Jump to content

Future Cruise Protocols


Recommended Posts

I have close family members who took a 4-day “cruise to nowhere” out of Singapore a few weeks ago and got a good report of how it went in all different aspects (requirements, entertainment, dining, etc.). Singapore has very low infection rates now but there were still lots of rules and changes. If enough people are interested I’ll post a report - but I don’t want to waste the time if it’s of little interest. Things may (or may not) be totally different by the time other areas are back to cruising - thus this may be of no importance. It was Royal Caribbean (not Star Lines) but the protocols were dictated by Singapore so would have been similar on both lines. 
 

if nothing else it might be fun to read a different topic than vaccines. 😆

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, there's nominal interest, but for those that are curious, here are the details of the cruise. It might spark some conversation. Others can skip over. I'm not saying these are good, bad or indifferent protocols; I'm just reporting.

 

This 4-day Royal Caribbean cruise to nowhere took place in January. There were no incidents of Covid. 

1) All cruisers had to be Singapore residents. The cruise left from and returned to Singapore.

2) Guests had to show evidence of a negative Covid test from 3 (?) days before and then had to take a rapid Covid test when boarding. Guests waited (15 minutes?) to get the results before they could board. Boarding was very long because it was spread out. 

3) Everyone had to wear a wristband that kept track of where they were on the ship. That was for contact tracing in case there was an incident. Sometimes guests had to walk through a tracing doorway to get to certain areas.

4) The ship was at reduced capacity (50%?) but some of the bars were closed and some of the common areas were roped off so guests did not have access to the whole ship.

5) Guests had to wear masks at all times unless eating or drinking or in the pool. Guests were allowed to walk around with a drink. There were Singapore officials on board whose job it was to police that and politely remind you to wear your mask. That took the onus off of Royal Caribbean.

6) The pool capacity was limited and there was a line waiting to get in. You could spend one hour in and then had to let someone else take a turn. They had soft serve ice cream by the pool so that seemed to appease the kids who were waiting. 

7) The buffet was served by the staff and the guests went through in a controlled line. Guests could not just roam around to the various stations. 

8.) Reservations were required for all dining and entertainment so the ship could control crowd sizes. (The Royal Caribbean main dining room has gotten notoriously bad over the past 5 years so many preferred to eat in the premium locales. Thus, reservations were hard to snag there and guests sometimes ended up eating at times they didn't want.)

9) The seating in the shows was spaced quite far apart and some guests couldn't get reservations for some of the shows they wanted to see. The capacity in the shows was less than 50%. 

10) Although they made no stops, they did cruise close by shorelines and did have some enrichment discussions about the areas they were visiting and the things they could see from the ship. The ship went pretty far out to sea and cruised to locations that were quite far away.

11) Young children didn't have to wear masks (not sure what the age cut-off was). 

12) Areas were constantly cleaned, wiped down, sanitized, etc. Only family members were allowed in an elevator together.

 

Of course, RC is a mainstream cruise line and issues/protocols might be different on a luxury cruise. I expect, once vaccinations are more widespread, some of these protocols may obviously be relaxed, but some may also stay. That's JMO.

 

So all this may be moot in a few months, we'll see. I simply found it interesting though and thought others might too.

 

 

Edited by Cruise-y
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd personally be fine with it, though I seriously doubt cruising will look like that by the time it restarts in the US.  I totally respect that many others feel differently though.

 

To me:

I already have to wear a mask everywhere, no difference there. 

Reduced capacity has been the order of the day where I live for most of the time since the pandemic started to varying degree. 

Our restaurants here generally require reservations due to the reduced capacity, just like above. 

I only use the pool when the area is empty, and never for anywhere near an hour.

I've seen most of Crystal's shows enough that they're burned into the back of my eyeballs, so if I had to miss one because of capacity controls I wouldn't be upset.

My phone has exposure logging turned on, not that the people in my state are using this much, so wearing the wristband isn't a problem for me.

 

The one thing I'd give anything for Crystal to enact -- regardless of the pandemic -- is the serving at buffets.  I'm regularly grossed out at the incredibly disgusting things many Crystal passengers do at buffets.  Every cruise I swear I'm going to start taking pictures and start a blog.  🤢 

 

Vince

Edited by BWIVince
Link to post
Share on other sites

Cruise-y, thank you very much for the time and trouble that you took to post this description.  It was extremely interesting and informative.  

 

I'm with Vince, there are no requirements here that would keep me from getting back on a ship.  Although, as you say, things may change by the time we are allowed back on a ship.

