The worst-case scenario of cruising during the pandemic is getting the virus and becoming seriously ill during or after a cruise. However, the next situation would be, after becoming infected, with or without symptoms, and being forced to quarantine in the small cabin for several days, missing all or part of the cruise.
At this point, some cruise ships are requiring all positive-tested passengers to remain collectively on one particular deck, unable to attend regular dining, tours, or activities. It’s entirely possible an infected passenger may be required to forgo their upgraded cabin, such as our usual balcony cabin upgrade and moving to whatever other cabins may be available on the quarantine deck.
For instance, we could be moved to an inside cabin which, without a window or sliding door, would be awful for us. Neither of us feels comfortable in a window-less room. We’re always willing to pay considerably more for a balcony cabin which offers some upgraded options for which we are also willing to pay an additional charge.
Imagine our upcoming 13-night transatlantic cruise with either or both of us infected, spending seven of those days in quarantine. This is not appealing to either of us. As of today, we are scheduled to board the Celebrity Silhouette in 91 days. Will this Omicron thing be eliminated by then? Most likely, it won’t be.
We ask ourselves this question? What happens if we board the ship and in two days it is forced to return to the port of embarkation, in this case, back to Florida, due to too many cases onboard the ship? This could be the case if all of the cases were staff, let alone passengers. This has been occurring regularly, especially in the past few days as per this article below:
“Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise cancel voyages amid omicron spread
Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line on Wednesday canceled sailings amid rising fears of omicron-related coronavirus infections that have dampened the nascent recovery of the pandemic-ravaged cruise industry.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd called off its Spectrum of the Seas cruise for Jan. 6 after nine guests on its Jan. 2 trip were identified as close contacts to a local Hong Kong Covid-19 case.
The contacts have tested negative, but the cruise ship will return to Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in Hong Kong on Jan. 5 to test all guests and crew who must take a second test on Jan. 8, the company said.
A similar decision to cancel trips by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd was made against the backdrop of the United States reporting the highest daily tally of any country for new coronavirus infections on Monday.
“Due to ongoing travel restrictions, we’ve had to modify a few sailings and unfortunately have had to cancel,” the 17-ship strong cruise operator said, with the embarkation dates for a few canceled sailings as far out as late April.
The cruise line, which requires everyone on board to be vaccinated, has also had to cut short a 12-day round trip from Miami on its Norwegian Pearl ship, citing “Covid related circumstances.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had last week advised people to avoid cruise travel after launching investigations into onboard cases on more than 90 ships. The health agency starts a scrutiny if at least 0.1 percent of the guests test positive.
Norwegian Cruise said guests, who were supposed to embark on the canceled sailings on the eight ships, will receive full refunds and bonus credits for future bookings.
The omicron-led travel uncertainty is also causing guests on other sailings to cancel their bookings as a few ships have also had to skip ports due to onboard infections.
“We booked the cruise last March and assumed that things would be getting back to normal… by mid-December, I was mentally prepared for a change of plans,” said Holly Bromley, a consulting arborist. She canceled her booking on Norwegian Epic.
Meanwhile, bigger rival Carnival Corp said it had not canceled any upcoming voyages, but its shares fell on Wednesday to close down 2.6 percent. Royal Caribbean lost 2.1 percent and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings 3.6 percent.”
I should mention that Royal Caribbean owns Celebrity Cruise Line.
We can only imagine the inconvenience of being stuck in Florida if the ship returns to port or never sails at all due to Covid cases. We will have spent a fortune on airfare from South Africa and quarantining in a hotel, plus meals, for at least a week before we even board the ship. We don’t want to take a risk that we won’t be able to board coming directly from South Africa. (But, we’ll check prior to booking the flight and hotel).
Yes, sure. It’s all up in the air. The third year of the pandemic continues to impact our travel plans. Today we sent the law firm in Cape Town all of the required documents to process our extension. If we get it, it will be good until April 22, 2022. If the cruise scheduled for April 8th cancels, we’ll have to figure out what we’ll do at that point.
Challenging times continue. If good health supersedes it all, we’ll have no complaints.
Photo from one year ago today, January 7, 2020:
|This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #288. An artfully designed temple was built over 1000 years ago in Chennai. For more photos, please click here.|