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Old April 16th, 2014, 06:51 PM
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Default Quantum Of The Seas heading to China

RCI has announced that after it's initial voyages that are already available for booking, the Quantum will be permanently assigned to Shanghai, China starting in May 2015.

I guess everyone worried about the new dining plan won't have to fret about it, unless they want to fly to China and cruise.

Money talks. It don't sing and dance and it don't walk. But China is where the cruise money is, and so here we go.
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Old April 16th, 2014, 07:30 PM
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My mouth is hanging open. Really, China? Their market studies have found that this ship is best suited for short three-day trips out of Shanghai?

I guess having Adam move up to COO of the parent company was bound to lead to a few surprises, but this?

It feels like a betrayal - the U.S. has always had exclusive rights to new ships (after a brief Europe season where they are made, of course) for several years.

I could understand them sending Oasis over there, or a Freedom class - but not the brand new Quantum. Something about this just feels odd - anyone else agree?
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Old April 16th, 2014, 07:37 PM
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I am also stunned by this news. The Chinese market will want the Dynamic Dining offerings? Really? They want the always formal dining room, Jamie's Italian, and the brew pub?

I don't know what to think of this development.

And then the other shoe that dropped - that Port Everglades will not only lose the Anthem to Bayonne, but also the Liberty which was seasonally located in Fort Lauderdale. So, no new ship in south Florida and one less ship of still recent vintage.
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Old April 16th, 2014, 07:42 PM
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That's right. I was surprised they chose new York - I mean Carnival & Norwegian have that covered with newer ships.

But China - Is Mamma Mia a big show in China? I don;t know.

But I do now understand the other meaning of the term "I've been Shanghai'd"
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Old April 16th, 2014, 08:03 PM
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Goldstein claims American cruisers will still want to go on the Quantum as an option for an Asian cruise. Well, no, I certainly don't. They will be shorter cruises and certainly not worth the price and time of flying to China. If I'm going to fly all that way I am going to go on a lux cruise line. I'm certainly not doing it for a short cruise on a seabound amusement park.

On the other hand, I suspect not too many Chinese are upper tier Crown & Anchor members, so they'll not have to spend as much money on free liquor every night.
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Old April 16th, 2014, 08:12 PM
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The cruises will be three to eight days, to Japan and Korea. Don't forget that it is easier to do multiple embarkation points on the itinerary overseas, so I would expect that they will also be embarking people in Japan and Seoul.

But I agree, I would not take a "destination" cruise ship in a region where my primary goal is to see the sights. Anthem is a Caribbean-style ship, or possibly a Med-style, but not this.

This kind of cruising is best done by the Costa/MSC/Norwegain Epic style ships, not a nice new Royal Caribbean ship.

But - Royal Caribbean does have more ships coming out soon, a third & fourth Quantum class, and a new Oasis class. So, they have plenty of ships, I just don;t understand taking it away from us. Does he think the Chinese will pay the "new ship premium" like the U.S. market will? (I don't know the answer, I am just asking).
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Old April 16th, 2014, 08:34 PM
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I'm currently holding a booking on the Anthem for what was supposed to be a 15 night transatlantic from Southampton to Port Everglades. That is now going to change to probably an 8 night transit from England to Bayonne with no port stops (the 15 night cruise stopped in three Caribbean ports). Thus, I may cancel it.

I suppose they could put one of the later Quantum-class ships in Florida, as you say they have an option for up to four of them in the contract. And we have the third Oasis-class being built currently.

I do feel a sense of betrayal. Of course part of it is based in selfishness as we are used to seeing all the newbuilds come here for a while before being moved. And to be frank, I do feel less apt to book our annual Caribbean family cruise with RCI now. NCL and even MSC might be getting more of my money than they were planning on getting.
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Old April 16th, 2014, 09:12 PM
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Well... at the risk of making a short post long - there was a Harris poll about US cruisers being reluctant to cruise. The problem is too few 1st-time cruisers.

