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CoronaVirus Impact on the Cruise Industry


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Question re travel insurance, if anyone has pulled this trigger. My trip is in April in southern France so the level of impact of the coronavirus at that time is still unknown.

 

I have the usual not-CFAR insurance, I got it in December of 2018 from a good provider. Clearly ahead of this virus being known. I also have a pre-existing condition which tends to be a asymptomatic but could turn if I had a major hit to my immune system. And I am older.

 

I looked over my insurance and it has the usual causes, as written I have to actually be sick which is a reach given my largely asymptomatic behavior. But I am reading in some places that a letter from my doctor verifying my pre-existing condition combined with the risk from virus which was unknown when I got the policy can trigger the insurance. I have time to call them and likely will, but I wonder if anyone on this board has any experience with this situation. 

 

Thanks for any advice!  Though I would love to make this trip work. Could be a marvelously uncrowded situation on the ship as well as on land after hearing about the cancellations flooding into my TA's office.

Edited by sayanne
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On 3/3/2020 at 3:08 PM, sayanne said:

 

Thanks, I have been watching. They closed the Louvre a couple of days ago, Sunday morning.

 

There was also a person in Lyon who was found to be positive, whether passing thru or from there I forget. I doesn't matter - France is still on the increase so a single day's status will only change again anyway. Frankly I would be OK with it exploding in the next couple of weeks in hopes the curve would start moving down again. I am going to be south but there is no 100% safe place until it stabilizes.

 

There should be river boats starting their cruises on the Rhone within 2 weeks. I hope that someone takes one of these early trips and can report back. The Rhone excursions are less about churches than some other trips, except for Avignon.

wow you are seriously thinking of going?  My concern is the unreliable transportation given recent info about bus drivers not working.  We are also on a south france cruise, departing April 13 with no CFar also. 

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48 minutes ago, sayanne said:

Question re travel insurance, if anyone has pulled this trigger. My trip is in April in southern France so the level of impact of the coronavirus at that time is still unknown.

 

I have the usual not-CFAR insurance, I got it in December of 2018 from a good provider. Clearly ahead of this virus being known. I also have a pre-existing condition which tends to be a asymptomatic but could turn if I had a major hit to my immune system. And I am older.

 

I looked over my insurance and it has the usual causes, as written I have to actually be sick which is a reach given my largely asymptomatic behavior. But I am reading in some places that a letter from my doctor verifying my pre-existing condition combined with the risk from virus which was unknown when I got the policy can trigger the insurance. I have time to call them and likely will, but I wonder if anyone on this board has any experience with this situation. 

 

Thanks for any advice!  Though I would love to make this trip work. Could be a marvelously uncrowded situation on the ship as well as on land after hearing about the cancellations flooding into my TA's office.

 

I suspect that the answer to this will be so policy specific that someone else's experience wouldn't be much help. I've heard that many policies have hidden in the fine print that any pandemic related cancellation would not be covered. 

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1 hour ago, Cicada1 said:

wow you are seriously thinking of going?  My concern is the unreliable transportation given recent info about bus drivers not working.  We are also on a south france cruise, departing April 13 with no CFar also. 

 

My TA is telling me that March dates are a mess with stressed out passengers and overwhelmed travel companies. But that so far April dates are doing better.

 

The bus drivers impacted are the ones on public transport, in fact I posted that. Not saying that that it can't impact, but it is not as certain for the river cruises because they use  private liveries. My package arrived yesterday at my TA's office and all the excursions are still on and contracted for.  The train in Tournon is still running as of yesterday. It is an imperfect gauge but of a sorts nonetheless.

 

Given how well the various countries are managing this thing, right now my biggest risk is probably getting thru JFK. And you have to remember that these river boats just came out of winter storage, they have not been wandering around the world like the big ships, and the crews are just arriving now from home, not from another cruise ship. 

 

As far as risk management, so far I have dumped my plans to get to JFK via trains and subways and am ready to pay the cost of leaving my car at the local airport so I don't have to worry about ride share drivers refusing to pick up from the shuttle stop. 

 

If this trip can dodge the worst of things it could be a pretty luxurious time. Fewer crowds on and off the ship, great service and just easy to relax. Not dissimilar to my first Christmas Markets river cruise, except it'll be warm so I can hang out with the  French veranda windows open. 

