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"Tips for Travellers" Gary Bembridge advises to skip 2021 entirely and book only in '22 and later


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Just had this come up in my recommendations, as I've been watching a number of Gary Bembridge's "Tips for Travelers" videos lately. He's being practical in his outlook, and actually echoing a fair number of points that @twangster has raised over the last couple of weeks / months. Watch and judge for yourself, but he's definitely not being outlandish or alarmist in his presentation. Definitely lines up with how I've been feeling about this situation since this past summer.

 

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Common sense really, if you are happy to cruise with measures and restrictions in place then book a cruise for 2021, if you dont want so many restrictions in place then dont book it for 2021 leave it for 2022 and hope things are back to some sort of normality by then 🙂 

One thing he missed out though, if you book a cruise for 2021 and dont enjoy it due to all the restrictions dont bloody moan about it lol 

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If you by measures and restriction you mean masks (we wear them so often now we don't even notice it), less crowds, more open areas and more staff per patron I'm all in. Let the "I'm not going until I can wave my freak flag when ever and where ever" stay home and I and my spouse will enjoy ourselves. We have four cruises booked throughout 2021 and I'm in-line for the vaccine as soon as it is available which will be soon here for my group in Texas. Will have our card and passports stamped "COVID-19 Inoculated" so we can enjoy life, the beach and other ports of call. Watch out 2021, here I come! 🤿🏖️🛳️

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I completely agree. We´re just going to ride it out and see what happens, if it´s safe we will cruise, if not we won´t. But we are not going to stay home because we have to wear masks or wash our hands (we are already used to washy washy) it´s part of life now. We´re lucky we have our cruises booked for Nov, so we will have time to see what is going on, if we get canceled we´ll just rebook.  Watch out 2021, lord willing, we will be looking for sun and fun at CoCoc Cay.

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Hi everyone this is my first post on this blog.  I've been sailing with Royal Caribbean since 2008, I have sailed on other cruise lines as well but Royal Caribbean is the best in my opinion.  

I do agree with he is saying, I moved both of my 2020 cruises to late October (Symphony of the Seas) and November (Odyssey of the Seas) 2021 and we moved a European cruise to late May (Odyssey of the Seas) 2022.  I 100% believe the cruise industry has been unfairly targeted by the CDC and health organizations around the world while airlines and hotels have been allowed to make up the rules as they go along, having said that I do think people on booked on earlier cruises in 2021 will be in for a few surprises.  I work in the travel industry and the thing that is coming up now for 2021 is vaccination requirements in order to travel especially internationally. In most countries from what I'm hearing the vaccine should be widely available by mid-summer 2021 any one thinking of international travel before then not a good idea.  To reopen and jumpstart tourism and salvage some part of the 2021 busy season I'm hear a lot of place will require visitors to show proof they've been vaccinated.  Call me crazy but I think in time this may migrate over to the cruise industry, I think once the vaccine is widely available cruise lines may require all guest to show proof of vaccination before they are allowed to set foot on any cruise ship. Testing is good and testing is a great way to restart the industry but I don't think it will end with just testing I think requiring all passengers be vaccinated is coming by fall 2021.

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I want to go on our 1st cruise to Alaska.  This is a huge bucket list for me.  DW was not enthusiastic.  When COVID-19 hit, she was adamantly opposed  Once cruises return safely, I think she will be ok.   But she needs to see that it is safe and she will not be quarantined on board for weeks.  We have been ok and safe at home, but need a break.  Before I book a vacation of this magnitude, I need to make sure it is safe. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/26/2020 at 4:29 PM, CrznTxn said:

If you by measures and restriction you mean masks (we wear them so often now we don't even notice it), less crowds, more open areas and more staff per patron I'm all in. Let the "I'm not going until I can wave my freak flag when ever and where ever" stay home and I and my spouse will enjoy ourselves. We have four cruises booked throughout 2021 and I'm in-line for the vaccine as soon as it is available which will be soon here for my group in Texas. Will have our card and passports stamped "COVID-19 Inoculated" so we can enjoy life, the beach and other ports of call. Watch out 2021, here I come! 🤿🏖️🛳️

Where do you get your passports stamped that you're innoculated?

