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Everything posted by EmersonNZ

  1. Yes they are all NZ/Aust flight crew flying the bubble flights. Aslo any crew who flies ne of those flights can't fly any other international flight for 14 days before they scheduled NZ/Aust flight and must test negative twice during that time. I see flights and cruise very different to each other. A flight has assigned seating and very little movement on board. With masks mandatory during the whole flight there is actually very little case of transmission (the airport is a whole other story). I'd see a cruise ship like an indoor entertainment venue, say a night club or bar etc. If you allow those open then you should low cruises (Which we do in NZ/Aust so I'd have no problem with cruising with the right precautions etc). I do have a concern that cruising does traditionally attract an older clientele (Says the 40ish year old who have been on about 15 cruises) which of course are more likely to have server reactions if they catch COVID. For their sake I would like to see everyone vaccinated before cruising even if NZ and Aust are COVID free (I'd hate to see a case that say a boarder worker went on a cruise only to find they had non symptomatic COVID and spread it to someone who might not be able to fight it as well as me due to age or medical conditions etc). I think comparing cruises to flying actually doesn't help the argument to start cruising again. If we instead look at similar activities like indoor entertainment establishments, gyms, swimming pools, bars etc I think we can form a far better argument why cursing should resume (At least in NZ/Aust).
  2. Maybe you could borrow some of our Pfizer stock? (It's the only one being used in NZ and apparently we've ordered enough for us and mos of the Pacific). Interestingly we've also got others on order, I guess better to hedge your bets to cover supply issues and any issues with a particular one. As for cursing between NZ and Aust I can't see it this side of Christmas but It wouldn't shock me if the second half of the season goes ahead between the two countries. Both governments would have to be satisfied that staff on the ship(s) have been thoroughly quarantined and tested (And probably vaccinated which seems like the industry has settled on anyway). There will be a lot more scrutiny on reporting of people with illnesses on board and not sure either government will trust ships to self report anymore so it'll be interesting to see how they handle that. I think 2022/23 will be our fist full season with overseas guests but maybe we'll get some cursing between NZ/Aust in 21 if not early 22.
  3. New Zealand Schools should be in session April 3rd. Looking on the Ministry of Education website Term 1 2023 run from Mon 1st Feb until Friday April 16th. Term 2 is Monday 3rd May until 9th July. I just looked at your itinerary and you are going to have a fantastic time (We actualyl do the same trip on Ovation in Jan 2023). The sounds (Which ironically are actually technical Fiords) are truly spectacular. When every I have visitors and want to show them some 'wow' New Zealand I'll take them to Milford Sound and do the boat tour which goes out into the sound. Your next port is Dunedin where we live. The ship docks about 30 minutes out of the city but there will be free bus tranportation from the cport to the city. The port (Port Chalmers) itself is worth a look around with some nice little cafes and old buildings etc (The first ever ship carrying frozen goods left Port Chalmers for England in 1882). Dunedin has some amazing architect including the Railway Station and the University)/ Also home to the worlds sterpest street which was a killer running up for ruby training (On the way up you thought you'd die... on the way down you knew you'd die). Also some amazing wildlife tours etc. Christchurch is called the garden city and truly deserves it title. This summer (if they sail) will be the first time cruise ships have visited Christchurch since the earth quakes in 2011 (The main port out of action for cruise ships until this year. Ships went to Akaroa which is about 45 minutes from Christchurch and itself a beautiful location Wellington is the capital. Don't miss going to Te Pap our national museum. I'm not a museum fan but I promise this is one you want to go to. Make sure you are awake as the ship comes in through the sound to Picton. Fantastic port town which si the ferry link between the South Island and North (Picton to Wellington Ferry). Some amazing wineries are within easy reach of Picton and any trip around the sounds will be amazing! (I spent some of my summer holiday there this year and loved it). Napier is an interesting city. Nearly totally leveled in 1031 by an earthquake the city was almost completely rebuilt in a Art Deco style which is kinda cool. If there is anything you want to know in particular feel free to reach out. I hope you really enjoy your time in Aotearoa/New Zealand (Aotearoa is the Maori word for New Zealand)
  4. As everyone said no issue with elevator noise. I'd go for it.
  5. No issue with a vaccine requirement (And in fact would prefer it). As for the mask I would would probably wait until it isn't required. (We haven't had to wear them hear in New Zealand as we've been covid free for nearly a year now. It'd feel strange traveling somewhere to be on a boat where I had to wear one when i can stay here and not...).
