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19 minutes ago, OnTheJourney said:

As much as I was very much looking forward to more Viking cruises - having a good bit of money already invested in two more - IF things don't change I'd rather forfeit all of it (yikes!) than set foot on a ship that does not require proof of vaccination. I just won't do it. The two I have booked aren't till '23 - so hopefully by then all this crap will be behind us. 

The Infectious Disease docs I consult with unanimously agree. Last April they pulled the plug on our December 2020 Viking cruise. Without required vaccinations, they believe the risks would be significant. A ship-wide spread of one of the variants would be a serious danger for the unvaccinated on the cruise. 

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2 hours ago, rbslos18 said:

I personally find such statements offensive. It minimizes (unintentionally, I am sure) the significance of the deaths of 551,000 Americans.  I have attended 9 funerals of victims of COVID. Yes they are a small percent of those who have been stricken. Their families could care less. Some of this tiny percent were parents and grandparents.Some were someone’s child. 

 

 Yes, I plan to cruise if Viking requires masks. And yes, as a responsible citizen, I proudly follow CDC guidelines and wear a mask or two in public. COVID is a global pandemic that has taken the lives of 2.8 million people worldwide. For those who have lost family and or friends, the death rate is irrelevant. 

Bob

I personally don't like the covid is worse than anything mantra.  Even using the CDC's often challenged counts, you have more chance of dying of a cardiac event.  We have relatives working in a large hospital group as well as friends working as EMTs and they have to count just about anything as "covid".  Sorry for your loss but you are nowhere near the only ones.  We all suffer loss terribly.  Whether covid, cancer, cardio disease, car crash or whatever we all hurt when we lose someone.  Millions of people die each year.  If you have not lost someone you shall.  And if masks or double/triple masks make you feel better, great.  Wear away.  I am deeply offended by those that think they are wiser than the rest and try to tell everyone else how to live.  Again, sorry for your loss.  When I lost my Son I simply could not believe everyone around me kept on with their lives.  But I realized, that's the way it works.  I am willing to get out there.  If I can I will report back how it is....

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22 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

I have to ask On The Journey and others will you ever sail again?

Well, let's put it this way - having over $50k currently tied up in future cruises - I'd have to say that I'm pretty committed to getting back out there, and certainly want to and plan on it! 

 

Would I do it right now?  I would say no given the recent surge in new cases for one thing. The reasons for what is happening, even in the wake of increasing vaccination, have been discussed here. I continue to be frustrated by how this whole thing has been politicized from the very beginning which, while not the only factor, is certainly a big one in terms of non-compliance with masking and distancing. I have a sneaking suspicion that you and I might be on opposite sides politically. I just get that feeling, so that likely enters into  how both of us respond within various threads. 

 

But this is just beating a dead horse. Back to your question! I freely admit to vacillating between being overly cautious and paranoid on the one hand (since such a thing can indeed feed on itself), and yet embracing some of your thoughts on the other hand - that of not wishing to continue wasting one's precious time. I think we both know from following each other's posts that I've commented on this sort of 'live free or die' philosophy and have agreed with time being of the essence, etc. A day doesn't go by that I don't think about this as having been a year gone that we never get back. I deeply honor those that have been lost to covid, and I faithfully mask and distance. Haven't been to a restaurant in over a year. However, life does indeed continue apace. So, yeah, "carpe diem" certainly comes to mind. (I could have said carpe dentum too...LOL)

 

So, all that said, somewhere in the middle is probably where my chips fall at the moment. The thing is, cruising is not my all-time favorite mode of travel. DW and I actually never thought to get into it as much as we have, but have been encouraged over the years by relatives who have a passion for it, and, once we started doing a few, we really came to like it. We've really only gotten into it the past 10 years. We very much enjoyed our first and only Viking cruise - were really impressed. It was great, until it wasn't. I think our level of devotion to cruising was proven by getting back out on the water only 7 months post Viking Sky incident. As many on CC agreed with at the time, it took some courage but we thought we had to do it or else could have wound up maybe never being willing to try it again after what we went through on 3/23/19. Around the same time we were mustering up the nerve to embark on another cruise, the whole 'chairman's cruise' proposal came along and we were thrilled. Before the pandemic even started, we had more cruises booked than ever before and were really pumped for all of them. So it has been, needless to say, a huge let-down and paradigm shift - as it has been for all of us.

