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Posts posted by helengp

  1. At last some definite news....All cruises cancelled until end of May. I hope Marella contact me soon.

    I get what people are saying about Marella being stretched and staff working from home etc., but as a key worker myself,  my employer would very much like to know if I will still be taking 2 weeks off in May.....we were supposed to be visiting Italy and slotting the cruise in the middle of the trip. I also can not just switch to another cruise/holiday, as getting time off from work has to be booked months in advance and as so many holidays are being cancelled, and staff cancel their annual leave, when holidays do start up again there’s going to be a rush to book time off.....so no way can we just switch to another cruise. I also need to cancel associated hotels and flights for the May holiday...something I have been reluctant to do without Marella confirming first that the cruise was cancelled. Hopefully we can now get something sorted with them re a refund soon. Maybe we will attempt a cruise again some time, but I don’t think it will be this year ☹️

  2. Hello. I wondered if anyone knows when Marella might update their website re cancellations for May cruises. I can’t get through on phone. It would appear from looking at other companies’ cancellations, that most cruise companies are cancelling through June and some even to end of year. Marella seems to be offering me to change my booking but nothing about what to do if I want a refund. They say that if I have not been contacted yet by email, then the cruise is still going ahead. I find this incredible given the state we are in. It would appear that if I cancel, I will lose my money. Does anyone have any experience of this company and its cancellation policy? Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere.



  3. Yep....Marella still insisting our May cruise still going ahead. Leaving Naples and visiting 3 other Italian locations. Unless a miracle happens, Italy is not going to be open for tourism in 6 weeks time! And I don’t believe in miracles. I agree that Marella should just come clean and cancel all cruises until June earliest. And process refunds. Then at least we could set about cancelling our flights, hotels and the rest of the associated costs (airport parking, dog sitter) that we have booked independently for this trip. Leaving people dangling is just not on.



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  4. Replying to T Tail.....


    Are you working on the frontline in the fight against CV? I am.

    All the WHO figures published do not include or take in to account the hundreds of thousands of people with active infections that either give very mild or no symptoms, and are therefore NOT TESTED. So the figure you quote for active infections is way too low. These people will never be counted as either infected or recovered. So the real number of recovered is massively higher than WHO figures. So that brings the death rate right down. The number that is crucial is the ‘serious’ figure...but only when applied to the total of all active infections....the figure we will never know.

    In the UK we are now only routinely testing people in hospital.....many who are already ill or frail, with other underlying health conditions. It is therefore highly likely that those patients will go on to need critical care and they will possibly die. This fact alone makes all the WHO figures skewed.


    So in reality the death rate remains tiny, particularly when you also remember that a large percentage of the people who have died were already in a terminal condition or living with a life limiting illness before contracting CV. They would have died soon anyway.


    Italy also has skewed figures, as it seems they are reporting anyone who dies after testing positive for CV as a CV statistic, even if they were already terminal or had serious life limiting conditions. So you see, you can not compare one country to another, even using WHO stats. 


    The press would have us believe all hospitals are bursting with CV patients, and that ICUs are already full. That is simply not true. In my hospital we currently have no CV infection, and in the whole county only 11 reported cases. 3 are hospitalised. ICUs are busy...but with people with other intensive needs.

    Social distancing is now key to stop a rapid spread. Unfortunately, too many people are not taking that seriously. And sadly, more people continue to die of pneumonia caused by bog standard flu or the common cold. And heart disease is still the biggest killer of all.....a day doesn’t go by when I don’t sign my name on a death certificate of someone who has died prematurely. A completely unnecessary situation if people would only look after their health better. 

    CV is a challenge, and a real worry. It will never be beaten, but we will learn to live with it as we do all the viral diseases we encounter. The longer lasting and more serious effect will be the destroyed economies of many nations.....and the indirect suffering caused by that.



