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Barbados summer cruises 2021


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I'm growing increasingly frustrated with Seabourn.  When selling the cruise and taking our payment, Seabourn never once said anything about having to take a Seabourn excursion.  We never would have taken a cruise had we known that - we like to explore on our own and may hire a local driver or take an excursion depending on the difficulty of visiting a place.

I've been communicating with the official government and tourist offices of the many islands on the Barbados cruise and have learned that some islands do NOT require any on site COVID testing, which allows passengers to explore on their own.

Just called Seabourn to confirm that besides administering COVID tests throughout the cruise - so that we can show negative test results within 72 hours of arriving on an island - Seabourn would assist in uploading those results to each island's website (since we won't have a computer) so that we can visit those islands that don't require on site testing. I was just told that on ALL islands we must take Seabourn excursions, so that there is no need for onboard testing or uploading of test results!

This is maddening.  

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@Borna. Continued thanks for your ongoing research and updates! Yes, the newly release travel guidelines are frustrating, indeed.

 

I was following pretty closely the first cruise by Silversea in Greece last month. Silversea has seemed to do much better with communications. It was clearly explained that their early cruises would be restricted to bubble excursions (which were provided for free), but they hoped to drop that requirement as soon as the local authorities allowed. Then, on the first night of the first cruise, Greece changed their restrictions for international travelers, and passengers were told they were free to leave the ship independently. 

 

From Seabourn, with their first Caribbean cruise only a week away, they have now announced that non-bubble departures from the ship won't be permitted "during our initial return to sailing". There's no indication whether "initial return to sailing" may be a few weeks, months, or the rest of the year. Clearly some countries are imposing this on Seabourn, but it's perplexing that other countries will seem to allow vaccinated people to travel freely in those countries yet Seabourn won't allow it. (Maybe they're being exceptionally cautious? Maybe Country B won't allow the ship to dock if passengers were allowed to tour independently in Country A? Maybe they're trying to drive excursion revenue? Who knows; Seabourn offers no explanations.)

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Next question... (It seems there are more of these than answers, these days! 😉 )

 

I noticed last night the Seabourn has new "Special Offers" which apply to all or most of the Barbados summer/fall cruises. For the cruise we are booked on, there is now a $1,000 per person air credit which was not available when we booked, and the board credit has been increased from $300 to $500 per suite. We paid about $800 each for air, so that's an $1,800 difference for our cruise.

 

We've already made final payment. Is there any way we will be able to get any of these effective price reductions, or will we be out of luck? Would it pay to cancel (allowed under the current "Worry Free Promise" terms until 30 days of s cruise) and rebook?

 

I've reached out to our Travel Agent but haven't yet heard back. I figure some folks on this board have more experience than I do with Seabourn and post-payment price changes. 

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Thanks for the question. We are in the same situation, but had not yet paid our final payment for our Oct. 24th cruise. I called Seabourn and because the penalty phase started June 26th (120 days prior to the sailing, even though final payment isn't due until 90 days prior) the penalty fees for rebooking would be more than the added perks. Darn those details!

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57 minutes ago, twodjs said:

Thanks for the question. We are in the same situation, but had not yet paid our final payment for our Oct. 24th cruise. I called Seabourn and because the penalty phase started June 26th (120 days prior to the sailing, even though final payment isn't due until 90 days prior) the penalty fees for rebooking would be more than the added perks. Darn those details!

 

@twodjs But wait! 😉 The "Worry Free Promise" allows you to cancel up until 30 days with no penalty for a FCC, which you can then turn around to a new booking.

 

The problem I've run into is that they are apparently saying the cancellation without penalty applies to the cruise and not to the air, which we booked through Seabourn. Even though they have not yet paid the airline to issue the tickets, we're in the 50% penalty stage.

