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11 minutes ago, crisgold52 said:

Asia overall has the discipline and its proven to control this, since its a cultural norm compared to other places where its not really the norm.

Sorry, also meant to comment on this in the prior post. I disagree strongly that the AIDA Explorer Dream cruise is the more important one to watch, purely speaking as an American in a country that's even less experienced than Germany at this point. If Explorer Dream goes without a hitch, the response from here, press and elsewhere, will be exactly your slant: "Of course! They deal with that sort of thing all the time!" Followed by, "Now get some Europeans on there and impress us."

If Germany's cruises continue to go without a hitch, first without port stops and then gradually adding those in, the reaction here as well as Europe will hopefully be more along the lines of, "Hmmm. They actually got it to work without ever dealing with this sort of thing before, ever. People were actually willing to go along with the protocols and they actually did the job. Maybe cruising can be done after all."

Edited by JLMoran
Corrected the sailing name
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Finally, as promised, a recap of Schiffstester Matthias Morr's conclusion video: - Boarding times were enforced (usually TUI Cruises doesn't assign boarding times). Masks had to be worn in the te

Sorry, also meant to comment on this in the prior post. I disagree strongly that the AIDA Explorer Dream cruise is the more important one to watch, purely speaking as an American in a country that's e

Were the passengers compliant with this overall? Any pictures or description in his review of passengers who chose the face shield option, particularly as it was not provided and they'd have to bring

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4 hours ago, JLMoran said:

Sorry, also meant to comment on this in the prior post. I disagree strongly that the AIDA Explorer Dream cruise is the more important one to watch, purely speaking as an American in a country that's even less experienced than Germany at this point. If Explorer Dream goes without a hitch, the response from here, press and elsewhere, will be exactly your slant: "Of course! They deal with that sort of thing all the time!" Followed by, "Now get some Europeans on there and impress us."

If Germany's cruises continue to go without a hitch, first without port stops and then gradually adding those in, the reaction here as well as Europe will hopefully be more along the lines of, "Hmmm. They actually got it to work without ever dealing with this sort of thing before, ever. People were actually willing to go along with the protocols and they actually did the job. Maybe cruising can be done after all."

Generally Canadians have a different view but it's good to see how both those countries will succeed on the effectiveness of a cruising restart. Why would that be reaction if Explorer Dream goes without a hitch? I mean it's a good model to follow seeing as theres port stops rather than a cruise to nowhere. In that part of the world there are bylaws and fines doled out of one isnt following the rules which is how generally the spread has been curtailed. But I agree that Germany and TUI is a good thing to watch perhaps on par. 

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Yes all this great and a positive move forward but is not that great an indicator of how things could work in the states. Taiwan has a total of 15 active cases and have had a total of 460 since the start of the pandemic. The chances of a passenger bringing the virus on board is virtually nil so all the protocols and procedures are unproven. Obviously Germany is more of a guide but still until someone actually presents with the virus or is positive after boarding will we see what will really happen.


The testing and quarantining of the crew is much more interesting as they are coming from outside countries.

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My fear is the crew more than the passengers. The whole way cruise lines use their crews the long hours and few days off the constant need to be efficient makes me wonder if crew members would be afraid to report health issues due to lack of wages or tips. 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Neaxan said:

Finally, as promised, a recap of Schiffstester Matthias Morr's conclusion video:

- Boarding times were enforced (usually TUI Cruises doesn't assign boarding times). Masks had to be worn in the terminal and in the queue in front of the terminal. Health questionnaires & temperature check for check in. B2Bs are currently not allowed.

- Muster drill: when on board you went from your cabin to your muster station. Explanations were given in small groups.

- Ship sailed at around 40% capacity (= 1200 guests), max would've been 60% (=1400 guests), 800 crew. Possible difficulties in selling the cabins might've been short notice and comparably high pricing - there were no discounts and no interior or ocean view cabins, only balcony & suites.

- Crew was quarantined on ship 14 days prior to the first cruise. They were very happy to be back working. Crew have to wear masks or face shields while working in contact with passengers - irrespective of social distancing.

- Every passenger had to do a daily temperature check by infrared camera. Hand washing and use of disinfectant was enforced.

- Masks were only mandatory where you couldn't keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres (about 5 feet). Masks were provided in the cabin on arrival, people with medical exemptions had to use face shields (not provided).

