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Live from the Viking Star World Cruise 2021-22


JM0115
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5 hours ago, JM0115 said:

Not to mention the 500-600 people (including us) who were in line in the terminal port at Fort Lauderdale one foot from each other on each other waiting to be tested before boarding. We were in close proximity for ~2 hrs in the terminal building. Almost all were masked but they also passed out water bottles (which was a good thing) but hard to wear a mask while drinking water. I was not in the least comfortable and felt that this situation was entirely unacceptable. I hope that those embarking in LA do not have to go through this. We made our thoughts known on the embarkation questionnaire so I hope that helps the folks getting on in LA.

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Embarkation was a real s-show!  Good to hear that there were more who let their thoughts be known on the embarkation questionnaire.

 

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Day 5 - good day to try the room service - which we did for lunch (1st time) and enjoyed it.  Still wondering if Cartagena will be open to us given the COVID counts/situation.  Not clear on how this works or the timing should we not be allowed to visit.  Of course, it’s not like I’m going somewhere, well, at least hopefully not as long as MDH and I keep passing the morning spit tests 😎

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Just learned that Cartagena (Colombia) authorities changed threshold for cases from 2% to 1% and therefore denied our ship’s entry.  We are now off to Colon, Panama, a bit early.  But venues on board will be open tomorrow.  Sorry I won’t be able to add SA to my list of visited continents. Another cruise will need to be added to my list.

 

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44 minutes ago, UkeFan said:

Just learned that Cartagena (Colombia) authorities changed threshold for cases from 2% to 1% and therefore denied our ship’s entry.  We are now off to Colon, Panama, a bit early.  But venues on board will be open tomorrow.  Sorry I won’t be able to add SA to my list of visited continents. Another cruise will need to be added to my list.

 

 

Not getting into Cartagena opens a potential failure to comply with the US PVSA, for those pax that boarded in Port Everglades and are disembarking in San Pedro.

 

Will be interested in seeing how Viking plan to work around this issue.

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1 hour ago, Heidi13 said:

 

Not getting into Cartagena opens a potential failure to comply with the US PVSA, for those pax that boarded in Port Everglades and are disembarking in San Pedro.

 

Will be interested in seeing how Viking plan to work around this issue.

Not sure why.  We already stopped in Mexico and will be stopping again in Panama, Costa Rica, and Mexico again.  I'm no geography expert, but the prohibition for vessels leaving US ports and returning to US ports without a non-US stop already doesn't apply since we've been to Mexico. 

 

US cruises do this all the time - LA to Hawaii - Ensenada, Mexico - LA. Seattle - Alaska - Victoria, British Columbia, Canada - Seattle.

 

What am I missing?  There is no PVSA issue here.

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2 hours ago, GKTV32162 said:

Not sure why.  We already stopped in Mexico and will be stopping again in Panama, Costa Rica, and Mexico again.  I'm no geography expert, but the prohibition for vessels leaving US ports and returning to US ports without a non-US stop already doesn't apply since we've been to Mexico. 

 

US cruises do this all the time - LA to Hawaii - Ensenada, Mexico - LA. Seattle - Alaska - Victoria, British Columbia, Canada - Seattle.

 

What am I missing?  There is no PVSA issue here.

The itinerary examples you gave when you said " US cruises do this all the time" are closed loop cruises, which only require a call at any foreign port, so the stops at Mexico and Canada fulfill the requirements. The cruise you're on is not closed loop, and for those cruises the PVSA requires a port call at what is defined as a "distant foreign port". Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama do not qualify as distant foreign ports, but Cartagena does because it's in South America. Without the Cartagena call and no other distant port being on the itinerary for passengers who embarked in Fort Lauderdale and disembark in Los Angeles the cruise will violate the PVSA.

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3 hours ago, GKTV32162 said:

Not sure why.  We already stopped in Mexico and will be stopping again in Panama, Costa Rica, and Mexico again.  I'm no geography expert, but the prohibition for vessels leaving US ports and returning to US ports without a non-US stop already doesn't apply since we've been to Mexico. 

 

US cruises do this all the time - LA to Hawaii - Ensenada, Mexico - LA. Seattle - Alaska - Victoria, British Columbia, Canada - Seattle.

 

What am I missing?  There is no PVSA issue here.

 

You most definitely do have a potential PVSA issue. The US PVSA has different standards for closed-loop (same embarkation/disembarkation ports) and 1-way voyages (different embarkation/disembarkation ports). This is why you will never see cruises from Seattle to Seward, all Alaska cruises from Seattle are R/T.

 

For a closed-loop cruise you are only required to call at any foreign port.

 

When pax embark in Port Everglades and disembark in San Pedro, the ship must call at a "Distant Foreign Port", which excludes Canada, Mexico, Central America and Caribbean (except ABC Islands). Your call at Cartegena was for compliance with the US PVSA.

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1 hour ago, Heidi13 said:

 

You most definitely do have a potential PVSA issue. The US PVSA has different standards for closed-loop (same embarkation/disembarkation ports) and 1-way voyages (different embarkation/disembarkation ports). This is why you will never see cruises from Seattle to Seward, all Alaska cruises from Seattle are R/T.

 

For a closed-loop cruise you are only required to call at any foreign port.

 

When pax embark in Port Everglades and disembark in San Pedro, the ship must call at a "Distant Foreign Port", which excludes Canada, Mexico, Central America and Caribbean (except ABC Islands). Your call at Cartegena was for compliance with the US PVSA.

Can Viking apply for a waiver for the US PVSA? Are exemptions made for being denied Port entry due to medical issues?

