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News about independent tours not being permitted?


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5 hours ago, Mackdogmolly said:

I usually don’t wear a mask when in a situation like that, but I always carry one so that when I encounter others on a trail (such as you described) I can put it on. I suspect that is what is happening in your case as well

Do you truly believe corona virus could jump into your nose as you pass someone on a trail outside? I will not wear a mask outside under any circumstances unless forced to. We took a Pink Jeep tour in Sedona and they made us wear a mask the whole time, driving offroad  in an open sided jeep. If I hadn't already paid for it I would not have done this. Utterly ridiculous.

 

I am sure the hikers wearing masks drove here as if one is that paranoid and fearful there is no way they would get on a plane. Our flight MCI -PHX getting to Arizona was 100% full. Didn't bother me one bit.

Edited by susiesan
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12 minutes ago, susiesan said:

Do you truly believe corona virus could jump into your nose as you pass someone on a trail outside? I will not wear a mask outside under any circumstances unless forced to. We took a Pink Jeep tour in Sedona and they made us wear a mask the whole time, driving offroad  in an open sided jeep. If I hadn't already paid for it I would not have done this. Utterly ridiculous.

 

I am sure the hikers wearing masks drove here as if one is that paranoid and fearful there is no way they would get on a plane. Our flight MCI -PHX getting to Arizona was 100% full. Didn't bother me one bit.

No, I don’t believe it would jump, passing someone one a trail. But I think it’s ok to use an over abundance of caution if that’s what makes you comfortable. And FYI, I work for the Health Department of the State with the lowest rate of COVID infections, and we have a mask mandate, so clearly something is working 

Edited by Mackdogmolly
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Amazingly this has become a political issue and what a disappointment that is. There are those that believe in science and those that don’t believe in the importance of being considerate of the well being of others. You wear a mask to protect others, sorry for the inconvenience. We have a friend who passed away in Kansas City from Covid. Probably caught it from someone who didn’t think wearing a mask was important. I wonder how many of the 215,000 Covid dead caught it from someone objecting to wearing a mask?

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If one does not want to wear a mask for whatever reason it is simply selfish for the point is to wear it to protect others as well as yourself.  It is a collective effort to insure that your neighbor is safe, it is a way for this country to stop the spread of this horrid disease so that people can enjoy cruising again, visit families, go to funerals, get the economy open again etc etc. You are on an open truck sitting with others probably not 6 feet apart I think a mask should be mandatory. I would never want to be in any activity with people who do not recognize the importance and the scientific evidence of mask wearing. It is not brain washing, not fear it is smart and compassionate. This is about “  Do unto others”,  the universal commandant no mater what religion and no religion one might have. It would not be ridiculous, your word Susiesan, if you were infected and infected your love ones. I would not want to be on a ship with people who do not respect mask wearing for it would make me anxious. I hope we can be all cruise soon and get rid of this horrid disease. 

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My only hope is that whatever people feel about masks and shore excursions they follow the rules of the cruise line. What I have always enjoyed about Windstar is that people all seem to respect the other passengers. I personally do not want to be on a cruise where this controversy is played out on the ship.

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I enjoy a combination of some tours and some independent adventures.  It depends where I am sailing. Windstar excursions are usually excellent. I have enjoyed them.  As we get older and slower, a tour group isn’t our best choice. I also like hiring a private guide just for the 2 of us.  That way, we don’t slow down a group.  We also decide where we want to go and how much time to stay. I know Windstar offers this. However, booking a private guide from Windstar is very expensive.  If the only way to get off in a port is to book a ship tour, we will not cruise.  We expect that after a vaccine is widely distributed and people feel safe traveling, cruising will rebound.  The cruising attraction is a relaxing stress free way to enjoy traveling. I am patient and can wait for safer times.  Looking forward to future travels. 

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Susie....

 

I know that you're on vacation and please don't feel this necessitates a response. We are online friends even though we're at opposite ends of COVID precautions issues.

Your state, MO, is in a lot of trouble with COVID. The article here shows that in Kansas City MO ambulances are being turned away because of the COVID crunch.

https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/521440-kansas-city-hospitals-turn-away-ambulances-due-to-covid-19-patient-surge

 

You may be young and your risk factors nominal so that you aren't concerned about contracting COVID. However with this horribly infectious and deadly illness, it is a sign of respect to others to wear a mask. I'm 68 and husband 74- we are healthy but age alone puts us at higher risk. The mask shows that you are concerned about someone's well being outside of your own family's EVEN IF YOU HATE IT. You are as vulnerable as the next guy to COVID especially in MO. You are such a smart woman- you could spend 10 minutes on the Johns Hopkins website and figure out why precautions are necessary. Again, EVEN IF YOU HATE IT and it's uncomfortable, wear the damn mask and don't fuss. Respect is what it's all about.

