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How are you deciding if (and when) you may book a cruise again?

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I have kept myself up to date with all the threads and share concerns outlined. For me I am 66, my husband died a while ago, no kids and I am I suppose "well off" how i hate that description as I worked so hard to save money along with my OH and never got to spend it. I have been so careful to follow guidelines since Covid 19 started whilst my neighbours clearly did not. I am still doing so. My hobby and total pleasure has for so long been cruising, I feel safe, I tailor the P&O package to meet my needs i.e. I book a balcony and add in select dining every night, take the drinks package and buy spa stuff too. Recently I have added in booking a suite as I liked the space. My question is what now? Like most I have no idea what the cruise experience will be like. I have looked at booking Sandals in the Caribbean as land based but the flight seems to provide no real safety.  I don't know whether I am an idiot to say this but I am starting to feel that staying here albeit in a very nice house less than 2 miles from the sea still makes me feel imprisoned. I literally just move between the house and the deserted beach to walk my dogs each day. I can't do my voluntary work as it still isn't open. Am I being daft in thinking just get on a cruise it will make you happy? I understand it won't be the same but my head is just about to burst.

 

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I'm the same age, widowed last year, so understand what you're asking and why.

 

My view is that cruising solo at the moment would involve swapping a nice house with a fair bit of liberty for solitary confinement in a much smaller space with little or no social interaction, particularly at meal times. I also suspect the cruise lines won't be quite so welcoming to solos now - with social distancing we take up just about the same space as a couple, but only buy one drink, do one excursion etc etc.

 

There is still voluntary work out there - I'm doing some at the moment (outside), having decided the risk is minimal and worth taking. I've also decided to get out more now (the risk is currently low where I live, though my daughter is in the shielding group so I'm taking extra precautions), but all holidays involving any type of communal living are on hold. I may rent a cottage near family in Yorkshire later in the year.

 

Sorry if this isn't much help, but your message struck quite a chord.

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4 minutes ago, jeanlyon said:

Just saw this on another website that the Foreign Office have stayed with their advice on cruising.  Basically they still advice against going on cruises.

 

https://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/378127/fco-advises-against-cruise-ship-travel

Goodness, Jean, that’s even worse than it was before.  It was only over 70s and certain health conditions before, but now it’s everyone.
 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises against cruise ship travel at this time. This is due to the ongoing pandemic and is based on medical advice from Public Health England.

 

Harry

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ccpm - I understand exactly what you are saying.  It’s difficult times for everyone and the uncertainty somehow seems to make a bad situation worse.  If we knew, categorically, that there were no more cruises we could start to research and plan alternatives.

 

One thing for sure - there are a lot of people in the same situation.  Some enterprising people will be planning something innovative to tempt former older cruisers to part with their grey pounds

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Yes it is difficult.  I am 73 and am back at work, so since going back don't feel any different apart from the screens and trying to social distance.  I am doing my voluntary work as well, but instead of 2 of us up at the Lookout, we are single manned which is not nearly as good.

 

I am lucky enough to have my husband, so don't feel alone.  My next door neighbour has hardly been out of the house for 3 months and it is actually sending her a bit bonkers due to a fall she had some time ago and still suffering.

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26 minutes ago, ccpm said:

I have kept myself up to date with all the threads and share concerns outlined. For me I am 66, my husband died a while ago, no kids and I am I suppose "well off" how i hate that description as I worked so hard to save money along with my OH and never got to spend it. I have been so careful to follow guidelines since Covid 19 started whilst my neighbours clearly did not. I am still doing so. My hobby and total pleasure has for so long been cruising, I feel safe, I tailor the P&O package to meet my needs i.e. I book a balcony and add in select dining every night, take the drinks package and buy spa stuff too. Recently I have added in booking a suite as I liked the space. My question is what now? Like most I have no idea what the cruise experience will be like. I have looked at booking Sandals in the Caribbean as land based but the flight seems to provide no real safety.  I don't know whether I am an idiot to say this but I am starting to feel that staying here albeit in a very nice house less than 2 miles from the sea still makes me feel imprisoned. I literally just move between the house and the deserted beach to walk my dogs each day. I can't do my voluntary work as it still isn't open. Am I being daft in thinking just get on a cruise it will make you happy? I understand it won't be the same but my head is just about to burst.

 

I can't begin to tell you how sorry I am for your sad loss of your DH.

We are booked on Iona next year and hopefully things will be clearer by then.

Cruising is a great way to make friends and what you do while cruising sounds fantastic and the best thing imo is as soon as cruising starts again book yourself a cruise.

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We travel with a single friend and I know that cruising is about the one thing that she has always enjoyed for that very reason.  She finds being with us much better, but she cruised for years on her own before we became friends.

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My partner died just over 8 years ago and fortunately we had cruised together for a number of years and so I realised what a great way it is to travel solo. To maximise my travel opportunities, I book an inside cabin when sailing solo but am a sociable and fairly outgoing person. I always ask for a table of eight, second sitting club dining and generally go along to any solo gatherings aboard. For this reason, whilst I am missing cruising/planning cruises, I can't see me booking any more (certainly not solo) cruises until we are pretty much back to normal. Social distancing and eating alone whilst on a cruise are just not tenable for me.

