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Our opinion on these longer voyages has changed


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We have about 10 transatlantic, transpacific, and two weeks and longer sailings under our belt. We enjoyed the ones pre pandemic, but now it seems so many people become ill as the cruise progresses. On both of our last two TAs (Celebrity 2023 and 2024), a great number of people became progressively ill with that cruise cough. Posting on our roll call indicated several tested positive for COVID and quite a few people whose post cruise experiences were ruined. We both eventually succumbed. Fortunately, my COVID was very minor, with no fever, coughing, or sneezing. I tested positive once home.

 

It was irritating that so many people with obvious serious respiratory problems would come to the packed theatres. We have decided that this environment just isn't worth it anymore. Our only COVID experiences have been the result of these two TAs. Actually, we haven't been sick at all except for cruising. From now on, we will stick to land travel and shorter cruises, which haven't been a problem for us. No more TAs.

 

 

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Interesting. I have been on three cruises since Covid times. The first was a seven day Alaska. I fell ill on disembarkation morning and then it hit fast...Covid. DH got it after me. The second was a 7 day Mediterranean last summer that I got married during. My sister and 92 year old mom got Covid on Day 4 or 5. (I still don't know how mom survived that one.) DH, I, and my other sister managed to stay healthy until we got home and then all turned up positive with Covid. The third was a 12 day Caribbean about 2 months ago. This time I got the full blown FLU on Day 4. I didn't move from my bed AT ALL for days and really didn't leave my cabin or eat or drink anything for the rest of the cruise. Seriously, just Sprite and sorbet for the rest of the cruise. (I cannot overstate how sick and fatigued I was for the next 8 days of the cruise. What a waste of a premium drink package as well as the cruise itself. (I lost 5 lbs.) I'm a pretty healthy person and I had my flu vaccination, but that knocked me on my ass and I couldn't kick that cough for about a month. DH got a lesser version of it afterwards from me.

 

So yes, I am leery about getting sick again on a cruise. There's nothing you can really do to avoid it on a ship. And yes, absolutely, post cruise is a big consideration now for what I might plan. I'm still kinda traumatized from this last one

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I Would always pick up a cold or something before Covid so nothing change  

Do you get on the land , as we get something 3 days after land doing a land resort 

But it great you going stop doing TAs maybe the price will drop if more people stop taking them 😉😁

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Got the “ship sniffles” on my 8 day Alaskan cruise. A few months later I got sick on my TA. Never covid or Norovirus. I had a few friends get something similar to what I caught on my TA back home though. Unfortunately my body was not ready to fight a virus and I suffered pretty bad. 
 

I’m going to try immunity gummies and not going on vacation burnt out.

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Many of us, who routinely take longer cruises (measured in weeks/months) have commented about the high incidence of respiratory infections on ships.  In fact, many cruisers have simply called it "cabin cough" which is likely not an accurate term.  We not only take long cruises, but also spend significant land time (independently) traveling in various places around the world.  

 

So what to do?  One can certainly stay home (where their immune system has likely adapted to the environment).  We have talked about the issue with 3 different physicians, none of which has a perfect solution.  Over the years, we have reduced our own respiratory problems by following a few simple and basic personal rules.  On ships, we minimize our use of elevators (which are an enclosed chamber that almost guarantees you will get too much exposure to germs/viruses from anyone who coughs or sneezes.  A side benefit is that using the stairs not only keeps us away from the germ laden elevators, but is good for our overall health :).   Our other simple rule is to do our best to avoid being close to folks who are coughing or sneezing (the primary way that respiratory germs/viruses are spread).  We are not obsessive about this rule, but simply use a little common sense.  So, for example, if we are in a lounge/theater and somebody is coughing and sneezing near our location, we might simply move to another part of the room.  When it comes to respiratory germs/viruses, distance is your friend (but most now know that 6 feet is very arbitrary).  

 

Speaking of ships, having has a long conversation with a CDC Trainer (who trained staff on many ships) we know of the Norovirus myth.  The myth is that Noro is a specific issue that primarily impacts cruise ships.  In reality, it is one of the most common viruses and can be caught anywhere (generally from food or hand to mouth).  The CDC official told us that while it is relatively easy for them to track Noro outbreaks on ships, it is very difficult to track land outbreaks since folks are always moving around.  But the risk of Noro is everywhere, including your own home/kitchen.

 

One other personal technique.  We happen to follow a somewhat contrarian schedule on mass market ships.  We dine late (usually after 7:45) when there are fewer folks crammed into the dining venues, and almost no queues  (remember, distance is your friend).  We also go to the main shows at the time used by later diners, which also means the theater is less full than what is faced by the early diners.

