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Restarting Cruise operations in Europe


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If interested in following some discussion, I note it is being discussed extensively on one of the general CC Boards - possibly "Ask a Cruise Question"

 

If Viking do opt to start with around UK cruises, compliance is not required with EU guidelines, as the UK has already left the EU. However, the test cruises on the River ships would most likely have to comply.

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4 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

If interested in following some discussion, I note it is being discussed extensively on one of the general CC Boards - possibly "Ask a Cruise Question"

 

If Viking do opt to start with around UK cruises, compliance is not required with EU guidelines, as the UK has already left the EU. However, the test cruises on the River ships would most likely have to comply.

The UK is still part of the EU until 31 December, it is in transition

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6 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

If Viking do opt to start with around UK cruises, compliance is not required with EU guidelines, as the UK has already left the EU. However, the test cruises on the River ships would most likely have to comply.

Sadly the Foreign Office has updated it guidance, and now states nobody should go on cruises, due to the perceived risk, previously it was only the over 70s. If Viking do try to start with round Britain cruises I fear joining them may be problematic.

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Many crew members are residents of countries where Covid-19 remains a problem.  I suspect that the availability and transport of crew will be an issue when ship lines consider a resumption of service. The EU will probably examine that issue on a very detailed level.

 

When many cruise ships returned to US ports, crews were held aboard for several weeks after passengers departed.  The political wrangling, delays, and arrangement of chartered flights did not reflect well on the lines and local governments.

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36 minutes ago, Cienfuegos said:

Many crew members are residents of countries where Covid-19 remains a problem.  I suspect that the availability and transport of crew will be an issue when ship lines consider a resumption of service. The EU will probably examine that issue on a very detailed level.

 

When many cruise ships returned to US ports, crews were held aboard for several weeks after passengers departed.  The political wrangling, delays, and arrangement of chartered flights did not reflect well on the lines and local governments.

 

Couple of comments

  • When we were on the Sun during the height of COVID in SE Asia, crew members were quarantined for 2 weeks before boarding and for a further week on board the ship. I suspect Viking would employ this measure again if/when cruising resumes.
  • When the US was throwing up road  blocks for repatriating crew, Viking sailed the ships across the Atlantic to Portsmouth, where non-essential crew that could be repatriated were flown home from LHR. I have no doubt Viking would move the ships to wherever they could board crew members.
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In summary (and in the vernacular), what a mess we're in.

 

Just watched Tor's latest video entry where he says Viking "will resume sailing when it is safe to do so". Who can even begin to predict when that might be???

Edited by OnTheJourney
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Can anyone tell me if Viking have issued it's Covid rules for restarting as we are just coming up for final balance due ie 

hot tubs !!!!! surely only 2 people from one household will be allowed at one time?

elevators will they be the same ie only 2 people from one household allowed?

buffets will not be allowed so will there be assigned times given to allow full service & how will that affect shore excursions etc? 

shows ? are cast members exempt from social distancing? will audience be cut so that some are not allowed in?

Masks how many places will guests be made to wear them?

If a guest has symptoms do they have tests onboard & will all passengers then have to isolate? will they get disembarked & flown home or will they be guarantined in cabins for many days!!!!! Will insurance pay for lost days ?

Stores  on board touching items etc, how will that work?

Spa's and gyms. How will they limit no's and then close for cleaning between use.

Cabins ? will coffee makers mini bars etc be removed and will service intervals be reduced?

So many questions Can we have some answers so that we have a realistic  view of what we'll be paying for

 

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2 hours ago, scotlanders said:

Can anyone tell me if Viking have issued it's Covid rules for restarting as we are just coming up for final balance due ie 

hot tubs !!!!! surely only 2 people from one household will be allowed at one time?

elevators will they be the same ie only 2 people from one household allowed?

buffets will not be allowed so will there be assigned times given to allow full service & how will that affect shore excursions etc? 

shows ? are cast members exempt from social distancing? will audience be cut so that some are not allowed in?

Masks how many places will guests be made to wear them?

If a guest has symptoms do they have tests onboard & will all passengers then have to isolate? will they get disembarked & flown home or will they be guarantined in cabins for many days!!!!! Will insurance pay for lost days ?

Stores  on board touching items etc, how will that work?

Spa's and gyms. How will they limit no's and then close for cleaning between use.

Cabins ? will coffee makers mini bars etc be removed and will service intervals be reduced?

So many questions Can we have some answers so that we have a realistic  view of what we'll be paying for

 

I can certainly see some or all of what you mention put into plans for future cruising.  Sadly, for one, I will never spend thousands of dollars to endure those conditions.  Where this will end for cruise lines is anyone's guess but we just had a March HAL cruise in the Sea of Cortez cancelled as our ship, the Maasdam, is one of 4 HAL ships being sold by Carnival Cruise Lines.  