I now live alone and even though I have plenty of friends, have found the lockdown and even the current situation very tough at times.  If you are feeling that you need to get away in the short term ccpm, take a look at Warner Hotels, which reopen shortly. Looking at your cruise budget, you could afford one of their higher category rooms and you could choose one of their properties that has an additional restaurant to the main dining room. It might be a half-way house solution until there is a wider set of travel options available.

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My OH has been shielding so life has been strange since we got back off Ventura on 17th March, just as lockdown started. For us shielding is not an option for the foreseeable future irrespective of FCO advice. Until we both feel confident with the vaccine, we will not be considering a cruise. I don't fly but again until there is a vaccine, I would not consider travelling by train to Europe which we often do. Luckily we only have one cruise booked - well a B2B- on Iona for next Feb / March and it's highly unlikely we'll be doing that. Were now looking at driving to the S of France at that time, which is the only way we'd consider going on holiday. For the rest of this year we'll be taking staycations

 

 

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Posted (edited)

The FCO advice will change once agreements with the Government, Public Health England, cruise lines etc. are in place, but admittedly we do not know when that will be.  I suspect something could possibly start before the end of the year but with different itineraries to those originally planned, as long as virus number contained to current levels.  If that is the case the FCO advice will change, though could well be restrictions regards vulnerable people (as mentioned in the EU document).  I also have a hunch that people would need to either go on formal trips or be restricted in other ways if they go ashore.

 

To answer the question poised, I would want to look at any shorter cruises, preferably from our local port of Liverpool if there is anything, to save excess travelling (though that maybe more of a next spring event).  I am beginning to think that by the end of this year, I could well want to just get on a ship for a few days, even if not much chance of port experiences, though scenic cruising would be a big pull.  Looking at various restrictions/new normal procedures for flights vs cruise ships, I am more wary of going on a flight than on a cruise ship.  We usually avoid the crowded entertainment venues etc. and like to find a quiet spot in a bar with a good view of the sea.  A good (balcony) cabin could help, but we prefer not to stay in a cabin anyway, so not a deal breaker for us.  I would prefer a short break as if we did get ill we would likely be home before it kicked in and that sounds a lot better than being ill when we are away, so preferably home within about 5 days.

 

My previous thoughts are if there is no vaccine available, though from a post on another thread there even seems a suggestion that the Oxford one could be available and administered to a lot of the population before the end of the year, if it proves viable  and given that production is already taking place in the hope it is viable.  If that happens, then once we have been vaccinated, our choice is more likely to be to fly somewhere warm - Canary Isles appeal as a decent temperature at that time, but also peaceful areas can be found without too much travel from resort areas.

 

ccp, I can see why you are felling restless as I am getting to that stage, even though there are two of us at home and we also live in a good area for scenic walks.  It seemed OK at first, but even another six months is a bit daunting now.  We have a Canadian/US Eastern Seaboard cruise booked for Sept 2021, but it seems a long way off.  We also have a month in Nerja, Costa del Sol booked with TUI for November, but had hoped to travel round, partly on public transport, so not really a good idea now.  Hence we are hoping we can cancel (looking good as our flight out appears to have been cancelled).  That would leave us with no plans in the short term, which I think is what is making me feel somewhat down.  Something to look forward to is an essential for me 🙂

 

Edited by tring

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How do we choose a cruise, 3 factors 

 

1) Prefer UK Southampton departure , don't  mind flying, indeed have booked European holidays for winter, Portugal (fingers crossed) and Tenerife.  Expect to stick to small hotels with large rooms , with large terraces and lots of outside space for next few years. Really Looking forward to driving to Southampton,  and getting on ship in 15mins of arriving

 

2) Destination  intinary 

 

3) Cabin , we like a midships  suite. 

 

Given this

 

All the cruises we want are fully booked for 2021 and I expect that the 2022 cruises will be grabbed by people using FCC. Prices will rise by 25%. So can't  see us cruising till 2023, by the time 2023 cruises are launched  hopefully there will be signs cruises are returning to normal. Hope so a my wife has bought new dresses for cruises we never went on. However if Cruises follow  antisocial guidelines,  no shared tables etc , will have to give cruises a miss

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, ccpm said:

I have kept myself up to date with all the threads and share concerns outlined. For me I am 66, my husband died a while ago, no kids and I am I suppose "well off" how i hate that description as I worked so hard to save money along with my OH and never got to spend it. I have been so careful to follow guidelines since Covid 19 started whilst my neighbours clearly did not. I am still doing so. My hobby and total pleasure has for so long been cruising, I feel safe, I tailor the P&O package to meet my needs i.e. I book a balcony and add in select dining every night, take the drinks package and buy spa stuff too. Recently I have added in booking a suite as I liked the space. My question is what now? Like most I have no idea what the cruise experience will be like. I have looked at booking Sandals in the Caribbean as land based but the flight seems to provide no real safety.  I don't know whether I am an idiot to say this but I am starting to feel that staying here albeit in a very nice house less than 2 miles from the sea still makes me feel imprisoned. I literally just move between the house and the deserted beach to walk my dogs each day. I can't do my voluntary work as it still isn't open. Am I being daft in thinking just get on a cruise it will make you happy? I understand it won't be the same but my head is just about to burst.

