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Time to start fresh


westmount
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2 hours ago, Paulchili said:

Which part do you not want - the buffet per se or the self serve part?

The self serve part is the worst part of it (from a germ standpoint), but we  don't like buffets in general.  It's just not a dining situation we would ever choose.  Whenever the MDR was open for lunch, we would choose to have lunch there---or around the pool, or in the Colonnade, but ordering from the menu.  

 

On one of our SB cruises,  there was a passenger who called the buffet "eating at the trough."  I've never forgotten that and it gave me a chuckle.  

Edited by SLSD
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I may post a couple of times on this thread as I will be thinking of this.  Last fall my husband and I took a great leap and booked 49 days on back-to-back-to-back on the Odyssey for Fall, 2020.  A classic set of Med cruises.  Very different for us as we have typically taken ships to transport us across oceans on the way to land-based experiences.  But we booked on Seabourn since we adore the product and knew that we would always be happy on  board.  So my vision for the future is that someday there will be a vaccine and we can go back to the Seabourn we love.  Some other cruise lines with severely damaged reputations (Princess???) will probably disappear in some way.  But the Seabourn brand has not been damaged.  I can't conceive of Seabourn in some other way, such as with physical distancing, just would not work socially or economically.  Yes there are always some things I would change on board to suit my tastes, but they have nothing to do with the virus.  I just dream of a better day.  And not just for Seabourn and the world of cruising.  Meanwhile we continue to stay safe in the San Francisco area and postpone our wonderful travel dreams.  And our hearts break for all of those with issues so much more serious than the lack of cruising.

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1 hour ago, SLSD said:

The self serve part is the worst part of it (from a germ standpoint), but we  don't like buffets in general.  It's just not a dining situation we would ever choose.  Whenever the MDR was open for lunch, we would choose to have lunch there---or around the pool, or in the Colonnade, but ordering from the menu.  

 

On one of our SB cruises,  there was a passenger who called the buffet "eating at the trough."  I've never forgotten that and it gave me a chuckle.  

I actually like Oceania's buffet - both at lunch and dinner (of course, not daily).

1 It's got an excellent selection - more so than SB and is definitely nothing like "eating at the trough" (unless they serve lobster tails at the trough which they have daily on Oceania) 🙂

2 I like to have a bit of this and a bit of that (and maybe another bit of something else) rather than select from a much more limited menu of set plates

3 Can eat at my pace and not at the pace of the waiter

4 Oceania's buffet has NEVER been self service and the staff will carry your plate to the table if you wish.

5 It's less formal both at lunch and dinner

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One thing that always makes me feel good after a cruise is "useful" reminders of good times with Seabourn - the travel adapter won at trivia (and caps, umbrella, flashlight, etc...); the nice gold bookmark; the Molton Brown linen mist, and others.  While many people are full to the brim with such stuff, I would hope that everyone has come across at least one such gift that they appreciate. 

 

These maybe a bit wacky, but I wouldn't mind coming back with :

- a jar of sea salt harvested during the voyage

- Cognac that was "ocean matured" during the voyage; paired with one matured during a completely different voyage for comparison purposes

- Recipe cards for something special created for the voyage

 

On a different topic, surprised no one has mentioned re-doing the in-suite bar area and adding coffee/tea to it - would minimize trips to Seabourn Square for some number of us!

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John

 

Funny you mention the linen mist - my wife sprayed it on our pillows the other night -

told me to enjoy it since I would not be smelling it on a Seabourn sailing for the very near future😔

she is in the camp of no sailing until a vaccine is out and we are inoculated - along with a flu shot AND the pneumonia shot as she reminded me we are fast approaching that age bracket.

Told her as soon as we are inoculated we am booking a sailing!

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We enjoy the flexibility and variety of the Colonnade but wouldn't  mind having it being served as opposed to self-serve. It gives us an opportunity to try something we might never have thought of tasting.

 

We won't wait until there is a vaccine for Covid 19 before we sail again.  Given the fact that after 39 years of research  and many $$$ there is no HIV vaccine nor is there one that has been tested in humans for SARS which emerged in 2002-2003, we (my DH & I) may not be around for a real Covid vaccine.  When countries decide to open ports and cruise lines decide to sail we'll be ready to look at what's available.

