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Corona virus : cruise or postpone?


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Lots of discussions at our place about should we postpone our May Rhine River cruise or play the “wait and see game“. Rattling my nerves every time I read the on line updates/paper or watch the TV news. What will you do?

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You don't say what line you are cruising with.  Several lines have policies in place for cancellations due to the Corona virus, so you may want to see what your line is offering before making a decision.  Also, what insurance coverage do you have if you cancel early?

 

To me, I'd be tempted to wait it out, if I knew that I could cancel without to much of a penalty if the virus was still rampant.  However, I don't have any health issues, so would probably not end up with to much health issues if I did contact it.  

 

You don't say where in Ont you are, but if you are in or near Toronto area, you just may have as much chance of contacting it there as on a cruise.  

 

One thing to consider...at least all but the lower cabins on a river cruise have either balconies or french balconies, so at least you wouldn't be shut in with only 4 walls to look at like those who have inside cabins on an ocean cruise.  Still wouldn't be enjoyable, but at least you hopefully could open the windows.

 

There are lots of issues to throw back and forth, only you and your travel companion(s) know how much you are willing to risk.

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If you haven't read this article, it is worthwhile, maybe even to skim it.  It is making the rounds but we will continue to listen to the hype, anxiety and panic that is taking place.  I don't want to diminish the seriousness of this virus, I think the media is compounded the issue with it's constant "doom and gloom" reporting.  Haven't heard one news station talk about the number of cases that have diminished in China and the closing of the "pop-up" hospital because it is no longer needed.  We are taking a "wait and see" approach.  Good luck to all of my fellow Cruise Critic members. 

https://www.worth.com/how-mass-hysteria-is-making-coronavirus-worse-than-it-actually-is/?fbclid=IwAR2SrDeNQDmuofhE86BMvAO_3Pys9r3wYUXBNRp-M9UDVs9ld4ngcV-tU7s

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The problem is the novelty of it. Here in Germany people are reporting about the recovered people. But we know that we have not reached the peak as regards the outbreak. Our borders are still open, people travel by plane more than ever before (I mean until two months ago). It is more serious than flu. WHO says that the overall fatality rate for the coronavirus illness is at over 3 percent. It is likely to fall as more people are being diagnosed over the next few weeks according to the German experts. So far, well you can look up how we are doing in the dashboard/map. Flu fatality in Germany is 0.1 to 0.2 percent. We do not know enough about the new virus to calm down about it. Here is the dashboard: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

 

It is not London 1854 that is for sure.

 

We must not get too involved and then not see the speeding driver with the smart phone at his ear...

 

notamermaid

 

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You are more likely to catch COVID-19 from your grocery cart than from a river cruise.  We have a two-week cruise through France scheduled and paid for starting early June and fully expect to make it.  Greatest challenge will likely be local and international check points and institutional "panic" causing cancellations of travel options.  "Wash hands frequently and do not touch fingers to face" - good advice anytime.

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We have postponed our Viking Danube River cruise from March 14 2020 to March 28 2021. To depart in 9 days seemed foolhardy . Cases have been reported in Budapest, Vienna and Prague all cities we would visit as well as Frankfurt , the gateway city we fly thru. Also many tourist destinations where large groups might gather have been closed. 

 

Everyone stay safe out there!

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We’re on the Rhine on Crystal Bach June 21 and are currently in “wait and see” mode since we have some time — we also haven’t purchased our airfare yet. Both Viking and Uniworld have announced very fair policies so guests don’t take a huge loss, hooray to them! Crystal has announced policies for Ocean ships through April but nothing for river cruises as of yet.  We are actually more concerned that the business conference in Vienna we built our trip around might be cancelled since some countries are starting to cancel large-scale gatherings.  I think in 30 days the recommended course of action for early summer travel to Europe will be very obvious.

