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Negative Covid Test Required


JimmB
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Okay, I now understand that the PCR test onboard is a spit test.  Do all PCR tests and the rapid PCR tests require spitting?  Someone mentioned there is an alternate for those who can’t spit for the test during the cruise.  But now I’m worried about the private tests required to fly international and the one within 48 hrs of boarding the ship?  How are those performed?

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1 hour ago, SoBaycruiser said:

Okay, I now understand that the PCR test onboard is a spit test.  Do all PCR tests and the rapid PCR tests require spitting?  Someone mentioned there is an alternate for those who can’t spit for the test during the cruise.  But now I’m worried about the private tests required to fly international and the one within 48 hrs of boarding the ship?  How are those performed?

There are multiple types of PCR tests.   Viking uses the saliva test, but nasal and nasal-pharyngeal swab tests are also performed.  Places like Walgreens and CVS usually use a nasal swab test.

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18 hours ago, SoBaycruiser said:

Okay, I now understand that the PCR test onboard is a spit test.  Do all PCR tests and the rapid PCR tests require spitting?  Someone mentioned there is an alternate for those who can’t spit for the test during the cruise.  But now I’m worried about the private tests required to fly international and the one within 48 hrs of boarding the ship?  How are those performed?

My recommendation is that you call/contact the various potential COVID PCR test places and ask them how the test is performed.  Most of them are done not by saliva but with a swab up the nostrils twirled around.  So if you cannot deliver saliva, these type tests should work.  I think there are plenty of places in the large cities.   If you are in a small city, (like us), you might have some issues finding places.

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Has anyone used the Delta FlyReady solution to ease check in for international travel? It appears that it's something similar to Verifly, but not sure. I'm curious if it will help us get through all the way to Athens, we are flying to Atlanta on Delta, then flying to Athens with a connection in Paris on Air France. The ticket is under Delta/Air France. I can't access it until a week before my trip.

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FlyReady is the DL version of VeriFly, which is predominantly a OneWorld focused app.  It was initially designed for documents to allow travel to the USA, and is slowly being expanded to travel from the USA.

 

As always, know that an app may give you some "assurance" that you are ready to travel, but you will always want paper documentation of tests, vaccinations and travel authorizations.

 

As for your specific trip, it is not documented anywhere what countries this is now applicable to, other than the USA.  You will need documents for entry into France and into Greece.

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10 hours ago, PKNC said:

Has anyone used the Delta FlyReady solution to ease check in for international travel? It appears that it's something similar to Verifly, but not sure. I'm curious if it will help us get through all the way to Athens, we are flying to Atlanta on Delta, then flying to Athens with a connection in Paris on Air France. The ticket is under Delta/Air France. I can't access it until a week before my trip.


Let us know how FlyReady works.  I’m flying Delta international at the end of February.

 

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For those who might be a bit put out by Vikings excessive protocols for fully vaccinated ships, it would be interesting for you to go over to the Regent website and read their Sail Safe Health and Safety protocols.  An example of how to run a Fully Vaccinated ship with reason.  Why Viking is so much more restrictive than their competitors is puzzling.  Usually Viking is in the lead.

Edited by Jim Avery
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8 minutes ago, Jim Avery said:

For those who might be a bit put out by Vikings excessive protocols for fully vaccinated ships, it would be interesting for you to go over to the Regent website and read their Sail Safe Health and Safety protocols.  An example of how to run a Fully Vaccinated ship with reason.  Why Viking is so much more restrictive than their competitors is puzzling.  Usually Viking is in the lead.

Our good friends, and Viking fans!, are taking an Oceania Cruise in late November, parallel to our Viking cruise.  Will be interesting to compare notes on their handling of COVID.  So far they've been impressed!

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2 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

For those who might be a bit put out by Vikings excessive protocols for fully vaccinated ships, it would be interesting for you to go over to the Regent website and read their Sail Safe Health and Safety protocols.  An example of how to run a Fully Vaccinated ship with reason.  Why Viking is so much more restrictive than their competitors is puzzling.  Usually Viking is in the lead.

Interesting that while Regent generally doesn’t require masks onboard since everyone is vaccinated, masks are still required for their European cruises. Apparently it’s an EU thing.

 

Looks like Regent also doesn’t test daily. Does any other cruise line do this?

Edited by Twitchly
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2 minutes ago, Twitchly said:

Interesting that while Regent generally doesn’t require masks onboard since everyone is vaccinated, masks are still required for their European cruises. Apparently it’s an EU thing.

 

Looks like Regent also doesn’t test daily. Does any other cruise line do this?

I have looked at quite a few other lines and so far the answer is no, they do not test daily beyond random temperature checks.

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Regent's policy appears well thought out and sensible.  Viking's policies aren't that much more stringent, masks not withstanding.  There are no documented studies supporting their efficacy. Read the disclaimer on a box of actual surgical masks for clarification. Masks are purely optics, respirators are a whole different beast.

 

Our shipboard experience on a Viking Iceland cruise in July this year was difficult to characterize. Food and service were excellent as usual.  However, the dearth of interaction with other passengers and crew, plus the inability to read their expressions when engaged in a (rare) conversation was really unfortunate.  We felt masks were a detriment to the experience.

 

 

 

Edited by Donaghadee
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For those of you embarking in a US port, I just had a voice mail from Stacy in Guest Services at Viking in response to my email to tellus@viking asking if they were or were not going to allow us to do the home proctored telehealth BinaxNOW antigen test and the answer is YES, they are allowed!

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25 minutes ago, zelker said:

For those of you embarking in a US port, I just had a voice mail from Stacy in Guest Services at Viking in response to my email to tellus@viking asking if they were or were not going to allow us to do the home proctored telehealth BinaxNOW antigen test and the answer is YES, they are allowed!