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18 hours ago, bigmjh said:

IMHO - Definitely the self-serve part.

 

I remember a Cafeteria growing up. Would that help? Here you take a plate all ready to go. No user serving. Crew servers keep the line functioning  and serve you the food.

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45 minutes ago, Sunviking said:

Given the fact that after 39 years of research  and many $$$ there is no HIV vaccine nor is there one that has been tested in humans for SARS which emerged in 2002-2003,

Not apples to apples.

Thousands if not hundreds of thousands now live normal lives with HIV with very effective treatment. Not to mention that it is not highly contagious unlike COVID - one knows what to do to avoid HIV.

SARS has not been an issue for many years now.

COVID is a whole different matter.

Of course, as always, YMMV.

Edited by Paulchili
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I just read that Crystal is going to revise dining room times to limit the number of guests at any one time in the restaurants. I can picture a return back to set reservation times for the MDR, replacing the any time you want format. Crystal is also changing the way that the buffets operate, to have plates prepared down the line and having staff to enforce hand sanitation and social distancing. I expect that, when we all return, we will have all new dining room and poolside conditions. 

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19 hours ago, SLSD said:

The self serve part is the worst part of it (from a germ standpoint), but we  don't like buffets in general.  It's just not a dining situation we would ever choose.  Whenever the MDR was open for lunch, we would choose to have lunch there---or around the pool, or in the Colonnade, but ordering from the menu.  

 

On one of our SB cruises,  there was a passenger who called the buffet "eating at the trough."  I've never forgotten that and it gave me a chuckle.  

SLSD .. that gave me a chuckle too. Somewhere at the beginning of this thread, when we were all still thinking or hoping cruising would continue, I suggested it would be good if Seabourn ensured the dining room was open for all meals and people didn't have to go to the buffet to help prevent spread. I hope that when cruising does resume they will return to the practice of serving meals. I'd like to think that even the buffets will change so that food is chosen by you but plated by staff, however especially on the new ships the open colonnade feels like it won't lend itself to that so well. 

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1 hour ago, Sunviking said:

We enjoy the flexibility and variety of the Colonnade but wouldn't  mind having it being served as opposed to self-serve. It gives us an opportunity to try something we might never have thought of tasting.

 

We won't wait until there is a vaccine for Covid 19 before we sail again.  Given the fact that after 39 years of research  and many $$$ there is no HIV vaccine nor is there one that has been tested in humans for SARS which emerged in 2002-2003, we (my DH & I) may not be around for a real Covid vaccine.  When countries decide to open ports and cruise lines decide to sail we'll be ready to look at what's available.

I agree - as soon as we can be on a ship with some confidence that ports will stay open throughout the cruise, we'll start looking at cruising again (if we can afford it). 

 

Regarding your comments about HIV and SARS, you're correct, there are vaccines for neither. I think there's a little context here however. HIV has proved very hard to find a vaccine for, in fact it's pretty much impossible as it doesn't really trigger the immune system until the latter stages. So work there moved to treatment and the anti-retrovirals have been incredibly successful at reducing the viral load to the point that it's very hard to the disease to spread. If everyone with HIV had access to these drugs, it's fairly certain the disease would be eradicated.  

There were promising candidates for a SARS vaccine and the research proceeded very quickly at the time of the outbreak. However the isolation and contact-tracing mechanisms put in place then rapidly curtailed the disease and economics prevailed, there was no appetite to spend the billions of dollars to finish the work. Contrast that with ebola and H1N1 which were not cut off at source (H1N1 recurs every flu season, but has mutated to become quite weak) and for which vaccines continued to be developed and are available. I'm fairly confident we'll see a COVID vaccine within 2 years because it's out in the wild and very unlikely to be suppressed any other way. 

But .. as I said .. we'll not be waiting for that either. When the world opens up .. we'll be out there exploring it. 

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There’s something terribly upsetting about watching someone dig up the salad thongs that slipped into the bowl , or someone cherry picking a few berries or olives with their fingers, Of all the things silly people do when they think no one is watching, and it’s in my top five pet peeves virus or no virus. I was very surprised that the serving system was not changed as our  cruise was sailing through the virus panic. 
  On the other hand, the buffet Food was great, although never really got to the hot meals save for the spring rolls and tempura shrimp, yum. 

