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  1. The 'Royal Class' ships of which Britannia is one do not have any passenger cabins on Deck 4 where the medical centre is located, as is the case with the Grand Class (Azura/Ventura) with the nearest passenger cabins being on Deck 5 and those are inboard. If memory serves there are balcony cabins Aft on Deck 8 for Azura/Ventura and I believe they start on Deck 9 for Britannia
  2. If the crew got their first shots in Malta, would they not have to wait a minimum amount of time between first and second doses? How long was the ship in Malta....long enough to facilitate the full dose? Sounds like Viking are playing a little fast & loose with their information like other lines claiming pax and crew have to be vaccinated but don't specify if its 'full' or 'half'....in times like these I'd say semantics matter!
  3. Definitely! And just to turn the worm a little more, every person working onboard has signed a contract which clearly outlines the remuneration and expectations so if things were 'so bad' as some might believe or be led to believe, why did the person sign on the dotted line to begin with? There are very clear laws against changing contract T&C's after things have been signed/agreed to so I can't see any major cruise line (in this case) doing something like that, even if there is a perception of the crew being somehow underpaid/overworked.
  4. No miracle, more like calling in favors and peddling influence and before anyone calls that bluster, look no further than the below which clearly shows Viking has presence in Bermuda (like many other companies making use of their favourable tax laws, etc) https://www.dnb.com/business-directory/company-profiles.viking_cruises_ltd.7889ba5a377f1269ba8039f54a8a692a.html
  5. Exactly! When considered in context, the best way to look at it would be in saying with £1 or $1 how many pieces of candy can be had in X country relative to the other. Yes this is an incredibly simple example, but you can't compare what someone in a 'First World' country considers good/bad wages versus what someone in a developing country considers the same as in the latter the £/$ will ultimately stretch a considerable distance/length of time.
  6. Or maybe the onboard testing isn't as full proof as advertised? Shouldn't be hard to believe if the well published 'rules' aren't even being enforced?
  7. Sadly, the nature of the beast that is the cruise industry is that no matter how aggrieved someone feels because they think they're not paid a fair wage, there will always be someone else waiting in the wings to do that job for the money offered. I know that sounds like a dark projection, but the same can be said about any economic opportunities whereby the source worker is coming from a developing nation and can earn substantially more working abroad than they can at home. I recall many years ago on a cruise when we were speaking with the florist who had a lovely flower display in the atrium and he said he was a qualified dentist in the Philippines but made more money working as a florist on a cruise ship.
  8. If P&O (Carnival UK) were so hell-bent on filling ships to the brim, why have they taken a comparitively cautious approach to a return to sailing with only 2 ships (+1 from Cunard) and not sending them all into the fray? The fact that the ships chosen for restart are the largest of the fleet would indicate to me that they are very mindful and cautious as to their approach, bearing in mind the capacity limitations and ability to achieve a comfortable experience onboard for those who've chosen to cruise. Imagine what would happen if they went full power with as many ships as they could and did so in a half-measured way and God forbid had an outbreak of some kind? They would be absolutely excoriated on all levels and people would be screaming from the hilltops about how they should have gone slower and more cautiously. Damned if they do, and damned if they don't... There was mention of Viking a few posts back; they have a max capacity of 930 and from what I've heard their domestic UK cruises were sailing with about a 1/3 capacity, not to mention their requirements for 'vaccinated passengers' is misleading as they only required passengers to have at least one jab, and not the full dose. Sure they might be doing other perceived mitigations onboard in the form of daily testing, temperature checks, etc. but I would prefer to know I was on a ship with fully vaccinated passengers instead of a mix of full and half vaccinated.
