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Barbados summer cruises 2021


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I just read that there is a potential tropical storm brewing about 150 miles east of Barbados.  Stay safe folks.  Let us know how Seabourn handles this distraction.

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Just arrived home, 2:40 a.m.!

 

Happy to answer any questions about Barbados and the cruise.

 

FYI - for those staying in Barbados post-cruise, you will be covid tested on SB, so you can enter Barbados. Barbados's website commands the deep nasal or oral covid test and prohibits a nasal swab.  SB does a nasal swab test.  I brought this issue up to Seabourn square who assured me that Barbados has been accepting their PORT arrival COVID test and there was no issue entering Barbados from the port.  The port entry was all done by SB prior to any guests disembarking and entering the Barbados port and there was never any issue or inquiry when we disembarked to enter Barbados.  NOTE this only applies to the port entry; the airport entry requires the deep nasal PCR test.

 

Additionally, since we stayed a night in Barbados post-cruise, we expected to be tested by Barbados in the port and undergo the same quarantine as we did when we flew in.  There was NO on arrival test at the port and no quarantine!.  Seems to be a loophole in Barbados's system or we, and others who did the same, just got lucky.  So, it seems it's easier to stay in Barbados after the cruise!

 

As for the airport arrival in Barbados at the start of the trip, as I previously reported, the on arrival airport test in Barbados was pretty smooth.  There is no real communication between the airport testing authorities, the approved transportation, and hotel.  So, while the transportation drivers are supposed to take you straight from the airport to your hotel to quarantine (or to the ship if you arrive the same day as the cruise starts), you could ask the driver to take you for a bit of sightseeing on your way to the hotel or ship.  There is no tracking device on the ribbon bracelets that the airport puts on your wrist (green for staying on the island before the cruise, yellow for in transit straight from the airport to the ship).  

 

FYI - some of the SB passengers who arrived a day or more before the cruise, received their results in 24 hours (I received mine in 11 hours); others never received theirs - probably because the airport authorities incorrectly wrote the passengers' emails, to which the results are sent.  

 

While in the US and before arriving in Barbados, I typed out my name and phone number and email and typed please email my test results to my email and handed it to the Barbados airport authorities when I was given the on arrival test.  I also had printed many copies of my passport, COVID vaccination card, and COVID test result taken before arrival into Barbados, which made the arrival process simpler and which the airport authorities appreciated.  Nobody ever asked to see my original COVID vaccination card and they were satisfied with the copy - I, of course, had the original with me if they wanted to see it.  

 

More details to follow.  

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I just received notification that our late-September cruise has dropped Grenada as a port call and replaced it with Bequia in St. Vincent & the Grenadines. This appears to mirror last week's cruise. Apparently Seabourn has been unable to come to an agreement with the Grenada to come ashore there.

 

There are no excursions available for the new port call in Bequia. Our booked excursion for Grenada has not yet been canceled and refunded. (On the Seabourn site, it shows our Grenada excursion on Bequia.) 

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@Borna,  Did Seabourn actually stop at Jost Van Dyke?   My husband and are confused because the only two excursions offered during that stop is to Norman Island and Virgin Gorda which is on the other side of Tortola from there.   Was this your experience?  Were you allowed on the island of Jost Van Dyke on any type of excursion?     I appreciate any information you can offer.      

 

Or if anyone else who has been on this cruise can answer my questions, I would be so grateful

Thank you so much!!  

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2 hours ago, GrandCru said:

@Borna,  Did Seabourn actually stop at Jost Van Dyke?   My husband and are confused because the only two excursions offered during that stop is to Norman Island and Virgin Gorda which is on the other side of Tortola from there.   Was this your experience?  Were you allowed on the island of Jost Van Dyke on any type of excursion?     I appreciate any information you can offer.      

 

Or if anyone else who has been on this cruise can answer my questions, I would be so grateful

Thank you so much!!  

We  were  on a SB cruise two years that stopped at Jost Van Dyke.  We  had to  tender in to the dock.  There were cars that brought us to White Beach..gratis.  The lounges and chairs were gratis and it was a great time.  We've taken many SB cruises with stops at the BVI which save for Jost, in MHO,  were a complete an utter waste.

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3 hours ago, GrandCru said:

@Borna,  Did Seabourn actually stop at Jost Van Dyke?

 

Seabourn dropped the British Virgin islands from the first three cruises scheduled to make a port call there because of an uptick in Covid cases in the country. It's not clear if this decision was made by Seabourn or the government of the BVI, but I suspect the latter. 

 

It looks like they have extended that elimination of Tortola though the September 5 cruise. It is still listed as a port stop on the September 12 cruise and beyond. Whether it will happen is anyone's guess. 

 

 

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We are getting ready for our first full day on the Odyssey and I thought this might be a good time to post an update.  From all we’ve experienced to this point in the cruise, it looks as if we are in for a wonderful week.  It really feels good to be back onboard!

Saturday’s arrival at the Barbados airport was a smooth process for us.  There were probably six planes that had landed in the afternoon so the airport was quite crowded.  I was glad to have read previous updates on this page because they provided valuable insight as to what should be expected.  I would guess that our arrival, health screening, covid test, and immigration took a little more than one hour.  The key to it was having all our paperwork in order and ready to present when asked for it.

