Jump to content
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips
,

SS Future Re-Open Plan: Timing, Testing Needs??!!


TLCOhio
 Share

Recommended Posts

59 minutes ago, Jimmyke said:

the antigen test is only 24 hours max in advance ?

That is true for US departures. I think for European sailings it is 3 days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

Those pictures sadden me.  It's not the New Zealand that I saw.  Again, I am thankful that I did the traveling that I did when I did it.  I wonder if the sheep feeding on such grass will impact the quality of meat that they provide? 

 

In order to offer some added "evidence"  and perspective that things were not all that bad and brown in New Zealand's North Island from early 2020, below is an additional visual.   It was taken near Coromandel overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  You can see a little brown there in the background, plus also lots of green from the trees, blue in the water, etc.  Loved the green-lipped mussels that are super fresh there, great Sauvignon blanc wine, etc.  Excellent question as to whether that brown grass affects the quality of the meat from the grazing sheep.  Any expert opinions or good guesses?

 

Appreciate the response from CJANDH as to Jimmyke's question of "antigen test is only 24 hours max in advance?".  Good, helpful info/response of: "That is true for US departures. I think for European sailings it is 3 days."

 

Great sharing!!

 

This thread is now over 160,000 views.  Excellent involvement, questions, comments, interesting insights, etc.  Keep it coming.  

 

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise from Copenhagen, July 2010, to the top of Europe. Scenic visuals with key tips. Live/blog at 243,843 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

 

From early 2020 in New Zealand's North Island, below is an additional visual as "proof".  Taken near Coromandel overlooking the South Pacific Ocean, this verifies that we were not suffering!!  Then, there is NZ's great food, wine, etc.! Much to enjoy in New Zealand.:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see this visual larger/better!)

CMB_8193.thumb.jpeg.2ed17d219f3a30430fbd9577a4ff90fd.jpeg

Edited by TLCOhio
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/26/2022 at 2:23 PM, TLCOhio said:

 

Good luck to those with their summer cruising.  Great comment and follow-up from JP.  We can hope for the best, but it will clearly be different and evolving.  

 

From this top newspaper in New Zealand, they have this headline: International tourism is coming back, but a return to 4 million visitors is years away, and some say that's a good thing looking at their re-opening after their long, long shut-down  for tourism. 

 

Here some of their story highlights:No one is pretending there will be a swift return to the 3.9 million annual international arrivals pre-pandemic, and some think that is no bad thing, including Tourism Minister Stuart Nash, who says we cannot afford to fall back into our old ways.  While Australians will skip across the Tasman to visit friends and family and ski over winter, the reality is that we won't see many long-haul US and European travellers until summer, says Tourism New Zealand chief executive Rene de Monchy.  'It gives the industry a runway to scale up, but it will be a challenge ... how many rooms can I open or how many boat trips can I do will be a bit dictated by the workforce.'  After the border opening announcement, online searches for international flights to New Zealand jumped 41 per cent, more than half of them Australians, and there is no guarantee all those searches will translate into bums on seats.  Tourism Export council chief executive Lynda Keene says overseas agents are cautious about booking New Zealand this coming summer because of uncertainty over the border and whether it will remain open, but bookings for the following summer are strong.  'We’re not going to open the door when we reach October 1, and boom we’re back, it’s going to be a slow rebuilding of the market ... if we can get back to pre-Covid numbers by 2025, 2026, that would-be really encouraging.'  One of the handbrakes on achieving that is China, which was our second-largest market after Australia, and many of the inbound tour operators who serviced it have disappeared.

 

Full story at:

https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/128130596/international-tourism-is-coming-back-but-a-return-to-4-million-visitors-is-years-away-and-some-say-thats-a-good-thing

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Early 2020 (right before Covid shut-down), many visuals and details from New Zealand/South Pacific in going from Auckland to French Polynesia.  This includes Bora Bora, Fiji, NZ experiences, etc:  Live/blog;

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2735732-live-terryohio-“new”-regatta-south-pacificnz-pix’s/

I will be in NZ in 5 weeks and let you know!

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

Loved the green-lipped mussels that are super fresh there, great Sauvignon blanc wine

 

4 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

Much to enjoy in New Zealand.:

 

One could start a debate about which is better the New Zealand Mussels or the PEI Mussels.  I think both are delicious!  Did you say Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand?  My gosh, are there any better Sauvignon Blancs?  Villa Maria is my favorite.  