  9. Although not a particularly popular point of view as it comes across as being 'negative' or 'anti' but if you were to remove 'Viking' from the below and just say 'the company' it would not be far from reasonable to assume/believe the following: 'the company' has been on a course of rapid growth from the very start, and its not rocket science to believe that these endeavors are not cheap, although by industry standards the ships were built cheaper than comparables at $400m apiece and how better to assist with the bankrolling of future plans than to demand (and receive) what are essentially interest free loans from future customers? Obviously the monies paid by future guests is not funding the entire future build program, but it goes without saying that 'the company' has managed to secure another revenue stream which it pays no interest on, and in the event a return of the loan is requested, the initial response seems to be the offer of an FCC with a little extra which is akin to paying a loan with an IOU + % Clearly this method of operating has been extremely successful for 'the company' and the majority of current and future guests appear to be OK with it; however, the question remains what happens to your many thousands of dollars if 'the company' were to become insolvent? I am not an expert in this field but I can only guess that those holding seemingly worthless FCC would simply be added to a long list of creditors waiting to be made whole. Of course the upside is the asset holdings (i.e. ships) have value which I presume would be liquidated in some way to pay creditors but it should be no surprise that a percentage of people don't feel comfortable with lending large sums of money to a company on the hope that they will receive what they've paid for 12 months in advance.
  10. Completely agree, and as mentioned I think the lofty remark about having all crew being vaccinated is/was nothing more than a marketing strategy to try and assure future cruisers of the perceived 'safety' from COVID onboard. Similar I think to another line that was touting their having a lab onboard for testing as a means of marketing strategy in lieu of passengers being fully vaccinated. Big deal, all that's going to do is give results based on a snapshot in time for when people are tested but it does little IMO to stop the spread in an already confined environment as was seen onboard SeaDream who claimed to have a robust testing program as well...
  11. I completely agree and think its nothing more than 'pie in the sky' to suggest that crew from all corners of the globe (many from developing countries) will somehow manage to get vaccinated when the likes of Canada and other Western nations are struggling to vaccinate their population
  12. There is no guarantee about anything, least of all that crews will be vaccinated; however, the likes of RCI and NCL have said publicly that they expect their crew to be vaccinated https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/24657-how-royal-caribbean-group-ensures-its-crew-get-vaccinated.html https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/24691-norwegian-cruise-line-holdings-to-require-crew-to-be-vaccinated-against-covid-19.html https://eu.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2021/04/05/norwegian-cruise-line-require-full-vaccinations-passengers-crew/7089216002/
  13. Any mention by cruise lines to suggest that their crew will be vaccinated is just a means to bolster consumer confidence as unless they're manning ships with a demographic comprised of 40+ year olds (on the low side) from the UK or a random mish-mash of ages from the US than where are these mythical creatures coming from? Looking at the terrible state of play in India where they're literally setting new records for positive cases on a daily basis (and lets assume the numbers are actually much higher, but they're not being accurately recorded due to lack of access to tests for rural and impoverished) and the fact that at least RCI have stopped recruiting/manning from there which is going to be next line to follow? Although not as publicly discussed I wonder what the state of play is like in the Philippines with respect to vaccine rollout, etc? When you consider these are two of the major players in the industry when it comes to supplying crew to the industry I have a hard time believing any cruise line will be able to achieve their lofty guarantee of having a fully vaccinated crew any time this side of the end of the year.
  14. If anyone thinks that a CSR is going to give them all the answers to the burning questions, they will surely be sadly disappointed. As has been mentioned these people are reading a script and nothing more, they are not decision makers and have no power whatsoever to assuage your fears. I imagine that the only upside to sailing in UK waters with UK residents is that if something were to go wrong onboard (i.e. outbreak requiring people to be landed) it would mean less issues politically. Looking in comparison to the likes of RCCL planning on sailing around the Bahamas with vaccinated adults and un-vaccinated children, they're going to have a much greater issue I would think if they experienced an outbreak for obvious reasons. Either way, this seems very much like a canary in the coal mine approach which may or may not come back to haunt them...
  15. It's one thing to 'go their own way' but its another entirely to face the fallout when something goes sideways and they get bit in the backside. As has been referenced already, SeaDream thought they had a good plan and we know what happened there, so does Viking really think their plan is better because they have a lab onboard (has this been confirmed on Venus?) and are catering to a hopefully vaccinated passenger base? Seems more like a fingers crossed and hope for the best approach, and I can't help but think that they must be worse off financially than others if they're not willing to draw a line in the sand when it comes to mandatory vaccines.
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