 

You said that I'd never get on your AA flight to Phoenix as it was so full. You're right. But it would tempt me sorely if the grandkids were at the end of the journey. However their three dads are all MDs and would refuse to even acknowledge me if I took flight at the moment. My sons seem to know some stuff. They aren't panicked fearmongers- they've cared for too many who have lost their lives or a major body function. They agonize over the losses and families left behind.

 

I'll keep sending you as much elastic to make your masks because it makes me happy, but would be happier hearing that you've adjusted to wearing one.

 

I can keep yakking but I know you'll still gripe at me. 😉 So just one more harangue in our never ending go around about this. Hope you're having fun on vacation!

 

 

 

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Thank you Petoonya.

My healthy slim active mid twenties daughter caught Covid in March. She continues to have pain in her lungs every single day since then. She has changed positions at work. She has no idea if she will be able to return to her original profession. She lives far away for us and let me tell you, as mother it is brutal to not be there with her.

 

Let's give some respect and consideration to all the staff who make the Windstar experience so special. Young does not equal bulletproof. All the staff have families that love them.

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On 10/16/2020 at 7:27 PM, Petoonya said:

However their three dads are all MDs and would refuse to even acknowledge me if I took flight at the moment. My sons seem to know some stuff. They aren't panicked fearmongers- they've cared for too many who have lost their lives or a major body function. They agonize over the losses and families left behind.

I have a daughter who is 3rd year medical school. She and here associates are risking their lives treating Covid patients. On the other extreme, I have extended-family, science-deniers that believe every wackadoodle conspiracy theory that comes across the Internet - and of course they resent wearing masks because it is all part of some conspiracy. It saddens me greatly to see my country, with one of the greatest records of scientific accomplishments, turning into a science-phobic society that would rather believe in myths and rumors.

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On 10/11/2020 at 8:10 PM, susiesan said:

So is Windstar signing onto this? If so, I will be cancelling Tahiti in January. I will not cruise with a mask and wil not be limited in going ashore. This would be the end of curing for me if all cruise lines adopt these ridiculous rules.

 

Same here. We've got tons of nice places in our neck of the wood.

Edited by dandee2
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11 hours ago, dandee2 said:

Same here. We've got tons of nice places in our neck of the wood.

 

I've got tons of nice places near me too, but I'd still wear a mask with both hands tied behind my back to be cruising on a WS ship right now.

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I wouldn't mind wearing a mask. I've even gotten comfortable with wearing a mask while exercising now that COVID has dropped enough in our area to allow opening gyms at 10% of capacity. 

 

However, I don't think I'd be willing to go on a cruise when mask wearing is necessary because I don't see how dining would be safe in that case. You have to take off your mask to eat. Even with lowered capacity in dining rooms, you are still in a room with a bunch of people not wearing masks. Plus, one of the pleasures of cruising is sharing a table with others for conversation during diner. You wouldn't be 6 feet apart from them so it doesn't seem like you'll be able to share dinner tables with other cruisers or you would be increasing your risk of infection too much. There have been COVID clusters traced to people dining at the same restaurant with a spreader, even people seated at tables not that close to the source. Improved air filtration on the ships may help, but I don't think it would be enough when you are sharing the dining room unmasked. 

 

I've got a similar issue with flying. It would be one thing to take a one to two hour flight because I can get by that long without eating or drinking but an overseas flight means taking off your mask in the plane for meals. 

 

I'd be hesitant to take a cruise where I could only leave the ship on a ship excursion. While we do take some Windstar excursions, exploring on our own or with independent excursions tailored to our interests is important to me. It might be okay if it was a cruise close by or a very attractively priced ocean crossing where I'm going mostly to enjoy relaxing on the ship, but not if I'm flying someplace like Tahiti to experience the place.

 

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I’ve been keeping an eye on Health and Safety section of the WS site for updates almost weekly. They’ve recently added the following verbiage that wasn’t there before. Obviously the official rules will be released later but they’ve definitely made some recent updates on their site that could indicate the direction they’re headed. Thought this thread seemed like a good place to share. 

 

-must present a negative Covid 19 test

-indicating  that masks are to be worn inside and on deck when needed

-disclaimer that shore excursions could be impacted by local and regulatory requirements 

 

 

 

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We are booked for March out of Barbados, so it is good to read that Windstar is possibly ramping up for cruises to start!  Appreciate that info!  I think it will be extremely emotional if and when we actually get to board!

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All three of these changes are deal killers for me.

 

How and where does one get a covid test in Papeete before boarding the ship? Am I supposed to spend the 2 days in Papeete running around trying to get a local covid test? I would have already had to get one before leaving the US to fly there. This will be a real burden for passengers.

