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P&O please enlighten us with your plans for social distancing


Balaena
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Like many on this site, as a very regular P&O cruiser with 2 cruises planned for November and December and a long one round Cape Horn Jan/Feb I would be very interested to know from Carnival House what the plans are for social distancing on their ships which are due to commence cruising again from October.

We have all read various speculations about how it will be, but nothing from P&O how they plan the entry back into cruising.
One might say that it’s still 4 months away before kick off, but like many, I am almost reluctant to pay my cruise balance without knowing and understanding how the on-board offer will effect my wife and myself. If I take the chance and pay without this information, where would I stand if the on-board offer is far far removed from what we have become accustomed. If we are informed of ‘how things will be’ after paying the cruise balance and, the on-board offer is such that I would rather not go, will they say, no problem we will refund you or set the sum you have paid against a future cruise. I somehow doubt it, therefore I ask Carnival House to enlighten us with their plans before balances are paid.
Clearly there will be and, I expect substantial changes, so information is the key to securing your enthusiastic guests to go cruising again. 

 

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A point very well made.  It’s very much a leap in the dark at the moment, but understandably so perhaps, given that nobody knows where we’ll be with this virus even a month down the line.

 

Personally, cruising is very much off the agenda until things become a great deal clearer.

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19 minutes ago, Balaena said:

 

Like many on this site, as a very regular P&O cruiser with 2 cruises planned for November and December and a long one round Cape Horn Jan/Feb I would be very interested to know from Carnival House what the plans are for social distancing on their ships which are due to commence cruising again from October.

We have all read various speculations about how it will be, but nothing from P&O how they plan the entry back into cruising.
One might say that it’s still 4 months away before kick off, but like many, I am almost reluctant to pay my cruise balance without knowing and understanding how the on-board offer will effect my wife and myself. If I take the chance and pay without this information, where would I stand if the on-board offer is far far removed from what we have become accustomed. If we are informed of ‘how things will be’ after paying the cruise balance and, the on-board offer is such that I would rather not go, will they say, no problem we will refund you or set the sum you have paid against a future cruise. I somehow doubt it, therefore I ask Carnival House to enlighten us with their plans before balances are paid.
Clearly there will be and, I expect substantial changes, so information is the key to securing your enthusiastic guests to go cruising again. 

 

I made this point on another thread, they are asking us to pay our balance without knowing exactly what we are paying for. If for example it is like the EU document the other day I would not want to go but we can't make a decision without the facts.

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Given that guidance is changing all the time (use of masks, social distancing gap) I dont know how you can expect any cruuse line to specifically state what their policies will be.

However, after looking at the releases as to possible new on board protocols from other cruise lines,  the one thing you can be sure of, is that cruising,  when it restarts, will be a totally different experience. If you are not prepared to wear a mask, have enforced social distancing, constant temperature monitoring,  etc, cancel all your future cruises. 

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Well I’m booked on the Britannia TA on 23rd October and as wowzz says who knows what the situation will be by then and what the ‘new look’ cruising will be like. I’m prepared to give it a go and am going with an open mind to accept the changes and stay positive because if that’s the future so be it. I think if you’re unsure you’d be better off waiting to see what the feedback is from the passengers on these first few cruises and then make your decisions on whether or not you’re prepared to accept the changes or that they are going to spoil your enjoyment of the cruise. It is what it is and life is going to be different for everyone in all situations. Passenger and crew safety is paramount so I’m sure that the changes will reflect this whilst trying their hardest not to spoil the cruise experience. It’s going to be different wherever we go and whatever we do so we will just have to accept that and  make our decisions knowing that. I’ll be happy to feedback on the experience and changes when I get back.🚢🙂

Edited by Converted to cruising
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11 minutes ago, Converted to cruising said:

Well I’m booked on the Britannia TA on 23rd October and as wowzz says who knows what the situation will be by then and what the ‘new look’ cruising will be like. I’m prepared to give it a go and am going with an open mind to accept the changes and stay positive because if that’s the future so be it. I think if you’re unsure you’d be better off waiting to see what the feedback is from the passengers on these first few cruises and then make your decisions on whether or not you’re prepared to accept the changes or that they are going to spoil your enjoyment of the cruise. It is what it is and life is going to be different for everyone in all situations. Passenger and crew safety is paramount so I’m sure that the changes will reflect this whilst trying their hardest not to spoil the cruise experience. It’s going to be different wherever we go and whatever we do so we will just have to accept that and  make our decisions knowing that. I’ll be happy to feedback on the experience and changes when I get back.🚢🙂

Good reply. I hope you actually get on board,  assuming the cruise goes ahead, as I imagine the ship will only sail at about 75% capacity.

