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CRUISE INDUSTRY PROPOSAL TO LIMIT. OFF SHIP ACTIVITIES

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The attached article outlines a proposal by a cruise industry group to the CDC to limit passengers off ship activities to approved excursions etc. Granted this would exert some control over passengers  contact with potentially Covid infected individuals but it will also be self serving by the cruise lines to promote their over priced excursions.

Sorry for the ads at the bottom, cannot delete

 

One of the proposals sent to the CDC would reportedly limit passengers from freely roaming around towns near ports, and only guests who book an actual excursion would be allowed off the boat at all.

The proposal was developed by the Healthy Sails Panel, a group of experts convened by the Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. Such a move would limit contact between passengers and crew members with local populations, they say, and therefore prevent the potential spread of the coronavirus.

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"Prior to COVID-19, cruise operators allowed for both fully curated excursions and self-guided excursions and independent exploration at destinations of interest," reads their proposal, per the Sun-Sentinel. "However, the risk of exposure for the people in communities that are visited, and for cruise ship guests and crew, increase as more mixing between these groups occurs. Therefore, the panel recommends that cruise operators initially prohibit self-guided tours and independent exploration and only allow certain curated indoor activities until further notice."

 

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This is just part of pandemic theater. What if you fly into your departure port in the Caribbean, like San Juan or Barbados, a few days before your cruise. You are already exposed to the "locals". Americans are not going to stand for being told they cannot go off on their own. Any port/Caribbean island that is allowing tourists in by plane has already exposed their people so what the difference between coming by ship or plane? 

 

If this were to be the way cruises resume it will be without me. I won't take a cruise under this scenario. The ships will be empty.

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I read the Royal/NCL proposal earlier this week and thought this probably just applies to the large ships where thousands of people debarking in a port would be a higher risk than a few hundred. Then I remembered this would likely also apply to their smaller boutique lines like Azamara and Regent.

Then I saw this from Crystal (no relation to Royal/NCL) and the “no independent tours” even applies to their 62-person Esprit vessel. https://www.crystalcruises.com/crystal-clean

Crystal also upped the ante is requiring insurance.

Then I thought, this is likely limited to sailings originating/ending in the US but then noticed no distinction of that.

 

I wonder if Windstar will adopt the same. I don’t mind taking a ship tour on occasion if it’s a tour we actually want to do. Sometimes we like to hit up a local bar or restaurant afterwards or go see another sight. We can live with the masks and social distancing but not being able to explore on our own in port will have us rethinking cruising for awhile.

 

 

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Wait until a safe vaccine is widely distributed. Then cruising should resume with better options.  As much as I like Windstar cruises, I won’t be sailing if you must take ship excursions to get off in a port. Windstar excursions are good. Having visited many ports previously and taken excursions, we often now prefer to do our own thing.  We now often hire a private guide for just the 2 of us. We are slowing down and have difficulty keeping up with a tour group. Like to just wander through a town, eat some local food, and enjoy the local scene. In some ports, we stay on the ship. That is our choice.  

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If they do this we will cancel. Period. A huge Part  of the cruise is poking around the ports. Without that there little appeal. This would be like France saying you can fly to Paris as a tourist but you can’t leave the airport. 

Edited by milepig

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I think if this is adopted it's likely to be the end of the cruise industry. As Susie said the ships will be empty.

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So far it’s been working for MSC in Europe. One family was booted for not complying.

I have friends who will only sail the large lines and they’ve told me they don’t care; they just want to get “on a ship”. Good for them but doesn’t work for us.


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9 hours ago, milepig said:

If they do this we will cancel. Period. A huge Part  of the cruise is poking around the ports. Without that there little appeal. This would be like France saying you can fly to Paris as a tourist but you can’t leave the airport. 

 

As it happens, the cruise line that has really piqued my interest lately is Noble-Caledonia.  Their cruises include at least a half-day excursion in every port [and not the plain vanilla 'drive by' bus tours], and their ships only hold ~100 passengers at 100%.  So they should be able to resume cruising earlier than most, and their post-Covid experience will be less affected.  Granted, we will lose those 'free afternoons in ports' – but I suspect that Noble-Caledonia will organize optional afternoon tours for those who would like them.  They are also doing more with their website to keep their clients interested than any other cruiseline I know of:

https://www.noble-caledonia.co.uk/the-travel-post/

 

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On Caribbean cruises, you can't just spend the day at the beach? This is not going to be popular.

 

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9 hours ago, milepig said:

If they do this we will cancel. Period. A huge Part  of the cruise is poking around the ports. Without that there little appeal. This would be like France saying you can fly to Paris as a tourist but you can’t leave the airport. 

Very true Deb.

On the Oceania board people have just accepted it mostly and are going about booking their tours with their TA as required. I could be wrong about the "end of the cruise industry".

But it doesn't work for me either.

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This is our typical day in port. 
 

Im always up early. Disembark and walk a mile or two enjoying scenery, often the coast of the small town. Likely chat up a local. 
Back On board I have my first cup of coffee and meet Mrs Milepig for breakfast. 
Our local guide turns up and off we go with no more instruction than “show us what interests you”. If we spot a little church or something else that catches our attention in we go. Stop for lunch and shopping and then more touring. One day we unexpectedly ran across a falconry show. A local craft shop appeared and we bought amazing knitwear from the people who had made it. 
If it’s a late sail we have dinner on shore at the local place our guide recommended. 
Back on board for a night cap up top. 
 

