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Crystal & the Corona Virus

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1 hour ago, Keith1010 said:

neilridd....you are correct.  My comments are about cruises end of the year and next year.  My point is a lot of things can change by then.  It  was not to address  the near term cruises.

 

In the United States the terms and agreements from  Crystal Cruises and all cruise lines does allow for itinerary changes to be made.  Crystal is certainly not alone in making these changes and  I think most people do understand  that they  had no choice.  The same goes for changes required for other issues  such  as  disruptions from weather, Volcanic  eruptions,  terrorism and so forth.  I am not sure if rules for  the UK/Europe are different.   I can  only speak for myself that  if I was in a similar situation I might be disappointed but I would not expect Crystal to give me a full refund or a full credit against a  future cruise.  Certainly, insurance is something that one could consider to provide some protection at the time they book the cruise.  

 

We all take  risks when we  book travel.  We try not to think  about them but just as there are our own  health risks should be get  sick or need medical attention the reality is there are other risks such as what I noted.

 

Keith

Where is the logic in changing Hong Kong for taiwan when both have a similar number of confirmed cases of the virus and for that matter Singapore also has the sane number of confirmed cases as Hong Kong but the cruise is still going there. I no longer want to go to any of these places at this time.

https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

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9 minutes ago, neilridd said:

Where is the logic in changing Hong Kong for taiwan when both have a similar number of confirmed cases of the virus and for that matter Singapore also has the sane number of confirmed cases as Hong Kong but the cruise is still going there. I no longer want to go to any of these places at this time.

https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

No logic here.  If there was logic in the move, they would ban anyone from China or who has visited China in the past 30 days. 

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WHO have just declared Coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency. Crystal will be under intense pressure to offer refunds or future cruises as people will not want to put themselves at risk by cruising around Asia. 

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2 hours ago, PaulMCO said:

No logic here.  If there was logic in the move, they would ban anyone from China or who has visited China in the past 30 days. 

This is my guess, based on my understanding of how viral illnesses are spread, especially in the case of respiratory virus with potentially long incubation periods and that with symptoms that does not become overtly obvious in some cases.  My guess is that there is a concern (whether it will materialize or not, it’s uncertain) that a large number of people who are infected but potentially asymptomatic (or appear asymptomatic to others) may cross the border to Hong Kong from PRC-Mainland China.  This could be a problem for Hong Kong.  I would think that Taiwan could (and probably have) instituted measures to limit traffic from PRC-Mainland China, and that would be much easier for them to do so, for many reasons (being an island, actually having a controlled border with PRC, etc.).  It is true that the current numbers of confirmed cases are similar between Hong Kong and China, I would not be surprised that Hong Kong will have a much harder time restricting influx of people from PRC-Mainland China, and I’m sure many asymptomatic but infected people would have already crossed the border into Hong Kong.  I’m not trying to scare anybody, but I think the fact that Taiwan is shielded from PRC by the ocean, politics, etc. makes it a better choice for Crystal than Hong Kong.  

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57 minutes ago, PaulCG said:

WHO have just declared Coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency. Crystal will be under intense pressure to offer refunds or future cruises as people will not want to put themselves at risk by cruising around Asia. 

I say again....Asia is

-NOT a single country

-NOT a single location on the earth

-Does NOT necessarily have  a monopoly on 2019-nCoV transmission

 

There are plenty of places with the Asian continent where the risk from 2019-nCoV is much lower and essentially identical to other parts of the world.  I think your comment is rather xenophobic, and I find this and other comments that lump all of the Asian countries into one “Asia” rather offensive and ignorant.

 

Edited by Psoque

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5 hours ago, neilridd said:

I made a booking 12 months ago for the cruise Singapore to Hong Kong on 1st.March 2020, Crystal, for the time being, have changed the final port from Hong Kong to Keelung in Taiwan and this is not the cruise i booked and in my mind Crystal should either offer refunds or credit against future cruises.

