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Anchors-aweigh

Cruising after the 'virus'

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- I am sure we passengers will see many changes -some having been already made public. My 'other half' made an observation which I think will have to be addressed by the high tourist spots like Santorini. This small island had five cruise ships on the day we sailed in and I/she cannot see how an island like this can in future take those sort of passenger numbers. I suppose IF a successful vaccine is available -then the situation regarding 'social distancing' would no longer be the 'normal'. Any thoughts....? 

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I am sure there will be many changes. Can you imagine a coach tour done with social distancing, the cost would be huge as each coach could only take a quarter of is normal load. I hope that by the next time we cruise (April 2021) life we have settled down and we will have the confidence to travel.

I have said in a past post that I would be happy to sail around the seas for a couple of weeks and never touch land. Just to be able to enjoy the facilities onboard ship and have somebody cook for me would be heaven.

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We are all so 'locked in' to the notion of 'stop the virus' that we dare not see beyond the point at which vaccines could be taken annually -as appears to be the case -if the boss of Astro-Zeneca has been quoted correctly. It could become the norm for us seniors to have the 'jab' -as we do with the flu'. Then we may see a gradual return to a kind of normality. 

We are also due for an April sail on the Aurora-hope we are fit and well! 

Edited by Anchors-aweigh

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We have 2 cruises booked in 2021 in May and November which we are obliged legally to do unless we cancel and lose deposits but after that we are not sure after doing nearly 50 cruises that we want to cruise again. Not because of the actual virus just that having 2 cruises cancelled this year and the terrible actions and attitudes of Carnival UK i.e. Cunard/P&O I am not sure whether I want to cruise with them again.

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My latest dealings with P&O written in here under another thread, do not make me want to rush back to P&O after the April cruise. I feel for companies to a degree as these are the most uncertain times. 

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On a brighter note I claimed a refund from TUI for 2 flights. It took about 3 weeks to get the credit voucher and then using the credit voucher number to claim a cash refund took a further 2 weeks. Seems they have certainly at last got their act together.

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The biggest change I`ll see is that my cruising days are over I think. The idea of what it must have been like in the worst cases of cruising around with nobody wanting to let you dock and stuck inside a cabin has made me think that`s it for me.

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The problem with this media-led world of ours is that we are drip-fed a constant diet of worst-case scenarios. Sure it will be a different one - 'slimmed-down' in the case of the cruising industry - but allow yourself for a moment to think that there could well be an annual vaccine [within a year] that we can have alongside the 'flu vaccine. Then why should we not be given the freedom to roam the seas -and the counties of the world once again. 

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3 hours ago, Anchors-aweigh said:

The problem with this media-led world of ours is that we are drip-fed a constant diet of worst-case scenarios. Sure it will be a different one - 'slimmed-down' in the case of the cruising industry - but allow yourself for a moment to think that there could well be an annual vaccine [within a year] that we can have alongside the 'flu vaccine. Then why should we not be given the freedom to roam the seas -and the counties of the world once again. 

Like you I am hoping that any changes in cruising will be mainly beneficial, like more frequent cleaning of the ship, and a higher standard of cabin cleanliness. Add lower passenger numbers and less crowding in entertainment venues, then it won't be all bad, and we will just have to get used to  the inconvenient things.

I would also hope that a much more sensible approach to any need for a passenger to be quarantined is sorted out, along with no blanket bans on the ship being allowed to dock, and other passengers permitted to go ashore.

We will just have to wait and see what is proposed.

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Hopefully we will see the end of the buffets onboard. It staggered me to see folks wandering past my table with plates piled as high as could be done. Most times one passes the table of such people to find that up to half of it is left. I could never get the logic -when one can go back if still hungry.

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We are due to sail at the end of November so we’re still hopeful P & O will have started cruising again by then.  We prefer the buffet for breakfast but if it’s no longer self service it will only be like when norovirus is onboard.  I just want to be able to sit & gaze out to sea - the ports are secondary for me. Hope everyone’s keeping well.🛳

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I cannot see how they can operate cruises this year at least without social distancing especially in theatres and show lounges and without the wearing of masks around the ship and it certainly isnt for me and would rather not cruise under those circumstances. Hoping by the time my next P&O cruise on Britannia next May there will be a vaccine available and everything might be virtually back to normal. Dont care if they got rid off buffets completely as we only really used them last thing at night for a hot drink and perhaps a snack and going back to the old days when Cafe Bordeaux was open on Aurora and available for late night snacks and hot drinks was far superior. One thing P&O and all cruise lines have got to get a grip of is ensuring everybody uses hand sanitizer before entering any eating venue and when they return to ship at ports of call. Hand sanatizer is available at gangways but not monitored by staff and very few actually use it.