  6. Also keep doing what you are doing here... tell people what fantastic service you received, mention them and MEI when talking to friends about travel etc. Talk about the benefits of a travel agent in a world of internet bookings etc. By telling others of your experience, which hopefully may lead to more business you are really helping them a lot.
  7. I guess we know out answer... at least 2 months. Given they 'could' have sailed Oct 31 and have all said they won't at least until January we have to presume they need that time to restaff the ships, train, test, certify etc etc. So far we know it is at elast 2 months I wonder if it ends up being any longer.
  8. The crew would have to quarantine in NZ or Australia. There will be no way either country will risk presuming another countries quarantine procedures is up to scratch (A few weeks ago 75 Russian sailors were supposed to have quarantined for 14 days before flying to NZ. Luckily they still had to go through the standard NZ quarantine and on their day 3 testing 20 tested positive. Luckily due to our quarantine policy it didn't enter the country). I actually think the passenger bit is easy. If NZ (which it is)and Australia (which nearly is) are COVID free... and the crew have gone through NZ/Aust quarantine and are COVID free, and no one outside the 'bubble' is allowed on the ship then the ship could happily sail between NZ and Aust not worrying about COVID. the hard part? Gaining the trust back of the public after the Ruby Princess ordeal....
  9. As everyone has said the chances of their being cruises in NZ or Aust this coming season are... 5%. NZ is COVID free with no restrictions, need for masks etc etc and Australia is pretty close (and achieved it in most states). It would be foolhardy for both countries to allow tourists (and crew, and they would need to go through the same process as others as there is not trust in the cruise industry after the Ruby Princess saga) through the boarders without them going through the mandatory 14 days quarantine in NZ or Australia first before sailing (Which all New Zealanders and Australians have to do returning home). You 'might' see some sailing open up from Australia for New Zealanders and Australians only but I see this as a long short given the logistics of getting the crew cleared etc.
  10. Actually you raise a really really interesting question. Let's say the 'ok to sail' order is given today. How long would a cruise line need to set sail? Tasks you'd need to find solutions for: recruit/rehire staff from around world get staff to the ship (no small task with airlines not flying, visa restrictions etc etc train/retrain staff (Probably some mandatory safety training at the vary least and refamiliarization) gain port access both in the ships 'home port' and any ports they want to visit (and again have all the approvals and process in place etc) logistics on food and supplies (Probably rather easy to spin up but would need some planning) make any ship alterations that are needed for virus protection (Probably doing now) you'd probably want to quarantine any staff on land for 14 days before you allow them to board (Organize hotels, you can book out, medical staff etc etc) and the million and one tasks I can't think of that i am sure is keeping someone awake at night. Staffing is going to be a nightmare. Normally only a few new staff are ever boarding a ship at a time (or coming from other ships in the fleet for new ships). The logistics of recruiting the staff, getting back staff you've let go (Many who may have found other jobs, etc etc) and then trying to negotiate with all the governments around the world to get them to the ships (transit issues, travel restrictions, visas, flight issues (though you'd probably hire planes) etc etc. I imagine you'd look at getting enough staff/resources together for a ship or 2 at a time and ramp up over a period of time (Which could be months). There would easily be a months work there I would say if not 2. So many things have to go right and so many things that you have little control over. I imagine there are a lot of people who's sole job at the moment is to plan for this eventuality. I certainly don't envy them their task. It would certainly make an amazing documentary/case study in the future.
  11. Lets not loose sight of the fact there is a child who is now a triple amputee at the heart of this story as we post. As mentioned the child would have been infected before arriving on the ship. Meningitis can often be misdiagnosed as the flu, especially in children. Not being in the consulting room I have no idea of the symptoms being exhibited at the time. Saying that most doctors, no mater if it was your GP or hospital (or ships dodctor), would want to rule meningitis out due to how quickly a patient, especially youth, can deteriorate. If the child was exhibiting flu like symptoms and the doctor didn't go through the process of eliminating meningitis then i would consider this abnormal. However.... again, we weren't in the consulting room. Maybe the doctor did check for symptoms (Fever, vomiting, nausea, stiff neck (both hard to determine in kids that can't communicate), light sensitivity etc) but there were non present. The sad thing is of course due to either a misdiagnoses (be it one that should have been made or one that wasn't made because symptoms weren't apparent and thus no fault) a child is now a triple amputee and my heart goes out to them and their family.
