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Crystal & the Corona Virus


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The reality for any of us is that pre-existing conditions predispose us to an increased risk of death, no matter where we are. The decisions we make on that presumption is our own responsibility. 
 

Unfortunately, modern society has created an expectation that somebody else should always be responsible, despite the myriad personal decisions that have led us to a particular scenario.  

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1 hour ago, teamflames said:

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?

Here’s what I have to say:

If you personally think your discomfort/anxiety secondary to your perception of of 2019-nCoV infection from visiting any Asian locale is beyond what you can bear, you should not book any trip to anywhere in Asia.  That’s a no-brainer.

 

If you already booked a trip to anywhere in Asia, and you can’t cancel with a reasonable refund, here are your options:

 

Strategy One:  Wait until it is closer to see what is going on then:  There will be at least two possibilities that I can think of:

 

Possibility One:  The outbreak will run its course, and the risk of you contracting the disease would become negligent.  Then you can go on your trip worry-free.  Yay!

 

Possibility Two:  The outbreak will swallow the whole earth, and there will not be any reason to “avoid Asia.”  You might as well enjoy yourself during the last days of the human civilization.  Boo!

 

Strategy Two:  If you don’t want to wait, just cancel and bite the bullet.  I’m assuming most of the regular Crystal customers can do this.

 

However, if I were in your shoes (which I am not, because my perception of the facts regarding this outbreak is probably very different from yours), I would seriously consider waiting (strategy one).  Here are a few things to know:

 

1.  The airlines and the cruise lines are actually a lot more worried about you contracting the 2019-nCoV than you are, because they are more sensitive to the (financial) liabilities associated with even one incident.  Because of this, if any particular city/airport/port of call become even marginally at risk, they will not fly/cruise to/from there.  The good thing that they will be doing the over-reacting for you, since that’s how businesses work in this highly litigious environment.  So, say the risk of contracting the 2019-nCoV is even suggested to be higher in Hong Kong, the airlines will stop flying there, saving you the trouble of deciding what to do with your itinerary.  If the risk of flying to Tokyo becomes even marginally high (which is not the case right now), they will stop flying/sailing in/out of Tokyo area.  The airlines/cruise lines will do the cancelling for you,.  Really simple.

 

2.  As I said many times, as of now, all of us, even those who were wise enough to receive the influenza vaccine in a timely manner, is at a much higher risk of contracting and dying from influenza than the 2019-nCoV.  Only exception might be those who continue to be in direct contact with people already infected with the 2019-nCoV. Even then, there’s  fairly reliable evidence that the chance of you contracting the virus, becoming symptomatic, AND dying from the disease is most likely a lot less than that from influenza, which is also circulating WORLDWIDE, even in Asia.  Of course, we would like to avoid being sick from any virus, it’s very important to put the risk of that from 2019-nCoV in a more reasonable perspective.  Yes, it is possible that the virus will mutate into a monster/super infectious/deadly virus, but that can happen to any virus, including the influenza virus, which is already known to be a fairly deadly virus.  Furthermore, unreasonable and hysterical response to the 2019-nCoV can just make the matter worse and cause real harm, both economic and medical.  What I recommend is to do what you can (get timely influenza vaccines, not late in the season like most of the population), avoid sick contacts the best you can, and avoid putting yourself at risk (wear your seatbelts, drive carefully, don’t talk/text and drive, don’t smoke, don’t do drugs, etc.).

 

Sorry about this long post, but I think there is a general lack of perspective among the public regarding how to assess real risks at times of perceived new risks.  And as I said before, this kind of hysteric environment allows for our existing xenophobia and racism to float to the surface, and it is not pretty.

Edited by Psoque
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As a passenger onboard, I want to commend Crystal on the way they've handled this situation. They've communicated information calmly, shared information as it became available, the guys/gals at the front desk have been wonderful. I haven't heard even one complaint from fellow passengers. Everyone understands the seriousness of this virus, but it's not the topic of conversation 24/7.