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Thank you. I’m hoping it goes ahead too 🤞🏼🤞🏼. I’m thinking that they won’t want to  fill it to capacity (well I’m hoping that’s the case ! )  and they will liaise with us as to what works and what needs further adjustments. It’ll be a bit of an adventure into the future of cruising for everyone and I, for one, am happy to give it go. 🚢😄

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I can't see how cruising can restart until this pandemic is over, and treatment regimes and or vaccines are established.

I've just received notice of the protocol to be adopted at my local Devon golf club when the clubhouse reopens, and it is so prescriptive that it removes the enjoyment of all the post game social interaction that is an essential part of the game.

The Covid rules on board will probably be more Draconian, and will need to be to avoid any contagion. They will not only be almost antisocial but they will need greater numbers of staff to operate them, together with less customers in each venue.

I doubt if any cruise line CEO would commit to anything less which could possibly leave them liable should an outbreak occur.

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Thank you for that Converted.

 

Personally, although I am desperate to cruise again I have to wait to see how it goes first.  Goodness, that sounds like I am using you as a guinea pig, but you, and others, want to go as soon as possible so that is obviously not the case..  I wouldn't want anyone to go with reservations.

 

I hope your cruise goes ahead, you have a ball, and you let usknow your feedback.

 

 

 

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Thank you. I just feel that if it’s safe to go then the cruise will go ahead....if it’s not it will be cancelled. I’m sure P and O will make every effort to keep everyone safe and someone has to be first. I didn’t book this cruise on purpose it was already booked but I did make the decision not to cancel it for the reasons I stated before. I will definitely give honest feedback and, like I said, the changes won’t suit everyone and the final decision is then up to the individual. 🚢🙂

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1 hour ago, wowzz said:

Given that guidance is changing all the time (use of masks, social distancing gap) I dont know how you can expect any cruuse line to specifically state what their policies will be.

However, after looking at the releases as to possible new on board protocols from other cruise lines,  the one thing you can be sure of, is that cruising,  when it restarts, will be a totally different experience. If you are not prepared to wear a mask, have enforced social distancing, constant temperature monitoring,  etc, cancel all your future cruises. 

I’m sure you are trying to be helpful and of course the measures we are experiencing ‘at home’ will continue on the ship. However I am asking P&O to be specific with their plans which they will have to hand. For example, how will the dining arrangements be, do we dine in our cabin as has been suggested and if so will that be from the room service or full menu. Are they splitting the dining into more sittings and how many, all freedom no doubt. Would the same apply to the theatre to seat at a distance. How about the bars which at certain times get rather full, perhaps a lottery draw as to if you are allowed to go or not each evening. Will numbers of guests be reduced and if so by what percentage. Peninsular get togethers, yes or no. Tendering ashore, currently larger ships take quite a while to achieve quota. Are we to expect log queues to reboard at each port. Relaxing on deck arrangements, get a ticket and no reserving. Masks are a definite, will these be supplied and what type, plastic masks which will enable the ladies to wear their makeup or standard NHS type or whatever you fancy. I could go on with this list. The answer to most of these will be as we expect but that is not sufficient to make a judgement.

Yes WOWZZ, of course I could cancel my currently scheduled cruises but that is not the answer for P&O or indeed for myself, without having a clear understanding of what is going to be expected of us. 
Of course, that might be the reason for ‘no comment' from P&O as no information will lead to cancellations and help their cash flow with FCC’s and, reduce the numbers on the early cruises without them having to do a cull.
So P&O, share you plans with us, maybe they are just provisional but don’t say that you haven’t prepared these yet.
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14 minutes ago, Converted to cruising said:

Thank you. I just feel that if it’s safe to go then the cruise will go ahead....if it’s not it will be cancelled. I’m sure P and O will make every effort to keep everyone safe and someone has to be first. I didn’t book this cruise on purpose it was already booked but I did make the decision not to cancel it for the reasons I stated before. I will definitely give honest feedback and, like I said, the changes won’t suit everyone and the final decision is then up to the individual. 🚢🙂

What people seem to be overlooking is that cruising is not scheduled to restart for around 15 weeks. A lot can happen in those 15 weeks. Being optimistic, we could be Covid free in Europe, there could be a working vaccine either available or imminent and most things could be back to normal. On the other hand we could be in the middle of a second wave and back to where we were 3 months ago or worse. We are booked on Ventura at the end of October. It may not be back to normal but if Ventura sails, we will be on her.
I honestly think it is too early to outline what might happen onboard because there are far too many unknowns which will affect any decisions P&O may need to make which may become clearer nearer the scheduled resumption. 