  12. I think there will not be a 1 rule for all cruises worldwide. Countries where either they have no (or very few) cases (Such as most of Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific, etc) or where it is in retaliative control (Most of Asia etc) are likely to have a 0% threshold whereas where the virus is established in the community there might be more acceptance of having cases on board a ship introduced to a port etc For example take Fiji or Vanuatu both of whom have 0 cases currently (I think Fiji has 2 in isolation after being caught at the boarder). Both these countries have a 'limited' health systems that can coupe with the usual day to day issues its population faces would really struggle (i.e break to pieces) if COVID-19 was to be introduced to its population through a cruise ship and then spread through the population. It would be irresponsible for a cruise line to sail to one of these countries without being able to guarantee they had 0 cases on board (In both cases, as with NZ and Australia anyone entering the country is isolated in government facilities for 14 days currently which would be uneconomical for cruise lines, 14 days in isolation in the first port before the ship can continue won't be an option). Cases brought into these countries would be similar to what happened to indigenous populations with measles etc when Europeans first arrived in these countries. We know better now and have a duty not to repeat those mistakes (Heck, measles killed 83 people (from a population of 201k) in Samoa due to an outbreak linked back to 1 person in 2019. This was an excellent case on how dangerous the anti vax movement can be). In the case of the US where the numbers are a lot higher the damage a cruise ship could do if it introduced COVID-19 cases into the population is probably minor in comparison. In this case the appetite from both the public and government might be to resume cruising with some risk and a threshold of certain number of cases etc.
  13. Looks like there won't be any sailings to New Caledonia until at least March 27th 2021: New article here Most of the 'South Pacific' cruises leaving Sydney have one or two stops in New Caledonia (About 30 of the 61 cruise departing Australia currently scheduled to sale from November 2020 to April 2021 have stops in New Caledonia from what I see. Not that I expect any cruises leaving Australia in November this year...)
  14. I think they are going to have to get it right the first time. Rightly or wrongly public opinion is not on the cruise industries side. If case are traced back to a cruise ship they could expect to face long bans from ports etc as governments deals with any backlash from allowing cruise in etc. I think all the cruise lines know this (I'm sure governments will be letting them know it) and they will be doing be all they can to ensure their long term future not just their short term
  15. Essentially it is like any other bar or restaurant so there are no problem taking a drink out with you or grabbing one for the road ? .
  16. While I haven't used MEI to book a cruise (yet) I have used them for many Walt Disney World bookings and have found them very good. Being on the other side fo the world I find they are responsive and willing to go that 'extra mile' (Funny we still say 'extra mile' even though we use km's). The good thing is they will be as 'hands on' or 'hands off' as you would like. Sometimes I'll just use them for reservations bookings and others the whole 3,342 step process that is booking a Disney holiday (Fastpasses, dining, tours etc etc etc). For those not in the US considering using MEI I can't speak highly enough of them.
  17. Ensuring the crew were COVID19 free would be the big hurdle. I think if you made the cruise cheap enough people will get over their public perception of cruises (People have short memories or as someone told me they would never give bith more than once). Princess may have some (a lot) PR work to do and I would spend a lot if I was Royal on educating the public on how they will protect passengers and people in ports they visit.
  18. I was just thinking.... NZ is pretty close to be declared COVID-19 free with only 1 person in the whole country still suffering from it (I reckon when they get the all clear they should get a meal in any restaurant they want in the country), Australia is no far behind and could probably be down to 0 cases in a month if they keep on their current path. Given this could RCCL sail cruises from Australia with only Australian and NZ citizens on board who have been in their respective countries for 21 days? Would there be enough (a) customers to warrant it and (b) demand from those customers given the current public opinion on cruising? You'd need to ensure that the crew were carrying it into NZ/Aust so you'd need to either have it wait offshore for 21 days with no cases or somehow find away of guaranteeing the crew were COVID-19 free. The big stumbling block will probably be public opinion which is rather anti cruising at the moment due to a large number of deaths in Australia being attributed to one particular cruise ship. IF they can get over that and find a way to ensure the crew are not carrying it I wonder if they could be sailing in Australia and New Zealand by the end of the year after-all. The Pacific Islands are also close to COVID-19 free as well so we might be able to include them in one Pacific bubble.
