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Covid on Exporer


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I've just read that there was a lot of Covid onboard Explorer during the Christmas cruise.  People were taken off by ambulance and put into quarantine hotels in Gran Canaria, including an 80 year old woman, separating her from her family.  Plus there was no Tui rep to assist them.  I haven't been able to confirm the veracity of this report.  Does anyone know more?

 

This is really scaring me as I'm due to sail with my Goddaughter on 11th of January

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Hi @cinnamonWhere did you read this?  It's the first that I have heard of it and I'd also like to dig deeper to see what has happened here.

 

I have mentioned on these forums previously that pure statistics mean that almost certainly *every* ship will have Covid cases, but equally that virtually  *every* ship has made allowances for this by having unsold cabins and areas of the ship where affected passengers can quarantine.

 

In the case of seriously ill passengers, then removal by ambulance to hospital would be a sensible option, and it is also possible that certain authorities may take a view and insist on disembarkation to quarantine hotels for all those infected - maybe this is the case here?

 

However, in general, Countries do not want to take in infected travellers, particularly when the ship has equally suitable facilities.  Indeed, a lot of Caribbean Islands are currently refusing permission for Ships to even dock where there is a prevalance of Covid cases onboard.

One possiblity is if the number of occurances has exceeded the number of quarantine cabins available - which could i guess happen with a high percentage booked Christmas Cruise

Edited by ferretktf
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I found it on the Marella page of a well known social media site that I am not allowed to mention by name on Cruise Critic.  I searched for the post again this morning and now cannot find it, as though it has been hushed up.  I am not a conspiracy nut but wondering about the truth.  I have messaged the poster directly but had no reply as yet.  Hence my enquiry here.

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Thanks - ok I have searched and have found - probably your source - a lady documenting how she has been quarantined in Gran Canaria since Dec 19th but is due for "release" today.

 

While I have no reason to doubt that she is in quarantine, as she goes into a lot of detail obviously we dont know the exact circumstances of what led to this.

 

 

Edited by ferretktf
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@cinnamon Ok - i think i know what happened here.

  • The lady highlights that she had a very nice cruise up to that point.
  • December 19th - Gran Canaria - was the final port - the disembarkation port for Marella Explorer.
  • As part of Spanish disembarkation - *ALL* passengers are tested  (it is also UK legislation)
  • The lady could not disembark onto an Airplane home - the UK Government does not permit this, so she had to go into Gran Canaarian quarantine hotel

 

So as the cruise had ended, there was no cruise to complete in a "Quarantine Cabin" - there was nowhere else for her to go other than a Quarantine Hotel.

 

 

This therefore is a genuine risk for all Cruise travellers.  If you test positive for Covid while on board - you will be put into a quarantine cabin.

 

The real problem comes when it is time to disembark and return to the UK.... until you test negative you cannot return to the UK  (the lady in question tested negative yesterday so she can leave quarantine today)

 

If the story you highlight about the 80-year-old woman being seperated from ther family are correct, then it seems that none of her family chose to stay in Gran Canaria with her while she quarantined. 

None of the above is TUI's fault, although you would hope that they would have a "duty of care" towards their customers - indeed the Covid guarantee on their website intimates this.

 

Initially, any guest with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive antigen test will be asked to take a PCR test and remain in isolation onboard. If their PCR test is positive, they’ll move to isolation in destination if required by the local authorities or continue to isolate onboard. While the destination and travel insurance take over the management of isolation ashore, we’ll remain in regular contact throughout the isolation period.

Edited by ferretktf
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Thanks for your reply.  I'm fascinated to know where you found the info, as I could not.  We are due to embark and disembark in Tenerife as Explorer has two ports rom which to start and end the cruise.

 

I've spoken with my travel insurance company and received assurance that I am covered fully, even though my travelling companion is not a relative.  A government sponsored quarantine hotel does not sound appealing but that is the risk we take i'm afraid. 

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Yes - it is a risk we going to have to take and indeed one that I had not fully considered (we travel tomorrow on EX2)

 

I am quite comfortable with "onboard" quarantine if necessary but had not even thought about what happens when the cruise finishes if you are still "in quarantine".

 

If the UK won't allow you to fly home without a negative test (or x days since the positive PCR test) then quarantining at the disembarkation port is the only option available.

 

This is a little different than TUI forcing you off the boat at the earliest opportunity which is the initial impression given by the social media poster (n.b. found a lot of her messages documented on the "T" platform) - but on a 7 day cruise it is likely to happen to most people who become infected during the cruise - unless they are fortunate enough to test negative on the penultimate day.

 

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Thanks Ferretktf for your reply. I don't use the 'T' platform, hence not knowing any more.

