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Miami Fiasco


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1 hour ago, smlnd said:

We feel the exact same way.  Planning for a trip was always a favorite thing to do for me.  I have never gone on a vacation that has had so much pre-trip stress.  I know that once on board, things will be great.  The fear is not making it on board.

Yep, I love the pre-cruise routine.  Just not 5 times, LOL.  The major stress for me is the darn covid-test.  I am stressing out to a max.  My wife had covid that cost us our cruise on July 31.  She is getting tested tomorrow just to see if she still test positive.  I am paranoid and double masking and isolating from all human beings.  I REALLY WANT TO CRUISE.  Then a friend had an emergency in Destin FL and we drive to take care of her dogs for 5 days.  DESTIN, the COVID CAPITAL of the SOUTH.  

 

No eating out, run from anyone that comes near me.  I think you get the idea.  I am so happy I am not the only one stressing out.  I appreciate your post.  It makes me feel normal.  Cruise Well.

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4 hours ago, bz said:

Keith, we are on for one cruise and this impacts one of the only 7 days and was not a factor when we signed up.  I know things change, but it just seems like so much has changed since we signed on for 7 days visiting the out islands with a totally vaccinated crew & passengers.  The islands we would visited changed several times, now there's a Miami stop to pick up possibly unvacc'd people, now we have to spend what for us was a "sea" day type of day into getting off, being screened, and getting back on, now the Bahamian visa rules have changed.  Some of this is out of Crystal's control, I get it, but this is NOT the cruise we signed up for,although we're still looking forward to experiencing Crystal, just some of the excitement is tempered with concerns.  Not our first rodeo, but certainly one of the more challenging.  We worry what's next, we worry about testing positive, we worry about not having the proper paperwork and being denied either/or the flight and boarding.  We're doing our best, I just don't remember ever being so stressed taking a trip.  Probably we do 6-7 vacations a year, cruises and land trips, and this is the worst one for worries.

I had a friend who had similar views on the first Nassau sailings and decided to cancel them.  I think he and his wife were wise because of the number of concerns they have.  Many of the changes are not driven by Crystal but the stop in Miami (not the need to get off the ship) and making it an embarkation/disembarkation port was driven by Crystal.  The reality is cruises were not selling so I believe at some point the option was do this or possibly shut down the sailings.  

 

We had worries for both Nassau and the present Iceland cruise.  Most worries had nothing to do with Crystal and were based on changes driven by the virus.  For example, only a couple of weeks ago to fly to Iceland no COViD-19 test was needed.  Because of an increase in COVID-19 new cases the Government imposed the need for a test.  Likewise, Nassau now requires this for Vaccinated people like Iceland now does.

 

You are not alone.  I never was so stress out preparing for both trips.  Even the day we traveled wondering would something else change and mainly driven by local authorities in both the USA and Iceland or the Bahamas.  On top of this is my wife's health situation.  Even a few hours before we traveled to the airport I asked her do you want to still go?

 

All I can say is two things.

 

Even at home we will now have more stress because of the variance.  Things I didn't think about I know do.  In fact, we cancelled a haircut I had for a week before the cruise because of the Variant.

 

With that said, once on the ship (Serenity in July and Endeavor now) all that stress disappeared.  It began seconds after we boarded and we are thankful we went.

 

But in the end, each person has to decide for themselves.  Honestly, what will it be like six months from now I ask.  The same.  Better.  Worse.  Not sure anymore so I am glad we are traveling now even though it can be stressful.

 

Keith

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3 hours ago, smlnd said:

We feel the exact same way.  Planning for a trip was always a favorite thing to do for me.  I have never gone on a vacation that has had so much pre-trip stress.  I know that once on board, things will be great.  The fear is not making it on board.

I will drink to that.first the stress and second the fun on ship.

i am fully vax and plan on wearing a mask if roaming to meals and shows etc.but not on pool deck or on jogging track.

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2 hours ago, Sthrngary said:

Yep, I love the pre-cruise routine.  Just not 5 times, LOL.  The major stress for me is the darn covid-test.  I am stressing out to a max.  My wife had covid that cost us our cruise on July 31.  She is getting tested tomorrow just to see if she still test positive.  I am paranoid and double masking and isolating from all human beings.  I REALLY WANT TO CRUISE.  Then a friend had an emergency in Destin FL and we drive to take care of her dogs for 5 days.  DESTIN, the COVID CAPITAL of the SOUTH.  

 

No eating out, run from anyone that comes near me.  I think you get the idea.  I am so happy I am not the only one stressing out.  I appreciate your post.  It makes me feel normal.  Cruise Well.

I sit in friends cars with masks on.but I did eat out but on a patio.

I get on before you and have B2B,s and get tested each week will be a real joy. Gary, I am in your cruise ..having trouble with roll call and can not post.

wish we knew each other when I was in Cuba and could bring back cigars and rum. I have the rum.