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2 hours ago, westmount said:

There’s something terribly upsetting about watching someone dig up the salad thongs that slipped into the bowl , or someone cherry picking a few berries or olives with their fingers, Of all the things silly people do when they think no one is watching, and it’s in my top five pet peeves virus or no virus. I was very surprised that the serving system was not changed as our  cruise was sailing through the virus panic. 
  On the other hand, the buffet Food was great, although never really got to the hot meals save for the spring rolls and tempura shrimp, yum. 

 

I certainly hope nobody's thong has ever slipped into the salad 😄, neither the British nor Australian version. 

 

I don't see a lot of people picking food out of the salad with their fingers, that would not be nice. However I am always surprised to see people carefully picking up bread and rolls with the tongs, tongs which many others have touched, and then sitting down, picking up the roll and eating it with the same fingers they were handling the tongs with. 

 

Basically if you are serving yourself from a buffet with shared serving spoons in the mashed potato, shared tongs in the salad, orange juice from a jug which everyone has picked up etc, your hands are now contaminated with whatever everyone else had on their hands so keep them away from your mouth, away from your face or spritz them with alcohol solution before you eat. 

 

This is why I prefer to have my food served to me. I come to the dining room with clean hands and there are far fewer opportunities for them to become contaminated. 

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22 minutes ago, rols said:

This is why I prefer to have my food served to me. I come to the dining room with clean hands and there are far fewer opportunities for them to become contaminated. 

Do you wash your hands after you pull out the chair and sit down at the table? Do you wash your hands after you used the menu to order. Do you assume that your table & silverware were set up by a staff wearing gloves? All those things were handled by a number of people before you.

If not, it's not all that different from the self service buffet. Don't just assume that because your are eating in the dining room you are all set.

Best to have a hand sanitizer on you and wash your hands after you've done all that and before you eat.

Edited by Paulchili
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32 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

Do you wash your hands after you pull out the chair and sit down at the table? Do you wash your hands after you used the menu to order. Do you assume that your table & silverware were set up by a staff wearing gloves? All those things were handled by a number of people before you.

If not, it's not all that different from the self service buffet. Don't just assume that because your are eating in the dining room you are all set.

Best to have a hand sanitizer on you and wash your hands after you've done all that and before you eat.

I think it's a lot different actually. I expect that the staff who laid the table have been taught proper hygiene techniques as were the staff who touched the cutlery beforehand. I certainly trust that a lot more than the handle of a spoon which has been grabbed by 50 passengers before me as they ladled out food. 

 

No guarantees in life, however I feel that being served food by trained staff is something not to be that concerned about however the shared implements used in buffets are a very easy vector for things to spread between passengers whose standards of hygiene differ. 

 

Since SARS a few years ago we have taken to carrying a spray bottle of alcohol-based sanitiser when we travel. I cannot claim I always remember to use it after heading to the breakfast buffet many hotels we go to have or getting back on the coach after a visit, but I certainly try to. 

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8 hours ago, westmount said:

 I was very surprised that the serving system was not changed as our  cruise was sailing through the virus panic.

 

I am pretty certain on about third  morning they stopped the self serving  on the Encore which left Sydney on the 8th March with someone mentioning it was a fleet wide direction

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All public spaces are potentially problematic, not just the often picked on buffets. Casinos.  Lots of touching surfaces (cards, tables, slot machines) seats certainly not 6 feet apart.   Theater seats and tables are not 6 feet apart.  Will they remove 1/2 of the seating?  Lounge chairs are closely packed... Dining tables, will they cut the dining capacity to 1/2 or 1/3 of previous footprint??  Gyms, elevators, coffee shop seats. Fixed in place bar stools.  Everything set up to be "social".  What will the answer be, I have absolutely no idea. Seems almost too challenging.  

 

 

 

 

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Prior to the virus, I would say using "clean" utensils, glasses, tongs, plates, in a place like the Colonnade was ok, and everyone sanitized their hands before entering to follow normal hygiene protocol. If you want to know why we need a vaccine before sane people can board another cruise ships, its exactly the thought that someone touched my fork somewhere between the dishwasher and my table and I might get sick, and while we can all go nuts trying to protect ourselves from the guy next to us, we might as well stay in our caves until a vaccine is found. The good news is that technology will find a way to instantly test people and medical science will figure out a way people without a prior condition don't die from this virus, hopefully sooner than later, until then, stay 6 feet away from the guy next door and 6 miles away from a cruise ship. 

