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What things do you see changing??


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Just curious .... what short term (maybe even long term) changes might we expect in the cruising world after this suspension of operations is over?  

 

Global changes 

- We could possibly see shorter itineraries and elimination of longer sailings in the future.  

- Maybe there will be a requirement for travel insurance and it will be more costly than before.  

- Different payment policies put in place, easier to cancel if one is sick (the insurance requirement may take care of this). 

- We've seen the 'Fit to Travel' documentation requirements ... don't know if that will ever pass muster.  Maybe a vaccination record?  

- Testing of the crew and isolated rooms available if they get sick.  Crew members with the same illness can then be cohorted.  

- The elimination or at least a decrease of extra compensation if cruises are canceled.  (That's actually ok by me!) 

- Private transportation arrangements by the cruise line if an outbreak occurs ...

  (I think self quarantine for passengers that are not ill at the time of disembarkation should be sufficient, though ... mandatory quarantine is not 

   required for others that  have been exposed, be it on a plane, bus, at a sporting event, concert, in a hotel or casino, or even the grocery store, etc)

 

 

Onboard changes 

- Buffet will no longer be self service (I'm all for that!) 

- More hand sanitizing stations throughout the ship including at the landings of each stairwell and by the elevators (Yes, please!)

- I'd like to see dispensers for disinfectant wipes all around the ship, especially in the food venues (please don't throw these on the ground)

- Reservations for the shows ??  Not sure how that can even happen.  

- Physical distancing in the dining rooms and no more pushing to share a table with others 

- Sufficient supplies of test kits and masks onboard for all crew and passengers (test kits would only be good for the current outbreak, though)

- Boarding beginning at a later hour to allow sufficient disinfection of staterooms (I'd be most interested in the reuse of pillows and how they are sanitized) 

- Passengers should be reminded to take extra prescription medications onboard (2-4 weeks would be a good idea)

 

Wish List 

- Don't allow the sale of cruises that they know can't happen!  (Honesty goes a long way, especially with your loyal passengers.) 

- Transparency in reporting onboard illnesses and the sections of staterooms and/or dining tables that may be affected

- Expedite the refund process (I know, I know ... enough said) 

 

 

This is not an exhaustive list ... please feel free to add.  Just no mean spirited comments, please!  We all are in this together .... and who knows, maybe Princess will even read this and take note of some of the items on our wish lists?  

 

 

 

 

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For reservations for shows, Royal Caribbean does it for the Oasis class ships.

 

I agree with you, world cruises will be curtailed

 

Dining room separation, most likely won't happen.  If you have all cabins booked they need to be fed.  To get all fed and them separated would require three seatings or three turns in an anytime seating situation.  People would have to eat dinner at 5:00, 7:30, and 10:00

 

Don't know if delaying embarkation  by one hour helps in the disinfecting process. 

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Travel insurance prices would go down, if everyone was required to carry a policy. 

 

Cruise Raider: Most things you mention will happen for the short term. Long term???  Humans are Humans.

Cruise prices will have to rise. (Supply and Demand be darned)

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43 minutes ago, gatour said:

For reservations for shows, Royal Caribbean does it for the Oasis class ships.

 

I agree with you, world cruises will be curtailed

 

Dining room separation, most likely won't happen.  If you have all cabins booked they need to be fed.  To get all fed and them separated would require three seatings or three turns in an anytime seating situation.  People would have to eat dinner at 5:00, 7:30, and 10:00

 

Don't know if delaying embarkation  by one hour helps in the disinfecting process. 

 

Yes, I'm not seeing how they can do the dining. 

Now, I was talking about a delay by at least 6-8 hours for embarkation.  Wouldn't bother me one bit.  The porters, on the other hand, may never agree to that.  

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I think you will likely see a slowdown in the number of cruises offered. It will be difficult for the cruise companies to maintain so many ships and destinations with what will prove to be for years to come a decline in the number of passengers, myself included.

