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Advice for re-starting cruise ship operations in the EU


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I can't see an existing thread into which this document might best fit so, a new thread.

I attach a link to the EU’s documentInterim advice for restarting cruise ship operations after lifting restrictive measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic”.

It contains some interesting proposals about, e.g.

pre-boarding screening and possible denial of boarding,

quarantine in the event of cases arising during a cruise and support required from ports and governments in relation to guests or crew suffering from Covid-19,

use of masks and various hygiene measures in corridors, lifts, dining areas, swimming pools and other public areas,

segregation of over 65 yr olds and other vulnerable groups for dining and activities,

dining restriction to single household or family group per table.

The document is, so far, not endorsed by the EU but has been produced on its behalf with substantial input from the cruise industry including Carnival and Holland America.

Enjoy!

sloopjohnb

https://www.healthygateways.eu/Portals/0/plcdocs/EU_HEALTHY_GATEWAYS_COVID-19_RESTARTING_CRUISES.pdf?ver=2020-07-01-115942-557

Edited by sloopjohnb
missed relevant additional info
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I watched a youtube vid on this.  

 

 

Whether we like it or not, I think it makes sense.

 

But a lot of it applies to the huge capacity ships, not necessarily SB.  

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I read about the EU suggestions.  They sound reasonable, but at the same time daunting.  We will not be cruising with these mandates. While we are in favor of wearing masks in public places, we will be waiting to cruise AFTER this is necessary.  I think this is a dire thing for cruise lines.  It does not bode well.  

Edited by SLSD
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I think these EU suggestions are reasonable.  I found section 4.2's section 

related to "high risk" guests to be a bit discriminatory, however.  I particularly object to the language that states "Activities and services on board ship could be organized by age group, so that older individuals are separated from other age groups".  I would be a cruiser in such a category.  If I choose to "take a chance and cruise once again", I am not pleased with the prospect that my HH for Senior Citizens will be in Lounge X while HH for everyone else will be in Lounge Z.

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I agree with rkacruiser. I wouldn't cruise if segregated off into a corner for old folks (i'm just at the cusp). As well as that, not being able to dine with other guests would negate much of the point of going on cruise ships as far as I'm concerned.

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From my experience, most of the passengers on SB cruises are in fact 65 and over. So it would be just a handful of younger whippersnappers that would be segregated away at meal times. And what a relief to have those families with their ‘delightful’ offspring confined to the hold, or wherever. Face masks in the corridor might also see the end of the dreaded block-party, or at least give it a vestige of anonymity which might make it more palatable for some.

I am sure posters here will be able to find many other unexpected benefits in the new regime. This could prove to be the renaissance of luxury cruising....

 

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Living 15 miles outside of Manhattan it is so sad to see what is currently happening in the rest of the US after everything NY and our neighboring states did successfully to try to contain the virus and bring about some sense of a new normal to life. Resigned myself to the fact that until a vaccine is out, widely available and I am inoculated - ANY cruise is out of the question.

 

Wondering if once a vaccine is out - will it be a requirement to show proof of inoculation? Do you think a cruise line could make that a stipulation / requirement for sailing?

 

 

 

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If anyone has seen the film 'Contagion' people who had been vaccinated wore wristbands!  The film really is too close for comfort at the moment,  so many parallels, and weirdly I had just watched it before all this started.  

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What I can gather from the video, is that  being on a cruise ship will be safer than living in the United States. Following CDC guidelines has become a political firestorm that is very sad.

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7 hours ago, robertmartha said:

Wondering if once a vaccine is out - will it be a requirement to show proof of inoculation? Do you think a cruise line could make that a stipulation / requirement for sailing?

 

Why wouldn't they?  If one sails to an area where vaccination for a specific disease is an issue, upon check-in at the pier, one has to show that Yellow Health Folder that shows you have been immunized.  Don't have it?  That person isn't cruising.  No refund will be forthcoming, either.  

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12 hours ago, robertmartha said:

Wondering if once a vaccine is out - will it be a requirement to show proof of inoculation? Do you think a cruise line could make that a stipulation / requirement for sailing?

