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buffyone

How can the the Queens get back to cruising ?

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Posted (edited)

What ideas do you think Cunard (Carnival) are discussing/entertaining regarding having the Queens all cruising again soon? 

 

What do you imagine when you think of steps we need to take to get back cruising in some fashion similar to what we are used to? 

 

Bear in mind that we should assume the virus will eventually get less severe as more people around the world acquire some sort of immunity or, at the very least, the severity of an infection will in time be no worse than a current flu. Unfortunately, that may be more than one year.

 

First thing that may have to be expanded/upgraded would be the medical center. Additional ventilators, and medical staff, as well as the ability to deal with a on board endemic situation, should it arise.

 

Let's assume the chances are pretty good of a future cruise having just one person on board with the virus, then there is almost a guarantee that there will be some kind of spread on board.

 

How do we prevent the spread from affecting most of the passengers on board? 

 

One idea that came to my mind would be splitting the ship up into quadrants with different timetables for activities, dinning, and entertainment. Imagine it like the ship itself being able to cordon off certain areas from a emergency situation like compartmentalization.

 

In other words, it would be like having 4 separate groups of say 300 people on the same ship at one time but not interacting much.

 

Venues may need to be changed or duplicated for example,  additional pubs, additional lounges, cordoning off the kings court into separate dining areas. Access to certain areas would also depend on cabin location and use of certain elevators.

 

Mass group gatherings such as the theater and illuminations would have to be also based upon state room location and assigned passenger group.

 

How would the buffet change the way it serves food?  Vending machines?

 

What about evening grill dining, would the the tables have to be farther apart? How would it work?

 

What about dancing? The swimming pools, spas, entertainment?

 

How much more would a TA (for example) with a balcony stateroom cost? 

 

What other things would need to change in order for a cruise to be safe and viable? 

 

Edited by buffyone

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buffyone:

 

You ask some good questions. But read your posting again. Would you pay good money---more than you paid in the past, maybe a LOT more---to go on a cruise that was structured the way you suggest (splitting up the ship into separate groups with little or no interaction; vending machines in the buffet; etc.)? I don't think so. I agree that some changes are inevitable---and probably overdue---but if the cruising model is changed too radically no one will put up their hard-earned money to sail in an upscale concentration camp. (OK, I exaggerate, but the prospect is dismal). Unless something close to what we're used to is implemented, at a price close to what we're used to paying, you may as well kiss the cruise industry good-bye.

 

Jim

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Posted (edited)

Unrealistic though some of the above comments are, this thread does illustrate how difficult it is going to be to restart cruising, and hence why it is likely to be the last activity, even within the travel sector, to resume.  And things are unlikely to be the same as before; there will be many governments, ports, and travellers looking to see what the industry has done to make its operations more resilient.

 

I’d expect to see passenger health screening as part of the booking process, with restrictions on taking people on board who are already seriously ill, a requirement to be fit enough to fly home in extremis, and travel insurance as a compulsory requirement, walk-through temperature sensors as you embark, enhanced medical capability and staffing on board, obligations on passengers to report medical issues that arise on trip including acceptance of quarantine in the event of infectious disease, improved and enforced hygiene protocols on board, enhanced staff training, and some physical improvements such as air conditioning filtration.  There will also need to be specific plans to terminate early in worst case scenarios, and/or a requirement that passengers who do become ill leave the ship.  
 

Just my own thoughts - but it is clear from the recent US government circular that there will be considerable pressure on cruising companies to take actions such as these.

 

The sorts of on board passenger separation measures the OP talks about aren’t really realistic and are features you’d only be considering so long as the current outbreak endures. My feeling is that cruising in such circumstances isn’t feasible and it is more likely we won’t see any sailings until 2021.

Edited by IB2

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Also I see in today’s news that the UK is considering a 14-day self quarantine requirement for all incoming and returning foreign travellers.  I believe there has been talk of similar in other countries.  Obviously this would make foreign travel unattractive for outgoing travellers and kill it off almost entirely for incoming.  These types of restrictions are likely to endure a lot longer than the formal lockdowns; I fear it is going to be a while before ports welcome a ship load of visiting passengers disembarking just for a day.

