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Fear of the virus (?)


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The death rate on this virus is almost certainly highly inflated since the only metric they can measure is reported cases. The people that aren't feeling great and staying at home are not included in the data. Which also probably means it's more spread than people would like.

 

It was asked would would take a die hard cruiser to stay home. If it were some horrific disease like an airborne ebola or anthrax with a truly scary mortality rate, you can bet even the die hard cruises would be staying home, but they would be shutting down all cruises and transportation if that were the case. This diseases appears to be 90% hysteria and not apocalypse - level at least not yet.

 

Worst case scenario - it turns into a pandemic and goes world wide - which it probably will - what does that mean? Will people die? Yes, absolutely. Probably hundreds of thousands. Maybe millions. The big issue is we already reliably have hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide yearly from a little talked about disease right now: seasonal variants of the flu, which also very easily spreads to so many people, especially in the winter, especially in close quarters, and worse yet, many people think so lightly of it they don't even bother to get a flu shot which if not full protection will likely lower the severity. Yet, there isn't the concern, which is bordering on hysteria, that this seems to have. To my knowledge droves of people weren't cancelling cruises a year ago because of the flu nor demanding daily updates with what the cruise lines are doing about it.

 

The world kept turning after Sars and swine flu.  People are hardwired to be absolutely terrible with calculating risk and odds and naturally fear something new like this. You have to actually sit back and think about it. It takes discipline if not a bit of training in critical thinking.

 

Something to keep your eye on? Sure. Something to lose sleep over? Probably not unless you are in a high risk category (which some certainly are). Something to cancel your long awaited holiday over? Well only you can decide. Unless you are immune-compromised, have some other super high risk factor, it's probably not worth it... but there is a value to piece of mind even if it's not exactly logical.

 

But, everyone has to deal with the fallout of world market jitters and supply chain disruptions. I don't plan on letting it ruin my holiday too unless Regent is forced to cancel/significantly alter the trip.

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Just read this in the Guardian today (27 Feb) - quote from the WHO Director for Europe:

 

>>“We take the virus and the situation very seriously. At the same time, we should also remember that four out of five patients have mild symptoms and recover. The mortality [rate] is about 2% now – 1% in China – and it’s mainly affecting people over 65 with weakened immunity and who have other diseases at the same time.”>>

 

Something to bear in mind, I think...

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My wife and I have been discussing this for a while now.  We have 39 nights booked on Navigator in June, beginning in Montreal and ending in Dublin.  Not exactly (yet) the "coronavirus capital" of the world.  However there is a chance that Greenland or Iceland could prevent any cruise ship docking.  If so... well, that's a disappointment.  But it happens.  Could end up being prevented from docking for weather.  Disappointed or not, we'll survive.

We also have 2 other cruises with friends booked in Aug. and Dec.  She's a "glass half empty" type and worries about them all.  I am a "glass half full" type and am not worried a bit.  First, as many others have pointed out, a significant portion of this is simply fear.  Honestly, the cruise lines are doing all they can to keep the ships healthy.  Denying boarding of passengers and crew who have traveled in certain countries, even if it was simply a plane change.  Disinfecting public spaces, encouraging hand washing, etc.  Will that stop coronavirus? Maybe not, but it'll help.  It also has to be kept in perspective.  Yes, Diamond Princess was a total fiasco.  But there were 690 cases of coronavirus (so far) and a total passenger/crew load of 3700.  That means that less than 20% of the passenger/crew were infected.  

At this point, I think it's best to keep things in perspective.  In an incubator environment like Diamond Princess, only 20% have caught it at this point. In China, where it all began, no one caught it from a cruise ship, but simply from daily activity in their home towns.  Perspective.  

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One thing that has been advised (among others) to lessen the chance of getting Coronavirus is to avoid crowds, which is easy to do where I live. This would not deter me from cruising Regent, as its ships are pretty crowd free. I wouldn't set foot on a mega ship with a mass market line. However to get to a Regent cruise I would have to subject myself to at least two airports and two airliners. It is impossible to avoid crowds in those places.So because of crowded conditions at airports and on airlines, we are not doing any cruises until this matter is concluded.

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I had no cruises booked when the Coronavirus problem surfaced, because my wife had neck surgery in early February and we didn't now what recovery time would be required before she could go. Then, when it appeared that she was recovering nicely, this problem arose. So it is not a matter of canceling a cruise but rather a matter of not booking one.