I hope you have a wonderful Covid free cruise of Explorer2. My husband died of Covid, way back at the beginning of April 2020, both of us having contracted it before the first Lockdown.  I'm triple jabbed and don't fear the actual illness (what else can it do to me) just the thought of those quarantine hotels. I've spoken with my Goddaughter today and we are just going to attempt to have fun whilst still staying safe. She and I both feel the need for some enjoyment in our lives and she certainly can't afford to lose the money we paid in October, so cancelling is out of the question.

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Oh I am so sorry to hear that @cinnamon and completely understand where you are coming from.

 

My advice (and apologies if I'm teaching granny to suck eggs)....

 

Please please please get some N99/FFP3 masks (N95/FFP2 are nearly as good)  and wear them close to 100% of the time when mixing with others.  Ignore the fact that they are bulkier,  and people might look at you strangely as a result ... you get used to it, but you will be safe.  

 

They are >99% effective for the wearer as oppose to standard cloth masks which are <30% effective or medical masks which are <50% effective (both of these are really intended to protect others from the wearer and not the wearer from others)  (N95 are - as their name suggests - >95% effective)

 

We have worn them since the start and despite some very close contacts (4 out of our 6 children, 2 partners of our children, and 3 siblings of partners) we have avoided being infected so far.

 

Key is to wear them always whenever in close proximity to others - especially on the plane or perhaps in the theatre on the ship (Although TUI were good at spacing people out in October).    Take care in the main buffet to select a table away from where others are sitting (cruise will not be at capacity which will help). In the restaurants the tables are placed two metres apart so that helps.

 

You will find some bars on the ship *much* busy than others.  Again try to steer clear of the packed bars unless wearing your mask.

 

And then relax and enjoy

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The lady I saw reporting on the Marella Explorer page of a well known social media site, was on her own, as their insurance did not cover her negative partner's costs, so he flew home (quarantine costs are 160 euro/day + 80 euro day for food, all of which needs to be paid upfront and claimed back from insurance).

 

She was placed in self catering accommodation in Gran Canaria, with no balcony, and has not been allowed out of the room for 10 days. Support from Tui has been lacking according to her posts, and the food supplied was even more lacking from the photos posted.

 

Luckily, she appears to be very able, and has had plenty of support from other contributors on the site. She failed a PCR test at 7 days, which was expected, but passed the LFT yesterday, so should be flying home today

 

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Thanks, good advice.  I have never worn those. Of course, in the early days we were told they were precious and needed to be kept for the medical profession but now it makes enormous sense to get some.

I used to wear a mask for work (retired dental hygienist) so am very happy to wear one for extended periods when required.

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2 minutes ago, cinnamon said:

Interesting info 'howmuch'

One thing i checked with the insurance company was about travelling companions.  I am surprised her partner was allowed to travel after presumably sharing a cabin with her partner.

So was I. Unless I misunderstood, they were never in separate cabins, before disembarking 

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TBF I have worn nothing but the standard wear once throw away type  face coverings with very close contacts .My Son,DIL and grandson who we childcare for and take and collect from school have all recently had covid and despite that my wife and I have not fortunately

 

Seems no rythme or reason for some contracting it and others(close contacts not)

 

In no way downplaying the potential seriousness of the virus

 

Hope you enjoy your cruise

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I posted on the original social media forum in reply to the first post. Someone from Marella called Nicola has now posted and requested I contact them with my booking details and setting out my concerns.  Interesting development.  

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Hi CC shipmates, here is the following details of the lady in question posted.

 

My husband and I have just been off loaded in Grand Canaria having tested positive for Covid yesterday during the weekly antigen testing.
I wouldn’t wish our experience on anyone.
Please make sure you understand the risks if you are within your cancellation period.
Passengers are expected to wear masks at all times, however this doesn’t always happen and is not always policed.
We understand that a very large number of people out if 1100 were offloaded today.
We also understand that crew have tested positive.
We did not receive any information from Marella for 21 hours from the time of the positive test until a medic came to offload us to an ambulance.
All very traumatic and despite asking on at least 4 occasions during the 21 hours between testing and disembarkation for information? What are the procedures in place? What will happen next? And being told we would receive a call from the Guest Experience Coordinator who would give us a full briefing, this never happened.
After speaking to staff members we were informed that the number of positive test results are unprecedented.
Omicron and this wave didn’t start to spike until the end of November so we were not in a position to reschedule / cancel and receive a refund before our departure date 20/12/21 as we had passed the deadline for making any amendments.
So we are now in isolation in an apartment that delivers food once a day at the cost of £1500 for 10 days.
We will also have to pay for all PCR’s until we test negative.
If we had had the opportunity to cancel / defer we would have.
The purpose of this post is to allow people to make informed decisions.
 
