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JD SCHWARTZ' INSIGHTS INTO SHIPS, THE OCEANS AND DESTINATIONS

A DIFFERENT VIEW...PUBLISHED FROM ARUBA, THE DUTCH CARIBBEAN

UPDATE

Summer 2022

As new ships continue to be delivered and occupancy levels increase across the board (finally) 2022 brings yet more concerns over future travel by land, sea and air. We are in an "endemic". Flight cancellations and staffing issues on board ships are curtailing the once ease of ocean travel and this summer, shrinking river depths in Europe may create some havoc for river cruising. This is now the new normal.

I did manage grab a few cruises in the past year, first from St. Maarten in August of 2021. A quick flight from my new home in Aruba made accessing Celebrity's Summit a breeze and the voyage was beyond fabulous. Just 300 fellow passengers. Imagine a nearly empty dining room and at times, vacant pool deck. One complaint - too much food at the buffet for 300 passengers. I trust the staff and crew fared well and were well deserved to savor the enormous amout of choices set before us day in and day out. Next, was an eight night sail out of Ft. Lauderdale on Allure of the Seas. I swore off sailing on these behmonths but found the experience to be far beyond my expenctation. The ship while huge is easy to navigate. Staff and crew were wonderful and I never experience any lines or crowds.

Thanks to sailing on over 50 ships on 150+ voyages I have some great memories which at this time, it's about all I can offer until this business of testing, canceled flights and an endemic slows down a tad. Journey on...

It's a great time for a deal.

The big sale is onso go out and catch a deal because they're out there calling for hungry pent up cruisers like myself to score big...with one caveat: testing, vacines and cancelled flights.

 

Ship Shape

From my recent experience this past May on a sailing from Ft. Lauderdale on Royal Caribbean;s Allure of the Sea, ship service and staff continue to manage to deliver. The ship was immaculate and sparkling from every angle. The staff were as deperate to satisfy and we guests were happy to finally get back on board. 

Oranjestad, Aruba

Living in Aruba has allowed me to capture a myriad of ships arriving and departing in the past 14 months. Summers are quiet but a visit from Cunard's Queen Elizabeth this month was very exhilirating for this ship buff...onward.

Onward !

 

TRAVEL: NORWAY - A PHOTOGRAPHIC ODYSSEY

Quintessential Norway delivered through Schwartz' newest photo book.

4 Ships, 15 ports cities, 6 fjords - 300 pages

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Schwartz' first voyage into Norway's iconic Fjords in 2017 led this author, photographer, and self-proclaimed seafarer (ME), to three more cruises to the country culminating in January 2020. Schwartz' first-ever 300 page destination-centric book features port specific
information detailing 15 port cities and 6 fjords in a lithographed collectible book. His spellbinding black and white photos in the 300-page odyssey captures and exudes the authors passion for oceanic travel through Norway's coastal cities and fjords...don't miss this photographic odyssey...IN STOCK !!!
SOLD OUT

NORWAY: A PHOTOGRAPHIC ODYSSEY 

 300 Pages, 15 ports, 6  fjords, 4 ships, 14,000 miles

Industry News

CDC Ends Cruise Industry Protocols.

Cruiseindustrynews.com / 18 July 2022

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevent on Monday ended its COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships. "New guidance for cruise ships to mitigate and manage COVID-19 transmission will be available in the coming days," the CDC said in a statement on its website. While no guidance was immediately available, this would point to cruise line's being able to set their own vaccination and testing rules for ships operating or calling in U.S. ports. The CDC will also reportedly stop tracking COVID-19 cases on cruise ships, having launched a dashboard earlier this year. 

NewBuild

Norwegian Viva Floated Out at Fincantieri 

Cruiseindustrynews.com / 02 August 2022

The Norwegian Viva was floated out of the shipyard in Marghera (Venice) today, only a few days after the delivery of  the Norwegian Prima.

