Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
seapals2

BRAEMAR .. PASSENGERS STUCK IN THE CARIBBEAN

Recommended Posts

Have moved my last post to a new topic.  This ship is still waiting for news on how it can get passengers back home safely.  
It has been denied in port to disembark it’s passengers who should have flown home from Barbados on Thursday.  
There were 5 confirmed cases onboard after testing in Curaçao several days ago.  Those crew members and one passenger to my knowledge are still onboard.  No new numbers of have been issued but have to assume that is now much higher.  No reports of anyone seriously ill or needing hospitalisation.  
Passengers are not quarantined but the buffet is closed for food service.  Everyone using the restaurants now offering open service.  Supposedly to allow more space but in reality friends saying they are packed like sardines.  Concerns are mounting as the ship is now being refused to allow passengers to disembark in the Bahamas.  Discussions are in process to try and change this decision.  Our biggest fear is then having to sail back home.  This could take several more days and allow a lot more people to be at risk of spreading the virus.  
 

My post from a previous topic. 
 

 

The problems will lie in how many passengers get seriously ill.  With limited medical facilities and probably no ventilators.  Given there has been no isolation of the majority of guests we can only assume that many would already test positive.  Those numbers increasing daily.  Figures at present suggest 15% of people who contract the virus become critical and mostly elderly.  Think the ship is carrying around 600 passengers so assuming 70% get infected that could be a considerable number critical.  
The ship could arrive back at Southampton with many needing hospitalisation.  Hospitals would struggle to cope with a sudden surge of cases.  The best outcome has to be a quick repatriation and hopefully the UK gov is in discussion now.  
Passengers onboard being given no information with regard to new cases.  Just the buffet now not serving food but that just means everybody has to eat in the dining rooms.  Open sitting which probably is intended to make sure passengers sit at different tables each meal time and get different wait staff.  This is a nightmare situation.  A lot of very worried passengers, family and friends hoping to hear some good news very soon. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fred Olsen was reckless to continue cruising.  I doubt this firm will survive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still not saying how many cases they now have on the ship.  The positive tests were done last Wednesday and the crew and passenger remained onboard.  Very worrying for family friends.  
After the openness with which Princess dealt with the virus outbreak on the diamond Princess this is all very secretive and behind closed doors.  
The fact that an extra doctor and nurse have gone onboard must indicate they have ill passengers and yet there have been no reports.  
All the Princess 700 cases arose from one passenger who had already left the ship.  That was with quarantine measures put in place.  All the medical information now indicates that those measures actually saved hundreds from also being infected.  However the best course of action would have been to take all passengers off and that in itself would have reduced cases to less than a hundred.  Just very difficult to do in that situation.  
With no quarantine onboard and possibly faced with a long sea journey it’s possible many of the passengers and crew will return home in a critical condition.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today announced there are now 20 ill passengers and 20 ill crew including the ships doctor.  Total 40.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m sorry, that is so dreadful. You must all be extremely anxious. I honestly can’t imagine how you are all coping with this. I read the British government are in urgent talks trying to find somewhere for you to dock. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes the doctor onboard  has symptoms of Covid-19.  I should think it is very likely that the nurses have it too. 
The extra doctors and nurses have now apparently been allowed to board Braemar. It is rumoured and I emphasise rumour only, that Braemar May be allowed to berth in Cuba as a humanitarian issue. Whether passengers would be allowed to disembark there is in doubt. 

 

The internet onboard is “down”. This is said to be because of too many passengers and crew trying to use it but I’m afraid I have a far more cynical idea of why that is. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now confirmed they are heading to Cuba where they will arrange repatriation flights.

 

Jackie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Braemar is currently circling off the coast of Cuba being shadowed by the Cuban Navy. British Airways planes have taken off and are approximately 4 hours away from Cuba. The suspected Covid-19 positive passengers will be flown home in a different plane from the other passengers and presumably then quarantined in the UK. 

 

Figures being bandied about suggest this rescue operation will cost about 2 million US dollars. I expect Cuba asked for dollar payment rather than in sterling. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.  
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The situation on Braemar and subsequent return home was done with advice and support form Public Health England, UK government and the FOC.  The people returning are put in the same position as the rest of the UK population now, as there is no need to isolate unless you, or a member of your household, is (or has been) showing symptoms, when Isolation is for 7 or 14 days.

 

There is no requirement for anyone to isolate in the UK now if they have just been in contact with sufferers and there will be loads of contacts in the UK, given how it is spreading.  This is standard procedure now, though I would think the people from Braemar will have been given the sort of info regards symptoms, and action to take, as we all have been given via various media outlets.  We have also been told to keep away from all other people as best as possible (i.e. treat everyone as potentially infectious).  Testing is only being done in hospitals at present with the next priority being the health care staff, so I do not see why the passengers should be tested on their return and do not see there was any chance to do so before they flew back.

 

I do think Fred should have sailed Braemar back to the UK from St Maarten, but I do not know what the feelings were of the passengers at that time.  We would certainly not have boarded the ship in St Maarten and those that did would have had rights under the package travel regs. to not do so and to be returned home.  So that was the decision of the passengers concerned.  Admittedly that was something which amazed us.  Though it is possible Fred would have had complaints if he did not try to continue with the itinerary - you cannot please all of the people all of the time.

 

I am sure the passengers are just happy to be back and safe.  Lets hope they and a large portion of our society remain safe.  I do hope the crew remain safe as well if they are all sailing back across the Atlantic.

 

Edited by tring

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...