 

I'm debating whether to pursue this further, because even with a 50% penalty on our airfare (air was $800 x 2, so the 50% penalty would be $800), and the airfare being higher today ($1,000) than when we booked, we would still come out ahead by canceling and rebooking: with the $1,000 per person airfare credit, our air would be free, so we'd save $800. Plus the $200 additional in onboard credit. I just don't think it's worth all the hassle (including canceling and rebooking excursions) -- and I'm guessing that's what they count on. Frankly, if Seabourn offered to meet us partway with a larger OBC, I'd be satisfied with that.

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So irritated with Seabourn, which just sent an email with protocols stating for the first time in writing to us that only Seabourn excursions allowed.   This comes after Seabourn advertised the cruise, sold it to us, took our money, and waited until after the cancellation period for advising us of this.  Never would have taken a cruise had we known this.  

 

Duplicitious conduct.  How can a private 1/2 or full day excursion booked through Seabourn (which must use a local islander driver) be acceptable, but not one that we book on our own directly with a local islander driver?   

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On 7/8/2021 at 1:08 PM, cruiseej said:

 

@twodjs But wait! 😉 The "Worry Free Promise" allows you to cancel up until 30 days with no penalty for a FCC, which you can then turn around to a new booking.

 

The problem I've run into is that they are apparently saying the cancellation without penalty applies to the cruise and not to the air, which we booked through Seabourn. Even though they have not yet paid the airline to issue the tickets, we're in the 50% penalty stage.

 

I'm debating whether to pursue this further, because even with a 50% penalty on our airfare (air was $800 x 2, so the 50% penalty would be $800), and the airfare being higher today ($1,000) than when we booked, we would still come out ahead by canceling and rebooking: with the $1,000 per person airfare credit, our air would be free, so we'd save $800. Plus the $200 additional in onboard credit. I just don't think it's worth all the hassle (including canceling and rebooking excursions) -- and I'm guessing that's what they count on. Frankly, if Seabourn offered to meet us partway with a larger OBC, I'd be satisfied with that.

You also need to consider that any Caribbean itinerary may well involve the issue of "bubble" excursions even if you wait a few months.  There is just no reliable way to predict when more of the islands will relax their current restrictions.   Since our Odyssey cruise is not until Oct. we are hoping that things will improve by that time.  If not, we can live with the situation but we will not be happy campers.  We booked our own Jet Blue air using points/miles and canceling would likely cost us a bunch of points (one never knows until they try).  

 

DW has already remarked that if she had realized all the hassles that come with this simple Caribbean cruise we would have never booked in the first place.  I do not blame SB since nearly all the hassles involve the Barbados government and various authorities on other islands.

 

Hank

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thanks Hlitner for your posts too.

 

Underscoring my disgust with Seabourn is that most of the islands on the Barbados cruise allow us to visit their islands, with proof of vaccination and a negative test result.  So, there is NO REASON for Seabourn to require use of its excursions.  

 

Only two islands (Barbados and Grenada) still require on site/arrival testing and quarantine until results given.  Since results are not given (usually) the same day (when Seabourn is in port), that makes visiting those islands impossible - unless special dispensation like a bubble excursion is given.  

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Regarding the new "special offers", our TA has been back and forth with Seabourn. They have offered to upgrade our suite from a V3 to a V6, but not to give us any of the financial inducements they are offering to customers who book now. We actually like our Deck 6 location just forward of the forward elevator, and moving to Deck 8 or higher in a same-size suite doesn't add any value in my book, even though I know those suites ell for more money. I don't want to be under the pool deck on Deck 7, and don't know about one of the connecting suites on Deck 9 or 10. Deck 6 makes it easy to pop up or down the stairs 1 or 2 decks to access almost everywhere on the ship, where Deck 10 seems more isolated and requires more waiting for elevators. Am I missing the boat (sorry)? Should we take the upgrade to a V6 and be happy with it? Now, if they offered a Penthouse suite, the benefits are more tangible -- but they aren't offering that! I've asked our TA to go back to them one more time to see if they'll boost our onboard credit, which we could use for an excursion; I know we won't get the full $1,000 difference between what we paid and what we'd pay today, but if they met us reasonable part way, I'd be satisfied. I'm guessing they won't.

