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BermudaBound2014

Those traveling in March or April: thoughts?

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4 hours ago, travelberlin said:

May I ask how old are you and your husband? Are you sailing in the Caribbean? Would you still go if your cruise were in Italy.

  I find it odd that people reference places like Italy and not the U.S.

If you follow the news....we seem to have "trouble" obtaining test kits in the U.S. and most of the ones that have been used are faulty.. When I asked my doctor if they have tested any at her hospital, she rolled her eyes and said they are not allowed to test and only the CDC (center for disease control) has the kits.

If we really tested people like the other countries, I am sure we would have lots of cases.....but there again, if you test, you must quarantine...

  The current case in Northern California...the lady was sick for almost a week before she went to the hospital. She was there 3 days before being transferred to another hospital in another city and was not tested until arriving there....how many do you think were exposed in that case ?

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We are supposed to sail out of Barcelona on May 23 on the Seaview after spending the week before in Mallorca. This will be our first MSC cruise and I have been looking forward to seeing if the YC is all it’s cracked up to be.

 

I’m concerned, as I think the incidence of COVID 19 is going to get much more widespread over the coming months, but at this point we are just taking a “wait and see” approach. There is zero benefit in us cancelling at this point in time as we would lose $$$. If the situation does get worse, then hopefully MSC will either cancel and refund our money, or extend their recent policy of allowing bookings to be changed to future cruises at no cost.

 

I’m hoping for the best but quite frankly have resigned myself to the fact that this trip is  probably not going to happen. With the current situation in Italy, I don’t see how cruises in the Med are not going to be affected in the coming months, especially for MSC who embarks passengers at basically every port.

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1 minute ago, Shippy said:

  I find it odd that people reference places like Italy and not the U.S.

If you follow the news....we seem to have "trouble" obtaining test kits in the U.S. and most of the ones that have been used are faulty.. When I asked my doctor if they have tested any at her hospital, she rolled her eyes and said they are not allowed to test and only the CDC (center for disease control) has the kits.

If we really tested people like the other countries, I am sure we would have lots of cases.....but there again, if you test, you must quarantine...

  The current case in Northern California...the lady was sick for almost a week before she went to the hospital. She was there 3 days before being transferred to another hospital in another city and was not tested until arriving there....how many do you think were exposed in that case ?

I am not sure I understand your point. Are you criticizing because some of us are interested on opinions if other cruisers would risk cruising in Italy. Not everyone on this Forum, is from or lives in USA or cruises in the Caribbean. 
We are supposed to take a cruise in a couple of weeks that goes to Europe and ends in Venice. We are concerned about developments in the whole world but specially in the area where we are supposed to cruise in a couple of weeks.

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2 hours ago, mef_57 said:

On the FB page for my April MSC Grand Voyage cruise, there is a copy of a letter MSC Cruises USA seems to have sent to travel agents.  They are offering changes or deferrals of Mediterranean cruises in March and April.  Might be worth having a conversation with your agent for an update on policy.  It isn't on the MSC Canada site, and I haven't heard back yet from my TA whether they have been informed of the same.  I know the info is 3rd hand, but it seems there is change afoot, so worth biding time before cancelling.

 

I saw what looks like the same note on a different group chat. The important parts are posted above. The rest is just marketing fluff saying here's some stuff for you to send clients, here's some deals we have, here's what happened to Mer, etc.

 

Edited by HofstraJet

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10 minutes ago, travelberlin said:

I am not sure I understand your point. Are you criticizing because some of us are interested on opinions if other cruisers would risk cruising in Italy. Not everyone on this Forum, is from or lives in USA or cruises in the Caribbean. 
We are supposed to take a cruise in a couple of weeks that goes to Europe and ends in Venice. We are concerned about developments in the whole world but specially in the area where we are supposed to cruise in a couple of weeks.


Sorry, no criticism intended. Only that I feel this virus is really all over the world now. Incredible that some positive people have no symptoms.

I do not feel we should stop our lives because of it. We leave on our Caribbean cruise this  Monday. Most of my friends feel we should cancel...which we won’t.

I guess that was my original point. If there are cruises out of Italy, Miami or anywhere else, you have no way of knowing who is infected.

We are very old so I feel if the cruise line feels ok to sail in any area that is OK with me.

I might have different point of view if I were younger.