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Interesting points of view and all valid of course.  I was the unfortunately victim of H1N1 (Swine Flu) some years ago, I contracted it in France while on vacation there. While I diligently followed all the rules to protect myself it just didn't work out that way. That's eight miserable weeks of my life I won't get back. I'm a senior now and as much as I am so looking forward to this, our fourth European river cruise, we have decided to postpone. All the same, wishing safe and healthy travel to everyone on CC!!

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Once bitten, twice shy, Bake apple. Fully understandable. Have a great time staying at home or going to different places on holiday. There are lots of places to explore close to home. Went to a church last weekend that I had never been to before. Only four visitors in all. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

notamermaid

 

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We're on a tulip cruise with Vantage, we board 28 March.  We're flying out the 20th to visit Ireland for a week before flying to Amsterdam from Cork.  Vantage has not altered their cancellation policy.  We have separate insurance, not cancel for any reason.

 

We're going, unless the State Department/CDC drastically changes guidance.  I understand that Keukenhof and some other stops maybe altered.  We both still work, and this time slot worked for us; combined with a Veterans Day 'sale' and previous low water credits we got a reasonable deal.  Plus, the virus is already in my state, so not sure where I'd be safer. Getting caught up in a quarantine on the way home is my biggest worry.  If that happens, I will certainly post a trip report as I'll have the time.

 

Everyone has a different risk threshold, and individual health issues.  I'm 54, wife is 59, so that played into our decision.  If I had a compromised immune system, or was already in a frail state, my decision would be different.

 

 

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Bake apple, only you would know how you would feel coming down with something like this on holiday.  As notamermaid says, once bitten twice shy, and if you were to go, and worry about the possibility of either not getting home due to quarantine or catching something on your cruise, you wouldn't enjoy it anyway.  

 

Seeing another large cruise ship is now in quarantine off of California.  I hope they don't end up having to spend the whole 2 weeks locked up. 

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We have postponed our Viking Danube River cruise from March 14 2020 to March 28 2021. To depart in 9 days seemed foolhardy . Cases have been reported in Budapest, Vienna and Prague all cities we would visit as well as Frankfurt , the gateway city we fly thru. Also many tourist destinations where large groups might gather have been closed. 
 
Everyone stay safe out there!

We’re still on the fence about the same cruise leaving after that one-March 25. What information do you have about closures? I couldn’t find anything yesterday.


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Well,  I am the OP and after much discussion have decided to postpone as much as we really truly wanted to take this cruise. We have cruised three times with Viking and had a great adventure each time;  so will take advantage of the temporary policy about cancelling without penalty and book for later once this COVID-19 has passed.

 

BTW:  Today we received a communique from our health provider and based on the good common sense suggestions and advice to us as seniors,  made our decision. We are healthy, active and seasoned travelers;  however,  our decision was in part  based on how we could possibly avoid large and crowded gatherings. Not sure we could do that and still get full value from our vacation in Europe. Where's the fun in that anyway.   We shall just wait and cruise another day; so grateful at this point our family and friends are all well.

 

Thank you so much for all the comments, you can always count on CC!!  Safe and healthy travels everyone and we will follow your adventures. Enjoy!

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Bake Apple-  Glad you were able to decide what to do, it sounds like you made the right one for you...relief came through in your post.  If you have 24 months to use your credits hopefully you can time your purchase with a sale price.  The Rhine will be waiting for you....

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We will be ages 84 and 78 in June, when we were scheduled to travel/cruise from Prague to Paris.  Because of our ages, we recognized that we are at greater risk of serious complications.  Although we have travel medical insurance,we'd have a more difficult time with healthcare in Europe than in the US along with difficult access to family.  My husband is a retired physician, is accustomed to being in contact with many infectious diseases, and we are not generally alarmists.  Because of our ages, however, we opted to cancel for a refund per our contract vs. vouchers for a future cruise.    