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In the short term, I think the ships should sail at a reduced passenger capacity. Long term, I think they need to get rid of the buffets and anything self service.

 

Key cards should become contactless, I don’t want others (crew) touching my card. (I think many lines are already phasing out cards anyway)

All doors should open/close automatically through the ship.

Lifts could become contactless. You ‘say’ which floor you require!

More crew members to serve the passengers and for increased cleaning and disinfection.

Gyms/Spa should have heavy disinfection every night and staff must be seen to disinfect equipment during the day.

Hand gel dispenser in each cabin and more placed throughout the ships. Hand washing enforced.

 

I think this has to go hand in hand with airports and all aircraft. The planes need to be disinfecting after each flight. They are often filthy at the start of a flight. Again hand gel to be used by every passenger on boarding and throughout the airports. This has got to be enforced. Same applies to trains, coaches etc

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I would like to see the HC/WFA where all food is served by the staff like on HAL ships and in cafeterias here in the US. 

 

Additional hand sanitize stations around the ship but most will walk by them like they do now in the HC so I am not sure how effective that would be.  Carry your own.  When I have to use the elevator I use my knuckle to push the buttons.  My pet peeve is those who are able bodied that use the elevator to go to the deck above/below instead of the stairs.  

 

I did a ship tour on the CB and they had 3 fully equipped ER rooms available and medical staff on duty 24.7 so not sure how much more they can do.  

 

Cruise cards are rapidly becoming obsolete as the ships transition to OM.  Stand in front of your cabin door and it unlocks.  Place your OM on a reader and the charge is recorded with no crew member touching your device.  Exit and reenter the ship by placing your OM on the reader with no one touching it.  

 

I do agree that longer time between cruises are needed to effectively clean the ship but maybe not 24 hours.  I could see debark pax in early morning and allow new pax aboard at 5 PM or so giving crew 7 or 8 hours to clean the ship.  

 

 

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Actually force passengers  stick to the times you are told to check in for the cruise.  Everyone pretty much ignores it now and 2-3000 people all show up before noon.

 

Buffet should definitely not be self serve...ever, in fact thought should be given to eliminating buffets all together.

 

Elevators that only allow a limited number of passengers, probably only done if staff is on hand to keep over crowding down.

 

 

 

 

 

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Allowing more time for disinfection between cruises makes sense, but that could also be accomplished by increasing the number of stateroom stewards - they have been given more cabins to clean almost every cruise, making them potentially less thorough.

 

Increasing service at the buffet area is helpful and is currently in use when Norovirus has been imported to the ship by passengers.  I disagree with the "do away with the buffet" concept as the buffet is a vital service, especially to passengers with diabetes who cannot wait for hours before eating in a more formal or regimented setting.

 

Now if we want to think outside the box, then let's require all cabins to have direct access to outside air (via balcony or openable window.).   Or allow "at risk" passengers with a history of pulmonary issues to book balcony cabins at inside prices.

 

Or a tech solution - change the Ocean Medallion to communicate with elevators - 1 tap on the medallion to go to the floor of your cabin, 2 taps to the deck of your dining room, 3 to Lido, 4 to Promenade. 

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Call me "skeptical" when I read about various changes.   Let's talk about some basic economics.  Cruise ships are designed to generate a profit when near full, with "maximizing onboard revenue" a major contributor to the bottom line.  Pricing must, by necessity, follow some of the basic laws of economics.  Selling cruise berths is a very "price elastic" task which means sales will vary greatly based on price.  Increase prices, especially when there are other disincentives, and booking will decrease.  Trying to implement any kind of social distancing on most ships will be nearly impossible since that runs counter to the design of most ships.  Just consider the main theater on most Princess ships which can only hold about 30 percent of the passengers.  If you reduced attendance enough to have some social distancing you would need to have at least 6 shows to get most folks into the theater.  The main dining rooms are designed to handle the ship at full occupancy, but space is at a premium.  Changing buffets to most food being served (like on HAL) does not reduce the passenger density in the oft crowded Lido dining areas.  