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I guess that if were living in USA and had a seven day cruise booked in the Caribbean, we would not be concerned unless we could not afford a possible quarantine. We see the risk of contracting Coronavirus when sailing out from Miami as not too high and we would be close to home.

 

Our concern is cruising in areas which are considered risky like Italy. We are also not young anymore and this is why we are hesitating and listening to other CC members. This helps us to be informed, to know how others see a similar situation and to take a better decision. We are grateful, this Forums exists.

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30 minutes ago, Shippy said:


Sorry, no criticism intended. Only that I feel this virus is really all over the world now. Incredible that some positive people have no symptoms.

I do not feel we should stop our lives because of it. We leave on our Caribbean cruise this  Monday. Most of my friends feel we should cancel...which we won’t.

I guess that was my original point. If there are cruises out of Italy, Miami or anywhere else, you have no way of knowing who is infected.

We are very old so I feel if the cruise line feels ok to sail in any area that is OK with me.

I might have different point of view if I were younger.

Totally agree with you. If the cruise line goes ahead with the cruise, I'm in.  

 

I have no obligations since I'm retired, so if I miss some ports or possibly quarantined, so be it. I rather be quarantined on a ship than a hospital or warehouse setting. Every country is going to experience this.  I'm an ex-camper boondocker type of person who for years lived off the grid, so bring it on.  Only the strong shall survive 💪

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43 minutes ago, Shippy said:


Only that I feel this virus is really all over the world now. Incredible that some positive people have no symptoms.

 

I don't find this incredible at all.

 

While the CoVid 19 is a new strain that has recently skipped to humans (all the Coronaviridae are zoonotic; i.e, all of animal origin that somehow is transmitted to humans), we have all been exposed to numerous coronavirus infections ("just a cold") throughout our lives.  

 

As a result, we have antibodies  for the various ones we have become ill with and those antibodies can give a partial response to any new strain until the body kicks out the new, but similar configuration for the new strain.

 

I know that I have noticed over the years that I really don't become ill with a cold anymore.

 

In the case of this new coronavirus, many of us will have a partial immunity and may only develop mild symptoms or none at all.

 

It is going to depend on one's overall state of health and the strength of one's immune system arsenal of antibodies.  

 

I am very glad to see that MSC has kicked up the preboarding screening to not only include the fever (100.4 F) but also feverishness. This will hopefully stop those passengers that board while ill or only have "just a cold."

 

And not all of Italy is questionable. Check out the newest statement on the MSC website where the quarantined towns are listed and the statement is made that no MSC cruise or excursion is near to those towns.

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3 hours ago, mef_57 said:

 

I know it may be frustrating, but it is on a closed FB page and it wasn't directed to me, so I don't feel comfortable posting it.  It also is only the cover letter to the agents, and the details that are to be provided to cruisers is not provided.  Thus the reason I recommended discussing with your agent.   It covers several topics related to increased health measures, references the Caribbean situation this week, but the part that would be relevant is:

Given the extraordinary circumstances, all guests who are booked on Mediterranean cruises in March and April 2020 will have the possibility to postpone their cruise or change their cruise to one in a different region sailing within the next 12 months.

Again, this would be better discussed with your agent for the full picture.

EDIT: to give credence to the letter, it is signed:

Best regards,
Ken Muskat
EVP & COO, MSC Cruises USA

 

This is really great information to share. Thank you for sharing.

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3 minutes ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

 

This is really great information to share. Thank you for sharing.

I shared this on my Roll Call and at least one is changing trips. Their update is it has to be used within a year to date of change and they want you to have the cruise you want to change to in hand at time of call...that's if you are changing with MSC directly.

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3 hours ago, mef_57 said:

 

I know it may be frustrating, but it is on a closed FB page and it wasn't directed to me, so I don't feel comfortable posting it.  It also is only the cover letter to the agents, and the details that are to be provided to cruisers is not provided.  Thus the reason I recommended discussing with your agent.   It covers several topics related to increased health measures, references the Caribbean situation this week, but the part that would be relevant is:

Given the extraordinary circumstances, all guests who are booked on Mediterranean cruises in March and April 2020 will have the possibility to postpone their cruise or change their cruise to one in a different region sailing within the next 12 months.

Again, this would be better discussed with your agent for the full picture.