 

Backing up once again a bit, our favorite mode of travel has always been and still is by car, so a life without cruising, for us, does not and would not mean a life without continuing to travel. I'm hopeful, and cannot imagine NOT continuing to cruise, and look back often, wistfully, at those we've done, but...when Viking talks about stuff like not requiring proof of vaccination...that just throws me more on the side of not wanting to go. I want to see a FAR higher level global vaccination before I'd even think about any sort of international cruise. 

 

Your question came at an interestingly curious time, since I had  just been thinking (and, again, this goes along more with your train of thought) that....I now have both vaccinations, and yet haven't changed my approach to anything. That is a bit of a concern. Once again, I think the reason I haven't is due to seeing the numbers rising significantly. ONE day, hopefully, all this will be behind us. If you've read this far, I offer my sincere appreciation!!!

Edited by OnTheJourney
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9 minutes ago, Jim Avery said:

I am deeply offended by those that think they are wiser than the rest and try to tell everyone else how to live.

This sort of captures the essence of the political divide I refer to. Do you notice how, as  time goes on, the posts and general tone of all this (all across CC cause I visit many different forums) is getting increasingly edgy, testy, and yes, a bit condemnatory at times?  I'm not pointing fingers at ANYone, but just an observation. We're all exhausted, tired of it, wishing for it to end, trying to decide how we're going to cope with the possibilty of this pandemic not ending anytime soon. Those who are much younger than you and I have (hopefully) more time to continue to cruise  - or whatever - if indeed they're not ready at the moment. I plead guilty to liking posts and throwing out stuff that is basically against those who spurn masking, etc., cause I believe in the 'follow the science' approach. Has it engendered a national / global mania that is overblown and unjust? Sure...maybe. We have to feel for those who never got the chance to say goodbye to loved ones in the hospital who died from this. Flip side of that coin is, as you say, people die from many other things. You have yourself experienced a tragic loss, so I deeply feel for you as well. I think the best thing all of us can do is to try and be at least understanding of all viewpoints, while not necessarily agreeing or disagreeing. This whole "blue versus red states" mentality is only working against a national resolve to move forward. OK..enough...

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29 minutes ago, Jim Avery said:

When I lost my Son I simply could not believe everyone around me kept on with their lives.  But I realized, that's the way it works.  I am willing to get out there.  If I can I will report back how it is....

Jim....I really and truly get this. I do. My brother was in 'Nam, and so he has his own take on covid-related deaths, having admitted to me that being in war just leaves him with a different reaction to death than, say, those who were never in that sort of situation where your life was on the line every day. The guys who landed on Omaha Beach surely have (had) THEIR own take on death, having seen unimaginable things that they were never able to talk about, in some cases, for the rest of their lives. You spoke often of polio. I can't relate to that having been born the year the vaccine came out; however, my sister-in-law's husband's brother got polio a matter of months before the vaccine became available, and thus spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Talk about looking back and wondering, "what if". I suppose time and history alone will determine and record some of the "what ifs" of this current situation. Often wonder about people, maybe a hundred years hence, reading about this time and wondering what that was all about and how people dealt with it. Heck, we're all just passing through, ...so...ok....throw off the bowlines and cast off!! I get this attitude, truly, and it does call to me, but it is tempered by a sense of caution and believing that what I'm doing - NOT going out much as of yet, NOT ready to cruise, etc. might just be helping to save someone else from getting sick. If we all 'treat others as we would like them to treat us' we might just be able to pass through this difficult time faster and more succesfully. It's Holy Week, after all, so there was my mini homily 😇

Edited by OnTheJourney
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OTJ, you are truly one of the most rational folks on these boards.  I know we could solve the world's problems while sitting at the Viking Bar.     The one question that seriously bothers me, and that no one is asking, is why covid?  Why a huge governmental (both sides, national to local) overreach and shutdown for covid but not any other disease or affliction?  Look at the history of mankind.  Always diseases and death.  We all have a limited number of days on this rock.  Most have no idea how many.  I have already seen about half of my college fraternity brothers head to "the other side".  Why governments want to destroy the hospitality/cruise industry is beyond me.  It has been shown in NYC and other places that staying home is worse than getting out.  Just saying.....