 

Quite possibly the QM2 might be able to resume her transatlantic crossings before holiday cruising more generally.  Whether the TA would be viable without the holiday passengers tacking it onto a Baltic or Canadian seaboard cruise, I don’t know.

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If there's to be any sort of 'social distancing' enforced then stairways would have to be either 'up' or 'down'.

 

Corridors would have to be 'one-way'. Say, forward on the starboard side, aft on the portside. Of course the person who's cabin is 'only four doors along' will make an excuse for going the wrong way then the people 'only six doors along' will join them. By day-two the system has failed. Do you install one-way turnstiles in every corridor at every lift/elevator lobby?

 

You'd have to quadruple the number of lifts/elevators (not going to happen), or limit their use in some way. Maybe only those 'medically unfit to use stairs'? But we've seen how well that sort of thing works. Of course, you could do away with them altogether and anyone incapable of getting from deck 2 to deck 13 a dozen times a day under their own steam isn't allowed on. That would certainly help in cutting the numbers onboard.

 

The number of people in the theatre would have to be cut to, at most, a quarter of current capacity. Assuming most people travel as couples, you could have two people, two empty seats, two people, etc. But you'd only be able to use, at most, every second row. So, four shows a night, but you can only attend on alternate days?

 

Does any of this sound like a cruise you'd want to take?

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This will not be a permanent problem. The cruise lines have to figure out how to stay alive until there is a treatment and/or a vaccine. Once that happens I see no reason things can't go back to normal. In the interim there will probley only be enough interest to reactive a small number of ships doing closed loop trips. I don't believe the question is when will the lines return but rather when will the general public want to get on a ship with thousands of other people popping in and out of different countries/cities?

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Posted (edited)

Hi,

 

I have taken 94 cruises and obviously love cruising (started cruising in 1967 when I was two years old), but cruising in the new environment doesn't have much appeal to me. I don't think a cruise that requires me to wear a mask, be subjected to medical testing, constantly worry about becoming seriously ill, and face the risk of a long quarantine period sounds very enjoyable.

 

One of my favorite aspects of cruising (especially with Cunard) is interacting with other passengers. For me, cruising always has been a wonderful escape from my everyday life. I love such aspects as attending the interesting lectures, enjoying afternoon tea in the Queens Room, having dinner with seven interesting people, and going to the evening show. Unfortunately, I don't know how this is going to work in the present environment. I certainly wish for cruises to continue, but I am not optimistic that the new experience will be very enjoyable for me.

 

By the way, I was supposed to be boarding the Queen Victoria in Southampton today and the Queen Elizabeth in San Francisco on May 30 (in a Queens Grill suite). ☹️

 

Chuck

Edited by seacruise9

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Posted (edited)

FWIW, ships in the past did indeed operate with the passengers in segregated groups: First, Cabin, and Tourist and before that First, Second, and Third. 

 

I've seen some good-faith proposals on this board but none of them sound like a ship on which I would  sail.  One of the beautiful things about QM2 is the democracy of her public spaces which are accessible to everyone.   All of that would be gone or limited to Grills passengers only just like the "class system" of old.  Large tables in the dining room - gone.  Teak loungers - gone because they would otherwise have to be disinfected between each passenger use.  An evening stroll on the promenade deck?  Only if you walk back and forth between the barriers of your sector. 

 

There is an immense amount of world wide research on the life cycle, infectivity, and treatment for COVID-19.  We have to hope that there will shortly be a breakthrough that will make this disease a manageable inconvenience rather than a serious illness. 

 

 

Edited by BlueRiband

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49 minutes ago, BlueRiband said:

...

 

I've seen some good-faith proposals on this board but none of them sound like a ship on which I would  sail. ...

 

 

49 minutes ago, BlueRiband said:

 

There is an immense amount of world wide research on the life cycle, infectivity, and treatment for COVID-19.  We have to hope that there will shortly be a breakthrough that will make this disease a manageable inconvenience rather than a serious illness. 

 

 

 This is what will bring about a return to cruising: development of an effective vaccine and/or mutation of the virus to a less lethal strain - perhaps accompanied to broadly acquired natural immunity.  Under present conditions, it is hard to see how any cruising can resume:  masks and social distancing are not sufficient to bring back cruising.

