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My take on staycation cruising with covid restrictions


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My wife and I took a 4N staycation cruise on Britannia from Southampton arriving back yesterday. I don't want to to do a full cruise report but I did want to give people my take on how I found the cruise with the current covid restrictions.

 

In general, the covid restrictions consisted of the following:

 

- Wearing masks whenever not in your cabin and moving around public areas.

Many people wore the mask constantly under (not covering) their nose. Obviously this greatly reduces the effectiveness of the mask but we saw no one asked to correct it. It got a bit worrisome towards the end when more and more people realised they could get away with it under their nose. Having said that, the majority wore their mask properly.

 

- Wearing masks when sitting down inside unless you were eating and drinking.

This was very annoying... I could be sitting in Brodie's (the pub) drinking beer, unmasked, all evening, with a lot of foot traffic around me, but if I wanted to sit in a quiet spot somewhere, away from everyone (even passing passengers) I was asked to wear my mask as I was not eating or drinking. It made no sense at all. One member of staff in particular seemed to actually take some pleasure from telling me to wear my mask even though I was the only person there!!! It only happened a couple of times as after that I always wore the mask but it seemed that the wearing of masks was not at all associated to the degree of risk.

 

- There were arrows on the floor to create a one-way flow in public areas and restaurants.

Almost everyone totally ignored them and no one was actually asked to follow the arrows. Total waste of time having them IMO.

 

- It looked like about 1/3rd tables in restaurants and in seating areas were signed as "not in use" or "Resting".

People did follow this one but it was strange because many of the tables were blocked in such a way as to leave the tables that were in use close together (such as in the Peninsular restaurant and in the Atrium Bar). For the most part I was happy with how it was arranged but felt they could have done better especially as the ship was under 1/3 full (under 1000).

 

- The buffet restaurant (Horizons) was not self-serve.

This one I felt that thay had it spot on. They enforced hand gelling before picking up a tray. Then every food station was served only by the staff. We weren't even allowed to pick up a yoghurt... they had to place it on the tray. I felt really comfortable eating in Horizons and that was a pleasent surprise. I hope it stays this way permanently.

 

- Lifts restricted to 4 persons or one family.

This kinda worked. People did keep to 4 but you are still going to be in close proximity to others. If that bothers you use the stairs. There were a couple of times when other people made no attempt to social distance particularly getting into and out of the lifts but you are in the lift for seconds so it didn't bother me. We did let some people go ahead of us a few times rather than share a lift with people not wearing their mask properly but it wasn't a problem.

 

- No service at the bar (all table only service)

Not a problem. The staff are ultra attentive. I never needed to wait for a drink.

 

- Room staff much more scarce during the day.

The room staff are only meant to attend your room once per day and then only when you are not in it (e.g. you cannot be on the balcony). This means they are much lees likely to be around to ask for something or to get help. This had to all be done through reception. Having said that, on the one occasion I needed something they were there within minutes so can't complain.

 

- No photographers or sales of stuff in the walkways around the atrium.

Can't say I missed this one but my wife was disappointed.

 

This isn't a complete list of covid changes but I think it covers most of them.

 

Please remember that these are just my comments and opinions. You may have a completely different opinion of what your experience was and that is fine. I am not intending to create any argument here neither is any of my comment a complaint. I felt that overall the cruise was very well done in difficult circumstances for both passengers and crew.

 

We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and we were both glad to be back cruising again. Would we do it again? Absolutely... now looking at August!!! 

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Interesting - well writen and balanced.

I agree with you about sitting down and mask wearing. How is sipping a beer, taking an hour to drink a pint, (I wish!) any different  to sitting down with no drink in front of you? 

When you enter a restaurant, you can take off your mask the moment you are seated, before even looking at the menu, let alone eating.

 

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Posted (edited)

A great account, thanks. Good to know for the 25th and good about the non self-serve: very reassuring. But those self-entitled people who are not exempt yet refuse to wear a mask properly are just the pits. Sadly lowlifes like that - for want of a better phrase (although…..) will always do what they want.

 

Glad you enjoyed it and are raring to go again.

Edited by Camberley
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23 minutes ago, Camberley said:

A great account, thanks. Good to know for the 25th and good about the non self-serve: very reassuring. But those self-entitled people who are not exempt yet refuse to wear a mask properly are just the pits. Sadly lowlifes like that - for want of a better phrase (although…..) will always do what they want.

 

Glad you enjoyed it and are raring to go again.

I'm a fairly tolerant person, but if the rules are masks, those folk who decide that the won't follow the rules, or modify them to suit themselves should be thrown overboard.

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Thanks for the report! We are on Iona in September so are unsure what the rules will be by then! 
 

I feel wearing them in lifts, on embarkation and entering/leaving venues is fine, but if you are in corridors, just having a stroll/sit down, I don’t think they should be enforced.

 

On RCI/Celebrity cruises out of US/Caribbean, masks are not required! And they seem to be doing ok. There was one case on a Celebrity cruise a couple of months ago but the person was quarantined and the cruise continued. It’s funny that they are still enforced on the staycations. I wonder if they will drop them after Monday? 

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1 hour ago, Glitterati said:

Thanks for the report! We are on Iona in September so are unsure what the rules will be by then! 
 

