Jump to content

Are excursion buses/vans full?


paulajj
 Share

Recommended Posts

3 minutes ago, zitsky said:

 

Hi Ken.  So what was your experience then?  How full were buses?  Was everyone required to wear masks on the bus and on the tour?

First off, let me just say again, we sat in the back row of the bus on every one of our excursions, so we had a pretty clear view in front of us. Also, the back few rows, depending on the bus, were always one step higher than the rest of the seats. Just think of us as Statler and Waldorf sitting up in the balcony. 

 

For the excursions where there were between 20-30 passengers, the vendor used smaller buses and were usually between 80-90% full. Now on some excursions like in Cozumel where there were around 30-45 passengers on our tour, they used full size buses and were usually around 70% full. In all cases I can only remember two tours where someone actually sat in front of us on one side and my DW had us move to the other side of the back row seats. Hey, for us since we are pretty much anti-social when we're on a cruise anyway and we were on a B3B where we had to take an antigen test between every leg, we were extra cautious.

 

As far as wearing masks on the bus, for the most part, everyone did. Sure, there was usually the one or two that had to "test the water" at the start of the tour. But nearby peer pressure (usually from their spouse) shortly got the best of them and they moved their "chin mask" back up over their nose.  Now, after a stop, as it was very hot and humid outside, folks would get back to their seats and drop their masks to drink some water or eat a snack. But the masks were back on when they were done. 

 

Keep in mind we have all gone through the same pandemic "tunnel" together for the past 17+ months and most folks have a tendency to be a little twitchy in close environments, even when everyone has been vaccinated and tested, when someone they don't personally know is not playing by the rules. 

 

But, if you don't feel you will be safe enough when you're on one of these Celebrity "bubble excursions", that's OK too. Celebrity, at least on the Edge cruises we were on, had plenty of things to do on the ship, especially while in port!! 😎

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fouremco,

 

I read that as well. So what trump's what. That statement or what is currently on their website do to covid. What you put on here is the boiler plate that they have had for years. Please understand I agree with you 100%. 

 

I know I am at their mercy. My husband knows I am a "little stressed" about this. I am the one who told him we will only do ship excursions right now because of what they said on thier website. He is leaving the decision up to me.

 

I am also aware celebrity is probably well aware what the vendors are doing and turning a blind eye.

 

I am the type of person that does not believe other people are responsible for my safety only I am.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Celebrity can choose with whom they contract for shorex services.  Part of their contract with shorex vendors, given X's commitment with regard to capacity, would surely be content that requires the operator to comply with X's protocols.  If the operator does not do so, and X is made aware of this, it is up to X to either insist on performance per the contract, or find another tour operator ... not put their guests at risk.

 

On that basis, X has full control over this, and I believe their guests are in a pretty good position, given X's web site assurances.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, canderson said:

Celebrity can choose with whom they contract for shorex services.  Part of their contract with shorex vendors, given X's commitment with regard to capacity, would surely be content that requires the operator to comply with X's protocols.  If the operator does not do so, and X is made aware of this, it is up to X to either insist on performance per the contract, or find another tour operator ... not put their guests at risk.

 

On that basis, X has full control over this, and I believe their guests are in a pretty good position, given X's web site assurances.

They can yes, but they also CYA by the T&C.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, canderson said:

Celebrity can choose with whom they contract for shorex services.  Part of their contract with shorex vendors, given X's commitment with regard to capacity, would surely be content that requires the operator to comply with X's protocols.  If the operator does not do so, and X is made aware of this, it is up to X to either insist on performance per the contract, or find another tour operator ... not put their guests at risk.

 

On that basis, X has full control over this, and I believe their guests are in a pretty good position, given X's web site assurances.

But at the same time if those folks who have issues don't say something when they get back to the ship, how is Celebrity supposed to know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, hertz4319 said:

Fouremco,

 

I read that as well. So what trump's what. That statement or what is currently on their website do to covid. What you put on here is the boiler plate that they have had for years. Please understand I agree with you 100%. 

 

I know I am at their mercy. My husband knows I am a "little stressed" about this. I am the one who told him we will only do ship excursions right now because of what they said on thier website. He is leaving the decision up to me.

 

I am also aware celebrity is probably well aware what the vendors are doing and turning a blind eye.

 

I am the type of person that does not believe other people are responsible for my safety only I am.

I'm no lawyer, but I'd say that the contract which you have accepted when making your booking trumps what is little more than advertising. It's similar to them advertising a cruise visiting ports x, y and z, only to miss all three and go elsewhere. The contract lets them do so with no recourse for the passengers. Lots of that happening these days, and it's simply something we have to accept.

 

BTW, I love your post and your approach to the realities of cruising.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, LGW59 said:

They can yes, but they also CYA by the T&C.

