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PRINCESS SHIPS & CORONA VIRUS


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12 minutes ago, Northumberland said:

We are as a matter of fact, booked on a Princess cruise out of Los Angeles at the end of March. A few have been spooked by the negative social media, but most have not abandoned Princess. We will of course, use common sense when it comes to hand washing, hand sanitizer, Shaking hands, etc.   

 

Good attitude but is shaking hands really necessarily at this time?  Even in much of Silicon Valley people seemed to have stopped the practice in business settings.  Quite frankly, I personally never understood the whole concept of shaking hands.  I've literally seen people take a crap, not wash their hands, and shake hands.  Who knows where their hands have been.  I'm sure is common nationwide for people to have coughed or sneezed into them as they are going about their routines and a short time later, they find a situation in which they shake hands.

 

Makes absolutely no sense to me.  The world should take a page from what Japan predominantly did (and maybe still do) and adopt a head bow (not a full torso bow like Japan).  Just bow your head down for formal greetings and your head up (like you're saying "What's up.") when greeting friends.  Close friends and family you should do whatever you want which I imagine would mostly be hugging.

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23 minutes ago, mek said:

Totally agree.  My thoughts are despite all of the hysterics and containment measures going on right now, there is a good chance I might catch this thing.  Even with the skewed stats, I currently have a 97 - 98% chance of survival and not much different than the seasonal flu and I'm 69 , but in good health.

 

And then if it does turn out to be the next plague, I don't think anyone is prepared for that and we are doomed, so I think I'll just continue cruising  while I can.

 

Just in the interests of accuracy, death rate by age.   For the 'flu in your case it is %.06.

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32 minutes ago, SargassoPirate said:

Do they cancel during any flu season?

 

I'm not worried about travel itself, just the panic whipped up by the media causing knee jerk reactions that may interfere with our plans.

 

 

I agree but the difference between this and the flu is that the ships aren't held out at sea for the flu and there isn't a 14 day quarantine period. Travel of any kind at this time is more of a risk in terms of delays ,canceled flights or canceled cruises. 

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26 minutes ago, NorthwestCruiser said:

Sorry, but that is nonsense.   A virus is never 'alive' and can be kept viable indefinitely in the right circumstances, which basically means keeping from it from drying out it and away from sunlight.    In practical terms, how long enough of the virus can remain on any particular surface over time to infect somebody who contacts that surface, or if that is even a viable route of transmission, is still a matter of urgent research.   The "14 day rule" that we are coming up with is because the average incubation time "seems" to be five days, and researchers are pretty confident that anybody who has been exposed will show symptoms well before 14 days are up.   (There are exceptions.)   It has nothing to do with how long the virus survives on a surface, or in waste (for example.)

 

We are in such early days for this disease that there is really very little that we can say for sure.


Given cruise ships are notoriously dry places due to air con, I can't imagine viruses staying alive on surfaces for very long at all.
Norovirus is very hardly, exceptionally so and even that has a linger time of 14 days.
 

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1 minute ago, CarelessAndConfused said:

 

Death strikes much deeper!

Way more people die from the flu. Yet so many pass on the opportunity to get a flu shot, even though it is usually free.

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It may be hyperbole but there are some valid and thoughtful points being made here. I love cruising and have taken over 30 Princess Cruises in the past 15 years. But we have cancelled our cruises for the remainder of the year - the next one up was supposed to be on the Grand. Personally for us it is not worth the risk of getting stuck in an extended quarantine - I have a job and my husband is self employed. We have grown children traveling with us who have their own jobs and college demands. We have pets at home that require care. And we have elderly family members who I would prefer to protect. While we are in this new, unknown and critical phase with this illness I’m going to be cautious and thoughtful in my approach. There will be other vacations in the future. This is our personal decision but one I believe many other cruisers are sharing. Here is the biggest problem - once one person brings it onboard it spreads freely. No amount of cleaning or hand washing will slow it down - especially once it hits the crew who live packed together like sardines. A cruise ship is a perfect storm for viral spread and even screening passengers as they board will not help as the incubation time allows a seemingly healthy person to be fine one day and running a fever several days later. Then when these passengers leave the boat they take it home and spread it in their communities while the crew continues to spread it onboard to new passengers. It becomes a vicious cycle -exactly what we are seeing with the Grand. 

