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Covid Positive aboard Viking Sky 7/14/22


Clay Clayton
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Posted (edited)

Thanks for all the kind words.  Just paying it forward!

 

Only update I can offer is that at the show tonight Jenna (cruise director) stated that she did not have an answer to what was going to happen tomorrow. She said after we dock in Reykjavik that the coastguard will board and assess the situation.  Once the Captain and officers know anything she promised they would share.  
 

I have not yet seen the letter that others have reported but another CCer on board (JM015) reports it is in his cabin (we are at the show) and that it says we will be provided a FCV equal to 50% of what we paid for this cruise. I personally don’t think Viking owes us anything (but I won’t turn it down) since it appears at least from this perspective they have done everything they can to resolve the situation. 
 

I’m hopeful that we will learn tomorrow we are free to go ashore and I’ll finally get to see Reykjavik. But if not, then we will seal whatever we are dealt.  
 

As I’ve said before, Mike and I thought long and hard about first taking this cruise and then after the Bermuda incident came very close to canceling.  But we said this was a test to see what travel is going to be like moving forward. I sincerely believe this won’t be the last situation like this. I hope that it will be but until COVID is way in our rear view mirror I think we need to be prepared. 

Edited by Clay Clayton
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As someone on this July 10 Iceland cruise, I have to say that Viking has been outstanding as always. They treat everyone like royalty and don't know the word "no". I have nothing but admiration for Viking and the way they have handled things that were beyond their control. Hats off to management and staff for navigating these conditions.  It is no wonder why we will not go on any other cruise line! 

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1 minute ago, Clay Clayton said:

Thanks for all the kind words.  Just paying it forward!

 

Only update I can offer is that at the show tonight Jenna (cruise director) stated that she did not have an answer to what was going to happen tomorrow. She said after we dock in Reykjavik that the coastguard will board and assess the situation.  Once the Captain and officers know anything she promised they would share.  
 

I have not yet seen the letter that others have reported but another CCer on board (JM015) reports it is in his cabin (we are at the show) and that it says we will be provided a FCV equal to 50% of what we paid for this cruise. I personally don’t think Viking owes us anything (but I won’t turn it down) since it appears at least from this perspective they have done everything they can to resolve the situation. 
 

I’m hopeful that we will learn tomorrow we are free to go ashore and I’ll finally get to see Reykjavik. But if not, then we will seal whatever we are dealt.  
 

As I’ve said before, Mike and I though long and hard about first taking this cruise and then after the Bermuda incident came very close to canceling.  But we said this was a test to see what travel is going to be like moving forward. I sincerely believe this won’t be the last situation like this. I hope that it will be but until COVID is way in our rear view mirror I think we need to be prepared. 

This reminds me of my Mom always telling me that aging isn't for the faint of heart and I think traveling in the covid world isn't for the faint of heart either. You have done an amazing job staying positive and strong. Thanks again for keeping us all in the loop. We wish the best to you and future cruisers as we all want this to work out somehow so we can keep on cruising!!

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2 minutes ago, Clay Clayton said:

 

I’m hopeful that we will learn tomorrow we are free to go ashore and I’ll finally get to see Reykjavik. But if not, then we will seal whatever we are dealt.  
 

As I’ve said before, Mike and I though long and hard about first taking this cruise and then after the Bermuda incident came very close to canceling.  But we said this was a test to see what travel is going to be like moving forward. I sincerely believe this won’t be the last situation like this. I hope that it will be but until COVID is way in our rear view mirror I think we need to be prepared. 


If anyone is wondering whether they’re ready to cruise during these strange times, just read Clay’s posts in this thread. That’s the kind of attitude it takes to cruise right now. 
 

I’m pretty sure I don’t have it myself, so if things haven’t improved by next winter, we’re out. 

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Found the CDC numbers needed to better describe "small percentage of cases" for Covid breakthrough mentioned in my previous posting. As of July 6, more than 157 million Americans were fully vaccinated. At the same time, 5,186 were classified as "breakthrough cases"--of these 1,028 were asymptomatic. Calculate the odds yourself. Divide the number of cases by how many breakthrough cases there were. That's .003%. If only calculating for the asymptomatic cases, that's .0006%. With at about 930 passengers aboard. . .what are the chances of a fully vaccinated person bringing Covid aboard? It's miniscule. That's all I was saying.

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5 minutes ago, Sheila W. said:

Divide the number of cases by how many breakthrough cases there were.

That should read "Divide the number of totally vaccinated. . ."