 

On 12/26/2020 at 4:29 PM, CrznTxn said:

If you by measures and restriction you mean masks (we wear them so often now we don't even notice it), less crowds, more open areas and more staff per patron I'm all in. Let the "I'm not going until I can wave my freak flag when ever and where ever" stay home and I and my spouse will enjoy ourselves. We have four cruises booked throughout 2021 and I'm in-line for the vaccine as soon as it is available which will be soon here for my group in Texas. Will have our card and passports stamped "COVID-19 Inoculated" so we can enjoy life, the beach and other ports of call. Watch out 2021, here I come! 🤿🏖️🛳️

 

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I'm less and less inclined to believe cruising will resume in the third quarter of 2021 (July). That's becasue the Biden administration is going to be much more aggressive with controlling entry to the US. The idea that the CDC's Conditional Sailing order release October 30th, 2020 is a de facto no sail order is probably correct and won't be changed by the cdc. It could become more restrictive. What could future cruises look like?

I've been working on some articles that I post in several other forums, one of them is a travel forum that has a BVI section. The BVI is a Level 1 travel region according to the US CDC - there isn't any C-19 that's circulating. In fact, I don't think the BVI has any C-19 cases and wants to keep it that way.  The BVI opened it's boarders to tourism on 12/01/20 but protocols to enter are extensive. First, you have to apply for entry approval at the BVI tourism web site. The form for application require you to up load proof of a negative C-19 test by PCR (not Rapid Antigen) that has been done 3d before your flight into the BVI. You must provide, in advance, your itinerary and where you are staying. You can only enter through the one airport (EIS) as of now. Ferry service from St. Thomas, a popular way to get to the BVI, will restart depending on what happens with just one port of entry - the airport.

Once your documents are approved by the BVI government, you'll receive an email with a printable, official entry approval letter. This must be presented to your airline upon departure and again at BVI customs. Once through BVI customs you will be tested again, this time by RAPID antigen test. A negative result and you proceed and pay your $175 entry fee that covers testing costs incurred by the BVI government. Next you are issued a GPS equipped tracking bracelet.  For your first 3d in the BVI you cannot go anywhere - you're quarantined. At the end of the 3rd day, you get tested again. If negative, on the 4th day you are free to travel unrestricted throughout the BVI although you've been wearing a GPS enable tracking bracelet since you arrived to insure you quarantine and then to track your movements while in the BVI. I'm aware of similar if not less restrictive protocols in other Caribbean countries. 

Is this sort of protocol possible for cruise lines, one that might include a 3d quarantine in your cabin followed by testing and release from quarantine on the start of the 4th day? Tracking bracelets already in use on Spectrum sailing out of China? Possibly highly restricted activities for 3d, then retest then free to roam and enjoy with bracelets? From the standpoint of viral spread and as close to a bubble as one could get to start a cruise, maybe this is the way to go. OTH, I think the cruise lines and many potential passengers would find this sort of approach, as good as it is in preventing the spread of the virus aboard a ship,  unworkable. Maybe the step down approach of just highly restricted movement during the first 72 hours would work.

Anyway, we're moving in a direction where, at the very least, there will be strict controls and mitigation measures in place and these are going to get tougher as we get further along in the Biden administration. I tend to think a vaccination passport is going to be required to board if the CDC greenlights cruising from US ports and I can't see revenue cruises starting before July best case. It will certainly be required for international air travel and movement within the EU, Eastern Europe, Asia, the ME and just about any cruise destination I can think of. I don't see travel to Europe or anywhere else from the US to happen before September and that early date would require upwards of a 60% vaccination rate of the US population and the US becoming a Level 1 Country (no circulating virus) per the CDC.  

I have 4 cruises booked - all of them on L&S from June - late December, '21 with 2 already L&S'ed to 2022. One of these involves air travel to Europe and a West Bound Translant from Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale in October extending into early November. I don't think the June cruise will go, I think the August cruise is doubtful even though both of them are Caribbean itineraries out of Fort Lauderdale. I'd say the October Translant cruise is 50/50, my 5d NY Holiday Caribbean cruise out of Miami is probably 60/40. My plan is to cancel all of the 2021 cruises before the 90d mark and hopefully get a refund. I'm not even sure how that works for cruises that have been L&S'ed once. I'm assuming you just get a 100% refund, no other benefits. 

Being realist we've lost 18 months of cursing maybe 2 years. 

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4 hours ago, twangster said:

????