It wasn’t long before we were taken by van to Cobblers Cove Hotel where we were staying for one night.  They arranged our transportation from the airport to the hotel.  Cobblers Cove is a lovely hotel and we had full access to everything within the property since we had the green arm bands that were put on us at the airport.  Our test results were e-mailed to us at 7:08 on Sunday morning so there was no issue related to our scheduled departure time from the hotel at 1:00. 

Once we arrived at the port check-in took about an hour (maybe a little less).  All our documents were checked and once we received our rapid test results it was time to board the Odyssey.  There are about 61 passengers onboard.  The American flights to and from Miami to Barbados were canceled on Sunday (so glad we came a day early!) so a few passengers were not able to fly out.  As a result, Seabourn arranged for them to spend another night on the ship until they fly out from St. Lucia today.  Also, the passengers that couldn’t board yesterday should arrive this afternoon.   

I’m glad we are here.   Our Seabourn experience so far has without a doubt made all the extra effort that was required to get here worth it.       

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Thank YOU Princess Cruiser!   Your information is so very valuable and greatly appreciated.  Sad to hear those flying into Barbados yesterday didn't make it.  I assume this was due to weather?

We will plan to have all our papers in order.  Fingers crossed!   Good idea about having the resort arrange your transportation from the airport.  I had planned to arrange our own.   

Hope you are able to dodge all of the tropical storms out there and have a fantastic time!

Happy Sailing!

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No, we did not stop at Jost Van Dyke, BVI.  Jost and Tortola were cancelled.  On those days, the ship tendered off the coast of Peter Island (near/connected to Jost, BVI) and guest could do water sports from about 1 pm - 3 pm from the ship/tender.  You could NOT go onto land.  Some guests did water sports, e.g., banana boat.  Most stayed on the ship.  

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We're thinking (last minute) to jump on Odyssey, but wanting to make sure I'm understanding the PCR test requirements for entry into Barbados.  I get tested regularly, and the reports say "COVID-19 RT-PCR/NAAT", but with an "anterior nares swab".  My reading of the Barbados requirements suggest this would NOT be acceptable, because it needs to be a Nasopharyngeal or Oropharyngeal sample (not anterior nares).  The options I see for getting that sort of test are relatively expensive, but if needed we will do it.  Any comments/suggestions, or feedback on how big of a hassle this is?  Thanks in advance.  

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14 hours ago, GrandCru said:

Sad to hear those flying into Barbados yesterday didn't make it.  I assume this was due to weather?

 

No, according to a post on Facebook, it was a crew staffing issue. This is part of the landscape of air travel these days; flights can be canceled seemingly at random because there aren't enough flight crews, and delays elsewhere can push crew members over their allowed work hours.

 

As if fear of a positive Covid test just prior to a cruise wasn't enough to worry about, now we can add canceled flights to the worry list. 😉  (Of course it should be noted that very few people have had positive tests in the pre-cruise screening, and very few have missed flights to their ship.)

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Thank you Cruiseej for letting me know.   Sadly flights being cancelled or rescheduled as been an issue all year. I've been trying to be added to the Seabourn Facebook group, but my request keeps disappearing which is frustrating.   Hope it gets worked out soon.

Thank you!

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On 8/10/2021 at 2:56 AM, Borna said:

Nobody ever asked to see my original COVID vaccination card and they were satisfied with the copy

Borna - thank you so much for your posts and great information!  You got us so ready to be back onboard Seabourn that we booked for the week of Sept 5th.  Did you need your physical card at any point on the journey?  We’ve been bringing ours on other trips but have never been asked for them (cellphone pics were the most we had to show).

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On 8/17/2021 at 4:23 AM, johng75370 said:

We're thinking (last minute) to jump on Odyssey, but wanting to make sure I'm understanding the PCR test requirements for entry into Barbados.  I get tested regularly, and the reports say "COVID-19 RT-PCR/NAAT", but with an "anterior nares swab".  My reading of the Barbados requirements suggest this would NOT be acceptable, because it needs to be a Nasopharyngeal or Oropharyngeal sample (not anterior nares).  The options I see for getting that sort of test are relatively expensive, but if needed we will do it.  Any comments/suggestions, or feedback on how big of a hassle this is?  Thanks in advance.  

We have booked this cruise for October and have been researching our options to get the required "Standard" RT-PCR Test (as specified by Barbados).  For us it is a royal pain since we are flying to Barbados on a Wednesday which means we can have to test done no earlier then Sunday.  Many testing places are closed on Sunday and most others either do not offer the RT-PCR test administered by a medical professional (also required) or they do not guarantee the results in the required time.  Thanks to the help of another CC Poster we have located a testing location which is nearly 1:15 from our home that is actually right at a certified lab and can guarantee the test results in less then 48 hours (24 hours for an extra fee).  The lab charges only about $100 for the test which is a bargain compared to most others.  We have a back-up testing location which is nearly a 1:30 minute drive from our home.