 

Suggest that you read the actual cruise contract that you received as part of your booking.  Actually read it.

 

Then come back and talk to us about "not the cruise I booked".

 

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21 minutes ago, Psoque said:

This is my guess, based on my understanding of how viral illnesses are spread, especially in the case of respiratory virus with potentially long incubation periods and that with symptoms that does not become overtly obvious in some cases.  My guess is that there is a concern (whether it will materialize or not, it’s uncertain) that a large number of people who are infected but potentially asymptomatic (or appear asymptomatic to others) may cross the border to Hong Kong from PRC-Mainland China.  This could be a problem for Hong Kong.  I would think that Taiwan could (and probably have) instituted measures to limit traffic from PRC-Mainland China, and that would be much easier for them to do so, for many reasons (being an island, actually having a controlled border with PRC, etc.).  It is true that the current numbers of confirmed cases are similar between Hong Kong and China, I would not be surprised that Hong Kong will have a much harder time restricting influx of people from PRC-Mainland China, and I’m sure many asymptomatic but infected people would have already crossed the border into Hong Kong.  I’m not trying to scare anybody, but I think the fact that Taiwan is shielded from PRC by the ocean, politics, etc. makes it a better choice for Crystal than Hong Kong.  

 

??? Taiwan is shielded from PRC???    Many Taiwanese are in China over the New Year visiting family and friends,   There is a significant amount of tourism and business between the two countries.  Hong Kong has closed the frontier with China and suspended rail travel.  Taiwan is not a WHO member that will make it harder to combat any outbreaks.

 

Crystal took the easy way to reschedule the Hong Kong trips.  I have no issue with that, it makes it easier to go from Taiwan to the added  ports in Japan, instead of Beijing/Shanghai.  Unfortunately the people who booked a Hong Kong to China trip are now doing a Taiwan to Japan trip.  I certainly would not want to stop in either place with a corona virus in play.

 

I see now that Crystal is banning people who have visited Wuhan.  How do you tell if someone visits Wuhan (ask for their hotel receipt).  If Crystal is so concerned about the health of their passengers they should ban anyone who has been in China within past 30 days.  The use of thermal temperature is not a test for exposure to the virus as it can take up to two weeks before a person has such symptoms.

 

 

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Plus they are relying on people being truthful about where they have been.  As a criminal lawyer, I am skeptical about people telling the truth if they think it will negatively affect them - ie,  not being able to board the ship.

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Yes, Taiwan is much more shielded from PRC than Hong Kong.  It does not share any land border.  It is de facto a different country.  And from what I gather a lot more people have gone back and forth between Hong Kong and PRC than between Taiwan and PRC until the Hong Kong borders became restricted in reaction to the outbreak.  I read that at least 5 million people from Wuhan fled their homes before travel restrictions, and I think it is reasonable to think that more of that 5 million went to Hong Kong than to Taiwan.  But I am not here to argue with anyone.

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7 hours ago, Psoque said:

I can't download this now but I hope Crystal continues to do the right thing to all affected by the itinerary change.



Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
 


When you can download the attachment there are instructions about submitting receipts for additional costs incurred as a result of changed embarkation/disembarkation ports and email and mailing addresses where to send those receipts.

 

Each submittal will be evaluated. It would be prudent to also include a concise, summary description of out-of-pocket  expenses incurred and requested to be reimbursed.

 

Based on informal discussions onboard, compensation for the difference in cost between whatever air ticket was initially purchased vs. the difference in cost to alter that air fare to accommodate the change of embark/debark port will likely be reimbursed. I would not expect reimbursement for hotel, ground transportation, or any other miscellaneous expenses unless one can summarize a pretty good case that these other costs were directly related to a change in embarkation/ disembarkation to/from the ship. (I.e. if one had discretionary pre or post cruise land plans in HK, for instance, that were disrupted because of the change in port from HK to Keelung, those land costs will likely not be addressed by Crystal. The additional air cost to fly from HK to TPE, on the other hand, will likely be considered.)

