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Easier Start-Up for Celebrity...Europe or Caribbean?


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Correct me if I'm wrong, but border closures to nonessential travellers are still in place in many countries, and are likely to remain so for (at least) quite a few months to come. IIRC, the bulk of Celebrity"s customer base would be impacted by these. How are all those North Americans going to sail the Med if they can't even get to their departure port? From what I've read, the ships sailing in Europe are European lines and sailing with pax who are limited to those from specific countries.

 

OTOH, North Americans could still sail out of US ports.

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2 hours ago, number one eagles fan said:

Will it be easier to start-up cruising overseas? MSC is already doing some sailings in Europe and I am hopeful for Greek Island cruise on the Apex in September.

Do the CDC guidelines only effect cruising that departs from US ports? 

The CDC rules only effect a cruise that ports in the US including territories and Puerto Rico.

There are European cruises but most are restricted as to passenger residence and destinations.  No predictions as to what will happen by July, but today the cruiselines are using their ships to get crew members to and from places like India and Phillipines.  We are months away from having the rest of the world inoculated.

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25 minutes ago, Arizona Wildcat said:

The CDC rules only effect a cruise that ports in the US including territories and Puerto Rico.

 

It's actually more complicated than that, but depends on which authorities they exercise. For the mask rule, the CDC is invoking "Controlled Free Pratique", which is more or less the authority to enter ports and disembark passengers. If the carrier doesn't comply, pretty much for any air or sea voyage originating from the US or destined for the US (some caveats, but mostly enhancement), they can be denied those privileges. As I understand it, those are the privileges that allow disembarkation of most passengers without having to go through quarantine, among other things I'm sure.

 

Those are probably the oldest public health authorities in the world, and certainly in the US. Remember Vito Corleone arriving at Ellis Island in the Godfather Part II?

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1 hour ago, mom says said:

 

OTOH, North Americans could still sail out of US ports.

Assuming that there are destinations that will accept them for a port stop. While many Caribbean islands (and Bermuda) are accepting tourists now, conditions are not conducive to 1-day visits. For example, tourists travelling to Bermuda "must take a Covid test upon arrival and quarantine in hotel room until results are obtained (usually six to eight hours)." Whether these countries will make exceptions for cruise passengers remains to be seen, but until the CDC and the cruise lines agree on health protocols, I don't think that the islands will be in a big hurry to relax their own protocols.

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A lot of Europe is farther behind in their vaccination efforts than the U.S. due to vaccine supply issues.

 

The Caribbean ports are generally open for tourism, subject to various travel restrictions.  If the CDC were to give the green light for cruising to restart, I think that some Caribbean ports would be open to accommodating ships, but only under the same type of travel restrictions: proof of a negative COVID test within a few days of arrival, temperature checks upon leaving the ship, masks required while in port, etc.  That would be in addition to whatever the cruise lines had to abide by per the CDC (cruise line only excursions, masking, social distancing, symptomatic screening, etc.).

 

Often not considered in these discussions is that U.S. localities also have restrictions in place for those returning from travel.  In DC, for example, quarantine restrictions are being enforced by employers, the practical effect being that a trip to a high risk area means being out of commission (at home) for up to 14 days when you get back.  That's fine if you can work from home but a little more tricky if you're still reporting in person.

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6 hours ago, mom says said:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but border closures to nonessential travellers are still in place in many countries, and are likely to remain so for (at least) quite a few months to come. IIRC, the bulk of Celebrity"s customer base would be impacted by these. 

On a couple Med cruises I’ve been on, half the ship were European....  Even if Americans (and Canadians) couldn’t travel overseas I’m sure Celebrity would consider a European cruise even if the ship were only half full.  IMHO, better to sail half full than not sail.

Edited by RickT
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11 hours ago, RickT said:

On a couple Med cruises I’ve been on, half the ship were European....  Even if Americans (and Canadians) couldn’t travel overseas I’m sure Celebrity would consider a European cruise even if the ship were only half full.  IMHO, better to sail half full than not sail.

 

Given the fact that sailings are or will be reduced to 50-60% capacity, they wouldn´t have to care...

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18 hours ago, number one eagles fan said:

Will it be easier to start-up cruising overseas? MSC is already doing some sailings in Europe and I am hopeful for Greek Island cruise on the Apex in September.

Do the CDC guidelines only effect cruising that departs from US ports? 


