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MSC: Corona Virus and Cruising

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General discussion of how the current situation is affecting your cruising plans and to share verifiable updates from MSC

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Thanks.

 

America has just reported its first death in WASHINGTON State! How long before it reaches Miami?

 

We know that medical screening in the Florida ports is rather lax. No doubt that they'll tighten up once they have the first cases. Hope that its not a repeat of the Diamond Princess.

 

The spread can be stopped. Governments and companies do need to get on the ball.

 

 

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I feel this is worth noting, although my next trip is a land trip it highlights the importance of checking your own government's website as well as checking MSC's rules.

 

So, we have a trip to Verona and Lake Garda in Northern Italy in June, we will be flying into Verona, this is a long way off and lots can/will change.

 

To complicate matters we have family arriving from Hong Kong and we hope to travel as a group to Italy after a couple of days in the UK.

 

We have been keeping an eye on the UK government advice, this still advises it is safe to travel the both Lake Garda and Verona with just the additional advice that we should self isolate if we feel unwell on our return. The UK government is currently only advising against travel to the very specify quarantined towns in Italy.

 

Now, we just heard from our friends in Hong Kong (I have verified the information) that the Hong Kong government is advising against travel to three complete provinces in Northern Italy, these provinces include Verona and even Venice, as things stand if they traveled there today they would be doing so against advice and would therefore be uninsured and additionally they would need to be quarantined on their return to Hong Kong.

 

As said, this is not a cruise trip but it does demonstrate why it is very important to check your own government's advice and not follow just the cruise lines advice or information from forums which can be country specific.

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Personally i cant wait for the  cheap prices 

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We are in distress because we have a cruise booked with MSC which is ending in Venice.

Venice is one of the places where Coronavirus cases are increasing. Our cruise is longer than the 14 days which is apparently incubation time. Even if everybody is registered as healthy at the moment of embarkation, someone could develop the symptoms during the long cruise. I think it is irresponsible for MSC to go on with such long cruises, which cannot guarantee that passengers will be safe despite screening methods at boarding time. I think that it is irresponsible for MSC to continue having Venice as destination.

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Posted (edited)

Also, I just managed to translate my insurance docs for a part of our upcoming trip in June (long story why it is French that I won't go into); does not cover pandemics, so unless I or one of my family members actually come down with the coronovirus or some other illness, I will be out about $1500 on that portion... I hope that I can still do that portion of my trip in June, we'll see how things shake out.

Edited by GatorMomInNC
clarify

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13 minutes ago, GatorMomInNC said:

Regardless of anyone person's personal thoughts on this virus vs. the flu, it is undeniable that it has led to travel interruptions, cancellations, and quarantines, so it is at least a possible concern to all cruisers and travelers in the next few months.

 

This....

What these people who continually say "Everyone needs to calm down" fail to understand the implications of the disruption, I laid out the extensive issues with my trip above, my post did not even include the fact that many flights are now being cancelled due to lack of demand.

I personally am happy to travel but the chance of me actually traveling on my trip is reducing by the day.

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It's hard. Our western Caribbean cruise is not until the end of April. Hubby thinks March is long enough for things to improve. I envy his optimism but I dread that it will be the opposite and the trip we had been saving for and dreaming of won't happen. Some days I'm more optimistic other days I feel down and scared. 

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I’m in the US - I called MSC to discuss my options for my upcoming May 11th cruise, which has 3 stops in Italy (Genoa, Florence, and Naples). They informed me that they are treating this cruise as “business as usual”, which surprised me seeing as how the entire country of Italy is under a Level 3 warning (reconsider travel), with Milan and Venice as a Level 4 (do not travel under any circumstances). 
 

It does sound like they are allowing Med cruisers scheduled for March/April departures to postpone or choose a different itinerary with no fees. (Was told this by MSC and also saw this on the CC website). 
 

No word yet for my May cruise, but I was told to call back Tuesday/Wednesday and they should have an update for me, so we’ll see. 