This is not the flu, there is no preventive shot or treatment like Tamifu to help mitigate it. Most people seem to do just fine, but the older you are the greater the risk and when you look at the average demographic of a cruise passenger many would fall into a high risk zone. These are just the hard facts. Everyone has to make their own decision, but it does appear the cruise industry will be bearing the fallout from this epidemic for some time, as will the entire travel industry. 

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I am booked on a 15 day Princess cruise next month.  I will probably cancel not because I am afraid of catching the virus, but because I am afraid of dying of boredom if the ship is quarantined.  I enjoy going to the various bars on the ship and talking to other passengers.   This could be hard to do, if we are to stay at least six feet apart.

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21 minutes ago, ontheweb said:

Way more people die from the flu. Yet so many pass on the opportunity to get a flu shot, even though it is usually free.

 

The virus got started late.  If it's still around next year, we'll see how many people die compared to normal flu.  The worst of it is that because of all this, flu shots next year may be in shortage.  You'd think the government would make sure that there is plenty enough but from what I have seen so far, I certainly don't have any confidence in that.

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We agree with the OP only in regard that COVID-19 is a huge problem for Princess vis-à-vis the negative publicity.  Viruses do not discriminate and Princess has been unlucky along with Aida.  The OP may not be aware that Princess is simply one company within the large CCL Corporation.  Both CCL and RCI have deep pockets and will survive the current panic although both companies will ultimately post some nasty financial numbers due to COVID-19.  

 

Comparison with the flu sounds good, but the reality is that public accepts the huge risk of the flu, but is now in panic mode about COVID-19 because it is new, 24 hour news pummels us with reports, and many folks are simply overacting to the unknown.  One thing is certain:  The next few months are going to be a very rocky road for both the cruise and travel industry.  

 

Hank

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13 minutes ago, karatemom2 said:

It may be hyperbole but there are some valid and thoughtful points being made here. I love cruising and have taken over 30 Princess Cruises in the past 15 years. But we have cancelled our cruises for the remainder of the year - the next one up was supposed to be on the Grand. Personally for us it is not worth the risk of getting stuck in an extended quarantine - I have a job and my husband is self employed. We have grown children traveling with us who have their own jobs and college demands. We have pets at home that require care. And we have elderly family members who I would prefer to protect. While we are in this new, unknown and critical phase with this illness I’m going to be cautious and thoughtful in my approach. There will be other vacations in the future. This is our personal decision but one I believe many other cruisers are sharing. Here is the biggest problem - once one person brings it onboard it spreads freely. No amount of cleaning or hand washing will slow it down - especially once it hits the crew who live packed together like sardines. A cruise ship is a perfect storm for viral spread and even screening passengers as they board will not help as the incubation time allows a seemingly healthy person to be fine one day and running a fever several days later. Then when these passengers leave the boat they take it home and spread it in their communities while the crew continues to spread it onboard to new passengers. It becomes a vicious cycle -exactly what we are seeing with the Grand. 

This is not the flu, there is no preventive shot or treatment like Tamifu to help mitigate it. Most people seem to do just fine, but the older you are the greater the risk and when you look at the average demographic of a cruise passenger many would fall into a high risk zone. These are just the hard facts. Everyone has to make their own decision, but it does appear the cruise industry will be bearing the fallout from this epidemic for some time, as will the entire travel industry. 

Thank you so much for your perfectly worded (for me) post.  You put down my thoughts exactly.  For all those who keep saying, it's not "that" bad or no bigger risk than dying from the flu, well, I never have been a big gambler and when I check all the boxes of probably being in the high risk portion, why should I gamble on my health (or life) just to say, "I am brave and I am going to cruise anyway."  I have several cruises already booked for next year but I don't intend to gamble on the one booked for Europe in a couple weeks.  So, all you brave souls or (non-believers) enjoy your cruises and I do hope you don't end in a situation with 20/20 hindsight.