MSC is not the only line cruising. TUI Cruises (cousin of Celebrity) was one of the first in summer 2020. They are still sailing (Canary Islands). Aida and Costa (Carnival Corp) are planning to sail soon. They wanted to start earlier. However, a hacker attack on their computer system led to cancellations of some sailings.

The CDC has no jurisdiction in Europe. However, in order to receive the approval to sail in Europe the cruise lines have to comply with similar local regulations. TUI, MSC etc. sail under strict protocols - masks, distancing, 50% capacity, tour restrictions, tests etc. So that part wouldn´t be much different.
We did a cruise with TUI and had no problem with that. I reported here on CC.

That being said... I don´t see many US cruise lines sailing in Europe any time soon. The corporations will probably extend the sailings of the local branches first.

We have a cruise booked on Reflection in October. So far I am not betting any money on it - unfortunately 😞 

BTW: Sailings in Asia are another option. Royal Caribbean just announced to extend their current sailings from Singapore. Limited to Singapore citizens only though.

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4 hours ago, Miaminice said:


MSC is not the only line cruising. TUI Cruises (cousin of Celebrity) was one of the first in summer 2020. They are still sailing (Canary Islands). 

 

MSC Grandiosa and Mein Schiff 2 have both had cases recently. It seems both have good protocols to deal with this:

 

https://www.lexblog.com/2021/02/17/cruise-passenger-tests-positive-for-covid-19-on-msc-grandiosa/

 

https://www.lexblog.com/2021/02/11/covid-19-outbreak-on-the-mein-schiff-2/

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Although technically still part of the RCG group until the sale closes, Azamara just a little while ago suspended through June 30th.  All of their ships are currently in Scotland.

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Personally, I’ve booked a 7N Caribbean in later 2021 and wouldn’t look to try anything else this year. And booking that to enjoy the ship, and get away.

 

I wouldn’t book a cruise requiring international travel this year or early 2022 to just give the work required to better control COVID, you notice I don’t say get back to ‘normal’. I don’t see that occurring. There will be a ‘new normal’ and no idea what it will be.

 

When I do cruise in Europe or overseas, we always add extended time in the departure port area and afterwards to take advantage of that type of traveling, and so taking COVID into consideration goes beyond just taking a cruise. 

 

I am looking to cruising again, but 7N ‘kind of local’ cruising is in my book for now. And yes, I booked a number of cruises before and even booked one early in the Pandemic so ‘waiting till Nov 2021’ doesn’t mean I was smarter than those with 2021 cruises that may well not go.

 

And hopefully, cruising will be pretty open mid-2022 and beyond. Got one planned!

 

Den

Edited by Denny01
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Even if my British Isles out of Amsterdam July 2021 Celebrity ship sails....which I doubt...how will the many Americans that have booked be allowed to sail? Will they just cancel us?...Hoping so.

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1 hour ago, SeaHunt said:

 

MSC Grandiosa and Mein Schiff 2 have both had cases recently. It seems both have good protocols to deal with this:

 


Yep, TUI cruises had over 70,000 passengers cruising under the protocols and now had four cases. Detected, isolated, contacts traced and none infected... can’t really expect better numbers! The system works.

Edited by Miaminice
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On 2/23/2021 at 2:51 PM, Fouremco said:

Assuming that there are destinations that will accept them for a port stop. While many Caribbean islands (and Bermuda) are accepting tourists now, conditions are not conducive to 1-day visits. For example, tourists travelling to Bermuda "must take a Covid test upon arrival and quarantine in hotel room until results are obtained (usually six to eight hours)." Whether these countries will make exceptions for cruise passengers remains to be seen, but until the CDC and the cruise lines agree on health protocols, I don't think that the islands will be in a big hurry to relax their own protocols.

Just wondering what you think about the odds of our September 2021 - 12 Day Southern Caribbean (Equinox) will sail from Ft. Lauderdale ? 

Don't think we would want to sail if we have to wear masks ! 

We are tryin to decide if we should cancel prior to final payment date (we would be "paying" for the cruise using FCC's "earned" when our Caribbean cruise - September 2020 was cancelled)

Thanks  

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12 minutes ago, GreenValleyDogWalker said:

Just wondering what you think about the odds of our September 2021 - 12 Day Southern Caribbean (Equinox) will sail from Ft. Lauderdale ? 

Don't think we would want to sail if we have to wear masks ! 