 

Much to enjoy?  How about dinner at sunset at the Sky Tower in Auckland with a glass or two of Sauvignon Blanc and an entree of New Zealand Lamb?  Or a cruise through Fjordland National Park's Dusky and Doubtful Sounds and Milford Sound.  Or a visit to the Otago Region of the country?  It's a friendly, beautiful, and scenic country!  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

One could start a debate about which is better the New Zealand Mussels or the PEI Mussels.  I think both are delicious!  Did you say Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand?  My gosh, are there any better Sauvignon Blancs?  Villa Maria is my favorite.  It's a friendly, beautiful, and scenic country!  

 

YES, great debate for the best mussels.  My strong vote would be for the green-lipped mussels we super enjoyed in New Zealand in the village of Coromandel.  Need some evidence?  See below.  On wine, below are four of the bottles we purchased in Auckland to take on board for enjoying on our early 2020 Oceania sailing to French Polynesia.  At home right now in our refrigerator is a bottle of Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc.  Will enjoy some of that wine this evening!! Appreciate all of these great comments and follow-ups.  

 

From the New York Times early this afternoon, they had this headline: F.D.A. Authorizes Second Boosters for Those 50 and Older and Some Immunocompromised People with these highlights:Federal regulators authorized second booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus vaccines on Tuesday for everyone 50 and older. The move came after the Biden administration decided it should seek to bolster waning immunity in older Americans in case the virus sweeps the nation again in the coming months.  The Food and Drug Administration also authorized a second booster from the two vaccine makers for individuals with certain immune deficiencies, such as those who have undergone solid organ transplants. Those 12 and older can get Pfizer’s shot while immunocompromised adults can pick between Pfizer’s or Moderna’s.  The agency said the additional shot can be given at least four months after a first booster for both for those 50 and older, and for those with weakened immune systems.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to issue advice on who should consider getting the shot as early as Tuesday afternoon.  The F.D.A. made the decision with scant data, as an interim measure to strengthen protection for older Americans and others considered especially vulnerable until the fall. At that point, federal health officials say everyone likely will need another shot. There is some hope that by then, scientists will have developed vaccines that work better against the variants that have emerged over the past four months.

 

Will this fourth shot be required by Silversea and other cruise lines during the coming weeks?

 

Full story at:

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/03/29/world/covid-19-mandates-cases-vaccine 

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio 

 

Sydney to NZ/Auckland Adventure, live/blog 2014 sampling/details with many exciting visuals and key highlights.  On page 23, post #571, see a complete index for all of the pictures, postings.  Now at 235,716 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

 

Below are four of the NZ wines we purchased in Auckland.  This includes one from Villa Maria.  Super enjoy the Jules Taylor brand, etc.!!  Second are some of the green-lipped NZ mussels as served in Coromandel.:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these visuals larger/better!)

CMC_8544.thumb.jpeg.b10a887322163556217f8f95a5d92a67.jpeg

 

CMB_8211.thumb.jpeg.1f5f6aef9303953a6680ade8170a60d5.jpeg

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

Below are four of the NZ wines we purchased in Auckland.  This includes one from Villa Maria.  Super enjoy the Jules Taylor brand, etc.!!

 

Not familiar with Jules Taylor or the Church Road label.  Greystone, yes, I have drunk that; very good.  There is another label whose name keeps escaping me.  It's a bit more expensive than Villa Maria, but, is as good, if not better.  It is available locally.  Is the Jules Taylor available in Columbus?  

 

3 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

At home right now in our refrigerator is a bottle of Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc

 

My refrigerator has one as well.

 

3 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

Second are some of the green-lipped NZ mussels 

 

Well, they certainly do look good with an ample sized piece of bread to sop up the liquid.  

 

3 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to issue advice on who should consider getting the shot as early as Tuesday afternoon.  The F.D.A. made the decision with scant data, as an interim measure to strengthen protection for older Americans and others considered especially vulnerable until the fall. At that point, federal health officials say everyone likely will need another shot.

