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Thousands reject CDC advice, board cruise ships for vacations


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21 hours ago, twangster said:

I went on an MSC cruise with pier testing.  It worked with the 800 guests sailing but it took a full day to test and board those 800 guests.  It would have taken two full days to board the ship with 3,000 sailing.  

It doesn't scale to Oasis class at 50% capacity.  

MSC stopped doing it within 3 weeks of my cruise.  

Disney is doing pier testing but again they don’t scale to oasis class. My sister in law and nephew boarded today and had to test at the pier. Had to arrive by noon, test, wait for results, board at 3:00. However, so many cancellations that they boarded at 2:00. 

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23 hours ago, twangster said:

In terms of health protocols they are probably the closest to Royal.

Boarding on that cruise, which was their second in the US in the restart was tolerable.  So happy to sail anything back then.   On another occasion in October the boarding was a disaster.  Three hours standing in the terminal with no social distancing and long, packed lines.  That was before Omi. Finally got on board right when the buffet closed.  There was no food, then muster time.  Should have packed a lunch for the terminal.  

It was cheap.  It had that going for it.  

On board it was a cruise.  I can see why people say go with YC or don't go.  That's not entirely fair, if you buy their most expensive non-YC fares you can use their version of My Time dining.  Anything below that is fixed time and you have zero choice on dining and seating.  Asking for a change is like offending the entire dining room staff.

I never could get them to give me my points for that first cruise.  They insist I didn't cruise.  Thankfully I had that second cruise that reset my status match another 3 years.

I had Seashore booked and another.  Their customer service is terrible.  After hours on the phone the call drops, several attempts in a row.  They just don't care.  My travel agent won't book them anymore, too many issues and they are refusing to issue refunds they said they will, hints at issues with commissions.  I booked the last two direct and found that out myself.  My credit card company has awarded me one dispute just last week, the second is still pending.  Should have raised a flag when my agency wouldn't book them.  Lesson learned.  

On board the crew was fine.  If you are friendly with the crew and drop a buck with a drink order they are your friends, like any cruise line.  Internet is one device only.  Once you log in with a device your internet plan is tied to that specific device.  Internet is faster than Royal by a small margin though.

Lots of people in FB groups had new cabins at the last minute.  Like a lot of people.  Didn't happen to me though.  Folks were not happy.

They had some really cheap cruises this past summer.  For $149 inc. tax what can go wrong?  Give it a try.   Just keep telling yourself... I only paid $149, I only paid $149.  I didn't have bad cruises, but coming back one time we sailed past Allure and I knew where my heart belonged.  That's why I cancelled one of them and at the time Allure was pretty cheap in October. 

Boarding Allure was like coming home.  Boarding MSC was like moving in with the ex-inlaws for a week, not dangerous to my life but definitely not like home.   

There's no place like home.  

I 100% agree with everything you've posted here about MSC. We've cruised with MSC 3 times once on each of the following ships Divina, Seaside and the Meraviglia.  I think it will be a few years before I ever set foot on another MSC cruise either here in the US or even in Europe.  I would get on Carnival again (I kind of want to get on the Mardi Gras) before getting on another MSC cruise.  I was expecting Royal Caribbeans level of service onboard and was highly disappointed with each of the cruises I took with them.  Having said that there are two redeeming qualities MSC has that I absolutely love, the first is the 20 hour buffet.  Leaving the dance club and having the buffet still open is a great compared to just pizza on Royal or room service.  The second redeeming quality happens to be on the Meraviglia in the form of Cirque du Soleil, there are two completely different shows on the Meraviglia and both are spectacular, but it isn't enough to make me want to spend 7 days on another MSC cruise.  I think MSC needs to understand it is the passengers vacation and they need to learn to be more flexible onboard.  Not everything needs to be timed out to the tee especially when you are trying to make end roads in the US market where most Americans are use to a lot more flexibility and freedom onboard cruise ships. 

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11 hours ago, JasonOasis said:

I would get on Carnival again (I kind of want to get on the Mardi Gras) before getting on another MSC cruise.  
 


We’ve been wanting to try Carnival Mardi Gras as well.  We were supposed to be on it in one of the Aft Excel Suites in Feb 2021, but of course nobody was sailing then.  On our Mariner cruise last month, we met a woman and her teenage son who had just gotten off Marci Gras a few days before ….. they both told us they were disappointed and they’d be sticking with Royal from now on.

 

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2 hours ago, ChrisK2793 said:


We’ve been wanting to try Carnival Mardi Gras as well.  We were supposed to be on it in one of the Aft Excel Suites in Feb 2021, but of course nobody was sailing then.  On our Mariner cruise last month, we met a woman and her teenage son who had just gotten off Marci Gras a few days before ….. they both told us they were disappointed and they’d be sticking with Royal from now on.

I was on Mardi Gras in August.  I'm very glad I went at reduced capacity.  I met several frequent cruisers from other lines on board and a recurring sentiment was "...can't imagine what it will be like at full capacity".  Since Carnival rejects most unvaccinated kids it was also a good time to sail absent of hordes of other people's screaming kids.

Fot Carnival it's a huge departure in a new direction, something Carnival should have done decades ago.  For Carnival cruisers only time will tell how well she survives the premiums they charge to sail her.  Some Carnival cruisers are used to low costs.  It's very easy to meet low expectations.  When you charge a premium people expect more, expectations are higher.  Time will tell how she does with the low cost segment of the Carnival crowd.   Ultimately I think Carnival had to innovate or die so finally they did with Mardi Gras.  

