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Live from the first cruise in the Pandemic


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15 hours ago, Miaminice said:

Who do I have to speak with to get a German Passport in order to sail again???

Just a thought:

All EU passports have a burgundy cover (including those for residents of UK) and we used to be able to travel to any country. within the EU without a problem, so are they only booking residents of Germany on this cruise?

Edited by upwarduk
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8 hours ago, groryjm said:

This is a German cruise line with mainly Germans on board so I imagine there is 100% compliance with the rules.

 

I am happy to see that reality has not yet managed to bring down old stereotypes LOL

All jokes aside... from what I see and hear, the passengers who booked this cruise were very much aware of what they were in for and very willing to follow the rules. Plus, by now we are used to them in everyday life - so not much different on the ship I would imagine.

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1 minute ago, upwarduk said:

Just a thought:

All EU passports have a burgundy cover (including those residents of UK) and we used to be able to travel to any country. within EU without a problem.

Are they only booking residents of Germany on this cruise?

 

Good question!

When the cruises were introduced it was said "for Germans only" - so not for all who can travel to Germany.

Just like there are other cruises only for French, Norwegians etc. 

 

I am inclined to say: yes, they are for Germans (or German residents) only. Which would make sense!

However, I have been trying to find some detailed verification of this on the TUI website or the booking terms and so far I couldn´t. So for now I can only repeat the vague info which was given in interviews, media articles etc.

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Without checking their website... but I think that those Blue Cruises are for Germans only maybe Austria and Switzerland. Hapag-Lloyd does only allow Germans, Austrians and Swiss (citizens - so you don´t have to have a German passport).

 

steamboats

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9 hours ago, jg51 said:

[from Q4.]  Since you are not given a "cruise card" at check-in (but instead get it inside the stateroom), how are you able to get into the stateroom the first time?  Is the door wide open, or must the stateroom steward help you to enter?

Usually the door should be open... RCI has a different system on the newer ships. There you find an envelope at the door with one of the cards and the rest is inside. The envelope is sealed.

 

9 hours ago, jg51 said:

 

[from Q6.]  We asked about the availability of food in the buffet restaurant -- and if it is served at tables by waiters.  You replied, "The buffet has the same offerings as usual but you have to tell the staff what you want. Then they put it on a plate and hand it over with a hood covering the food."

This raises a new question:  How can a guest know what is available, on the buffet, so that he/she can "tell the staff what you want"?  In other words ... (1) Is there a "buffet menu" ... or (2) Is the guest allowed to walk through the buffet area, making a written or mental note of what is available and can be ordered ... or (3) some other method?  In the past, on Celebrity ships (at least Solstice-class ships), there have been perhaps one hundred or more different items available at each meal.  In order to keep some items from being missed/overlooked/forgotten by guests, it seems that a complete, detailed "buffet menu" is needed for each meal.  How is TUI managing this situation?

You can walk up to the buffet and have a look... no problem! There are glass panels protecting the food. In areas where you can´t walk up there´s a line on the floor where you have to stop and look.

 

[from Q9.]  We asked this: "Are some of the customary activities listed in the daily program -- for example: trivia games, karaoke, and other things of this nature?  You kindly replied:

"Yes, they do have a full daily program - Bingo, classes (food, arts & crafts, sports - mainly for a fee), shuffleboard and more."

We would appreciate it if you or Germancruiser could respond specifically about the two things that we mentioned: trivia games and karaoke. 

~~~ Some people think that karaoke will never again take place on cruise ships, because of contamination of the microphone; others say that the problem can be overcome by using disposable "sleeves" for the microphone (one per singer). 

~~~ Many Celebrity cruises have dozens (even over 100) enthusiastic trivia aficionados.  We are sure that some people are wondering if trivia (1) will be banned completely or (2) will be allowed only in very large venues (e.g., Sky Lounges) where tables would be far apart (and perhaps teams may consist of families and close friends only).

Once again, the entertainment program on a German cruise ship is different from Celebrity (or any other international cruise line). I don´t think that TUI Cruises ever had Karaoke (I think AIDA has). Trivias are not as popular as well in Germany. But there´s no need to ban Trivias - you only need to be seated in a way you can keep the distance. I have seen a whole daily program but I haven´t seen any Trivia or Karaoke on that program.

 

 

steamboats

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33 minutes ago, steamboats said:

Here´s a longer video from the first cruise covering embarkation day and the first day onboard. Of course it´s in German.

 

But it shows quite a bit - buffet, two shows (theater and Showbühne), daily program

 

steamboats

steamboats, this is so well done and great to see how things will look when we get back onboard!

I for one think that there will definitely be some positives come out of this.

