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  1. https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/emirates-passengers-blood-test-covid-19/index.html This could be the sign of things to come for ALL passengers. First airline to do a Pre boarding blood test. Cruise industry will surely follow. However still not a guarantee that infection won’t break out once onboard unless they limit sailings to only those who test positive for anti bodies. All crew would have to test positive for anti bodies too.
  2. How are you coping at home at the moment. We are having no physical contact with our family. Shopping is delivered and left in the garage. We are waved at through the window. I would love to imagine we will all go on a holiday but it’s not an option.
  3. It would make nonsense of the current guide lines of shielding elderly relatives if they could be waved off on a cruise ship at risk of mixing with crew and other passengers who may be infected. We are fit and healthy almost 70 year olds but our family has asked us to remain at home and are doing all our shopping etc. Until we have either got immunity from a vaccine or the unlikely event of catching the virus then we are in the at risk group. No cruise line would want the responsibility of a ship full of elderly people falling ill. Either they will continue in business allowing those who test positive for the antibodies or they will not have no sailings at all. Obviously crew would have to show they are carrying immunity too. Presumably this would apply to flights and holidays in general for those in the at risk group too.
  4. Have to agree. For this virus to go into history one of two things have to happen for the population to have immunity. 1 A vaccine that is trialled and tested and safe. 2. We reach 70 to 80 per cent infection and as a result achieve immunity. (Herd theory) Since it’s mainly the elderly who are at most risk from the virus and are at present being shielded then it’s unlikely we will be among the ones exposed to the virus and therefore unable to get immunity from catching it. That makes the cruise industry loose a lot of its present customers. Presumably if a test is introduced to show you have immunity through antibodies then you will be deemed fit to travel whatever age.
  5. In the past 20 or so years cruising has definitely been our preferred choice of vacation and we have taken over 50 cruises to all parts of the globe. We have been lucky and never been ill on a ship or needed to pay a visit to a medical centre. For us the game changer has definitely been the lack of control over your own destiny once embarking on a voyage. Ships come under the control of which ever port you visit. They have the power to say no as well. Unlike any other vacation where you could just pack and go home, once onboard that’s it. Like it or not you are stuck with the decisions that are made for all passengers and crew. The Diamond Princess was just the beginning .. despite temporarily closing down the industry there is still a ship struggling to get its passengers ashore and home. HAL Zaandem has had 4 deaths and possibly over 150 cases of Covid19 passengers and crew. Help from the Rotterdam has arrived but still no plans for getting passengers ashore. We can’t say for sure but feel we have finished with cruise vacations. The bigger ships with 1000’s of passengers don’t appeal to us. We are getting older and that horrible word .. vulnerable .. so perhaps it’s time to rethink.
  6. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/03/21/british-couple-felt-forced-go-coronavirus-stricken-cruise-refused/ seems it’s not just my thoughts on all of this. Those passengers were in effect confined to one vessel and as such ‘living with’ the passengers who were starting to show symptoms. Medical articles now show that had the Diamond Princess not quarantined passengers to their cabin hundreds more would have actually got infected. The right thing would have been to have got all the Princess passengers and crew into land isolation but in that instance given the enormous task was not possible. Even under quarantine conditions the virus spread probably by galley staff. In this instance Fred Olsen failed on both counts with their duty of care .. one .. they didn’t test passengers to find out the extent of the spread and two they didn’t confine the rest of the ship to cabins so allowing them to continue to live and eat alongside each other. As things stand here in the UK if you are living with somebody who shows symptoms you should isolate for 14 days. All those passengers should be in isolation right now at home. Given a week to 10 days the numbers will speak for themselves. Totally unacceptable given where we are at right now trying to get the message across to stay at home. The average age of passengers on this cruise will be high .. further adding to their risk. Had the company been forced to sail back .. possibly 10 day journey.. the medical facilities could not have coped. The ship’s doctor already sick and in isolation. Probably not even one ventilator onboard. It would have been sentencing some to possible death. Have you seen where Italy is right now. This ship could be compared to a small town with an elderly population. No policy to keep passengers apart. Just unbelievable.