 

Symphony corrected to Spectrum. Spectrum is sailing regularly out of Baoshan (Shanghai) China on 4 and 5n sailings in Asian ports. Obvious restrictions on visas and boarding, generally Chinese citizens only. https://www.royalcaribbean.com/cruise-from/shanghai-china

But, yes, tracking bracelets are used aboard ship from what I understand from other posts in this forum.

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On 1/4/2021 at 5:34 PM, cruisellama said:

If sailing begins this year, there will be all sorts of conditions/restrictions.  Far less fun - so seems like sound advice.  Would really like to see the late '22 Caribbean schedule published.

Yes, I am anxious for the rest of 2022  cruises to be posted. 

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On 1/23/2021 at 6:37 PM, JeffB said:

I'm less and less inclined to believe cruising will resume in the third quarter of 2021 (July). That's becasue the Biden administration is going to be much more aggressive with controlling entry to the US. The idea that the CDC's Conditional Sailing order release October 30th, 2020 is a de facto no sail order is probably correct and won't be changed by the cdc. It could become more restrictive. What could future cruises look like?

I've been working on some articles that I post in several other forums, one of them is a travel forum that has a BVI section. The BVI is a Level 1 travel region according to the US CDC - there isn't any C-19 that's circulating. In fact, I don't think the BVI has any C-19 cases and wants to keep it that way.  The BVI opened it's boarders to tourism on 12/01/20 but protocols to enter are extensive. First, you have to apply for entry approval at the BVI tourism web site. The form for application require you to up load proof of a negative C-19 test by PCR (not Rapid Antigen) that has been done 3d before your flight into the BVI. You must provide, in advance, your itinerary and where you are staying. You can only enter through the one airport (EIS) as of now. Ferry service from St. Thomas, a popular way to get to the BVI, will restart depending on what happens with just one port of entry - the airport.

Once your documents are approved by the BVI government, you'll receive an email with a printable, official entry approval letter. This must be presented to your airline upon departure and again at BVI customs. Once through BVI customs you will be tested again, this time by RAPID antigen test. A negative result and you proceed and pay your $175 entry fee that covers testing costs incurred by the BVI government. Next you are issued a GPS equipped tracking bracelet.  For your first 3d in the BVI you cannot go anywhere - you're quarantined. At the end of the 3rd day, you get tested again. If negative, on the 4th day you are free to travel unrestricted throughout the BVI although you've been wearing a GPS enable tracking bracelet since you arrived to insure you quarantine and then to track your movements while in the BVI. I'm aware of similar if not less restrictive protocols in other Caribbean countries. 

Is this sort of protocol possible for cruise lines, one that might include a 3d quarantine in your cabin followed by testing and release from quarantine on the start of the 4th day? Tracking bracelets already in use on Spectrum sailing out of China? Possibly highly restricted activities for 3d, then retest then free to roam and enjoy with bracelets? From the standpoint of viral spread and as close to a bubble as one could get to start a cruise, maybe this is the way to go. OTH, I think the cruise lines and many potential passengers would find this sort of approach, as good as it is in preventing the spread of the virus aboard a ship,  unworkable. Maybe the step down approach of just highly restricted movement during the first 72 hours would work.

Anyway, we're moving in a direction where, at the very least, there will be strict controls and mitigation measures in place and these are going to get tougher as we get further along in the Biden administration. I tend to think a vaccination passport is going to be required to board if the CDC greenlights cruising from US ports and I can't see revenue cruises starting before July best case. It will certainly be required for international air travel and movement within the EU, Eastern Europe, Asia, the ME and just about any cruise destination I can think of. I don't see travel to Europe or anywhere else from the US to happen before September and that early date would require upwards of a 60% vaccination rate of the US population and the US becoming a Level 1 Country (no circulating virus) per the CDC.  

I have 4 cruises booked - all of them on L&S from June - late December, '21 with 2 already L&S'ed to 2022. One of these involves air travel to Europe and a West Bound Translant from Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale in October extending into early November. I don't think the June cruise will go, I think the August cruise is doubtful even though both of them are Caribbean itineraries out of Fort Lauderdale. I'd say the October Translant cruise is 50/50, my 5d NY Holiday Caribbean cruise out of Miami is probably 60/40. My plan is to cancel all of the 2021 cruises before the 90d mark and hopefully get a refund. I'm not even sure how that works for cruises that have been L&S'ed once. I'm assuming you just get a 100% refund, no other benefits. 