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@Dred pilot Roberts

This is from the website of CDC :

 

“ Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

 

Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. “

 

CDC recommends to wear face masks for protection !

 

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1 minute ago, LAOkie said:

I’m in the US - I called MSC to discuss my options for my upcoming May 11th cruise, which has 3 stops in Italy (Genoa, Florence, and Naples). They informed me that they are treating this cruise as “business as usual”, which surprised me seeing as how the entire country of Italy is under a Level 3 warning (reconsider travel), with Milan and Venice as a Level 4 (do not travel under any circumstances). 
 

It does sound like they are allowing Med cruisers scheduled for March/April departures to postpone or choose a different itinerary with no fees. (Was told this by MSC and also saw this on the CC website). 
 

No word yet for my May cruise, but I was told to call back Tuesday/Wednesday and they should have an update for me, so we’ll see. 

 

Interesting about the March/April departures notice. It seems for my case which I wasn't allowed to change the date of my cruise given it was departing in February (on the 29th!) from Genoa, and I purchased it in the UK. Same as you, they treated that cruise ship business as normal even though 5 days ago, the outbreak from Italy occurred, and the UK government advised against all but essential travel to certain areas in Northern Italy. 

 

Hopefully you will have more options than what I was offered as it develops! I was probably just unlucky given the sailing date was 29th of Feb and the massive Italian outbreak was only around a week earlier...

 

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The situation with the Coronavirus does not only affect our cruise which is in March. We have hotel booked in Venice, train ticket bought out of Venice, other hotels in Europe and land trips. We are trying to sort out all this situation. However, even though we know it is not MSC fault, we feel that for those cruises in March and April in areas considered risky, MSC should have similar conditions as those in USA. 
For example we have learned that guest who have booked cruises in the Mediterranean have the possibility to change their cruises for later and even for another region. However one CC member from UK posted that this does not apply to the UK. Why?

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5 minutes ago, travelberlin said:

The situation with the Coronavirus does not only affect our cruise which is in March. We have hotel booked in Venice, train ticket bought out of Venice, other hotels in Europe and land trips. We are trying to sort out all this situation. However, even though we know it is not MSC fault, we feel that for those cruises in March and April in areas considered risky, MSC should have similar conditions as those in USA. 
For example we have learned that guest who have booked cruises in the Mediterranean have the possibility to change their cruises for later and even for another region. However one CC member from UK posted that this does not apply to the UK. Why?

I thought that was strange as well. I’ve heard murmurs that they may have different policies for UK vs. US travelers, which doesn’t make sense. 🤷🏼‍♂️ 

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18 minutes ago, LAOkie said:

I thought that was strange as well. I’ve heard murmurs that they may have different policies for UK vs. US travelers, which doesn’t make sense. 🤷🏼‍♂️ 

 

Consumer law and therefore consumer rights are completely different from country to country.

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24 minutes ago, teddyd33 said:

 

Interesting about the March/April departures notice. It seems for my case which I wasn't allowed to change the date of my cruise given it was departing in February (on the 29th!) from Genoa, and I purchased it in the UK. Same as you, they treated that cruise ship business as normal even though 5 days ago, the outbreak from Italy occurred, and the UK government advised against all but essential travel to certain areas in Northern Italy. 

 

Hopefully you will have more options than what I was offered as it develops! I was probably just unlucky given the sailing date was 29th of Feb and the massive Italian outbreak was only around a week earlier...

 

 

The problem is (see my post #3 above) the UK government is not advising against travel to any of the ports you will visit, while this remains the case, it is business as usual. Your statement above is misleading as the UK government is only advising against travel to the quarantined towns and they are not advising against travel to any of the locations you are visiting on your itinerary.

 

The difficulty is, different governments as assessing the risk completely differently, some governments are advising against travel to cities like venice while others like our own are saying it is perfectly safe.

