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LAOkie

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

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Hey Cruisers,

 

Alright, in the words of "The Clash", the question I'm asking to you all today is "should I stay or should I go?". Here's the scoop.

 

I have a cruise booked on MSC Divina R/T out of Barcelona on May 11th of this year. The itinerary has 5 ports: Ibiza (Spain), Naples, Florence, and Genoa (all in Italy) and Marseilles, France. 

 

I haven't heard any official word from MSC yet, but given the current situation in Italy with COVID-19 (Coronavirus), I'm not quite sure what to do. The one unique consideration here is that MSC's European itineraries (including this one) allow passengers to embark and disembark at any port. Given this, I would expect MSC to likely cancel rather than reroute the ship. 

 

Also, my office sent out an email yesterday notifying us that if anyone decides to travel to countries that have a community outbreak of Coronavirus, they will not be allowed to return to work until they've quarantined themselves in their home for 2 weeks.

 

I'd love some perspectives and advice on this - particularly if anyone has a similar situation to mine. Would love to hear what you're doing in this case and what you would expect!

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Can you afford to miss the time you are taking off for the cruise PLUS an additional 14 days?  For me, it would be a no-brainer.  I couldn't take that much time 

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The somewhat silver lining here is that I can work from home while I'm quarantined at my house if needed, but the whole thing is just a big question mark at this point. Who knows what the situation is going to be like by the time May rolls around - it could be totally fine, but it could be way worse. *Shrug*

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Can you get out without losing money?  If you cancel, are you taking a big hit?  

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It will be a big hit...I did get travel insurance, but it's not the "cancel for any reason" travel insurance (which was incredibly expensive). And the airline tickets I'm sure are non-refundable.

 

If I were to cancel right now, I'd be out around ~$3,000 (which all things considered, isn't horrible considering that includes flights and cruise fares for 2 people). That's why I'm hoping if MSC cancels, I'd at least get my money back (and maybe an FCC if they're nice).

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Well given the financial hit, and the ability to work from home while self-quarantined (which doesn't sound ideal)...I think I would wait awhile before deciding.  I would do everything in my ability to go (which truthfully isn't much since it's out of your hands), and hope the situation either clears up some in Italy over the next 2 months, or MSC changes itinerary.  

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MSC's own policy states you cannot board if you have visited any outbreak area, including those in Italy,  so obviously they will have to cancel any port stop or embarkation stop if that area has an outbreak.  Since you aren't going to get much money back by cancelling beforehand just wait and let MSC cancel if areas you would be visiting have an outbreak.  If your cruise goes to other areas not affected I can't see your work justifying requiring a self quarantine.

 

We are denying boarding to anyone from high-risk areas:
 

  • Anyone who has traveled to, from or through mainland ChinaHong Kong or Macau, (or transited via airports) in the past 14 days, or visited, will be denied access to the ship. The same rules apply to such passengers’ travel companions (parent, spouse, child, siblings, or a companion who shares a stateroom).
  • Similarly, anyone who lives in, or has travelled to, from or through any of the following towns in central northern Italy in the past 14 days, or visited, will be denied access: Casalpusterlengo, Codogno, Castiglione d'Adda, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo, San Fiorano and Vò. These are the municipalities that are subject to quarantine measures put in place by the Italian health authorities. 
  • The same will apply to anyone who lives in, or has traveled to, from or through Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Iran. This restriction does not apply if guests have only transited in sterile areas of relevant Singapore, Japan and South Korea airports as coming from other non affected areas;
  • Anyone who, within 14 days before embarkation, has had close contact with, or helped care for, anyone suspected or diagnosed as having coronavirus, or who is currently subject to health monitoring for possible exposure to novel coronavirus, will be denied boarding. 

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I would wait it out at this point. I’m booked on the Seaview out of Barcelona on May 23 and am taking a “wait and see” approach. Right now MSC is offering people booked for March and April on Med cruises the option of moving their cruise to a future date or location within the next 12months. If the current situation gets worse (which I think is likely), then I assume MSC will extend the policy to cruises in May and beyond or cancel cruises altogether and give refunds. 
 