When it comes to the pandemic, Mardi Gras is great for people who believe the virus is a hoax and protocols don't accomplish anything.  In a month when I sailed four different cruise lines Carnival had the fewest protocols and a typical Carnival jam packed boarding process.  They don't enforce boarding times, just show up when you feel like it and everyone does.

Pros include the included food options like Summer Landing, Guy's Burgers and Shaq's Chicken.  I think I had a better Blue Iguana experience in the past.  The pizza remained the worst pizza at sea but that's subjective.  Granted it's mostly comfort food, heart disease waiting to happen, but if that's your thing, it's plentiful.  

I'm not sure why Carnival dragged their feet for so long at implementing new and fresh decor but finally they have moved into the 21st century when other cruise lines did a long time ago.  

The cabin bathrooms are tiny.  I'm not a big guy but I felt like I was in an airplane bathroom on a wide body jet.  In order to increase cabin count they shaved about 6" cabin width on most of the common cabins and you can feel it.  

It is a beautiful ship but any venue you'll want to visit will be packed.  I managed to get a seat at the Alchemy Bar just once.  They are more creative with their drink menus and have greater variety at the various bars compared to Royal.  Royal's answer is the Bamboo Room but very few ships have a Bamboo Room. 

It's in my backyard but I don't even look for deals on her.    Maybe when the pandemic is long over if I see a bargain fare I'd be tempted to go again but despite being a pretty ship I just can't imagine how packed she will be with the same capacity as an Oasis class ship at 2/3 the size.   

In hindsight I wasn't ready to cruise like it's it 2019 treating the pandemic with a devil don't care attitude.  I didn't feel safe on board.  Ironically at the time I thought I wanted a whimsical approach to pandemic cruising but all it took was one jam packed comedy club experience and I knew I wanted more protocols. 

It's a pretty ship but no mistaking it's still Carnival at its core.  That should appease most in the Carnival camp but at the same that's some of why I stopped sailing Carnival several years ago so there is that.  Maybe one day when it's the 4th or 5th newest ship in the fleet the crowds won't be so bad and pricing better. 

On the flip side, if you are vaccinated and convinced that getting Omicron is a good thing I may have the perfect ship for you.     

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6 hours ago, ChrisK2793 said:


We’ve been wanting to try Carnival Mardi Gras as well.  We were supposed to be on it in one of the Aft Excel Suites in Feb 2021, but of course nobody was sailing then.  On our Mariner cruise last month, we met a woman and her teenage son who had just gotten off Marci Gras a few days before ….. they both told us they were disappointed and they’d be sticking with Royal from now on.

 

A co-worker of mine usually cruises with Royal, but decided to try Mardi Gras. She and her husband were disappointed as well. 

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"The CDC said Thursday that 5,013 cruise-related infections had been detected between Dec. 15 and Dec. 29. "

 

What is "cruise-related?"  People that test positive for covid within 5 days of leaving the ship and just assume it was from the ship?

 

https://www.galvnews.com/opinion/editorials/free/article_e4baef96-b7f6-53f8-b02f-45b6970920bc.html

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23 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

"The CDC said Thursday that 5,013 cruise-related infections had been detected between Dec. 15 and Dec. 29. "

 

What is "cruise-related?"  People that test positive for covid within 5 days of leaving the ship and just assume it was from the ship?

 

https://www.galvnews.com/opinion/editorials/free/article_e4baef96-b7f6-53f8-b02f-45b6970920bc.html

How many Americans were infected outside of the cruise related causes during the same period?

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Is there a way to find out how many people sailed between December 15th - 29th?   That would be helpful to gauge an approximate case rate during that period.   (Specifically, 5,013 cases divided by X passengers.). I know that Royal Caribbean leadership has cited a <1% case rate since the re-start, but that doesn’t help us understand what the current case rate is.   I know that there would be a million caveats in looking at this (e.g., the 5,013 probably spans all cruise lines which have very different protocols, every sailing is different, etc.).    Thanks in advance if someone knows where we can find out a rough passenger count!

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If you have ever been on a ship that has been seriously affected by disease, or was experiencing severe issues and/or unbelievable safety risks, you will see how things are handled by ship management,and how things are officially reported. This is a business and they are focused on the bottom line reporting to shareholders. This is not a government. Basically when you agree to board, it's agreeing to their rules. laws, and limitations, and there are many disclaimers. They have limited medical resources and do their best, but you do not have the many options, like hospitals etc.,  available that you would have on dry land  You are at their mercy and there is nowhere you can escape to when you are in the middle of the ocean.   There will always be a few folks who will complain about everything on every cruise, but when an overwhelming amount of people on the same cruise react to a horrendous situation, and you hear "crickets" or disclaimers by the line, claims by cruise junkies, cheerleaders, and those directly or indirectly involved in the industry that people are lying....well, I tend to give more credibility to those on the ship who alert firsthand, especially as I have been on one of those cruises where the situation was so dire that there was a mass exodus of  passengers (including many Diamond level passengers), crew and others who walked off at the first port.  The line squelched it. Let's hope this all passes soon and we can get back to cruising.

 

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