That’s sailing for us and I can’t imagine it any other way. 

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1. This is only a proposal to the CDC at this point although it has been adopted by some lines already.

2.  I’m assuming that the CDC only has jurisdiction over cruises with a US origin or destination,  not totally foreign cruises. Also there are practically no US registered cruise ships. CDC decisions may “inspire” other jurisdictions but they have no authority.

3.  This undoubtedly would  make cruising safer from a health perspective. Would this attract more potential customers than the lack of port flexibility turns off?

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Well CDC regs "inspired" Windstar to call off their 2020 cruises that were not coming/going from US ports. Looks like Windstar will do what the CDC says even for ships in foreign waters.

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While I love to do this to explore on my own and do private tours, I also would have anxiety about others bringing that pesky virus back on board. I know that many countries are certifying their tour guides as “Covid trained”. I wonder whether cruise lines would allow people to use those guides for private tours or whether the only way you can get off the ship is on a ship excursion.

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Very true Deb.
On the Oceania board people have just accepted it mostly and are going about booking their tours with their TA as required. I could be wrong about the "end of the cruise industry".
But it doesn't work for me either.


Nancy, I’m not even sure how I’d feel about sailing Tahiti if this applies. We shall see what the outcome is but we’d def be on the fence and may look at a land trip instead.


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1 minute ago, minidonuts85 said:

 


Nancy, I’m not even sure how I’d feel about sailing Tahiti if this applies. We shall see what the outcome is but we’d def be on the fence and may look at a land trip instead.


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Hi Deb,

I'm of the same mind. We like to do our thing most places and definitely Tahiti. Have a long way to go yet until April and August. A lot has happened with travel to FP in just the last 2 months. So I'm hoping that things are looking bright by final payment time, and if not we've a deposit on the November 18 day.....and would consider land vacation as an option. One way or another hope we all button this thing down eventually..

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Hi Deb,
I'm of the same mind. We like to do our thing most places and definitely Tahiti. Have a long way to go yet until April and August. A lot has happened with travel to FP in just the last 2 months. So I'm hoping that things are looking bright by final payment time, and if not we've a deposit on the November 18 day.....and would consider land vacation as an option. One way or another hope we all button this thing down eventually..

Fingers crossed :)


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On 9/27/2020 at 12:52 PM, r&rd said:

While I love to do this to explore on my own and do private tours, I also would have anxiety about others bringing that pesky virus back on board. I know that many countries are certifying their tour guides as “Covid trained”. I wonder whether cruise lines would allow people to use those guides for private tours or whether the only way you can get off the ship is on a ship excursion.

What the heck is "covid trained"? How would that person be able to stop a tour participant from being exposed to an airborne virus? Saying something like this is just more pandemic theater. r&rd, you may have to stop cruising if you are worried about other people bringing the virus onboard. Even with a vaccine, this virus will never be eradicated. We all have to live with it for the rest of our lives.

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23 minutes ago, susiesan said:

What the heck is "covid trained"? How would that person be able to stop a tour participant from being exposed to an airborne virus? Saying something like this is just more pandemic theater. r&rd, you may have to stop cruising if you are worried about other people bringing the virus onboard. Even with a vaccine, this virus will never be eradicated. We all have to live with it for the rest of our lives.”

“Pandemic theater” is a rather strong response. No one can predict or prevent against anything. I was just raising questions and pointing out there are risks and benefits to any decision.This will be an area of dilemma for people for a long time. As a health care provider I am constantly assessing risk and yet I have no fear of cruising. I will make the choices that are right for me and I (mostly) trust others to do the same.I would rather not be quarantined on a ship for days at a time - but now I book verandas or suites. I would prefer to get off the ship on my own but Windstar has good excursions and I am also comfortable staying on the ship.

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On 9/26/2020 at 10:02 AM, susiesan said:

This is just part of pandemic theater.

 

Americans are not going to stand for being told they cannot go off on their own.
 

The ships will be empty.

The ships won’t be empty. They just won’t be filled with people who feel the same way as you. 

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Suzisan

I find yourself suggestion to r&d that she should not be worried about being exposed to the virus curious. If you are not worried about exposure you should be. I wonder how many of the 205,000 Americans who died from the virus we not “worried” about exposure. 

Equally curious was your statement that the virus will never go away and we will just need to learn to live with it. Is this a statement of fact or opinion?

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No virus has ever been 100% eradicated. That is why people are vaccinated. Measles is still here, small pox is still around, as well as HIV.

 

https://omrf.org/2020/06/11/is-the-coronavirus-here-to-stay/

 

from the article:

One way or the other, Prescott said, we should be prepared to coexist with the virus for the foreseeable future. “That doesn’t mean a perpetual lockdown,” he said. “But it does mean incorporating precautions like frequent hand-washing and some forms of social distancing into our daily lives if we want to stay safe.”

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There is so much being said about the way this pandemic will hopefully wind down. I found this article to be helpful in theoretically planning when I can be around my grandchildren regularly again. It states that if a vaccine is developed in early 2021, not everyone will have received it until November 2021. At that point the virus will have a harder time attaching to hosts in which to replicate, causing fewer and fewer cases not unlike the virus H1N1 that caused the Spanish flu. It's as good as any other scenario out there. But it may not mean social distancing is permanent.

The handshake however will probably always be a thing of the past.

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/09/25/how-covid-19-pandemic-ends-421122?utm_source=pocket-newtab

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