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Everything posted by KnowTheScore

  1. Surprised some here haven't bothered to read the details on the P&O website concerning dining arrangements. Please take a look: https://www.pocruises.com/cruise-with-confidence/your-holiday-experience Eating And Drinking "We all know that delicious food and drink are a core part of your holiday and this will certainly not change. You may be asked to pre-book a table in the restaurants; the buffets and deck grills will now be served by our waiting staff and you will only be permitted to dine with your household or linked travelling group, up to a maximum number allowed by government guidelines at the time of sailing. We are adapting our restaurants and bars to ensure you can enjoy your experience and maintain social distancing in line with the guidance." Seems very clear to me. You will be dining only with your partner/family or others in your traveling group. So sadly no more meeting lots of interesting and diverse people over evening dinner, which I think is an integral part of a cruise for many. Not all of course.
  2. yep that's what I referred to as your "cruise party"
  3. At this point in time surely the notion of "Freedom" dining is a misnomer. Pre-pandemic there were 2 primary differences between Club Dining and Freedom Dining. With Club, you had set dining times and you always shared a table with the same people throughout the voyage. With Freedom there was no set time and you dined with anyone and met different people each night. Now, with the plethora of pandemic restrictions that's all changed AFAIK. No-one will be allowed to dine with anyone that is not in their own cabin or cruise party. So that "freedom" has been curtailed. One assumes that this restriction must result in masses of large tables for 6, 8 or 10 no longer being there and tons of tables for 2 being added instead and I would imagine that makes dinner sittings more complicated to manage and thus there might be some level of restrictions to the times you can eat as a result. As previous poster said you might have to book a slot rather than be able to just turn up on spec as we used to. Thus the entire concept of "Freedom Dining" is for the time being a bit of a misnomer imo.
  4. That sounds frustrating indeed. Do you think it's wise to keep on driving with such problems?
  5. Ah but will the clothes still fit after all this lockdown ??? 🙂
  6. It's a condition of the sail orders that they do so, they have no choice. What is not known (at least to the public) is what that threshold is. I think cruise lines should come clean and publicise it because I think it will determine for a lot of people whether they will cruise again. If the number is low like say 5 cases then I think that would put a lot of people off. You'll have lots of cruises with such cases imo. If the number is higher like say 30 cases then people will have more confidence that their cruise will manage to be a reasonable one rather than a prison ship confined to the seas.
  7. That's why you have multiple tests not singular ones, to remove that chance of false results.
  8. Her name was Diane Cousins and she was a brilliant entertainer and singer. Her act was a mixture of comedy and singing and always brought the house down. As you say she would stop mid-performance and get the house lights up if anyone came in late and equally if they tried to leave mid-performance. Always hilarious and you certainly learned to get there in good time ! Played many hands of Whist with her in the past as she was a keen card player and I've greatly missed her shows over the past few years. They don't make 'em like they used to !
  9. Whilst of course everyone knew what they were in for, it remains a fact that some will have consented to go on shore excursions with the ship and others will have elected not to either on principle or because they don't like or value the ship excursions. Either way you unfortunately didn't answer my question which was how many people seem to be staying on-board for the duration? I would guess this is a topic that might come up during evening dinner conversation.