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On 3/4/2020 at 12:39 PM, Phillygirl3 said:

If you haven't read this article, it is worthwhile, maybe even to skim it.  It is making the rounds but we will continue to listen to the hype, anxiety and panic that is taking place.  I don't want to diminish the seriousness of this virus, I think the media is compounded the issue with it's constant "doom and gloom" reporting.  Haven't heard one news station talk about the number of cases that have diminished in China and the closing of the "pop-up" hospital because it is no longer needed.  We are taking a "wait and see" approach.  Good luck to all of my fellow Cruise Critic members. 

https://www.worth.com/how-mass-hysteria-is-making-coronavirus-worse-than-it-actually-is/?fbclid=IwAR2SrDeNQDmuofhE86BMvAO_3Pys9r3wYUXBNRp-M9UDVs9ld4ngcV-tU7s

One of the things I think about is the number of trained medical professionals who have gotten the virus and some have died. You don’t hear if 34 year old and 29 year old MD’s dying of flu. I think there is a reason people, certainly the medical profession,is treating this as serious and potentially devastating. Certainly to people over 60.  

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19 hours ago, Ride-The-Waves said:

You are more likely to catch COVID-19 from your grocery cart than from a river cruise.  We have a two-week cruise through France scheduled and paid for starting early June and fully expect to make it.  Greatest challenge will likely be local and international check points and institutional "panic" causing cancellations of travel options.  "Wash hands frequently and do not touch fingers to face" - good advice anytime.

Thinking of taking my first river cruis, Prague to Budapest on Viking or Gate 1.
So, wondering if you are less likely to get infected with a cold, flu, or Covid 19 since smaller passenger count on a river cruise instead of thousands on an ocean cruise.  Do river cruise companies have CFAR insurance?

  • And please, don’t cough in your hand.  Cough on your arm.  How many have seen passengers cough in their hand or not covering up when sneezing?  Seen too much of that. 😝
Edited by Justalone
Fear of getting infected With flu, Corona virus on river cruise
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12 hours ago, Bake apple said:

Well,  I am the OP and after much discussion have decided to postpone as much as we really truly wanted to take this cruise. We have cruised three times with Viking and had a great adventure each time;  so will take advantage of the temporary policy about cancelling without penalty and book for later once this COVID-19 has passed.

 

That's certainly a reasonable decision.    We are scheduled to depart on Viking's Tulips & Windmills in April (just a few weeks away), and are seriously considering postponing.   Not only concern about becoming ill in a foreign country (possibly seriously), but also the uncertainty about whether we might be stuck in quarantine abroad or otherwise have things upended while we are traveling.   Because our river cruise is so imminent, there does not seem time for things to settle down before we are supposed to leave.

 

I'm glad that Viking has adopted the exception to its cancellation policy.   Unfortunately, the same trip next year is now $1000 pp more, and the  U.S. military is talking about another outbreak next winter, since it's quite possible there will be no vaccine by then.  

 

 

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23 hours ago, Ride-The-Waves said:

You are more likely to catch COVID-19 from your grocery cart than from a river cruise.  We have a two-week cruise through France scheduled and paid for starting early June and fully expect to make it.  Greatest challenge will likely be local and international check points and institutional "panic" causing cancellations of travel options.  "Wash hands frequently and do not touch fingers to face" - good advice anytime.

 

Update!  Spouse is leaning (has decided in her mind) that she wants to cancel our 2-week river cruise in France with Uniworld in June.  Argh!  We are 75 and 78 and in good health, have travel extensively (set foot on all 7 continents), lived in Eastern Europe in the 1980s, etc.  Not an easy decision since we really love visiting Europe.  Also not an easy decision since we well understand that this virus can be contracted through local travels - two cases in the adjacent county here in Florida.  So intend to begin the process today...:classic_sad:

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Hi folks, this seems like a civil thread about things...(thank you).  My upcoming plans are as follows and for the

first time, I am actually re-thinking things.....to give you a run down.....I retired in Dec and this trip was planned

as a month celebration trip. I have a TA crossing booked for April 6th on a small ship.....300 guests.....Ft.

