor Day on May 6 during National Travel and Tourism Week (May 3-May 9).

M: Three reopened ports and 8 Carnival Cruise ships in the sea is a slow yet steady sign of cruising’s return. We anticipate sailings for August 1 to be a celebration to the rebirth of travel!

Cruise Planners is an American Express travel representative.