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41 minutes ago, Sheila W. said:

Found the CDC numbers needed to better describe "small percentage of cases" for Covid breakthrough mentioned in my previous posting. As of July 6, more than 157 million Americans were fully vaccinated. At the same time, 5,186 were classified as "breakthrough cases"--of these 1,028 were asymptomatic. Calculate the odds yourself. Divide the number of cases by how many breakthrough cases there were. That's .003%. If only calculating for the asymptomatic cases, that's .0006%. With at about 930 passengers aboard. . .what are the chances of a fully vaccinated person bringing Covid aboard? It's miniscule. That's all I was saying.

 

True.

 

Also true, and more worrisome for thinking about cruising in the age of COVID is that the CDC doesn’t recommend testing of vaccinated, unsymptomatic people really at all, as is being done on Viking and other cruise lines.  So, the percentage of unvaccinated people who will turn up as a “breakthrough case” on board a ship with testing every day will be much greater than the .003% reported (since most vaccinated people with COVID are never tested and therefore never count as a “breakthrough case”). Here are some of the CDC testing guidelines for the vaccinated, from the CDC site:

 

  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States
  • Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
  • Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible
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1 hour ago, eldercruser1 said:

Well, that's just great.  Perhaps it would be nice if Viking and the Chairman could share that letter in an email to those flying out tonight and tomorrow night.  Perhaps you could suggest that to your press person

This press person runs a FB group for travel agents that I am a member of. I’m certain that Clay will post after his evening on board. If you are a member of the Facebook group called Viking River and Ocean Cruise Friends, the letter has been posted there.

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4 minutes ago, ValarieDennis said:

This press person runs a FB group for travel agents that I am a member of. I’m certain that Clay will post after his evening on board. If you are a member of the Facebook group called Viking River and Ocean Cruise Friends, the letter has been posted there.

Also just posted by @lazybrew on the Iceland LIVE feed just now.

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2 minutes ago, TravelBluebird said:

 

True.

 

Also true, and more worrisome for thinking about cruising in the age of COVID is that the CDC doesn’t recommend testing of vaccinated, unsymptomatic people really at all, as is being done on Viking and other cruise lines.  So, the percentage of unvaccinated people who will turn up as a “breakthrough case” on board a ship with testing every day will be much greater than the .003% reported (since most vaccinated people with COVID are never tested and therefore never count as a “breakthrough case”). Here are some of the CDC testing guidelines for the vaccinated, from the CDC site:

 

  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States
  • Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
  • Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible

I believe these recommendations show that vaccinated people are not a vector for transmission, even if a test can detect Covid. The Iceland Public Health Authority cleared the ship for shore excursions—that was science. The Coast Guard and other authorities shut down the cruise—that was bureaucracy.

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As another of the passengers on board the July 10 Cruise, I have to say even with the port cancelations for the final three days that this cruise has exceeded our expectations. Sure it was disappointing to miss the tours on these last three ports, but the activities,  lectures, entertainment and meals has been wonderful.  It has been two great “sea days” since the port cancelations.  I fully expect another great “sea day” tomorrow.  Like Clay, I feel I got my money’s worth on this cruise and the 50% FCV was not necessary but an unexpected delight that we will use.  As always, Viking has exceeded our expectations!!!

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13 minutes ago, ValarieDennis said:

This press person runs a FB group for travel agents that I am a member of. I’m certain that Clay will post after his evening on board. If you are a member of the Facebook group called Viking River and Ocean Cruise Friends, the letter has been posted there.

 

The letter has also been posted in the Live from thread, but it does not mention anything about the July 17 cruise.  Plus, the letter appears to not be consistent with what folks onboard are being told about disembarkation on July 17.

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15 minutes ago, TravelBluebird said:

 

True.

 

Also true, and more worrisome for thinking about cruising in the age of COVID is that the CDC doesn’t recommend testing of vaccinated, unsymptomatic people really at all, as is being done on Viking and other cruise lines.  So, the percentage of unvaccinated people who will turn up as a “breakthrough case” on board a ship with testing every day will be much greater than the .003% reported (since most vaccinated people with COVID are never tested and therefore never count as a “breakthrough case”). Here are some of the CDC testing guidelines for the vaccinated, from the CDC site:

 

  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States
  • Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
  • Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible

There is a major difference between doing the right thing and what is most convenient  for yourself.  In trying to prevent the spread of Covid the right thing is doing exactly what Viking is doing -  daily testing, requiring masks and their  other protocols.  Yes, this causes cases that would otherwise be not discovered to be found, but it provents the spread if Covid.  I personally congratulate Viking for doing the right thing even though it costs them in some cases.  It demonstrates to me what a class company Viking is!!!!!

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5 minutes ago, cruiserchuck said:

 

The letter has also been posted in the Live from thread, but it does not mention anything about the July 17 cruise.  Plus, the letter appears to not be consistent with what folks onboard are being told about disembarkation on July 17.

 I’m certain that the situation was very fluid and not everyone had been back to their cabin to find it.