 
Regards RR
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Hi all, my son was removed from the ship on the 27th in Gran C after testing positive on the 26th, we travelled as a family of four, myself, my wife, son 21yrs and daughter 17yrs, we had 2No balcony cabins on either side of the ship, we all received a letter giving us an approx time (17:30- 18:30) that on Boxing day that we would have to got down to have our LFT 2 days prior to disembarkation and we were in group 10 and wait for the announcement

 

We were called around 19:30 and we made our way down and joined the queue, and was asked by a chap in front of us what No we were, 10 we replied "Oh you can go in front of us as we (a party of about 6) were group 11 (not even called yet and had no reason to be down there, as many time over the PA it was asked that only the groups called to make the way down!!!!! Impatient tw*ts...

 

We gave our names to a crew member and she crossed us of the list, we were summoned to the cubical in pairs per cabin and ask cabin No which the nurse wrote on the test plates, done the test then told to wait in our cabins till 30 mins and if we don't hear anything we were free to leave, at 19:55 our son called to say he has had a call and tested positive and to wait in the cabin with his sister and crew will come down to talk to him, 

The next 6hrs even before we got off the ship, (I choose to get off as I doubt any parent would let there child even if he was 21 go through this alone) was a nightmare, from the medical team getting an consent form signed from our 17yr old daughter without our knowledge or consent, to room service forgetting about or dinner and attempting to collect our dirty plates even before we received our order...that night we all had PCR's taken and told not to leave the cabins.

 

10:00am 27-12-21 received a call to say son would be taken from ship in 30mins and put in the hands of the port authority and put into isolation, we made the decision that I would get off with him but had no plan of where to stay or what I was going to do so franticly packing my stuff with an upset wife and emotions running high

10:45 I went round to their cabin and was meet with crew in Haz-mat suits and told he will be taken down on the crew lift and to meet him on dockside, waving to my daughter who was on her balcony and was now alone in her cabin I asked the TUI rep to see if she can arrange to get wife and daughter together she said she will, we both got into the waiting ambulance and drove with blue lights and sirens 2.2miles.

 

If you are going on a cruise take spare LFT as I visited over 22 chemists over 3 days and none availably, once you leave the ship you are at the hands of the port authority and not TUI, we did get a letter from the rep stating that once we receive a negative test we are to call them to arrange a flight home, we had the test on Sat and flew back on Monday, remember the test and flights must be within 48hrs

Costs in euros to be covered by the guests and claimed back from insurance

Ambulance transfer 150.00

PCR Test 145.00 + 50 for nurse

LFT Test 30.00 + 50 for nurse

Accommodation 160.50 per night

Full Board food!!! 80.25 per day we cancelled this after day 2  

Taxi to airport 30.00

 

I slept in the same room as my son, moved the mattress over to the other side and all windows were open and luckily both negative on Saturday, I do know that a couple at the same place a few floors down that were also removed from the ship on the same day as she was positive and on Monday their test were carried out and he came back positive as well so another 7 days for them..

 

I suppose we were one of the unlucky ones this time...

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On 12/29/2021 at 4:47 PM, howmuch! said:

The lady I saw reporting on the Marella Explorer page of a well known social media site, was on her own, as their insurance did not cover her negative partner's costs, so he flew home (quarantine costs are 160 euro/day + 80 euro day for food, all of which needs to be paid upfront and claimed back from insurance).

 

She was placed in self catering accommodation in Gran Canaria, with no balcony, and has not been allowed out of the room for 10 days. Support from Tui has been lacking according to her posts, and the food supplied was even more lacking from the photos posted.

 

Luckily, she appears to be very able, and has had plenty of support from other contributors on the site. She failed a PCR test at 7 days, which was expected, but passed the LFT yesterday, so should be flying home today

 

It is correct that negative testing close contacts are not covered by insurance. The removal of guests into quarantine off the ship is a term of the EU regulation that allows the cruise lines to sail. Spain in particular adheres totally to these rules and also the Canaries. People from all cruise lines have suffered this.

 

P&O are now including this information in their Frequently Asked Questions.

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On 1/4/2022 at 4:58 PM, SouthUKG said:

Hi all, my son was removed from the ship on the 27th in Gran C after testing positive on the 26th, we travelled as a family of four, myself, my wife, son 21yrs and daughter 17yrs, we had 2No balcony cabins on either side of the ship, we all received a letter giving us an approx time (17:30- 18:30) that on Boxing day that we would have to got down to have our LFT 2 days prior to disembarkation and we were in group 10 and wait for the announcement

 

We were called around 19:30 and we made our way down and joined the queue, and was asked by a chap in front of us what No we were, 10 we replied "Oh you can go in front of us as we (a party of about 6) were group 11 (not even called yet and had no reason to be down there, as many time over the PA it was asked that only the groups called to make the way down!!!!! Impatient tw*ts...

