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Great testimonial from TUI passenger


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She’s been on 2 so far. Here’s her take: 

Hello. I am a cruise addict (with 150 cruise nights onboard Royal Caribbean ships). Unfortunately they canceled our 4 cruises this year, 2 of them would have been in the Mediterranean Sea. When TUI Cruises released their „Greek Isles“ cruises we booked two cruises (with a break of one week between - no B2Bs possible yet) with them and came back home on Sunday.

I thought I might share my personal conclusions about cruising during a global pandemic and how it is possible to go on shore excursions in ports (and I hope it won’t be considered as „off-topic“): 

Both stays onboard were associated with a lot of emotional impressions for me, like the step from the gangway to the ship, which I experienced very consciously, because at these times, I did not believe I would board a cruise ship in 2020. However, a moving moment had brought tears to my eyes, when the ship set sail and the wake became visible!🌊😭 

A ship with a capacity of 2534 passengers with a 60% pandemic-owed maximum occupancy still offers space for 1500 cruise enthusiasts. We were 922 on our first and 702  passengers on our second cruise onboard Mein Schiff 6! Whether this difference might be thought by one or the other: “Great, more space for me” for me, it reveals a problem that I didn't expect - Apparently not (enough) is booked. The cruise fans ashore are responsible for the difference between what is maximally possible and what is currently done. Of course everyone has the right to have reservations against a cruise during this time. A wait for "afterwards the pandemic" is here in my opinion just as little senseless as waiting for a vaccine. Nobody knows how long we will have to deal with the new reality. Since we were onboard, I hope I can dispel many concerns. We felt at least as safe onboard as on land - NO, I personally felt safer in this „bubble“. We watched, how with unbelievable commitment, from morning to evening, crew was sanitizing, cleaning and paying attention to safety and health measures with „eagle eyes“. We as passengers have the duty, in my opinion not very restrictive in our freedom, to add our parts to these measures by wearing masks, practice social distancing, wash and sanitize our hands frequently. And it worked fine onboard! Why? 1. Out of respect for the crew members and their jobs! 2. Out of respect for my fellow passengers onboard and on land - those on land, I would like to give the opportunity to cruise again soon! 3. Out of respect for the cruise company, which restarted as first cruise line in the world with cruising end of July (from Hamburg, Germany) and took a high risk to the cruise economic and also a political risk. 4. Ultimately out of respect for the entire industry and the companies involved!

What are the “restrictions” onboard?  
For example: Wearing a mask indoors, wearing a mask outdoors if you can’t practice social distance, wearing a mask whenever talking to crew members. Once a day temperature checks. Events at the theater must be reserved via the app in advance! Getting served in the Buffet Restaurant! No drinks at the Bars - drinks are  served at the tables.

How can you go on shore excursions?
On both of our cruises we had the same port of calls: Piraeus/Athens and Corfu, Greece.
We could reserve in advance though the App shore excursions. There were plenty of different shore excursions on offer, we decided to go to the beach in Piraeus/Athens and stay onboard in Corfu. 
The shore excursion to the beach was to the Divani Apollon Palace & Thalasso in Vouliagmeni. We were a small group of less than 50 people. The bus ride was about 45mins to the beach. At the beach a whole area was reserved for TUI Cruises guests (including toilets) and the tour guide was watching that nobody left the beach area due to COVID-19 measures. It was a clean and nice beach with comfortable sun loungers and nice umbrellas.

In my opinion, this gives a feeling of security, which of course is never one hundred percent, but which feels higher than in some places and in some situations on land. For me, both the COVID-19 swab test before and the measures onboard are therefore an added value! 

All arguments: “I don't want to ...”, “I'm not doing ...”, “For me it's not ....  ", „Without it is not ..." aren’t understandable for me. But if you are unsure about going back onboard to enjoy this indescribable feeling at the sea, let me say: Yes! For sure! Yes! Do it and it will be fun!

I am neither a representative of a cruise company nor a travel agency. I am a cruise addict, who wants to cruise again in 2021. 🚢🌊🇬🇷

Attached you will find my favorite pictures, for more pictures of both cruises:
https://instagram.com/mrs.tietzlein?igshid=a7hlzo5xu5xg

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16 hours ago, Jill said:

She’s been on 2 so far. Here’s her take: 

Hello. I am a cruise addict (with 150 cruise nights onboard Royal Caribbean ships). Unfortunately they canceled our 4 cruises this year, 2 of them would have been in the Mediterranean Sea. When TUI Cruises released their „Greek Isles“ cruises we booked two cruises (with a break of one week between - no B2Bs possible yet) with them and came back home on Sunday.

