Jump to content

New Cruising Normal.....


Recommended Posts

I already hate that phrase, but I can’t think of a better one to use. We do not know what aspects of cruising will be changed, but we know it will be and will probably be an evolving situation for a year or so. 

 

One of the aspects of cruising that draws people back year after year is the traditions, the feeling of being home, the fact that you know what you are getting. What changes do you feel you can deal with, what is a step too far for you?

 

Are you willing to lose some aspects in order to carry on

Are you willing to pay more to cruise in the future? 

Are you so worried that you are waiting to see what happens before you book? 

 

Personally I think some of the changes that will need to be made include possibly ones that really should have been dealt with a long time ago by P and O (sorry my ampersand isn’t working)

 

- Buffet overhaul (it’s awful, it needs to go or be changed hugely)

- Muster (More for big ships - Britannia was awful for example - a real pinch point for virus transmission, however Aurora wasn’t too bad but still a lot of people in a smallish space, especially once it is over)

- Embarkation/disembarkation (big ship problem again)

- inside cabins (I don’t mind them, but I’d rather not be quarantined in one)

- Tendering 

- Shared Tables

 

I am sure the final 30 or so days of the world cruise on Arcadia this year give a good idea as to what we can expect and also cruise companies I am sure were looking at it with interested eyes. I wonder the capacity of Arcadia during those last days and if that will be used as a model. 

 

At what point is it that you read about the changes and experiences of passengers that you say nope, this is no longer what I will enjoy?  

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is something that does not appeal to us, though we  have booked a 5 night cruise with another cruise company from our local port for next July in the hope all may be returning to "normal".  If not we assume we will be keen to get away by then, so a cruise with every day in port would not be such a big problem, though we would expect an itinerary change as two of the ports are tenders and that does not sound practical.  I am wondering if we would be able to just stroll around as we wish in ports as we have previously though, or whether some restrictions will be in place - especially in smaller ports.

 

Our only booked holiday prior to that is a 4 week package to Spain in November and that is not appealing much either, though we may want some sun by then.  This link shows EU safety guidelines for flights which will include the UK until the end of the year, so I suspect there are unlikely to be any changes after that until the virus is less of a problem and guidelines can be relaxed.  It would also affect fly cruises this winter - if there are any fly cruises. 

 

 https://www.easa.europa.eu/sites/default/files/dfu/EASA-ECDC_COVID-19_Operational guidelines for management of passengers_final.pdf

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

To answer the question posed, I felt it useful to consider why I take cruise holidays. Mainly because I like to travel, to visit new places and to revisit others. Cruising allows me to do this without the need to unpack in every new location. But almost as important is the social element of cruising. As a solo traveller, it allows me to dine in company at shared tables with usually interesting people, and to socialise with fellow passengers in the ships bars etc. If the "new normal" meant that these latter pleasures were not available, the attractions of cruising would be greatly diminished. I see no attraction in a "holiday" on which I must remain at a minimum distance from other passengers and possibly dine alone. I would be unlikely to bother under those circumstances.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly!

We were late finding cruising but, having done so, found it to be our perfect holiday.  Pleasant, simple, the right balance between accessibility and up-marketness, a fabulous balance between adventure and being cosseted.

 

The envisaged restrictions would take away all the pleasure - even if cruising could go ahead.  I simply see too many obstacles, from check-in and muster, through massing together for meals and entertainment, to finding ports willing to accept 2 or 3,000 potential virus carriers.

 

I can only see cruising to foreign ports resuming if a vaccine is developed and widely available.  Some would say that makes me a pessimist but I’d say I’m a pragmatist

 

btw, Cameron Mackintosh says today that he does not anticipate West End theatre reopening until 2021.  I think theatres present fewer challenges than cruise liners

Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Eddie99 said:

Exactly!

We were late finding cruising but, having done so, found it to be our perfect holiday.  Pleasant, simple, the right balance between accessibility and up-marketness, a fabulous balance between adventure and being cosseted.

 

The envisaged restrictions would take away all the pleasure - even if cruising could go ahead.  I simply see too many obstacles, from check-in and muster, through massing together for meals and entertainment, to finding ports willing to accept 2 or 3,000 potential virus carriers.

 

I can only see cruising to foreign ports resuming if a vaccine is developed and widely available.  Some would say that makes me a pessimist but I’d say I’m a pragmatist

 

btw, Cameron Mackintosh says today that he does not anticipate West End theatre reopening until 2021.  I think theatres present fewer challenges than cruise liners

I agree Eddie. We only started cruising after I took early retirement and until a vaccine is readily available the restrictions likely to be needed to make things safe would take away many of the aspects that make it such an enjoyable holiday for us. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

We also came to cruising late. 

 

We love it for exactly the same reasons as Eddie 99 and agree with the sentiments he expressed re future cruises.