Vaccines are a requirement now for ports where yellow fever might be present.  If you don't have your vaccination certificate or a valid medical excuse, you cannot embark.  It would be even more so for a pandemic.

 

Edited by marazul
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Yes, we had our yellow fever vaccinations complete with certificates ready for our April cruise to the Amazon.  I hope I'll be able to use it another time on a cruise to the same area!

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Thank you all for comments on my vaccine question - after I posted I mentioned my question to my wife and she responded with a similar statement about countries that require vaccinations prior to travel....so maybe this will be the case in the future for cruising one a vaccine is available. Sign me up ! Would give me some piece of mind at least on the ship with fellow passengers and crew.

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It’s interesting to begin to speculate on what cruising will look like when it resumes. I think it will be difficult for the industry to mount a proper comeback without both a vaccine and widely available cost-effective rapid testing.  I say comeback because I doubt we see a full return to what 2019 levels looked like in the coming decade.

 

I think that buffets are over with the exception of perhaps individually packaged grab & go snacks.  (I could reasonably see individually wrapped pastries, jars of yogurt, and containers of fruit available for an early risers breakfast, for example.). The Colonnade may go on but not with self-service.  I would not be sad to see that happen... I’ve observed some gross behavior at cruise buffets, even on Seabourn.

 

i think social distancing will be a real thing for some time to come.  The upside for Seabourn is they already have a good amount of this built in - tables in dining venues are not on top of each other, seating in the theatre and lounges is already spread out, cabins are spacious and not tightly clustered.  
 

I anticipate expanded dining times to accommodate less tightly clustered onboard activity, more outdoor dining seating (perhaps this finally kills The Retreat on the larger ships to make way), and more emphasis on spreading passengers out with things like staggered embarkation/disembarkation times, popular events spread across multiple venues (the way the Captain’s welcome Is distributed across several venues on the bigger ships - we might see Trivia offered in the theatre, Rock the Boat in 2-3 venues, safety drills in shifts), longer port stops (to allow for staggering of movement and necessary health screenings), and more thorough contingency plans (like the quarantine and repatriation plans in the EU guidelines).

 

I think a heavy emphasis will be placed on personal safety with mask wearing and frequent hand washing encouraged.


Carnival-partner Princess has already patented and implemented a cardless smart system for passengers that can suggest activities based on where there is less crowding on the ship.  I would not mind scanning a pass at a kiosk to see where I could find a quiet place to read or which restaurant had less people in it at a particular time.  

 

Cruising will evolve - it has to - and it has before.  (I still watch old Love Boat episodes and try to spot all of the things that were okay then but would not be considered safe by 2019 standards... glassware in the pool, streamers tossed at sail away, candles on tables, self-serve poolside buffets.)

 

I am hopeful that we get back to safely cruising sooner than later.  We are still holding our spots on the Sojourn holiday cruise, just in case.  I think Seabourn’s smaller size will make it easier to implement necessary changes quickly.

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Great perspective Jeni - totally agree on all your comments (as well as all your informative posts - esp liked your perspective and posts about the new president of seabourn )

Being  a recent seabourn passenger - would definitely be more comfortable on a seabourn ship in the future vs a mass market line (don’t think we can ever go back after seabourn actually!) or perhaps a river cruise. Once a vaccine is out and widely available I can see the industry ramping back up quickly - I know that’s when we will be sailing again. 

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3 hours ago, jenidallas said:

Cruising will evolve - it has to - and it has before.  (I still watch old Love Boat episodes and try to spot all of the things that were okay then but would not be considered safe by 2019 standards... glassware in the pool, streamers tossed at sail away, candles on tables, self-serve poolside buffets.)

 

Many excellent comments jenidallas; I thank you for your thoughtful post.  The question for many of us who have been cruising since 1970 is this:  Will what the new paradigm may be for cruising during the Covid-19 era--or hopefully its post era--encourage us to choose to continue cruising?  

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On 7/5/2020 at 12:13 PM, Mauzac said:

Yes, we had our yellow fever vaccinations complete with certificates ready for our April cruise to the Amazon.  I hope I'll be able to use it another time on a cruise to the same area!