 

The problem with many testing places, such as CVS, is that the test is self-administered (not permitted by Barbados) and they cannot guarantee results in the allotted time.  So folks need to be careful when looking for a testing location or they will likely suffer lots of anxiety wondering if they will have the test results prior to checking-in for their flight.  

 

It would be helpful if Barbados would alter their test requirements to accept other type PCR tests that can be done more rapidly but we are not holding our breath for any change.

 

Hank

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On 8/16/2021 at 9:23 PM, johng75370 said:

I get tested regularly, and the reports say "COVID-19 RT-PCR/NAAT", but with an "anterior nares swab".  My reading of the Barbados requirements suggest this would NOT be acceptable, because it needs to be a Nasopharyngeal or Oropharyngeal sample (not anterior nares).  The options I see for getting that sort of test are relatively expensive, but if needed we will do it.  Any comments/suggestions, or feedback on how big of a hassle this is?

 

A passenger on this week's Odyssey cruise who has been posting on Facebook had an unhappy experience arriving in Barbados a day before his embarkation. For some reason, he was given a red wrist band after some confusion evaluating his PCR test document, and he was then quarantined to his hotel room. He didn't know the significance of the red band at the time, and then got conflicting answers from various people in Barbados about the wrist bands. I don't know (and he doesn't) what caused his initial problem, but I've wondered if his test result may not have explicitly spelled out that it was a nasopharyngeal test conducted by a medical professional and processed by an accredited/recognized lab. I'm not going myself until late next month, but my thought is to make sure that you have documentation which complies, unambiguously and 100% to the word, with the Barbados requirements. All it takes is one entry clerk at the airport to decide your test isn't the right one, and you'll be confined to your hotel room until the test result comes back.

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Oddly, while I had the original physical COVID vaccination card with me, nobody ever asked to see it and was satisfied with a photocopy of the card.

 

I'd recommend having the original card and many photocopies.  

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On 8/16/2021 at 2:51 PM, PrincessCruiser said:

We are getting ready for our first full day on the Odyssey and I thought this might be a good time to post an update.  From all we’ve experienced to this point in the cruise, it looks as if we are in for a wonderful week.  It really feels good to be back onboard!

Saturday’s arrival at the Barbados airport was a smooth process for us.  There were probably six planes that had landed in the afternoon so the airport was quite crowded.  I was glad to have read previous updates on this page because they provided valuable insight as to what should be expected.  I would guess that our arrival, health screening, covid test, and immigration took a little more than one hour.  The key to it was having all our paperwork in order and ready to present when asked for it.

It wasn’t long before we were taken by van to Cobblers Cove Hotel where we were staying for one night.  They arranged our transportation from the airport to the hotel.  Cobblers Cove is a lovely hotel and we had full access to everything within the property since we had the green arm bands that were put on us at the airport.  Our test results were e-mailed to us at 7:08 on Sunday morning so there was no issue related to our scheduled departure time from the hotel at 1:00. 

Once we arrived at the port check-in took about an hour (maybe a little less).  All our documents were checked and once we received our rapid test results it was time to board the Odyssey.  There are about 61 passengers onboard.  The American flights to and from Miami to Barbados were canceled on Sunday (so glad we came a day early!) so a few passengers were not able to fly out.  As a result, Seabourn arranged for them to spend another night on the ship until they fly out from St. Lucia today.  Also, the passengers that couldn’t board yesterday should arrive this afternoon.   

I’m glad we are here.   Our Seabourn experience so far has without a doubt made all the extra effort that was required to get here worth it.       

 

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Hi Princess cruiser,

 

Now you are a few days into your Barbados cruise how is it all going, is the ship full? Have you heard Judy Carmichael, we are hoping to see her in January in the UK. We are hopefully going on your cruise at the end of January, so any information would be very useful, enjoy your cruise.

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46 minutes ago, PAULINELESLEY said:

Is the ship full?

 

Passengers aboard have reported that the ship only has about 62 people aboard this week. So not even 15% full!

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 We arrive tow days before the cruise departs from Barbados. If we are fully vaccinated with a negative PCR test. Can we stay at any hotel or must we choose one from the" approved" list?

 

 Mike

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2 hours ago, bosworth2 said:

 We arrive tow days before the cruise departs from Barbados. If we are fully vaccinated with a negative PCR test. Can we stay at any hotel or must we choose one from the" approved" list?

 

Mike, according to the Barbados Travel Protocols, you must stay at a government approved hotel. But that shouldn't pose a problem for most travelers, as there are 63 hotels on the approved list, and it it seems every major hotel on the island is on the list, plus more than 40 additional apartments. (Scroll down the page until you see the list of Approved Quarantine Hotels.)

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57 minutes ago, relaxed traveler said:

Interested in Phillipsburg St Martin tours by Seabourn:

Is there a shopping tour ? I only want to go by Gulmohar's as my Scotch stash is low! 

 

Not that I can see, but available excursions may vary by cruise. Of course, you could book a private half-day driver for $699, and he might be able to take you there -- but I suspect that might drive the cost/bottle for your Scotch above what you can buy it for in the US! 😉

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