The Viva is the second in a series of six Prima-class ships being built by the Italian shipbuilder for Norwegian Cruise Line Fleet. Fincantieri said that along with her sister-ships, the Norwegian Viva will form the backbone of the future NCL fleet, at more than 142,500-tons, almost 300 meters long, and accommodating 3,215 guests. Deliveries are scheduled through 2027 for the six-ship series.

Financial Impact

CLIA: OCTOBER

Princess, December.

 

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLA) issued a statement announcing its ocean-going cruise line members will voluntarily extend the suspension of cruise operations from U.S. ports until October 30, 2020. However, Princess just announced a pause through December. Others are expected to follow as COVID-19 flames up around the USA. Caution continues.

September 2020

ShipBuilding

Will the newbuild orderbook "pause"?

YES. Over 130 new ships with an average size of 85,192 tons and capacity of 2,162 guests are being delayed by yards and cruise lines. The average cost for the newbuilds are approximately $584 Million. Thirty-nine different cruise brands are building new ships. Some shipyards have resumed but on a limited basis and cruise lines are looking at how to meet financial obligations.

September 2020

Prevention

Hemp,hot water, and chemicals? Enough?

 

NO. NCL's coined "washy-washy" has been the buzz at buffets for years. Are the days of Purell enough? NO. The word is mask wearing may be in effect onboard and dining will be spaced out with buffet service greatly altered or eliminated. Watch for some cabins being converted for the NEXT generation of onboard viral prevention including quarantining guests and crew, if needed.

September 2020

Global Ports

Operators opt for UV-C

solutions onboard

 

Virgin Voyages, MSC, and Windstar announced they will be deploying UV-C technology in their HVAC systems "Air will be further sanitized and disinfected with ultraviolet-C light for germicidal irradiation. When air passes the UV-C light, microbes such as bacteria and viruses will be destroyed" states Windstar.

September 2020

Consumer News

Deposits, refunds and FCC cause havoc

As the crisis set in, lines were upping on-board credit to salvage capacity. Then the 125% FCC was enacted with an option to refund (in some cases.) Some lines have eliminated refunds and updated their policies...the confusion ensues and some refunds, while starting to flow, are taking beyond 90 days.

August 2020

Communications

Transparency and honesty - key

Consumers of cruises are loyal. The repeat rate is the highest in the leisure sector and needs succinct honest information and data. Selling cruises for 2020 departures may be a sign that more thought is needed as to how this industry will rebound. Visiting only private islands as single destination may be phase one, or the trend. This is a real risk versus reward scenario. 

August 2020

“It isn’t that life ashore is distasteful to me.

But life at sea is better.”

SIR FRANCIS DRAKE

 

POSTS

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BRAEMAR

TESTING THE WATERS

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PRINSENDAM

TRAVEL WITH ME ON

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AN EPIC VOYAGE TO NORWAY & THE ARCTIC

ON ONE OF HER

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Welcome to PORT MIAMI where I reside and frequently sail from. Featured are sail-aways, the Miami skyline and ship movements.

Photo chronicles of my last 22 cruises featuring my view of Norway, Cuba, the Caribbean, Italy, the UK, France, Mexico, Spain and Bermuda. 

 A different view with editorial highlighting industry news, destinations, new-builds. what's hot and what's not... 

Don't miss S2S insider.

An introduction to the Gallery of Ships featuring collections from my cruises and crossings including ships, the oceans, sky & elements.

ON THE HORIZON

Sea Waves

Sea Waves

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NOVEMBER 2020 SITE EVENTS:

  • RESUMPTION TO USA CRUISES

  • COMING SOON-EUROPE JAN 2021 ?

  • NEVER TO BE THE SAME

  • CRUISING SOLO

  • TIMING IS EVERYTHING

Force 8 Gale Crossing the Atlantic

(I'll be adding more videos soon...stop back)

BEYOND THE BLOG

Available worldwide with free shipping.

Visit my Gallery of Ships featuring over 3,000 photos available as prints with framing options.

SHIPS

THE OCEAN & SKY

DESTINATIONS

ELEMENTS

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PRINSENDAM : HORTA, THE AZORES 2019

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