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Oh to have a Mystic Meg! I wonder if these mega-cruise companies will come to rue the day they ditched the smaller ship and put in place these multi-deck villages of the seas. Can you imagine the headache in trying to keep 5000+ people apart at the mealtimes and for the evenings when most would favour a get-together. I miss the Adonia! Quite liked the small-ish Maasdam which I think is being pensioned-off. 

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50 minutes ago, Anchors-aweigh said:

imagine the headache in trying to keep 5000+ people apart

Could I respectfully suggest Anchors-aweigh the size of ship doesn't really come into it. What does matter is the PSR (Passenger Space Ratio). This is a statistical measure that compares the total public space on a cruise ship to the number of passengers carried. Therefore the higher the figure the more space a passenger has. In very large ships this is often in excess of 40. Oasis of the Seas is 42, Anthem of the Seas 40, Brilliance of the Seas 43 and QM2 a huge 57. Looking at older smaller ships Oriana was 37, Arcadia 37, Boudicca 34, Norwegian Spirit 38, MSC Opera 34 and Maasdam 34. Big is not always bad.

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13 hours ago, Anchors-aweigh said:

Chacun a son gout

Couldn't agree more. It's all about expectations and desires which is why there are so many ships of different size, amenities and star ratings. Happy cruising everyone. I am pleased to be back on a cruise in August albeit an English river cruise.

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Currently it is logical to sail a ship of 6000 potential passengers one-third full than one of only 1200. As for me a two-thirds empty aircraft-carrier size of ship would not appeal. Taking things forward to the day one hopes when vaccines are available to all then sailing with a vaccinated crew and passenger complement should carry little [if any] more risk than carrying those with a 'flu jab. 

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Just another thought, if the virus is still around by the general sail date [whenever that is] - how will ships cope with the usual 'throughput' during the day. Will it be a case of port-side passers-by going all in the one direction and starboard going in the other....? 

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The Israelis have a test based on 'gargle and spit' which they claim will give a result within seconds -using a matchbox sized machine. In 400 people tested it had a 95% accuracy. If this proves to be the case it could be a huge leap forward in testing pre-cruise. 

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2 hours ago, Anchors-aweigh said:

The Israelis have a test based on 'gargle and spit' which they claim will give a result within seconds

Certainly a fast result and it makes you wonder why they can't do the same with a swab test that takes samples from the same area as a 'Gargle' produces. Personally I think the major problem ships face is that whilst they can test prior to boarding, we all know the person tested may be carrying the virus but not displaying symptoms at that time. Hence the reason some countries require two tests not less than 48 hours apart before granting entry without quarantine. When the infection does show on a ship no port will want that ship within miles of them as happened with so many ships in the beginning. Certainly for people in this country until the FCO lift their ‘Do Not Cruise’ policy cruising is still a dream as no insurance company will cover you for going against the advice of the FCO. Yes, some insurance companies now cover you for Covid but not if you travel against government advice. Roll on the day we have a vaccine that works.

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The whole situation is a nightmare and there is no easy solution. Do we know how long the virus might be in the body before showing up on testing? Could it be in the nose but not in the throat initially? Sadly, at this time I can't see how cruises can realistically operate without a vaccine being available. I do however sincerely hope the pathfinder cruises that are starting up now will prove me wrong...

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2 hours ago, afcandrew said:

Do we know how long the virus might be in the body before showing up on testing?

We are told it can take up to 14 days hence the reason for the 14 day quarantine period but I have read it usually shows after about 5 days. Cunard have cancelled all sailings until next May so personally I wouldn't want to place a bet on when cruising will begin again with any regularity but I don't think it will be before next summer. Even my river cruise on the River Seven has been moved from this month to September. As always, just my opinion.

Edited by Oldworldtraveller

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3 hours ago, Oldworldtraveller said:

We are told it can take up to 14 days hence the reason for the 14 day quarantine period but I have read it usually shows after about 5 days. Cunard have cancelled all sailings until next May so personally I wouldn't want to place a bet on when cruising will begin again with any regularity but I don't think it will be before next summer. Even my river cruise on the River Seven has been moved from this month to September. As always, just my opinion.

It states on Cunard's website that only QV cruises are cancelled until May, QE until March and QM2 April.

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