 

We gave our names to a crew member and she crossed us of the list, we were summoned to the cubical in pairs per cabin and ask cabin No which the nurse wrote on the test plates, done the test then told to wait in our cabins till 30 mins and if we don't hear anything we were free to leave, at 19:55 our son called to say he has had a call and tested positive and to wait in the cabin with his sister and crew will come down to talk to him, 

The next 6hrs even before we got off the ship, (I choose to get off as I doubt any parent would let there child even if he was 21 go through this alone) was a nightmare, from the medical team getting an consent form signed from our 17yr old daughter without our knowledge or consent, to room service forgetting about or dinner and attempting to collect our dirty plates even before we received our order...that night we all had PCR's taken and told not to leave the cabins.

 

10:00am 27-12-21 received a call to say son would be taken from ship in 30mins and put in the hands of the port authority and put into isolation, we made the decision that I would get off with him but had no plan of where to stay or what I was going to do so franticly packing my stuff with an upset wife and emotions running high

10:45 I went round to their cabin and was meet with crew in Haz-mat suits and told he will be taken down on the crew lift and to meet him on dockside, waving to my daughter who was on her balcony and was now alone in her cabin I asked the TUI rep to see if she can arrange to get wife and daughter together she said she will, we both got into the waiting ambulance and drove with blue lights and sirens 2.2miles.

 

If you are going on a cruise take spare LFT as I visited over 22 chemists over 3 days and none availably, once you leave the ship you are at the hands of the port authority and not TUI, we did get a letter from the rep stating that once we receive a negative test we are to call them to arrange a flight home, we had the test on Sat and flew back on Monday, remember the test and flights must be within 48hrs

Costs in euros to be covered by the guests and claimed back from insurance

Ambulance transfer 150.00

PCR Test 145.00 + 50 for nurse

LFT Test 30.00 + 50 for nurse

Accommodation 160.50 per night

Full Board food!!! 80.25 per day we cancelled this after day 2  

Taxi to airport 30.00

 

I slept in the same room as my son, moved the mattress over to the other side and all windows were open and luckily both negative on Saturday, I do know that a couple at the same place a few floors down that were also removed from the ship on the same day as she was positive and on Monday their test were carried out and he came back positive as well so another 7 days for them..

 

I suppose we were one of the unlucky ones this time...

@SouthUKG sorry to hear this, sounds awful for you all. What was the hotel like? Did TUI stay in touch as promised? 

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On 1/6/2022 at 11:33 AM, Cardiff girl said:

@SouthUKG sorry to hear this, sounds awful for you all. What was the hotel like? Did TUI stay in touch as promised? 

The hotel we ended up was more of self contained apartments that are used for the various crew that arrive and stay before they join a ship there wasn't even a reception, to be honest TUI never promised to me that they will be in contact just a letter asking me to contact them once we had a negative result and hey would arrange the flight home.

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I was on the Explorer staying on deck 8. One day we nipped back to our cabin to collect something, and some of the crew were dress in protective gear and  spraying all long the landing.

I did hear there were 30 cases in all  including staff. You have to wear masked except when eating or drinking, and they are very strict on that.

The  cleaning was excellent . Once a week you had to remove all personal items to a draw etc then the staff would spray your room.

 

I would advise anyone to follow the correct procedures, even when off the ship. Its a gamble going on holiday no matter where you go. Be prepared for the worst, should it happen.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Chickenbalti said:

You have to wear masked except when eating or drinking, and they are very strict on that.


sadly they were not strict at all on EX2, leading to certain areas of the ship being “out of bounds” to sensible passengers (squid and anchor, buffet, indigo) while needing to take extra precautions in places like the theatre where 90% took their masks off as soon as the lights went down, or the casino where I was the only player on all 7 nights to wear a mask.

 

This behaviour also led to approx 50 cabins out of 300 becoming infected.

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On the last night of our holiday there was a problem in the Squid and Anchor with a group of people dancing and not wearing a mask, this wasn’t on the dance floor.

A guest sat in front of them shouted, put your masks on, to which the group replied **** off, which resulted in him jumping up to confront them. Security had to be called and the group were asked to leave. There’s always someone who what’s to spoil it for others.

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1 hour ago, Chickenbalti said:

On the last night of our holiday there was a problem in the Squid and Anchor with a group of people dancing and not wearing a mask, this wasn’t on the dance floor.

A guest sat in front of them shouted, put your masks on, to which the group replied **** off, which resulted in him jumping up to confront them. Security had to be called and the group were asked to leave. There’s always someone who what’s to spoil it for others.

Morons - I would have done the same. They should have been kicked off the ship - seriously .

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