February 12, 2021
(2:30 p.m. EST) -- Welcome back to another week in cruise news! In this week's video, Adam Coulter, Cruise Critic's Managing Editor in the UK, reveals some exclusive robot news, talks about an Oceania world cruise that sold out in a day and answers a big question on cruisers' minds: Why isn't my cruise line canceling my Alaska cruise?
In case you missed it, you can also check out last week's video, where Managing Editor Chris Gray Faust discusses the CDC's mask mandate, what's happening with the 2021 Alaska cruise season and the first North America cruise line to require a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine to sail.
Hello, cruisers, and welcome to "This Week in Cruise News" -- your weekly roundup of all the cruise news that is making the headlines this week, brought to you by Cruise Critic.
My name is Adam Coulter and I'm the Managing Editor of Cruise Critic here in the UK.
So this week I'm going to take a deeper dive into the ongoing Canada cruise ban affecting Alaska cruises; then I'm going to look at a world cruise that sold out in a day; and finally, some exclusive robot news, so stay tuned until the end for that big reveal.
So first up: Alaska.
Now, if you recall last week we covered Canada's ban on cruise ships entering Canadian waters until February 2022 -- which basically means large ships will not be able to operate Alaska cruises this season.
Or will they?
The question on many cruisers' lips is: Why has my cruise line not canceled my Alaska cruise?
Well there are a few reasons for this.
First up, cruise lines are currently in discussions with Transport Canada and negotiations are ongoing.
Secondly, lines are also petitioning for the temporary suspension of the Passenger Vessel Services Act. Now this basically means a non-US
flagged ship -- which the big cruise lines are -- have to call in at a non-US port every voyage, which is where Canada comes in.
Thirdly, the pandemic might improve so the ban could be lifted early.
And, finally, cruise lines are still offering their landbased tours. So not a cruise, but you'll still get that Alaska experience.
So our advice is: Don't cancel your cruise yet. Let the line do it for you.
A 180-day World Cruise? "Yes please," said Oceania passengers. The line's 2023 world cruise -- with cabin prices starting at a cool $45,000 -- sold out in one day last week. One day, ladies and gentlemen!
And finally: We know it's been a rough week, so here's something to make you smile. MSC Cruises has unveiled the first robot bartender at sea. His name is Rob -- short for "robot" -- and he'll be serving a selection of cocktails in the Starship Bar onboard the line's newest ship MSC Virtuosa, which is due to set sail in April.
So that's it, ladies and gentlemen, for another week. Thanks so much for tuning in!
If you want to learn more about this week's cruise news, or stay up to date with the latest in the industry, you can click on the "News" tab on CruiseCritic.com or click one of the links in the YouTube description below.
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Thank you, and until next time, bye-bye.