- No seats at the bar - either service at a table or queuing with social distancing (TUI has waaaaay more waiters at bars compared to Royal, so not a problem). Buffet was available, but no self service. Also no full show ensemble, only solo performances. No party (sail away, pool party etc.). Sauna is currently closed but this might change soon. Whirlpools could only be used by members of the same travel group at a time.

- Audience: younger than TUI's normal average, apparently no first time cruisers, many regular customers of other cruise lines (mainly AIDA and MSC)

-  Staggered disembarkation times were enforced (usually no assigned times).

- Most important: no cases of COVID were reported!

 

"Fun" facts:

- A few German media companies contacted passengers to try and get pictures of passengers not obeying social distancing rules. That's the state of the German press for you... 

- Mein Schiff 2 met with Mein Schiff 4 and Mein Schiff 6 while at sea - a bit like the meeting of the 3 sisters (Oasis, Harmony and Allure). 

 

If you've got any questions, feel free to ask. I'll try to find an answer - might be easier for me as many sources are in German only and Google translate is a train wreck.

 

 

 

 

Many thanks for this. who is your youtuber that you watched. I live a 5 hour drive from Hamburg so was considering the cruise next month. Some of the 4 nighters are 600€ that's great value for money I think it includes drinks. 

 

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19 hours ago, JLMoran said:

Were the passengers compliant with this overall? Any pictures or description in his review of passengers who chose the face shield option, particularly as it was not provided and they'd have to bring their own?

With masks being the most-divisive element here on land today in the US, I'd be curious to know whether the option of a face shield might tilt some of those less-inclined to wear a mask to sail. Certainly a shield has pros a mask doesn't -- can wear it while enjoying a beverage; mouth and chin don't get sweaty (although I have no idea how hot it might feel behind the shield if in the sun out on the pool deck or the like); able to see a person's full face; etc.

But it also has its disadvantages, the big one being it doesn't really keep any droplets you're exhaling confined. I imagine you also can't smoke while wearing one, should you happen to be a smoker.

Speaking of... what was the smoking policy on board, either in the casino or outside deck area? Also would like to know would be how respectful the passengers were with the various social distancing rules -- maintaining the 1.5m distance, only members of the same sailing group in the whirlpool at one time, etc?

You can rest assured it will be the state of the US press as well when the first cruise from here finally comes back. Wouldn't even be surprised if some tabloid or other rag pays someone to deliberately violate the rules and take pics. 😒

Passengers were mostly compliant with the rules - way more compliant than you'd see on land. A few outliers here and there, but the only real problem was the  meeting of the 3 "sisters" - the upper decks were quite packed. 1.5m distance wasn't always obeyed at that time and not everybody was wearing a mask as they were outside.

 Haven't seen any passengers with face shields, most likely because you had to have a medical exemption to use them instead of masks. Don't see many advantages for a face shield because you only had to use a mask where you couldn't keep a distance. Seating at bars and in restaurants ensured the distance, so once you were at your table (or at your lounger at the pool), you didn't need the mask. This also means you only wear the mask for short periods of time, so sweat shouldn't be too much of a worry.

There is no smoking in the casino on German ships - just a dedicated smoker's lounge and dedicated areas on the upper deck. No different to other areas of the ship - masks when not distancing, not necessary at your table as they are already set at least 1.5m apart.

Not sure about the whirlpool rule - hard to check as a passenger 😀  I know for a fact that people who weren't in the same travel group sometimes sat together at bars or restaurants, but TUI never stated an explicit rule about that. Don't see much of a problem there, as in Germany you're currently allowed to sit at a table with members of 10! different households - be it in a restaurant, a beergarden or in a bar.

 

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8 hours ago, Morganno said:

Many thanks for this. who is your youtuber that you watched. I live a 5 hour drive from Hamburg so was considering the cruise next month. Some of the 4 nighters are 600€ that's great value for money I think it includes drinks. 