 

And our last technique seems to be one of our better solutions.  In the past few years we have cruised less on the "mass market" vessels (such as with HAL) and more on the small ship luxury lines that have far fewer passengers and a lot more space per passenger.  One can spend months on lines like Seabourn and Silversea and never need to stand in a queue (crowded with folks).  Less crowding on those small ships seems to translate to fewer infections being spread through the vessel (this is my own anecdotal observation).   

 

Hank

 

 

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I followed a few World cruise posts on HAL starting in January and always wondered if they got Covid while on board. No one ever mentioned it but you have to wonder for that long a cruise how many would get sick. 

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Although we done 16 or so transatlantic/transpacific with smallest ship about 1800 people and haven't really had "sickness issues, I can see thr possibilities. Obviously larger ships often have more lectures, activities, and educational opportunities (not just trivia or yoga and definitelynot MSC mega ships).   However considering smaller ships (Regent, Silversea, come to mind...) what occupies one's day with 600-1200 other passengers? We just did a short cruise with Explora Journeys and love it, the food, outstanding lectures several times a day, but really wondered about 14 or so days both for activities, entertainment and the ocean going venture.  Any experience on a small 600-900 ship Transocean would be appreciated.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We've cruised 9 times since the restart, with all of these cruises being at least 14 nights.  Two transatlantics and one transpacific included.  We are fully vaxed and take precautions wherever we go.  We have not gotten sick onboard and are looking forward to many more cruises.

 

However, I have gotten Covid 3 times since the world opened back up: The first time was at an Elton John concert in Kansas City.  The second time was changing planes in Charlotte in shoulder to shoulder crowds.  I have never seen an airport that busy in my life.  The third time was a the funeral of a good friend that was held at his lodge last September.  The crowds were pouring out the doors and there was a lot of hugging going on.  The place was packed.

 

All 3 cases were pretty mild and I am thankful for that.

 

So cruising isn't the only place a person gets Covid...  I do not plan to stop doing the things I love because Covid is here. It will be here for the rest of my life.  I am just going to continue to live my life and keep up on my vaccines.

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We have many friends that have had Covid several times in the last year and we seem to be hearing of many cases again recently and in the last few weeks.  Some have been travelling and some have been home doing regular day-to-day stuff.

 

I personally believe that many of these things - not just Covid - but all the colds and flus are transmitted hand to face.  I believe that many people have relaxed their hand hygiene and this is one reason.

 

We have maintained our hand hygiene and are rigorous about it, and have been free of any kind of cold or covid for over 2 years now.

 

We have a cruise coming up in October and also in November.  We will wash our hands after serving at the buffet and before sitting down to eat.  We always wash our hands after touching a menu in a restaurant and after ordering. 

 

I am not as personally concerned about people coughing provided they are maintaining at least a modicum of respect to how they cough of sneeze, as I am about transferring these bugs hand to face.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/2/2024 at 11:20 AM, Markanddonna said:

We have about 10 transatlantic, transpacific, and two weeks and longer sailings under our belt. We enjoyed the ones pre pandemic, but now it seems so many people become ill as the cruise progresses. On both of our last two TAs (Celebrity 2023 and 2024), a great number of people became progressively ill with that cruise cough. Posting on our roll call indicated several tested positive for COVID and quite a few people whose post cruise experiences were ruined. We both eventually succumbed. Fortunately, my COVID was very minor, with no fever, coughing, or sneezing. I tested positive once home.

 

It was irritating that so many people with obvious serious respiratory problems would come to the packed theatres. We have decided that this environment just isn't worth it anymore. Our only COVID experiences have been the result of these two TAs. Actually, we haven't been sick at all except for cruising. From now on, we will stick to land travel and shorter cruises, which haven't been a problem for us. No more TAs.

 

We did a TA in April. (plus UK)

I battled bronchitis for most of March--got antibiotics, steroids.

Still hacking a bit with that residual cough that loves to linger.

I had to explain often--I'm not contagious, I don't have COVID.

 

Our friend got upper respiratory about 2 weeks & DH about 3 weeks in.

Not COVID (each took a couple tests), luckily we all had antibiotics so got on them just to be sure. No fever. But, yes, there was some snuffling to be had. 

(goodness knows my allergies can get me sounding ill at times)

 

Jus because someone is hacking does not mean they have COVID, or are contagious. 
(dear friend sounds like she's hacking a lung up if she coughs due to damage from asthma).