 

Emily

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Mrs. Claypool said:

I'm with Vince, there are no requirements here that would keep me from getting back on a ship.  Although, as you say, things may change by the time we are allowed back on a ship.

I'm with Vince and Emily here as long as it's a Crystal ship.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, BWIVince said:

I'd personally be fine with it, though I seriously doubt cruising will look like that by the time it restarts in the US.  I totally respect that many others feel differently though.

 

To me:

I already have to wear a mask everywhere, no difference there. 

Reduced capacity has been the order of the day where I live for most of the time since the pandemic started to varying degree. 

Our restaurants here generally require reservations due to the reduced capacity, just like above. 

I only use the pool when the area is empty, and never for anywhere near an hour.

I've seen most of Crystal's shows enough that they're burned into the back of my eyeballs, so if I had to miss one because of capacity controls I wouldn't be upset.

My phone has exposure logging turned on, not that the people in my state are using this much, so wearing the wristband isn't a problem for me.

 

The one thing I'd give anything for Crystal to enact -- regardless of the pandemic -- is the serving at buffets.  I'm regularly grossed out at the incredibly disgusting things many Crystal passengers do at buffets.  Every cruise I swear I'm going to start taking pictures and start a blog.  🤢 

I bet you would have a great blog.

I see your points and yes, I wear masks everywhere and do the things you mentioned though none of the restaurants near me require reservations for indoor dining at this time and I have gotten to the point that on the last Crystal Cruise I was on I never went to the shows.  The big difference for me is I am not paying $800. A day to a cruiseline for the “pleasure” of doing these things the way I would have to do them.

 

I guess Magic Castle is gone.  Don’t see “close up magic” happening with social distancing.  Did they still have Magic Castle in 2019/2020 till they ceased operations?

We know already there will be no Ambassadors and who knows what else will be different.  They would have to lower the price substantially to make it worth my while to cruise.  This goes for all cruises, not just Crystal.  Lots of other alternatives for holidays.

 

 

2 hours ago, BWIVince said:

 

Vince

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn’t mean to make this sound so negative. I personally wouldn’t sail RC again - but I think the people on this trip were glad for a small get-away despite the restrictions. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am so torn between the new normal and cruising.  I can't imagine not being able to sit in the Avenue Saloon at capacity, and I also can't believe I'd enjoy the experience if it looked like a parody of a surgery scene from MASH.  OTOH,  I'd like to cruise again before my 70th birthday.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting this.

 

The reality is we won't be at a normal on land and at sea for quite awhile.

 

I know some want the normal.  I do but it's not going to happen right away and personally I  hope that when things open up that those setting the rules do so with rules that error on cautiousness.

 

It may take years to get completely back to a normal or less than that.  No one knows for sure including the experts.

 

All of this will be work in progress so when cruise start up there will be a set of rules and they will adjust overtime depending on the situation with the virus.

 

It's funny.  In our case we won't sail unless there are lots of rules because without those rules not only could someone have a greater chance of getting sick it could disrupt the entire voyage.

 

So for us giving a choice of staying at home or sailing and having to live with a wise range of protocols I would take protocols over twiddling my thumbs and staying at home.

 

Keith

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, TER777 said:

Thanks for the report, Cruise-y.

 

I'd much rather be on board the Symphony wearing my mask than at home wearing it.

Plus 1.  And we even have sequined masks for formal nights.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Think it is ironic - after years of most people wanting open dining we probably will have to back to fixed/reservation dining again. I would think that not only would your only be able to have cabin mates at table but 1/2 tables wouldn't be used at all or taken out and stored to keep proper distancing. 

Although we are ones who enjoyed the shows from many years ago vs. the more recent ones I'll miss going out and being entertained.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Undoubtedly the protocols will be different by the time Crystal cruises, but, like Vince, I don't think I'd have problems with some restrictions (but only on a Crystal cruise).

 

A few pro/con thoughts (and I totally realize others might not feel the same way)....

 

Waterside is spacious enough to spread people out. We usually dine late and it's never been crowded. It's fine with me to make reservations. We might not get a window seat, but oh well. There are always empty tables in the back corners. The food is so fantastic, I don't care. 

 

If the specialty restaurants had to reduce capacity and it became harder to dine in those, then that would become a problem. Just an idea - maybe Crystal could incorporate the underutilized areas used by Silk or Churrascaria as overflow for the more popular venues? I'd give up those two restaurants if it meant I could still easily dine at Umi Uma and Prego. But that's JMO.

 

The pool crowding is really more of an issue on the mass market lines due to the higher number of kids. Again, don't see a problem.