Lauderdale to Barcelona....I then have a flight booked from Barcelona to Lisbon for 3 nights land trip and then

have a river cruise booked on the Douro...….then I have 2 nights post cruise in Madrid...…..so the trip is 28

nights.......I have never been a "panicker"..and am not panicking now but I am trying to re-think things.

 

I am 61...the other part of my life is I have just finished radiation treatment for breast cancer.  (last treatment

was last week) and my Oncologist gave me a "GOOD TO GO" for my cruises.....(the surgery was a success):classic_biggrin:

 

I know this morning there is now a river cruise on the Nile with 12 cases...…….

 

So, this trip is supposed to be a BIG celebration...….they got the cancer and I retired...….it has been planned

for a while...………..I really want to go...…...

 

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For all, the book is written. If you are to get sick, no matter what precautions you take it may be in vain.  We cannot avoid every danger.  Now, I would not travel to any of the areas that have been earmarked as no go, because it would certainly be all I could think about and would not enjoy it.  I am going to Portugal AMADouro in 6 weeks. I did purchase the travel waiver but primarily in case my flight was cancelled.  I didn't not want to be rushing around two days before departure looking for another flight at three times the money with four connections.  Furthermore I have yet to hear of any reported instances where multiple people were affected that worked in airports or in airplanes.  I did see nursing home epidemic forming in WA.  I am a little nervous that my father is in a facility.  So washing my hands and going forward is TAP is.  Bottom line is if your personality is such that you or your partner tends to be a worrier, you probably would have a tough time enjoying your holiday. 

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We are still in a wait and see for our Road Scholar barge trip in southern France.  RS has cancelled trips in badly affected areas.  Am a retired infection control nurse and know the basics of staying well in times like this.

There will only be 22 on the barge and Avignon is the largest city we will visit.  Will abide by health directives and use common sense.  Clorox wipes are my friend right now.  Stay well, Pat

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33 minutes ago, pacmom said:

We are still in a wait and see for our Road Scholar barge trip in southern France.  RS has cancelled trips in badly affected areas.  Am a retired infection control nurse and know the basics of staying well in times like this.

There will only be 22 on the barge and Avignon is the largest city we will visit.  Will abide by health directives and use common sense.  Clorox wipes are my friend right now.  Stay well, Pat

Hi Pat, sounds like folks could use your expertise right about now!

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1 hour ago, CUTTERSAM said:

For all, the book is written. If you are to get sick, no matter what precautions you take it may be in vain.  We cannot avoid every danger.  Now, I would not travel to any of the areas that have been earmarked as no go, because it would certainly be all I could think about and would not enjoy it.  I am going to Portugal AMADouro in 6 weeks. I did purchase the travel waiver but primarily in case my flight was cancelled.  I didn't not want to be rushing around two days before departure looking for another flight at three times the money with four connections.  Furthermore I have yet to hear of any reported instances where multiple people were affected that worked in airports or in airplanes.  I did see nursing home epidemic forming in WA.  I am a little nervous that my father is in a facility.  So washing my hands and going forward is TAP is.  Bottom line is if your personality is such that you or your partner tends to be a worrier, you probably would have a tough time enjoying your holiday. 

Good morning, I just purchased that waiver as well.

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We always purchase the Cancel at any Time insurance, just because my parents are getting older, and so are their friends who we have known all our lives...so if needs be, we can stay home and travel later.  I am seeing some of our major insurance companies up here saying that now that COVID-19 is a "known issue", insurance purchased after certain dates (the day of the announcement usually) will not cover it.  Not sure how things are going with insurance south of the boarder, but something to check on before purchasing it.  

 

Fortunately, most cruise lines are creating their own policies, so even if you don't have it, you may not require it to cancel.  I feel for the towns that will miss out on the tourists...it's a double edged sword...the business appreciate the tourists who spend the money, but the citizens will appreciate not having their towns overcrowded.

 

To all who decide to postpone their cruise, hopefully when you re-book, you have no problems.  To those who decide to continue and cruise, may you have a safe sailing.  

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