 

Same here, I remember discussing the YF vaccination age conundrum back in Feb! 

I have now booked this same cruise on Silversea for March 22, was much the same price as our cancelled one. Hopefully the world will have got back on track by then.

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On 7/5/2020 at 1:37 PM, jenidallas said:

think that buffets are over... I anticipate expanded dining times to accommodate less tightly clustered onboard activity, more outdoor dining seating...  more emphasis on spreading passengers out with things like staggered embarkation/disembarkation times... popular events spread across multiple venues... longer port stops (to allow for staggering of movement and necessary health screenings)...

 

...and is this end of Caviar in the Surf? 😞 There certainly doesn't seem to be a way to do that and socially distance.

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On 7/6/2020 at 8:15 AM, Reef Knot said:

 

Same here, I remember discussing the YF vaccination age conundrum back in Feb! 

I have now booked this same cruise on Silversea for March 22, was much the same price as our cancelled one. Hopefully the world will have got back on track by then.

The Yellow Fever discussion!  I had been booked on the Quest cruise from Manaus to Miami in April. I was very concerned about getting the vaccine because I am 78.  Then I found my original proof of the vaccination and learned that it was good for a lifetime.   

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This is a blow for UK cruise industry and TAs. Although we can assume that this advice will be revised at some point in the future, it means booking anything, even into next year, becomes a speculative and risky venture as far as UK customers' deposits are concerned.

There is SB 'Book with Confidence' policy, which does off-set some of the risk, but not for us. The only 2021 cruise we have our eyes on is a WC segment, and to my great frustration and annoyance, WC segments are not covered by 'Book with Conifidence'.

I wonder why this is? does anyone have an inkling? I can understand the whole WC being exempt from the policy, but a segment?

With the way Travel Insurance policies are being adjusted  to exclude anything to do with Covid-19, it means we simply can't risk putting a deposit down.

Edited by Flamin_June
fixed spelling
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  • 4 weeks later...

As someone who has taken over 60 cruises with half of them on Crystal, Regent or Seabourn. I cannot see how any of those cruise lines would be scheduling cruises in Europe under the conditions just outlined in the 49 page document by European regulators. I don't think they would be able to attract enough passengers. I know that I for one would not even consider a European cruise under the new guidelines at any price. The regulations are ludicrous and overkill seems the appropriate definition.  

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2 hours ago, bernes said:

As someone who has taken over 60 cruises with half of them on Crystal, Regent or Seabourn. I cannot see how any of those cruise lines would be scheduling cruises in Europe under the conditions just outlined in the 49 page document by European regulators. I don't think they would be able to attract enough passengers. I know that I for one would not even consider a European cruise under the new guidelines at any price. The regulations are ludicrous and overkill seems the appropriate definition.  


I think this tells us why - today’s news.  

 

Thirty-three crew members of a Hurtigruten cruise in Norway have been diagnosed with Covid-19, with four hospitalised and the rest in isolation.


The staff, of which there were 160 in total, were tested at the end of a seven-day sailing around the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard yesterday, with 177 passengers on board; none of whom reported any symptoms of the virus while onboard and all of whom had disembarked by the time the news broke.


In what is unfolding as a major test for an industry that is only just getting back on its feet, all guests have been ordered to quarantine and will undergo testing. The Norwegian cruise line has already announced that one passenger has tested positive for coronavirus.


“There was no reason to suspect Covid-19 when the ship docked in Tromso based on the symptoms the four of the crew had,” said Hurtigruten communications manager Rune Thomas Ege. “Fortunately, we received a quick response to the tests, so that both we and the Tromso municipality were able to implement measures.”


The vessel, MS Roald Amundsen, which is the world’s first hybrid-powered ship, remains in Tromso and its next voyage, due to embark yesterday, was cancelled. Earlier this month, Hurtigruten became the first line to announce cruises around Britain, planned for September, since the pandemic forced the industry to pause all operations in March.


The FCO currently advises against all ocean cruises.

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