I feel wearing them in lifts, on embarkation and entering/leaving venues is fine, but if you are in corridors, just having a stroll/sit down, I don’t think they should be enforced.

 

On RCI/Celebrity cruises out of US/Caribbean, masks are not required! And they seem to be doing ok. There was one case on a Celebrity cruise a couple of months ago but the person was quarantined and the cruise continued. It’s funny that they are still enforced on the staycations. I wonder if they will drop them after Monday? 

RCI have had further cases since them both amongst passengers and crew

 

https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/cruise-ships-continue-to-report-cases-of-covid-19

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4 hours ago, zap99 said:

I'm a fairly tolerant person, but if the rules are masks, those folk who decide that the won't follow the rules, or modify them to suit themselves should be thrown overboard.

I could quite likely fall overboard if constantly wearing a mask, my glasses steam up so badly I often find I can't  see a darned thing in the supermarket, and end up with all sorts of wrong items in the trolley.😥

 

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9 hours ago, Snow Hill said:

RCI have had further cases since them both amongst passengers and crew

 

https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/cruise-ships-continue-to-report-cases-of-covid-19

I saw the video of the lady on the Freedom. Unvaccinated but was given a “vaccinated” band by accident. Escorted straight of the ship by hazmat staff when she had a positive test! 

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13 hours ago, zap99 said:

I'm a fairly tolerant person, but if the rules are masks, those folk who decide that the won't follow the rules, or modify them to suit themselves should be thrown overboard.

A bit harsh Zapp, but I agree with the sentiment. 

Unfortunately, P&O crew do not like confrontation, but someone needs to enforce the rules. 

Andy 

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11 hours ago, terrierjohn said:

I could quite likely fall overboard if constantly wearing a mask, my glasses steam up so badly I often find I can't  see a darned thing in the supermarket, and end up with all sorts of wrong items in the trolley.😥

 

We were issued with nose clips for the paper masks as we have to wear safety glasses at work which seemed to help, will have a search to see if I can find any, they also advised us to wash the glasses in fairy Liquid and allow to air dry which didn’t work lol, 

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Posted (edited)

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/982354772/face-mask-glasses-defogger-anti-mist?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=nose+clip&ref=sr_gallery-1-1&frs=1&col=1

 

sorry if the link doesn’t work but I hate technology lol, found them on Etsy for £2.47, we also bought the black paper masks instead of the blue ones as thought they looked a bit smarter

Edited by Stokie33
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2 hours ago, SargassoPirate said:

Interesting report and thanks for posting.

 

Can anyone share the current science behind the buffet restrictions?  How do they prevent the spread of the virus?

Picking up and putting down the serving utensils. 

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Picking up and putting down bread rolls etc

Breathing, coughing and sneezing all over the food.

 

I think they need to have a permanent change in the way they handle the buffet serving especially as the Norovirus season is with us early and IMO having suffered it several times on P&O they need to do something. Again it seems they don't enforce the restrictions anyway. Wearing a mask below your nose  is NOT wearing a mask 😠

 

Also the casino with ample opportunity to spread disease on machine buttons, cards and chips

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8 minutes ago, davecttr said:

Picking up and putting down bread rolls etc

Breathing, coughing and sneezing all over the food.

 

I think they need to have a permanent change in the way they handle the buffet serving especially as the Norovirus season is with us early and IMO having suffered it several times on P&O they need to do something. Again it seems they don't enforce the restrictions anyway. Wearing a mask below your nose  is NOT wearing a mask 😠

 

Also the casino with ample opportunity to spread disease on machine buttons, cards and chips

Totally agree with all you say re the buffet. We all been witness to some dreadful hygiene behaviour there!

In the Casino i have always used the gel and wipes if I’ve fancied losing some money in there as have long thought it a source of spreading Noro.

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2 hours ago, Angel57 said:

Totally agree with all you say re the buffet. We all been witness to some dreadful hygiene behaviour there!

In the Casino i have always used the gel and wipes if I’ve fancied losing some money in there as have long thought it a source of spreading Noro.

Hand Gel doesn’t kill off Norovirus

 

https://www.england.nhs.uk/south/2019/11/21/play-your-part-this-winter-to-stop-the-spread-of-norovirus-in-the-south-west-just-think-noro/

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15 minutes ago, Snow Hill said:

Agreed.  All about the reassurance, isn't it, like the Covid temperature checks at doctors, hospitals, ports etc which are pretty much meaningless.

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40 minutes ago, Harry Peterson said:

Agreed.  All about the reassurance, isn't it, like the Covid temperature checks at doctors, hospitals, ports etc which are pretty much meaningless.

Absolutely - the temperature  checks are all about theatre, and proove nothing.

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On 7/16/2021 at 9:10 PM, Glitterati said:

I feel wearing them in lifts, on embarkation and entering/leaving venues is fine, but if you are in corridors, just having a stroll/sit down, I don’t think they should be enforced.

The thing is that P&O's hands are tied... until 19th July it is the law in England to wear a mask in most public indoor settings on the ship so to comply with the law they must enforce wearing of masks...

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own
 

 

11 hours ago, Snow Hill said:

There are some gels that do kill norovirus but getting them is difficult and you have to use enough of it each time to expose the virus for long enough (20 secs + ). Normal hand from the supermarket doesn't but AFAICS P&O do use the Purell one that is meant to kill the virus if used correctly.

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