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4 hours ago, westmount said:

 The good news is that technology will find a way to instantly test people and medical science will figure out a way people without a prior condition don't die from this virus, hopefully sooner than later, until then, stay 6 feet away from the guy next door and 6 miles away from a cruise ship. 

And it will behoove us to be tested BEFORE we fly off for our cruise, just in case we had/have the virus and had no symptoms--or still are testing positive, in spite of being well.  I've read about cases like this.  It would make it difficult for some to cruise--not sick, but testing positive.  Test before you go will be our motto.  

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1 hour ago, SLSD said:

And it will behoove us to be tested BEFORE we fly off for our cruise, just in case we had/have the virus and had no symptoms--or still are testing positive, in spite of being well.  I've read about cases like this.  It would make it difficult for some to cruise--not sick, but testing positive.  Test before you go will be our motto.  

 

That might work if so many insurance companies had not now excluded Covid-19 from cancellation cover. (There are also many also excluding cover for treatment.) If there is a chance I will not be permitted to board and have no insurance cover for it, why would I risk laying out 1,000s of USD, UKP or AUD?

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16 minutes ago, norm2002 said:

 

That might work if so many insurance companies had not now excluded Covid-19 from cancellation cover. (There are also many also excluding cover for treatment.) If there is a chance I will not be permitted to board and have no insurance cover for it, why would I risk laying out 1,000s of USD, UKP or AUD?

Exactly.  All this is to say, it may be more difficult to cruise than we thought--even with the vaccine--if we are asymptomatic, but testing positive--or, have recovered from the virus, but still testing positive.  I see this as a real issue.  For example,  Mr. SLSD and I have been sheltering at our homes since March 13th.  We are well.  However, I have been experiencing asthma off and on.  This is something I occasionally have, but not every often at all over the last 20 years.  Did I get infected with Covid-19 and do I have mild symptoms? Or, is this just asthma, out of the blue?  Would this affect my entrance onto a cruise ship?  So many questions.  

Edited by SLSD
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I think one thing that has been done right in the UK is that they have an app for their phones where people can record any symptoms they have. For example, some people have lost their sense of smell or taste but not have a cough or fever. So they are not appearing in any official statistics. They are likely to have a mild version of the virus but are still likely to be carriers. I read today that twice as many people have recorded some symptoms in the app than have been tested. It may not be scientific but I think it could give some better guidance as to the real progress of the virus.

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The good news is the cruise lines are thinking about all these things and will come up with solutions. My first thought is that if a cruise was two weeks away, i would quarantine for two weeks as we are doing today, staying around the house with strict social distancing prior to leaving. Then comes home test for virus. then travel to port, driving better than flying. Then comes test prior to boarding. Maybe ships have to stay in port for one day to clear all passengers. Insurance would be covered by cruise lines, as others won't touch it, but if you were get a positive result and could not board, then you would get cruise credit for another time. I really haven't hear dog many people getting the virus on planes, but with all the precautions carriers will take, as they will test as well, let's presume you will leave the plane the same as you entered it. 

  If i book a cruise, i want to know that to the best of their abilities, they tested everyone coming on board for the virus, and my neighbour is as healthy as i think i am. Remember, there are many people who go on cruises not well, but the idea is that you don't spread the lines to otherwise healthy people. That is called being respectful, and hopefully people won't go if they feel they might have the virus. The Ship will have medication to help people who get iill at the time, as no one is going on the ship before that happens in any case. We need a vaccine, but if no vaccine is yet developed, then people who can  die from getting the virus cannot book a cruise, we'll let the actuaries decide who they are. its also been shown that the virus does not travel through the ac units of a ship, but person to person. Not everyone on the cruises who had affected people got the virus etc, so sick people can be separated and quarantine , and until a vaccine is found, no cruise is going to be allowed in a foreign country, trust me on this one. World tours will be cancelled for 2021, but Caribbean cruises from Miami, or Australia to New Zealand, that i can see.   One little point might be that cruise ships need ports that want them and their passengers, good luck on that one right now.  

   As i said six weeks ago, once the NBA allows people in the stands, cruise ships will be back in business. 

 

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