 

What line are you on? Can't find that start date for Viking, AMA Waterways or Uniworld on the Rhone. BTW Viking has really stepped up with their cancellation policy, kudos to them. It appears that Avalon has either cancelled or is not booking any rooms on cruises in that region until May.

Edited by sayanne
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31 minutes ago, sanger727 said:

 

I suspect that the answer to this will be so policy specific that someone else's experience wouldn't be much help. I've heard that many policies have hidden in the fine print that any pandemic related cancellation would not be covered. 

 

Thanks, I will look at the small stuff. Like above, I still would like to make this work. But in case...

 

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Again wow. Our first riverboat cruise and we are going on Scenic. We are flying to Paris. No worries getting to Paris, just concerned about getting to Lyon via the TGV. 

 

JUST read an article that France looking to go to Level three restrictions on travel, in the next few days or week. That will def put a diff slant on the trip. Oh and we are ‘old’ too. Retired, but active. 

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Correction. Viking still showing March and April Rhône Cruises. I guess my go to website is wrong. We are on an 11 day Scenic cruise, RT Lyon. 

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8 minutes ago, Cicada1 said:

Again wow. Our first riverboat cruise and we are going on Scenic. We are flying to Paris. No worries getting to Paris, just concerned about getting to Lyon via the TGV. 

 

JUST read an article that France looking to go to Level three restrictions on travel, in the next few days or week. That will def put a diff slant on the trip. Oh and we are ‘old’ too. Retired, but active. 

 

I am seeing the same thing. I fully expect France to be on level 3 in at least some parts of the country, north more so right now, before the end of March.  Travel restrictions are a part of that, though looking at how they have managed level 2 it appears they tend to be very selective about how they are enforced even at 3. If you look at how they managed their measles outbreak, the restrictions were remarkably well targeted.

 

If you have not been on a riverboat cruise before you may not realize how flexibly these providers can manage things. The passenger count is small to start, with Scenic being lower than Viking by about 30 if you are talking about one of the space ships, and each excursion is just a subset of that. They don't tend to push concerns about large crowds unless multiple fully loaded ships worth of tours arrive at one time to a location. I suspect that is not going to be an issue for a few months.

 

The train is a hugely vital asset. And unlike buses the drivers can be shielded from the passengers. Though today may not be the best day to check out how the high speed train is doing.  🙂

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The horrible truth is

that ALL Travel is going to be severely impacted

be it Cruise Travel, Air Travel -or any and all forms of Land Travel.

 

It's going to get ever more difficult

as this progresses for the next month or three.

 

Those who have nothing booked right now remain stress-free.

So sorry for those of you

who do have holidays and cruises booked and paid for.

 

It must be a very difficult time: hard to know what to do!
Wait for the  lines to cancel? -with a full refund? -or what??

 

DO NOT book anything further! Not until this starts to abate!

I am subscribed to Cruise Critic's email thingy.

I routinely get regular emails offering great cruise deals.

In the last few days,

those emails and their fabulous offers have doubled, if not more.

Draw your own conclusions, people.

 

ship-happens.jpg

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25 minutes ago, Aplmac said:

The horrible truth is

that ALL Travel is going to be severely impacted

be it Cruise Travel, Air Travel -or any and all forms of Land Travel.

 

It's going to get ever more difficult

as this progresses for the next month or three.

 

Those who have nothing booked right now remain stress-free.

So sorry for those of you

who do have holidays and cruises booked and paid for.

 

It must be a very difficult time: hard to know what to do!
Wait for the  lines to cancel? -with a full refund? -or what??

 

DO NOT book anything further! Not until this starts to abate!

I am subscribed to Cruise Critic's email thingy.

I routinely get regular emails offering great cruise deals.

In the last few days,

those emails and their fabulous offers have doubled, if not more.

Draw your own conclusions, people.

 

ship-happens.jpg

 

I suspect most here are able to manage their decisions... 

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Watching the numbers and the spread to more and more countries, I am beginning to feel cancellations may be effectively (or actually) taken out of the cruise lines hands. I think we will be more port closures and not just specific ships but closed to passenger traffic full stop. Government restrictions and the virus impact on working levels will make getting to and from port difficult if not impossible.

OK scary, but watch this space....

