SEPTEMBER 10, 2020


Hello Everyone


I hope you all are healthy and doing well during this time.


Sorry it took a while to update you, every time I planned an update, something changed, that was out of our control.


Over the last 7 months I have been following the pandemic very closely, and been watching how the travel industry, and cruise industry, has been handling this global pandemic.

We will eventually get past this, and put this in our real view mirror, at some point.


As of today, Royal Caribbean (and almost every other cruise line departing from an American port) are still on hold.  I have watched the end zone move from May to June, to August, to September and now until November; with talks saying it might not start back up until Jan.


I have a few concerns that have not been addressed yet; and I presented these concerns to the board at Royal Caribbean.  I asked them two important questions:

1 - I would like to know if they have adjusted the onboard medical area with the ability to treat this virus; and what those added measures are.

2 - I want them to treat the Coronavirus the same way the Norovirus is treated/managed.

When an outbreak happens, they get the ship back to land as soon as possible and get all passengers off the ship. Each ship has a terminal that can handle the management of guests, if I is done in an organized fashion.

3 - I do not want to be forced to all wear masks on our vacation.


I have decided to postpone the cruise for a few reasons:

1 - The cruise line is still not operating, and might continue to get delayed.

2 - Finally payment is due during a time when the ships are not sailing, so I would rather wait and see how the industry continues back to service.

3 - Since we are still in a pandemic, I am reluctant to bring all of us on a vacation; where there are many variables to work around (planes, hotels, transportation, ship protocol, ship capacity limits, etc); it is better for all of us to wait to travel as a large group.


I am moving this Jan. 3, 2021 cruise to this new sailing:


JAN 16, 2022

7 night - Eastern - Sun - Sun

Port Canaveral, FL • St. Johns Antigua • St. Thomas • CocoCay

New Group ID # - 2912929


By moving to this date, we should be able to be qualified for a kids sail free promo, once that kicks in next summer.  Our 2021 sailing did not offer this promo; so this is a plus.


So here is what we are doing.


We are moving the entire group with a ‘lift and shift’ option that Royal Caribbean is offering; where our rooms and rates are protected.  This process will take a little time, and it will put our final payments for that cruise back until Oct/Nov 2021. This is our best option to maintain the large group, and it buys us time to assess the level of where we are at a year from now.  It also buys us time for any payments.  It allows us to see how the industry returns, and hopefully will minimize fears to travel by then.


If you would like to continue to be booked, and sail, on the Jan. 3, 2021 sailing; we can keep you booked on that sailing.  You would maintain the room and rate you have. And if you also wanted to join us for the 2022, we would book you in the new group/prevailing rates; which we can get that info to you.  Please let us know if you would like to remain on this sailing, so we do not lift and shift your booking.  We need to know this ASAP; otherwise we will be lifting everyone to the 2022 sailing.


If you like a refund, that is also an option, please let us know.  If you are booked in prevailing rate, and your booking has “NFD”, that is a non-refundable deposit.  If you are booked in “group rate room”, you are fine.  Typically, people who sign up on the cruise, for the next years cruise, are in non-refundable deposits, until they put $500 on the room and we pull into ‘groups’.  We can help you with this.


Once we get the transfers over, we will send you an updated booking form.  We will be working on the Disney/Universal packages as well, and should have them done in a couple months.   We will send out updates as we progress.


If you would like to book for any other cruise, remember we are a full-service travel agent; and we can book you for more than just the Chicago Music Cruise.


Lastly, as much as the past 7 months have been depressing, and trying, for many of us; remember we will get thru this together.  We will sail again.  We will have tons of fun again.  We will make memories together again.  So remind yourself everyday to appreciate the gift of life. Hopefully this, bump in the road, is a positive reminder of how much we need to appreciate the life we have been given; and appreciate each other for the friendships we have.


If you have any questions, please reach out to us, as we are here to help you. :)

We will be starting the process now to transfer everyone.


I have updated most of the website for the cruise.  I will send another update after this migration is complete.


Richard Hofherr

NTD Vacations


Chicago Music Cruise



A Division of NTD Vacations & NTD World