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Everything posted by B_A_H

  1. We can converse all we want. The U.S.'s vaccine hesitancy and geographic divide of who's willing to get vaccinated and who's not is worldwide news. Malta, the subject of this conversation and not part of it, has already broken out "good" and "bad" states in the U.S. Our politics prevent us from having "official" digital vaccine passports which the countries Malta's recognizing do. Their country - their rules.
  2. Uhm, yes it does. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-22/fake-covid-vaccine-cards-paper-format-open-to-outright-fraud
  3. @CCWineLover With authorization in hand and in retrospect the process really isn't all that bad. The problem is that based on the timeline there is zero margin for error. That's where the anxiety comes in. Knock on wood from this point forward it's all normal travel-related stuff. Granted there's still room for problems but they are the same problems we've all faced getting to a cruise even in pre-COVID times. Then there's this. :(
  4. Just got mine too. I guess from this point forward it's just routine travel stuff to get to the ship. That is as routine as COVID permits. One thing good about traveling on a Tuesday is that the airports are less insane than they around around weekends.
  5. Anyone on 7/13 get their Travel Authorization back yet? I submitted mine at 2:16AM Bermuda time. Last hurdle in the process so I'm anxious to put it to bed. P.S. - If anyone's planning to use U.S. wireless devices for data in Bermuda the two cellular companies support LTE on Bands B12 and B13. My phone and tablet have those bands but some older devices and carrier branded devices may not.
  6. Watching the Delta variant become the most dominate strain we on these Bermuda cruises may look back and realize we got in on a narrow window of opportunity. Countries with lower vaccination rates are going to be a problem and not just for themselves but to other countries who've allowed cross-border tourism. France is teetering on the edge of blocking travel to Spain and Portugal. I don't think more vaccinated countries will lock down but I do think they'll reconsider cross-border tourism if Delta keeps growing in prevalence.
  7. ^^^^ This. Honestly, who starts a cruise on Tuesday? You could make the case weekend flights are busier and more expensive making Tuesday an easier travel day. But. With all the gymnastics you have to go through to enter Bermuda causing the prime processing time to fall on a weekend was just stupid. Friday gives you 4 business days to get everything done vs. 2 for a Tuesday departure.
  8. You and @bluesea777 nailed it. Breakthrough cases exist and the Delta variant is more transmissible. I work in a hotel and vaccinated guests and staff no longer are required to wear masks. I do. Two things that helps me avoid: Getting infected within 14 days of my rather expensive and now non-refundable cruise. Getting infected before I leave for Bermuda only to have a test come back positive while I'm there forcing me to spend 14 nights in quarantine at my own expense. # 2 scares me much more than #1 as I don't have time be away for 20-some days. Being vaccinated the odds of either are low but I don't need to tempt fate.
  9. Far be it from me to opine over how other people spend their money. But the level of discussion over a $20 a day drink premium on a cruise that cost ~$3,000 per person seems a bit humorous. Someone above said they'll only have 2 drinks per day making it not worth it. Two drinks are ~$16 and the SSBP costs $20. On a 7 day cruise that makes the savings of going it alone a whopping $28. That's 1/10 of a percent of the cruise fare.
  10. A couple of things. Yes, it can be done if you plan with care. Remember that both you and your luggage need to make it. Take a non-stop or at most a one-stop connection. If connecting leave at least two hours (ideally more) in the connecting city. If connecting take the same airline (no code shares). Ensure that the airline you choose has a "plan B" itinerary that will still get you to your destination in time for the cruise. I'm sailing out of Barcelona on 10/15 and arriving that morning. My flights meet all the above criteria. But BCN is only 15 minutes from the cruise terminal and I'm due to arrive at 8:55AM and the ship sales at 6:00PM. That leaves a lot of margin for error. The problem with Civitavecchia is it's 45 miles from FCO and an hour away. I've done same day arrival before as well as overnighting. The former is more anxiety producing but sometimes scheduling demands it.