 

Hope I didn’t confuse the issue. For those that chose to self insure their trip (I.e. did not purchase third party travel insurance), reimbursement expectations should be conservative.

 

At this time, Crystal is not canceling any voyages. Itineraries are being adjusted. If anyone has a specific medical issue that may prevent them from embarking on an Asian cruise this year, it would be best to have your TA contact Crystal for additional guidance concerning possible cancellation options.

 

Rob

Edited by ryndam

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33 minutes ago, TER777 said:

How very own Ryndam is quoted in this article summarizing how cruise lines are handling things. 
 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2020/01/29/coronavirus-cruise-lines-beef-up-precautions-skip-chinese-port-calls/4607225002/


Guess this makes me an unofficial “media expert”. LOL. 😊😊

Thanks for posting the link!

 

Rob

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If I may provide some commentary about the atmosphere onboard Symphony right now. With over 600 guests continuing on to Taiwan and another 100 continuing on to Singapore, this is a very well traveled, very informed group of experienced travelers. There is no grousing, no complaints, no depression, no outbursts. At 11:00am today, the captain, hotel manager, and other department heads will be hosting a open Q&A session in the Galaxy. Crystal has been as transparent as possible with all of us onboard as soon as confirmed facts and information is available. Some have been inconvenienced with their alternative bait flights back home, but we all understand that there are risks to travel and this group very admirably goes-with-the-flow. Crystal is doing all it can, within their resources, to make this journey as stress and anxiety free as possible.

 

For those that may be booked on future Asian cruises this winter and Spring: one needs to make their own assessment concerning medical risk. Those with third party cancellation insurance should contact their carrier for reimbursement options. For those that chose to self-insure and assume the risk, then they should be prepared to accept the financial hit if they chose to cancel their trip. An expectation that Crystal should be wholly financially responsible for a guest’s discretionary decision not to travel to Asia is likely not a realistic expectation.

 

This is a real, serious and unfortunate health situation. We need to protect our health and take some self responsibility concerning discretionary travel and possible economic implications associated with those decisions. And that’s about as politically correct I can express my thoughts.

 

Rob

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1 hour ago, TER777 said:

How very own Ryndam is quoted in this article summarizing how cruise lines are handling things. 
 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2020/01/29/coronavirus-cruise-lines-beef-up-precautions-skip-chinese-port-calls/4607225002/

Interesting that sister brand Genting Dream Cruises is offering full refunds.  I see evidence of the rapidly evolving situation in the reference to Cunard.  They have cancelled QM2's call in Hong Kong since the article was published.

 

Roy

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Have just read on RCL forum that travellers have an email from the company to say that boarding will be denied to anyone (on any RCL ship) who has transited through Hong Kong in the previous 15 days

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Don't think I've seen this posted.  From the Crystal website:

 

ALERT: CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

  


The health, security and safety of our guests and crew is our highest priority. In an abundance of caution, Crystal has instituted a variety of preventive measures as it relates to the new respiratory virus, called 2019-novel coronavirus.  As you may know, the virus has been identified as the cause of an outbreak of pneumonia that began in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Additional cases are now being identified that have been to Wuhan City. Person-to-person spread can occur particularly in close contacts. 

The preventive measures include:

We have updated our pre-boarding public health questionnaire to include questions concerning the coronavirus;

We will screen guests at the pier before they board for body temperatures of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and/or showing signs of respiratory issues. If guests are determined unwell to travel, they will receive a full refund of their cruise fare, if they do not have insurance;

We will deny boarding of any person who has traveled to Hubei Province or Wuhan, China in the 14 days prior to embarkation; 

We have canceled non-essential day visits to the ships when they are in port. 

As with any trip, travelers should check with public health authorities to be informed regarding health matters at the destinations they will visit, and exercise appropriate precautions. 