Of course the under occupancy is very enticing and that pool looks amazing!

Thank you so much for sharing 😃

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Theres a vlog up now for the same trip - looks great.. Thinking of booking for one of the August 7 day  Fjord  trips from Hamburg..  I believe this gentleman is also going to take the Aida trip next month. This helps answer a lot of the ?s re how does the buffet work etc..

 

 

Here is the current list for not allowed to board for those interested .. (If you open it in Edge it will auto translate) it is updated daily https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogebiete_neu.html  however bear in mind you have to compare the information with your own countries advisory (for instance UK is technically allowed and theres nothing to stop you  but you would be against your FCO advisory which currently only allows river cruising (And I believe expedition ships below 400pax from Aug) so you would be travelling with no insurance..  For instance you would only have free access to public med care through the EU Health Insurance card system.

 

MAny thanks to the OP and the Vlogger -- I feel confident and excited to see we are finally getting going in Europe.. ANd that its being done so well..

Edited by ighten
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1 hour ago, ighten said:

Theres a vlog up now for the same trip - looks great.. Thinking of booking for one of the August 7 day  Fjord  trips from Hamburg..  I believe this gentleman is also going to take the Aida trip next month. This helps answer a lot of the ?s re how does the buffet work etc..

 

 

Here is the current list for not allowed to board for those interested .. (If you open it in Edge it will auto translate) it is updated daily https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogebiete_neu.html  however bear in mind you have to compare the information with your own countries advisory (for instance UK is technically allowed and theres nothing to stop you  but you would be against your FCO advisory which currently only allows river cruising (And I believe expedition ships below 400pax from Aug) so you would be travelling with no insurance..  For instance you would only have free access to public med care through the EU Health Insurance card system.

 

MAny thanks to the OP and the Vlogger -- I feel confident and excited to see we are finally getting going in Europe.. ANd that its being done so well..

 

I strongly advise you to re-check before you get your hopes up.
 

I am very sure that they do not accept bookings from any non-German residents. At least that’s what has been announced many times before the cruise.

 

To be fair, any other policy would sabotage the confidence of the people willing to book the cruise.. The limitation of nationalities was one of the measures important to the majority of the guests.

Edited by Miaminice
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33 minutes ago, Miaminice said:

 

I am very sure that they do not accept bookings from any non-German residents. At least that’s what has been announced many times before the cruise.

 

To be fair, any other policy would sabotage the confidence of the people willing to book the cruise.. The limitation of nationalities was one of the measures important to the majority of the guests.

 

As a Belgian I can book all the way through to payment.. It has been said many times that it is restricted to Germans only but nothing about this rule can be found on TUI's website.

 

My TA (Belgian company) also sent out an e-mail advertising these cruises which I think they wouldn't do if we aren't allowed to book them..

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Just spoke to TUI and there is no such restriction  in fact they emailed us... They themselves dont know why/where that information came from as they have never mentioned it themselves.. The rule is simply that you are allowed to enter Germany using the Covid travel list (both from there side and your own countries - at least they have had the sense to split Spain up into territories unlike us)..

 

For that reason they do recommend  booking last minute though...

 

Oddly  the insurance company we use have said they are fine once your in Hamburg before and after regardless of the Cruise part.. The cruise part itself though would not be insured

 

HApag Lloyd do have that policy (German Swiss Austria) all though according to there agent it may be lifted due to borders now being open..

Hurtigruten do seem to have that policy for its Hamburg cruises though -- And I think its the same for the Hurti grutenUK exploration tours in Sept.. Which is a pity as I tend to pick ships with as few fellow UKers as possible.. (I can hear enough conversations  about weather - sport - price of drinks and general moaning at work 😉 😉 )

Edited by ighten
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6 minutes ago, ighten said:

Just spoke to TUI and there is no such restriction  in fact they emailed us... They themselves dont know why/where that information came from as they have never mentioned it themselves..

 

Now that´s funny!!! I am sure that besides reading it in a few statements I read in an interview with the CEO of TUI W. Meier 😵
I´ll recheck if I find the time...

Don´t get me wrong - I am happy for you. Plus, the monocultural part is what is (under usual circustances) keeping us from booking. 

 

However, on the other hand the limitation to Germans and the expected correlated risk reduction is what´s important to many people booking. And I can see the logic behind it. And I can asure you, all the info I ever read about the cruises really suggested "Germans only"...

I am sure @steamboats is just as surprised as I am....

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There is a chance it was part of  an original plan - as these were put together at a time when no borders were open anyway for travel..

 

As I say though it would be a risk  - as we can see in the UK, borders are shutting and countries placed on red lists at the drop of a hat.