 

If the UK government changes advice and says you should not visit the ports on your itinerary then your insurance should kick in.

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14 minutes ago, LAOkie said:

I thought that was strange as well. I’ve heard murmurs that they may have different policies for UK vs. US travelers, which doesn’t make sense. 🤷🏼‍♂️ 

 

Well, they have different promotions and pricing, so why not different policies?

If you care to read through the thread about March April travel and those who have successfully changed their trips, note they spent significant time on hold to speak to the 'Critical team' of MSC USA. Maybe success depends on who you speak to.

I have no idea whether ecery country's call centre has a Critical team to be transferred to.

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Posted (edited)

U.K. travel companies only react when the U.K. Government travel advice to a particular area says “....all but essential travel is not recommended.....”.  Once that advise is given Travel Companies normally offer refunds but the Government does not tell them to offer refunds, it doesn’t get involved saying it’s their commercial decision.  Again travel insurance normally only kicks in once the Government issues advice against travel

Edited by mickey89

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1 hour ago, SirWolf said:

 

CDC recommends to wear face masks for protection !

 

 

I don't believe this is accurate. As paulsurf points out, the CDC is only recommending a mask for healthcare workers.  With that being said, why would healthcare workers benefit and not me? I'm sitting on a plane next to someone who is infected. Aren't I at as much risk? I'm not following the CDC logic entirely.

 

image.png.31f7a432ea0b2b4add27181ec70525e1.png

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, SirWolf said:

@Dred pilot Roberts

This is from the website of CDC :

 

“ Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

 

Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. “

 

CDC recommends to wear face masks for protection !

 

 

I was responding to the post above. Maybe I'm reading SirWolfs post wrong. I though he was stating that CDC recommends we wear a face mask. I posted that this is not what CDC is recommending (but added, "why not" as a hypothetical, not absolute).  

 

 

Edited by BermudaBound2014

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@paulsurf  @BermudaBound2014

You are both right...  sorry for the confusion.

I was referring to the CDC recommendation for

Health Care Professionals.

We just implemented a new office policy in the

office for phlebotomists to wear face masks

when in contact with patients.

We have trained employees how to properly fit a face mask and how to take the mask off.

@BermudaBound2014

I hope the CDC will extend the recommendation

for face masks to the general public.

Public transportation in large cities can be a

potential source for getting infected.

I guess the CDC and government just don’t

want everybody running around with a face 

mask and creating panic for people who have

no face masks.

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I've never worn a face mask and we have traveled pretty extensively. I asked a friend who is a nurse and she did recommend a face mask on the plane, but only if it was N95 which could be molded to the nose. Her words, "It can't hurt". I don't want to go against the CDC, but 'it can't hurt' holds some logic for me.

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1 hour ago, mef_57 said:

 

Well, they have different promotions and pricing, so why not different policies?

If you care to read through the thread about March April travel and those who have successfully changed their trips, note they spent significant time on hold to speak to the 'Critical team' of MSC USA. Maybe success depends on who you speak to.

I have no idea whether ecery country's call centre has a Critical team to be transferred to.


I did call MSC and the information I received was from the Crisis team of MSC USA and was told that for my particular sailing it was business as usual. Not sure if the UK or other countries have this set up or not. 

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43 minutes ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

I've never worn a face mask and we have traveled pretty extensively. I asked a friend who is a nurse and she did recommend a face mask on the plane, but only if it was N95 which could be molded to the nose. Her words, "It can't hurt". I don't want to go against the CDC, but 'it can't hurt' holds some logic for me.

We have wore those face masks that you are mentioning on a plane. At the beginning they are uncomfortable but after a while you get used to it. If we fly again we will wear them. 

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I noticed on the now closed coronavirus thread a post stating that UAE & Oman are denying embarkation to passengers who have been to Singapore. We're currently on Splendida and have been to Singapore, twice,  we're due to go to Oman and UAE next week. We've not received any information to say that we're not still going there. 

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