I will not wear a mask on a cruise ship, especially not outside.

I will not be limited to only overpriced ship shore excursions.

 

If these things are still in place in march I will be cancelling my Wind Spirit cruise and just keep postponing until things are back to normal.

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Susie.

 

Just cancel- we'll at least be wearing masks.

 

I don't see where a COVID test is required in Papeete (I might be mistaken and maybe this is something new?) I assume the test they mean is the one 72 hours before boarding our flights.

 

By the time you travel 5 months from now in March it may just be that the rapid test will be acceptable when Tahiti's cases have declined. Air Tahiti Nui is pushing for that.

 

If you won't wear a mask on deck you should cancel now as in some areas, even outside, this will probably be required. We are going to be a "mask society" for a long time.

 

And who knows if shore excursions will be limited to the ship's offerings. As long as cases stay as active we won't get to do independent tours. Not even Dr. Fauci knows. 🙂

 

You've been threatening cancellation for sometime now, first on the January cruise and now on the March cruise. This is the way cruising will be and will stay until COVID is not the beast it is now.. If you feel this strongly there's no reason to tie up $ in this or any cruise as it's not likely to change. If I felt like you, I'd cancel.

 

As a friend I see no reason for you to take the risk of keeping a cruise under deposit. The majority of us have either postponed cruising or are playing "wait and see". This is Cruise Critic and you are entitled to critique anything. But constantly threatening cancellation is negativity few of us want. Cancel.

 

 

 

 

 

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We received a survey from Windstar asking questions around travel plans and concerns. One section of the survey has a range of answers that went from “Absolutely essential” to “Detrimental”. Questions in this section covered things like mask wearing in different scenarios (public spaces, tenders, tour busses, etc), limiting excursions to ship-sponsored only, testing (pre-trip, at boarding, through the voyage, and so on). 
 

It definitely felt like they are trying to gauge customer reaction to the policies.  
 

In the guidelines above, they also state that policies will be adjusted based on local requirements as the situation continues to evolve. None of us know what the situation will be like in 6 months. 
 

We are likely booking an Alaska trip this week (using FCCs from this summer’s cancelled trip and the upcoming special aligned with the loyalty program). We will monitor things into next year and will make a decision when final payment is due. Mask wearing will not be a deal-breaker. The overall state of the virus and a general ability to travel will guide our decision. 
 

 

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Yeah Petoonya, I think you spoke for all of us.  We all lost interest a long time ago in the daily drama of indecision expressed by Susisan regarding her plans in Tahiti. She has expressed her reluctance or refusal to wear a mask In almost any situation. The last thing we need on our Windstar cruise is the inevitable conflict between the overwhelming majority of passengers who would accept their social responsibility to others and wear masks, and those, less considerate and following some warped political dictate, refuse to wear masks.

We all agree, cancel

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1 hour ago, Petoonya said:

As a friend I see no reason for you to take the risk of keeping a cruise under deposit. The majority of us have either postponed cruising or are playing "wait and see". This is Cruise Critic and you are entitled to critique anything. But constantly threatening cancellation is negativity few of us want. Cancel.

 

 I was sorely tempted to respond to Susiesan, but I restrained myself. You, however, have posted what I would have, were I a much more polite person than I am.

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If you book because you are able to find covid insurance:

Saw yesterday that Hawaii require that anyone tested positive on the island will have to quaranteen "with" anyone travelling with that person. I haven't seen such requirement from FP but it makes sense.

 

Does your insurance cover the extra cost of quaranteen (14 days at a hotel) for the other people in your group?

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1 hour ago, dandee2 said:

If you book because you are able to find covid insurance:

Saw yesterday that Hawaii require that anyone tested positive on the island will have to quaranteen "with" anyone travelling with that person. I haven't seen such requirement from FP but it makes sense.

 

Does your insurance cover the extra cost of quaranteen (14 days at a hotel) for the other people in your group?

There are now travel medical insurance policies out there now that are specific to Covid related expenses.  https://www.americanvisitorinsurance.com/blog/visitors/travel-insurance-for-coronavirus-covid-19.asp 
 

As an example, Turks and Caicos require the purchase of medical travel insurance that covers Covid 19 related expenses including quarantine for all travelers (individual policy or named insured). Knowing the requirement in Hawaii, I’d ensure my entire party is included in such a policy. 

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17 hours ago, Barrycat said:

 

We all agree, cancel

Nope, not going to cancel yet. All I have invested is a $200 deposit. As long as Windstar allows me to keep moving my booking ahead at the same price paid I will keep the booking active.

 

In the meantime, need to find a warm place to travel to in January since I am not going to be in Tahiti.

Edited by susiesan
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