 

  I'm desperate to go but must be sensible and wait until the time and safety are right.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Almost all my cruises with P&O are as a solo traveller and I completely concur with Denarius' post. Without being able to freely mix with other pax, I don't see it being a pleasurable or fun experience. On other lines, I often sail with a cruise buddy but the 2 different friends I sail with both enjoy Club Dining on a large table. 

I reserve the right to change my mind but I don't see me cruising until social distancing comes to an end.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree totally. We don't want to spend thousands on a cruise holiday where social distancing is in operation.

We still have five P&O cruises booked between Dec 20 and Feb 22 - obviously only deposits paid.

First decision to be made by Aug 31st, so still some way off for us.

As posted before, still pinning my hopes on the Oxford vaccine (or others worldwide), which if successful, could be a game changer. Normally a pessimist, I live in hope!

Link to post
Share on other sites

As a solo cruiser I have to agree with Denarius about the dining aspect. I love sharing a table with others and it’s one of the reasons I enjoy cruising so much. I can eat alone at home so I certainly don’t want to be doing it on holiday. Hopefully by the time October comes things will have been eased enough and steps put in place to overcome some of the challenges ahead. I’m still staying positive and will just see what happens. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, ToxM said:

 What changes do you feel you can deal with, what is a step too far for you?

 

Are you willing to lose some aspects in order to carry on

Are you willing to pay more to cruise in the future? 

Are you so worried that you are waiting to see what happens before you book?

 

 

Same question keeps getting asked on thread after thread.  It's almost as if cruise lines are clueless and floundering and desperate to get feedback from cruisers as to what they will accept.

 

Here's the deal

 

I don't care what changes are made, I don't care if everything is just the same as it was before.

 

I will very happily take my chances with the virus.  I will very happily go on-board with no social distancing in place

 

What I WILL NOT DO however is step on-board if the cruise line / Carnival policy for dealing with cases of COVID-19 is to quarantine every passenger to their cabins for 2 weeks and/or to dump everyone off the ship at the nearest port and fly them home.   No way.  No how.  

 

This remains, even months and months after the Diamond Princess debarcle, the single biggest issue facing the industry.

 

It's an issue they have little control of because they appear to be totally beholden to the so-called world health authorities like the WHO and CDC.

 

A compromise solution MUST be found to this problem.   Cruising simply can not continue on the basis of Diamond Princess protocols, people will simply refuse to cruise.

 

I have still not seen a single suggestion from any cruise line about how they propose to deal with on-board cases of COVID-19. 

 

How long are they going to stay in hiding on this singular and most important issue?

 

Everything else pales into insignificance.

 

It's the huge elephant in the room they keep ignoring

 

But it's not going away

 

Tell me, in writing, that if there's a case of COVID-19 on-board that you will put that person off the ship immediately and leave everyone else to just get on with their holiday.   Tell me also that other countries/ports will still allow the ship to dock in that circumstance and if the ship isn't going to be allowed to dock anywhere for the remainder of the cruise then tell me in writing I will get compensation for every port missed.

 

I wrote to P&O very early on in the crisis with a list of such simple questions.

 

All I got back was evasive non-committal answers despite going back and forth a few times.   Simply not good enough.

 

It's not acceptable to make the customer take all the COVID-19 risk and get no compensation.

 

Ball is in their court.   If they want future custom, then stop hiding and deal with the elephant in the room.

 

.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, KnowTheScore said:

Tell me, in writing, that if there's a case of COVID-19 on-board that you will put that person off the ship immediately and leave everyone else to just get on with their holiday

In the scenario you describe, the person with CV19 will potentially have infected hundreds of other passengers and crew.  Regardless of the protocols you may wish P&O,  or indeed any other cruise line to have in place,  at the end of the day,  the protocols are irrelevant. No country will just allow a cruise line to dump a CV19 patient in port, unless they are seriously ill. And no country is going to allow a ship with a case of CV19 to disgorge hundred of potential carriers.

Your wishes are totally unrealistic, and no company can put into writing guarantees over which they have no control.

Looks like you are not going to be cruising for the next few years!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The attached promotional material from Costa, shows, I think, how Carnival are trying to adapt to CV19. 

https://www.costacruises.eu/cruising-soon-again/safety-above-all.html

The key item that caught my eye, was that ship capacities were to be reduced,  which I think we all felt was inevitable. It will be interesting to see how Carnival decide which customers are going to be excluded. There are going to be a lot of unhappy people out there, but realistically, I do not see any other option.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting the link.  Sheds some light on what we can expect when cruising restarts.

 

One thing that crossed my mind was the shows (if they have any!).  Why not show them live on the cabin's TV.  At least those who can't get into the venue early enough to get seats can watch from their cabins.  Indeed some pax might prefer to watch the show from their cabin.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Son of Anarchy said:

Thanks for posting the link.  Sheds some light on what we can expect when cruising restarts.

