Will we ever take cruise holidays again?

Good question. Tourists have very short memories," says Prof Agarwal in the article and that is a fact. “This is like when a terror attack affects a destination. Look at the attacks in Paris and Brussels - three months maximum [fill in visitor numbers], and they were back to normal.” So by the looks of it the industry will bounce back, sooner or later.

Also, it is fairly obvious what the industry will do the second that travel restrictions are lifted - they will launch a huge advertising campaign and slash their prices, to get customers back. Although as Prof Muller explains, that won’t be painless.

Interesting side remark.

“No one is willing to bail them out because of their tax avoidance, but also because of the negative impacts they have at their destinations… they contribute very little to the local economy.”

Cruise ships are notorious for depositing thousands of tourists in crowded cities who, Prof Agarwal says “spend very little, look around the place for five or six hours with a packed lunch, and then go back on board for dinner”.


A shipmate who frequently takes cruises & I was discussing this topic last week. He takes 1 or 2 a year & said yes. My family took 1 cruise, enjoyed it & after giving it some thought I’m pretty sure we will again too one day. We are an adventurous family & have done things a lot more dangerous than taking cruises. I’ve worked in Nigeria & would again if I absolutely had to. I worked on a construction vessel with 200+ people. I’m stuck at sea now with more crew & passengers than I want to mention. My family has backpacked across Peru, Italy & the AT staying in budget accommodations & we have small kids. We visit Mexico frequently & seen homicide victims on the ground. We flew in a rickety Cesna to see the Nazca Lines & took a cheap bus over the curviest roads of the Andes Mountains. We even walked the Stairs of Death at Machu Picchu with a 3, 8 & 10 yrs old. A picture of the stairs are below. We are not a fearful family & we will get used to living with covid19 eventually. I think that is how it will be for a lot of people. Besides, the misses wants to see Antarctica one day & cruising is the best way.



I wonder how you could have a job on the side with all that traveling… :wink: Machu Picchu, that is still an old dream of mine!


There’s a limited amount of tickets sold each day (6,000) & only a few hundred additional tickets for the 2 day hikes surrounding Machu Picchu proper. We did both hikes, Machu Picchu Mountain & Huayna Picchu where the Stairs of Death are located. The good news for you… I bet prices & availability is super great right now! Go for it!

Concerning the traveling, what’s the point of making good money & having 6 months a year off if you’re not going to do anything with it? My wife & I tell our kids all the time that adulthood is going to be very anti-climatic unless they luck into a very good situation.


Is that in shipping? My goodness!

Well it’s not 6 months straight but yes. Research, but even when I worked tugs, oil field & ATB’s I only worked 6 months a year most of the time. With my current job, ever how long we work we take the same amount off depending on the client’s schedule. I got shanghai’ed on the fill-in job that I’m doing now so this year will probably be 7 months work, 5 off (I’m working on my off time). It all works out in the end though. No matter how much or less I work it seems my account always has the same amount in it so I figured it best to only work half of the year.

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What a luxury! I am old school and we had only a couple of weeks per year furlough if you were lucky. I was on one tanker for a little over two years and had to threaten to resign at the end to get one months of furlough. There always was a shortage of seamen in those days mostly due to bad payment. You could earn more ashore then at sea…

Wow! Unimaginable.

I’m sure there’s several frequent visitors of the forum who didn’t know that about you real old timers. I suspect close to the majority of the non-Military Sealift Command mariners who visit this site are even time guys like myself. I learn something new every day!


Machu Picchu is closed now because of the virus. The whole of Peru is in lockdown. People are only allowed to leave their homes for a few hours during the day for important reasons.

Luckily I got to see Machu Picchu a couple of months ago shortly before the madness started.


The madness will pass & it will be the same or better than before. Machu Picchu withstood the conquistadors & worse, it’s not going anywhere. The plague ushered in the Renaissance. The Spanish Flu gave us the Roaring 20’s. The Great Depression & WW2 gave us the Greatest Generation. Just by talking on the phone with my kids I hear a difference in them. They sound tougher, more serious. All this time we’ve been dismissive of the millenials & then this happens to help build their character. It will be exciting to see how it turns out.

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Yeah but you’ve shared some photos of you in your tropical whites with knee high socks so it was a fairly “baller” lifestyle. Bring your wife along and see the world in relative luxury… The good old days. I envy y’all that experienced it.


During those two years we drydocked two times in Cádiz, Spain. We had to stay om board during those two weeks. The yard also worked in the evening and even nighttime. Because of the noise it was very hard to get a good sleep. Luckily I was young and had a strong bladder… The Shell docking superintendent politely refused to use the Owners cabin. He stayed in one of a luxury hotels nearby. He didn’t had dinner in the yard’s canteen with us either, that food was more than bad. Smart guy. We often ate in a restaurant ashore to get some decent grub, for your own account of course. All that would be unthinkable now.

Three year contracts when you sailed with for instance the Royal Interocean Lines were normal then.


What a super education for those children ! It will pay off 10 times over in their lives. Back in the day when I was between wives I was crew changing in Europe and Asia for quite some time. They were flying me first class so I talked to the office about flying my daughter round trip economy to where I was when time for crew change. We’d hang out there and if I had to meet the ship at a different port I’d get myself there. After some discussion and signing of releases we did that for quite some time. She got an education and became a better rounded person. Chose to go to college in Europe and law school in the Netherlands. Speaks entirely too much in several languages but says that the travel at a young age changed her perspective on life. Your children are most fortunate.


Yes in a way it was the good life with stewards that woke you up in the morning with coffee, made your bed, cleaned the cabin and poured our drinks when we played poker. The captain had his own personal steward. The photos show the officers mess, smoke room and ladies who were on the trip taking over from the cooks on occasion. Not too bad. This was on the Shell tanker Ondina.





How times have changed…it looks like a decent life back then.


From what you describe & the pictures posted, it sounds like they were cruise ships that carried cargo. If I could get a job like that I would definitely give it a try regardless of the long contracts & lower wages just to see what it was like. Especially when I was single. Those blokes in the pictures don’t seem stressed at all.

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He is talking about a time long gone, with large (HK Chinese?) crews and good living quarters (for the officers) It was nice when it lasted,

Overseas trade and long contracts made it a rear occasion when a ship call at a port in (or even near) home.

Today the ships are all operating with minimum crew and of standard design, with spartan LQs. The uniforms have been replaced by coveralls on anything but cruise and passenger ships.

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Like cruise ships we also had a swimming pool aft behind the two funny chimneys. Furthermore before bedding down we used to place our shoes outside the cabin door. Early next morning the midship pantryboy, not the stewards that was below their paygrade, would shine those shoes. Every now and then we used to put a bottle of Heineken next to the shoes as a token of appreciation. The crew got only two beers per day, also in the tropics, so this was very welcome. We sailed with a crew, don’t be shocked, of 54 in total.

We had two laundry rooms, one midships and one aft. The idea was that the dirty coveralls of the engineers and crew should not be mixed with the fine white linen of the officers. I suppose that this was a totally different world as compared to the situation these days on board ships. It looks likes that nowadays seamen are looked upon as an unfortunate necessity.


My how things have changed, would have liked to try that. 54 man crew, good gracious. Wonder what pictures will be shared 30-40 years from now with the caption"The good ole days".


My crystal ball says:

Anybody posting pictures of company property without the explicit consent of the company will face legal actions. Please contact HR if you have any questions. BTW, if your pictures are time stamped you better make sure the time doesn’t correspond with the hours you were supposed to be on watch because you aren’t getting paid to take pictures & your pay will be docked.