 

Staff always serves the buffet on Oceania and it's never been an issue. It prevents the spread of a lot of illnesses besides Covid-19.

 

I would be very disappointed if I could not see the enrichment lectures or some shows. Or if it was a hassle/rush to sign up for them. Not sure how that would be managed with capacity controls. But maybe if the overall ship capacity were less this would work itself out?

 

Like others, I love to mash into the Avenue Saloon (sometimes) and would miss the magic show, but most nights you can shoot a canon ball through Palm Court and not hit anyone. Talk about a big underutilized area (another candidate for specialty dining overflow!). No, it wouldn't be as cozy, but I could live with it.

 

I'd probably miss the Bistro, but could live without it. But of course now we're chipping away at all the little amenities that make Crystal special.

 

I would want to get off the ship and explore other regions. I don't care if they are Crystal-sponsored excursions. This is probably the biggest impediment to restart since so many locales may not be open to outsiders. 

 

I'd love to cruise again and it's fun to think of hypothetical situations for restart,  but I'm in no hurry to sign up for a cruise until things shake out and the world is in a better place for everyone. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, ctjon said:

Think it is ironic - after years of most people wanting open dining we probably will have to back to fixed/reservation dining again. I would think that not only would your only be able to have cabin mates at table but 1/2 tables wouldn't be used at all or taken out and stored to keep proper distancing. 

Although we are ones who enjoyed the shows from many years ago vs. the more recent ones I'll miss going out and being entertained.

 

 

 

Definitely not ideal, but as far as I'm concerned, having to make reservations for Waterside would at least help moderate one of my dislikes of the open seating arrangement on some sailings:

 

50902785587_0ae68a046e_z.jpg

 

To @Cruise-y's point, Crystal would have to reduce overall capacity on the ship in order for social distancing to work across the board.  I suspect that will help with the dining situation in all venues.  OTOH, the economics of that might push relaunch until the ship(s) can operate at higher capacity, since it's hard to imagine Crystal's economics working at even lower capacity than they were operating at.

 

Cruise-y, I could definitely see them flipping around some of the dining venues to help facilitate demand for the specialty restaurants and add spacing as needed, if they need to operate with social distancing.  Specialized galley equipment would need to be rotated or installed, but I can't think of anything two of the three Lido deck galleys couldn't accommodate.  Moving the physical sushi bar would require the most modification though, though given the restrictions having diners sitting at a food preparation area isn't ideal anyway.

 

Vince

Link to post
Share on other sites

The posts above fit a thought I've had for a while now: remember when we were all up in arms about how close together the tables appeared to be in the renovated Waterside?  Yeah, those were the days.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For me going ashore independenly in Southern Europe is very important ..;

If it is not allowed in June - after I received a vaccine -   I am afraid I will cancel my cruise planned on Symphony mid June 

All the other rules are quite normal however those about going ashore were send out before "vaccines"  

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, vistaman said:

For me going ashore independenly in Southern Europe is very important ..;

If it is not allowed in June - after I received a vaccine -   I am afraid I will cancel my cruise planned on Symphony mid June 

All the other rules are quite normal however those about going ashore were send out before "vaccines"  

I don't think this will be an issue because if you are talking about mid-June of 2021 I don't see the cruise happening due to COVID-19.

 

Keith

Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like fun and I would consider going depending on the ship and line. This can not happen here in the US because a cruise to nowhere is not allowed due to some crew visa law. Hapag/Lloyd is running cruises to the Canary Islands that seem very nice however its only for German's now. The lines will use this pandemic to make changes to their product however much of it is just temporary as corvid will not be around forever and I would guess running the ship at 50% capacity is a losing preposition.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/2/2021 at 3:34 PM, BWIVince said:

To @Cruise-y's point, Crystal would have to reduce overall capacity on the ship in order for social distancing to work across the board.  

 

Vince

This then leads to another interesting conundrum. Assuming, for argument's sake, capacity is reduced to 50%, what happens to a sailing that is fully booked?? For fun, I looked at the 2022 WC, roundtrip Miami and at the moment it is showing only two Balcony categories and (oddly) the CP with availability. I wonder who at Crystal gets to decide who gets to go and who doesn't, and using what criteria. I can see this problem creating a lot of ill will at a time when they really can't afford any ill will!!

 

(I realize a WC is not a good example with the combination of full WC guests and segment guests, but it was easy to look up at a moment's notice)

Edited by Roland4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Thank You for 25 Years - Click for Fun Stuff!
      • Forum Assistance
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com - June 2021
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...