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Interim guidance for restarting cruise operations


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The publication by  the EU healthy gateways initiative for cruising makes for sobering reading.

 

From segregating over 65s who its suggested will need a doctor's certificate of fitness to travel, to removing tea and coffee making facilities from cabins. emptying mini bars and plastic covers on TVs and remote controls.

 

More passengers taking meals as room service and sharing tables with family members only.  Forming cohorts for embarcation and disembarcation where the wearing of masks will be required. Banning the use of covered pools (no more spa) and limiting access to family members only for the hot tub.

 

I tried to imagine these restrictions in a future cruise on QE and after skimming the 49 page document I concluded that if this is to dissuade you from cruising for the foreseeable future  it's a job well done.

Edited by Aspidestra99
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Thanks Aspidestra99 and bluemarble.  Very interesting reading.  IMO, a ship complying with all these rules might be covid safe, but it will not be very much fun, and I won't be too eager to pay for the experience.

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2 hours ago, Aspidestra99 said:

 if this is to dissuade you from cruising for the foreseeable future  it's a job well done.

 

Indeed. I would not want to go on an asocial cruise like this.

 

Take one example only: dining only with people in the same cabin - perfect for those who prefer their table for two - terrible for solo travellers and those you who like to meet people.

 

Let's hope the cruise lines and the cruising public will not accept this destruction of cruising,

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14 minutes ago, carlmm said:

Take one example only: dining only with people in the same cabin - perfect for those who prefer their table for two - terrible for solo travellers and those you who like to meet people.

I would hope that would not stand.  Cunard, in particular, is in a good position to minimize this risk as the dining setup is particular suited to one of the tenets of virus control with contact tracing.

 

Roy

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Thank you for posting.  Start with people lined up outside the terminal because too many people are already inside awaiting their Covid tests and health interview.  Isolation for solos by eliminating shared dining tables.  Room service trays left outside the door - how nice for mobility device users.  No more Captain's cocktail party.  Dividing passengers into age specific "cohorts" for entertainment and services.  No more launderettes as distancing is impossible.  Mandatory masks.

 

The guidelines also state that at-risk crew members should not be in contact with passengers.  That means that the diabetic cabin steward or asthmatic waiter can't work those jobs anymore. 

 

And finally, the end of transatlantic crossings because there would be days when the ship is out of medevac range.

 

This is a floating hell. 

Edited by BlueRiband
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12 minutes ago, Germancruiser said:

Even as solo traveler - which I am sometimes- i would accept sitting by myself. BUT Cunards guests are in the region between 40 and 95- that could- at leat for Cunard - lead to less passengers.

To each his/her own.  I've read some posts from solos who actually prefer to dine alone.  However it's an absolute deal breaker for me.

 

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Unfortunately I cannot see any “enjoyment” in subjecting oneself to these conditions. I’m 72 and my 10 years younger wife is diabetic and we had looked forward to at least 10 more years of travelling around the world on board ship, visiting those places we could never afford to see when younger (and working hard to save for our pensions). All those plans are now in the bin and I can’t see the regular cruisers who are in the older age brackets ever coming back to the liners. I took a look at Norwegian’s “Health and Safety” strictures just announced and it talks about “reduced numbers” on each boat among all the other guidelines. Not attractive at all. And think for one moment what would happen if just one case of Covid was to break out on a future cruise.

 

Either way I think the cruise industry is, dare I say it, holed below the waterline.

 

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I've only reached page 3 but cruising already looks like a non-starter under these rules.

 

"In addition to measures aimed at excluding infected persons from boarding a cruise ship, early detection and isolation of the first case, disembarkation, and quarantine of close contacts in facilities ashore are all essential elements ..."

 

Given the number of countries that refused non-infected passengers from ships with no cases, how many are going to agree, in advance, to accept infected passengers and close contacts? No agreements for places to take evacuees means no cruises. "Close Contacts" definition, in addition to the expected "... face-to-face contact within two metres for more than 15 minutes", also adds "... participating in common activities on board or ashore, participating in the same immediate travelling group, ..." Does this mean anyone who was in the theatre at the same time as an infected person, or on a shore excursion also has to be evacuated?

 

If you're not infected is your insurance going to pay for your evacuation, quarantine and eventual repatriation? If not does the infected person's insurance have to pay for everyone? Can you imagine the cost of that policy?

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I note it says interim and version 1. The final guidance might be somewhat different. Do Schengen rules apply, so that once you're in the area, that's it? This seems to be the case with allowing other forms of travel from outside the EU. (I think.)

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What will happen if a couple don't both fall into the same age group ?  OH and I have four years gap - I would fall into the 65 group while he would be in with the younger group !

 

I could put up with the table for two dining but have to say the whole experience is not going to go down well ... far cry from past cruises anyway.  Always assuming the ports let the ship in !

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10 hours ago, Roger Ackroyd said:

Unfortunately I cannot see any “enjoyment” in subjecting oneself to these conditions. I’m 72 and my 10 years younger wife is diabetic and we had looked forward to at least 10 more years of travelling around the world on board ship, visiting those places we could never afford to see when younger (and working hard to save for our pensions). All those plans are now in the bin and I can’t see the regular cruisers who are in the older age brackets ever coming back to the liners. I took a look at Norwegian’s “Health and Safety” strictures just announced and it talks about “reduced numbers” on each boat among all the other guidelines. Not attractive at all. And think for one moment what would happen if just one case of Covid was to break out on a future cruise.