 

Could it be that some of the bureaucrats are changing "their transmissions" from Low into Drive?  Let's try to get "ahead of the curve" seems a better response to another round of Covid than an overly cautious approach.  A fifth shot needed?  Tell me when and where and I will be there.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

Will this fourth shot be required by Silversea and other cruise lines during the coming weeks?

 

No, not a chance. Heck, they didn't even change their vaccination requirements to require the third shot. And unless and until there's medical data to move the fourth shot from "available" to "strongly encouraged" or "required" by many countries, I don't think there's any chance it will be required by the cruise lines.

 

It will be interesting to see if many countries will require travelers to be fully vaccinated —or make entry easier for fully vaccinated travelers —  whether they will adopt the "fully vaccinated" standard of having had a most recent shot within 6 or 8 or 9 months.

 

I'm already trying to figure out our own strategy. We have a land trip in Italy in early October, and a Silversea Antarctica cruise in December on the books, so when's the optimal time for us to get our next booster shot? If we get it in the near future, as we're now allowed to do, its effectiveness may be largely diminished by December — and who knows if we'll be allowed to get another shot in 6 months. So we'll probably wait on shot #4 until at least summer, to try to get boosted up before our fall and winter trips. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We don't have the choice in the UK. Over 75s and health compromised invited now. Over 50s in the Autumn. So as someone fit & healthy in her mid 60s I can't get mine until Autumn.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The US just went to 4th jab everyone over 50 after 4 months, which we will get.  My guess the age is so low is because people have stopped getting them and there are many available.   The Government said its 50 because many people over 50 get serious illness, that wasn't the case 15 months ago when they came out it was 65.  

 

Does the 4th jab really help (Moderna/Pfizer)? anyone know?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So to answer a couple of questions raised in the last couple of days.

First the upmarket NZ wine brand is Cloudy Bay. Their Sauvignon blanc is regarded very well but much higher price than the others so to us not value.

 

Second mussels. Both of us do not like the green lipped mussels. Those from PEI were much nicer but of course we like Spring Bay mussels from Tasmania.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, drron29 said:

So to answer a couple of questions raised in the last couple of days.

First the upmarket NZ wine brand is Cloudy Bay. Their Sauvignon blanc is regarded very well but much higher price than the others so to us not value.

 

Second mussels. Both of us do not like the green lipped mussels. Those from PEI were much nicer but of course we like Spring Bay mussels from Tasmania.

I have to wonder about how a thread about re-opening can move to NZ mussels but it is what it is! The wonders of the internet.  Nevertheless, I agree with you on the green-lip. Too tough!  PEI or Tasmania leave them for dead!

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/30/2022 at 6:20 PM, worldtraveller99 said:

The question Clodia is - when in the autumn? We are, all being well, going on a Rhine river cruise at the end of November, so I hope we can both get the 4th jab a good 2 weeks before then. That should be ok I think.

I would imagine they will start inviting in September or October. They tend to do it in age order, so 70+ first, then 65+ etc. It's no good cruise companies requiring the 4th booster until their customers are actually able to have it; the NHS doesn't allow you to jump the queue though I managed to for my 3rd booster by attending a vaccination centre rather than waiting for Godot/sorry the NHS.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/1/2022 at 3:35 AM, drron29 said:

So to answer a couple of questions raised in the last couple of days.

First the upmarket NZ wine brand is Cloudy Bay. Their Sauvignon blanc is regarded very well but much higher price than the others so to us not value.  Second mussels. Both of us do not like the green lipped mussels. Those from PEI were much nicer but of course we like Spring Bay mussels from Tasmania.

 

Appreciate ALL of these great comments and follow-ups.  Yes, some of these wine and mussel sharing are a little off-topic, BUT, during this period waiting for a full and complete re-opening, we have needed to discuss a little for what we have been missing during this period waiting.  Soon, maybe, we will be fully back to this new form of "normal".  Hopefully!!!  

 

Reading about the ill-fated Silversea February sailing to Antarctica is a reminder that we still have a ways to go.  We want to do Antarctica, but am concerned about these types of outbreaks that would ruin and/or limit the experiences we expect and desire.  

 

Agree with Dr. Ron from Australia that Cloudy Bay is a very good wine, but a little higher in price compared to some other excellent options.  As always, getting the best "value" has its trade-offs and questions.  It's fun testing and trying the various options of wine.  