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Social distancing on a cruise ship. How can we solve this? We arrive at the terminal, we go on board and have picture taken, we have then to get to the cabin  Avoid the lifts, go for the corridors keeping 2 metres apart - bit awkward as narrow. Social distancing could be very hard if no one has a solution. It may mean extra sittings in the restaurants and set times in the Grills. Bars and entertainment could possibly be achieved with care. Disembarking in a port could take some time - this could be the end of tender ports. When cruising returns Social Distancing is likely to be either an advised rule and/or a passenger(s) personal requirement. Has anyone any thoughts as to how this can be solved?

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Maybe I'm wrong - but has there been ANY virus on Cunard ships? I think they are doing the key thing right - not swapping staff between ships the way that say Princess does. 

 

That said I've been kinda shocked (only done one cruise ) - how many medical evacs happen, and how often. We had 2 on a 14 day cruise - and that was withing days of embarkation - maybe it was an accident and therefore bad luck - but it seems airlifts of very sick people is very common. 

 

I thought the dining and shows were segregated because of the different dining/show times. We often had empty seats around us in the theatre - because most people were too lazy to walk down a few rows to where there was space.   

 

I like the idea of the buffet being replaced with something more like a food court with food being served - I can see lots of advantages to that.  

 

There is talk in NZ that we may open the border to Australia before the end of the year - my pick is that QE will start an Australian-based season later in the year - maybe slightly earlier than planned? 

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If Covid-19 is still around at a low level but one cannot get travel insurance that covers it who is going to travel given the high cost of medical care on a cruise ship and abroad.  Cunard, and the wider travel industry, will need to address this issue.

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27 minutes ago, davyjones said:

If Covid-19 is still around at a low level but one cannot get travel insurance that covers it who is going to travel given the high cost of medical care on a cruise ship and abroad.  Cunard, and the wider travel industry, will need to address this issue.

By which you mean, health screening before booking, with passengers who already have medical conditions not allowed to travel, and enhanced medical facilities on board.

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5 minutes ago, IB2 said:

By which you mean, health screening before booking, with passengers who already have medical conditions not allowed to travel, and enhanced medical facilities on board.

This helps but doesn't solve the problem of visiting ports and coming back onboard. If testing were done at each port of call one could be stranded with no insurance and significant costs.  Somehow the travel industry need to cover this eventuality with a reasonably priced insurance product.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, IB2 said:

By which you mean, health screening before booking, with passengers who already have medical conditions not allowed to travel, and enhanced medical facilities on board.

 

I don't agree. The solution is the cruise line offering comprehensive travel insurance to ALL passengers at a sensible price with no exclusions other than pre-existing conditions at the time of booking. 

 

Edit: Just seen davyjones' reply which popped up when I had typed mine.

Edited by norm2002

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6 minutes ago, norm2002 said:

 

I don't agree. The solution is the cruise line offering comprehensive travel insurance to ALL passengers at a sensible price with no exclusions other than pre-existing conditions at the time of booking. 

 

Edit: Just seen davyjones' reply which popped up when I had typed mine.

The biggest single improvement the industry could make is to stop taking passengers who are already seriously ill.  Whilst we can have every sympathy with those who have serious medical conditions, they should be in hospital, or at home near a hospital, not travelling the world on the seven seas, expecting the cruise ship to pick up the consequences when their health turns south. The frequent helicopter evacuations from cruise ships shouldn’t be happening.

 

Your suggested exclusion of pre-existing conditions would of course prevent anyone from travelling who is already seriously ill.

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Posted (edited)

IF this vaccine being tested at Oxford University works effectively, and they are reasonably certain that it might. Cruising MIGHT resume at the very end of 2020 possibly in time for the legendary 26 night christmas crossing Southampton to Southampton Dec 15 to Jan 10th. Cunard would require all employees to be vaccinated of course but Oxford University reckons they can produce countless millions of doses and the formula would likely the property of the world as they have no interest in making mass profits from it so it could be produced in several locations very quickly.

 

If this vaccine which is the furthest ahead to my knowledge fails and another one further back in the development stage is successful you are probably looking at mid 2021. If no vaccine can be created maybe cruising never resumes and the cruise lines all go bust.