I am hoping for the best, but I’ll be amazed if our cruise goes ahead as planned right now. 

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1 hour ago, LAOkie said:

Also, my office sent out an email yesterday notifying us that if anyone decides to travel to countries that have a community outbreak of Coronavirus, they will not be allowed to return to work until they've quarantined themselves in their home for 2 weeks.

How can the management of your office can be sure that there will be no community outbreak in the U.S. in the near future ?

Do you have to stay home if you have the flu ??

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I would wait it out. You have so months to keep your eye on the situation. I wonder if your company's policy will become the new norm?

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2 hours ago, mackfam said:

I would wait it out at this point. I’m booked on the Seaview out of Barcelona on May 23 and am taking a “wait and see” approach. Right now MSC is offering people booked for March and April on Med cruises the option of moving their cruise to a future date or location within the next 12months. If the current situation gets worse (which I think is likely), then I assume MSC will extend the policy to cruises in May and beyond or cancel cruises altogether and give refunds. 
 

I am hoping for the best, but I’ll be amazed if our cruise goes ahead as planned right now. 

 

That's what I'm thinking and thanks for the heads up on MSC allowing people to reschedule their cruise or move to a different itinerary for Med cruises. That's really nice of them and something I'll consider if they extend into May.

 

Would love to do Alaska, but I know they don't go there! Haha.

 

Hoping for the best here as well!

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2 hours ago, SirWolf said:

How can the management of your office can be sure that there will be no community outbreak in the U.S. in the near future ?

Do you have to stay home if you have the flu ??

 In all reality, they can't control for community outbreaks in the US. I get why they implemented that policy though...the timing obviously just sucks!

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Latest 

So they will now be checking you every time you leave and join the ship

 

Rigorous pre-embarkation screening: 
 

 

  • MSC Cruises has conducted and continues to conduct pre-boarding screening by thermal cameras to exclude persons who may be at risk, and passengers with signs or symptoms of illness such as fever (≥38 C°/100.4 F°) or feverishness, chills, cough or difficulty breathing will be denied embarkation. The same rules apply to their travel companions and will also result in a denial of boarding;

    Keeping the ship free from infectious diseases:
  • Throughout the cruise, at ports of call, guests and crew embarking and disembarking will be frequently checked by thermal cameras for fever symptoms;
     
  • In addition, there has been and will continue to be an elevated deep-sanitation on every ship in our entire fleet. There is increased continuous disinfection of public areas especially frequently touched areas such as handrails, elevator buttons, door handles and reception desks, and people are reminded constantly to thoroughly hand-wash and use alcohol-based hand-sanitizers.

 

1

 

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17 hours ago, LAOkie said:

Who knows what the situation is going to be like by the time May rolls around - it could be totally fine, but it could be way worse. *Shrug*

 

Think about it this way, if it's way worse, the entire travel industry will either be frozen or the infection will be so widespread that quarantines are effectively meaningless.  I'd play it by ear, but given the rate this seems to be spreading, I'd think if you couldn't go, that decision will effectively be made for you between now and then.  And if that happens, you get a full refund and possibly an additional kickback for your troubles.

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19 minutes ago, Beardface said:

 

Think about it this way, if it's way worse, the entire travel industry will either be frozen or the infection will be so widespread that quarantines are effectively meaningless.  I'd play it by ear, but given the rate this seems to be spreading, I'd think if you couldn't go, that decision will effectively be made for you between now and then.  And if that happens, you get a full refund and possibly an additional kickback for your troubles.

This is my approach for a July cruise out of Athens.  

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I don't know how the cruise lines can take the hits they have taken if this continues way into the future.  We are traveling on the Seaside next January with friends and I just got a call asking if we should think about a land vacation instead.  Yikes!  This virus could cripple the travel industry for years if the cancellations continue.

 

 

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So, I called MSC and they told me that for my sailing (and presumably others), it’s still business as usual despite a Level 3 travel warning in Italy, which makes me confused. They said if I cancel or reschedule, it would be a $400 fee. 😬 

 

They did mention that if I called back on Tuesday of Wednesday, they anticipate that things will change, so that’s what the game plan is for now. 

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