Mostly Carnival is hurting the most. Royal Caribbean is the now most popular US cruise line. People like their ships.

Now - so far Quantum seems like it will be another high quality RCL ship - but we have not seen it yet.

Just like we all had pretty high expectations for NCL's Epic (after seeing Oasis) - it was a let-down, an homage to commercial cruising where they pack people in like sardines and make all dining and entertaiment "alternative" which, let's face it, leads to long lines and waits.

We have not seen Quantum yet. I want to believe it will be a gorgeous ship, but what if it isn't? What if it is just a bigger version of Freedom, but without the Royal Promenade? There is always the possibility it is just another big commercial cruise ship - a floating amusement park, like some many of the others lines' ships out there now.

There is an early morning conference call tomorrow. (6:30 my time). I suspect THIS was going to be the big news and it got leaked somehow. But there could be more revealed tomorrow as well - entertainment.

If that is the case - then they leaked THIS news first so it would not dominate the discussion they plan on having tomorrow. We will see. If tomorrow is just about this - then I think it will tend to lower expectations for Quantum a fair somewhat.

But we don't know. It is also possible that more people will want to book Quantum now to see it while they can. It also makes me think bookings for it were slower than expected, or else they would not be moving it.

But that can be attributed to the fact that all cruises are being booked last minute now. The cruise lines have lost control over pricing. They are trying to charge a bundle a year out, and dropping the prices like crazy two months out. No wonder no one is booking cruises now.
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Old April 16th, 2014, 09:48 PM
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I'm sure Norwegian and MSC are loving this news though, at least the part about the Anthem not homeporting in Fort Lauderdale and the Liberty being moved out of the south Florida market too. Both of those lines are building new ships for the U.S. market (or so they say) and thus will enjoy the lack of competition. MSC has their aggressive plan for the American market underway too, and south Florida ports have always been important to Norwegian.

I'm attending the phone call tomorrow too. But will it be a two cups of coffee event, or just a one cupper?
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Old April 16th, 2014, 10:43 PM
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I have to believe that Royal Caribbean fanatics, will be reaching for some pepto bismal with this news. I am taken aback as well...all the bells and whistles, the legions of cruisers were waiting for, will be sailing away.
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Old April 16th, 2014, 11:37 PM
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This news is Odd. A brand spanking new over the top ship to China

At least the New Jersey market is not loosing out totally. As we loose Queen Quantum we gain Lovable Liberty then Awesome Anthem.

I'm glad I booked QQ and will be cruising with her later this year while she is still a Jersey girl.
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Old April 17th, 2014, 12:18 AM
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I'm not going to lie, I feel betrayed! I live in New Jersey and I felt like Quantum was our ship. It was something for Royal fans and cruisers from the North East to be proud of! I'm not nearly as excited now that I know it's a "limited engagement". But I'm still excited to sail on her! Just disappointed that it will be a one shot deal...
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Old April 17th, 2014, 05:45 AM
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Totally surprised here too. Are there ports over there that can handle a ship this size, etc. I just hope Royal knows what they are doing?
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Old April 17th, 2014, 06:06 AM
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We in the UK don't know if the Summer of 2015 is the only time Anthem will be based here and after her Caribbean winter trips she may stay out there in place of Quantum.
But as a UK based cruiser, having options in China sound good. I have done the states loads of times and want to visit new ports of call and not the same ones over and over.
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Old April 17th, 2014, 06:42 AM
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It's a big world out there and the Asian market has a growing, untapped, middle class. You go where the people and the money are.

Shanghai's new, Wusongkou, cruise terminal will easily handle the capacity and the largest of ships. I also think there was a good financial incentive from China to Royal Caribbean to do this. Hong Kong's newer and larger, Kai Tak cruise terminal is now completed and will accommodate the largest ships and at a greater rate than the old terminal.

Singapore's new terminal is also beautiful and huge allowing it to also handle a high volume of passengers and the newest ships.