EDIT: to give credence to the letter, it is signed:

Best regards,
Ken Muskat
EVP & COO, MSC Cruises USA


As I posted on another thread, if you’re concerned and you’re booked through MSC U.S contact the office directly and ask to be transferred to the Crisis team. I did this on Wednesday morning. We were canceling our April cruise on the Grandiosa out of Barcelona. MSC took very good care of us. They may be handling each case differently so I am not going to post details but in the end they want happy customers. Warning that this team is extremely busy and your hold time could reach several hours. 

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4 hours ago, mef_57 said:

 

I know it may be frustrating, but it is on a closed FB page and it wasn't directed to me, so I don't feel comfortable posting it.  It also is only the cover letter to the agents, and the details that are to be provided to cruisers is not provided.  Thus the reason I recommended discussing with your agent.   It covers several topics related to increased health measures, references the Caribbean situation this week, but the part that would be relevant is:

Given the extraordinary circumstances, all guests who are booked on Mediterranean cruises in March and April 2020 will have the possibility to postpone their cruise or change their cruise to one in a different region sailing within the next 12 months.

Again, this would be better discussed with your agent for the full picture.

EDIT: to give credence to the letter, it is signed:

Best regards,
Ken Muskat
EVP & COO, MSC Cruises USA

Interesting that they are offering USA passengers the choice to change their booking but not to passengers in the UK.  Nothing like that offered here yet.

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1 minute ago, lovetoholiday said:

Interesting that they are offering USA passengers the choice to change their booking but not to passengers in the UK.  Nothing like that offered here yet.

Probably because the CDC has designated Italy at Level 3 Essential Travel only country.

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oh wow US CDC is now level 3 - i guess i'm going to have to call the big online travel agency we booked from to see about what we can do - or can i call directly to msc? supposed to sail in 2 weeks

Edited by floridian1

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12 minutes ago, floridian1 said:

oh wow US CDC is now level 3 - i guess i'm going to have to call the big online travel agency we booked from to see about what we can do - or can i call directly to msc? supposed to sail in 2 weeks

If you booked through a travel agency, call your agent.

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33 minutes ago, Skoobdo said:

Probably because the CDC has designated Italy at Level 3 Essential Travel only country.

I'm quoting myself....

 

Also, the United States Department of State has raised the the Italy travel Alert Advisory to Level 3.  "Reconsider Travel"

 

Department of State - Reconsider Travel to Italy

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Wonder if Alitalia will refund airfare Paris - Palermo we booked to get on the cruise given the CDC warnings? Doubtful as its irrelevant to them, but will call and ask.

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1 minute ago, HofstraJet said:

Wonder if Alitalia will refund airfare Paris - Palermo we booked to get on the cruise given the CDC warnings? Doubtful as its irrelevant to them, but will call and ask.

It's possible that you will be refunded if you fall under a country with a travel alert, because travel insurance will be voided if you travel anyway. That's how I look at it. Good luck!

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14 minutes ago, Skoobdo said:

It's possible that you will be refunded if you fall under a country with a travel alert, because travel insurance will be voided if you travel anyway. That's how I look at it. Good luck!

i called our travel insurance company and we are still covered under a travel alert.

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1 minute ago, floridian1 said:

i called our travel insurance company and we are still covered under a travel alert.

Good to know.  I don't use insurance so have no policy to reference. Since insurance companies are good at excluding so many things, I'm surprise they didn't add that to the exclusion list😁 

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14 hours ago, HofstraJet said:

Wonder if Alitalia will refund airfare Paris - Palermo we booked to get on the cruise given the CDC warnings? Doubtful as its irrelevant to them, but will call and ask.

Look at a map.

 

All the quarantined areas in Italy are in the north of Italy.  You are flying to an island off the southern toe of the boot.

 

Be prepared to be told no. 

 

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5 hours ago, Homosassa said:

Look at a map.

 

All the quarantined areas in Italy are in the north of Italy.  You are flying to an island off the southern toe of the boot.

 

Be prepared to be told no. 

 

 

Of course - I fully expect a no, but it would be nice if that’s not the case.

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Im supposed to cruise middle of March from Barcelona to some places in Italy (although not northern)  Still taking it day by day but now worried if there will be a quarantine back in the US.  We could just say we were in Barcelona but that would probably be irresponsible & i dont really know what to do. 

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So I may have missed something, but I haven’t seen MSC offering any relief to cancelling inside 90 days, or moving the cruise to another days past final payment. NCL has offered loosened restrictions on those plus nake changes to a reservation. We are paid for May and Im wondering how we could move the trio to say September if we wanted, as I haven’t seen any relief advertised. 

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