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Old 03-24-2020, 04:31 PM
Sam Stone is offline
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 28,696
Originally Posted by Xema View Post
The economics of which require pricing that will appeal if not exclusively to the 1%, then perhaps to the wealthiest 3 to 5%.

It's roughly analogous to the idea of restricting jet travel to planes that carry no more than 20 passengers.

(But I'll agree that cruise line bailouts are borderline abhorrent.)
Not really true. Windstar is a 'premium' cruise company. Their ships have anywhere from 250 to 400 people on them, rather than the thousands on the large cruise ships. They even run two sailing cruise ships that use much less energy. We took a 7-day Caribbean cruise on the Windsurf, a 288-passenger sailing cruise ship, and we paid $1699 each for it, which included all meals and beer/wine. You don't have to be a one-percenter to pay $3400 per couple for an all-inclusive cruise. The big cattle-car ships are around $1000/ea anyway for the same cruise, with much less included.

I expect the cruise industry to slowly move to smaller ships. If you had to evacuate a ship like the Windsurf, it would be manageable by any reasonable port. The problem with the huge ships is that if an outbreak occurs there are almost no facilities in cruise ship ports capable of handling that many sick or isolated people at once, so no one lets them disembark and the entire ship becomes a disaster zone.

I wouldn't bail out the cruise lines either, but that does not come without cost. There are a lot of small tourist-driven countries that absolutely rely on cruise ships for their local economy. Kill the cruise ship industry, and you'll impoverish a lot of people. Even large countries will be hurt - The cruise industry creates about 7,000 jobs in Canada. Port cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, Vancouver, New York and Miami would be severely impacted, as would the ship builders and support companies.

Still, no bailouts. Let them restructure in a way more compatible with the new reality. And also, I'm not sure bailouts would work. Anyone here hankering to go on a cruise again? I'm certainly not - at least not until Covid-19 is years in the rear-view mirror. I'll bet a lot of people feel the same way.

Last edited by Sam Stone; 03-24-2020 at 04:33 PM.