It's Schiffstester Matthias Morr. He has also posted a VLOG of this cruise, that might be interesting to watch  even if you don't understand German.. And you're correct, most drinks are included with TUI - here's an example of a bar menu to give you an idea. Btw, gratuity is also included and I'd rate TUI's MDR higher than Royal's. Can't comment on speciality dining as I've never seen the need to try it on TUI 😄 

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On 7/25/2020 at 6:38 AM, princevaliantus said:

Let's hope this will be us soon. I'll go on a scenic cruise. Anybody else?  @Matt, do I hear a group cruise if this becomes an option from U.S. ports? BTW, RCCL has stake in TUI.

https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/23286-1-200-passengers-are-back-on-a-cruise-ship.html?fbclid=IwAR0SbcIupla0YMN35bBzrYsWS7HtGHs8YQ98VICGc9JQ8BF1scvtHrFuqlY

This is a good test case.  Allows a line to evaluate emerging sail health and safety protocols.    Some will be effective others not, but it needs to happen.

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There's a poster over on CC doing a live review. For some reason he's posting on the Celebrity board (looks like CC doesn't have a Mein Schiff board). Look for the thread entitled "Live from the first cruise in the Pandemic".

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6 minutes ago, FionaMG said:

There's a poster over on CC doing a live review. For some reason he's posting on the Celebrity board (looks like CC doesn't have a Mein Schiff board). Look for the thread entitled "Live from the first cruise in the Pandemic".

Meanwhile in Taiwan...here's an article from IAG...

Genting Cruise Lines has proposed the implementation of special “cruise bubbles” within certain selected regions after becoming the world’s first cruise ship operator to relaunch operations over the weekend.

Dream Cruises celebrated the start of two and three night itineraries out of Taiwan on Sunday, which will see the Explorer Dream ship depart from Keelung and call at Penghu, Matzu and Kinmen islands as part of its new “Taiwan Island-Hopping” itineraries.

In launching its first cruises since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Genting Cruise Lines has outlined a raft of new on-board health and safety initiatives, including a “Flexi-Feast” dining concept allowing guests to dine at their leisure and subsequently avoid bottlenecks at venues.

The company said it has enhanced its hygiene practices for guest cabins, crew member quarters, public areas and recreational facilities; added social distancing in dining, entertainment and public areas; implemented safe food and beverage handling procedures; and provided 100% fresh air ventilation in staterooms and public areas.

 

Looks like a plan comparable to TUI. one would hope it's well executed. I especially like the travel bubbles. Their easy to manage. 

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32 minutes ago, Ray said:

I found this part interesting, and some smart thinking so that cleaning staff don't get overwhelmed every turnaround day:

Quote

Because the ship is sailing at reduced capacity, this allows them to use the staterooms on a rotational basis. In other words, staterooms that house guests on one sailing will not be used on the next.

This allows time for additional deep cleaning between occupancies.

And this similar bit around the child care center:

Quote

Only 10 children are allowed in the childcare program at any given time, and the various toys and equipment are used every other day, again allowing for thorough cleaning.

 

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13 hours ago, Neaxan said:

It's Schiffstester Matthias Morr. He has also posted a VLOG of this cruise, that might be interesting to watch  even if you don't understand German.. And you're correct, most drinks are included with TUI - here's an example of a bar menu to give you an idea. Btw, gratuity is also included and I'd rate TUI's MDR higher than Royal's. Can't comment on speciality dining as I've never seen the need to try it on TUI 😄 

Thanks I found him. I speak Dutch so can get the just of what he says with my high school German from decades ago. Supplemented by the funny auto translate from Youtube 😁 

 

Thanks too for the bar menu that's quite an impressive list of free drinks. Interesting to see they are now offering 7 night cruises as well in August. 

Only areas of concern would be theater, from his vlog there didn't seem to be much (if any) social distancing in it and the jury is out on non-masked indoor live entertainment venues like bars, cinemas etc. 

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On 7/28/2020 at 3:26 AM, Morganno said:

Many thanks for this. who is your youtuber that you watched. I live a 5 hour drive from Hamburg so was considering the cruise next month. Some of the 4 nighters are 600€ that's great value for money I think it includes drinks. 

 

Nice summary

On 7/28/2020 at 4:29 PM, Ray said:

https://cruiseradio.net/with-cruising-back-what-we-know-about-masks-capacity-more/

There are some good nuggets in there.  It will be awkward - forgot about elevator loading (which could be a big deal).   All better get used to doing it the old way - use the steps

 

Found this about life onboard 

 

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