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14 minutes ago, Jim Avery said:

OTJ, you are truly one of the most rational folks on these boards.  I know we could solve the world's problems while sitting at the Viking Bar.     The one question that seriously bothers me, and that no one is asking, is why covid?...  Why governments want to destroy the hospitality/cruise industry is beyond me.  It has been shown in NYC and other places that staying home is worse than getting out.  Just saying.....

Jim- COVID is a global pandemic due to it being highly infectious and it can be lethal. It is easily spread airborne which is why masks and social distancing can slow the progress. It is more infectious and lethal than the typical influenza. Without the measures taken there would be many more million already dead.

No government, no politician wants to destroy the two trillion dollar travel or cruise industry. Less travel is less in tax revenue and less employment. So why the drastic response? The number one responsibility of doctors and governments is to protect its citizenry. Australia which did a strict shutdown now averages 21 cases a day, New Zealand had only 2 cases yesterday. Given people are dropping their guard and the opening of more states in the US, it is sadly predictable that the US is headed for a fourth surge. 

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4 hours ago, rbslos18 said:

 

 

 Yes, I plan to cruise if Viking requires masks.

Bob

Sorry. I meant vaccinations. I plan to cruise regardless of the restrictions as long as Viking mandates vaccinations.

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Senior Gator , thanks for the update about your arrival in St. Paul MN for your River cruise. I will be standing on the Lower Landing waving to you both as the boat pulls away from the shore ! It is a huge deal that Viking will be starting or ending in St. Paul! 
I am still waiting for Viking River boat in the water in Europe or a cruise ship sailing  befor I book either. All vaccinated and ready for a trip even on land in the next three months ... I will cruise again , just don’t know when 

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3 hours ago, LindaS272 said:

It was great to watch the Viking video, and nice that everyone staffing the ships are safe in their bubbles. But it won’t be that way when they bring on guests. Daily testing is not sufficient to keep all onboard safe. I remain bewildered at Viking’s stance of not requiring vaccinations. I also don’t like that they are not giving an explanation for why they’re not requiring vax.


Given that we currently have nothing to prove that we’ve been vaccinated besides an easily faked card (at least in the US), maybe Viking is waiting for something more solid. I read today in the WSJ that the US government is not planning to create a “vaccine passport” at this time, with the assumption that the private sector will come up with one. Whatever solution they come up with will hopefully accommodate people who have immunity from natural means and, one would hope, people who can’t take the vaccine. 
 

In any case, we’re all going to get off the ship and mingle with unvaccinated people in various ports. Unless they go the bubble-on-a-bus route, which really doesn’t sound like Viking. 

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The only way for Viking to know how you feel about vaccines, testing and what conditions you would travel under, is to let them know.  Many people have emailed them and received follow up phone calls.  If you are passionate about something, make your voice heard!

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13 hours ago, Twitchly said:


Given that we currently have nothing to prove that we’ve been vaccinated besides an easily faked card (at least in the US), maybe Viking is waiting for something more solid. I read today in the WSJ that the US government is not planning to create a “vaccine passport” at this time, with the assumption that the private sector will come up with one. Whatever solution they come up with will hopefully accommodate people who have immunity from natural means and, one would hope, people who can’t take the vaccine. 
 

In any case, we’re all going to get off the ship and mingle with unvaccinated people in various ports. Unless they go the bubble-on-a-bus route, which really doesn’t sound like Viking. 

 

The mandatory vaccination is most likely to have 2 drivers - cruise line policy and entry requirements of countries visited.