  11. From who? Viking? They aren't responsible and their COVID cancellation policy is much harsher than other cruise lines. If you cancel for any reason within 14 days you lose what you paid. Bermuda? Even if they admit their error caused you to not make your cruise I can't see them doing anything but apologizing. Take out insurance.
  12. We're talking $20 a day. Celebrity's premium package ($15 per drink max) is $69 a day. You don't have to be a lush to get your $20's worth on Viking. A day drink (EG: Bloody Mary) or two, an aperitif before dinner, a glass or two of upgraded wine at dinner, and a cocktail or cordial in the evening and you're there. The biggest difference between Viking and Celebrity is that most of Viking's drinks are quite reasonable to purchase (EG: $8.00) so not having a drink package won't kill you. Celebrity's package only ends up a value because they price their drinks from $12-15 and nothing (EG: specialty coffees and wine, beer, and soft drinks with meals) is free. All the mainstream cruise lines operate pretty much the same way. For me, at $20, it's a no brainer to simply not have to think about what my drinks will cost. Some days I'll come out ahead, some days Viking will. YMMV
  13. Here's a link to the PDF. It's very thorough and dated 6/22. https://docs.vikingcruises.com/pdf/14-210622-RestartPreCruiseRequirement-Bermuda-US.pdf I guess if ~90 people of 450 (~20%) missed the ship for the first Orion sailing it was in Viking's best interest to get involved in the pre-departure process.
  14. This is not cool. It goes back to what @Hockeyump said earlier. Why 4 max in the pool or 2 max in the elevators when you can cram any number of strangers together without masks for parties and dining. Not cool again. I'll get off a bus unless everyone's masked. Especially because of what happened on your cruise and now that I understand Bermuda's "positive by association" approach to quarantine. Had positive woman been on your tour (or mine) and not worn a mask think of the anxiety we would have felt waiting for multiple negative tests to clear us. Not to mention spening a night off the ship at our own expense. Breakthrough cases are rare but why tempt the Gods? Where did the two that were negative stay overnight before Viking rescued them? Based on what you've shared if we test positive on the ship we're handed over to Bermuda and have to comply with whatever they dictate. That's the scariest part of all of this. So good news is if you continue to test negative Viking can rescue you. Bad news is if you're positive you're on your own and at the mercy of Bermuda which includes a 14 day quarantine.
  15. Here's the link to order #3 which discusses quarantine in depth. http://www.bermudalaws.bm/laws/Consolidated Laws/Quarantine (COVID-19) (No. 3) Order 2020.pdf Here's the part we're discussing. Notice is says "may be placed" in isolation. Maybe that's how they sprang Steve. On the flip side it doesn't say "up to" in front of 14 days which isn't good. Assuming someone's been in contact with a person that's COVID positive surely a wait of 14 days isn't necessary. If you test negative 72 hours after that contact you should be good. Surely you'd be good after 7 days. So I guess the question is how rigorously or consistently Bermuda applies these rules. If you're negative after 72 hours is Bermuda going to stop you from leaving the island? Why would they want you to stay?
  16. @MRGACRUZR Add my thanks to everyone else's for all the helpful and pragmatic feedback you've provided. I'm on T-Mobile too so you just saved me some money for when inevitably I have to call Bermuda to push through my travel authorization in July. Adding Stateside International Talk for $15 a month makes all my calls to Bermuda free. The also have an international data plan with 15GB of data that includes free calls for $50 so I'll do that too. Looing back, after all that you went through to get there, onboard, and to get back, was it worth it? Would you do it again knowing what you know now?