 

Key takeaway for anyone planning a Seabourn voyage: be aware that the "Worry Free Promise" which allows you to cancel up until 30 days with no penalty applies only to the cruise fare, not air. And the "Best Fare Guarantee" seems to similarly apply only to the cruise fare, not the total package. Once you pass the start of penalties at 120 days out, they apparently will not honor the "Worry Free Promise" for the air portion of your booking. It seems unfair, if they haven't yet paid the airline, but that's been their stance. Lesson learned. 

 

1 hour ago, Borna said:

So irritated with Seabourn, which just sent an email with protocols stating for the first time in writing to us that only Seabourn excursions allowed.   This comes after Seabourn advertised the cruise, sold it to us, took our money, and waited until after the cancellation period for advising us of this.  Never would have taken a cruise had we known this.  

 

If your air isn't booked through Seabourn, I believe you can still cancel under the "worry Free Promise" and get a 100% Future Cruise Credit. If you'd paid for travel insurance, you'd probably lose that, but otherwise, you might be able to back out without loss. Just a thought.

 

23 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

DW has already remarked that if she had realized all the hassles that come with this simple Caribbean cruise we would have never booked in the first place.  I do not blame SB since nearly all the hassles involve the Barbados government and various authorities on other islands.

 

I'm increasingly in agreement with your wife. We knew when we started this that there were likely to be some bumps in the road booking a cruise in the first few months of cruising, but we're experienced travelers and figured we'd roll with it. The Barbados pre- and post-arrival testing requirements came as a bit of a surprise, as two waves of testing is increasingly out of step with the parts of the world that have opened to travel. That's not Seabourn's fault, of course, but I do blame them for waiting as long as they did to communicate with the customers they previously encouraged to book, requiring folks like us to do extensive research on our own.

 

But I do fault Seabourn for adding new cost-reducing "special offers" after many of us made final payments, and then not extending those offers (or something comparable) to us. That's just poor customer relations.

 

I do fault Seabourn for not saying from the start that these cruises would allow bubble excursions only, unless local requirements changed and allowed them to let passengers freely leave the ship. Dropping that news a week before the cruises begin is poor customer relations.

 

I do fault Seabourn for choosing to visit countries where they are unable to secure a reasonable number and variety of excursions. It's not their fault if authorities in Grenada will only allow them to offer bubble excursions, but I do blame them for not being able to come up with more than two excursions (one of which is a short bus tour whose highlight is apparently a visit to the airport for refreshments!). If local conditions and tour operators do not allow any other excursions, they should have scrapped visiting Grenada and substituted one of the other island nations not currently on the itineraries. (They still should.)

 

I'm still dumbfounded that on a cruise of beautiful Caribbean islands, there is not one excursion offered to get out on a sailboat, motorboat or any kind of boat of any kind to see the islands from the water. (Correction: a customer can rent out an entire boat, for $900 or $6,000, in one port, but they won't allow multiple vaccinated customers to share such a boat.) We've been on multiple Caribbean cruises on multiple cruise lines before, and there have always been boat trips to other small islands, or catamaran sails around the coast, or something similar. Had we known that the only options for the entry cruise would be entirely on land, we probably wouldn't have booked.

 

It's not their fault it authorities in two countries will not allow visitors with our arrival tests, forcing bubble excursions only in those countries. But I do fault them for not allowing passengers to get off in other ports which do not require entry tests for vaccinated travelers. Seabourn is doing this on their cruises in Greece, where authorities allow it, so why not in Tortola or St. Lucia?  (Or at least explaining why this is not possible, if it's not.) 

 

 

All that said, I'm still excited at the prospect on being back aboard a Seabourn ship, with an enthusiastic  crew working hard to keep us happy. But there are definitely more bumps in the road than I was expecting, and I hope it won't diminish our experience. 