 

One thing that crossed my mind was the shows (if they have any!).  Why not show them live on the cabin's TV.  At least those who can't get into the venue early enough to get seats can watch from their cabins.  Indeed some pax might prefer to watch the show from their cabin.  

Part of the attraction of cruising is to watch live shows,  even if sometimes they are not that great!  I can't see much attraction watching the shows on a crappy little television,  especially in a pokey inside cabin. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the link

 

It doesn’t sound the greatest, does it?  And likely to be considerably more expensive.  Anyone with a financial brain like to proffer a potential/likely % increase in fares?

Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, wowzz said:

The attached promotional material from Costa, shows, I think, how Carnival are trying to adapt to CV19. 

https://www.costacruises.eu/cruising-soon-again/safety-above-all.html

The key item that caught my eye, was that ship capacities were to be reduced,  which I think we all felt was inevitable. It will be interesting to see how Carnival decide which customers are going to be excluded. There are going to be a lot of unhappy people out there, but realistically, I do not see any other option.

Not what I would call fun.

On the question of whose bookings would be cancelled, logic dictates that these would be those who had paid the lowest fares. Operating with reduced capacity, they will need to maximise revenue per passenger. On the other hand, they could well ask for volunteers. I suspect that there may well be many people who would prefer not to cruise under these conditions!

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Denarius said:

Not what I would call fun.

On the question of whose bookings would be cancelled, logic dictates that these would be those who had paid the lowest fares. Operating with reduced capacity, they will need to maximise revenue per passenger. On the other hand, they could well ask for volunteers. I suspect that there may well be many people who would prefer not to cruise under these conditions!

 

I think it would be inside cabins first as if there is a need for people to quarantine themselves, access to balconies is essential.

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Denarius said:

Not what I would call fun.

On the question of whose bookings would be cancelled, logic dictates that these would be those who had paid the lowest fares. Operating with reduced capacity, they will need to maximise revenue per passenger. On the other hand, they could well ask for volunteers. I suspect that there may well be many people who would prefer not to cruise under these conditions!

About 20 years ago I turned up at Heathrow to fly to Copenhagen, and at check in was offered over £100 cash to volunteer to go on the following flight.  Don't know what the rules were re denied boarding back in those days, but presumably it was cheaper for them to give me the £100+ than compensate someone who they had to deny boarding to.

 

Given PandO's economic situation, I can't see them compensating anyone if they cancel their cruise in order to reduce capacity.

 

As for who gets to walk the plank before the ship even sails, who knows what method of madness Carnival House will come up with.  One thing is for sure though, it won't suit everyone.

 

I have noticed some cruises no longer have Early Saver/Saver fares available, but appear to have lots of availability for Select fare.  Maybe they're driving up the price to deter booking? Or as Denarius speculates, cancel nearer the time they will cancel lowest fare bookings to maximise revenue?

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Son of Anarchy said:

About 20 years ago I turned up at Heathrow to fly to Copenhagen, and at check in was offered over £100 cash to volunteer to go on the following flight.  Don't know what the rules were re denied boarding back in those days, but presumably it was cheaper for them to give me the £100+ than compensate someone who they had to deny boarding to.

 

Given PandO's economic situation, I can't see them compensating anyone if they cancel their cruise in order to reduce capacity.

 

As for who gets to walk the plank before the ship even sails, who knows what method of madness Carnival House will come up with.  One thing is for sure though, it won't suit everyone.

 

I have noticed some cruises no longer have Early Saver/Saver fares available, but appear to have lots of availability for Select fare.  Maybe they're driving up the price to deter booking? Or as Denarius speculates, cancel nearer the time they will cancel lowest fare bookings to maximise revenue?

I would hope that they have already decided on each ships new capacity and will be accepting new bookings in line with this.

Maybe I am attributing them with too much intelligence, but hopefully they must appreciate that they don't want any further PR disasters.

Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Eddie99 said:

😳

So, endless British Isles cruises April to October and Southampton to Gibraltar with Lisbon and Cherbourg in the winter?

🤢

Portugal are currently banning cruises,  so just Gib. Not sure I'll bother. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Eddie99 said:

Thanks for the link

 

It doesn’t sound the greatest, does it?  And likely to be considerably more expensive.  Anyone with a financial brain like to proffer a potential/likely % increase in fares?

I don't have a financial brain just a basic commonsense,  but it tells me that it could probably mean the end to many people's cruising holidays. Which, in turn,  could lead to many redundant ships, causing more job losses at sea and shoreside etc etc. It's a slippery slope. Avril 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Adawn47 said:

I don't have a financial brain just a basic commonsense,  but it tells me that it could probably mean the end to many people's cruising holidays. Which, in turn,  could lead to many redundant ships, causing more job losses at sea and shoreside etc etc. It's a slippery slope. Avril 

Don't let the depressive get to you Avril.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team: New Ship Ultramarine
      • 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
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...