 

Yesterday, I got my 4th shot for the Covid vaccine.  All went well.  Arm a little sore yesterday, but nearly 100% normal this am.  Can type fine.  That's the major question, right?

 

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Venice: Loving It & Why??!!  Is one of your future desires or past favorites? See these many visual samples for its great history and architecture.  This posting is now at 94,860 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1278226

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, RetiredandTravel said:

 

Appreciate the posting of this key NY Times story by RetiredandTravel on the 4th vaccine shot.  Agree with rkacruiser that "From what little I know, a 4th jab does not hurt and may help".  Very good comment and follow-up.  Agree!!

 

From that Times story, here was a key quote/item that I found of interest: "The most compelling data comes from an Israeli study that found that adults older than 60 who got a fourth dose were 78 percent less likely to die of Covid than those who got only three shots. The study was posted online last week and has not yet been reviewed for publication in a scientific journal."

 

From the below linked business journal publication in South Florida yesterday, they had this headline: CDC nixes warning for cruise travel as bookings rebound with these highlights:The U.S. Centers for Disease Control on Wednesday removed its Travel Health Notice for cruising for the first time since March 2020.  The move comes as South Florida-based cruise companies – which are among the region's largest employers – prepare to ramp back up to full capacity. Cruise bookings are already showing signs of a strong comeback, according to AAA.  With the CDC's restrictions out of the way, Doral-based Carnival Corp., Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean can come closer to recouping billions of dollars lost during the global health crisis.

 

Here are some additional reporting details that might be of interest: "Carnival Corp., the world's largest cruise company, has 66 ships currently in service and anticipates it will have all 94 of its vessels sailing by June. It detailed a $1.9 billion loss in its most recent quarterly report.  Norwegian reported a $1.6 billion loss for the quarter ended Dec. 31. At the time, the company was operating at 75% capacity, carrying 230,000 travelers since its July 2021 relaunch. The company has a fleet of 28 ships across its three brands.  Royal Caribbean had returned 50 of its 61 ships to operation across its five brands by the end of 2021. The company had embarked 1.3 million travelers during the year. It sustained a loss of $1.4 billion for the quarter ended Dec. 31."

 

If the major cruise lines have 100% of their remaining ship back in service, that is good.  BUT, how full will each of these ships be?  And, how will they do for testing and dealing with any infection flare-ups such as happened with Silversea in Antarctica in February?  Inquiring minds always want to know more!!

 

Full story at:

https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2022/04/01/cdc-nixes-warning-for-cruise-travel.html

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio   

 

Amazon River-Caribbean 2015 adventure live/blog starting in Barbados. Many visuals from this amazing river and Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, San Juan, etc.).  Now at 69,615 views:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

 Yes, some of these wine and mussel sharing are a little off-topic, BUT, during this period waiting for a full and complete re-opening, we have needed to discuss a little for what we have been missing during this period waiting.  

 

For me, often the thread drift that occurs at times provides more interest than the original topic.  

 

8 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

Agree with Dr. Ron from Australia that Cloudy Bay is a very good wine, but a little higher in price compared to some other excellent options.  As always, getting the best "value" has its trade-offs and questions.  It's fun testing and trying the various options of wine.

 

Cloudy Bay is a very good wine, but, according to my palate, is no better than Villa Maria.  I needed to visit my wine store this afternoon and forgot to do shopping among the New Zealand brands of Sauvignon Blanc.  I was in a hurry and grabbed what I like. 

 

8 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

Yesterday, I got my 4th shot for the Covid vaccine.

 

Mine is scheduled for this coming Monday.

 

7 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

BUT, how full will each of these ships be?  And, how will they do for testing and dealing with any infection flare-ups such as happened with Silversea in Antarctica in February?  Inquiring minds always want to know more!!

 

Remember the old TV game show:  The $64,000 question?  The questions you pose would now be worthy of an inflation induced amount of how much for the winner?  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

For me, often the thread drift that occurs at times provides more interest than the original topic.  Cloudy Bay is a very good wine, but, according to my palate, is no better than Villa Maria. Mine is scheduled for this coming Monday.  Remember the old TV game show:  The $64,000 question?  The questions you pose would now be worthy of an inflation induced amount of how much for the winner?  

 

Appreciate these very good comments and follow-ups from our neighbor in SW Ohio.  Good luck Monday with your second booster.  As mentioned, I got my shot on Friday, April Fools Day.  Still surviving!!  

