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COVID Rules: A Fun Discussion


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I was thinking... in the new world of Covid-cruising, there are new protocols being implemented that might really change cruising. 

In the past, I have taken Europe cruises where every excursion has been a new day, exploring on my own. In the future, however, some cruise lines might implement cruise-line excursion only rules....

Long story short, I was wondering what itineraries or cruising locations do you think this lends itself best to? For me, I would say it is great for an itinerary like the Norwegian fjords, where there is not MUCH to see in any given port, but could provide trouble for an itinerary that visits cities like Athens, Rome, or St. Petersburg, Russia. 

What are your thoughts? Hoping this can be fun:)

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Since I'm cheap when it comes to onboard expenditures,  I shy away from cruise line shore excursions.  Any itinerary that has more than, say, 3 ports or greater on a sailing is gonna be viewed unfavorably by me if I can't get off the boat for an hour without buying an excursion.  

St Peterburg is probably a good (or bad)?  example because most nationalities can't get off the ship without a Russian VISA unless they are on an excursion booked via the cruise line.  Cuba was the same before the feds put the kibosh on those sailings.  

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While I enjoy some of the excursions offered through Royal, my favorite activity is to explore on my own. I like to visit local historic landmarks, seek out the churches for a visit, admire (or wonder at) the architecture, just wander around and find a park to sit an watch people, even some shopping.

If all ports become restricted to line-sanctioned excursions only, my enjoyment will be greatly reduced.

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I think the whole thing is a mixed bag. There are some places where you would be better off just getting off and sightseeing on your own for a few hours and others where a guided, structured tour from a reputable company is the way to go. That really has more to do with the person, than the destination. Unfortunately for the time being if someone wants to venture off at ports, you will be at the mercy of the cruise lines.

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14 minutes ago, SpeedNoodles said:

I don't see this as being a permanent solution.  I wouldn't mind it for the early cruising.

I agree. I see it as short term as (hopefully) mandatory masks (we all know there will be masks in the beginning). Assuming some sort of vaccine and treatments are available during second half of 2021 things will start to get relaxed. (At least that's my hopelessly optimistic opinion).

In regards to itinerary, I think my September 2021 cruise is perfect. 7 night CocoCay on Oasis. Orlando I can go to anytime, quick flight. I don't care about Nassau and was just going to do the flight simulator. It's just about seeing the amplification of Oasis, finally getting to CocoCay, and sailing from a local port so maybe a few friends can come.

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We tend to mix in doing it on our own, private excursions and shore excursions no matter where we are.

Caribbean ports that have mostly beach days/resorts wouldn't be too much trouble for Royal to coordinate and limit contacts. Hopefully by the time Royal expands out of the Caribbean COVID is under control enough that they can stop requiring booking a shore ex

Any of the big cities in Europe I think will cause trouble even with Royal excursions. Cruises bring thousands more to already crowded tourist areas and the locals were upset even before COVID in many cities. Even with shore excursions contact tracing is going to be difficult. It will be impossible if passengers can go out alone. 

FWIW I wouldn't have minded taking shore excursions to Rome and Athens since they are far away from port. The Scandinavian capitals I would not have liked to take expensive shore ex since we simply walked the cities and spent almost nothing.

Either way I hope if they make us take RC excursions they :

1. Still offer a variety of excursion options (concerned bc right now our Iceland cruise has very few listed)

2. Offers discounts or packages like MSC seems to be doing

 

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17 hours ago, WanderPam said:

 

FWIW I wouldn't have minded taking shore excursions to Rome and Athens since they are far away from port. The Scandinavian capitals I would not have liked to take expensive shore ex since we simply walked the cities and spent almost nothing.

 

I agree. In places like Copenhagen, Tallinn or Helsinki, taking an overpriced excursion might hurt the idea of an already expensive trip. 

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There will most likely be a rapid test I'd assume. This should be interesting to see how it plays out in the US. I can already see irate guests if there is to be rapid testing. In a country with 6.3 million cases it's a guarantee people and travel groups will test positive. Imagine being a part of a travel group or family being denied boarding because their swab test a d secondary diagnostics come back positive. Imagine the time an expense they invested in getting to the port. 

 

Entirely large travel groups could be denied one member of their party tests positive. Lots of bad feelings all around and I can't imagine it will be a pleasant experience telling large parties to families, sorry you can't board since someone in your group tested positive. Seems like at least 10% of those who arrive may test positive if we look at the spread of cases in the US. Effectively if one flies into Miami and receives a positive test, they'd be effectively stranded and would have to make last minute arrangements seeing as their denied boarding.