 

As for the cruise on the 17th, I’m certain that it will go forward, just as the Bermuda Cruise did following their positive test a few weeks ago. I’m not understanding why a letter to July 10th passengers would reference anything about the subsequent sailings.

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1 minute ago, ValarieDennis said:

 I’m certain that the situation was very fluid and not everyone had been back to their cabin to find it.

 

As for the cruise on the 17th, I’m certain that it will go forward, just as the Bermuda Cruise did following their positive test a few weeks ago. I’m not understanding why a letter to July 10th passengers would reference anything about the subsequent sailings.

I totally agree - why would there be ANY mention of the next sailing?  It has NO bearing on the current situation.  I believe that there was a mis-communication with the Icelandic authorities and that's why the ship had to go directly back.  I feel confident that all the procedures will be ironed out now that the first positive case happened.  I fully expect there will be others and I feel Viking is doing a suburb job in handling the changing rules. 

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Viking’s letter threw some veiled, but serious shade at the Icelandic authorities. I’m sure there will be meetings galore before the next cruise sails. Oh, to be a fly on that ceiling!

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34 minutes ago, cruiserchuck said:

 

The letter has also been posted in the Live from thread, but it does not mention anything about the July 17 cruise.  Plus, the letter appears to not be consistent with what folks onboard are being told about disembarkation on July 17.

In what is it not consistent with what I am being told onboard about disembarkation?

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2 hours ago, ValarieDennis said:

Passengers will disembark on 7/17, with their negative COVID tests in hand and head home,  the ship will be sanitized as stated in the Viking FAQs. The new passengers will board on the 17th and hopefully will experience a fantastic and uneventful cruise.

 

2 hours ago, eldercruser1 said:

That is good news, if true.  Do you have an official Icelandic and/or Viking source for that information? 

 

2 hours ago, ValarieDennis said:

I follow a press person who is on this sailing. There are approximately 25 of them on board. She posted the letter from the Chairman of Viking that will be given to guests.

 

 

 

Based on the posts above, I understood that the letter was the basis for the assertion that new passengers would board on July 17.  

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2 hours ago, eldercruser1 said:

And what is in store for those scheduled to board Saturday?  So far "Crickets" from Viking.

It's for monies paid.  Don't think it apply to vouchers.  We were victims of the so called monies paid.

 

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, hutch1994 said:

It's for monies paid.  Don't think it apply to vouchers.  We were victims of the so called monies paid.

 

Well, most of us are probably paying with vouchers for monies paid to cancelled trips last year. I'm sure they will do the right thing when it comes to vouchers.

 

EDIT: The "us" means those of us traveling now, not necessarily on July 10. 

Edited by saratogian127
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2 hours ago, Clay Clayton said:

Only update I can offer is that at the show tonight Jenna (cruise director) stated that she did not have an answer to what was going to happen tomorrow. She said after we dock in Reykjavik that the coastguard will board and assess the situation.  Once the Captain and officers know anything she promised they would share.  

 

I may have misunderstood your post above.  I read it as stating that a decision had not yet been made about what will happen once you reach Reykjavík.  I understood that to mean that no decision had yet been made about disembarkation.  

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Careful about the vouchers. Cancelled when Viking first gave the option of cancelling in 2020 due to covid and have never been able to get a monetary refund, just a voucher when they cancelled again in 2021 because of lack of monies paid.

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21 minutes ago, Dukefan said:

There is a major difference between doing the right thing and what is most convenient  for yourself.  In trying to prevent the spread of Covid the right thing is doing exactly what Viking is doing -  daily testing, requiring masks and their  other protocols.  Yes, this causes cases that would otherwise be not discovered to be found, but it provents the spread if Covid.  I personally congratulate Viking for doing the right thing even though it costs them in some cases.  It demonstrates to me what a class company Viking is!!!!!

 

I don't disagree with you that daily PCR testing and contact tracing help prevent any COVID outbreak onboard and in the destination.  However, Iceland currently doesn't require vaccinated travelers to be tested on a daily basis.  Currently, there could be some asymptomatic infected individuals doing land based traveling in Iceland.  Shall this infected person be not on a Viking cruise, he or she would still be wandering around the country.  And there is no scientific basis on how infectious an asymptomatic vaccinated person really is.  The fact that there is no other COVID positive cases on the Sky now may suggest this COVID positive person probably isn't infectious.

 

I love Viking and I think Viking is a class act.  Based on the reports by the people onboard, Viking management and the crew handle the situation really well.  But I also think it'll be challenging for Viking or other cruise lines to deal with further trip interruptions like this one.  

 

May be time to rethink the testing protocol, if it's not required by local health authority?  And what's the point of contact tracing if the entire ship is deemed close contact?

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