 

 

 

 

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If you're happy with V3 location, I would advise keeping it over a V6 GTY.  At this point, they should be able to assign a V6 and let you choose.     Too bad the land office cannot come close to the on board experience.

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3 hours ago, cruiseej said:

 We actually like our Deck 6 location just forward of the forward elevator, and moving to Deck 8 or higher in a same-size suite doesn't add any value in my book, even though I know those suites ell for more money. I don't want to be under the pool deck on Deck 7, and don't know about one of the connecting suites on Deck 9 or 10. Deck 6 makes it easy to pop up or down the stairs 1 or 2 decks to access almost everywhere on the ship, where Deck 10 seems more isolated and requires more waiting for elevators. Am I missing the boat (sorry)? Should we take the upgrade to a V6 and be happy with it? 

 

After having suites on Decks 7 and 8, I can say with certainty that our favorite suite was on Deck 6 close to the location you describe .  I agree with you that there is no value to the so called upgrade.  Perhaps your TA can bargain for a lot of onboard credit?  Of course a refund of part of what you have paid (or maybe a credit toward a future cruise) would be better compensation.  

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14 hours ago, Borna said:

thanks Hlitner for your posts too.

 

Underscoring my disgust with Seabourn is that most of the islands on the Barbados cruise allow us to visit their islands, with proof of vaccination and a negative test result.  So, there is NO REASON for Seabourn to require use of its excursions.  

 

Only two islands (Barbados and Grenada) still require on site/arrival testing and quarantine until results given.  Since results are not given (usually) the same day (when Seabourn is in port), that makes visiting those islands impossible - unless special dispensation like a bubble excursion is given.  

You may be correct, but consider that many islands  still require RT-PCR tests (within 3 days of arrival) and that type of test cannot be done on cruise ships (the test requires a real medical lab for analysis).   St Maarten will settle for an antigen test (within 48 hours of arrival) which could certainly be accomplished on the Odyssey.  We also need to consider that the published requirements for many islands do not have specific sections or exceptions for cruise ship passengers.  So even on Barbados we have a strange situation where DW and I will fly-in 4 days before our cruise, get tested at our resort, and have run of the entire island within a few hours of our arrival.  But when we come back to Barbados on our turn around day we would not be allowed to go off the Odyssey unless we were in one of their bubble tours.  

 

I suspect that the SB planners in Seattle, have thrown up their hands in frustration while trying to deal with the various Caribbean islands and their tough COVID-related rules.  As one who has visited many of these islands (on both cruises and land vacations) I can understand the reluctance of the islands to simply drop their requirements for cruise passengers.  Folks need to understand that the medical facilities on most islands are woefully inadequate to handle a COVID surge and most islands are lagging with their own vaccination programs.

 

Hank

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4 hours ago, Hlitner said:

I suspect that the SB planners in Seattle, have thrown up their hands in frustration while trying to deal with the various Caribbean islands and their tough COVID-related rules.

 

But that's the problem! They're the ones who decided awhile back that they had enough confidence to sell and operate these cruises — so they can't throw up their hands when they're selling expensive trips to these countries. Of course Seabourn can't control what protocols each country imposes, but they can control their communication to customers. And they can control where they go and, to see extent, what they can offer while they are there.

 

I previously raised the example of Grenada, which is on our cruise. We can't leave the ship unless we're on a ship tour. There are only two ship excursions: inner tube rafting down a river (which appeals to a limited percentage of Seabourn travelers based on mobility and weight requirements), and a short bus tour (which, inexplicably, doesn't visit much of the island but does travel to the airport for a refreshment break). Originally, there was a third option for a catamaran sail and snorkel, which we had booked, but it was canceled. So most passengers will either not leave the ship that day, or will take the short 2-hour tour and be back onboard by 11 am. Both tours will be complete by 11:30 am — yet we're sitting at the dock until 6 pm without anyone allowed to leave the ship once those two tours return before noon. Once Seabourn found that passengers won't be allowed to explore on their own, and found that they couldn't engage other tour operators, they should have asked the question which I and other travelers are asking: "Why, exactly, are we going here for a day?" Followed by: "Are there any other islands we could visit as an alternative?" As the rules change, they should change the itinerary if need be in order to provide a good experience. Heck, even if we can't go into port somewhere else, why not do some scenic cruising around some of the beautiful islands in the Caribbean? If we can't leave the ship, I would rather spend an afternoon cruising around the British Virgin Islands, for instance, than being tied up at a dock all day in Grenada.