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On 2/26/2020 at 12:13 PM, Brownie54 said:

Per Shippy’s comments in post #12 about the MSC ship not being allowed to dock in Jamaica; that same ship has not been allowed to dock in Grand Cayman today.

 

I tried to dispel the theory that Grand Cayman is closed to cruise ships - only the MSC ship that had a person sick with the flu onboard.

 

Today confirms my suspicions as there are multiple ships in Grand Cayman - including Splendor (passengers are apparently having a great time).

 

This reminds us to read reports but don't believe them 100% unless you have the full story.

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6 minutes ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

I tried to dispel the theory that Grand Cayman is closed to cruise ships - only the MSC ship that had a person sick with the flu onboard.

 

Today confirms my suspicions as there are multiple ships in Grand Cayman - including Splendor (passengers are apparently having a great time).

 

This reminds us to read reports but don't believe them 100% unless you have the full story.


I think this is a precedent we may see block an untold number of port calls until the Coronavirus is contained - a single passenger or crew member with a “garden variety” illness. 

 

I don’t dislike sea days, but I don’t want a cruise filled with nothing but them. Ugh! 
 

 

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Yes, countries are being very cautious about allowing cruise passengers in. Many ports is Asia seem to be closing to cruise ships also. It is a shame in a way, because there aren’t any disease spreading crowds on Regent. But these countries don’t have any way to distinguishing ships like Regent’s from mass market mega ships where people are crowded in like sardines.

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35 minutes ago, Dolebludger said:

Yes, countries are being very cautious about allowing cruise passengers in. Many ports is Asia seem to be closing to cruise ships also. It is a shame in a way, because there aren’t any disease spreading crowds on Regent. But these countries don’t have any way to distinguishing ships like Regent’s from mass market mega ships where people are crowded in like sardines.

You are joking, right?

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12 minutes ago, travlr21 said:

You are joking, right?

 

I must agree that it is easier to control illnesses on a smaller cruise ship. Mass Market lines are known for crowds, long lines of passengers trying to embark or disembark the ships, etc.  

 

I notice that you have taken several Celebrity cruises.  While we enjoyed our one Celebrity cruise, and Celebrity is a "premium" rather than a "mass market" cruise line, the muster they held was the worst that I have seen on any cruise line (note:  we were onboard Celebrity in September, 2018).  People were stuffed into a room (not dissimilar to sardines) for muster.  Not enough seats - you could not hear a word that was said - it was very hot - difficult to breathe.........a horrible experience.  Thankfully it was not during a time when passengers typically have colds and flu.

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5 minutes ago, Travelcat2 said:

must agree that it is easier to control illnesses on a smaller cruise ship. Mass Market lines are known for crowds, long lines of passengers trying to embark or disembark the ships, etc.

I'll agree with that. But all it takes is one person, who may board without symptoms. You are in close quarters in the theatre on a Regent ship, or you might share a table at dinner, or an elevator... Diseases can be spread on Regent as on any other cruise ship. I think that is what I most take exception to. These countries are looking after their best interests, which may curtail our travel. I can live with that, and hopefully things improve.

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TC2, 

Yes, we took one Celebrity cruise in 2017 in a Celebrity suite  because it was a music cruise. We did enjoy that cruise. And then in 2018 we took a Alaska cruise in a royal suite and we really liked that too. But, yes, the non-upper suite passengers were in the crowds. That is why we would not take a cruise on Celebrity (not even in a Royal or owner’s suite) during this Coronavirus problem. And you are correct, the lifeboat drill was bad — and crowded. But that was the only time we were in a crowd, as our dining room, bar, and embarkation/disembarkation were separate. Nonetheless, we would not cruise them now, as there are too many parts of their ship that are crowded, and diseases can spread. 
 

We would take a Regent cruise as soon as my wife fully recovers from her surgery, as there aren’t any crowds anywhere. But the problem is we would have the airport crowding and crowding on the airlines. Airlines recirculate air, instead of bringing in fresh air. It saves them money. So even if all our flights are business/first, flying is so much of a health risk that several countries have issued warnings against doing so unless absolutely necessary. As we would have to fly to even a safe Regent cruise, we just aren’t going until this mess is over. 
 

Coronavirus is reported to be deadly only in people over 65. As I am 76 and my wife is 67, we are being very careful. 