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  5. Current UK stats, based on people actually tested ( so not including the huge amount that don’t ever get tested as either a symptomatic or have very mild illness)


    Currently Infected Patients
    3,721 (99%)
    in Mild Condition
    20 (1%)
    Serious or Critical


  6. 5 hours ago, T Tail said:



    That's incorrect information.  20% are shuttled off to intensive care.  5% are put on ventilators.  95% of those put on ventilators never make it out of the hospital.  The 20% who are in intensive care almost all suffer from PERMANENT lung disease with 20 to 30% decrease in their lung capacity due to the illness and the scaring it causes.  Add that to a 10% a decade that you are alive, decrease in lung capacity as a normal course of events, and you can see why this disease is so debilitating to so many over age 60.  Or to anyone hoping to make it to age 60!

    This is not the flu  It is not SARS. It is not MERS.  it is not swine flu.  It is much more dangerous.  It will not settle down in the community until 70% of the population becomes immune to it (by getting it, or by vaccine, which doesn't exist) and stops spreading it.  Thats math.  The inverse (percentage of the population) of the R naught must be immune for it to die out.  The US government had a report (leaked to the New York Times yesterday) that estimated that this virus would not reach 70% immunity for 18 MONTHS.  God help us all.

    Where are you getting this info from? How can anyone know what long term damage is being done when the virus has only been around a few months? I think your figures are spurious. 

    Here in UK the proportion of infected people (tested positive) currently requiring hospital care is less than 1%. And not all of them are in respiratory distress! And that’s also based on figures of people actually tested....there are undoubtedly 1000s if not tens of 1000s who have this disease but show no symptoms so have not been tested. Please direct me to the actual medical source of your comment.

  7. So if you have a cruise booked before 30 June but can’t reschedule and don’t want another holiday, will you get a refund? Are they cancelling holidays or not?


    2 hours ago, FIFE1 said:

    Interesting TUI have added below to updates this afternoon

    We would like to give those due to travel after the 16 April the additional freedom and peace of mind when it comes to travelling in the future, which is why from today we will be offering our travel promise. From 17 March 2020 if you have an existing TUI, Marella Cruises, First Choice or TUI River Cruise package holiday booking travelling on or before 30 June 2020 you can amend for free to any holiday on sale. You can do this up to seven days before your original departure date. Please refer to booking terms and conditions for more information.


  8. Kevin York...I agree, I want to get this thing and get it over and done with. Then I can go to work and help others without worrying about it. We are currently in France and now need a piece of paper stating our purpose to leave the house. Not sure what that will achieve as it’s easy to print off the form and tick the box....can go shopping, walks, walk dogs, go to Dr and so on but no social gatherings. People here are not happy! We have brought our return home forward a week as there’s not a lot we can do here...all the DIY shops are closed. So no decorating possible and hubby can’t get out on long cycle rides as he’d planned, so might as well be at home. Well, apart from the fact the sun is shining here 😁 

    As you say, cruises seem a long way off.....still waiting to see what Marella do next about May cruises.

  9. Actually you are both correct and incorrect at the same time. This virus is a ‘flu’....a new strain of it. Every year flu comes around it is slightly different, and the vaccine we are given every year is different, based on which strain of the flu the scientists think is going to be most prevalent. The difference is, this one is totally new and spreads so easily and for many, has no symptoms, so people are inadvertently spreading it. So when we talk about ‘flu’ we are actually talking about a whole host of viruses that cause respiratory distress, including this new one.

    Secondly, flu itself never kills anyone...it is the complications from respiratory distress that kill people....chest infection, pneumonia and sepsis. The ‘flu’ vaccine each year gives us a small amount of several viruses, and then our bodies create antibodies to fight those viruses. Then if we become exposed to that virus again, our bodies are ready primed to start fighting. For most healthy people, that is sufficient to knock it on its head, and each of us will suffer varying degrees of illness, which will pass. The problem comes when people who are already ill (and whose immune systems already stressed), have compromised immune systems...like after cancer treatment, or are simply weak and frail due to old age, become exposed and their bodies can not fight off the disease...they succumb to chest infections, that can lead to pneumonia and sometimes sepsis, organ failure etc and ultimately death. So people with diseases like COPD, heart disease, diabetes and so on will have a much bigger fight on their hands. BUT this is the case for all flu strains and even the common cold can lead to death.