The Ts and Cs talk about performance issues by the tour operator.  If you notice my legal slight of hand, I'm turning it into a performance issue on Celebrity's part.  Made aware of a safety problem that is within their power to resolve, it falls to them to resolve it on behalf of their customers.  If that means firing a tour operator, then they should do so.

Edited by canderson
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

But at the same time if those folks who have issues don't say something when they get back to the ship, how is Celebrity supposed to know.

We are talking about a situation where a passenger DOES bring it to their attention, refusing to board a full bus, and asking for a refund.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, canderson said:

The Ts and Cs talk about performance issues by the tour operator.  If you notice my legal slight of hand, I'm turning it into a performance issue on Celebrity's part.  Made aware of a safety problem that is within their power to resolve, it falls to them to resolve it on behalf of their customers.  If that means firing a tour operator, then they should do so.

They do yes but they also go into much further detail, see post #50.  They pay very expensive lawyers for their ability to CYA.  

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, canderson said:

We are talking about a situation where a passenger DOES bring it to their attention, refusing to board a full bus, and asking for a refund.

Then the response is "Gee, so sorry to hear that, but Celebrity is IN NO WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE SHORE EXCURSION. If they brought a bus that was too small, that's on the operator, not us."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, canderson said:

We are talking about a situation where a passenger DOES bring it to their attention, refusing to board a full bus, and asking for a refund.

Sounds good. So let me ask this question. Has anyone who is either reading/contributing to this thread actually experienced one of those fully packed tour buses AND subsequently registered a complaint with the ship's excursion desk once they got back? If so, what was their response? 

Edited by Ken the cruiser
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here we are talking about a tour that can arguably be deemed unsafe at the pier.  X always has shorex personnel pierside.  Pointing out an unsafe vehicle, a drunk tour driver, or any other unsafe condition to X shorex personnel at the pier puts the onus on X to make a decision.

 

Let's for a moment consider the case of a clearly incapacitated tour bus driver.  Do you really think that after bringing this to X's attention, they would DARE to allow their passengers to board that bus?  And do you doubt for a moment that refunds would be automatic?  

 

CYA contract language notwithstanding, negligence won't be excused. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, canderson said:

Here we are talking about a tour that can arguably be deemed unsafe at the pier.  X always has shorex personnel pierside.  Pointing out an unsafe vehicle, a drunk tour driver, or any other unsafe condition to X shorex personnel at the pier puts the onus on X to make a decision.

 

Let's for a moment consider the case of a clearly incapacitated tour bus driver.  Do you really think that after bringing this to X's attention, they would DARE to allow their passengers to board that bus?  And do you doubt for a moment that refunds would be automatic?  

 

CYA contract language notwithstanding, negligence won't be excused. 

HMMMM, now that you say that, very good point, if I recall there were a lot of lawsuits as a result of an, I think Royal, shore excursion in NZ when there was a volcano that killed passengers?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Things that occur after the tour begins, and of which Celebrity is unaware and could not directly control -- those are very different circumstances than the one at hand.  Here, we are discussing something that would be known to X at the pier prior to the excursion beginning.  That puts a much greater burden upon Celebrity to handle the situation, and as appropriate, make their customers whole with regard to cancellations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Canderson,

 

You are absolutely correct. At a lot of ports we have been at  there is a ship representative directing you. In these times I don't understand how these people don't see what is going on and if they do then allowing it. Especially if you develop symptoms and get removed from the ship at the next port.

 

As I said earlier it is on my to make the best decision for me. Not anyone else. No one can force me to take a tour I deem unsafe. If I lose the money for the tour so be it.  I will cancel all other tours I have and  I will decide if the Royal Caribbean Group will get any more of my business. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Sounds good. So let me ask this question. Has anyone who is either reading/contributing to this thread actually experienced one of those fully packed tour buses AND subsequently registered a complaint with the ship's excursion desk once they got back? If so, what was their response? 

I have.

What did Celebrity do? NOTHING. They had no answer on why their "advertised" and "touted" protocols were not adhered to. Not a word from shorex "senior" rep as he liked to be addressed (the bald guy ) when this was brought to their attention after getting back on ship.....actually one shorex person was right there on and off the bus, with his chin strap. Everyone getting on had to sign a covid waiver the gist of which was you will not sue the operator if you contract it.

 

I also outlined this in the survey.


On the Equinox sailing:  I saw it was more packing and into smaller buses/vans. Catamarans were also packed. Shorex touted "Reduced capacity" which by their definition meant smaller vans but packed to the brim.... as in 8 people in a 9 seater van, not 5 people in a 9 seater van.

I observed many open air trolley and safari bus tours. Trolley was one family to a seat but safari truck with peripehral benches was shoulder to shoulder.