 

But what many folks ignore is that making cruise ships more difficult to access, and providing a lower standard of satisfying service, is not going to attract customers at a higher price point...and will likely not even attract many at a lower price.  And consider the typical mass market ship in warm weather where deck loungers are crammed against each other (with no social spacing) and there are still not enough loungers for all takers.

 

Somebody mentioned there would need to be more crew members, but that costs a lot more money and where would that extra crew live?  The tight crew quarters do not have any excess space on most ships and putting any more crew into passenger areas means fewer passengers to pay for more crew.  This would not be a formula for financial success.

 

As to the idea of contactless lifts, that is a good idea but nothing to protect anyone from a passenger who coughs or sneezes in a tightly confined elevator.  This is one reason why DW and I have minimized our use of ship elevators for many years..

 

Enforcing hand washing is great in concept, but does little to help with COVID-19 which is easily spread via a cough or sneeze.   And consider that even the newest ships only have a few handwashing stations to serve thousands of passengers.  Imagine 500 passengers queued up for two handwashing sinks at a Lido entrance!  Folks are not going to pay for that kind of vacation!

 

Hank

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I predict that cruise lines will seek agreements with the ports of calls , that will allow debarking sick guests rather than being denied  allowing  illness to spread aboard .

The ports  certainly  are ready to have a ship call and the $$$$$ it brings.

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I am not sure everyone gets it!  We cruisers are used to the hand washing plea, which is the best way to deal with Norovirus and other pathogens spread via hands.   But COVID-19 and Influenza are also commonly spread via airborne droplets that come from coughing and sneezing.  Anyone who has spent significant time on ships has likely encountered cruises where Upper respiratory bugs spread like wildfire though a ship.   While the cruise lines can do lots of things to better disinfect a ship, and passengers can help by frequent handwashing, this is not enough to overcome the inability to social distance on a ship.  Like it or not a cruise ship is like a big incubator for many bugs.  If nothing else, the Diamond Princess and Coral Princess has shown that even quarantines in the cabins do not stop the spread of COVID-19.   It would seem that lacking an effective vaccine there is little the cruise lines can do to deal with COVID-19 and other contagious airborne pathogens.

 

Hank 

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2 hours ago, Hlitner said:

Enforcing hand washing is great in concept, but does little to help with COVID-19 which is easily spread via a cough or sneeze.   And consider that even the newest ships only have a few handwashing stations to serve thousands of passengers.  Imagine 500 passengers queued up for two handwashing sinks at a Lido entrance!  Folks are not going to pay for that kind of vacation!

 

Hank

In regards to hand washing stations, I am assuming you are referencing the front of the Lido buffet.  The most recent Royal Caribbean Oasis class ships have handwashing stations at the beginning.  There are multiple sinks and the queues were at most a minute or two.

 

Covid is also spread through shaking hands with someone who recently wiped their nose and then you scratching your nose/face with your now infected hands.  So you hand washing is conducive for you not getting infected.

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35 minutes ago, gatour said:

In regards to hand washing stations, I am assuming you are referencing the front of the Lido buffet.  The most recent Royal Caribbean Oasis class ships have handwashing stations at the beginning.  There are multiple sinks and the queues were at most a minute or two.

 

Covid is also spread through shaking hands with someone who recently wiped their nose and then you scratching your nose/face with your now infected hands.  So you hand washing is conducive for you not getting infected.