We are tryin to decide if we should cancel prior to final payment date (we would be "paying" for the cruise using FCC's "earned" when our Caribbean cruise - September 2020 was cancelled)

Thanks  

As the CDC framework document limits cruise to 7 days until November, I doubt that you will be enjoying a 12-day cruise in September. At the same time, the Caribbean islands have yet to introduce COVID-related protocols governing cruise ship visits, so an additional hurdle. As things stand today, your chances look very slim to me, but a lot can change in 6 months. In your shoes, I'd keep monitoring the situation and delay reaching a decision until closer to your final payment date.

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Just now, Fouremco said:

As the CDC framework document limits cruise to 7 days until November, I doubt that you will be enjoying a 12-day cruise in September. At the same time, the Caribbean islands have yet to introduce COVID-related protocols governing cruise ship visits, so an additional hurdle. As things stand today, your chances look very slim to me, but a lot can change in 6 months. In your shoes, I'd keep monitoring the situation and delay reaching a decision until closer to your final payment date.

Thanks for the response - I heard about the 7 day limit on cruises - did not know that was through November.  

OK will - start looking at cruises in 2023 !

 

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I was on a call with a travel agent and a member of Celebrity last night.
At the moment re the Caribbean they are hoping that their first cruise there will on Edge sailing 3rd July. It would be probably be sailing at 50% capacity. Masks would have to be worn in certain areas until such restrictions are lifted. 
Re Europe they are not sure yet. It will depend on whether other countries accept ships as well as virus rates etc. They are still hoping to do the season they currently have. 
They said it will be the newer ships that are likely to be back sailing first. 

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Once cruising starts up, it will be interesting to see how the countries handle the ships arrival/entry.  For example, we were on one of the last Celebrity Equinox cruises (Feb-Mar 2020) in the Eastern Caribbean before cruising was halted due to COVID.  We arrived in the morning and anchored out, as expected, for our stop in Samana, Dominican Republic.  The local health authorities boarded and took ~6 hours to "clear" the ship.  They went through all passenger health records/statements and even personally interviewed some of the passengers (especially those passengers who had visited the ship's infirmary).  The life boats had been deployed for hours drilling circles in the water along with all the local boats waiting to pick up their paying guests.  Over 20 small boats waiting.  Anyway, by the time info was passed to the capital for approval and approval granted, it was too late for any tendering/disembarkment.  No one made it to shore. I can imagine this scenario happening again.  I hate to be negative, but we will wait a little while before booking a cruise.  

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Once cruise lines have a plan for Caribbean cruising, I think it will be at that point when you start seeing pushback from the islands themselves. Many of them are moderately open to tourism currently with testing guidelines in place, but that does not necessary equate to a cruise ship. Whether they establish their own protocals or look to their French, UK, Dutch, etc. counterparts will remain to be seen. 

 

And no matter what they say, if/when they hear of a ship scheduled into their port with XX amount of suspected positive cases, things will change. It's somewhat unnerving since we know these island nations aren't always quick in response or transparent in their intent. 

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On 2/24/2021 at 8:00 PM, GreenValleyDogWalker said:

Just wondering what you think about the odds of our September 2021 - 12 Day Southern Caribbean (Equinox) will sail from Ft. Lauderdale ? 

Don't think we would want to sail if we have to wear masks ! 

We are tryin to decide if we should cancel prior to final payment date (we would be "paying" for the cruise using FCC's "earned" when our Caribbean cruise - September 2020 was cancelled)

Thanks  

If by some miracle the CDC allows a 12 day cruise by then (which is very, very unlikely), there is no way you will be sailing without being required to wear a mask by September IMHO.  So if that is a deal breaker for you, I suggest you cancel.  

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On 2/25/2021 at 9:16 AM, Jeremiah1212 said:

Once cruise lines have a plan for Caribbean cruising, I think it will be at that point when you start seeing pushback from the islands themselves. Many of them are moderately open to tourism currently with testing guidelines in place, but that does not necessary equate to a cruise ship. Whether they establish their own protocals or look to their French, UK, Dutch, etc. counterparts will remain to be seen. 

 

And no matter what they say, if/when they hear of a ship scheduled into their port with XX amount of suspected positive cases, things will change. It's somewhat unnerving since we know these island nations aren't always quick in response or transparent in their intent. 

It is true that pushback could happen.  But at the same time, it looks like all passengers and crew will be required to be fully vaccinated, and also will be tested before sailing and likely during the cruise.  So in many respects cruise ships will probably be some of the safest visitors to their islands.  Presuming only ship excursions will be allowed, I think that also will be a huge factor.   I suspect those excursions, in the Caribbean, will likely be limited to outside activities like beach days, perhaps even in sectioned off areas with very limited interaction with the locals.  

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