 

Judy in SW Florida

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1 hour ago, ontheweb said:

In the immortal words of The  Buffalo Springfield:

 

Paranoia strikes deep

Into each heart it must creep

 

True.  I was in a department store this morning and overheard one shopper telling her companion that she had a headache.  I went in the opposite direction!

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1 hour ago, CarelessAndConfused said:

 

Good attitude but is shaking hands really necessarily at this time?  Even in much of Silicon Valley people seemed to have stopped the practice in business settings.  Quite frankly, I personally never understood the whole concept of shaking hands.  I've literally seen people take a crap, not wash their hands, and shake hands.  Who knows where their hands have been.  I'm sure is common nationwide for people to have coughed or sneezed into them as they are going about their routines and a short time later, they find a situation in which they shake hands.

 

Makes absolutely no sense to me.  The world should take a page from what Japan predominantly did (and maybe still do) and adopt a head bow (not a full torso bow like Japan).  Just bow your head down for formal greetings and your head up (like you're saying "What's up.") when greeting friends.  Close friends and family you should do whatever you want which I imagine would mostly be hugging.

Sorry if I wasn't clear. My meaning was to avoid shaking hands when I said we were going to use common sense. I kind of like the suggestion that Dr. Sanjay Gupta from CNN mentioned when he suggested an elbow bump instead of shaking hands would be safer. Given the current situation, a certain amount of caution without appearing rude is necessary for everyone's comfort. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, NorthwestCruiser said:

Just in the interests of accuracy, death rate by age.   For the 'flu in your case it is %.06.

That stat is only based on know cases, which right now is incredibly low compared to # of flu cases and deaths annually.  I expect the mortality rate to drop as more cases are reported.  If it really was that serious the mortality rates would be astronomical and they're not - the vast majority of people are recovering. It' s not the Black Death and this whole thing is ridiculous.

 

Edited by mek
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2 hours ago, mek said:

Totally agree.  My thoughts are despite all of the hysterics and containment measures going on right now, there is a good chance I might catch this thing.  Even with the skewed stats, I currently have a 97 - 98% chance of survival and not much different than the seasonal flu and I'm 69 , but in good health.

 

And then if it does turn out to be the next plague, I don't think anyone is prepared for that and we are doomed, so I think I'll just continue cruising  while I can.

 

to put it in perspective in a normal flu year 25 million cases result in 25,000 deaths, 250,000 hospitalizations, most of which last less then a week.

 

With covid-19  25 million cases would result in between 250,000 and 750,000 deaths depending upon which states you use, including those modeled assuming dramatic under reporting of mild cases, between 1 million and 3.25 million hospitalizations lasting 2 to 4 weeks. Mean time to death with Covid 19 is around 15 days after symptoms start with the range being 2 to 29 days.

 

Considering that the Us has less than 1 million hospital beds you can get the idea of how much of an impact this would have if it gets widespread.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, PrincessLuver said:

 

I agree with your assessment and I am sure the market is going to speak to Princess and other cruise lines quickly just as the world's stock exchanges are speaking.....we are  canceling all of our Princess cruises and going in other directions for the rest of this year......why get on a Princess ship or any ship, be scared to death of anyone coughing and catching COVID-19, being held at sea or a port for who know how many days in your cabin if COVID-19 appears and then being quarantined for 14 days or more on top of it.....does not sound like a fun-filled vacation to me.....I know people say it is no worse then the flu but 50% of Americans do not get the flu shot and that is why so many die....there appears to be no shot for COVID-19 as of today.....happy sailing to the rest of you fearless warriors.....

Just make sure you don’t’ go to the grocery shore 

Walmart, a theater or any other place where more than one person congregates and you will be fine.

Edited by weedpindle
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Well, I'm willing to bet that within 2 weeks, RCL, NCL and others will have cases on board too, so then it won't just be Princess in the headlines.  Unfortunately the cruise lines cannot stop the virus getting on their ships.

 

It makes me laugh that lines such as Carnival are banning people who have been to Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan in the past 20 days when those countries have far fewer cases than countries from which there are no restrictions. e.g.

