Cruising choices with an active Pandemic

MEL_Traveller

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All this good Covid news is wonderful for the cruise lines who are about to promise Nirvana to millions of cashed up supplicants.
We will probably miss the first wave ; I want to see how it all works, what on board irritations are to be borne , and how visited countries treat the vaccinated hordes pouring in to their partially vaccinated country.
Will the present vaccine continue to protect ?
Will we need follow up shots as time passes and what level of protection will we have while awaiting newer miracles?
Things are looking good but the travellers path has some debris to be cleared to allow safe and enjoyable passage.

I'd be choosing the cruise company wisely - making sure you can get a full refund. But one thing's for sure... if people don't book they certainly won't be going! Apparently bookings are doing well.

I booked my first ever cruise - for December - and some of the categories have already sold out. Fares increased for the remaining rooms. (Not to mention airfares which seem to be on the rise for some carriers... VN just put up its prices in the last few days... was $4200-4400 return to Europe, now $5400!)
 
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All this good Covid news is wonderful for the cruise lines who are about to promise Nirvana to millions of cashed up supplicants.
We will probably miss the first wave ; I want to see how it all works, what on board irritations are to be borne , and how visited countries treat the vaccinated hordes pouring in to their partially vaccinated country.
Will the present vaccine continue to protect ?
Will we need follow up shots as time passes and what level of protection will we have while awaiting newer miracles?
Things are looking good but the travellers path has some debris to be cleared to allow safe and enjoyable passage.
I would not book this year for an international cruise next year as we just don't know. Especially the big ships. Let's wait and see how they go. Although I do not intend to visit USA again (been there often enough), I would be particularly wary of travelling or cruising there until at least the middle of next year.
 
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I'm always keen to read new posts on this thread - I've just booked a Ponant cruise for mid-Mach 2022 from Mauritius to the Seychelles - hopeful but still concerned that the cruise will not be cancelled and/or that we will be able to travel overseas (freely).
Hope you booked a suite - the cabins are tiny going on our experience on Le Soleal. Quite a different culture on board - it was funny to have all announcements in French first then English and the lectures in English did not match the quality of those in French either. But of course, I'd rather be on a cruise than viewing my lounge room! And it's all about the itinerary.
 
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I have a short Princess cruise to Tasmania in October (just to use up a FCC as really not overly keen on the line) and a 2 dayer on Cunard in December for a quick break. No payment at all for Princess till August and only a small deposit on Cunard so not worried.
 
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Hope you booked a suite - the cabins are tiny going on our experience on Le Soleal. Quite a different culture on board - it was funny to have all announcements in French first then English and the lectures in English did not match the quality of those in French either. But of course, I'd rather be on a cruise than viewing my lounge room! And it's all about the itinerary.
Hum - no we booked the smallest cabin (but not the least expensive) - looked at "suites" but did not seem good value for money - in the next one up most of the additional space is a walk-in wardrobe and the top suite is really 2 regular cabins combined (even with 2 bathrooms). Need to sail on Ponant as we have a large cruise credit. Also there are not many options (at present) for cruises in the Seychelles and Mauritius. Not worried about the French announcements (as we both speak reasonable French) but realise the guests may include many Europeans (non-English speaking). Biggest worry is the Aussie border and the worldwide Covid situation . . . cruise can be cancelled (getting our credit back again) but we'll need to book flights soon (before prices rise) and airlines' cancelation conditions are confusing at best (particularly so far out).
 

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A bit of pressure here but the feds have their finger on the pulse of the populace and I opine that there will be no rush to reopen for the behemoths that
contributed substantially to the initial Covid spread, and , in general , managed their shipboard staff poorly.

 

Pushka

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A bit of pressure here but the feds have their finger on the pulse of the populace and I opine that there will be no rush to reopen for the behemoths that
contributed substantially to the initial Covid spread, and , in general , managed their shipboard staff poorly.

I think the stain of Ruby Princess is going to last until, well, long after we return to international travel.
 
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Hum - no we booked the smallest cabin (but not the least expensive) - looked at "suites" but did not seem good value for money - in the next one up most of the additional space is a walk-in wardrobe and the top suite is really 2 regular cabins combined (even with 2 bathrooms). Need to sail on Ponant as we have a large cruise credit. Also there are not many options (at present) for cruises in the Seychelles and Mauritius. Not worried about the French announcements (as we both speak reasonable French) but realise the guests may include many Europeans (non-English speaking). Biggest worry is the Aussie border and the worldwide Covid situation . . . cruise can be cancelled (getting our credit back again) but we'll need to book flights soon (before prices rise) and airlines' cancelation conditions are confusing at best (particularly so far out).
agree on the size of the suites - they are nothing to write home about. We had a mid balcony on our Antarctic cruise and it was OK but small - one chair and a pullout ottoman for the second seat. There was a separate WC and you could pull a screen to in the bathroom to view outside if you wished (passed on that). We were offered a suite upgrade on board though like you we didn't think it was great value so we stuck with the deluxe/premium (what ever it was called) balcony. My French is OK at a pinch though I have to concentrate. Interestingly we thought the food was pretty ordinary overall - red meat in particular. All that aside though we would probably cruise Ponant again if the itinerary was right.
 