 

From the Washington Post yesterday, they had this headline: Many say they’re confused about whether, when to get second booster" with this sub-headline: "Federal health officials said older Americans could get the coronavirus shot but stopped short of recommending it.

 

Here are some of the story highlights: “A blizzard of questions from bewildered patients, friends and even other doctors have inundated Maryland primary care doctor Kavita Patel in the last few days, since the Biden administration authorized a fourth dose of coronavirus vaccine for millions of Americans 50 and older.
Some sought advice on whether to try to time their fourth shots to the next wave of infections. Others were frantic about getting a dose immediately. A few younger than 50 but with chronic health problem wondered why they had been left out.
But this time around, the federal government offered little detailed guidance about who should get the additional dose and when. Instead, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that immunocompromised and older Americans could get a second booster while stopping short of recommending they do so — a change from some previous decisions regarding coronavirus vaccines. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said those most likely to benefit fall into two categories: those 65 and older; or anyone 50 and older with underlying medical conditions who are at higher risk for severe disease from covid-19.”

 

Here is more from their reporting: "Risk varies widely from person to person, and doctors and patients should have the opportunity to make individual choices about fourth shots based on a slew of factors, including their age, health, the level of infection where they live and the number of months since their last shot. (For the immunocompromised, this could mean a fifth vaccine dose.)  The new guidelines come amid a series of confusing and conflicting messages on booster shots since last summer, when federal officials and outside experts fiercely debated whether they were needed. As the omicron wave began, federal officials strongly recommended them and relied on boosters as a critical tool to protect people."

 

Full story at:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2022/04/02/fourth-booster-shot-confusion/

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

AFRICA?!!?: Fun, interesting visuals, plus travel details from this early 2016 live/blog. At 52,497 views. Featuring Cape Town, South Africa’s coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2310337

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

From the New York Times Travel Section this morning, they had this headline: Strikes, Inflation, Now War: Uncertainty Escalates for Europe’s Travel Season" with this sub-headline: "As pandemic restrictions lifted, the travel industry was looking forward to a strong summer season. But they may be disappointed.

 

Here are some of the story highlights: “Russia invaded Ukraine and brought new international bookings to a grinding halt. In the first week of the war alone, airline bookings within Europe fell by 23 percent and trans-Atlantic bookings to European countries fell by 13 percent, according to the travel data company ForwardKeys.  Many of the European countries including Spain, Greece, Italy and Croatia that are heavily dependent on tourism had hoped to start the travel season early to make up for lost revenue from the pandemic. That’s now looking unlikely. So far, the worst-hit destinations are those in proximity to Ukraine, including Poland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia and Hungary, which saw a decrease in bookings between 30 to 50 percent. Many travel operators in those countries are swept up in efforts to help refugees fleeing Russian forces, unable to contemplate what impact the war might have on their livelihoods.  Across the continent, damage is already being felt with rising fuel costs, supply chain issues, inflation and labor strikes. Energy prices in Italy have surged in recent months, worrying hotel operators. Truck drivers in Spain have been on strike for more than 10 days, causing sporadic food and goods shortages. Hotels and restaurants are scrambling to find affordable replacements for key supplies like wheat and sunflower seed oil, of which 75 to 80 percent of the world’s supply comes from Russian and Ukraine, according to the United Nations World Food Program.

 

While much of this travel uncertainty in Europe impacts land travel there, it is bound to have its affects for cruise travel in and around Europe.  Reactions?  Agree or disagree?

 

Full story at:

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/01/travel/europe-tourism-ukraine-war.html

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Athens & Greece: Many visuals, details from two visits in a city with great history, culture and architecture.  Now at 44,005 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1101008

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/30/2022 at 7:54 PM, rkacruiser said:

From what little I know, a 4th jab does not hurt and may help.  

