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Good news from Azamara email. Really?


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6 hours ago, Grandma Cruising said:

Not to Kalamata - we flew to Greece on 15 September & the flight was 80% full.

 

52 minutes ago, tidespring said:

Just returned from Kusadasi last Wednesday, with Jet 2, the flights were full in both directions.

 

 

Turkey and Greece both currently on the non-quarantine list - for how long though? 

 

We flew to Portugal with Easyjet on 5th September and the plane was full. While we were there they introduced quarantine for those returning from Portugal. We counted 34 getting off the plane we returned on as we were waiting to board and there were 64 on our flight.

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Turkey and Greece were not the main markets for Easyjet.  Their main markets were mainland Europe and Spanish islands and these flights are decimated both for Easyjet and Jet 2 who have wholesale cancellations in place.  This will challenge all airlines for a time to come and many will not survive.  Jet 2 lease their planes and it was reported last week that they have signed no leases for December yet which is how they are managing their finances but does not bode well for the times ahead.

 

 

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On 9/25/2020 at 12:00 AM, flyingshoes said:

Thanks, Phil.  The inability to leave the ship unless via a cruise line managed excursion will stop us from cruising Azamara.  Another favored line, Crystal, with much more to do onboard, has published their specific protocols and we won't be sailing with them either.  The hospital ship atmosphere is bad enough but the inability to escape on a port intensive line like Azamara makes cruising untenable.  Maybe 2022....

Circling back to the original topic, I have looked at some of the boards of the other small ship lines, and many feel the same. Although Regent spent pages hung up on the kind of testing that would be conducted and less on the inability to leave unless on an organized excursion. They do make a good point, however. A lot of the rapid testing out there can produce false positives. We had a incident here in Vermont a couple of months ago when there was a so called “outbreak” where 62 people at a private clinic tested positive, but when the state swooped in with PCR testing, all but 3 or 4 tested negative 

Betsey

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The Azamara email today has offered cruises to Iceland with stop in Scotland and Ireland starting in March 2021.   I believe this is a good sign but will probably cruises with some of the restrictions.   How open is Iceland to cruise passengers running around freely on their island?    Iceland may prefer you be in pods from the ship not mingling with their citizens.

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For whatever reason I can't get the voyages to load.

 

Iceland air has a page about testing requirements for incoming passengers.https://www.covid.is/categories/tourists-travelling-to-iceland

 

I bet they will combine current process (the day of arrival test and the 5 days of quarantine and retest) into something the ship can process.  Perhaps the first few days are ship's excursions only with no walking around the town followed by more freedom after the second round of testing?

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On 9/28/2020 at 12:25 PM, uktog said:

Jet 2 lease their planes and it was reported last week that they have signed no leases for December yet which is how they are managing their finances but does not bode well for the times ahead.

Noticed on Sunday that Jet 2 have cancelled all flights to the Canaries and Balearic Islands( all Spanish).

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23 minutes ago, upwarduk said:

Noticed on Sunday that Jet 2 have cancelled all flights to the Canaries and Balearic Islands( all Spanish).

Yes but just until 17th October only - technically we can fly to Lanzarote on the 18th October from Edinburgh if we choose to do it so sooner than the cruise lines are sailing - British Airways and Ryanair have kept flying there 

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I have never, and will never, been seen on a cruise ship excursion (and only once went to an Amazing evening).  I just detest organised group things with a passion. That means many people ask why we  love cruising - simple: I love ships.  The two can be compatible but we always DIY shore excursions using local transport. An associated reason for that has been that I have noticed the people who do a lot of shore excursions (in buses) seem to get the cruise line kennel coughs before we do (if at all).  The suggestion that only cruise sponsored tours will be allowed is, therefore,  an absolute deal breaker for us, unfortunately. 

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8 hours ago, lahore said:

I have never, and will never, been seen on a cruise ship excursion (and only once went to an Amazing evening).  I just detest organised group things with a passion. That means many people ask why we  love cruising - simple: I love ships.  The two can be compatible but we always DIY shore excursions using local transport. An associated reason for that has been that I have noticed the people who do a lot of shore excursions (in buses) seem to get the cruise line kennel coughs before we do (if at all).  The suggestion that only cruise sponsored tours will be allowed is, therefore,  an absolute deal breaker for us, unfortunately. 

Same here. To me this is what the Azamara experience is all about. Because the ships can get into places much closer there is nothing I like more than just hopping into a local taxi or walk from the port.

 

I rarely do ship excursions unless there is something particularly I want to see and have left it late, have met people on the ship who I get on with and they are doing a ship excursion and I've got some OBC left or it's a long distance tour. Otherwise, DIY for me. Sometimes I'll just have a wander, sit in a local café and watch the world go by. That's destination immersion to me also. And I miss it. 

 

Phil 

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1 hour ago, excitedofharpenden said:

Same here. To me this is what the Azamara experience is all about. Because the ships can get into places much closer there is nothing I like more than just hopping into a local taxi or walk from the port.

 

I rarely do ship excursions unless there is something particularly I want to see and have left it late, have met people on the ship who I get on with and they are doing a ship excursion and I've got some OBC left or it's a long distance tour. Otherwise, DIY for me. Sometimes I'll just have a wander, sit in a local café and watch the world go by. That's destination immersion to me also. And I miss it. 