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Viking has not made any statements. I would not expect anything from them until they are much closer to resuming operations. In the meantime, everything you mentioned is a possibility. As for what insurance will pay for, that is up to the insurance company and the policy you have, not Viking.

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Jim...I'm beginning to think the same way. I'd probably be ok with wearing masks, but, ya know? When you start thinking about just how limiting and restrictive all of it could become - what sort of "vacation" is it if you now start to curtail or even eliminate to some extent much of what made cruising so enjoyable?  First time cruisers, of course, will have no idea how nice and relaxing it was in what could well become referred to as the "good old days", and so won't know any different other than what they've read and heard about. Us old folks, however, might just start to view it as too much hassle for the money spent.

 

Sorry about your March cruise. I'm becoming more doubtful of January - especially something as extensive as a B2B given the talk of maybe only offering shorter cruises for a length of time. 

 

I can't even fathom dealing with these possibilities: 1) getting to a foreign country and having to maybe quarantine before even getting on the ship   2) having an outbreak onboard and quarantining there for....who knows how long   3) winding up having to quarantine after the cruise. All three could totally play havoc with flight / hotel and other arrangements. 

 

Sheesh...did I just talk myself out of booking future cruises???  😬

Edited by OnTheJourney
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No international cruises will happen until a vaccine is widely distributed.  And cruisers will have to show proof of vaccination.  There is just no other way a standard cruise can operate.   Some niche, single country cruises may operate, like in Norway (until they generate an outbreak...).  Just my learned opinion....

 

On the bright side, several vaccines are showing promise and may begin being distributed at the end of 2020.
 

Don’t plan on any multi-country type cruises until at least March 2021.

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I have a final payment coming up soon on a Viking 15 day cruise and have serious reservations about making it. When I read about some of the things being talked about it is starting to sound more like being hassled than going on a vacation. We had our June Viking Cruise cancelled and were able to get a full refund. With the money the cruise industry is hemorrhaging I have got to wonder how much longer they will be able to give full refunds. The fact that Holland America just sold 4 ships is an indicator how much they are hurting. We took our first cruise on our honeymoon in 1969 from Miami to the Bahamas on Norwegian Cruise Lines 550 passenger MS Sunward. We were the only ship in the harbor in Nassau, and the straw market was an actual straw market. We had an inside cabin so small we had to step outside to change our minds but at least we had our own bathroom and had a fabulous time. Some of the cabins used a community bath and shower, and the entertainment was a limbo contest on deck. Since then we have taken over 70 cruises including a 45 pax icebreaker in Antarctica and a four-mast square rigger, the Sea Cloud, in the Lesser Antilles and stood on all 7 continents. We love cruises but I’m like Jim, I don’t think I am ready to spend thousands of dollars on a future cruise until cruise conditions get back to normal, if that is even possible. I think my frustration with this whole ordeal is starting to show.

Tom

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16 hours ago, Ragnar Danneskjold said:

No international cruises will happen until a vaccine is widely distributed.  And cruisers will have to show proof of vaccination.  There is just no other way a standard cruise can operate.   Some niche, single country cruises may operate, like in Norway (until they generate an outbreak...).  Just my learned opinion....

 

On the bright side, several vaccines are showing promise and may begin being distributed at the end of 2020.
 

Don’t plan on any multi-country type cruises until at least March 2021.

 

If you're correct, sounds like my (January) B2B Chairman's and Iberian Explorer cruises on the Venus are kaput ☹️

Edited by OnTheJourney
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18 hours ago, OnTheJourney said:

When you start thinking about just how limiting and restrictive all of it could become - what sort of "vacation" is it if you now start to curtail or even eliminate to some extent much of what made cruising so enjoyable?  First time cruisers, of course, will have no idea how nice and relaxing it was in what could well become referred to as the "good old days", and so won't know any different other than what they've read and heard about. Us old folks, however, might just start to view it as too much hassle for the money spent.

Sheesh...did I just talk myself out of booking future cruises???  😬

OTJ -

Your logic process is exactly what we've gone through the past weeks - and have also made us think twice about future cruises.  We will have 4 total cruises cancelled before March 2021. (June 2020 cancelled by Viking, and the rest cancelled by us for cash back).   That certainly is frustrating for sure, but the alternative just isn't tolerable for us since we've experienced how it great cruising can be.   Certainly the cruise lines will not offer discounts for this limited style of cruising - still another reason we will be passing on that style of cruising for now.