 

But there are questions about timing if you're aiming to travel later in the year. We have a land trip to Italy booked for October, and a Silversea cruise to Antarctica booked for December (hopefully this third time, after cancellations in 2020 and 2020, will be the charm!) So when should we get our fourth shots? If we get them now, and their effectiveness wanes over time like the previous shots, by October (7 months) and December (9 months) might mean we'd have pretty diminished protection. Will we be able to get a fifth shot (3rd booster) in another 5-6 months? Who knows? So as of now, we're thinking we should hold off on getting a 4th shot now, and wait a few months so our boost will come closer to our travels later in the year. Or are we increasing our risks now by not getting our second booster as soon as possible? Damned if you do; damned if you don't! 😉

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

My most recent cruise was on the strikingly beautiful but uncomfortably deserted and  empty Silver Moon in January to Panama Canal (I wrote a long review on CC). Although  I have another previously booked cruise coming up in May and a third in September (on other lines, though I also canceled some), after my experience on Moon during Omicron plus dealing with Crystal bankruptcy losses (which means loss of thousands in cruise credit), I am not keen to book more until we have a period of at least six months of cruise line stability, and  travel rules that are less onerous.

 This is because there seems to be *no foreseeable end in sight*  to the ongoing headaches and discomforts stemming from Covid era travel, and especially cruising, despite most governments having finally faced reality and declared that they will be more concerned with counting hospital occupancy rates than counting Covid cases. We've done several cruises since the restart, and though we had enjoyable periods, they were tarnished by the misc. restrictions on flights, on ships,  on excursions, and in ports. I know we are not alone in our reluctance to increase cruising.  Indeed, there are some here who still haven't  done a single cruise since Covid started (though perhaps for different reasons), much as they love it. 

 

Here we are, more than 2 years since many of us were unceremoniously sent home mid-cruise, vaxxed and boosted 4x (with bad side effects after #3 and #4), and  we *still* can't realistically  plan on simply taking an uncanceled, unmasked reliable business flight across the pond.  We can't count on going through passport control in 30 minutes or less, much less on spending 2-3 days in an embarkation city sightseeing mask-free  (instead of looking for local Covid testing sites open on a Sunday ).  We can't count on leisurely boarding at lunchtime and enjoying a fully mask-free, non-distanced cruise with a vibrant atmosphere, along with a myriad of uncanceled and unmasked excursion offerings, *and* near 0 quarantine risks.   We certainly cannot count on good landside customer service from cruise lines or airlines when things go wrong or we want adjustments, as they continue to blame their subpar service on "Covid" (though lately "supply chain" and "Ukraine" have entered the blaming jargon).

 

A few weeks ago the CDC lowered declared cruising "risk" level from 4 to 2 (unclear why it was ever raised to 4, since *vaxxed cruisers* were not dropping dead even with the more severe delta), and it made many prior ship restrictions "voluntary" . It seemed there was light at the end of the tunnel for a return to normality  --  but  then almost all ships signed up for  "voluntary" restrictions, leading to only minor loosening of rules.  Meanwhile port destination authorities still do whatever they want, short notice,  when cases increase even if hospitals are not overflowing  (be it indoor or even outdoor masking requirements in some places, and may require extra testing at will).  They continue to understaff immigration  booths (such as in Lisbon with its recent 2 hours wait in suffocating heat, etc), close lounges, lower the time allowed for tests before entry, cut hotel service, and often now require even less breathable masks (e.g., N95) in certain areas.

 

So the bottomline is we still have to deal with ongoing boosters, worry about pre-cruise testing timings for different countries, plus pre-disembarkation/flight home testing, worry about impromptu new overseas rules that change our prior plans, and deal with frequently canceled and way more expensive flights.  We also are expected to continue to 'face' uncomfortable crew on hot days as they mumble behind their still mandatory masks, in half empty dining rooms, and see other pax look at us as potential disease vectors because they know that if we get infected, it's off to quarantine we go.  Cruise lines can change their "rules" very short notice (as they did before our Panama cruise, which resulted in requirements for masking in the gym and masking on hot outdoor hikes), with no commensurate compensation. 

 

My guess is that people who want to cruise just to get away from bad weather in their home towns, and those who are less keen on excursions and just want to lounge and libate, and those who don't have to fly very far to get to where they are going, are more likely to be fine with the status quo for years to come.  But I'm not sure this will be financially viable long term for the cruise lines -- it will depend on what proportion of cruisers are like DH and me, and what proportion are fine with just a deck chair, some drinks, and a good dinner and don't care about lines, loss of money, and ongoing testing rule changes by cruise lines and countries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Catlover54
Typo
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of the TripInsuranceStore.com - November 2022
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...