Cruising choices with an active Pandemic

drron

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The problem is there is a lot of Australia's coastline that is not near a port.Even the current cruise around Tasmania when it gets to the Southern part of the West coast it is a long way from any port with reasonable hospital facilities.
 
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Australia's first cruise since the pandemic ended cruising is already happening.
The Coral Discoverer left Hobart on new Years Day on a 16 day cruise around Tasmania.We have good friends on board who have so far enjoyed the cruise.
We are doing a shorter 10 night Southern Tasmania version of this cruise early February. I'll post some photos in due course.

The pre-cruise medical arrangements are extensive. We had to fill out a general questionnaire a month before the cruise, visit the doctor for a check-up 7 days prior (and send the results to the Company), then take a Covid test 72 hours before departure to show pre-boarding. Only 60 Australian guests and 23 local crew so we feel quite safe on this occasion. You would not get us on anything much bigger, or outside Australian waters anytime soon.

The food was fine during a Kimberley Cruise on the same boat in late 2019 and they catered for my food allergies with no complaints from the cooks (or my stomach).

001 Coral Discoverer.jpeg
 

Anna

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Being a domestic cruise, the usual credit card insurance doesn’t apply.

That depends on your credit card. Under the heading Cruising In Australian Waters, my credit card travel insurance says:

Cover is included under Overseas Medical, Benefit 2: Overseas Emergency Medical and Hospital Expenses if you are travelling on a domestic cruise in Australian waters and the cardholder has activated their Overseas Travel Policy. For a domestic cruise, not part of an international journey, please choose ‘Pacific’ as your destination during policy activation.
 
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That depends on your credit card. Under the heading Cruising In Australian Waters, my credit card travel insurance says:

Cover is included under Overseas Medical, Benefit 2: Overseas Emergency Medical and Hospital Expenses if you are travelling on a domestic cruise in Australian waters and the cardholder has activated their Overseas Travel Policy. For a domestic cruise, not part of an international journey, please choose ‘Pacific’ as your destination during policy activation.
I’ve never had to “activate“ my CC travel insurance, just make the claim when circumstances warranted. I’m going to pull out the rules and regs and look for any mention of domestic cruising. Thank you.
 

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I don't know the answer to this and right now I'm too lazy to look it up but if I was on an Aust domestic cruise and had to get medically evacuated off the ship to somewhere that was neither home nor my expected destination port where I would have travel arrangements from, I wonder if my insurance would cover the flight back home (assuming QF would make me buy a new ticket rather than agree to change the departure point).
 
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There’s no point wondering “what if” as it may never happen. When an illness event occurs, it will be dealt with. If you need hospital, you’ll go there and subsequent flights home will be paid by insurance (or by you and claimed back). So many possible scenarios that you don’t know yet. Read the PDF carefully is recommended, then telephone your insurer with questions.
 

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Celebrity email this morning for our cruise in July 2021 that was moved from 2020

"Due to ongoing travel limitations through the Summer, Celebrity Cruises will be suspending global operations for Europe and Transatlantic sailings, departing May through October 2021,aboard Celebrity Constellation and Celebrity Edge, as well as the Celebrity Apex Transatlantic sailing of May 1, 2021.

Unfortunately, this suspension will require cancellation of your upcoming cruise vacation. We apologize for the inconvenience this causes as we value your vacation time and want to ensure you have the best experience possible on a Celebrity Cruise. At this time, we would like to offer you the opportunity to be re-accommodated on another Celebrity Europe or Transatlantic sailing; or to receive a 125% Future Cruise Credit (FCC) or a 100% Refund."

So they haven't cancelled all the ships in Europe and want us to shift to another ship this year? 😂

Nup. This time it's a refund. Except currently their website can't cope with the date. Will have to call. Sigh.
 

drron

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Celebrity email this morning for our cruise in July 2021 that was moved from 2020

"Due to ongoing travel limitations through the Summer, Celebrity Cruises will be suspending global operations for Europe and Transatlantic sailings, departing May through October 2021,aboard Celebrity Constellation and Celebrity Edge, as well as the Celebrity Apex Transatlantic sailing of May 1, 2021.