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Posted (edited)

Dear friends, 

I realize that we are all stressed and that vacations and pre cruising should not be like this. 
 

I have not experienced this level of concern in my two last cruises in Europe. One was three weeks (Spain) and the other was one week (Sweden). But I am experiencing the anxiety for my next cruise with Crystal in November, which is also three weeks. Why is this happening? I think for me what is playing a role is the following:

 

1) when I had booked the cruises in Europe, the terms and conditions were clear and it was very unlikely that those conditions were going to change because both bookings were done for sailings within a month of booking.

2) I had the information of what would happen with the rest of the cruise in case somebody tested positive onboard and I was pretty sure that the cruise line was managing the situation very well in cooperation with the countries that allowed us to sail there.

3) I had the feeling that if I was careful, I could avoid COVID and could also avoid being in close proximity of people testing positive.

4) even if unfortunately I was going to be affected by COVID, I could cover the costs of quarantine whatever that was going to happen, and I was close to home (Spain and Sweden, being Germany home). For the first cruise I was not vaccinated yet, nor were any of the other passengers. For the second cruise I was vaccinated and other 50% of the cruise passengers also.

5) The board discussing the cruises was quite positive and somehow mitigated some fears I could have had.

 

For my November cruise with Crystal, I do not even know if it is going to take place. And if it sails where are we going to sail?. It is not easy to imagine for me to spend three weeks just cruising in the Bahamas at Crystal prices. And most important I am not a US citizen. Meaning I would be affected by any changes in USA and I will be away from home. So I am anxious, holding to my cruise, hoping for a miracle, which is unlikely to happen.

 

But if I were one of the US citizens posting in this board, I would take a cruise to the Bahamas with Crystal. I would board in Miami and accept that we have to go trough migration in Miami if the cruise leaves from Nassau. I would be very careful and use masks even if this is not compulsory onboard and I would keep my distance. And most important I would enjoy my cruise! 
 

I wish that those who are booked, look more at the positive sides of having the opportunity to do this cruises. If you decide to go ahead with them, let yourself not to be discourage or get more stress from other posters. We all have different opinions and pre conditions. I am not somebody who only sees good things in Crystal and I am disappointed about many things the company has done. But Crystal is sailing now! Their onboard experience seems to be as it always was. Crew and others are happy to be on board. If you have the chance to enjoy the Crystal experience onboard please do it and do not let the pre cruise experience now influence your overall feeling. Despite COVID, it is still a wonderful world onboard a cruise ship and specially onboard Crystal. 
 

Ivi

Edited by travelberlin
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Our adventure from Miami has begun. We started with a 21 day quarantine at home and a PCR TEST 2 days before sailing in which we tested negative. Unfortunately we noticed one person testing twice and then taken outside, given a PCR package and ultimately ushered downstairs.

 

Info we got was that 52 pax were to board in Miami but 48 made it on board.  We were also told that about 195 passengers boarded in Nassau and Binimi. Calculating numbers that's about 25% of passenger capacity now.

 

Everyone received a turquoise tracking band indicating vaccination. However, not everyone wears it as directed and not everyone wear mask indoors as it is optional.

 

We have enjoyed the first full day onboard but do get a little disturbed about non compliance of wearing the band for tracing. They can't catch everyone but we do know they have been vaccinated. We choose to wear mask indoors unless we're drinking or at a good distance from people.

 

We made the choice to come anyway and stay safe as possible. No regrets thus far. With so few people on board its like having your own ship with relatives on board.  It's certainly better than staying home being afraid to go out anywhere.

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1 hour ago, jrandjr said:

We have enjoyed the first full day onboard but do get a little disturbed about non compliance of wearing the band for tracing. They can't catch everyone but we do know they have been vaccinated. We choose to wear mask indoors unless we're drinking or at a good distance from people.

On out last trip we kept the tracking device in out pockets it was much easier to pop it out of the band and use it that way. It may be the case on your sailing also.   

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13 minutes ago, Jdfireman said:

On out last trip we kept the tracking device in out pockets it was much easier to pop it out of the band and use it that way. It may be the case on your sailing also.   

Yes, that point was brought to my attention by DW and it made me feel better. I have 0 concerns at this point other than doing the things we need to do to stay safe. We are enjoying it even with mask on while walking around inside. Thanks for the reply!

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Just now, jrandjr said:

Yes, that point was brought to my attention by DW and it made me feel better. I have 0 concerns at this point other than doing the things we need to do to stay safe. We are enjoying it even with mask on while walking around inside. Thanks for the reply!