  10. I don't think anyone has panicked over the TUI situation but it does highlight the on-going problems that face cruisers. In this instance it was the crew who had false-positives. It could have been passengers. What matters here is that the people involved were immediately quarantined which had it been passengers would have disrupted their holiday. Given that no tests are 100% then if we are going to continue treating Covid in the (imo) ridiculous way we are, then any cruise is going to be constantly beset with these issues. You're going to get numerous false-positives (due to the large numbers of people being tested) which will be a constant disruption whilst additional testing is done using laboratories. People involved will be fed up of being quarantined without being infected and from having swabs constantly stuffed up their noses and down their throats. As we move into winter flu season I imagine things will get much worse. You'll have 100s of people starting to present with cold/flu symptoms and so people will be unsure if they have Covid or flu/colds. What will they do with such people? Are we going to have the totally hypocritical situation where if you have Flu then no-one cares and you can cough and splutter your way around the ship at will? Or are we going to start locking people up who have colds/Flu? And who is going to want to sit on a tightly packed coach with people coughing and spluttering if they want to go ashore and are forced to take a ship excursion? That will only serve to ensure Flu/colds spread around the ship like wildfire. This whole thing is farcical imho. We have to start treating Covid like Flu. Like just another virus. When 80% of people don't even have symptoms and more only have mild symptoms then all these measures are simply ridiculous. It is the hypocrisy and inconsistency in glorifying Covid over Flu, Pneumonia or any of a number of other killer pathogens that makes the whole situation an utter farce. So no, whilst no-one is panicking over the "oh so predictable" problems that the TUI ship has run into, it simply serves to demonstrate that for the time being cruising is still badly impacted and is nowhere near getting back to normal.
  11. @Miaminice OMG did you say only 4 people to a lift??? The queues for lifts must be massive esp at peak times like evening meals. Goodness knows how disembarkation is going go with people with hand luggage and only 4 to a lift. I guess for the fitsters not a problem, just use the stairs. Also do you have any feel for the numbers or percentage of passengers that refuse to take excursions with the ship and consequently just stay on-board at every port? Thanks
  12. This is simply wishful thinking. The problem here is that unless you test EVERY passenger and EVERY crew member EVERY DAY of the voyage then Covid cases on-board will spread. If you wait until someone shows symptoms and then test them then you will have missed up to 5 days or more of that person spreading the virus around. With 80% of Covid cases have absolutely no symptoms at all then the frequency of testing is of paramount importance. Quarantining an infected person clearly needs to happen but by then it's likely far too late and that person or persons will have already been spreading the virus to others. There's just no answer to this unless you are constantly testing all passengers and crew every 5 mins which leads to a pretty horrible experience on-board. There's only so much throat and nasal swabbing that people will endure imo. I would be very surprised if there are not further cases appearing in this current situation. There is presumably some magic number that the cruise lines have been given which changes their protocols from simply isolating the Covid positive people to quarantining every passenger on the ship ala Diamond Princess. I'm sorry but just now this whole thing is a non starter. Passengers have simply become cattle to be poked and prodded and constantly tested and pushed around if they get Covid. add to that the constant need for mask wearing when walking around the ship and doing activities, being forced to take ship excursions if you want to get off and god knows what other inconveniences that they haven't yet told us about and for me that is not a holiday. It's something else and most certainly not a cruise in my book. Cruising remains totally dead imo and will stay that way until the virus is treated like Norovirus.
  13. Mein Schiff 6 comes down with a dozen cases of COVID https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/28/crew-first-post-lockdown-greek-cruise-contract-coronavirus-maltese
  14. Totally agree with you Rich/Cathy. It's a ridiculous measure and one that will likely ensure a huge proportion of the cruising market do not return. There are multiple reasons. 1. As you say it's just a very lame way to extract copious amounts of cash from passengers under the guise of "safety" 2. The very last place I would want to be on a cruise or elsewhere at this time is stuck on a coach or plane in such a tightly confined space with maybe 50 other people and/or crew or external tour guides. That increases the risk of Covid spread hugely. 3. Masks on the coach would likely be mandatory and in hot weather on a coach that would be extremely uncomfortable. No way I would sign up to a 1hr+ trip on a coach having to wear a mask throughout. 4. I've done a great many cruises and had many excursions in my time, more towards the beginning of my cruising days. Very few have ever been worth the money. They are mostly vastly overpriced rubbish, often boring and the "provisions" supplied in some of them really basic. There have been maybe 3-5 really excellent ones in maybe 15 years. So no way am I going to go cruising again if I have to be forced to take these awful excursions to get ashore. No way Jose. The industry really needs to rethink this one. As I think will be the case for the vast majority of regular cruises, the FREEDOM to roam, wander around local shops, pop into local restaurants and tapas bars to sample the wonderful food, explore food markets to bring back nibbles for the cabin, meet friends we've long established in various ports, sit in a cafe and watch the world go by etc are all a HUGE part of the cruising experience. Take that away and what you're really offering is a posh ferry service. No thanks. Reduce the cabin prices by maybe 75% and perhaps I would consider such a ferry service but at regular cruise ticket prices you're surely taking the proverbial. It really does still look like Game Over for cruising at the moment imo.