Edited by pete14
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1 minute ago, Balaena said:

So P&O, share you plans with us, maybe they are just provisional but don’t say that you haven’t prepared these yet.

The cynic in me says that just about all the restrictions you mention will be enforced, but if P&O (or indeed any other line) were to announce them this far in advance, they would lose a substantial proportion of future bookings, adding to their financial woes.

Whilst I understand why you want to know, I think you are expecting to much at this stage.

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36 minutes ago, jake 26 said:

I can't see how cruising can restart until this pandemic is over, and treatment regimes and or vaccines are established.

I've just received notice of the protocol to be adopted at my local Devon golf club when the clubhouse reopens, and it is so prescriptive that it removes the enjoyment of all the post game social interaction that is an essential part of the game.

The Covid rules on board will probably be more Draconian, and will need to be to avoid any contagion. They will not only be almost antisocial but they will need greater numbers of staff to operate them, together with less customers in each venue.

I doubt if any cruise line CEO would commit to anything less which could possibly leave them liable should an outbreak occur.

Some people aren't fussed on interacting with people outside of their travel companions though. I have no interest in making new friends on holiday. Of course, all the people add to the atmosphere but I'd probably enjoy my cruise more if everyone was 2 metres away 🤣 especially when you have a table for 2 in the MDR and people still try and talk to you from the next table (I'm not really as miserable and antisocial as I'm making out but you get my drift). And I know for a lot of people, the social interaction is a huge part of a cruise. 

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2 minutes ago, cruisenewbie1976 said:

Some people aren't fussed on interacting with people outside of their travel companions though. I have no interest in making new friends on holiday. Of course, all the people add to the atmosphere but I'd probably enjoy my cruise more if everyone was 2 metres away 🤣 especially when you have a table for 2 in the MDR and people still try and talk to you from the next table (I'm not really as miserable and antisocial as I'm making out but you get my drift). And I know for a lot of people, the social interaction is a huge part of a cruise. 

Horses for courses.

I recognise that there are those who like to keep themselves to themselves and are not interested in socialising with their fellow pasengers. I also believe that they are very much in the minority, and that for most cruisers the social life onboard is an important aspect of cruising. None more so than for solo passengers like myself. Were I still to be sailing with my late partner, being forced to keep our own company might have been just about acceptable if the itinerary was attractive enough to compensate. But the prospect of dining alone on a table for one every evening and being forbidden to socialise afterwards holds no attractions whatsoever. I need to know what I letting myself in for, and that it will be a holiday not an ordeal,  before I pay my balance. And unless I know, I will not do so and will forfiet my (£50) deposit.

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6 minutes ago, Denarius said:

Horses for courses.

I recognise that there are those who like to keep themselves to themselves and are not interested in socialising with their fellow pasengers. I also believe that they are very much in the minority, and that for most cruisers the social life onboard is an important aspect of cruising. None more so than for solo passengers like myself. Were I still to be sailing with my late partner, being forced to keep our own company might have been just about acceptable if the itinerary was attractive enough to compensate. But the prospect of dining alone on a table for one every evening and being forbidden to socialise afterwards holds no attractions whatsoever. I need to know what I letting myself in for, and that it will be a holiday not an ordeal,  before I pay my balance. And unless I know, I will not do so and will forfiet my (£50) deposit.

Absolutely agree. I know we're probably in the minority (although I do think it's more common amongst younger cruisers). 

But I totally get that it wouldn't work for solo cruisers if you go with the intention of meeting others whilst on holiday. 

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3 hours ago, wowzz said:

Good reply. I hope you actually get on board,  assuming the cruise goes ahead, as I imagine the ship will only sail at about 75% capacity.

75% is probably a good guess. The current " rules"are like the pirates code. Not rules,just guidelines. Interestingly on sky news this morning they interviewed the CEO of Marston's about opening their pubs and restaurants. When asked if they would be following the government guidance he said , we have our own experts who have looked at each venue. We will do what they advise. They also interviewed Jack Stein who said the fish restaurant will operate at 70% and the restaurant looks better than ever in respect of customer experience. I doubt P&O will finalize their protocols untill much nearer the start of operations when the picture is clearer. Not ideal, but I guess to be expected.