Edited by ace2542

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Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, IB2 said:

The biggest single improvement the industry could make is to stop taking passengers who are already seriously ill.  Whilst we can have every sympathy with those who have serious medical conditions, they should be in hospital, or at home near a hospital, not travelling the world on the seven seas, expecting the cruise ship to pick up the consequences when their health turns south. The frequent helicopter evacuations from cruise ships shouldn’t be happening.

 

Your suggested exclusion of pre-existing conditions would of course prevent anyone from travelling who is already seriously ill.

Please define "seriously ill" that can mean anything. A good number of passengers have some form of underlying conditions. If Cunard bans on mass due to health conditions they may as well just shut down. They can't afford the QM2 sailing to New York 30% full all the time. Not with the average on Cunard ship being late 60s to early 70s I would say.

Edited by ace2542

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1 hour ago, ace2542 said:

Please define "seriously ill" that can mean anything. A good number of passengers have some form of underlying conditions. If Cunard bans on mass due to health conditions they may as well just shut down. They can't afford the QM2 sailing to New York 30% full all the time. Not with the average on Cunard ship being late 60s to early 70s I would say.

It's not up to me to define it.  But the days when the cruise lines can take seriously ill passengers on board, many attached to various medical contraptions, leading to all-too-frequent medical evacuations, must be over.  To go travelling the world on a cruise ship, thousands of miles from home, must require a level of basic health and fitness.  That the Queen Mary 2 sailed back from Freemantle with nearly three hundred passengers who weren't fit enough even to be able to get on an aeroplane was patently absurd.

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2 hours ago, Host Hattie said:

There's an interesting article by the former Cunard Commodore here

 

A Cruise Liner Captain's perspective

Perhaps that is why Commodore Rynd was humorously know as Captain' don't touch me" for his well known dislike of shaking hands or other wise touching a passenger. Looking back, maybe he was correct. 

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47 minutes ago, IB2 said:

That the Queen Mary 2 sailed back from Freemantle with nearly three hundred passengers who weren't fit enough even to be able to get on an aeroplane was patently absurd.

Absurd in that it wasn’t true.

 

What was the first thing that a number of them did upon arriving at Southampton? They got on a plane.

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16 hours ago, lissie said:

I like the idea of the buffet being replaced with something more like a food court with food being served - I can see lots of advantages to that.  

 

There is talk in NZ that we may open the border to Australia before the end of the year - my pick is that QE will start an Australian-based season later in the year - maybe slightly earlier than planned? 

 

The buffet will possibly have to change temporarily or even permanently. The food court idea could be workable. 

 

Based on the latest news out of Australia and especially New Zealand, that may well be the location from where cruising could tentatively commence later in the year. 

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On 4/26/2020 at 1:17 AM, Colin_Cameron said:

If there's to be any sort of 'social distancing' enforced then stairways would have to be either 'up' or 'down'.

 

Corridors would have to be 'one-way'. Say, forward on the starboard side, aft on the portside. Of course the person who's cabin is 'only four doors along' will make an excuse for going the wrong way then the people 'only six doors along' will join them. By day-two the system has failed. Do you install one-way turnstiles in every corridor at every lift/elevator lobby?

 

You'd have to quadruple the number of lifts/elevators (not going to happen), or limit their use in some way. Maybe only those 'medically unfit to use stairs'? But we've seen how well that sort of thing works. Of course, you could do away with them altogether and anyone incapable of getting from deck 2 to deck 13 a dozen times a day under their own steam isn't allowed on. That would certainly help in cutting the numbers onboard.

 

The number of people in the theatre would have to be cut to, at most, a quarter of current capacity. Assuming most people travel as couples, you could have two people, two empty seats, two people, etc. But you'd only be able to use, at most, every second row. So, four shows a night, but you can only attend on alternate days?

 

Does any of this sound like a cruise you'd want to take?

None of this would be implemented, in my opinion. No cruising until a vaccine. Then cruise as normal with a few exceptions..buffet...a few othersz

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Host Hattie said:

There's an interesting article by the former Cunard Commodore here

 

A Cruise Liner Captain's perspective

 

I would trust Commodore Rynd unquestionnably the problem is that mariners do not run the cruise lines.

Edited by resistk

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