    So, whilst this virus is scary, it will settle down in the community, as all others have before...think SARS, bird flu, swine flu and so on....and will in future be part of the flu jab we are given, and as a species, we will build immunity against it....in time. In the meantime, something like 95% of people who catch it will have a mild illness that will not do any long lasting harm. For the remainder, it is indeed a worry, but keeping a distance, washing your hands and being sensible will all limit the spread. 

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  10. 8 minutes ago, davecttr said:

    Well Sainsbury had no delivery slots left but Tesco had for 2 weeks time -phew!

    Just arrived in France yesterday for 2 weeks....and bearing in mind that as of last night all restaurants, cafes etc are to close, I went to the supermarket with trepidation this morning, expecting everything to be sold out. What a pleasant surprise.....shops very busy but no one loading up trolleys, and pretty much everything available in store....even loo rolls😁

  11. 18 hours ago, kevinyork said:

    Ok, maybe that might be slagging them off but deservedly so in my opinion.  At least let people know further in advance. Not just two weeks. Their own Facebook page have been posting lovely pictures of cocktails etc all week whilst this has been going on and could have used that outlet to keep people informed and reduce the stress for passengers and uncertainty. As far as I’m aware all cruise lines have been refunding without the need to claim off their travel insurance. 

    I agree.....Marella are leaving everything far too late....it is highly unlikely that Italy will be safe by next month, yet when I’ve asked them repeatedly what their plan is in that event they give me the standard....’all our cruises will be running as scheduled’ response....still! And people should not have to claim off their own travel insurance if a cruise is cancelled because of FCO advice not to travel....this is where Marella are being devious I feel....leave it so late to cancel that most will already have cancelled themselves, leaving Marella with a much smaller payout.   Marella will have their own insurance that should cover them for loss of income in such a case......so why are they so reluctant to cancel? 

  12. Interesting developments. Still no news on Italy though. That said, I really think we are all letting this whole virus thing get out of hand. It really is not going to affect many people that badly....heart disease and type 2 diabetes will prematurely kill more people each day in the UK than this virus ever will, yet millions of people plough on each day destroying their own bodies without any concern. Maybe the press should be jumping up and down about that and the tremendous strain that puts on the NHS! 
    So let’s keep a perspective on all this.....hopefully our cruises won’t be cancelled and FCO advice will change so that we can all enjoy what should be an excellent cruise! But in the meantime, confirmation of Marella’s plan should that not happen would be nice.

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  13. Now this what Marella should be doing....just had this email from Easyjet.....

    Given the unprecedented situation we’re all facing as a result of Covid-19, we wanted to provide an update on what this means for any travel plans you may have with easyJet. 

    We will continue to operate a flight schedule that ensures that those customers who still wish to travel can do so, where travel restrictions allow and in line with guidance from health authorities. 

    However, we understand there is uncertainty around travel at this time, so if you currently have a booking with us but would prefer not to fly then from tomorrow (13.03.2020), you can now change your flight online and we will waive the flight change fee. This applies to all existing and new bookings until further notice. Should there be a difference in fare you’ll need to pay this - however by waiving the change fee, we want to ensure you have more flexibility to amend your travel plans.

    Where we’ve been required to cancel flights, customers will be able to transfer to an alternative flight free of charge or receive a refund. And where all flights have had to be cancelled due to local authority guidance – in Italy, for example – we are operating rescue flights to ensure passengers can return home.


    Easyjet have the right approach....working WITH their customers to reach the best outcome possible given the situation.