Thank you for the information on getting on in Miami. I wish we could quarantine for 21 days at home but it is impossible..   Please share if you went directly to the Terminal J or you went to the hotel. How was the testing process? Did they send you a email to let you know if you passed? Please keep us update on how it goes next Monday when you return. Going to be a busy day if I am reading the schedule correct 4 ships in port for the turn around

 

Thank you again 

justin  

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4 minutes ago, Jdfireman said:

On out last trip we kept the tracking device in out pockets it was much easier to pop it out of the band and use it that way. It may be the case on your sailing also.   

 

Indeed.  They will still track you even if they are not visible! The docs can notify you if someone shows up in the med center with Covid symptoms and the doc then finds out that the infected person had been in contact with the devices of other pax, and then ID the pax. Then you can be confidentially tracked down and get an antigen test to make sure you are not positive, don't have subtle symptoms that did not bring you to see the doc, etc.   At least that's the idea. I don't know how well these devices work, or what their sensitivity is, and at this point we are dealing with a very, very small sample size, counting the entire cruising world (and assuming all lines use the same type of trackers, which might not be the case). They do require periodic recharging, which can realistically  be a barrier to getting complete records, and you cannot wear them in the water, e.g., jacuzzi, or a pool or ocean  (if there is a pool).  But you can have them somewhere in your stuff near you.

 

On the Endeavor, we were given tracking devices on necklaces.  I wore it over or under my "Crystal Casual" tops other than when showering.  It was like popping on a lanyard ID badge at a convention, but it looked way cooler than most convention lanyards.  I tried to think of it as modern jewelry, and it landed up replacing  my usual travel gold necklace that had disappeared during our room move. 

 

But  it got in the way when I also had binoculars and a shawl around my neck, so I then just stuffed it into the bag I was carrying.  DH carried his in his pockets, because he's not a necklace kind of guy.

 

Pax who see other pax without their trackers on full display should not assume they are non-compliant with the monitoring scheme. In any event, if someone on a small ship that is not full gets Covid, very quickly everyone will know there is someone sick, medical confidentiality or no confidentiality, and will rush the medical center for testing, tracker or no tracker.

 

I read that Viking was doing daily nasal testing on everyone (asymptomatic) on their Iceland circumnavigations, where everyone was vaccinated including crew, and on top of that they had the trackers.  There are pros and cons to doing this (other than cost, there is a higher risk of false positives, over time, and I am glad Crystal did not require it -- but that's me). Some might like doing it. I don't know if Crystal would accomodate *very worried* pax and let them pop down to the med center and get tested every day if they wanted, even though it is not protocol for now. 

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43 minutes ago, Jdfireman said:

Thank you for the information on getting on in Miami. I wish we could quarantine for 21 days at home but it is impossible..   Please share if you went directly to the Terminal J or you went to the hotel. How was the testing process? Did they send you a email to let you know if you passed? Please keep us update on how it goes next Monday when you return. Going to be a busy day if I am reading the schedule correct 4 ships in port for the turn around

 

Thank you again 

justin  

We timed the drive to get to terminal J (which is isolated from all the other ports) an hour before our boarding time of 1:00pm. We were concerned about being in a additional location and parking before the cruise.

 

Filled out a medical form and got nose swiped. They did not stick the swab in the back of the nose but did a circulation about 8 times. Easy!!! We sat until receiving a text and email in which time they brought us the band's. Exhaled!

 

By the way, the bands actually give you a red light when you are too close to someone and turn blue when at a safe distance.

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Kwaj girl: You may have had a different type of tracker than on the Endeavor necklaces , when the three ladies checking us in told us very clearly not to wear them in the water.  That was reinforced to us at least once later in the cruise as well. But of course, the check-in gals may have been mistaken or misinformed, or were erring on the side of caution (just like with other things on that cruise and other cruises ).

DH and I would love to see some hard data on what does and does not work, where, when, why, and what error rates are seen under different test and field conditions and the brands of different devices .

 

When we entered Iceland a few days before the cruise, Iceland immigration had also sent us a text offering us to sign up for a Covid exposure tracking option via our iphones, for wherever we would travel in Iceland, similar to what is available in the U.S. in some places.  If reasonably accurate, and people don't have privacy issues (or have only minor privacy issues that are trumped with a desire for maximum Covid safety), that is a nice service for very worried people to consider pre-cruise (or post-cruise).  I don't know if the Bahamas offered something similar.  

 

 

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7 hours ago, Jdfireman said:

On out last trip we kept the tracking device in out pockets it was much easier to pop it out of the band and use it that way. It may be the case on your sailing also.   

The darn bracelets were always coming off. My hubby kept his in his pocket often.

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On 8/9/2021 at 8:35 PM, seacruise9 said:

Hi, 

 

I am sending a cancellation request for my September 18 cruise. This is not the cruise that I booked. I should be able to receive a refund of 75% if I cancel now.