I probably had more than two dozen conversations with other passengers today, and the virus didn't come up once ('cept as a punchline in a joke). Almost without fail, the airlines have been great, allowing generous adjustments to original itineraries. Some of us have decided to leave the ship early, or leave in Vietnam or Manila. Some added another voyage or two so they can stay onboard. After a day or two of scrambling to adjust travel plans, we're all ready to enjoy the last day of this cruise and most of us are fortunate enough to be looking forward to another two weeks of great fun, great food, and great entertainment. The mood on board couldn't be better. We're having a blast.

Crystal handling of this unexpected situation has been magnificent. Now if you'll excuse me, it's ice cream time.

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Psoque, excellent post.  You  have  a lot of information to share so please do not apologize for  it being long.

 

I was telling a friend yesterday about what I had ready the other day about Influenza in the USA  striking 15 Million+ with 8,300 deaths.   We were both saying that there seems to be no coverage of that and  I started  to second guess my numbers.  I went to the CDC site and learned I was wrong in that the number is worse with 16.5 millions people in the USA  with Influenza.   The difference with the strain impacting the USA is that there is a vaccine and we know  much more about that than the Corona Virus where more has to be learned and there is no vaccine.

 

We will see how this all plays out and in a few days  we should know a lot more.

 

Anyway, just wanted to thank you for your posts and  to also say that someone posting.   If  someone doesn't care for what you  have  written that's fine but no one should put others down with sarcasm. It has no place IMHO.  

 

Thank you again.

 

Keith

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5 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

Psoque, excellent post.  You  have  a lot of information to share so please do not apologize for  it being long.

 

I was telling a friend yesterday about what I had ready the other day about Influenza in the USA  striking 15 Million+ with 8,300 deaths.   We were both saying that there seems to be no coverage of that and  I started  to second guess my numbers.  I went to the CDC site and learned I was wrong in that the number is worse with 16.5 millions people in the USA  with Influenza.   The difference with the strain impacting the USA is that there is a vaccine and we know  much more about that than the Corona Virus where more has to be learned and there is no vaccine.

 

We will see how this all plays out and in a few days  we should know a lot more.

 

Anyway, just wanted to thank you for your posts and  to also say that someone posting.   If  someone doesn't care for what you  have  written that's fine but no one should put others down with sarcasm. It has no place IMHO.  

 

Thank you again.

 

Keith

As long as we are consistent though. Psoque has regularly mentioned “hysteria”, “hyperbole” and others “flaying danger “

which could be argued is a form of sarcasm as well. 
By the way Australia has banned all flights from China including HK.

For me the main issue in my own decision making (other than personal risk factors including asthma) is that there is no vaccine for this disease so comparisons with influenza are superfluous. 
These selective facts that people like to quote are interesting but the reality is this virus is brand new and in its early stages. For others on here to suggest that we don’t know how to assess the risk is extremely judgemental and trying to use historical data about other diseases is in my view pointless.
I am happy to see that Crystal has seemed to lead the way compared to its competitors (and even many of the aviators) in taking proactive steps regarding this “international emergency” (WHO not me).

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Just now, teamflames said:

As long as we are consistent though. Psoque has regularly mentioned “hysteria”, “hyperbole” and others “flaying danger “

which could be argued is a form of sarcasm as well. 
By the way Australia has banned all flights from China including HK.

For me the main issue in my own decision making (other than personal risk factors including asthma) is that there is no vaccine for this disease so comparisons with influenza are superfluous. 
These selective facts that people like to quote are interesting but the reality is this virus is brand new and in its early stages. For others on here to suggest that we don’t know how to assess the risk is extremely judgemental and trying to use historical data about other diseases is in my view pointless.
I am happy to see that Crystal has seemed to lead the way compared to its competitors (and even many of the aviators) in taking proactive steps regarding this “international emergency” (WHO not me).

I was responding  to that  specific post with one that  followed later about TMI which IMHO  is  uncalled for.

 

1.  I do  believe  Crystal made the right decisions.   I am reminded that time was not on their side  so  they had to go with the  facts  they had.

 

2.  I  believe in the end  each person  has to make  the decision that  they feel comfortable with.  

 

3.  Part of a decision may come down to things such as age and current health which can be a factor in other decisions when issue like this happen including  influenza.

 

4. I do think that it's important to get the facts on this and any  issue.  Often the media  can blow things out of proportion.  This is very serious but influenza at this point of time is also very serious as the numbers indicate.