Unfortunately, this suspension will require cancellation of your upcoming cruise vacation. We apologize for the inconvenience this causes as we value your vacation time and want to ensure you have the best experience possible on a Celebrity Cruise. At this time, we would like to offer you the opportunity to be re-accommodated on another Celebrity Europe or Transatlantic sailing; or to receive a 125% Future Cruise Credit (FCC) or a 100% Refund."

So they haven't cancelled all the ships in Europe and want us to shift to another ship this year? 😂

Nup. This time it's a refund. Except currently their website can't cope with the date. Will have to call. Sigh.
I think it means despite all the optimistic news that comes from the cruise ship industry the demand for cruising just isn't there.So having fewer ships cruising with the same number of passengers is the best economic outcome for them.Of course many will be like you and just call it quits.
 

Pushka

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I think it means despite all the optimistic news that comes from the cruise ship industry the demand for cruising just isn't there.So having fewer ships cruising with the same number of passengers is the best economic outcome for them.Of course many will be like you and just call it quits.
I'LL BE BACK
 

odysseus

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Celebrity email this morning for our cruise in July 2021 that was moved from 2020

"Due to ongoing travel limitations through the Summer, Celebrity Cruises will be suspending global operations for Europe and Transatlantic sailings, departing May through October 2021,aboard Celebrity Constellation and Celebrity Edge, as well as the Celebrity Apex Transatlantic sailing of May 1, 2021.

Unfortunately, this suspension will require cancellation of your upcoming cruise vacation. We apologize for the inconvenience this causes as we value your vacation time and want to ensure you have the best experience possible on a Celebrity Cruise. At this time, we would like to offer you the opportunity to be re-accommodated on another Celebrity Europe or Transatlantic sailing; or to receive a 125% Future Cruise Credit (FCC) or a 100% Refund."

So they haven't cancelled all the ships in Europe and want us to shift to another ship this year? 😂

Nup. This time it's a refund. Except currently their website can't cope with the date. Will have to call. Sigh.

Good luck with getting that refund. I'm still waiting on 2 refunds from them from September. Over 4 months later, still no sign or word of them, dates keep getting missed and the only thing they keep posting on facebook is ads to buy more cruises. No response to those waiting for refunds - some at 6 months - or with questions.

I think they're waiting for if they ever return to service, and then can share the cash from new sales, in amongst paying off all their other debts.
 

Pushka

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Good luck with getting that refund. I'm still waiting on 2 refunds from them from September. Over 4 months later, still no sign or word of them, dates keep getting missed and the only thing they keep posting on facebook is ads to buy more cruises. No response to those waiting for refunds - some at 6 months - or with questions.

I think they're waiting for if they ever return to service, and then can share the cash from new sales, in amongst paying off all their other debts.
Oh yes. Their email is rather ambiguous
“You can expect to receive a refund within at least 30 days after you submit your request”
 

Pushka

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Oh yes. Their email is rather ambiguous
“You can expect to receive a refund within at least 30 days after you submit your request”
Well, just a couple of weeks later and refunded in full, plus a bit more due to exchange rate.
 

drron

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Well the first Australian cruise has finished with not a hint of Covid.
but they did run into a gale on the last night.
Several guests a bit disappointed as n
they had heard reports of the cheap tassie crayfish but not one got aboard the ship.Were told because they weren't sure of being able to get into port because of shallow waters.Though they left Hobart where there are cray fishing boats and visited Flinders and King islands that both have crayfish fleets.Able to get the people ashore so should have been getting the crayfish back easily.