I thought I might share my personal conclusions about cruising during a global pandemic and how it is possible to go on shore excursions in ports (and I hope it won’t be considered as „off-topic“): 

Both stays onboard were associated with a lot of emotional impressions for me, like the step from the gangway to the ship, which I experienced very consciously, because at these times, I did not believe I would board a cruise ship in 2020. However, a moving moment had brought tears to my eyes, when the ship set sail and the wake became visible!🌊😭 

A ship with a capacity of 2534 passengers with a 60% pandemic-owed maximum occupancy still offers space for 1500 cruise enthusiasts. We were 922 on our first and 702  passengers on our second cruise onboard Mein Schiff 6! Whether this difference might be thought by one or the other: “Great, more space for me” for me, it reveals a problem that I didn't expect - Apparently not (enough) is booked. The cruise fans ashore are responsible for the difference between what is maximally possible and what is currently done. Of course everyone has the right to have reservations against a cruise during this time. A wait for "afterwards the pandemic" is here in my opinion just as little senseless as waiting for a vaccine. Nobody knows how long we will have to deal with the new reality. Since we were onboard, I hope I can dispel many concerns. We felt at least as safe onboard as on land - NO, I personally felt safer in this „bubble“. We watched, how with unbelievable commitment, from morning to evening, crew was sanitizing, cleaning and paying attention to safety and health measures with „eagle eyes“. We as passengers have the duty, in my opinion not very restrictive in our freedom, to add our parts to these measures by wearing masks, practice social distancing, wash and sanitize our hands frequently. And it worked fine onboard! Why? 1. Out of respect for the crew members and their jobs! 2. Out of respect for my fellow passengers onboard and on land - those on land, I would like to give the opportunity to cruise again soon! 3. Out of respect for the cruise company, which restarted as first cruise line in the world with cruising end of July (from Hamburg, Germany) and took a high risk to the cruise economic and also a political risk. 4. Ultimately out of respect for the entire industry and the companies involved!

What are the “restrictions” onboard?  
For example: Wearing a mask indoors, wearing a mask outdoors if you can’t practice social distance, wearing a mask whenever talking to crew members. Once a day temperature checks. Events at the theater must be reserved via the app in advance! Getting served in the Buffet Restaurant! No drinks at the Bars - drinks are  served at the tables.

How can you go on shore excursions?
On both of our cruises we had the same port of calls: Piraeus/Athens and Corfu, Greece.
We could reserve in advance though the App shore excursions. There were plenty of different shore excursions on offer, we decided to go to the beach in Piraeus/Athens and stay onboard in Corfu. 
The shore excursion to the beach was to the Divani Apollon Palace & Thalasso in Vouliagmeni. We were a small group of less than 50 people. The bus ride was about 45mins to the beach. At the beach a whole area was reserved for TUI Cruises guests (including toilets) and the tour guide was watching that nobody left the beach area due to COVID-19 measures. It was a clean and nice beach with comfortable sun loungers and nice umbrellas.

In my opinion, this gives a feeling of security, which of course is never one hundred percent, but which feels higher than in some places and in some situations on land. For me, both the COVID-19 swab test before and the measures onboard are therefore an added value! 

All arguments: “I don't want to ...”, “I'm not doing ...”, “For me it's not ....  ", „Without it is not ..." aren’t understandable for me. But if you are unsure about going back onboard to enjoy this indescribable feeling at the sea, let me say: Yes! For sure! Yes! Do it and it will be fun!

I am neither a representative of a cruise company nor a travel agency. I am a cruise addict, who wants to cruise again in 2021. 🚢🌊🇬🇷

Attached you will find my favorite pictures, for more pictures of both cruises:
https://instagram.com/mrs.tietzlein?igshid=a7hlzo5xu5xg

Great run down - thanks for documenting your experience.

 

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8 hours ago, Floski said:

Thanks for sharing that, Jill.

 

If only the ignorant masses who've never seen a cruise ship, much less ever sailed on one, could understand.

It's all about personal responsibility.  

While i agree, the nfl and other otganisations are taking precautions and still getting cases. The problem is the amount of virus in the general community has not been reduced in the USA. Such a risk vs reward situation for the cruise lines.

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thank you so much for another perspective.

my take is the rapid spread in the USA is do to those that refuse to mask, and there are many, just stop by and look at any local bar.

I also believe that with like minded cruiser that are courteous and obey the rules i am just as safe as going to the store which we all have to do from time to time

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