 

Phil 

Well said Phil. Exactly our position. In Scots the word is going for a daunder and our best daunders have been in ports where we’ve got a street or two back from souvenir land. To me destination immersion is a slow daunder round the local market. 
I hope to be able to take our remaining cruise booked with Azamara to Norway but if I’m “port manning as a guest” because I’m not wanting an organised excursion (done the places that need excursions) I will be cancelling (can’t lift and shift there’s no alternative). 
So it’s daunder or nothing here. 

Edited by uktog
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1 hour ago, uktog said:

Well said Phil. Exactly our position. In Scots the word is going for a daunder and our best daunders have been in ports where we’ve got a street or two back from souvenir land. To me destination immersion is a slow daunder round the local market. 
I hope to be able to take our remaining cruise booked with Azamara to Norway but if I’m “port manning as a guest” because I’m not wanting an organised excursion (done the places that need excursions) I will be cancelling (can’t lift and shift there’s no alternative). 
So it’s daunder or nothing here. 

We’re with the daunderers, we have done ships excursions but only when other options are limited, always seem to result in disappointment though.

If taking ships tours is going to be a condition of travel then either they should make tours included or allow customers to cancel as the product would be substantially not what we have booked. 

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Given the small size of their ships and the port-intensive itineraries, I expect that Azamara will do all they can to allow freedom in port – but it may not be their decision [either RCG or various governments will dictate this]

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Although I understand that many people have a problem with the requirement of ship excursions only, I do not see any other possibility under the current circumstances to start cruising and to avoid COVID on board.

I see the new procedures as temporary and as such I am willing to accept them.

I expect however, that Azamara drops significantly the cruise prices. For example waving the solo supplement and having a lower per diem per person.

I would not book any cruise with Azamara under the current or higher prices in addition to the new requirements. 
Ivi

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We like to do our own thing and if we want to look at something specific use a local guide putting money into the local economy. We then ask to be taken to local restaurants and bars and shops so that we support local people. Using ship's excursions will not help local economies in the same way. Exploring with a local person, using a taxi is far more interesting than most shore excursions. A taxi to Petra and a personal guide or a tour of St Petersburg in a group of 2 create previous memories and you move at your own pace! Or just to stroll and stop when and where we want to eat, drink and shop.

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The Washington Post has an article about the increase of cases in Iceland. They are closing bars and gyms and limiting gatherings to 20 people. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/10/05/iceland-an-early-coronavirus-role-model-closes-bars-gyms-cases-rise/

 

The part that has the most relevance to our discussion-

"...At least some of Iceland’s recent cases have been linked to tourism. State epidemiologist Gudnason recently blamed two French travelers — who both tested positive for the virus but did not self-isolate in mid-August — for a cluster of about 100 coronavirus cases on the island, the Guardian reported.

 

The two travelers had visited several crowded spaces, including a pub and a restaurant in the capital, Reykjavik...."

The Guardian article states that roughly 100 infections were caused by the French tourists. They can tell because it is a slightly different strain than had been circulating before.

 

 

 

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As regards U.K. passengers the cruise lines can talk all they like about the steps they are taking to make cruising Covid-19 secure but the current FCO advise is against all ocean going cruise ship travel. This means that travel insurance would invalid making cruise travel impossible for U.K. citizens, so if the cruise lines do start up whilst this travel advice is in place it will be interesting to see how the cruise lines handle the inevitable cancellations from U.K. customers.

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1 hour ago, Riocca said:

As regards U.K. passengers the cruise lines can talk all they like about the steps they are taking to make cruising Covid-19 secure but the current FCO advise is against all ocean going cruise ship travel. This means that travel insurance would invalid making cruise travel impossible for U.K. citizens, so if the cruise lines do start up whilst this travel advice is in place it will be interesting to see how the cruise lines handle the inevitable cancellations from U.K. customers.

Absolutely- that’s why all this we are getting ready to have you back, please book cruises winds us all up so much.  I don’t see the UK government advice changing this year and our insurance relates to when we book (which has proved very useful for all our Covid cancellations). Any booking I make as long as that restriction is in place is not insured for anything including repatriation even if the cruise is in 2022.  That is not uncommon small print in UK travel insurance policies. 
It may be different in the US but cruise lines need to recognise rules beyond the USA. 

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3 hours ago, Riocca said:

As regards U.K. passengers the cruise lines can talk all they like about the steps they are taking to make cruising Covid-19 secure but the current FCO advise is against all ocean going cruise ship travel. This means that travel insurance would invalid making cruise travel impossible for U.K. citizens, so if the cruise lines do start up whilst this travel advice is in place it will be interesting to see how the cruise lines handle the inevitable cancellations from U.K. customers.

My thoughts exactly. I'm afraid the media are being no help at all and this annoys me. The BBC News just the other day had a news story on the Turkish breakers yard in Aliaga where a number of cruise ships had been sent to end their days and it started the piece with saying that cruise ships were the breeding ground for Covid-19. Totally over the top and inaccurate.

 

Phil 

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