Signs and symptoms of the new respiratory virus illness begin within 14 days of exposure and include fever (≥38 C/100.4 F) or feverishness, chills, cough, and difficulty breathing.  As with all respiratory illnesses, you can reduce the risk of infection by exercising the following routine precautions:   

Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. Where soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. If a tissue is not immediately available, cough or sneeze into your upper arm;
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
Avoid personal contact, such as sharing cups or eating utensils, with sick people.

Please note that Crystal will not provide a refund for guests with medical concerns prior to traveling to the ship. The only valid reason would be a medical diagnosis from a doctor that the guest has confirmed coronavirus prior to traveling to the ship. Additionally, Allianz has informed the company that any insurance policies purchased after January 22, 2020 for trips to this area will not be covered as the coronavirus is considered a known and foreseeable event.

Guests and Travel Partners will be notified directly if there are any changes to an existing voyage.

Thank you for taking the time to read this important information and we sincerely appreciate your understanding. 

Please see below for pre-boarding public health questionnaire.

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I don’t think anybody is saying that the 2019-nCoV outbreak is not a serious problem.  However, there is an extremely wide variation among all of us (not just here, but also in real life) in how we are reacting to this health threat.  I never said this is nothing.  However, hysterical response to any epidemic never works well.  It requires a cool, calculated steps of moves by the experts, authorities, and the ordinary citizens to manage and survive this.  What is rather comical to me is that many of these people, who are flaying around saying “danger, danger” are the same people who thinks that “ordinary flu” is not a great threat to them.  When we have a poorly educated population that allows less than 50% to be not vaccinated for the influenza annually, and when we see this rather inappropriate, emotionally-driven over-reaction to a virus that is currently much less virulent than the influenza virus, which has killed thousands or more worldwide so far, I just have to shake my head.  If the 2019-nCoV is as aggressive as a typical influenza virus, this should have spread much faster and should have killed thousands more.  Also, the public health precautions against 2019-nCoV is essentially the same as for the influenza....universal respiratory precautions.  Also, the thinly veiled “Asia-phobia” that is expressed among those who are over-reacting to the 2019-nCoV outbreak is unacceptable.

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On 1/29/2020 at 9:40 PM, Redrob123 said:

I have also booked myself into Novotel arriving late on 14th.  There will probably be a number of people who will be getting to ship the next day so we can probably organise a group transfer.

My travel agent has made enquiries with the Novotel and has sent me this:

 

Kindly be informed that we are willing to assist the guest to arrange the taxi service from the Novotel Taipei Airport to Keelung Port.

The price will be:

 

Sedan: 1500NTD+100NTD (If guest needs to pay taxi fees with a credit card.)

Van: 2200NTD (Cash only)

 

Additionally, could you offer detail information about the guest’s whole name, his/her reservation no., and total number of passengers?

After receiving the detail information, we will arrange the taxi service for the guest.

 

My TA tells me this equates to about £41.  If you or anyone else are interested in sharing please let me know within the next few days.

 

Sandie

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Psoque...Very well said.  I believe I read in that the USA has had over 15 Million cases of Influenza this season  with close to 8,500 deaths.  As you mention no one has taken  the new virus lightly.  We are  all seasoned travelers and can make the decision that is appropriate  for us.  

 

People just  have some  different views  just  like they  do on almost every subject  I  can  think of.   We  have  friends  on board Symphony now or who are traveling  to the ship on an  upcoming cruise.  For those who have to make changes they are doing the  research and adjusting their flights and hotel plans.  It sounds  like the travel  industry is being helpful as  they have  been in the past.  I remember we had to adjust plans  related to the issue a  few years after 9/11  with the  concern there was a plot to take down flights from London to the  USA and we found the airline and hotel  industry very cooperative not charging penalties  and that was  very much appreciated.

 

There is  much which will be learned over the coming days and I  do think more  might be known in the  days  ahead due to the Chinese New Year.  