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agree on the size of the suites - they are nothing to write home about. We had a mid balcony on our Antarctic cruise and it was OK but small - one chair and a pullout ottoman for the second seat. There was a separate WC and you could pull a screen to in the bathroom to view outside if you wished (passed on that). We were offered a suite upgrade on board though like you we didn't think it was great value so we stuck with the deluxe/premium (what ever it was called) balcony. My French is OK at a pinch though I have to concentrate. Interestingly we thought the food was pretty ordinary overall - red meat in particular. All that aside though we would probably cruise Ponant again if the itinerary was right.
I really liked Le Soleal. I though the deluxe cabin was a decent size, but I was a solo cruiser. There was a good chair to sit in with gin and tonic in hand, to read during quiet time. I liked the “open” shower so I could watch the sea. A completely separate toilet room was good, too. I enjoyed the food. The shows were very different, as the cast mimed the singing.

As this year’s cruises are limited to Australian residents only, I wonder if they will still do announcements in French at all?
 

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Another setback for cruising though not as bad as the headline suggests.The ship is scheduled to have sea trials soon.All crew have to have a negative covid test before boarding as are workers from the shipyard where it is nearing completion.As well everyone on board must have a daily test.Just goes to show a negative test is no guarantee for any activity.And this is in Germany where over the last month new cases have plateaued at 8-10000 cases per day.

 

tgh

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SILVERSEA :
First sailing: May 28
Ship: Silver Explorer
Region: Kimberley, Australia

Silversea Cruises cancelled all its cruises until May 27. Royal Caribbean’s luxury brand now intends to return to service on May 28 with the Silver Explorer. On that day, the expedition ship is set to sail on a nine-night cruise in Australia’s Kimberly region.
 

Anna

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A small Princess leaflet arrived in today's mail advertising all sorts of OBC offers for bookings made before May. It went into the bin unopened.
 
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tgh

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I am keen to sail but I want other folks to dip their toes first.
All sorts of stuff may happen that will reduce the experience, I will not cruise with a mask.
 

drron

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Small ships are beginning to cruise the US coast.

And slowly other places are beginning cruises.
 

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I ask this as someone whose sole cruise experience was a Hurtigruten journey up the Norwegian coast 10 years ago: how has the cruise industry survived?

There have been a number of airline bankruptcies as heavily leveraged fleets sat grounded, so how have cruise companies fared with what I imagine must be equally heavily leveraged ships not earning any income over the past year?

I ask not as a prospective cruiser (definitely not my preferred way of 'seeing' the world), but just curious how the $$$ could have worked.
 

MEL_Traveller

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I ask this as someone whose sole cruise experience was a Hurtigruten journey up the Norwegian coast 10 years ago: how has the cruise industry survived?

There have been a number of airline bankruptcies as heavily leveraged fleets sat grounded, so how have cruise companies fared with what I imagine must be equally heavily leveraged ships not earning any income over the past year?

I ask not as a prospective cruiser (definitely not my preferred way of 'seeing' the world), but just curious how the $$$ could have worked.

Interesting question... but it looks like the big cruise companies have been able to raise billions of dollars, and have billions in reserve! Why your favorite cruise line probably isn't going out of business, despite the COVID shutdown

I dunno the economics of the cruise industry, but it seems to be very profitable. It was interesting to note that a ship like Cunard's Queen Elizabeth cost 'just' £350 million to build/buy, and her 2018 refurbishment was 'just' £45 million. You could barely buy a couple planes for that same price!
 
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Small ships are beginning to cruise the US coast.

And slowly other places are beginning cruises.
The problem with America is their outdated Jones Act. River ships, being internal, don't have that to stop them. Hence the big lines trying to get a Caribbean port to join in. Canada barring USA ships stopped the Alaskan and “autumn leaves” cruises.

You would have thought this was the perfect time for authorities to retire or overhaul the Jones Act. Their domestic cruising could skyrocket!
 

drron

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The problem with America is their outdated Jones Act. River ships, being internal, don't have that to stop them. Hence the big lines trying to get a Caribbean port to join in. Canada barring USA ships stopped the Alaskan and “autumn leaves” cruises.

You would have thought this was the perfect time for authorities to retire or overhaul the Jones Act. Their domestic cruising could skyrocket!
Though it is also a small 100 passenger boat limiting it to 75 passengers doing short cruises along the US East Coast that that article refers to.

There is a bill before the US Senate to at least temporarily amend the act so even for summer 2022 Alaskan cruises can use Seattle as a turnaround port rather than Vancouver.
 

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