  15. Carnival Corp released their Third Quarter Summary on 15th Sept. It stated: "The company's monthly average cash burn rate for the third quarter 2020 was $770 million" That's an incredible amount of money to be hemorrhaging every month. I don't personally anticipate that the share price will ever recover to former levels.
  16. Did I read this right????! You take cruises WITHOUT travel insurance? If so I think that's incredibly unwise. If you fall ill and if the cruise line deems it appropriate for you to be helivac'ed off the ship to a land hospital you're potentially looking at an £80,000 bill just for that evacuation let alone any actual treatment by the hospital. Most cruise lines make it mandatory to have insurance so I'm surprised you are able to get away with it. Aside from that it doesn't surprise me one iota that cruise lines will be doing everything they can to avoid any cost or liability for anything to do with COVID. It was entirely predictable imo and I think it's stupid on their part and will affect their business. We are after all supposed to be "all in this together" in regards to COVID If cruise lines are not going to play ball and refuse to compensate people who they deem too ill to go on-board, then that will remove a proportion of their customer base. If insurance companies equally don't play ball and won't underwrite the costs associated with COVID helivac's or any other treatments then again this is going to massively impact the entire cruising sector. There is no way on earth I would travel on a cruise ship without travel insurance that covered at least £2 million worth of costs. Doing so would be potential suicide and could lead to you losing your home. All that such liability evasion will lead to is cruising becoming once again only accessible to the extremely rich.
  17. Worth also noting that being cooped up in the small confined space of a coach on an excursion is probably the last place many passengers would want to be when facing the threat of viruses spreading. As with flying on an aeroplane it's likely the number one place you will get infected whether by asymptomatic COVID carriers or people with Flu. Safer to be strolling around an open ship than stuck on a coach with 50 other passengers. I just can not see that strategy being a viable way forward. The cruises that are trying it out will by no means be representative of millions of other cruisers. Imagine, Going to Barcelona, but not being able to walk along Las Ramblas or around the Old Quarter or the famous market Going to Venice but not being able to walk around the bustling winding streets, not seeing St Marks Square Going to Dubrovnik but not being able to wander around inside the city walls Going to Lisbon but not being able to roam the city and shops and have a coffee and Pastel De Nata Going to Malaga, Cartagena, Valencia, Vigo and not being able to wander freely through the lovely towns Going to Cadiz and not being able to visit the wonderful food markets or winding streets Going to Florence and not being able to walk along the river Arno by Ponte Vecchio Imagine visiting a foreign country and being treated like a bunch of lepers. Herded off into some corner, unable to wander freely, shoved into some restaurant for tapas instead of the good restaurants you already know and love. No. I just can not see this strategy being a success. You can not remove everything from cruising which makes cruising special and enjoyable and expect passengers to pay £1000s for the privilege. Countries cannot afford to simply stop tourism. They are going to HAVE to allow visitors in and let them roam around freely at some point. At the very least all that needs to happen is for all passengers to be tested for COVID immediately before going ashore. If they are negative, no problem, let them go wander freely.
  18. "Would you cruise if the only way you can get off the ship while in port is to take a shore excursion from the cruise line? " No absolutely not. For us being able to visit places at our own pace and leisure is an integral part of a cruise. Going to restaurants to eat the local food, visiting restaurants where we have come to know the owners, wandering around the shops, sitting in a cafe and watching the world go by etc etc. In all the many cruises we have done and in all the excursions we have taken with the cruise line, the number of excursions that were thoroughly enjoyable and worth the money number less than 10. The vast majority were over-priced, poor quality, extremely boring affairs which we would never repeat. Basic tourism cannot possibly be at an end. That would be utterly farcical imo.