 

Anyway, like all things we all have our own views.   I do think people can express their views respectively  as most (but not all) on this thread have recognizing that there is no single answer for each person.

 

Keith

 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, teamflames said:

As long as we are consistent though. Psoque has regularly mentioned “hysteria”, “hyperbole” and others “flaying danger “

which could be argued is a form of sarcasm as well. 
By the way Australia has banned all flights from China including HK.

For me the main issue in my own decision making (other than personal risk factors including asthma) is that there is no vaccine for this disease so comparisons with influenza are superfluous. 
These selective facts that people like to quote are interesting but the reality is this virus is brand new and in its early stages. For others on here to suggest that we don’t know how to assess the risk is extremely judgemental and trying to use historical data about other diseases is in my view pointless.
I am happy to see that Crystal has seemed to lead the way compared to its competitors (and even many of the aviators) in taking proactive steps regarding this “international emergency” (WHO not me).


Australia has not banned flights from Hong Kong - only mainland China.  Please share your source if you have read differently.

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23 minutes ago, Redrob123 said:


Australia has not banned flights from Hong Kong - only mainland China.  Please share your source if you have read differently.

It was in a radio program but I will not remove that comment until I can confirm somewhere else.

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4 minutes ago, teamflames said:

It was in a radio program but I will not remove that comment until I can confirm somewhere else.

 

Try here:

https://www.qantas.com/us/en/travel-info/travel-updates/coronavirus.html

It includes a link the official govt statement - only flights from mainland China. Qantas and Cathay are continuing flights between Australia and HKG

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Correct, one death in Philippines, a man with underlining health issues according to NYTimes. Although CVirus a concern understandably to those traveling, flu has killed > 8000 In US . I am a nurse and see the havoc flu causes yet no one terribly worried and many won’t be vaccinated. 

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On 1/31/2020 at 6:27 AM, 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.

Along the same lines, I'd like to hear your comments on the reliance on hand sanitizer onboard.  I believe

   - it is effectrive on bacteria, especially the easily-to-kill bacteria

   - it is not effective on viruses.  (Viruses are responsbile for the common cold, influence, coronavirus, measles, norovirus, etc)

   - soap and water is still the best precaution along with the usual cough/sneeze etiquettes

 

I would appreciate being corrected if I am wrong.

Edited by crickette
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9 hours ago, crickette said:

Along the same lines, I'd like to hear your comments on the reliance on hand sanitizer onboard.  I believe

   - it is effectrive on bacteria, especially the easily-to-kill bacteria

   - it is not effective on viruses.  (Viruses are responsbile for the common cold, influence, coronavirus, measles, norovirus, etc)

   - soap and water is still the best precaution along with the usual cough/sneeze etiquettes

 

I would appreciate being corrected if I am wrong.

I hope this is not too off-topic, but for infections that are most commonly spread through contact, hand washing and minimizing touching anything appears to be a good idea, though the “not touching anything” strategy is very hard and rather impractical.  For respiratory pathogens, the best strategy is avoidance, as in avoiding proximity to the source.  The whole “cough/sneeze with your mouth covered” strategy and others like it, as far I know, hasn’t been validated to prevent spread of respiratory pathogens in a real-life situation or in an epidemic scenario.  I guess it’s probably a good idea, though.

 

Now, there is good data suggesting that the efficacy of alcohol-based hand sanitizers are not as good as the manufacturers claim.  They say something like “99.99% of pathogens are killed...” or something like that.  It appears that is not the case, and I anticipate the labeling on these products to change soon, since FDA has ordered the manufacturers to remove the false claims.  I have no idea what businesses like hotels, and cruise lines are going to do with this new information.  But in my professional practice, we have been told for years that hand sanitizing gels/foams are NOT good substitutes for adequate hand washing, but a convenience to minimize pathogens on our hands a sink is not available.  So the best practice would be for you to wash your hands in your cabin, go to the dining room with minimal touching, then use the hand sanitizer while entering the dining room.

 

In regard to influenza, it is spread via both respiratory droplets AND contact, so reasonable respiratory isolation and good hand washing come into play.