 

And another frustration: for our entire cruise, there are no afternoon excursions — not one. (Unless you hire a private driver or boat for the day at a cost that in some cases exceeds our cruise fare.) Aside from the beach day for Caviar in the Surf, this means we will be on the ship every day all day, except for 2-3 hours in the morning if we take an excursion. Upon learning that countries would require only bubble excursions, why didn't Seabourn adapt by engaging some tour operators to provide some afternoon tour options?

 

My point is that Seabourn can't control the virus nor the limitations imposed by certain countries, but they could be more creative and adapt to still make this a great cruising experience. And they could communicate about the limitations, and the changes they'd make, much better. 

 

4 hours ago, Hlitner said:

consider that many islands  still require RT-PCR tests (within 3 days of arrival) and that type of test cannot be done on cruise ships

 

Yes, I think that's understood, but the frustration  @Borna was raising was that there are some islands which do not have those testing requirements for vaccinated tourists, yet for some reason (unexplained by Seabourn), passengers will apparently not be allowed to leave the ship in those countries either. 

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Cruiseej,  We are on your side :).  We have back to backs (out of Barbados) booked for October and hope that some of the current restrictions will be lifted by the time that cruise comes around.  Today we downloaded the SB Excursion Brochure and found 3 excursions of interest for the two week cruise.  I joked with DW that we always thought a cruise to nowhere was a good option for us (we love sea days) and it sounds like the SB Barbados cruise might qualify :(.  As to Granada, that is one port where we have no interest in the island (been there done that) but would certainly consider some kind of decent Catamaran cruise.  The saving grace us that the price we paid for the Barbados cruises are a good deal (for SB) and we are also looking forward to a few days at Sandals.  

 

I did smile at the offer you got from V3 to V6.  Many would disagree with us but we view one "V" as good as another and do not even pay attention to the category or location.  In fact on those Barbados cruises we simply booked a Veranda guarantee so at least we have the cruise cabin location lottery as something to look forward to as our cruise date nears.   We wish you a Bon Voyage and hope that some of the port related issues will improve before your date.

 

Hank

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5 hours ago, cruiseej said:

 

But that's the problem! They're the ones who decided awhile back that they had enough confidence to sell and operate these cruises — so they can't throw up their hands when they're selling expensive trips to these countries. Of course Seabourn can't control what protocols each country imposes, but they can control their communication to customers. And they can control where they go and, to see extent, what they can offer while they are there.


I’m firmly in your camp and we’ve been actively discussing this topic in our house this week.  We booked the 21-night holiday sailing (which is a a 10-night and 11-night Barbados RT back-to-back) and I’m not thrilled with the possibility of being stuck with only ship excursions for 21 nights.  We are seriously contemplating pulling the plug now and instead doing something less risky with the time and funds.
 

As much as I miss cruising and Seabourn, I don’t miss it *that* much!  🤪

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13 hours ago, jenidallas said:

We are seriously contemplating pulling the plug now and instead doing something less risky with the time and funds.

 

@jenidallas I'd say to hold tight for right now, as we'll possibly get more clarity once the Caribbean cruises begin next week. And as @Hltiner says, hopefully we'll see some of the restrictions removed or relaxed with additional passage of time. You probably have about 5 weeks until you enter the penalty period; why not wait until closer to that time to see how things are going? Fingers crossed!