 

We all have the right to wear masks, avoid interior areas with lots of people. 

Goodness knows cruising & flying are 2 environments that are exactly that.

 

But DM's passing 2 years ago reminded me--life is too short. 

Take the trip!

(but take all the precautions available to avoid issues)

 

 

 

Edited by KKB
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On 6/29/2024 at 8:33 AM, KKB said:

 

 

But DM's passing 2 years ago reminded me--life is too short. 

Take the trip!

(but take all the precautions available to avoid issues)

 

 

 

 

Sorry for your loss, but solid advice.  Take the trip when you can.

 

My husband and I are a fairly large age difference.  I am about to retire and he won't for another 10+ years.  We are travelling now as much as possible in case we/I cannot later.

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Posted (edited)

Our first cruise after COVID was a 14 day transatlantic in late November 2023. Fully vaccinated against Flu & COVID with the most updated vaccines 1 month prior and we still got COVID but it was mild and short lived. We took as many precautions as we felt necessary but it’s a holiday after all and we could not wrap ourselves in a bubble. We are doing one this year again in late November. I like the fact that it is so late in the season so we have the opportunity to get our vaccinations in time. I tend to catch colds on any vacation likely due to airports, plains, lack of sleep, stress etc. I will continue to put a mask on when in airports, while boarding & in crowds. I assume over time, COVID will mutate more slowly to give us time to build up immunity but for now, we must carry on as best we can. Life must go on so Happy Cruising!

Edited by MarcL
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On 7/6/2024 at 5:32 AM, MarcL said:

Our first cruise after COVID was a 14 day transatlantic in late November 2023. Fully vaccinated against Flu & COVID with the most updated vaccines 1 month prior and we still got COVID but it was mild and short lived. We took as many precautions as we felt necessary but it’s a holiday after all and we could not wrap ourselves in a bubble. We are doing one this year again in late November. I like the fact that it is so late in the season so we have the opportunity to get our vaccinations in time. I tend to catch colds on any vacation likely due to airports, plains, lack of sleep, stress etc. I will continue to put a mask on when in airports, while boarding & in crowds. I assume over time, COVID will mutate more slowly to give us time to build up immunity but for now, we must carry on as best we can. Life must go on so Happy Cruising!

 

I am for mask wearing in crowds and confined spaces if you are concerned about anything from Covid to Flu, to any new bug that might be out there...

 

But, I do believe that a major thing we don't all do enough is hand hygiene and keeping our hands away from our eyes, nose, and mouth when we are travelling and touching everything.  

 

Always bear in mind that on a cruise ship where Norovirus can happen, that hand sanitizer does not kill Norovirus.  You must use soap and wash your hands to kill that bug.

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We have done eight cruises since the restart; all 9 or 12 nights.  We have not gotten sick on any of them, nor have we had covid or other malady at any point or in any location.

We will not be giving up cruising, and we have no interest in any other form of travel.

Fortunately, we do not have to fly to get to our cruises; I'm sure that removes a lot of the risk of exposure.

One of the things I like about our choice of smaller ships (2,000 pax) is that we can always go back to our own cabin to use the bathroom.  I don't think we've used a public bathroom for 15 years or so.  Apart from that, we practice standard hygiene habits, but don't get fanatical about it.  We don't clean or sterilize our cabin, as some report doing; we don't wear rubber gloves to the dining room; we mask only when requested to do so.

So far so good!

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I think that some of us have better immune systems that others for sure.

 

We have friends that have been sick over and over and over and ourselves and others have faired extremely well and we were of the first to start travelling again after Covid.

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My in-laws had to quit cruising because they kept coming home sick. This was way before Covid. At a certain point you just have to evaluate if it is worth the risk for your personal situation. I can certainly understand the OP's perspective and it is good to reflect their decision and why they reached it.  It's a good discussion.

 

I'm taking notes on all the recommendations here as I will be doing a 12-day TA, 4 days land with flight, and then 16-day TA back home. These are my first TA's and going solo so I don't want to ruin it by becoming sick. Actually no one want to become sick, vacation or not, but it does seem to be worse to become ill on a long-planned and much anticipated vacation, right?

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We just had a friend return from a land based tour in Italy.  20 people.  One coughing at the beginning of the trip and most sick by the end of the trip.

 

We STILL travel with Masks and I don't care what anyone thinks or has to say, but when I hear coughing and sneezing on a bus then the mask goes on and hyper vigilance starts with the hand hygiene.

 

She got Covid and was high fever and sick for almost 2 weeks on returning home. 

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