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travir21, 

 

I agree that any disease can spread on a Regent ship (or other small, uncrowded ship) — but not to the degree of spread on a crowded, mass market ship. We can’t cut our exposure to zero — not even by staying in small towns like mine. But the worst risk may well be from flying and exposure in over crowded airports and long lines and crowds therein, along with overcrowded airplanes. Sure, you can fly business/first, but you are still breathing the same recirculated air as in the overcrowded main cabin.

 

We would go on a Regent cruise tomorrow, if Regent  could find us a way to get from SW Colorado to the ports without flying commercial air, which is horrible for more reasons than disease spread. But, of course, Regent can’t do this. We feel that the risk on a Regent ship is no greater than visiting one of the many restaurant/bars here in Durango — maybe less. But the flight to the port — we’ll skip that for now.

Edited by Dolebludger
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39 minutes ago, travlr21 said:

I'll agree with that. But all it takes is one person, who may board without symptoms. You are in close quarters in the theatre on a Regent ship, or you might share a table at dinner, or an elevator... Diseases can be spread on Regent as on any other cruise ship. I think that is what I most take exception to. These countries are looking after their best interests, which may curtail our travel. I can live with that, and hopefully things improve.

 

You bring up good points.  In our 34 Regent cruises (35th coming up in 2 weeks), we have not been in situations that were as crowded as on Celebrity (and yes - we were in a suite ...... but, that did not help with the muster fiasco).  

 

We generally do not share tables on Regent as we prefer to dine on our own and, if we go to a show, we are in the far back.  While we could still get too near another passenger, if we pay attention, this would not happen often.   I will carry a mask in my handbag at all times so if someone is coughing or sneezing, I can put it on.  This isn't a big deal for us.  We have not touched elevator buttons with our finger-tips (we use our knuckles) for at least two years.  We always disinfect areas in the suite (and on airplanes.). 

 

Getting back to your issue, everyone has different tolerances and some of us cannot tolerate the closeness of other people (even if they are not sick) that occurs on large cruise ships.  Unfortunately, on Celebrity (except for their new ships), "suite guests" are in the same areas as the rest of the passengers unless they escape into Michael's or Luminae (likely misspelled).  On NCL (we only sailed them on a christening cruise), suite guests are completely separated from the rest of the ship (you need a keycard to access the area).  For that reason, I would pick NCL over Celebrity, however, to be honest, our future cruises will likely be on Regent.  We have tried NCL, Celebrity, Silversea and Crystal and none of them really were for us.  Regent fits us perfectly.

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TC2, that is a good idea, especially right now. If one is going to cruise, I’d recommend Regent or similar small ship lux line.  And if I lived where a port was a reasonable drive, I’d soon drive there and take one. I know from past experience we would enjoy it. But if we have to go through airports to catch a damnable commercial airline flight, we’ll pass for now. We are in the target group that Coronavirus seems to be killing (over 65), and we don’t want to be statistics,

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6 hours ago, Dolebludger said:

TC2, 

Yes, we took one Celebrity cruise in 2017 in a Celebrity suite  because it was a music cruise. We did enjoy that cruise. And then in 2018 we took a Alaska cruise in a royal suite and we really liked that too. But, yes, the non-upper suite passengers were in the crowds. That is why we would not take a cruise on Celebrity (not even in a Royal or owner’s suite) during this Coronavirus problem. And you are correct, the lifeboat drill was bad — and crowded. But that was the only time we were in a crowd, as our dining room, bar, and embarkation/disembarkation were separate. Nonetheless, we would not cruise them now, as there are too many parts of their ship that are crowded, and diseases can spread. 
 

We would take a Regent cruise as soon as my wife fully recovers from her surgery, as there aren’t any crowds anywhere. But the problem is we would have the airport crowding and crowding on the airlines. Airlines recirculate air, instead of bringing in fresh air. It saves them money. So even if all our flights are business/first, flying is so much of a health risk that several countries have issued warnings against doing so unless absolutely necessary. As we would have to fly to even a safe Regent cruise, we just aren’t going until this mess is over. 
 

Coronavirus is reported to be deadly only in people over 65. As I am 76 and my wife is 67, we are being very careful. 

Airlines and re-circulated air:   I heard a very good explanation about this on the national radio here in Switzerland.  Planes mix used cabin air and an intake of new air 50/50 and then pass it through filters that are the same as used in Operating Rooms in hospitals.  In other words extremely good filters.  The doctor who was speaking said that the risk on the plane is being seated next to someone who has the virus (maybe doesn't even know s/he has the virus) and you pick it up from that person.  Sounds very logical to me.