China and Asia are making the investment to bring in the newer and larger ships. They have previously been serviced by Star Cruises, MSC and Costa. This market also was the home for "smaller" ships and gambling was a major draw. The growing middle class now wants to experience true cruising and they want to be entertained and transported with the state of the art ships. Only time will tell if Asia's investment will pay off. It looks like that, at least in the short term, it is.

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Old April 17th, 2014, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
It's a big world out there and the Asian market has a growing, untapped, middle class. You go where the people and the money are.

Shanghai's new, Wusongkou, cruise terminal will easily handle the capacity and the largest of ships. I also think there was a good financial incentive from China to Royal Caribbean to do this. Hong Kong's newer and larger, Kai Tak cruise terminal is now completed and will accommodate the largest ships and at a greater rate than the old terminal.

Singapore's new terminal is also beautiful and huge allowing it to also handle a high volume of passengers and the newest ships.

China and Asia are making the investment to bring in the newer and larger ships. They have previously been serviced by Star Cruises, MSC and Costa. Other cruise lines "stopped" in Asia but had a small presence of "home port" ships in Asia. The Asian market was known as the home for "smaller" ships and gambling was a major draw. The growing middle class now wants to experience true cruising and they want to be entertained and transported with the state of the art ships. Only time will tell if Asia's investment will pay off. It looks like that, at least in the short term, it is.

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Old April 17th, 2014, 09:00 AM
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All the points made from the RCI vantage point (business view) make sense.

Unfortunately, some cruisers who have spent more than a year hearing the hype about the Quantum class (U.S. cruisers) feel betrayed.
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Old April 17th, 2014, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
My mouth is hanging open. Really, China? Their market studies have found that this ship is best suited for short three-day trips out of Shanghai?

I guess having Adam move up to COO of the parent company was bound to lead to a few surprises, but this?

It feels like a betrayal - the U.S. has always had exclusive rights to new ships (after a brief Europe season where they are made, of course) for several years.

I could understand them sending Oasis over there, or a Freedom class - but not the brand new Quantum. Something about this just feels odd - anyone else agree?

Why do American's think they own the rights to every new ship. They don't Paul and as less than 5% of American's (Canadians too) have ever cruised, it's time to try something that might work. The American market is extremely soft and Quantum in particular isn't selling well at all. There are many reasons for this but the fact is - the Caribbean is soft and there are too many ships doing it.


As I listen to American's complaining about this new event, I have to wonder -


1. 5% have sailed.
2. Media portrays cruising as dirty and dangerous.
3. Costs go up but cruisers aren't willing to pay.
4. Cruisers want OBC and piles of perks with all sorts of complaints when they don't get their own way.
5. Lawsuits be filed and fed by the media.


There are a lot of other reasons, but the fact is the North American market is saturated for the moment and for the cruiselines to stay in business they have to go where the business is.


Going to Asia is actually a brilliant idea. Taking a new ship - why not. Asians and that area are not second class. Why shouldn't they have a new ship.


American's really have to get over themselves.
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Old April 17th, 2014, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
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Why do American's think they own the rights to every new ship.

American's really have to get over themselves.
On these 2 points...I think you have really missed the boat (pun intended)...

There have been more than 18 months of anticipation (and personal planning) for U.S. cruisers on Quantum based on a Bayonne-ported ship. Please note that I really don't care at all for that location myself, but understand the business side of that decision which was heavily promoted/marketed in the U.S.

In addition (and likely as a market-sensitive move based on some negative feedback regarding Bayonne for loyal RCI customers), Anthem was then promoted for months being based in Florida.

All this has now been thrown out the window. It borders on bait-and-switch for the whole Quantum class.

It is fully understandable that many cruisers (and U.S. cruisers make up the largest population of those who currently cruise) would be upset with this major shift in strategy by Royal Caribbean.

While it might make business sense to expand the market in Asia, doing so by (in the 11th hour) drastically shifting around ships that have been promoted heavily elsewhere (and people booking or planning to book accordingly) also borders on fraud marketing.