 

I am not quite familiar with Coronavirus, especially the 2019-nCoV, whether contact is also a mode of effective spread, but practicing both respiratory and contact precautions is definitely a good idea since the combination will prevent you catching more prevalent pathogens, since we are (unless you are in a very particular location, like Wuhan) more likely to be affected by things like influenza, rhinovirus, and norovirus, both on board the cruise ship and just living our ordinary lives on land.

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8 minutes ago, Jello56 said:

https://apple.news/ASqTOzRNPTnitugAQtN9Hsw
 

Scheduled to meet up with the cruise from Taiwan to Singapore.....  anyone see this article?  JH

No didn’t see that one, saw one yesterday from the Standard newspaper (Hong Kong) which reporter an elderly gentleman with the virus had been on a Princess cruise between Japan and HK.

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As tension around the Hong Kong link continues to build, we have decided to cancel our Kong Kong stay, and fly straight to Taipei.

Our concern is that Crystal will join other cruise lines and forbid embarkation for people who transit through HK.

It doesn’t sound like there will be much to do in HK at present anyway.

I feel very sorry for the hospitality industry in HK at present, but at least Taiwan will get our $$ instead.

Looking forward to a great time on Crystal Symphony 15 Feb

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Does anybody know how long does it take to confirm or reject a possible infection for this new virus? I have been reading reports from suspects around the world who are being examined and a few hours later comes the result of not being infected. Is this possible to know in a couple of hours?

Ivi

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2 hours ago, travelberlin said:

Does anybody know how long does it take to confirm or reject a possible infection for this new virus? I have been reading reports from suspects around the world who are being examined and a few hours later comes the result of not being infected. Is this possible to know in a couple of hours?

Ivi

As far as I know, a rapid test for 2019-nCoV is not widely available.  For example, CDC in Atlanta is the only place in the US that can run a confirmatory test.  However, in some cases, 2019-nCoV can be ruled out without a confirmatory test.  In know, in one case, a positive result on a rapid influenza test (takes a few hours at most), ruled a person out from the 2019-nCoV infection.

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2 hours ago, BookLover102 said:

Here is an interesting info graphic about the Corona virus in the context of other illnesses.  I found it on another cruiseline post. Helps allay some of the media hype. 

 

https://informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/the-microbescope-infectious-diseases-in-context/

Interesting, I am not sure it allays fears considering it is “quite deadly “ in a similar vein to those other not to worry about diseases like typhoid (oh wait you can get vaccinated for that one). Not to mention this disease is still evolving compared to the others on the list.

On another note, I think Crystal should be commended in acting so fast in cancelling Hong Kong (remember how many stated this was overreaction) as Seabourn, Holland America have ships that have been banned from the Phillipines and Vietnam and their itineraries are being changed on the run. Note also Princess has had to cancel an entire cruise after the quarantine in Japan. There are reports on the Princess board that itineraries up until July have been cancelled or serious altered.

Not all those who express concerns about the virus are actually concerned about actually catching or dying from it by the way, many are simply concerned about whether to continue travel plans given the huge affect it is having on flights, cruise schedules etc.

 

 

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26 minutes ago, teamflames said:

On another note, I think Crystal should be commended in acting so fast in cancelling Hong Kong (remember how many stated this was overreaction) as Seabourn, Holland America have ships that have been banned from the Phillipines and Vietnam and their itineraries are being changed on the run. 

 

 


+1 👍🏻👍🏻

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A special on the Coronavirus is on CNBC currently.  I took two points from the program - the virus is spreading faster - now 24000 cases are reported - CDC and Mayo experts believe the number of infected is severely under reported.  Point two - mortality rate at 2.1%, more than 200 times greater than the flu.  There have been more cases of the flu - started last fall and there have been no extraordinary measures under taken to prevent the spread such as those taken to slow the tramsmission of coronavirus - canceling of flights, cruises, businesses in China, etc.  At least one said this is a pandemic.  

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We're booked March 16 out of Taiwan now - was Hong Kong - I'm ok with the itinerary changes to just go to Japan now, but it will be interesting to see if that changes too as Japan currently has more cases than Hong Kong - 

 

 

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