  19. I could certainly imagine being upset if I was stuck onboard. I'm not saying it is Royal's 'fault' but if you are the crew member wanting to get home then your frustration is naturally going to be directed there. Many aren't getting paid and that means no money going home etc nor a chance to look for work at home etc (as successful as that may or may not be). While I am sure they are being well looked after on board again they have lost their freedom and can't get off the ship. I can certainly imagine how frustrated that would make me. What could Royal do about it? Probably not a lot but it is understandable there would would be frustration.
  20. It would depend who you were trying to get damages from and for what. You wouldn't be able to litigate against a NZ individual or company as they would not be covered by the foreign jurisdiction. It would also unlikely you litigate against the activity carried out in a foreign country as that activity would be bound by the country it takes place (A NZ court can't rule on a murder in the US nor could a US court rule on a murder in NZ. When you travel to a foreign country you are bound by their laws... if you know what they are or not., ignorance of law is not a defense of law (except in some mental capacity defenses which most countries have some form of). OF course if you break a law in NZ and flee to the US you can be brought back to NZ to face trail (And vice versa) and NZ has agreements that means you can be extradited back to the others country for trial under their laws (Though this can take years and years of appeals). However... you could hold the cruise company liable if they broke their contract or any or broke any laws in the country they sold the ticket (Though some contracts will state which country the contract will be litigate in. Not all counties allow this practice and insist that if you brought the contract in there country then you are covered by laws in that country). Again in this case you'd be suing the cruise line for breach of contract and not the tour operator in a foreign country.
  21. Basically it means that since the ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) pays for all healthcare and rehabilitation from an accident (remember we have free health care) an individual can't litigate against an individual or entity due to an accident. The government can bring criminal charges against any company or individual that has found to be liable under out various health and safety laws (Or others such as various motor vehicles laws) and possibably manslaughter depending on the accident. If I was to cause a car accident my insurance company would pay for any material damage but not health care of either myself or anyone else another car etc. Agin, health care is free so no one is out of pocket and ACC will pic up any lose of income during recovery etc. The nice thing is it means we don't have a whole legal industry based on accidents as there are no legal proceedings etc (Again except if you have broken a law and caused an injury in which case ACC will still cover you both but you may be prosecuted for breaking that law by the government...)
  22. I agree with @F1guynz comments. Auckland has been home to a few ships over the years but doesn't really have the demand to keep one. New Zealanders are more likely to fly or drive around NZ and when we holiday it is often overseas (The pacific islands are 2 to 3 hours flight away as is Australia). With Australia so close it just makes sense for NZers to travel to Sydney and cruise from there. I can't see cruising in NZ this year to tell the truth or until there is a vaccine/antibodies test. The Ruby Princes saga has absolutely turned public opinion against cruising and if it is found the Captain was aware of cases on board when they docked in NZ and Australia that will certainly not help (If the authorities can't trust the cruise lines to give accurate/truthful information then there will likely be quite restrictive processes put in place to ensure compliance). It seems unfair that all the cruise lines are lumped into that one ship but I'm afraid that is how non cruises (i.e the majority) will see it.
  23. No limit on cruise ship numbers apart from Milford Sound and Dusky Sound which limit the ships that can enter at a time (1 or 2) due to safety and environmental impact. Probably the biggest restriction would be the number of ships ports can accommodate at a time with some of the smaller ports only having facilities for 1 or 2 ships at a time.
  24. I agree Scrumps. The chances of NZ opening up ti's ports to any cruise ship this coming season (Aug 20/ April 21) is small to non existent. I think the Pacific Islands are likely to be the same situation (Or at least I hope they are, COVID-19 going through somewhere like Tonga, Samoa or Fiji would be devastating. We already saw what could happen with measles in Samoa last year). Until there is a test that comes hack instantly that shows you have either had it or haven't got it I can't see a lot of ports around the world allowing ships in.
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