 

 

I think your maybe need to mix it up and upgrade your cruise experience to a different, maybe premium line? 

 

I think we all have itchy feet at the moment, it IS difficult, but we will get through this. 

 

I have two cruises booked for next year one in a very small premium luxury line which will probably sail with less than 500 passengers on board. I feel very safe covid wise with a small ship. 

 

In November 2021 we are on Arcadia but she is probably at my upper limit in size. 

 

Consider expanding your choice of line, having something booked is a nice feeling and will lift your spirits and even researching cruise lines is a fun diversion at the moment 🙂

Edited by ToxM

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3 hours ago, jeanlyon said:

Just saw this on another website that the Foreign Office have stayed with their advice on cruising.  Basically they still advice against going on cruises.

 

https://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/378127/fco-advises-against-cruise-ship-travel

Indeed, but there will be no cruises until late autumn, so there is plenty of time for the govt. to review the situation a dozen times before then, and I imagine the CLIA will be heavily involved in advising govt depts on their safety procedures in order to influence a change in advice.

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I got all excited a few days ago when a certain TA posted on social media that there is still time for a summer. I thought they meant cruises would start again sooner than expected. I was gutted when I found out they are selling package holidays now and didn't mean cruises at all. So to cheer myself up I decided to use my FCC on the 15 night TA & Caribbean on Britannia in October only for the FCO to issue their do not cruise advice shortly afterwards. If it sails I will be on board, if not I'll still have my FCC. So to cheer my self up again I am  about to book a Far East Cruise for September 21. 

I live I hope that one day we can travel however we choose again, but I am grateful for the fab holidays I've had 

Cathy

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The exact wording of the FCO advice issued today is

 

"The Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises against cruise ship travel at this time. This is due to the ongoing pandemic and is based on medical advice from Public Health England.

The government will continue to review its cruise ship travel advice based on the latest medical advice.

If you have future cruise travel plans, you should speak to your travel operator, or the travel company you booked with, for further advice.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office continues to support the Department for Transport’s work with industry for the resumption of international cruise travel."

 

Not good !

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29 minutes ago, Denarius said:

The exact wording of the FCO advice issued today is

 

"The Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises against cruise ship travel at this time. This is due to the ongoing pandemic and is based on medical advice from Public Health England.

The government will continue to review its cruise ship travel advice based on the latest medical advice.

If you have future cruise travel plans, you should speak to your travel operator, or the travel company you booked with, for further advice.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office continues to support the Department for Transport’s work with industry for the resumption of international cruise travel."

 

Not good !

That sounds more positive for the restarting of cruising once the numbers of new cases reaches more manageable levels. Which could still be sometime in Q4.

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Just received an email from P&O on that very subject.  That the FCO is recommending no cruises at present.  That was quick!

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9 minutes ago, jeanlyon said:

Just received an email from P&O on that very subject.  That the FCO is recommending no cruises at present.  That was quick!

I know Jean - remarkable how the IT system can sometimes work!  Had the same email.

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To answer the original question, we look forward to booking another cruise (probably on Iona, but we are now open to other cruise operators than P&O) when several things have happened;

 

1) We are vaccinated against Covid 19

2) The cruise experience is not subject to restrictions such as social distancing, face masks etc

 

Until that time we shall enjoy other types of holiday, mostly U.K. ones in private holiday cottages. 

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1 minute ago, Selbourne said:

To answer the original question, we look forward to booking another cruise (probably on Iona, but we are now open to other cruise operators than P&O) when several things have happened;

 

1) We are vaccinated against Covid 19

2) The cruise experience is not subject to restrictions such as social distancing, face masks etc

 

Until that time we shall enjoy other types of holiday, mostly U.K. ones in private holiday cottages. 

Same as but if and when I'm cleared medically to do so .

 

Once those 3 are met ..we are off .

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46 minutes ago, jeanlyon said:

Just received an email from P&O on that very subject.  That the FCO is recommending no cruises at present.  That was quick!

I had the email too.I think it might help them because people won't need to phone up to ask them how it affects their cruise

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I just can't see us going on our April 2020 cruise at this rate.  Cruising is not going to be how we remember it, so I think a different holiday is for us.

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1 hour ago, terrierjohn said:

That sounds more positive for the restarting of cruising once the numbers of new cases reaches more manageable levels. Which could still be sometime in Q4.

I agree that the time will come eventually when the number of infections in the UK has reduced to such an extent that the mere boarding of a cruise ship is no longer regarded by the powers that be as a potentially life threatening event. I would not like to hazard a guess as to when, but hope that it comes before my Jan 2021 cruise on Azura. At that time, I would expect the advice to be modified something along the lines of "The Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises against cruise ship travel to countries which are not exempt from quaranteen requirements" and for the cruise companies to remove those countries from their itineraries, allowing cruises to go ahead with the FCOs blessing.

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