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40 minutes ago, cruiseej said:

 

@jenidallas I'd say to hold tight for right now, as we'll possibly get more clarity once the Caribbean cruises begin next week. And as @Hltiner says, hopefully we'll see some of the restrictions removed or relaxed with additional passage of time. You probably have about 5 weeks until you enter the penalty period; why not wait until closer to that time to see how things are going? Fingers crossed!

We’ve got five weeks until penalty kicks in, but also have to think about the logistics of the alternate plans… getting airfare (especially hunting for scare awards around the holidays), blocking time off on work calendars (if we don’t do this sailing, I’ll spread the 3.5 weeks away for this one across multiple future trips instead), and just the peace of mind of having clarity for future plans (as much as anyone can during the next phase of a global pandemic).

 

Seabourn policies and changing island rules are also admittedly not my only factors.  I want to cruise badly but also weighing alternatives with other types of trips.  

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Look at this video I just found today on youtube:  

 

 

If the link doesn't work, type on youtube:  Barbados Welcomes Back Seabourn

 

this video was published on June 24, 2021 and jointly made/hosted by Barbados tourism with Seabourn representative Steve.  

 

As my main concern is the excursions at each port, I'll focus my comments thereon.  This obviously applies to the fully-vaccinated Seabourn cruisers with proof of negative test results within 72 hours of arrival on Barbados.  Seabourn told me, before during and after my booking process, that it had the ability to and would test passengers on board so that we would have those negative test results to visit the islands on the itinerary.

 

Anyway, at the 8 minute 25 second mark on the above video, the Barbados tourism lady states that in addition to Seabourn excursions, Barbados will have its own "bubble" excursions which can be found in the taxi dispatch area of the port, so that passengers can see Barbados without having to take a Seabourn excursion!

 

Yet, at the 30 minute 55 second mark, Steve from Seabourn states that at this time only Seabourn excursions are allowed.  But, he says that this is an evolving situation, every island country is different, and he expects that at some ports passengers will be able to do their own excursions.

 

For those inclined, I suggest calling Seabourn at 1 800 442 4448 and speaking with its telephone operators about this video and that passengers should be allowed to see the islands on their own. I have found that the operators frequently are unaware of issues or how to answer them, then they email their supervisor for answers.  The more passengers voice their desire to have the option to see islands on their own to the telephone operators, who in turn notify their supervisor, who in turn notify those Seabourn personnel on board, the more likely passengers can do their own excursions.  

 

By the way, at the 12 minutes 20 second mark on the above video, the Barbados lady states that Harrison's Cave is expected to reopen July 2.  I'm going to investigate this.

 

I'll also post each island's protocol, i.e., what is required for entry for fully-vaccinated passengers, with website links.  I've been keeping tabs of each island, e.g., Dominica does its own in port RAPID testing with results in 20 minutes!

 

I"ll also post information from my Seabourn 14 day cruise July 25 - August 8 for those traveling thereafter.

 

The more information we share the better.  I'm thankful to learn from my fellow travelers.  

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@Borna  Harrison's Cave was scheduled to re-open on July 2, but they pushed it back a week due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Elsa. It apparently re-opened as promised on this past weekend, according to this article. Note that it is currently only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings each week -- but Sunday mornings mesh with Seabourn's weekly Sunday turnover days when this tour was offered for passengers enroute to the airport.

 

I wonder if there are capacity limits which led to Seabourn dropping the excursion? Or, more likely, that they don't want travelers -- bene vaccinated travelers -- who haven't met the country's entry requirements in a cave with limited ventilation. Seabourn's onboard antigen test which every passenger will receive before departing probably doesn't meet the Barbados entry requirements for free travel in the country.

 

18 hours ago, Borna said:

The Barbados tourism lady states that in addition to Seabourn excursions, Barbados will have its own "bubble" excursions... Yet Steve from Seabourn states that at this time only Seabourn excursions are allowed...