Edited by ighten
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1 hour ago, Jasper95 said:

 

As a Belgian I can book all the way through to payment.. It has been said many times that it is restricted to Germans only but nothing about this rule can be found on TUI's website.

 

My TA (Belgian company) also sent out an e-mail advertising these cruises which I think they wouldn't do if we aren't allowed to book them..

Similarly, as Irish, I can book all the way through to payment page.  It even accepted my Irish telephone number.

Only veranda and suites are bookable, no insides.

Edited by VMax1700
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4 hours ago, Miaminice said:

I am sure @steamboats is just as surprised as I am....

 

I´m surprised too. I was pretty sure that the cruises are only sold on the DACH market (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). One of the 10 points plan is that you can travel to Hamburg by car or train and don´t have to fly. I tried to find a source but didn´t so far.

 

Hapag-Lloyd definitely did not accept any other clients (an Austrian friend who lives in the Netherlands couldn´t book). Hurtigruten did offer the Hamburg departures for German residents only.

 

@ighten you posted the same video link I posted ;-).

 

But folks, all who want to book... be aware that this is a German cruise - all activities or entertainment will be in German. The crew of course does speak English but German is the onboard language.

 

steamboats

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10 hours ago, steamboats said:

Here´s a longer video from the first cruise covering embarkation day and the first day onboard. Of course it´s in German.

 

But it shows quite a bit - buffet, two shows (theater and Showbühne), daily program

 

steamboats

Thanks for posting..took awhile to actually show the ship in the video. The streets and city  looked immaculate...but  seems there were alot of people out and about.

( more things open than where we live, suburban NY, USA)

 

The video showed it was fairly close and crowded at the initial boarding area..., saw the 4 boxed off areas in the elevator and other efforts to distance people.

 

They made excellent efforts...but still makes me nervous about  cruising in the near future,  guess each one  must decide their own comfort level!

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1 hour ago, steamboats said:

I´m surprised too. I was pretty sure that the cruises are only sold on the DACH market (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). One of the 10 points plan is that you can travel to Hamburg by car or train and don´t have to fly. I tried to find a source but didn´t so far.

 

You can find it from an article in late May but you need to use googles archive service as it has been removed - possibly because when the borders opened in July it became OOD.. As I mentioned above Hapag and Hurt still have resident policies in place - though Hurtis has now relaxed the Norway rules apart from the Hamburg and UK start cruises which are resident only ..

 

I cant find any mention of transport in the 10 point plan  - though again it may have been updated when borders opened up.

 

BUT when I say relaxed beware --- your still restricted by your own countries rules and remember they can change overnight..

 

My opinion - its great to see things starting and I think Tui etc are doing a great job  -- Even with a Vaccine we have to get on with our lives and learn to live with this.. The alternative is sitting in a hole hoping it goes away (it wont happen)

 

Edited by ighten
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I am from Denmark, I did ask before I did the booking for the travel with Mein Schiff 1 from Kiel on monday the 3. Th of August. They say off course We Can book This Cruise because there are No restriktion between Denmark and Germany.

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14 hours ago, steamboats said:

... Usually the door should be open... RCI has a different system on the newer ships. There you find an envelope at the door with one of the cards and the rest is inside. The envelope is sealed.

 

... You can walk up to the buffet and have a look... no problem! There are glass panels protecting the food. In areas where you can´t walk up there´s a line on the floor where you have to stop and look.

 

... Once again, the entertainment program on a German cruise ship is different from Celebrity (or any other international cruise line). I don´t think that TUI Cruises ever had Karaoke (I think AIDA has). Trivias are not as popular as well in Germany. But there´s no need to ban Trivias - you only need to be seated in a way you can keep the distance. I have seen a whole daily program but I haven´t seen any Trivia or Karaoke on that program.

 

14 hours ago, steamboats said:

Here´s a longer video from the first cruise covering embarkation day and the first day onboard. Of course it´s in German.

 

But it shows quite a bit - buffet, two shows (theater and Showbühne), daily program

 

steamboats

 

Once again, "steamboats," we offer you our grateful thanks for taking the time (1) to answer our specific questions and (2) for letting us know about the twenty-minute YouTube clip from the first Mein Schiff cruise.  We look forward to viewing that clip this evening.  (We wish that we could thank you in person.)

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I guess the  reason for it only being 4 days is because the cruiseline doesn't want to take a chance of anyone coming down with the virus while onboard.  No ports help too.

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3 hours ago, Jimbo said:

I guess the  reason for it only being 4 days is because the cruiseline doesn't want to take a chance of anyone coming down with the virus while onboard.  No ports help too.

 
The next cruises are 7 night cruises into the Fjords.

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