 

Cruise lines have the ability to set their policy and can water it down to accespt anti-vaxxers, or those that for whatever reason can't be vaccinated. However, in my experience, countries that require a vaccination, generally are non-negotiable and accept no waivers. Only exception I am aware of is the Yellow Fever exemption for > 60's, as that is a "Live-Vaccine".

 

When working on ships, we had a choice, get vaccinated and carry proof, or change careers. Pax had a similar choice, get vaccinated, or select a different cruise/holiday. I for one will be very happy to see a return to those days.

 

If any country mandates COVID vaccines, of which I have no doubt some will, the cruise line will have no option but to verify vaccination records upon embarkation. On arriving at a port with un-vaccinated pax/crew, the ship will not be granted "Pratique" and will be unable to enter the port for trade. An option to keep unvaccinated crew/pax on board, in my experience, is not provided.

 

Yes, the WHO approved Vaccination Record books can be readily forged, but this is nothing new. It has been in existance since I went to sea in mid-70's and could have been forged fairly easily the entire time. However, even electronic records are not secure and can be fairly readily hacked. 

 

In Canada, we receive a card providing details of the brand, lot #, etc. but we will also have a Provincial Registry based on our Provincial Health number and that can easily verify the details on the card. I suspect all countries with included health care will have a similar system.

 

The documentation must also be presented in a format approved by countries visited and many that we visit, have no technology to review electronic documents on the ship. Therefore, electronic records, bar codes, etc would be of no use to us.

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The types of people likely to fake a vaccination card are also often braggarts and narcissists.  It won’t take long aboard a cruise ship, and after a drink or two, for them to start bragging about “beating the system”, etc.  If you hear any if this, TURN THEM IN.

 

After a few stories in the news of people being kicked off ships in the middle of their cruise for faking vaccination records, the incidence of fake records should drop way off.

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8 hours ago, Lilyskittymom said:

The only way for Viking to know how you feel about vaccines, testing and what conditions you would travel under, is to let them know.  Many people have emailed them and received follow up phone calls.  If you are passionate about something, make your voice heard!

Have done so numerous times. Just have gotten a call from a customer service rep who doesn’t know the rationale and kept saying “things could change.”

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23 hours ago, OnTheJourney said:

This sort of captures the essence of the political divide I refer to. Do you notice how, as  time goes on, the posts and general tone of all this (all across CC cause I visit many different forums) is getting increasingly edgy, testy, and yes, a bit condemnatory at times?  I'm not pointing fingers at ANYone, but just an observation. We're all exhausted, tired of it, wishing for it to end, trying to decide how we're going to cope with the possibilty of this pandemic not ending anytime soon. Those who are much younger than you and I have (hopefully) more time to continue to cruise  - or whatever - if indeed they're not ready at the moment. I plead guilty to liking posts and throwing out stuff that is basically against those who spurn masking, etc., cause I believe in the 'follow the science' approach. Has it engendered a national / global mania that is overblown and unjust? Sure...maybe. We have to feel for those who never got the chance to say goodbye to loved ones in the hospital who died from this. Flip side of that coin is, as you say, people die from many other things. You have yourself experienced a tragic loss, so I deeply feel for you as well. I think the best thing all of us can do is to try and be at least understanding of all viewpoints, while not necessarily agreeing or disagreeing. This whole "blue versus red states" mentality is only working against a national resolve to move forward. OK..enough...

Beautifully said, OtJ. You are articulate and wise. 

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4 hours ago, Ragnar Danneskjold said:

The types of people likely to fake a vaccination card are also often braggarts and narcissists.  It won’t take long aboard a cruise ship, and after a drink or two, for them to start bragging about “beating the system”, etc.  If you hear any if this, TURN THEM IN.

 


Could be. I’m guessing, though, that the people most likely to fake a card are just people who want to get into whatever door a vaccine card opens but aren’t willing to get the vaccine. I think I mentioned this elsewhere here, but we know a lot of people in health care right now (my husband’s field) who aren’t getting the vaccine, at least not yet. They’re not anti-vaxxers per se, they just don’t trust the rapid process that created the current batch.
 

I’m not advocating for a central registry, FWIW. I’m fine with using our little cards, especially since that’s all we have right now. (At least in much of the US.) I just don’t think we should put a lot of stock in their use being particularly protective. 