 

I don't see these as being necessarily contradictory. The Barbados tourism spokeswoman is just talking about Barbados, of course, not other countries. Is your concern here taking excursions on Barbados? I would guess the Barbados-approved "bubble excursions" via approved taxis are driving tours which keep the passengers isolated; they can drive around to see the country, but not allow passengers into attractions (like the cave) or stores or restaurants. Otherwise, all international visitors to Barbados are subject to the country's entrance requirements -- which means a rapid test with results within 24 hours. Unless/until they drop that requirement, travel in Barbados is problematic unless you add on extra days and built in a one day quarantine at a hotel.

 

18 hours ago, Borna said:

Steve from Seabourn states that at this time only Seabourn excursions are allowed.  But, he says that this is an evolving situation, every island country is different, and he expects that at some ports passengers will be able to do their own excursions.

 

This is the part that interests me the most. Again, I'm not sure it's inconsistent with the information on Seabourn's web page for Caribbean cruises. That says as of now, only bubble excursions are allowed -- which matches what is stated on the video. The question is if/when they will allow passengers to travel on their own in countries which do not have testing requirements for international travelers.

 

You would think that if countries will allow plane-loads of travelers arrive and travel freely, they should also allow passengers from a fully-vaccinated cruise ship to travel freely. I would like to know whether Seabourn has its current position because of its own self-imposed safety requirements or because countries are forcing them to limit passengers to bubble excursions.

 

Has anyone tried the approach of sending a Facebook private message to Seabourn President Josh Leibowitz? He might not answer, but would he read it and forward it to someone else in management who will? My understanding is that he and other senior managers who traveled to Greece for the restart of cruising on the Ovation are also going to Barbados for the inaugural Odyssey cruise next week, so he'll certainly be in tune with and up-to-date on Seabourn's latest Caribbean cruise plans. 

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The more I have read about the "but ifs and ors and maybes", the decision not to book any of these out of Barbados cruises seems to be a good for me.  I am a "flexible" traveler.  But, these cruises seem, to me, to require an unusual amount of "flexibility" just to be able to cruise the Caribbean.  

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Agree, rkacruiser.  If Seabourn had told us - before we booked our cruise - what it is now telling us (which contradicts what it told us before and during the booking process) - we never would have booked the cruise.  

 

Here's the latest in the saga about what Seabourn told me today. 

 

We arrive a day early in Barbados before the cruise.  We'll get tested at the Bridgetown, Barbados airport and presumably receive negative results before we board Seabourn. That allows us to freely see Barbados before we board Seabourn.

 

Seabourn told us today that we could board the ship at our designated boarding time, then go sightseeing on our own since we had been tested by Barbados and have Barbados's "blessing" to sightsee on our own, then come back on board before Seabourn departs Barbados that evening.  That's good news.

 

But, here's the rub (inconsistency).  Many islands have no onsite testing requirement (e.g., St. Lucia).  So, we could see St. Lucia on our own.  St. Lucia allows it.  But, Seabourn does not.  That makes no sense.  

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7 hours ago, Borna said:

Many islands have no onsite testing requirement (e.g., St. Lucia).  So, we could see St. Lucia on our own.  St. Lucia allows it.  But, Seabourn does not.  That makes no sense.  

 

Do you think it's possible that one or more of the countries are only accepting the Seabourn ships because Seabourn certifies that everyone is vaccinated, tested on arrival, and not allowed out of the bubble for the duration of the cruise?  I don't know why that would be the case, but many of these rules don't really make sense as long as you certify that travelers are vaccinated and not asymptomatically infected.

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FYI - Seabourn updated its excursion list.  There are a few more choices, particularly in Antigua and Grenada.  I cancelled the previously-purchased Grenada excursion to have a refreshment at the airport, LOL.  Now on a better excursion in Grenada.  

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Seabourn just sent me an email stating that there has been a change in the itinerary and we will not visit Jost Van Dyke, BVI, or Tortola, BVI.  Instead, those days will be at sea.  No explanation why.  

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