  17. Someone from Viking Customer Service called me. They don't have a complete picture of what happened onboard but are investigating. When I mentioned someone being COVID positive the person seemed to be taken aback. I don't know if it's because he didn't know or was surprised I did. I mentioned what @Hockeyump said about it being pointless to separate people all over the ship if you're going to let people unknown to each other gather in large groups. He saw the conflict. I got the sense that whatever happened won't be allowed to happen again. Viking certainly doesn't owe me, one person, an explanation. My concern was them not taking their own protocols seriously or applying them consistently. After speaking to them I don't thank that will be an issue going forward. @Jim Avery Let's see how you'd react if it were you stranded in Bermuda for 14 days at your own expense. If it's no big deal to you because you have the time and money then bully for you. I work so it is a big deal to me. My (strong) reaction through all of this hasn't been about someone testing positive. You spin the wheel and take your chances. My concern was Viking's seeming disregard for their own heavily promoted and explicitly detailed COVID protocols. Unlike many of you I'm not a Viking loyalist and their protocols are the only reason I booked with them.
  18. From your postings I think you and I share a worldview. That's exactly how I'd take it. I started a new stand-alone topic highlighting what's happened. Others on different Viking sailings should know. I really want Viking to say something about all of this so the more visibility the better.
  19. Those of us in the Bermuda forum are obviously discussing this heavily. Here's a brief recap based on info from those onboard: A social influencer from the site that can't be named was on the ship in the Owner's Suite. Viking allowed/facilitated a gathering of reportedly 35 people for him to host an in-suite party and dinner in the dining room. Said influencer was on a 6 person shore excursion where one passenger tested positive. The Captain announced that there was (at least) 1 COVID positive passenger onboard. At least 4 people have been removed from the ship and have to quarantine at their own expense in Bermuda for 14 days before they can fly home. What we're asking in the Bermuda forum: Why does Viking have protocols if they are going to bend them at will? Was the excursion where people were exposed a Viking excursion? (We're currently allowed to explore Bermuda on our own). How was the positive test discovered (tube spitting, something else?) Can Viking be trusted to enforce their own protocols going forward? Needless to say none of this is good news for the very first sailing of Viking's Bermuda series. @MRGACRUZR cruiser is on the ship and has been posting in the Bermuda forum. I'm sure there will be more on this as it evolves.
  20. Aren't you all spitting in to a tube everyday? If so I'd imagine (or hope) that's what caught her change in status.
  21. Hey @MRGACRUZR. I hope this doesn't screw up the rest of your cruise. I'd imagine it's kind of the elephant in the room now. This really does emphasize the need for personal responsibility. Had I been invited to Steve's soiree I'd have declined. The other 34 had that option too. Also, having known what took place I'd have avoided Steve and his troop like the plague if I saw them anywhere on the ship. If there's a positive to this it's to not let ourselves get lulled in to a false sense of security.
  22. With all of the butt kissing Viking was doing I just assumed he'd have been on a Viking or Viking-arranged excursion. Had it turned out differently he could have posted about how tightly controlled Viking's excursions were and how safe he felt. Would'a, could'a, should'a. But it does bring up the point that allowing us out of the bubble does pose its own risks.
  23. Viking not enforcing their own COVID protocols should worry all of us. What if it was Steve that ended up infected? Let's assume his soiree was last night and he tested positive today. What about the other 35 passengers he would have been in contact with? What about the crew? Just as on the Millennium first sailing this proves vaccinated cruises aren't bullet proof. Either Viking or any of individually letting our guard down just exponentially increases the risk. I'm thinking of canceling the Viking excursions and just exploring on my own. At least that way I can limit my exposure and control who I'm in contact with.
  24. They are about to. 😉 It's only a matter of time before the newswires pick it up.
  25. Karma is a *****. I wonder if the woman that's positive attended his coronation? If she did then everyone one of those 35 people (plus crew) are impacted. If she didn't, it confirms my earlier point, everyone of them could have been exposed. Your post also confirms my greatest fear. I can't afford to end up quarantined for 14 days and away from the office for 21. So I hope Viking's happy. They've managed to have a COVID incident on the first of the Bermuda cruise series all at their own hand. I'd like to say I'm sorry for Steve but I've known a lot of Steve's in my day and they typically aren't worth anyone's pity. I posted about this event (before the outbreak) on Viking's Twitter account. Hopefully this will be their wake up call.
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