Could you ask Stacy if you can please get that in writing?

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Just now, Donaghadee said:

Could you ask Stacy if you can please get that in writing?

No, but you can.  She said call with questions and anyone in their department can verify it so if you want it in writing, give them a call at 1-877-523-0579.

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I would definitely want this in writing.  And I would also ask how this test, that has to be administered twice over three days, needs to be taken to fit in with Viking’s 2 days before embarking requirement, I.e. which of the two has to be two days before?  And I would ask how the results are to be conveyed?  Take a photo of the pink line on the card, or what?  That doesn’t seem to fit the electronic and printed results Viking wants.  

Edited by SantaFe1
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3 minutes ago, SantaFe1 said:

I would definitely want this in writing.  And I would also ask how this test, that has to be administered twice over three, days needs to be taken to fit in with Viking’s 2 days before embarking requirement, I.e. which of the two has to be two days before?  And I would ask how the results are to be conveyed?  Take a photo of the pink line on the card, or what?  That doesn’t seem to fit the electronic and printed results Viking wants.  

Don't know what you're referring to (twice over three days).  For those embarking in the US, you need a one test no more than two days prior to embarking.  The test is ordered through eMed or Optum and you do the entire thing while being live monitored via your phone, computer, or tablet.  They verify the results and email them to you so you have electronic results which you can then print out.  This is NOT the kind you buy over the counter at your local store.  This test is approved by the FDA and CDC, most (all?) cruise lines are accepting it, you can even use them to return to the US from international travel.  

 

Don't shoot the messenger.  Do your own homework, come to your own conclusions. 

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I cut, pasted and googled the test you mentioned.  This is what it told me.  And it is now available OTC.  We have an appointment for an antigen test two days before embarking, so we won’t be using this anyway.  And I’m not trying to shoot the messenger, just warning that, as Jim Avery says, ten different agents will give ten different answers.  I’ve had it happen several times this year, both on our Iceland trip and our Panama trip in December. I always like to have a paper trail…

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1 hour ago, SantaFe1 said:

I would definitely want this in writing.  And I would also ask how this test, that has to be administered twice over three days, needs to be taken to fit in with Viking’s 2 days before embarking requirement, I.e. which of the two has to be two days before?  And I would ask how the results are to be conveyed?  Take a photo of the pink line on the card, or what?  That doesn’t seem to fit the electronic and printed results Viking wants.  

Agreed.  That's why it must be in writing, especially how it must be presented to Viking.  Preferably on official letterhead or at least from someone in authority at Viking with their name on the blame line.

 

Jim Avery is absolutely correct.  Communications from  Viking have been annoyingly nebulous since they went into the ocean cruise business.  It's my single largest complaint with them, it's like nailing Jell-O to the wall.  We learned six years ago to get everything in writing and drag it along with you to the cruise.  At least then you have recourse when it all goes haywire.

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1 hour ago, SantaFe1 said:

Further research yielded this, which is the one I think you are talking about.  But other cruise lines specifically state it is acceptable, Viking does not—yet.  At least you have the voicemail as proof.

 

DFDB14AD-0570-458E-B6D2-4017BD1916AF.thumb.png.0b2b03545256efddae6b4a96a5d743e7.png

I am currently onboard the Orion. We took this test on Monday for a Wednesday departure. We printed out the results from the link that was sent within minutes. When we embarked, the Viking rep checked the date of the test and the result and waved us through. Easy peasy. They also had a table set up in the terminal where they appeared to be administering rapid tests - I did not walk over and check it out, but there were lab techs and equipment set up. 

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Thank you for taking the time to reply.  I had been hoping to hear from someone with boots on the ground so to speak.  I had sort of believed Viking would have to have rapid tests available upon embarkation, since there is so much confusion.  

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What exactly do they accept from UK guests?  It’s as clear as mud….I do not need a test to board a plane so I’m getting to the point of walking away if I have somehow, living in a remote part got to find a test that fits Vikings needs.  I much prefer the approach of other lines, it’s my responsibility to meet the airline rules then the cruiseline takes over and tests everyone at the pier. 

Edited by uktog
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2 hours ago, uktog said:

What exactly do they accept from UK guests?  It’s as clear as mud….I do not need a test to board a plane so I’m getting to the point of walking away if I have somehow, living in a remote part got to find a test that fits Vikings needs.  I much prefer the approach of other lines, it’s my responsibility to meet the airline rules then the cruiseline takes over and tests everyone at the pier. 


A rapid test at the pier makes much more sense to meet Viking’s requirements. 
 

Ironically, I’m thinking Viking instituted its “PCR test 72 hours before boarding” rule as an attempt to cover all the bases and ensure that all countries’ requirements would be met — an attempt at simplification, in other words. It hasn’t quite worked out that way.

Edited by Twitchly
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17 hours ago, SantaFe1 said:

Further research yielded this, which is the one I think you are talking about.  But other cruise lines specifically state it is acceptable, Viking does not—yet.  At least you have the voicemail as proof.

 

DFDB14AD-0570-458E-B6D2-4017BD1916AF.thumb.png.0b2b03545256efddae6b4a96a5d743e7.png

I believe the BinaxNow can be selectively used. Viking clearly prefers PCR tests. But for those going to Italy and some other countries which require a COVID test, the BinaxNow proctored test (ie RX version) can be a good solution such as when there isn't enough time to get PCR results.

 

There are many reports online of BinaxNow being accepted for an Antigen test in Europe. A family member has used it several times in flying overseas without a hitch.

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