 

Either way I think the cruise industry is, dare I say it, holed below the waterline.

 

I sympathise completely. We are in our early 60s and late comers to cruising. We too thought we would have 10 or more years cruising having enjoyed ourselves immensely on the two we have taken and had three planned for 2020 and 2021. The only hope is an eventual vaccine as for us a 3 or 5 day cruise isn't practical when you take travelling to port into account and sailing circuits round the UK doesn't really appeal.

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Am 72. Wont go under those conditions. Have two cruises scheduled for Oct 2021. One to Spain. Hopefully things will be close to normal by then or I will cancel. Might opt for an Alaska cruise from San Francisco as that is where I live..

 

why would coffee and tea makers be removed? They would  rather have more contact as you would have to order room service.  Makes no sense.

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I’ve waded through the 49 pages and the whole document reminded me of the recent building audit I completed in preparation for some staff in my organisation to return to the office: all very thorough, logical, aimed at minimising risks and very businesslike.  However, translated to a cruise ship sitting, in my view, that equates to a very clinical experience, devoid of warmth, fun and pretty much most things which set cruising apart from our daily lives. 
 

This is only interim guidance at the moment but cruising under the conditions set out has no appeal for me and whilst there remains so much uncertainty about what the future holds for the industry, I am pleased that I decided to take a refund for my May cruise rather than the 125% FCC. It will be interesting, however, to see what incentives are offered to persuade people back on board - I’d be surprised if many people were prepared to full fare to experience the travel regime described, however sensible and safe the control measures in place might be. 

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On 7/3/2020 at 4:36 AM, Aspidestra99 said:

The publication by  the EU healthy gateways initiative for cruising makes for sobering reading.

 

From segregating over 65s who its suggested will need a doctor's certificate of fitness to travel, to removing tea and coffee making facilities from cabins. emptying mini bars and plastic covers on TVs and remote controls.

 

More passengers taking meals as room service and sharing tables with family members only.  Forming cohorts for embarcation and disembarcation where the wearing of masks will be required. Banning the use of covered pools (no more spa) and limiting access to family members only for the hot tub.

 

I tried to imagine these restrictions in a future cruise on QE and after skimming the 49 page document I concluded that if this is to dissuade you from cruising for the foreseeable future  it's a job well done.


People will be able to return to cruising just as people returned to the liners after the Spanish Flu a century ago. It’s just a matter of time.

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19 hours ago, Austcruiser84 said:


People will be able to return to cruising just as people returned to the liners after the Spanish Flu a century ago. It’s just a matter of time.

I'd like to think to.   However we are a much more litigious society than in 1918. One positive case, however mild, and some American will be suing the line for not being careful enough. 

 

Cruise lines are desperate to be back in business and are trying to find a balance between prudent precautions while not forgoing everything one enjoys about cruising.  What they have drafted so far however  looks like locked down New York and few here see how one can have any enjoyment in such a restricted environment. 

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4 hours ago, BlueRiband said:

I'd like to think to.   However we are a much more litigious society than in 1918. One positive case, however mild, and some American will be suing the line for not being careful enough. 

 

Cruise lines are desperate to be back in business and are trying to find a balance between prudent precautions while not forgoing everything one enjoys about cruising.  What they have drafted so far however  looks like locked down New York and few here see how one can have any enjoyment in such a restricted environment. 


As it stands, it would be reasonable to expect no cruising at all until April 2021. 

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I was lucky to retire at 55 and so have been cruising all over the world for the past 17 years, mostly Princess, but also Cunard, P&O UK and P&O Australia, Holland America, Celebrity and Carnival.  About 26 in all.   Reading the EU Healthy Gateway report, I cannot see how cruising will survive.  Has anybody mentioned the tendering, look at the way they pack the pax in to the tender boats, like sardines.  One would never get off the ship if the distancing happens.  I for one would not pay all that money to cruise under such conditions, others may differ. Not  a pleasurable experience at all.

 

I feel sorry for those who worked until later in life and are starting to cruise post 65, too many constraints.

 

All the best to everyone anyway.th.jpg.3ff307dc1f623e5d5dfbed3504733bd4.jpg

 

Edited by NSWP
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I suppose they could avoid ports where tendering is required.

 

Other lines with smaller ships and a much smaller number of passengers, for example, Seabourn would probably face fewer problems.

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17 minutes ago, longton said:

I suppose they could avoid ports where tendering is required.

 

Other lines with smaller ships and a much smaller number of passengers, for example, Seabourn would probably face fewer problems.

 

For larger ships, Cunarders have a pretty good passenger space ratio, and, indeed, usually seem empty, even when full. I would not have thought it would be too hard to keep people reasonably distanced for much of the time. Perhaps not cocktail parties as they are at present, though. 😀

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For those who like to dine, as opposed to just getting fed, the restrictions could possibly mean three rushed sittings for dinner. (Cunard is actually considering this option.)   The guidelines also recommend expanded room service with delivery only to the cabin door.  And....wait for it...when finished the trays should be left in the hall.  Perhaps trays in the hall at every other door no longer present obstacles for those who use mobility assistance devices.  Pasengers who need them might now be considered unfit to sail.

 

In an earlier thread in another forum somebody predicted that a food take-out window would become a "must" for all ships.  Maybe he wasn't too far off.   That poster didn't speculate on where the take out food would be consumed and how one gets rid of the dirty containers, plates, and utinsels when finished.  

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