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Live(ish) report: First real cruise this year - Greece with TUI Cruises Mein Schiff 6 - 9/27


Miaminice
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2 hours ago, Miaminice said:


Yes, it remained that way. People wore masks, period! Whenever someone forgot the mask, he or she was kindly reminded.

 

Happened to me, too. I am very consequent in wearing masks, distancing etc. - out of conviction. One time I forgot sugar for my coffee. So I got up and absent minded walked back inside the buffet restaurant - without a mask. A few seconds later I was kindly made aware of it. And felt really bad...

 

You've commented on the idea that the German cultural norm predicted to you that the nearly all German passengers were inclined to go along with the rules.  What's your sense of how it might have gone with the mix of passengers expected to be on a Celebrity ship, if it were under the same or similar circumstances?

 

- Joel

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3 hours ago, Miaminice said:

Thank you guys for all the friendly words!

 

I have some more info about disembarkation and one more tour. We are on our way home today - so I will post this afternoon.

 

 

 

Looking forward to it!!  What a great cruise and reminder that things can start to return to a new normal.

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16 hours ago, cl.klink said:

 

You've commented on the idea that the German cultural norm predicted to you that the nearly all German passengers were inclined to go along with the rules.  What's your sense of how it might have gone with the mix of passengers expected to be on a Celebrity ship, if it were under the same or similar circumstances?

 

- Joel

 

😀 Ohh, I hope I have not fueled the stereotypes which still exist about Germans - like Germans always follow rules, Germans are always precise and punctual and "Made in Germany" is still a guarantee for quality. I have (and hate) to say those are virtues long gone... 🙂 

However, Germany has been very efficient in dealing with the pandemic. Most of the debated guidelines on board have been part of every Germans everyday life for months. And with success - a success leading to the very fact that we were able to be on this cruise at all. So I dare to say the people on board the current cruises don´t see it as "following rules" but as nomality, as the right thing to do and a small price to pay to move on. 

A fact that also shouldn´t be neglected is that the people who booked the cruise had all the information about the guidelines. I am convinced that knowing about the guidelines provided the confidence to book the cruise for most of them. So adhering to the "codes of conduct" came as natural result and self interest.

 

To answer the second part without stirring up a debate is difficult.

Some, who don´t know me or my history personally, might even insinuate that I am sitting on a high (German) horse or that I am trying to "rub it in"... Those who do know me know that I am American at heart as much as I am German - maybe even more. They also know that I am very fact-based and that I try to be as objective as possible (of course I am no saint either).

So how do I think it might have gone with the standard mix of passengers of a Celebrity cruise?

I would currently not have the confidence to book such a cruise! And here´s why:

 

All the prevention policies and guidelines are good - but they are not 100% safe and fool proof.
1. Every passenger was tested before. But every passenger could have been infected 10 minutes after the test and might be asymptomatic or presymptomatic during the cruise. He or she could be infectious nontheless.

It comes down to a probability calculus. In order to keep the remaining risk on an acceptable level, the probability of being infected in between the test and the cruise needs to be low. In Germany (or any other country with low numbers and protocols in place) it is.

2. Should the case still occur, only the strict adherence to the guidelines are the second line of defence to prevent a spread. This requires a certain united willingness and conviction on the side of the passengers (not just the cruise line) to prevent a spread on board.


As long as I have doubts about either or both points, I wouldn´t go on such a cruise. That´s my personal opinion only! Sadly I have doubts about both given the current numbers and devision among the regular Celebrity Passengers.

 

It also hurts my heart and soul that Birgit and I will not spend Christmas and New Year in Miami (which is a second home to us) as usual this year - for the same reasons.

   

 

Edited by Miaminice
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Great review and I’ve enjoyed following along. If you don’t mind me asking, how much did your cruise cost? I realize your airfare from Germany was included but you also mentioned it was all inclusive. Did you only have to pay for your excursions on board?

 

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1 hour ago, NJ Gal said:

Really enjoying hearing about your cruise. 

Are there keys to open and close your cabin doors?  How are the shows following social distancing?

Did you feel safe and comfortable in the spa?

 

 

 

 

The doors open just like on a Celebrity ship. Hold the key card on the lock.