Yes, washing hands is always a good thing and helpful.  But in the case of aerosolized bugs it is not sufficient.  That is why a good part of the world is now using social distancing.  And there is no way to social distance on a mass market cruise ship.  Also consider being on a mass market ship when security would insist that every single person entering the lido buffet must stop and wash their hands for at least 20 seconds.   Lets assume there are 10 working wash stations which would mean fewer than 30 passengers per minute could wash.  At that rate it would take more than 3 hours for everyone on an Oasis Class ship to wash their hands.   And while hand washing is effective for the moment it is no longer effective the instant that person touches anything.  The numbers are boggling and there are actually social scientists and model builders who do these kind of calculations.   And picture folks trying to maintain a 6 foot social distance circle on that same ship!   The CDC now wants cruise lines to come up with a good plan for this type of environment.  Truly a daunting task if not impossible.

 

Hank

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7 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

Yes, washing hands is always a good thing and helpful.  But in the case of aerosolized bugs it is not sufficient.  That is why a good part of the world is now using social distancing.  And there is no way to social distance on a mass market cruise ship.  Also consider being on a mass market ship when security would insist that every single person entering the lido buffet must stop and wash their hands for at least 20 seconds.   Lets assume there are 10 working wash stations which would mean fewer than 30 passengers per minute could wash.  At that rate it would take more than 3 hours for everyone on an Oasis Class ship to wash their hands.   And while hand washing is effective for the moment it is no longer effective the instant that person touches anything.  The numbers are boggling and there are actually social scientists and model builders who do these kind of calculations.   And picture folks trying to maintain a 6 foot social distance circle on that same ship!   The CDC now wants cruise lines to come up with a good plan for this type of environment.  Truly a daunting task if not impossible.

 

Hank

It is one reason that I think the plan is aimed as much if not more for dealing with the current situation of infected crew on ships, as much as it is for starting cruising back up again.  You cannot social distance on a full cruise ship.

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35 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

And picture folks trying to maintain a 6 foot social distance circle on that same ship!   The CDC now wants cruise lines to come up with a good plan for this type of environment.  Truly a daunting task if not impossible.

 

It does seem impossible. And if we need to stay 6 feet apart on cruise ships, then why not in airports, on flights and other forms of transportation, in sports stadiums and theaters, in all elevators, etc.? I don't think this is realistic. But I for one am all for getting extra elbow room in my economy class airline seat.

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A day or so ago, before the CDC announced the ban on cruising until July 15th, Carnival announced that the first ships to commence sailing would have a reduced passenger capacity so I think that’s likely at first. 
 

I’d like to see hand washing stations at each entrance to the buffet. I personally hate the HAL buffet where you have to wait in a line for someone to serve you... it takes a lot longer and often, the first food gets cold while you’re getting the rest. Not sure how to compromise on that. 
 

I can see everyone’s temperature being taken at embarkation. Perhaps random testing during the cruise. 
 

I’m allergic to hand sanitizer and most wipes (I can use Clorox wipes) so I can’t use them (I’ve been chased by passengers in the buffet and berated/screamed at for ruining their cruise for not using the sanitizer) plus they are marginally effective. They do little for Norovirus or COVID-19. 
 

It’s a fine line between treating passengers like children and expecting them to be adults and responsible. 
 

Pretty sure there’ll be a lot more cabin and public space cleaning. I can also see staff in the buffet required to wear masks and gloves when near food. I think you’ll see more passengers wearing gloves in the buffet. Maybe require passengers to wear gloves there. 

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16 minutes ago, Pam in CA said:

A day or so ago, before the CDC announced the ban on cruising until July 15th, Carnival announced that the first ships to commence sailing would have a reduced passenger capacity so I think that’s likely at first. 
 

I’d like to see hand washing stations at each entrance to the buffet. I personally hate the HAL buffet where you have to wait in a line for someone to serve you... it takes a lot longer and often, the first food gets cold while you’re getting the rest. Not sure how to compromise on that. 
 

I can see everyone’s temperature being taken at embarkation. Perhaps random testing during the cruise. 
 

I’m allergic to hand sanitizer and most wipes (I can use Clorox wipes) so I can’t use them (I’ve been chased by passengers in the buffet and berated/screamed at for ruining their cruise for not using the sanitizer) plus they are marginally effective. They do little for Norovirus or COVID-19. 
 