  19. Thanks for admitting you got your number of 49 million wrong. A strange way to say it but thanks anyway
  20. How many people are you using for the population of the US??? 1.4% of 330,052,960 is 4.6 million. You had it at 49 million !
  21. I suggest you buy a new calculator. Your numbers are out. It doesn't matter what population numbers you use, the ratio is always going to the same. A reduction of 1.4%. US population is 330,052,960 Cochrane says that 23 in a 1000 un-vaccinated people would get flu which is 7,591,218 people Cochrane says 9 in 1000 vaccinated would also get flu which is 2,970,476 The difference is just 4,620,742 Whilst 4.6 million may sound like a lot out of context, when pitched against a population of 330 million it really isn't many at all. Is in fact of course just 1.4% !
  22. It's a sleight of hand misrepresentation of numbers I'm afraid. It's actually just a reduction in percentage points of 1.4% Essentially it is saying that without vaccination 23 people in every 1000 will get Flu. With vaccination only 9 people in every 1000 will get flu. The difference is just 14 people in a 1000 which is not much at all.
  23. Good grief have you ever actually taken a cruise?!!!! Even before the advent of COVID your statement is ridiculous. If you get seriously sick on a ship, then a helicopter is called out and lifts you off and takes you to the nearest on-shore hospital. The cruise line contract for many lines requires that a passenger's travel insurance covers such eventualities. The P&O cruise line requirement for example is that your insurance must have a limit of not less than £2 million. I witnessed 3 helicopter evacuations from my various cruises in 2019 alone.
  24. Oriana had perpetual problems due to her faulty prop shaft which even after a dry dock refit were never fixed afaik. It was no surprise that she was sold off. Arcadia was always a marmite ship, mostly because she was designed for a US market not UK. Consequently all her bars and lounges are all open and have annoying noisy and distracting walkways running right through them or alongside them. She was more traditional than Ventura and the ships that came after her, but yet she was still nothing remotely like as classy and decadent as Aurora and Oriana. Consequently I feel totally sure that both Aurora and Oriana had the larger followings among passengers and afaik Arcadia has since become somewhat of an "old folks home". A contingent likes it and that contingent is an old demographic and in business terms if P&O are looking to attract the younger and more lively audience then I would think Arcadia would be top of the list to go. I have cruised Aurora for many years and have enjoyed both summer holidays filled with younger people and kids as well as out of season breaks with mostly older people and the experience has always been great. Aurora attracted both young and old before she became adult only. She could do so again if P&O chose to revert back. P&O would lose a sizable % of its cruise audience if they let Aurora go, no question. With the advent of Oriana leaving the fleet you now have 2 loyal cruising groups all vying for the same ship Aurora which means filling her cabins is probably the easiest to do of all the ships in the fleet, and as we have seen that demand generated increased ticket prices for that ship which means more profits for Carnival. In business you do not shoot the goose that lays the golden eggs. I can't see Aurora leaving before Arcadia in all honestly and I would even think that the oft avoided Ventura might also be up the pecking order before Aurora.
  25. Somehow can't agree with that. Of all the ships in the fleet I think Arcadia with it's infamous overly strong air con system that has given numerous cruisers "Cabin Cough" or "Arcadia Cough" over the years is probably the last ship I want to go on given what happened to the Diamond Princess. The thought of being locked up in my cabin with cases of COVID on-board on that particular ship is not for me personally an inviting prospect. I'd even consider the huge IONA over Arcadia. However if they do ever decide to ditch Aurora then that would end mine and many other's use of P&O. As most know I was already firmly determined to try alternative cruise lines to P&O as a result of the what I feel are relentless degradation of quality, service and value for money. Who knows however what kind of service and experience they may choose to offer post COVID pandemic? If this whole affair were to result in the former glorious years of cruising returning (in order to ensure the core bread and butter loyal cruising demographic) then I could always be tempted back to P&O. But if they decide to ditch the smaller traditional ships like Aurora then no, it's not gonna happen.
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