 

Sandi,  I would recommend posting your ride share post on the roll call board for  your  cruise.  This  is where CC  asks us to post these types of things.  Good luck with this.

 

Dwight,  great information by you both the post from the CC website and the tracking tool.  

 

Stay healthy.  Travel safely.

 

Keith

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9 hours ago, Psoque said:

I don’t think anybody is saying that the 2019-nCoV outbreak is not a serious problem.  However, there is an extremely wide variation among all of us (not just here, but also in real life) in how we are reacting to this health threat.  I never said this is nothing.  However, hysterical response to any epidemic never works well.  It requires a cool, calculated steps of moves by the experts, authorities, and the ordinary citizens to manage and survive this.  What is rather comical to me is that many of these people, who are flaying around saying “danger, danger” are the same people who thinks that “ordinary flu” is not a great threat to them.  When we have a poorly educated population that allows less than 50% to be not vaccinated for the influenza annually, and when we see this rather inappropriate, emotionally-driven over-reaction to a virus that is currently much less virulent than the influenza virus, which has killed thousands or more worldwide so far, I just have to shake my head.  If the 2019-nCoV is as aggressive as a typical influenza virus, this should have spread much faster and should have killed thousands more.  Also, the public health precautions against 2019-nCoV is essentially the same as for the influenza....universal respiratory precautions.  Also, the thinly veiled “Asia-phobia” that is expressed among those who are over-reacting to the 2019-nCoV outbreak is unacceptable.

You and others continue to mention people “flaying danger “ and other hyperbole but I have not seen it. I have only seen posters who have upcoming cruises who are concerned and that is fair. WHO have declared this an emergency.

I know you like to compare it to influenza but for me that is irrelevant as there is no vaccination for this. Thankfully I don’t have to make any decisions myself on when to travel for another 2 months but empathise with those who do being a chronic asthma sufferer. I also lived in Hong Kong during SARS and it was a stressful time for the local population. Open discussion is a good thing.

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9 hours ago, Psoque said:

I don’t think anybody is saying that the 2019-nCoV outbreak is not a serious problem.  However, there is an extremely wide variation among all of us (not just here, but also in real life) in how we are reacting to this health threat.  I never said this is nothing.  However, hysterical response to any epidemic never works well.  It requires a cool, calculated steps of moves by the experts, authorities, and the ordinary citizens to manage and survive this.  What is rather comical to me is that many of these people, who are flaying around saying “danger, danger” are the same people who thinks that “ordinary flu” is not a great threat to them.  When we have a poorly educated population that allows less than 50% to be not vaccinated for the influenza annually, and when we see this rather inappropriate, emotionally-driven over-reaction to a virus that is currently much less virulent than the influenza virus, which has killed thousands or more worldwide so far, I just have to shake my head.  If the 2019-nCoV is as aggressive as a typical influenza virus, this should have spread much faster and should have killed thousands more.  Also, the public health precautions against 2019-nCoV is essentially the same as for the influenza....universal respiratory precautions.  Also, the thinly veiled “Asia-phobia” that is expressed among those who are over-reacting to the 2019-nCoV outbreak is unacceptable.

Psoque, you are a rare breath of sensible air. The lack of understanding of epidemiology by the general public is routinely (and successfully) exploited by the media, in particular, in this sort of scenario. Of course, that sells newspapers (or clicks) and hence advertising. Thank you for your valiant efforts to explain the science on this forum. 

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25 minutes ago, mcshane said:

Psoque, you are a rare breath of sensible air. The lack of understanding of epidemiology by the general public is routinely (and successfully) exploited by the media, in particular, in this sort of scenario. Of course, that sells newspapers (or clicks) and hence advertising. Thank you for your valiant efforts to explain the science on this forum. 

So what is your advice for those who may have to fly to Hong Kong for upcoming cruises that are at high risk (elderly, asthmatics etc) should they be unfortunate and unlucky to contract this virus?

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