If this happened at the Southampton UK port or elsewhere outside the U.S....the misguided transgression would be the same.

Just watch how the negative fallout of loyal RCI customers comes back to haunt RCI with this decision. They may gain some new customers in the process, but have severely aliened established/loyal customers in the process. That makes it a very stupid business decision.
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Old April 17th, 2014, 12:56 PM
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I keep wondering where this "only 5% of americans" have ever taken a cruise popped up. I have seen it in other places, but I am fairly certain the number is closer to 20% or even higher.

The CLIA web site says:

The cruise industry’s commitment to adding new capacity is based on cruising’s tremendous growth potential. Because only approximately 20 percent of U.S. adults have ever taken a cruise vacation, there remains an enormous untapped market.

Profile of the U.S. Cruise Industry | Cruise Lines International Association

I am getting a new idea of the reason behind this. I agree with you that the ship is not selling well. And why not?

1) The New York market seems saturated to me with QM2, Royal Princess and Norwegian Breakaway sailing from there.

2) Quantum, in fact, could be one of the most boring new Royal Caribbean ships yet. Take away iFly and the Pod on a crane - and it is otherwise a gimmicky ship with a small Royal Promenade - a typical theater, standard staterooms, no main dining rooms. I see it as something like a Norwegian Epic-style ship, meant to pack in cruisers like Sardines. - Now, right now, this is just theoretical thinking, I have not seen the ship yet. But from what I have seen, I am not that impressed.
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Old April 17th, 2014, 12:57 PM
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This has nothing to do with American's thinking they deserve the best ships. As I said earlier I thought Quantum was going to be in NY/NJ. I have been reading every post, blog and article in anticipation of it's arrival in my home state. I was eagerly waiting to see new itineraries so we could plan another cruise. We were hoping for a 14 day to southern Caribbean trip.

As for the new Quantum 3 and Oasis 3 I don't care where they go. Give them the build up they deserve and let the people get psyched to have their own new ship. I hope they go somewhere new! I want to do more cruising abroad at some point. But right now because of work I'm limited.

As for your comments on the Caribbean I agree! There is so much overlapping and redundancy. Most cruise lines offer the exact same cruises to the exact same ports. They really need to find more destinations. We have only been cruising for short time and many of the cruises are becoming redundant. I would love to sail on Allure but we have been to every port on both it's trips. Several numerous times! For the most part we don't care because we love the ships and we can always go to the beach if we've exhausted our exploring options. But there's nothing as exciting as sailing into a port for the first time!

And as for the numbers, over 50% of all cruise passengers are from the US. Second place is UK & Ireland which are under 10% of total cruisers. So yes there is plenty of room for growth world wide. But the US is still where the money is.
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Old April 17th, 2014, 01:00 PM
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While this news is a bit disturbing I am optimistic that Royal has something good in mind for the US. With all of the new ships they are building they can afford to reposition ships. Corporations are known for shaking things up, even at the last minute. Sometimes change is not comfortable. I've learned over the years that after a big shake up the best position to take is, "let's wait and see".
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Old April 17th, 2014, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
It's a big world out there and the Asian market has a growing, untapped, middle class. You go where the people and the money are.

Shanghai's new, Wusongkou, cruise terminal will easily handle the capacity and the largest of ships. I also think there was a good financial incentive from China to Royal Caribbean to do this. Hong Kong's newer and larger, Kai Tak cruise terminal is now completed and will accommodate the largest ships and at a greater rate than the old terminal.

Singapore's new terminal is also beautiful and huge allowing it to also handle a high volume of passengers and the newest ships.

China and Asia are making the investment to bring in the newer and larger ships. They have previously been serviced by Star Cruises, MSC and Costa. This market also was the home for "smaller" ships and gambling was a major draw. The growing middle class now wants to experience true cruising and they want to be entertained and transported with the state of the art ships. Only time will tell if Asia's investment will pay off. It looks like that, at least in the short term, it is.