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1 hour ago, OnTheJourney said:

 

If you're correct, sounds like my (January) B2B Chairman's and Iberian Explorer cruises on the Venus are kaput ☹️


Well, the Oxford/Astra-Zeneca vaccine group has indicated they may have something available as early as the fall.  So there is some (small) chance a Jan 2021 cruise may happen.  Hope springs eternal 🙂


Keep a close eye on vaccine news if you have a cruise scheduled first half of 2021.  But in my opinion, I doubt very many 2020 cruises will happen.

 

But I only play an expert (in anything) on Cruise Critic....

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And such a good expert you are Ragnar..... We are in the same boat. 😳  Don't see going cruising and wearing masks or not having room service.  Crew service at buffets invariably leads to longer lines.  We just had a HAL cruise for March 2021 cancelled as Carnival Cruise Lines sold the ship.  So far they are selling 13 across the brands (4 at HAL) and I feel this is just the start.  Watch for the scrap market to take a dive.  I don't think Viking will dispose of ships yet but surely deliveries of new builds will be pushed back.  Yes, let's get the vax so people can relax a bit and maybe go back to some form of cruising that will be worth it.

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We are putting this year’s travel, dining out, and entertainment budget towards a swimming pool!  The geologist is in the back yard drilling core samples as I type (we have a long, somewhat steep slope behind our yard....).  That’s making up for missing a dinner for two at the French Laundry 🤪  

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53 minutes ago, Ragnar Danneskjold said:


Keep a close eye on vaccine news if you have a cruise scheduled first half of 2021.  But in my opinion, I doubt very many 2020 cruises will happen.

 

But I only play an expert (in anything) on Cruise Critic....

 

So, any predictions about the World cruise which starts in Miami this coming December?  😉

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50 minutes ago, Jammy Bun said:

 

So, any predictions about the World cruise which starts in Miami this coming December?  😉

I would be surprised if it happens.  Not just US rules or impediments but a world full of them.  So glad we got to do it when we did.  

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2 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

 So far they are selling 13 across the brands (4 at HAL) and I feel this is just the start.  Watch for the scrap market to take a dive. 

 

Wow....maybe pick up some used cruise ships on the cheap at eBay 😁 I think there's room at the nearby lake to launch it from the boat ramp....

Edited by OnTheJourney
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2 hours ago, Ragnar Danneskjold said:

We are putting this year’s travel, dining out, and entertainment budget towards a swimming pool!  

 

Great idea, but just a word of advice as a 31-year pool owner - if you decide to go with non-chlorine biguanide as a sanitizing system AND have a DE filter - be prepared to do some maintenance. I started with chlorine for about 10 years and then switched to non-chlorine (long, complicated story). What the biguanide system - which uses hydrogen peroxide as an oxidizer instead of chlorine - is often plagued with is white water mold - very tough stuff to get rid of. This season has been my most difficult so far. I'm considering converting back to chlorine next spring. Using a sand filter instead of DE is reported to be much more successful with biguanide. Here's a great source of information. These guys are extremely helpful (but are not fans of non-chlorine). They are also death on pool store testing and relying on pool stores for most chemical purchases, etc. I invested in a few good test kits a few years ago and don't miss the half-hour drive to our local pool store. Plus, I found myself only testing once or twice a season when still relying on the store - not a good way to keep regular track of your water chemistry. You'll get the general idea if you look around the TFP site. 

 

Wishing you the best of luck with it.  Post a picture when it's all done!  🏊🏻‍♂️

Edited by OnTheJourney
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3 hours ago, OnTheJourney said:

Wishing you the best of luck with it.  Post a picture when it's all done!


Thanks!  And will do (but it will likely be next spring, takes forever to get anything like this done, at least in SoCal.... permits, permits, permits!).  At least the geologist blessed a pool, as long as we adhere to substantial slope set-backs.  No pilings, curtain walls, etc. required 😀  Those would have been a show-stopper....

 

Sorry about the off-topic stuff folks!  Hmmm, maybe someone will start a thread about what everyone is doing with the money saved on travel, etc. this year 🙂

 

We were thinking of a world cruise (Jim’s bad influence...) but are doing the pool instead.  The only problem with a pool is we’ll never get Jim to go home 😱  Well, before we run out of tequila anyway.

 

PS - also, a pool may draw ho-hums....

Edited by Ragnar Danneskjold
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9 hours ago, Ragnar Danneskjold said:

 

 Hmmm, maybe someone will start a thread about what everyone is doing with the money saved on travel, etc. this year 🙂

 

 

Great idea!  I'm saving up for future travel (when and if....)

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