  14. And another note about insurance. Marella will have their own comprehensive insurance policy. This will have a section called ‘loss of profits’ that is basically there to indemnify them if their business is interrupted or curtailed in any way. It should pay out to compensate them if they have to refund customers’ money, cancel cruises and ‘lose their profits’. So for them to continue with this stance of saying as little as possible doesn’t make business sense...it just breeds ill will and contempt for them. 

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  15. A cautionary note about travel insurance. If you cancel your holiday, your insurance company will do it’s upmost not to pay out. If there is FCO advice to not travel, you might be successful if you have added travel disruption to your policy.

    If the provider of the travel cancels your travel, they should offer a refund. If you cancel, they might offer you a future credit or partial refund, or nothing at all. It is a game of cat and mouse. Who will blink first?

    Marella are still saying that they intend to run a normal schedule from early April in the Med our of Italy. I can’t see it myself, but if they do, it will only be possible if FCO advice has been lifted, and FCO will not do that if there is still a large amount of active infection. So if FCO lifts the ban, it means it is safe to go and we can all continue with our trips as planned. That would be my preferred outcome. If they don’t, I think Marella will have to cancel themselves as it will be impossible for them to reschedule everyone. We will then get a refund. So, hold your nerve and don’t cancel.....


  16. Went in to my local TUI office this morning....all 4 ladies sitting there with nothing much to do! Asked them about what their policy was if a) departure port is changed (thus necessitating us to pay for new flights) and b) if 3 of our 5 ports are cancelled. They said there was no set policy! Also said that they have been advised that all cruises after 3 April should go ahead unchanged as they anticipate Italy restrictions being lifted by then! So hopefully we will be ok for May and just have to hope the flights are still going. 

  17. I am really looking forward to my cruise out of Italy in May and hope Italy has ended its self-imposed quarantine by then. I am not so worried about the actual virus....more the extra 14 days quarantine that might follow. I don’t want to cancel as because of work, I can’t simply reschedule holiday time to some later date.....so would possibly lose both the cruise and my money. It took a long time to save! Really hoping that we get there. 🤞🤞🤞🤞

  18. We are also due to cruise from Italy....from Naples. 3 further Italian ports on the itinerary. If they change the departure port, where does that leave us with flights and hotels we have booked separately? We are not travelling until May and really hope our Cruise is not cancelled, but if it will be, we would prefer to know now so that we can change/cancel the rest of our trip! Our insurance won’t cover travel disruption so the earlier we cancel the less we will lose.

  19. Davecttr.....I really hope the passengers are not all British! How dull would that be! I have only done 1 cruise before...a Greek line....and the best part was the huge multinational mix of people we met on board.....fascinating. Americans, Canadians, Greek, Mexicans, Brazilians, Spanish, Irish, Australians, Italians, Chinese.....I could go on. Actually very few British. I am sure there will be at least some Italians. 🤞

  20. Vitalsign. We are not on a package....we booked our hotels and flights separately as we are slotting the cruise in to a longer trip in Italy. As are others I’m sure. So we need clear guidance from Marella. We do not want to cancel, and still hope the cruise goes ahead. We want to explore some of the areas around Naples first...but given Marella’s new boarding criteria, will that still be possible? When I called them last week, and pointed out that everyone getting on the ship will have been through at least one Italian airport in the preceding 14 days, their response was rather ambiguous. If we know the cruise is going to be cancelled now, we could at least reschedule the rest of our trip. They need to offer more clarity.

  21. I phoned TUI before paying my balance at the end of February, to check this.TUI said that if the situation became such that they cancelled the cruise, we would get a refund. So definitely do not cancel yourself....then you will not get a refund. Also, a cautionary note about claiming on your travel insurance....they will not pay out without exhausting all other possibilities, and will direct you first to claim against the holiday provider. Also, FCO advice must be in place 28 days or less before the start of the holiday. So unless you are due to travel from Italy within next 28 days, you can not cancel and claim on your insurance anyway, and will need to check FCO advice on a day by day basis. Ie. I can not cancel now on the basis of FCO advice for my cruise in May.

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