 

I will now officially stop raining on everyone’s parade. Hopefully by the time cruising starts up again in earnest, we’ll have widespread immunity and this will all be moot. 

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15 hours ago, LindaS272 said:

Have done so numerous times. Just have gotten a call from a customer service rep who doesn’t know the rationale and kept saying “things could change.”

I wrote my vaccination requirement opinion to Tellus at Viking and received a call back the same day.  From her response apparently Viking is keeping track of how many want vaccines to be a requirement. The rep indicated a much greater majority want vaccines on board then do not.

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On 3/30/2021 at 10:59 PM, Clay Clayton said:

Because as was noted in earlier responses to your questions, they are safe within the bubble.  They aren’t interacting with anyone other than each other and aren’t going “all over the earth”. 
 

They have been quarantined, tested and separated. So no vaccine or mask is needed....until they need to join the rest of us.  

I too figured "safe within the bubble" meant tested, quarantined, no leaving ship or having outside contact etc.  I just wondered about Karine coming on board.  She said she was there for two weeks.  Hopefully she masked and tested daily before unmasking...or quarantined before interacting.

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1 hour ago, TayanaLorna said:

I wrote my vaccination requirement opinion to Tellus at Viking and received a call back the same day.  From her response apparently Viking is keeping track of how many want vaccines to be a requirement. The rep indicated a much greater majority want vaccines on board then do not.

 

Personally, I find the courting of public opinion, as much, if not more of a concern than Viking being one of the few cruise lines not requiring mandatory vaccinations.

 

When I had my pleasant chat Tellus, the lady indicated that safety policies are never based on public opinion.

 

When customers contact them regarding mandatory vaccinations, if keeping track of those pro and con and being able to quote which group is in the majority, is not basing a safety decision on public opinion, I have no idea how they can catagorically state that they are not courting public opinion.

 

Come on Viking, time to get back to your pre-pandemic standards and finally show real leadership, albeit after most of the other cruise lines have already mandated vaccinations.

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28 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

 

Personally, I find the courting of public opinion, as much, if not more of a concern than Viking being one of the few cruise lines not requiring mandatory vaccinations.

 

When I had my pleasant chat Tellus, the lady indicated that safety policies are never based on public opinion.

 

When customers contact them regarding mandatory vaccinations, if keeping track of those pro and con and being able to quote which group is in the majority, is not basing a safety decision on public opinion, I have no idea how they can catagorically state that they are not courting public opinion.

 

Come on Viking, time to get back to your pre-pandemic standards and finally show real leadership, albeit after most of the other cruise lines have already mandated vaccinations.

You are absolutely right Heidi13.  A health and safety policy should not be based upon what we do or do not want.  Viking did not ask me for my opinion, i just gave it to them.  I appreciated the acknowlegment of my concern and i would think that Viking is taking note of which way people think.  The rep did not indicate that it was an opinion contest.  For all i know Viking could be receiving a lot of emails from people saying that they would not cruise if they had to wear masks, do Viking only excursions, or not being able to wander through ports on their own.  People feel very strongly about those restrictions too.

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1 hour ago, TayanaLorna said:

You are absolutely right Heidi13.  A health and safety policy should not be based upon what we do or do not want.  Viking did not ask me for my opinion, i just gave it to them.  I appreciated the acknowlegment of my concern and i would think that Viking is taking note of which way people think.  The rep did not indicate that it was an opinion contest.  For all i know Viking could be receiving a lot of emails from people saying that they would not cruise if they had to wear masks, do Viking only excursions, or not being able to wander through ports on their own.  People feel very strongly about those restrictions too.

I do have to wonder if Viking is waiting to see what the CDC has to say next. Then they have the opportunity to better those requirements, instead of guessing what the CDC will say and then make changes to policy again.

 

Cheers

Daryl

www.viking23.com

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CDC is, I believe, an American agency so I am not sure Viking will be making a decision based solely on what they say.  Other nationalities sail Viking and Viking sail in many other countries.

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