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19 hours ago, JM0115 said:

We were told by the GM that they believe all positive cases came on with Covid at Fort Lauderdale embarkation and that the antigen test is just a moment in time. People could have contracted it before or after the antigen test while at home or while traveling. He also told us that in 18 months no cases were known to have some from excursions. He said that most people are cautious during excursions and do not go to bars and other places while at port that could cause them to contract Covid. Some people joining us at LA will undoubtedly and unfortunately bring Covid with them but once we are at sea for a few days things should get better.  We would like to meet more people on board but are still keeping mostly to ourselves. I feel like things will be much better a few days after Los Angeles. We still love being on the ship and I personally really enjoy just looking at the ocean as we sail.

This x100%

Travelling on public transport, being in queues and spaces at transport hubs, plus even the act of going to get your pre-travel PCR (depending on where you get it, ie at a dedicated testing center for travel and asymptomatic/well people Vs an urgent care of hospital setting) are the highest risk periods (certainly on a Viking cruise!). About 5-7 days after embarkation and no further positive cases, then the risk is much, much lower as it only comes from port side contact...

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12 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

 

Not getting into Cartagena opens a potential failure to comply with the US PVSA, for those pax that boarded in Port Everglades and are disembarking in San Pedro.

 

Will be interested in seeing how Viking plan to work around this issue.

Interesting to say the least!

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11 hours ago, SantaFe1 said:

We are so sad about this.  A bucket list destination.  Now we will probably never get there.  

SantaFe, if you are interested I would like to meet you on board. E-mail me at vikingworldcruise2021@gmail.com.

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8 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

 

You most definitely do have a potential PVSA issue. The US PVSA has different standards for closed-loop (same embarkation/disembarkation ports) and 1-way voyages (different embarkation/disembarkation ports). This is why you will never see cruises from Seattle to Seward, all Alaska cruises from Seattle are R/T.

 

For a closed-loop cruise you are only required to call at any foreign port.

 

When pax embark in Port Everglades and disembark in San Pedro, the ship must call at a "Distant Foreign Port", which excludes Canada, Mexico, Central America and Caribbean (except ABC Islands). Your call at Cartegena was for compliance with the US PVSA.

I missed the differences in a closed loop and point to point cruise requirement. I expect that allowances will be made given the world situation, but who knows?

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12 hours ago, PeabodyMa said:

Can Viking apply for a waiver for the US PVSA? Are exemptions made for being denied Port entry due to medical issues?

 

They can apply for a waiver, but I expect the probability of success is fairly low.

 

Example - on R/T, or closed-loop cruises, some pax have been medically disembarked early, at a different US port than they embarked from. This changes the cruise from R/T to a 1-way cruise, which is a PVSA violation, if the ship didn't visit a "Distant Foreign Port".

 

In those situations, the cruise lines have been fined (> US $800 pp) for everyone that disembarked early. No exemption for medical reasons.

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@JM0115 Jim, are you blogging this adventure along with Rose and Garry? I thought you were but I don't have the link. Maybe it was someone else.

Thanks for starting this and I am closely following your adventures. We hope the Covid cases lessen for you all. I agree with what others have said regarding bringing it on board from LA. Omicron seems to be highly contagious so I am sure our first few days will be trying. 

Diana

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1 hour ago, DJVKN said:

@JM0115 Jim, are you blogging this adventure along with Rose and Garry? I thought you were but I don't have the link. Maybe it was someone else.

Thanks for starting this and I am closely following your adventures. We hope the Covid cases lessen for you all. I agree with what others have said regarding bringing it on board from LA. Omicron seems to be highly contagious so I am sure our first few days will be trying. 

Diana

I am not blogging. Following other blogs though. I wish we could have entered Colon earlier but no berths available- we are so close and yet so far!😀

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8 hours ago, JM0115 said:

Interesting to say the least!

Hello Jim,  I just sent you an email for a wellness check of a friend and his wife that are on the Star.  Thank you for the kindness of your assistance.  phil 

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We were on this ship from December 9th to 24th and we disembarked in Ft. Lauderdale on the 24th.

 

We had 2 cases that were identified on the 2nd or 3rd day and then no more after that.  The passenger case was removed from the ship.

 

Everyone needs to take this seriously.  Mask mandates apply to everyone.  We saw the same people every day that would keep the mask up until the lights went down in the theatre and then the mask went down.  We saw the same people day-in-day-out that refused to wear them when they were in common areas, or they were below the nose.  Everyone was told keep the mask up unless eating or drinking but some felt that if they were sitting in the atrium reading this mandate did not apply to them?  I did not get it.

 

You pay a lot of money for a two week cruise, I don't want to imagine what you are paying for the world cruise.  If you don't wear your mask you will have an increase of cases, you won't get to dock in the ports that you paid for...  OR, YOU might end up with Covid and be removed from the ship.

 

My opinion is that if you want to travel during these times you either accept the challenges and the restrictions or stay home.

 

By nature I am not a confrontational person, but if I was on this world cruise, I would be approaching all the violators and reporting them to management.  

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26 minutes ago, Tally13 said:

Hello Jim,  I just sent you an email for a wellness check of a friend and his wife that are on the Star.  Thank you for the kindness of your assistance.  phil 

Received and I called him.  

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The domed railway excursion in Colon  has been booked solidly since the beginning.
There’s a waitlist currently with nine people. If you are interested please immediately put your name on the waitlist and maybe we could convince them to add another domed car to the run.

Worth a try,
Tom

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