We have now all been painfully aware of the devastating effects of COVID-19, not only on our health, but the business world as a whole.
Every day, people get laid off and tens of thousands are joining the unemployment line every day. Currencies and stocks are going crazy and there is a great uncertainty about our future and wellbeing. Some can not even imagine how they will survive till the end of the month, others are more optimistic, believing this bad dream will soon come to an end.
Without a doubt, the tourism industry suffered the most and especially so the cruise lines, whose bread and butter are to socialize and entertain thousands of people on their state-of-the-art ships, a notion now so foreign, that we can not imagine it was ever possible. Stranded at sea, ships are unwelcome in most ports of call and some downright forbidden to come even close to land.
There is something very somber about seeing whole fleets of spectacular but forlorn ships, floating aimlessly, forlorn and unwanted. Crew members, in isolation, just like the rest of the world, worry about staying healthy, the prospects of going home and their future in general. The fear is palpable, but the spirit of the true sailors is there- “It is darkest before the dawn”… We know this too shall pass.
Mr Fain’s inspirational videos online have been targeted towards the most affected- guests, travel partners and of course the biggest asset to the cruise industry- their crew.
We are all asking the obvious question- will the cruise lines survive without Revenue and how long? Some have suspended operation for two months, but the reality is that this may not be a feasible deadline. Their stocks are at all time low and there are even Haters that are against helping the cruise lines in these difficult times, for their flagship registrations, made in foreign to the US countries. Many forget, that cruise ships are often first time responders to calamities and natural disasters. Every year, hurricanes bring devastation to many vulnerable areas and cruise ships are the first to react- bringing water and food, clothes and medicine to the most affected areas. Isn’t this the time to show a little appreciation and return the good will gesture? Aren’t we all affected by the risk of losing the cruise industry, especially those who love and enjoy it so much? The livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people in the face of crew and travel partners is at stake, but also cruising is the most affordable and preferred choice of holiday for millions.
Royal Caribbean has been proactive in securing financing.
At the end of the day, probably the biggest victims are the employees both on land and at sea, who have to face the grim reality of isolation, limited food choices and missing pay check, more so those were caught at home, uncertain if they have jobs to return to. Royal Caribbean has been making decisive measures to bring majority of the crew home, by sending ships and Charter flights to so e of the destinations, where the borders are still open and their citizens still welcome.
A lot of us can have their doubts or even fall in grim pessimism, but we know this is going to come to an end, all we need to do is be prepared for the difficult times ahead and anticipate the not so distant future when we can all get back to our normal lives and enjoy the thrills of cruising and the excitement of seeing the world.