It’s a fine line between treating passengers like children and expecting them to be adults and responsible. 
 

Pretty sure there’ll be a lot more cabin and public space cleaning. I can also see staff in the buffet required to wear masks and gloves when near food. I think you’ll see more passengers wearing gloves in the buffet. Maybe require passengers to wear gloves there. 

 

Hi Pam!  You have a lot of great suggestions.  DH and I were on the Coral in Jan/Feb.  There were hand washing stations at the beginning of each buffet entrance.

 

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Negative pressure air cabins would eliminate a lot of person to person contamination for an airborne pathogen.

 

The buffet needs to stay because the dining room cannot accommodate the number of pax if sailing near full. The easy solution would be to have everything plated with saran wrap covering so you could grab and go. Of course bringing back trays would be necessary. 

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If the buffet stays, absolutely nobody should be allowed to enter without hand washing.

 

If Princess (& other cruise lines) continue to allow passengers to by pass the hand washing facilities &/or santitiser, there are going to be some very ugly scenes as the unclean are taken to task.

 

 

 

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Like Pam, I hate the buffets on HAL. I won’t cruise on HAL anymore for that reason. 

 

Call me a pessimist. I don’t know what the answers are because all the plans suggested don’t stop sick people from getting on the ship. You may not have any idea that you’ve been exposed. You can catch it on the airplane and not be symptomatic until mid-cruise. You may have it and have no symptoms at all. Those people will be spreaders. The virus is airborne and it’s impossible to keep social distancing on a cruise ship. There’s only so much sanitizing. They’re not going to clean every chair, every handrail, every elevator enough. They’re not going to require proof that you have antibodies before you can cruise. 

 

For me, I don’t see myself cruising until there’s a vaccine. I’m totally depressed by this realization. Once that happens you can provide proof of vaccination. Anti-vaxers will hate that. After vaccinations are available cruising can go back to normal if cruise lines survive. I’ll take my chances with norovirus, flu, etc.  I hope there’s a vaccine soon. I know it will be 12 to 18 months even if fast tracked. 

 

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2 hours ago, Pam in CA said:

A day or so ago, before the CDC announced the ban on cruising until July 15th, Carnival announced that the first ships to commence sailing would have a reduced passenger capacity so I think that’s likely at first. 
 

 

I viewed the Carnival announcement as just an attempt to get good publicity without any real sacrifice on their part.

 

I suspect all of the cruises that they have designated for this had so many cancellations they already had a greatly reduced number of passengers still booked.

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Alright I can foresee a few changes and I will list them.

 

1.) Rapid corona virus tests like the diabetes fingerprick test being done prior to boarding.

2.) Temperature checks prior to boarding.

3.) Immunisation and Vaccination being declared at time of booking with records being kept on file with the cruise line.

4.) A requirement for full immunisation and vaccination including the seasonal influenza vaccine before boarding.

5.) The ability to cancel a cruise and receive a full refund if diagnosed with a infectious illness anytime prior to boarding with Doctors certificate and test results required to get the refund to prevent abuse.

6.) Removal of all upper berths from cabins with suite being the only cabin to accommodate families or groups.

7.) A reduction in the passenger capacity and maybe some cabins removed or set aside for quarantine or emergency use.

8.) A Doctors report declaring fit to travel for any people with pre-existing medical conditions.

 

That said it might be harder for more elderly and frail to cruise from now on, also the disabled and incapacitated might have more restrictions making it harder to cruise but not entirely impossible.

 

From what I have been reading in financial news is that Carnival Corp including the Princess brand have the ability to lay up their ships for a period of 12 to 15 months before we have to start worrying about them remaining in business.

 

From what I have heard from people inside Princess who have access to the senior management there are discussions about moving away from the mega ships and returning to the likes of the Sun Princess class and original Grand Princess class excluding the Crown and Caribbean variant with the extra deck on top. 

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