  7. Not a customer and no personal dealings but my vote would go to Fred Olsen cruise line. At the minute they seem to be bathing in glory having got passengers flown back from Cuba last Thursday. However let’s just point out why they were in that stressful situation in the first place. 1 The ship was not allowed entry to The Dominican Republic to disembark passengers and embark these passengers. Had flu like symptoms onboard .. . later shown to be confirmed cases of COVID19 2 Passengers were flown to St Maarten and given no option but to board the ship. No flight home offered. 3 6 tested .. 5 crew members positive. They had been onboard from the start of the cruise. 4 Passengers start to show symptoms and are isolated but not tested. 5 No quarantine imposed for the rest of the passengers. Allowed to freely mix and go to shows. 6. More cases show symptoms .. passengers and crew .. buffet closed for food service and one restaurant. Passengers allowed open sitting for meal but still in close contact. 7 New cases include medical staff .. ships doctor isolating. 6 Passengers told Bahamas will offer support and hopes are raised for flights home. 7 Passengers told The Bahamas will not allow anybody to disembark. Ship is kept at anchor 25 miles off the coast. 8 Talk of sailing home with sick passengers .. clear this would not be an option. 9 Cuba offers help and officials are flown out to finalise plans and medical staff to be increased. 10 Ship sails to Cuba and flights arranged. 3 for those not yet showing symptoms and 1 for those in isolation and companions. Rumoured to be about 50 but no figures officially published or of details on anyone needing hospitalisation. 11 Flights go ahead on Thursday. Passengers leave under strict medical guidelines with police escorts .. roads closed to traffic .. taken straight to planes by coach. Arrive back at Heathrow with no infection quarantine .. no officials .. mixing straight away with public at the airport. 12 Return home with no follow up. No refund for their cruise or even a future credit. Clearly a cruise line putting money over welfare. Had they have taken the right action at the start those passengers would not have been put at risk. They fell far short of their duty of care towards those passengers. As yet no fatalities been disclosed .. and let’s pray they all make good recoveries.
  8. Thankfully passengers have now arrived back in the UK. However they have not been advised to self isolate ... they will not receive any follow up calls with regard to their health nor have they been offered ANY compensation. The passengers should never have been allowed to board the ship. The Dominican Republic were right in their assumption that it had infected crew onboard. Passengers were flown to St Maarten and not given the option to return home. It wasn’t until Curacao that Fred Olsen disclosed the positive tests but only tested a handful. More passengers and crew were isolated over the following days but NO testing. The final numbers were given as 20 passengers and 20 crew but almost certainly it would have been higher. Right now there has still been no testing of passengers ... !!!! Totally irresponsible actions of this cruise line will put many more people in the UK at further risk.
  9. http://media.fredolsencruises.com/latest_news
  10. 4 of the original 5 positive cases were crew and will presumably stay onboard in isolation. The other passenger could well be making a recovery and well enough to travel. The other passengers who are in isolation are hopefully not too ill to travel. There has been no quarantine for the rest of the passengers since the first confirmed cases. So to isolate them now is pointless they almost certainly have all been exposed to the virus and guess many will go on to get symptoms after returning home. The BA will try and put the passengers showing no symptoms on separate flights to those with symptoms at present. There are a few other nationalities and as yet unsure what the plan is for them. You have to think this is costing the UK and Fred Olsen a huge payout.
  11. A huge sense of relief ... hopefully all passengers able to travel home. No doubt many will find themselves with symptoms in the coming days and weeks but will have the reassurance of hospitals close to home. Apart from needing transport they should spend little time in Cuba. Four flights have been arranged with British Airways. Our friends onboard showing no symptoms at present but obviously will need to self isolate back at home. It could have ended so much worse for many of them.
  12. I understand your point and can see that for the people who live in the Bahamas this ship on their doorstep is the last thing they would want. I’m sure Japan didn’t relish the thought of aprox 700 cases to deal with in their hospitals. Thank god they didn’t turn them away. The world offers them a huge debt of gratitude. I hope the UK would have responded equally as well. If flights were arranged when the ship arrived the majority of the passengers onboard could have been flown home .. they have not been in isolation so no concerns about separating them on the flight now. I hope there are only a very few that are seriously ill enough to require hospitalisation the rest would require transportation only to the nearest airport. The help they have offered so far has been the equivalent of throwing a cup of water on a forest fire. How can any ship possibly take on enough supplies at anchor for a 1000 passengers and crew for a 10 day voyage. They will be there a week. it looks like Cuba may be offering support .. the US has already closed airports to Incoming UK flights ... presumably could allow flights out.
  13. Think the ship had to refuel and take on food supplies before being able to sail back. At anchor that must be a logistical nightmare. Announced today latest numbers indicate 20 sick passengers and 20 sick crew which includes the ships doctor! Extra medical staff to go onboard. Saying it would take 10 days for this ship to get back. That’s a long time for the virus to spread. Additional measures are they have now stopped the theatre shows and they are on TV. Really! Why these passengers are not self isolating beats me. Infection models indicate the spread in a confined environment increases from 2/3 to 14.6. Ideally they would all be on the way home now to self isolate and have access to hospital care if needed. Has the government of the Bahamas really got to wait for a critically ill passenger to die before acting in the only humanitarian way acceptable. They have benefitted by millions from the cruise industry in the past.
  14. Today announced there are now 20 ill passengers and 20 ill crew including the ships doctor. Total 40.
  15. Now saying there are 20 ill passengers and 20 ill crew .. including the ships doctor. Total 40. No one testing so this number could well be higher.
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