Being realist we've lost 18 months of cursing maybe 2 years. 

Sadly I'd have to agree with your prediction.   We're going to be left with a very different cruise industry.

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21 hours ago, JeffB said:

Symphony corrected to Spectrum. Spectrum is sailing regularly out of Baoshan (Shanghai) China on 4 and 5n sailings in Asian ports. Obvious restrictions on visas and boarding, generally Chinese citizens only. https://www.royalcaribbean.com/cruise-from/shanghai-china

But, yes, tracking bracelets are used aboard ship from what I understand from other posts in this forum.

I thought Spectrum was recently anchored off Singapore with no planned cruises until March.  She has been sailing regularly out of China?  The website shows nothing until March.  

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On 1/23/2021 at 8:37 PM, JeffB said:

 

Once your documents are approved by the BVI government, you'll receive an email with a printable, official entry approval letter. This must be presented to your airline upon departure and again at BVI customs. Once through BVI customs you will be tested again, this time by RAPID antigen test. A negative result and you proceed and pay your $175 entry fee that covers testing costs incurred by the BVI government. Next you are issued a GPS equipped tracking bracelet.  For your first 3d in the BVI you cannot go anywhere - you're quarantined. At the end of the 3rd day, you get tested again. If negative, on the 4th day you are free to travel unrestricted throughout the BVI although you've been wearing a GPS enable tracking bracelet since you arrived to insure you quarantine and then to track your movements while in the BVI. I'm aware of similar if not less restrictive protocols in other Caribbean countries. 

Is this sort of protocol possible for cruise lines, one that might include a 3d quarantine in your cabin followed by testing and release from quarantine on the start of the 4th day? Tracking bracelets already in use on Spectrum sailing out of China? Possibly highly restricted activities for 3d, then retest then free to roam and enjoy with bracelets? From the standpoint of viral spread and as close to a bubble as one could get to start a cruise, maybe this is the way to go. OTH, I think the cruise lines and many potential passengers would find this sort of approach, as good as it is in preventing the spread of the virus aboard a ship,  unworkable. Maybe the step down approach of just highly restricted movement during the first 72 hours would work.

 

Being realist we've lost 18 months of cursing maybe 2 years. 

Cruising aint ever coming back if this is the new norm. Nor will they be able to do this to even start up imho. Not feasible. the logistics of this would be insane....maybe for a cruise to nowhere, but to have to worry about all these rules for every port you stop at or want to visit?(if that's what is implied in the above message)

 

Vaccination passport yes perhaps(and no surprise)...but all these rules and regulations would further kill the cruise industry and travel industry 

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5 hours ago, twangster said:

I thought Spectrum was recently anchored off Singapore with no planned cruises until March.  She has been sailing regularly out of China?  The website shows nothing until March.  

Apparently, I can't keep up. I thought Spectrum had started sailing out of Shanghai a month ago. Nope, First scheduled sailings are in March, 2021.

Quantum is still sailing out of Singapore on cruises to no-where, Singapore residents only, right? I think I just confused these two. 

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8 hours ago, monctonguy said:

Cruising aint ever coming back if this is the new norm. Nor will they be able to do this to even start up imho. Not feasible. the logistics of this would be insane....maybe for a cruise to nowhere, but to have to worry about all these rules for every port you stop at or want to visit?(if that's what is implied in the above message)

Can't see anything more than cruise to nowhere or within same country happening this year.

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Hi Joe!   I watched a lot of Gary’s videos before our sadly missed river cruise.  He’s really sensible, and I am totally agreeing with him.  I considered a New Years 2021 cruise but I’m not even confident with that, so we may wait until Xmas/New Years 2022.  Jane

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9 hours ago, mom2mybugs said:

Hi Joe!   I watched a lot of Gary’s videos before our sadly missed river cruise.  He’s really sensible, and I am totally agreeing with him.  I considered a New Years 2021 cruise but I’m not even confident with that, so we may wait until Xmas/New Years 2022.  Jane

Hi Jane! Welcome back to the boards! We L&S a Galveston NYE 2021 cruise on Adventure to Miami NYE 2021 on Oasis. I am hopeful that we will sail, but not at all confident. Further, one of my many questions is how will they determine who to bump off the cruise given that they do not intend to sail at full capacity for some time (as the dates for any cruise keeps getting push further out)? -Liz

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