Take care,
Mike
Just so you know - we just had the press conference - and the RCL team insisted there was no financial incentive from China behind this decision.
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Old April 17th, 2014, 01:04 PM
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I thought it was already announced that when Oasis 3 comes out one of them will stay in Southampton (probably the new one).
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Old April 17th, 2014, 01:24 PM
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More news from Royal. They announced today that the Liberty OTS will be based in Galveston Texas year round starting in Nov. 2015. In addition to that the Navigator OTS will return to Ft. Lauderdale in Nov. 2015. The Brilliance OTS and the Vision OTS will be assigned to Tampa Florida. Royal has assigned the Jewel OTS to the port of Los Angeles for two sail dates and one repo date in 2015. We need another ship here on the west coast. And so it goes......
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Old April 17th, 2014, 01:27 PM
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Seadog...

Just so you know, I just asked the Royal Caribbean brass on the media conference call why they didn't put Quantum in Los Angeles instead of Shanghai.

There answer was "lack of ports of call" (I see that) and that they already tried Mariner. I replied to them, "well, I can't help but wonder what a NEW ship might do on the West Coast."

Also - before it goes to Galveston, Liberty will be going to Bayonne, to essentially replace Quantum. You probably know that but it is for the benefit of the readers here.
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Old April 17th, 2014, 01:35 PM
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I would suggest you all re-read what you and many others say which is what pees me off.


To paraphrase you all - "the new ships should come to the U.S. first and the older ships should go somewhere else. The American's ports are better and we deserve everything first."


Well, no you don't - there are other places in the world outside the U.S.


Paul, every report except CLIA says just under 5% of Americans and Canadians have ever sailed.
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Old April 17th, 2014, 01:50 PM
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But Felix..... CHINA????

I never said Americans deserve everything first, although it has been a tradition. But many ships stay in Europe for many seasons (many Celebrity ships did that) and most spend a considerable amount of time there before they come here.

I could see Quantum going to the UK or Barcelona. But China? I just find it hard to believe they are sophisticated enough to pay the new ship premium the line would get here. I don't think the Chinese think that way. I also don't think they cruise for the ship - they cruise for the gambling, included food (which is not anything like what RCL said they had planned for Quantum) and for the fun.

Anyone who thinks the Chinese think like Americans has a big surprise coming. They are far more provincial, anti-social, and not so clean (when I see "no spitting or smoking" signs all over Quantum I will be very disappointed).
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Old April 17th, 2014, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix_the_cat View Post
I would suggest you all re-read what you and many others say which is what pees me off.


To paraphrase you all - "the new ships should come to the U.S. first and the older ships should go somewhere else. The American's ports are better and we deserve everything first."


Well, no you don't - there are other places in the world outside the U.S.
You're trying to turn this in to a US vs. world pissing match! Nobody said that. What many of are saying is that with Quantum the hype was directed at the North East market. Now after a few months the ship that was suppose to be home ported in NJ/NY is going to China. Not everybody booked thinking they would have a few years to sail on her. Many of us were looking forward to taking a second cruise on this beautiful ship. Now she going elsewhere.

I don't expect the US to get ALL the new ships. But seeing's where the majority of the market is here it makes sense that the majority of new ship should be as well. NOT ALL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by felix_the_cat View Post
Paul, every report except CLIA says just under 5% of Americans and Canadians have ever sailed.
The population of the US is 320,000,000 . 5% = 16,000,000. There would have to be a tremendous amount of repeat cruisers!!!
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Old April 17th, 2014, 02:12 PM
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Thanks Paul. Yes I did know this but thanks for clearing it up further. I sailed on the Mariner when it was here in LA to Mexico. I understand the lack of ports. That Mexico cruise was "just ok". The Jewel does a California Coastal cruise that looks to be good. I wonder though why Royal won't do a Caribbean cruise from the port of LA through the Panama canal. An 8 or 10 dayer. With the expansion of the Panama canal the Independence would be perfect. Just a thought. The coastal cruise is 7 days.
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