 

Chuck

We should be on this sailing, August 7, Nassau r/t, however we cancelled on 28 July.   We had completed the Bahamas Health Travel Visas and purchased the vouchers for the test to return to the US, which we also lost the cost of.  We were fine with the changes in itinerary but the final straw was Miami, now we know 100% that we made the correct decision for us, 3 couples.  
 

This cruise was not the one we chose and paid for, and each post I read reinforces our decision.  I can’t imagine having the constant worry while ‘on vacation’.  
 

This is only my opinion but glad NOT to be on Crystal.  

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3 hours ago, KarimaJ said:

The darn bracelets were always coming off. My hubby kept his in his pocket often.

I have very small hands and I picture mine coming off.

also,as a swimmer and ocean person I will need to know if working.

I am hoping that it works if it sitting near me on Beach the pool I do laps in daily.

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I am sure they are the same trackers on both vessels.  

As Catlover said we were also told on Endeavor not to get them wet.  

 

Personally, when I am in the room I don't have to wear it and why in the world would I wear it in the shower.  No pool to swim in here so irrelevant.

 

You know sometimes you ask 20 people a question and get 20 different answers.

 

As to the device ours came as a wrist band but we were told another option was to get something to wear it around our neck.  After one day we quickly decided to get the neck one so the butler brought those over to us and you just pop them out of the wrist band and put them on the neck band.  Easy Peasy.

 

I couldn't get the wrist on one and off with help so this is great.

 

And yes you can wear the device in your pocket.

 

On a related note on our zodiac cruise yesterday we got on the topic of trackers and I made the comment every spouse should get one for their partner not with COVID-19 in mind but to see if they are being faithful.  That got a good laugh but then Anne Marie reminded me she can track me on my iPhone.  🤣

 

Keith

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9 hours ago, suspaul said:

We should be on this sailing, August 7, Nassau r/t, however we cancelled on 28 July.   We had completed the Bahamas Health Travel Visas and purchased the vouchers for the test to return to the US, which we also lost the cost of.  We were fine with the changes in itinerary but the final straw was Miami, now we know 100% that we made the correct decision for us, 3 couples.  
 

This cruise was not the one we chose and paid for, and each post I read reinforces our decision.  I can’t imagine having the constant worry while ‘on vacation’.  
 

This is only my opinion but glad NOT to be on Crystal.  

Hi, 

 

Yes, I totally agree. Canceling my September 18 cruise eliminated a lot of stress and worry. Fortunately, I had a wonderful seven-day cruise on the Celebrity Summit that departed from St. Maarten on July 10. I was hoping to have a similar cruise on the Crystal Serenity, but the negative changes by Crystal were ruining the cruise for me. This was NOT the cruise that I booked in April. I am sorry to lose the money, but glad that I no longer will be taking this cruise. 

 

I have sailed with Crystal five times in the past, but I seriously doubt that I will ever cruise with Crystal again.

 

Chuck

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8 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

I am sure they are the same trackers on both vessels.  

As Catlover said we were also told on Endeavor not to get them wet.  

 

Personally, when I am in the room I don't have to wear it and why in the world would I wear it in the shower.  No pool to swim in here so irrelevant.

 

You know sometimes you ask 20 people a question and get 20 different answers.

 

As to the device ours came as a wrist band but we were told another option was to get something to wear it around our neck.  After one day we quickly decided to get the neck one so the butler brought those over to us and you just pop them out of the wrist band and put them on the neck band.  Easy Peasy.

 

I couldn't get the wrist on one and off with help so this is great.

 

And yes you can wear the device in your pocket.

 

On a related note on our zodiac cruise yesterday we got on the topic of trackers and I made the comment every spouse should get one for their partner not with COVID-19 in mind but to see if they are being faithful.  That got a good laugh but then Anne Marie reminded me she can track me on my iPhone.  🤣

 

Keith

Don't tell Anne Marie, but you can turn off your iphone person tracking function for privacy, so Anne Marie can't find you when she clicks on "find my friends".  And if she finds out, you can just tell her you were out buying her a birthday present and did not want her to know where, so as not to spoil the surprise 🙂

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6 minutes ago, Catlover54 said:

Don't tell Anne Marie, but you can turn off your iphone person tracking function for privacy, so Anne Marie can't find you when she clicks on "find my friends".  And if she finds out, you can just tell her you were out buying her a birthday present and did not want her to know where, so as not to spoil the surprise 🙂

 

Anne Marie doesn’t need technology to find her hubby. All she has to do is peruse the Fitness Center or paddle tennis courts. And she knows never to look for Keith in the Bistro around 10:00am when the Portuguese Tarts appear.....

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1 hour ago, BEAV said:

 

Anne Marie doesn’t need technology to find her hubby. All she has to do is peruse the Fitness Center or paddle tennis courts. And she knows never to look for Keith in the Bistro around 10:00am when the Portuguese Tarts appear.....

Or at the Trident Grill getting a burger and fries!!😲

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