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3 hours ago, buggins0402 said:

Yes, it will be interesting. If only those with underlying health issues are discouraged, it makes sense. Don't know about advising that everyone avoid cruising though.

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I had read that historically there were few if any empty cabins on cruise ships.  If a few weeks out there were empty cabins they just lowered the price enough to fill the ship.  Now with all the bad publicity I wonder if there are ships traveling the Caribbean out of Florida that actually had empty cabins.  If you have cruised in the last few weeks what have you observed? 

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Not to the Caribbean out of Florida, but my DS and BIL are currently on a cruise to Mexican riviera and in her words the ship is "crowded" and specialty restaurants very busy, so I am guessing no or very few empty cabins.

 

 

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22 hours ago, Cee_Jay said:

Watching the numbers and the spread to more and more countries, I am beginning to feel cancellations may be effectively (or actually) taken out of the cruise lines hands. I think we will be more port closures and not just specific ships but closed to passenger traffic full stop. Government restrictions and the virus impact on working levels will make getting to and from port difficult if not impossible.

OK scary, but watch this space....

 

The virus is now in nearly 100 countries/territories. It is a pandemic, by definition.

 

It remains to be seen how each country will deal with the situation they find themselves in. I doubt many will be willing to go to the lengths that China has done to (effectively) stop the spread. 

 

As to cruises in particular, they fit in many ways the ideal environment for virus transmission -- large groups of people in relatively close contact for an extended period of time. I don't think there is anything inherently unclean or problematic with the ships, it is just the very nature of the activity that makes them a likely place for anyone infected to pass the virus to others.

 

But this is not new -- we've all heard about or dealt with norovirus on ships for ages, not to mention the upper respiratory infections that many of us have come home with after cruise (or airline) travel, popularly known as "cruise crud".

 

Personally I think we are in for a period of some travel disruptions until officials/researchers/governments figure out the best way to deal with COVID-19. I am not sure that shutting down travel and ports long-term is in the cards, but it may be sporadic and incident-based (hence unpredictable) for a while...

 

 

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21 hours ago, buggins0402 said:

 

Funny, on one of our national morning television programs this morning, they had an infectious disease expert on telling people there is no reason not to take a cruise as long as said cruise isn't going to one of the virus "hot spots" (China, S. Korea, Italy, Iran).

 

Hmmm....  

 

I do think those with underlying health issues should think carefully about travel plans, particularly those involving flying or cruising.

 

 

Edited by cruisemom42
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According to news reports, Vice President Pence will be meeting with key cruise industry executives today (Saturday) to discuss some major issues regarding COVID-19 and the cruise industry.  What comes out of this meeting is anyone's guess.

 

Hank

 

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10 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

According to news reports, Vice President Pence will be meeting with key cruise industry executives today (Saturday) to discuss some major issues regarding COVID-19 and the cruise industry.  What comes out of this meeting is anyone's guess.

 

Hank

 


My guess.......photos of Pence and cruise line executives. 

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One tour provider we have used several times in various counties is Tours by Locals. Never inexpensive, but always a quality experience. I just got a note from them outlining their new (temporary for now) cancellation policy: cancel if you need to, whenever, no penalty. But of more general interest to those curious about Data, they linked to a page on their site where they are tracking which are the locations where they have had the most cancellations and the most new bookings...

 

Sorry - for some reason I am unable to insert the link.

 

A quick summary: Bookings... Paris - 20% of total, London 14%, Rome 12%, Barcelona 11%

Cancellations: Rome 22%, Tokyo, 18%, Kyoto, 13%, Florence, 10%

 

Stan

Edited by GottaKnowWhen
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the present Cruises will be full, because people have booked and paid for them long ago and they are not getting refunds, so they are forced to go

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" The virus is now in nearly 100 countries/territories. It is a pandemic, by definition.

 

It remains to be seen how each country will deal with the situation they find themselves in. I doubt many will be willing to go to the lengths that China has done to (effectively) stop the spread. "

 

 

https://news.yahoo.com/hotel-collapse-traps-70-eastern-china-154017056.html?.tsrc=notification-brknews

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Actually at least some lines have relaxed penalties for cancellation -- offering combinations of refunds and future cruise credits. 

 

But I agree that folks are probably not booking future cruises at the usual pace right now.

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