 

Yes, I felt safe and comfortable in the spa. When I went to my massage appointment I was informed that the room had been disinfected and aired for at least 30 minutes. They also told me that spa staff is intructed to reduce a conversation to a minimum... which was fine with me 🙂

Although the (very beautiful) sauna was also available (after making an appointment to reduce the number of people), I did not use it. I would not have felt comfortable there. 

 

I will talk about the shows in a separate post. I know many of you want to know...

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22 minutes ago, Travelexpert35 said:

Great review and I’ve enjoyed following along. If you don’t mind me asking, how much did your cruise cost? I realize your airfare from Germany was included but you also mentioned it was all inclusive. Did you only have to pay for your excursions on board?

 

 

I know talking about prices is usually not a thing to do here... However, given the circumstances I would think it is acceptable. Also to show that TUI cruises IMHO are not taking advantage of the situation.

 

We paid roughly 1,300 Euro per person for a balcony stateroom in a prime location (hump cabin on deck 7). This included the Covid test, airfare and the AI concept, meaning wine, beer, most cocktails and drinks, taxes/fees, gratuities etc. are included. 

 

Specialty restaurants and excursions are extra - but do come at a very reasonable price.

 

TUI Cruises are no budget cruise line and prices can be higher than prices of e.g. American cruise lines (maybe not Celebrity). Since you will only find Germans on board of whom most would not choose another line due to the fear of a language barrier, they have less competion.
 

Nevertheless we thought the price was OK and not much higher (if at all) as if we would have done a land based vacation with the same amenities.

Edited by Miaminice
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Shows:

 

Since Birgit and I are no show lovers, we didn´t visit any of the shows.

However, I guessed that many following along would wonder - so I spoke to a couple who did go to the shows.

 

They basically did the same as in restaurants. Passengers were led to seats and the stateroom number and seat number where registered to provide contact tracing. Families and groups were able to sit together. In between the groups seats were left vacant to provide distancing. 

When the show was over, they used a procedure currently used on airplanes. People were asked to leave row by row instead of creating a queue on the stairs and exits.

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What about housekeeping?  Did the stewards clean the rooms daily, were linens and towels changed regularly?  Or did you need to request this in order for them to enter your room?  Were there any complimentary toiletries (individual or dispenser)?   What about the room, was it sparse, or were there the usual pens, paper, daily guide, shop advertising.  Were things (like the tv remote) in sealed bags?

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1 hour ago, Miaminice said:

So adhering to the "codes of conduct" came as natural result and self interest.

 

First, thank you for a well-written, very interesting and informative report. Glad that all went smoothly for you and everybody else.

 

Second, I think that "self interest" is the "key word".... I wish everyone will follow it..... then we'll be back cruising again, and next year you'll be back in Miami for X and NYE 😁

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1 hour ago, 4HeatonsGal said:

What about housekeeping?  

 

Did the stewards clean the rooms daily, were linens and towels changed regularly?  

 

Sure, there´s not much of a difference in regards of housekeeping.
Towels are changed whenever you throw them on the floor.

Linens are not changed every day. There´s no need to. Unlike in a business hotel the only people in our beds for the week are us - I hope 😉  

 

Were there any complimentary toiletries (individual or dispenser)?  
Shower/Shampoo gel and conditioner is still there. Dispensers are the norm for quite a while.

What about the room, was it sparse, or were there the usual pens, paper, daily guide, shop advertising.  

It wasn´t sparse in any way. The daily program is still there. All the advertising you know from Celebrity or other American cruise lines has never been there. 

 

Were things (like the tv remote) in sealed bags?

No... again, nobody but us touched them.


Stateroom attendants wear masks and gloves all the time. Surfaces are whiped down with disinfectant daily.
When the guests leave after one week the, whole ship is thoroughly sanitized sprayed etc.

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Thank you, Miaminice, for the awesome thread!  Like so many others, I've really enjoyed going along with you!  🙏

 

I understand that the scare with the crew tests during the week was just that – a scare – and those initial results were false positives.  During the time between those results and the follow-up tests that confirmed no one was infected, was it business as usual?  You weren't confined to staterooms?  It didn't seem so from your account.

 

In the same vein, were you advised, prior to departure, what the protocol would be if an outbreak did occur on board?

 

Thanks again for taking us along!