 

 

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We are off in our caravan next Tuesday, just down to the South Coast.  We are self contained and will take all precautions when filling with water and emptying toilet.  We have not been in any shops yet, and will limit this to necessities, I think.  If there is a pub serving meals outdoors, we may do that, but will not go inside.  I think we will be ok, can't think of any other holiday that will be any safer.  We have however transferred our November cruise to same next year.  We have another end of January to decide on later.  I think all the restrictions that cruises must have to keep people safe will spoil most of the enjoyment we find in a cruise.  Hope and pray for a vaccine so we can once again experience a carefree cruise.

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We made a very special friend on a cruise who will still cruise with, but in general I don't think we are there to make new friends.  Have enjoyed many a good dinner with new people, good conversation, but that's where it stays.

 

I don't even think we will be going on our April 2021 cruise at this rate.  Shall be thinking very hard before we pay our balance in January.

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3 hours ago, wowzz said:

The cynic in me says that just about all the restrictions you mention will be enforced, but if P&O (or indeed any other line) were to announce them this far in advance, they would lose a substantial proportion of future bookings, adding to their financial woes.

Whilst I understand why you want to know, I think you are expecting to much at this stage.

I think that they are probably already experiencing a loss of a number of bookings.  We were booked on Ventura 31st October, we have actually cancelled this week and taken the hit of losing the deposit  because having no idea of what sort of restrictions may or may not be in place gives us no confidence that the cruise will be as enjoyable as previous cruises.  The other thing that helped to make our decision was that people are now waiting over 100 days to get their refunds and in the event of the cruise being cancelled we do not wish to give them what amounts to an interest free loan that we may have to wait an undefined length of time to get back.  We feel happier to lose a deposit which was a very small amount due to the deal when we booked.  I am sure that we are not the only passengers who have taken this decision.

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We did the same for 18th October cruise but for the first few days after the latest cancellations, they were offering an FCC which could just sit on your account, so we took that.  I may lose it yet, but have written it off in my head anyway.  Only £136

Edited by jeanlyon
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16 minutes ago, Josy1953 said:

I think that they are probably already experiencing a loss of a number of bookings.  We were booked on Ventura 31st October, we have actually cancelled this week and taken the hit of losing the deposit  because having no idea of what sort of restrictions may or may not be in place gives us no confidence that the cruise will be as enjoyable as previous cruises.  The other thing that helped to make our decision was that people are now waiting over 100 days to get their refunds and in the event of the cruise being cancelled we do not wish to give them what amounts to an interest free loan that we may have to wait an undefined length of time to get back.  We feel happier to lose a deposit which was a very small amount due to the deal when we booked.  I am sure that we are not the only passengers who have taken this decision.


Josy, It is a pity you have cancelled (although entirely understandable). We would have been able to travel down in convoy because we are still going (if Ventura is going).

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2 minutes ago, pete14 said:


Josy, It is a pity you have cancelled (although entirely understandable). We would have been able to travel down in convoy because we are still going (if Ventura is going).

I hope that it doesn't get cancelled and you get a great holiday.  I think that we all actually need a break at the moment.  We are disappointed because we were going to celebrate David's birthday and our 40th wedding anniversary.

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44 minutes ago, Josy1953 said:

I think that they are probably already experiencing a loss of a number of bookings.  We were booked on Ventura 31st October, we have actually cancelled this week and taken the hit of losing the deposit  because having no idea of what sort of restrictions may or may not be in place gives us no confidence that the cruise will be as enjoyable as previous cruises.  The other thing that helped to make our decision was that people are now waiting over 100 days to get their refunds and in the event of the cruise being cancelled we do not wish to give them what amounts to an interest free loan that we may have to wait an undefined length of time to get back.  We feel happier to lose a deposit which was a very small amount due to the deal when we booked.  I am sure that we are not the only passengers who have taken this decision.

Why didn’t you transfer the deposit to another cruise in the future that’s what we done for our Nov/Dec B2Bs gives things more of a chance to get sorted🤞

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@Balaena, you want P&O to detail exactly what they will be doing in nearly 4 months? 

Think back to almost 4 months ago and ask the same question again.

Back then, they put a hold on cruising for a few weeks to see how things developed, only to find out it was much worse than expected. 

Now things here are easing there's a different perspective on the world, not just cruising. 

If P&O were to publish details now, it's likely that they will have to change things in a couple of weeks, months, who knows? They have no idea where they might be able to take us, never mind the details. 

Our June cruise was still running in April, we moved it to the end of October (forever optimistic) and we have no idea what the world will be like at that time. Or even if other countries have opened up to cruise ships. 

In my opinion there's far more risk with flying than with cruising but plenty of people seem quite keen to get herded on a plane and then berate the cruise industry for a few isolated events that the media hysteria whipped up. 

 

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