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nosapphire

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  1. I really doubt that the air circulation system on a ship where people are mingling in various locations has as much effect on a ship as people think. Example - new ship, all balcony, maiden season, entirely fresh-air circulation. 2 cruises that we were on: - September, a nasty cough that travelled rapidly around the ship. Not everybody caught it - but a lot did. - December, a really vicious chest infection that went round like wildfire, several people ill enough to be put on antibiotics by the ship's doctor, plus so much cough medicine needed that they ran out of supplies shortly after restocking. Then 4 cruises that we were (fortunately) not on - each with a serious outbreak of norovirus. None of these are unusual on a ship - most cruises have something or other going around. What WAS unusual is that on the old ships operated by the same line (without the modern fresh-air circulation, and with plenty of inside cabins) outbreaks were small - some people caught whatever was going round, most did not - but on the new ships the percentage of infected people was considerably larger. So relying on a ship having 100% fresh air circulation, or special filters, to reduce the likelihood of catching something is not going to be the answer.
  2. We won't be booking anything for quite a while yet. Our remaining cruise for this year is most likely to be cancelled, and we won't be rolling it over to next year. The reports from the various lines that have attempted to restart indicate that you not only risk being quarantined if somebody on your cruise tests positive for "It", you risk being quarantined if somebody on the cruise before you subsequently tests positive after disembarking. No cruise ship has a cabin that good... we're starting to think it will be 2022 before we even book. 😢
  3. With regard to ABTA, and specifically how your money is protected if a cruise line goes under - the CMV forum has a very sobering thread (New Refund Thread) about how ABTA are responding. It showed that it is not quite as re-assuring as I always assumed it would be.
  4. Not in this case, no, the deposit will be refunded. Partly because the cruise was no longer as we booked it (the first 4 days were cancelled) and also because as we booked this cruise some time ago with Saga's included insurance we had the "peace of mind" letter sent out in March allowing us to cancel any cruise departing June-December 2020 up to 14 days prior to departure without penalty.
  5. Very debatable. First, the FCO advice has to change. Then the destination ports have to accept cruise ships - bearing in mind that the Spanish ban is still indefinite. Plus I really cannot see the Tenerife Christmas concert going ahead - it may be open-air, but there are several thousand people in very close proximity. Even if it the cruise does go ahead, with the expected restrictions it probably won't be that much fun anyway. We were booked on this as a back-to-back with the now cancelled Amsterdam short cruise, so decided that we may as well cancel now before the final balance comes due.
  6. I believe that the Ocean Majesty built in either 1965 or 1966 is still in service, chartered by a German cruise line. A very small ship, GW about 10.5t, and a very distinctive split funnel. Originally built as a car ferry (she did bounce a bit when in force 12...). We sailed with her when she was chartered by Page&Moy, and it was the Ocean Majesty that gave us our love of cruising; we got so excited last year when we saw her sailing towards London. She was also the one that set our "bench mark" for efficiency of staff and crew, we compare all subsequent ships against her standards (as they were then).
  7. Didn't somebody post elsewhere in the Hurtigruten thread that this was simply standard procedure?
  8. Anyone else got his mantra running on a constant loop in their head? "Be Wise and Sanitise" seems very appropriate nowadays.
  9. What happens even more is that people see the tabloid headlines but never bother to read the rest of the article.(which usually, quite someway down the page, inserts some facts that rather reduce the headline impact).
  10. Many, if not most, are doing the same thing, in the hopes that when the cruise is cancelled the customer will choose to either roll the money over to another cruise or accept a future cruise credit instead of a refund. The cruise line can then tell the trade press and shareholders that people are extremely keen to cruise, as proven by the fact that so many people have paid for a future cruise..... As far as I can tell, quite a lot of people do either roll the money over to another cruise, or take the FCC, so it sees to be a system that works.
  11. Currently suspended. https://www.hurtigruten.co.uk/practical-information/coronavirus-update/expeditions-suspended/
  12. Trust the cruise lines to do what? Cruise lines are a business - like any other business, regardless of what else they may say, they need to make a profit. Most of them also have shareholders that are expecting dividends and profits. So while most of them will make efforts to keep their customers safe and happy, the customers will not be the main focus - the balance sheet is. Few businesses will tell lies in order to mislead, but they will always put the best spin on things that they possibly can. That's why they have publicity departments - to play down the problems and highlight the benefits. The cruise lines, the clubs, restaurants, amusement arcades, etc., etc that are trying to get customers handing over money are not being malicious, devious or underhand - they are trying to stay in business. It only becomes a problem when people start to let the business do all the thinking for them and do not make their own decision on what level of risk, comfort, cost they are happy with.
  13. Last report I saw was 36 crew. All passengers from the last 2 cruises have been ordered to self quarantine by the Norwegian Gov. As Hurtigruten published some quite specific protocols, and as these included regular temperature checks, it seems to demonstrate that temperature, oxygen checks etc are not much use in preventing infections getting on board. Even laboratory tests are not 100% infallible, and all other "instant" checks are only a very rough guide. It seems more and more that regardless of how many checks, how much cleaning and scrubbing is carried out, whatever fresh air circulation and/or filters are arranged - the real risk anywhere is still groups of people sharing the same space for extended periods. I only takes one person, who may or may not have symptoms, to start a chain of infection. https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/hurtigruten-crew-members-test-positive-for-covid-19-on-a-norway-cruise I also saw a report (which I cannot now find, but it may be on the Hurtigruten forum) that one passenger also tested positive, but that must have been well after disembarking.
  14. Ohhhkay.... just had the telephone call about a cancelled cruise and spent more time trying to find out about Saga's planned protocols for restarting. The answer is that they are waiting for the UK Government to tell them what they can or cannot do. They will apply social distancing at whatever distance is set by the Government (which is currently 2 metres whenever possible, if not possible other precautions must be taken). Asked how 2 metres would apply to an 80% full ship, and was told that the current regulations now may not apply by the time it sails. Asked about wearing masks, and was told that the current regulations about masks indoors may not apply by the time it sails. Asked about freedom dining and how they would cope with queues, and was told that if the UK Government tell them they have to socially distance people at dinner, they will look at this again. Asked if the library would be open, and was told that if the UK Government tell them that they have to close it, they will. Asked if the suggestions already published by the EU were being taken into consideration, and was told that ust be another department. Apparently the bigwigs at Saga are in constant contact with the UK Government and public health - which I take as meaning constant lobbying to remove FCO advice. FYI, I am taking the refund, not the FCC. A cruise line that is waiting for the Government to tell them what protocols they should have in place is not a line that I will trust with my health.
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