 

This is the big elephant in the room no on seems to want to discuss.

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38 minutes ago, crisgold52 said:

This is the big elephant in the room no on seems to want to discuss.

To me there's not really much to discuss about it.  I'd imagine that as part of any lead up to sailing resuming that they'll announce what will happen if you're denied boarding, similar to how they did in the last couple of sailings before everything shut down.  Likely a FCC or refund for the cruise fare.

It'll be up to people traveling to make the choice, do they want to accept the risk that they could get denied and have to make their way home and lose the costs associated with travel, or if they want to take advantage of one of the CWC options.  I fully agree that we'll likely see some irate people if they get denied boarding, but I want the lines to be strict about it, and I have no doubt they will be.  People will have to accept that's a potentiality and that there will be some additional restrictions if they decide to take a cruise.

One of the things that gave me a little more confidence was seeing MSC deny reboarding to a group that went away from their excursion group, they were willing to put the health and safety of the rest of the passengers and crew above inconveniencing a few.  Cruising, like everything, will be a bit different for at least awhile (although I hope some changes stick around for good) and with leisure travel we're going to have to accept that there's a chance it won't happen and if it does that it'll have extra restrictions on it.

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1 hour ago, crisgold52 said:

There will most likely be a rapid test I'd assume. This should be interesting to see how it plays out in the US. I can already see irate guests if there is to be rapid testing. In a country with 6.3 million cases it's a guarantee people and travel groups will test positive. Imagine being a part of a travel group or family being denied boarding because their swab test a d secondary diagnostics come back positive. Imagine the time an expense they invested in getting to the port. 

 

Entirely large travel groups could be denied one member of their party tests positive. Lots of bad feelings all around and I can't imagine it will be a pleasant experience telling large parties to families, sorry you can't board since someone in your group tested positive. Seems like at least 10% of those who arrive may test positive if we look at the spread of cases in the US. Effectively if one flies into Miami and receives a positive test, they'd be effectively stranded and would have to make last minute arrangements seeing as their denied boarding.

 

This is the big elephant in the room no on seems to want to discuss.

I'm just a casual forum reader and rarely get drawn into many topics but you seem to have some sort of vendetta/bias towards the U.S that is largely based on personal opinion.  Currently the percentage of people who have or have had Covid stateside is ~1.76%, no where near 10%.   Different countries have implemented different strategies for containment and it is what it is.  Cruise protocols will be implemented and those who wish to travel will be obligated follow those protocols or not travel.  Ultimately if you are uncomfortable with the rules in place stateside, you have to do what's best for you and your family and then decide if you want to cruise from a U.S port. 

 

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Testing: I'll gladly do it, even if it's a direct cost to me. My only issue is false negatives & positives. I get the percentage is low, but it's still there. A small percentage of healthy people will be denied & a small percentage of sick people will not. That is a crappy fact we have to face, especially if we are one of them.

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1 hour ago, sk8erguy1978 said:

Testing: I'll gladly do it, even if it's a direct cost to me. My only issue is false negatives & positives. I get the percentage is low, but it's still there. A small percentage of healthy people will be denied & a small percentage of sick people will not. That is a crappy fact we have to face, especially if we are one of them.

Ditto

 

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We'll have to see what the health panel comes up with, but betting line controlled excursions are going to be the rule when things first start up.  Ports/destinations will probably have a large say in what the line can do, and most likely would have to agree to the cruise line's excursion risk mitigation plan.   For now, I have no issue as its best to walk before running.  We sail the Caribbean most of the time, so staying on the ship is fine.  For other sailing localities I would pay for the cruise line sponsored excursion and respect the rules.

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1 hour ago, DunkelBierJay said:

Put all of Congress on a cruise to nowhere and don't let them off until they repeal the Jones Act.

I'd love to do New England - Montreal in the Fall -- something like that would be really fun.

Have the senate join them and get some real work done.  Drink package for everyone!  On second thought that might not be a good idea.

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15 hours ago, cruisellama said:

If pre-boarding testing occurs, do you check your bags before or after.  If you're positive and you checked your bags, you'll have to waiting until they retrieve them.  

When we boarded Liberty of the Seas this past March (last cruise before shutdown), there were temperature checks for all passengers as you entered the terminal.  Bags were dropped off with the handlers before entering the terminal.  As we all passed the check, we didn't experience how long it might take be reunited with the luggage in the event of being turned away.

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