And anyone visiting Tassie the Hill street IGA in Latrobe is selling crayfish at $49.95 a kilo.Same store in Devonport $20 dearer.
 

odysseus

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Well, just a couple of weeks later and refunded in full, plus a bit more due to exchange rate.

Oh, you booked overseas. Yes, I hear US refunds are fairly timely. It's Australian refunds that are taking months and months - still nothing back on either of mine.
 
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Pushka

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Oh, you booked overseas. Yes, I hear US refunds are fairly timely. It's Australian refunds that are taking months and months - still nothing back on either of mine.
No, I booked through the Australian celebrity website. I called the Australian number to cancel but presume gathering from accent I'd been flicked to the US call centre. Celebrity amends its Australian currency exchange it seems, even for Australian booked cruises because I received back around $30-50 more than I paid. From memory I think this was because I paid for a couple of excursions on the cruise meant to be for last year so likely it's just the exchange rate on those excursions that had the higher exchange rate. I booked this one two years ago, it was for a cruise for 2020 which didn't proceed obviously so they moved it to this year including the $ I'd paid for excursions, and then Celebrity canceled it again.

As a tip, I often check, when we were allowed to cruise, the cost of excursions as frequently the price would change, after I'd booked them, sometimes up, sometimes down. If they'd dropped I would cancel the existing booking and then immediately rebook it for a lower price. This is on Celebrity.
 
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odysseus

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Thanks. Well done with the gains. I guess the difference then is mine were booked through travel agents, so they're probably the ones dragging things out.
 

Pushka

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Thanks. Well done with the gains. I guess the difference then is mine were booked through travel agents, so they're probably the ones dragging things out.
Ah yes. Travel Agents. Good luck and hope you get good news soon. They must be in desperate times.
 

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We had a most interesting experience with the American travel agent, vtg.

It was some years ago when the $A was around parity with the $US. We booked a 46-day cruise for 3 as the $US price was very competitive compared with the $A15000pp price. I calculated that the $A would have to fall to 77c to break even and was confident that that wouldn’t happen.

But the $A fell and fell until about 60c. At this price we couldn’t afford the cruise, so we cancelled it. We received a full refund of our deposits, but we were very surprised that we made quite a nice profit of around $A1500pp on the exchange rate when we received the full refund.

We later booked a last minute 30-day option of the same cruise which meant we missed the Cape Town to Fremantle leg, but still saw Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, 3 ports in India, the Maldives, the Seychelles and 4 ports in South Africa. We should have gone to Madagascar, but they had a coup a couple of months before the cruise.

The 30-day option was $6000pp and included a few days in Cape Town and the flight back to Perth.

PS. The Seychelles were the absolute stand out.
 

Pushka

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We had a most interesting experience with the American travel agent, vtg.

It was some years ago when the $A was around parity with the $US. We booked a 46-day cruise for 3 as the $US price was very competitive compared with the $A15000pp price. I calculated that the $A would have to fall to 77c to break even and was confident that that wouldn’t happen.

But the $A fell and fell until about 60c. At this price we couldn’t afford the cruise, so we cancelled it. We received a full refund of our deposits, but we were very surprised that we made quite a nice profit of around $A1500pp on the exchange rate when we received the full refund.

We later booked a last minute 30-day option of the same cruise which meant we missed the Cape Town to Fremantle leg, but still saw Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, 3 ports in India, the Maldives, the Seychelles and 4 ports in South Africa. We should have gone to Madagascar, but they had a coup a couple of months before the cruise.

The 30-day option was $6000pp and included a few days in Cape Town and the flight back to Perth.

PS. The Seychelles were the absolute stand out.
True. VTG are excellent to deal with as long as the Aussie Dollar holds up.
 

drron

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Ah yes. Travel Agents. Good luck and hope you get good news soon. They must be in desperate times.
OK if you have a good one.Ours is usually able to get refunds within a week.Has occurred with cruise but also 2 days when we had to cancel a BA flight and BA had said 12 weeks until refund.
 
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