 

Further it seems that the vast majority of deaths from this virus come from a pre-existing condition.  People who are already ill with something else and then catch the virus.  This is of course aggravated by age.  

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Interesting discussion on the news last night.

Becoming more and more a scandal about the lack of testing kits in the U.S.

A man whose company has a new, he says better testing kit, has it held up by the FDA.

The newscaster asked if he thought that the U.S. government was doing that on purpose because if were able to test the masses.....we would then have to report the  

‘real’ numbers of those that test positive, which is great.

I had never thought of that but it makes sense.

Here in California there is now a case where a woman was sick for a week before she went to the hospital. She was there for a few days before anyone thought to test her.

She was positive. Now transferred to a different hospital where they say she is on a respirator and not doing well.

How many people do you think she came in contact with? 
Test kits ?

My doctor says her (my) hospital is not allowed to have them. They would have to take a swab and send it to the CDC.

 

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23 minutes ago, Shippy said:

Interesting discussion on the news last night.

Becoming more and more a scandal about the lack of testing kits in the U.S.

A man whose company has a new, he says better testing kit, has it held up by the FDA.

The newscaster asked if he thought that the U.S. government was doing that on purpose because if were able to test the masses.....we would then have to report the  

‘real’ numbers of those that test positive, which is great.

I had never thought of that but it makes sense.

Here in California there is now a case where a woman was sick for a week before she went to the hospital. She was there for a few days before anyone thought to test her.

She was positive. Now transferred to a different hospital where they say she is on a respirator and not doing well.

How many people do you think she came in contact with? 
Test kits ?

My doctor says her (my) hospital is not allowed to have them. They would have to take a swab and send it to the CDC.

 

and TIming of primary elections?   IMO    Switzerland cancelling meetings over 1000?  My cruise doesn't go there, but what does that fortell?  Maybe I am better to wait and see for the May 4 cruise.......maybe Regent will take actions deemed appropriate by then.  (now doing cruise to cruise?)

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I have been watching all these posts with great interest. We are scheduled to sail on the explorer on March 12th. I know this is a serious issue. But I just have to think common sense would prevail. If ports start closing to cruise ships because of fear, are they going to eliminate all travel to that country. It seems to me that the risk from people flying in would be either the same or a larger risk as passengers on a cruise ship. I have cancer and a broken leg and I’m still going on my cruise. Believe me, I’ve realized life is too short to live in fear. Again, common sense, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough and wash your hands. Considering the world population, and I don’t know the stats or percentages, it seems to me in general, the amount of cases are very low. 

 

Ive been stuck at home for 2 months recovering from chemo and my leg and watch a lot of tv. The media is just crazy on this subject (among others as well).

 

just my 2 cents for whatever it’s worth. 

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36 minutes ago, Shippy said:

Interesting discussion on the news last night.

Becoming more and more a scandal about the lack of testing kits in the U.S.

A man whose company has a new, he says better testing kit, has it held up by the FDA.

The newscaster asked if he thought that the U.S. government was doing that on purpose because if were able to test the masses.....we would then have to report the  

‘real’ numbers of those that test positive, which is great.

I had never thought of that but it makes sense.

Here in California there is now a case where a woman was sick for a week before she went to the hospital. She was there for a few days before anyone thought to test her.

She was positive. Now transferred to a different hospital where they say she is on a respirator and not doing well.

How many people do you think she came in contact with? 
Test kits ?

My doctor says her (my) hospital is not allowed to have them. They would have to take a swab and send it to the CDC.

 

 

I did see/hear discussions on the news last night and it is getting to the point that I don't know what is true and what isn't.  The federal government seems lost - most of the states are scrambling and do not have anything solid in place to handle this virus and there are rumors all over the place.  Even where we live (Northern Washington state), I learned yesterday that Seattle has had plans for a pandemic for years but most of the rest of the state does not.  Our county can close schools but they don't have enough computers to loan to children if they don't have them.  No one seems to have enough testing kits.  

 

katykroll - Really appreciate your post and your attitude.  Enjoy every moment of your cruise on our favorite ship!

 

 

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We have a charter Rock and Roll Cruise starting April 1 on NCL. Still going and hope to have a good time. June is Alaska cruise. Both have been planned for months.  My wife and I are both 60 which is getting up there. lol. But healthy generally speaking. As some have said, the risk is probably much higher driving to the airport than dying from this virus. "Perspective" 

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