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  1. Back in April, MSC (in Germany) were excellent about communicating which forms needed to be filled and test requirements etc. However it was only about 1 month before the cruise when we received the first details, and then when the rules changed they sent a new email. I can see it makes people anxious, but the reality is nobody knows the restrictions and forms required for months away. Hopefully none 🙂
  2. I think it is a fair assumption that all cruises in Southern Europe will require masks through to the end of 2021. Cruising from Greece restarted in September 2020 with masks, and I am not aware of any country making mask exceptions for vaccinated people in Europe. Since Summer 2020 I have spent 4 months in Mediterranean countries (Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece), and wearing a mask in public indoors places is pretty much universal (with exceptions when people think nobody else is watching) and accepted without the culture wars masks have generated in US (and other countries).
  3. The bubble approach (including excursions) has been in place since MSC restarted cruising European in August 2020, so is not UK specific. It works! On MSC Seaside in May, entire beaches (Lidos) were reserved for MSC excursions, to avoid passengers breaking the bubble. Lots of fun 🙂
  4. Vaccinations are great and very effective. But still may not have stopped these three testing positive, and are not yet available to all Europeans. In the interim period, we can get similar protection through other NPI (non-pharmaceutical interventions) measures such as masks, social distancing and testing. The fact that these three passengers were identified as positive and quarantined, while the other 3,000 carried on their cruise holiday uninfected is a success and shows the measures work!
  5. YIN cabin on MSC Seaview for 13 nights from Kiel to Genoa (9th October to 22nd October) for GBP1169 per person. Also, no single supplement - which is exceptional!!!
  6. My hypothesis: I don't believe that up until yesterday there were different rules between vaccinated and non-vaccinated guests on cruise-ships - the published UK Government rules were 100% clear that until 19th July (postponed from June) it is either 1000 people or 50% of capacity (whichever is lower). The vaccination requirements from other cruise lines were just internal policy. What changed is yesterday the Government decided the 1,000 passenger capacity limitations could be exceeded if guests were fully vaccinated.
  7. I think they have also taken the option that inconveniences the least customers. If they have 3,000 people booked, then they can either reduce to 1,000 passengers (i.e. inconvenience 2,000 passengers) by following the 19th May capacity limits, or they can reduce to 2,000 passengers (i.e. inconvenience 1,000 passengers) by only allowing fully vaccinated passengers. I feel very sorry for those negatively impacted because they are too young to be eligible for the vaccine. I cannot see any change in published Government regulation, but I'm sure this comes from the Gove
  8. I tried a test booking on MSC's Italian website - the covid insurance must be purchased and the box is checked (selected) by default and cannot be unchecked. On MSC's German website, the covid insurance is still optional - by default the box is unchecked. Hopefully this explains some of the different experiences people are reporting.
  9. When boarding Seaside in Genoa in May 2021, I wasn't asked anything about insurance. I didn't purchase the MSC Covid insurance because my own insurance covers covid. If there were checks (like on UK cruises at the moment) then I think we would have heard something. My understanding is: - Med cruises: no checks if the passenger has covid specific insurance. - UK cruises: checks at embarkation that the passenger has covid specific insurance, with option to pay for the specific MSC insurance. - US cruises: we don't know yet. I suspect the UK checks are
  10. The "probably longer" was the advice given by the UK Prime Minister who said "“There will be hassle, there will be delays, I am afraid, because the priority has got to be to keep the country safe and stop the virus coming back in.” But the good news for everyone else is this is a specific UK issue. For the rest of Europe and also US travel is normalising, so no need to be depressed. For Americans, as long as you are vaccinated you can fly to most European countries tomorrow with no problems (avoid transitting in the UK though). I cruised on MSC Seaside in May and then spen
  11. Even if MSC remove the 'only schengen' restrictions on Med cruises restrictions by the end of June (which seems likely) there will likely be Government restrictions (from either end) for UK travellers through to the end of summer and probably longer.
  12. Currently, if you have a YC cabin you will get all the advantages of the YC experience. Passengers who upgraded or were moved for whatever reason to the YC sometimes still showed their originally booked experience, but it didn't make any difference in the 'experience' and service received. I doubt Seashore will be any different, but there is always that chance.
  13. MSC Splendida is currently sailing (currently in Dubrovnik), so it would need something extra-ordinary for July and August cruises to be cancelled.
  14. Good to see everything working as planned. It is based on the swiss cheese model, that no barrier is perfect so multiple imperfect barriers are used to reduce the potential for Covid outbreaks to a minimum. The layers are: - testing before embarkation - testing at embarkation - testing during the cruise - testing before disembarkation - daily temperature checks - daily activity checks - social distancing on board - masks on board where not eating or drinking or by the pool. - quarantine cases - contact tracing It is a real credi
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