 

Cannot board:

Hong Kong - 108 cases

Singapore - 138 cases

Japan - 461 cases

 

Can board:

Germany - 799 cases

France - 716 cases

Spain - 500 cases

USA - 376 cases

 

It is time to accept that the outbreak cannot be contained!

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, npcl said:

to put it in perspective in a normal flu year 25 million cases result in 25,000 deaths, 250,000 hospitalizations, most of which last less then a week.

 

With covid-19  25 million cases would result in between 250,000 and 750,000 deaths depending upon which states you use, including those modeled assuming dramatic under reporting of mild cases, between 1 million and 3.25 million hospitalizations lasting 2 to 4 weeks. Mean time to death with Covid 19 is around 15 days after symptoms start with the range being 2 to 29 days.

 

Considering that the Us has less than 1 million hospital beds you can get the idea of how much of an impact this would have if it gets widespread.

You are assuming, incorrectly IMO, that many people would require hospital stays.  I think those with mild cases will stay home, take Nyquil, and be better in a few days.  I know if I come down with it I intend to stay at home and use a web based doctor.  I see no reason to spread any more germs around by running to my family doctor or using the emergency room.  There are sensible ways to handle this and so far I've all I see is a hysteric news media promoting as much fear as they possibly can.

Edited by mek
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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, mek said:

You are assuming, incorrectly IMO, that many people would require hospital stays.  I think those with mild cases will stay home, take Nyquil, and be better in a few days.  I know if I come down with it I intend to stay at home and use a web based doctor.  I see no reason to spread any more germs around by running to my family doctor or using the emergency room.  There are sensible ways to handle this and so far I've all I see is a hysteric news media promoting as much fear as they possibly can.

the numbers for hospital stays range from the Chinese experience with 15 percent of cases being serious and requiring hospitalization to a minimum from a recent paper that models the inclusion of far more mild cases which lowers the percentage to around 4% being serious. thus 4% serious out of 25 million cases is 1 million hospitalizations lasting 2 to 4 weeks each.

 

even more important is the much longer duration of treatment for serious cases compared to flu. with flu less than 7 days with Covid 19 2 to 4 weeks.

Edited by npcl
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1 minute ago, npcl said:

the numbers for hospital stays range from the Chinese experience with 15 percent of cases being serious and requiring hospitalization to a minimum from a recent paper that models the inclusion of far more mild cases which lowers the percentage to around 4% being serious.

 

even more important is the much longer duration of treatment compared to flu. with flu less than 7 days with Covid 19 2 to 4 weeks.

But I would argue that we really don't have much information on the people with mild symptoms, do we?  Are they even reported as this virus or do people realize they have it? They could be up and about in a week - we really don't know how many like that there are. I know I get a flu shot every year, but somehow still manage to pick up one or two 24 hour somethings .  I heard somewhere that it's possible two different strains are out there.

 All I'm saying is I think there is an overblown sense of doom with this virus that is being promoted by the news media. 

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4 hours ago, cruising deacon said:

It appears, at least in the US, that Princess is the only major cruise line that is getting massive negative publicity because of the coronavirus.  With these 11 people testing positive on the Grand (2 guests and 9 crew) Princess should be investigating its viability in the future.  Will it even be able to survive the gigantic blemish that it has received, through what appears to be no fault of their own?  The whole cruise industry is taking a HIT, but Princess may be the only one to SINK.  It may be time for them to start drastic measures to assure their existence in the future.   Lets face it, who would book a Princess cruise NOW.

Maybe they should cancel all cruises for the next 30 or 60 days (fleet wide) and announce that they are sending all crew home.  Those who pass the physical exam when the cruises resume will be allowed to return to their positions.  They could spend that time showing that a decontamination company (not Princess) is deep cleaning all of their vessels to assure a safe cruising experience for their guests. 

I think it is time for Princess to do something drastic to regain the public's confidence in them, or get ready to sink.

You seem to be assuming once the ships are decontaminated, they will be safe.

And, after the 30/60 days, how do you propose preventing additional cases from boarding the ships?

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