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22 hours ago, cl.klink said:

 

You've commented on the idea that the German cultural norm predicted to you that the nearly all German passengers were inclined to go along with the rules.  What's your sense of how it might have gone with the mix of passengers expected to be on a Celebrity ship, if it were under the same or similar circumstances?

 

- Joel

Hopefully passengers will conduct themselves according to Celebrity protocols.  And if not hopefully they will be dealt with.  Room confinement or a one way ticket home.  I’m pretty sure there will be some who will push boundaries and seeing them booted off the ship would make others think twice.  I so want to cruise again...

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40 minutes ago, riredsox said:

Hopefully passengers will conduct themselves according to Celebrity protocols.  And if not hopefully they will be dealt with.  Room confinement or a one way ticket home.  I’m pretty sure there will be some who will push boundaries and seeing them booted off the ship would make others think twice.  I so want to cruise again...

I hope they do give passengers the boot when they don't comply with the rules. Unfortunately, some people think rules don't apply to them because they are better than the rest of us. So happy your cruise was a great one and hopefully other cruises will continue to go smoothly.

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6 hours ago, 4HeatonsGal said:

.....Were things (like the tv remote) in sealed bags?

Even if they were sealed in bags someone is still touching the out side of them. When we go to a hotel or on a cruise we always bring lysol wipes and wipe down everything we will touch and then some. Those cleaning rags are nasty since they go from room to room and I don't think they are very well washed out between rooms. To me it's like going to eat and they use the same rag from table to table. Ugh!

 

4 hours ago, Miaminice said:

.....The daily program is still there. All the advertising you know from Celebrity or other American cruise lines has never been there......

 

Wish Royal and Celebrity would follow this. It is such a waste and annoying. They should have some boards thru out the ship with specials. That way if people want to see what's going on then they can read the boards or better yet read the daily program. As soon as we get all those flyers they immediately go in the trash.

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9 hours ago, Miaminice said:

 

😀 Ohh, I hope I have not fueled the stereotypes which still exist about Germans - like Germans always follow rules, Germans are always precise and punctual and "Made in Germany" is still a guarantee for quality. I have (and hate) to say those are virtues long gone... 🙂 

However, Germany has been very efficient in dealing with the pandemic. Most of the debated guidelines on board have been part of every Germans everyday life for months. And with success - a success leading to the very fact that we were able to be on this cruise at all. So I dare to say the people on board the current cruises don´t see it as "following rules" but as nomality, as the right thing to do and a small price to pay to move on. 

A fact that also shouldn´t be neglected is that the people who booked the cruise had all the information about the guidelines. I am convinced that knowing about the guidelines provided the confidence to book the cruise for most of them. So adhering to the "codes of conduct" came as natural result and self interest.

 

To answer the second part without stirring up a debate is difficult.

Some, who don´t know me or my history personally, might even insinuate that I am sitting on a high (German) horse or that I am trying to "rub it in"... Those who do know me know that I am American at heart as much as I am German - maybe even more. They also know that I am very fact-based and that I try to be as objective as possible (of course I am no saint either).

So how do I think it might have gone with the standard mix of passengers of a Celebrity cruise?

I would currently not have the confidence to book such a cruise! And here´s why:

 

All the prevention policies and guidelines are good - but they are not 100% safe and fool proof.
1. Every passenger was tested before. But every passenger could have been infected 10 minutes after the test and might be asymptomatic or presymptomatic during the cruise. He or she could be infectious nontheless.

It comes down to a probability calculus. In order to keep the remaining risk on an acceptable level, the probability of being infected in between the test and the cruise needs to be low. In Germany (or any other country with low numbers and protocols in place) it is.

2. Should the case still occur, only the strict adherence to the guidelines are the second line of defence to prevent a spread. This requires a certain united willingness and conviction on the side of the passengers (not just the cruise line) to prevent a spread on board.


As long as I have doubts about either or both points, I wouldn´t go on such a cruise. That´s my personal opinion only! Sadly I have doubts about both given the current numbers and devision among the regular Celebrity Passengers.

 

It also hurts my heart and soul that Birgit and I will not spend Christmas and New Year in Miami (which is a second home to us) as usual this year - for the same reasons.

   

 

 

Appreciate your candor and insight

 

- Joel

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