 

However, on the Equinox shorex was more flexible and allowed cancellations at the last minute if one did not want to go.

 

This is what we experienced and I am answering your question ONLY. I do not wish to debate about how sitting in the last row is so beneficial or your justifications. I respect your experiences, but am not discussing them in this post.....This post is just an answer to a question asked.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We did a Celebrity shorex in Juneau the other day.  The buses were packed.  The large whale watching boat was pretty full.

We were on RCL Adventure second cruise out.  Got an email every hour it seemed before we left emphasizing social distancing.  We bought RCL transfers and the bus from the airport was so packed they even lowered the extra teeny tiny middle seats to get more people on.  Then we get to the ship and it’s time to social distance.  Trip back to the airport also packed.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Arzeena,

 

Can you tell me what was last minute? We will be on the equinox next Sunday. What hopefully you can tell me is if I go to the excursion before it leaves and decide it is unsafe will shore excursions give me back my money. 

 

Thank you Stewart

Link to comment
Share on other sites

39 minutes ago, Arzeena said:

I have.

What did Celebrity do? NOTHING. They had no answer on why their "advertised" and "touted" protocols were not adhered to. Not a word from shorex "senior" rep as he liked to be addressed (the bald guy ) when this was brought to their attention after getting back on ship.....actually one shorex person was right there on and off the bus, with his chin strap. Everyone getting on had to sign a covid waiver the gist of which was you will not sue the operator if you contract it.

 

I also outlined this in the survey.


On the Equinox sailing:  I saw it was more packing and into smaller buses/vans. Catamarans were also packed. Shorex touted "Reduced capacity" which by their definition meant smaller vans but packed to the brim.... as in 8 people in a 9 seater van, not 5 people in a 9 seater van.

I observed many open air trolley and safari bus tours. Trolley was one family to a seat but safari truck with peripehral benches was shoulder to shoulder.

 

However, on the Equinox shorex was more flexible and allowed cancellations at the last minute if one did not want to go.

 

This is what we experienced and I am answering your question ONLY. I do not wish to debate about how sitting in the last row is so beneficial or your justifications. I respect your experiences, but am not discussing them in this post.....This post is just an answer to a question asked.

Thanks for sharing. Sorry you didn’t get a satisfactory reply from the Celebrity shore excursion folks on the Equinox.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What must not be forgotten is the context within which X made the claim "Buses will be at reduced capacity...".  That statement is within their "HEALTHY AT SEA" page.  By stating this, X acknowledges at a minimum that passengers may have safety concerns regarding COVID-19 and tour operations.  This statement by X is expected to allay fears by their customers regarding the booking of excursions.

 

If the tour operator does not deliver on this pledge and instead attempts to fill the bus, and on that basis, a passenger refuses to board, and X is made aware of this problem at the pier, and the passenger requests a refund, we're back to the original question (again). 

 

I see no legitimate obstacle to the passenger receiving a refund for the excursion under those circumstances.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, canderson said:

If the tour operator does not deliver on this pledge... I see no legitimate obstacle to the passenger receiving a refund.

Again, it's because the T&C of the contract between the passenger and Celebrity includes the clause that Celebrity is IN NO WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE SHORE EXCURSION.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My husband and I just spoke about this. We decided for us we will wait to board the ship and speak to the shore excursions desk. Telling them our concerns and asking if we go to the shore excursion and we deem it unacceptable can we get our money back. If the say no then at that point we will cancel all shore excursions. If they say yes we will see what happens. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, hertz4319 said:

My husband and I just spoke about this. We decided for us we will wait to board the ship and speak to the shore excursions desk. Telling them our concerns and asking if we go to the shore excursion and we deem it unacceptable can we get our money back. If the say no then at that point we will cancel all shore excursions. If they say yes we will see what happens. 

 

I worry they will just tell you what you want to hear.... then you go on your first excursion and it is too late to cancel.  My group may look for private tours for a group of 4, if we can find any.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with you. If they lie to me and I can't cancel that one excursion I will at that point cancel all future excursion. At that point I will decide if I want to give royal Caribbean Group any more of my business. I am fully aware if I decide never again to sail with Royal Caribbean Group it won't have an really significance to the bottom line. 

 

We still live in a capitalistic society and I can "vote" with my "pocketbook".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For all those “soon to be passengers”, you have decided to cruise during a pandemic.   Now is the time to step back and take a different vacation if you are stressed about social distancing.    Even if you have your booster shot, if you are immune compromised cruising is not a safe vacation.    Depending on the causes for being immune compromised, only a few will get excellent safety from the booster.    A friend of mine had to discontinue her prescription for RA for several days before and after receiving a COVID vaccine to give her body time to react correctly to the vaccine.

Link to comment
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
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: PONANT Cruises & Expeditions
      • Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Q&A with American Queen Voyages
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...