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Saga Cruises now require a Vaccine to sail. Should Celebrity follow?


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This is the first I have come across with a cruise line. The BBC are reporting that Sage (a British cruise line aimed at the over 50's) will require ALL passengers to have FULL vaccination cove in order to sail when they restart.

 

Will Celebrity do the same?

 

Personally I think it's the only solution but appreciate others will disagree

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55738918

 

 

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Yes.

 

But, I'm feeling a little glum about these variants. Each one that pops up there is a discussion about whether the vaccine will be effective against it. So far...they are telling us the vaccine will counter each variant.

 

But, with new variants popping up weekly...it seems likely one of them is going to get through and blow the entire vaccine model out of the water.

 

Please give me reason for optimism.

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Yes, I believe this is the only way cruise lines can start up again. If you do not want to be vaccinated that's your choice, and you can stay home, I don't want you on a cruise ship with me.

Edited by terrydtx
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28 minutes ago, terrydtx said:

Yes, I believe this is the only way cruise lines can start up again. If you do not want to be vaccinated that's your choice, and you can stay home, I don't want you on a cruise ship with me.

 but what if youre not vaccinated because you are bottom of the queue for it being handed out? are you saying those people cant cruise this year???

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1 minute ago, jojo1966 said:

 but what if youre not vaccinated because you are bottom of the queue for it being handed out? are you saying those people cant cruise this year???

Are you suggesting that a cruise line will begin operating before everyone has had a legitimate opportunity to get vaccinated?

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At the moment this is only Saga who have a minimum age of 50. They have also adjusted their planned restart to May. So for the UK everyone will, hopefully, have had the opportunity to get vaccinated.

 

Time will tell how the other cruise lines react

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This is the advice from UK  Foreign Office and updated recently we are checking regularly to see if it changes

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development 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.

Cruise ship travel means staying overnight for at least 1 night on a sea-going cruise ship with people from multiple households.

Our advice against cruises applies to international travel on a ship that is exclusively for pleasure or recreation, providing overnight accommodation and other leisure facilities such as entertainment venues or swimming pools.

Our advice does not include ferries or privately-rented boats.

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

Edited by emmas gran
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I think it's a fair requirement once everyone actually has access to a vaccine. The cruise lines are in a tight spot here. At some point once things are more under control, they should allow those who cannot or don't want to be vaccinated on board with a waiver (assuming the ports allow unvaccinated folks in - they may not!). In the early days of cruising, however, I don't see another option for them. Some will miss out (could even be me, who knows).

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The question is now a universal card/that is not easily copied notation etc needs to be put together for travel etc.  Passport is one option but not everyone has that for travel especially domestic.  Person just bringing paperwork etc can easily be forged so will wait and see what comes of this.  Would hope it would be something universal, good luck with the countries all agreeing on one format overall tho  

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This is an excerpt from the Saga Q&A

 

What if I am exempt from receiving the vaccine?

Sadly we would not be able to allow you to cruise and would ask that you contact our Cruise Guest Services who will be able to discuss your options with you and arrange a full refund.

Will I still be able to travel if I choose not to have the vaccine?

We have made the decision not to allow a guest to travel with us if they choose not to receive the vaccine. The majority of our guests fall into the at-risk age bracket and our priority is their safety and wellbeing.

Will I need evidence of a negative test pre-departure and proof that I have had the vaccine?
We will test you prior to embarking the vessel at the port.

 

I think Saga are doing their best to get their business up and running. Basically - no vaccine - no cruise. They are dedicated to older cruisers. I expect Celebrity will not be so keen to do similarly as the guests they are hoping to welcome on board are younger than Saga cruisers. 

 

 

 

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I think Celebrity will implement the rule of having to have a vaccination while the CDC rules are in place to mitigate their risk.   The cruiselines are very worried around the financial risk of having someone onboard getting covid.  They will be limiting the number of people onboard for the short term.  Cruising will only start in May, at best.  So that is only 6 months between the start of cruising and the expiration of the CDC rules.  So during that time, the last thing they want to see is someone to get Covid and force the ship to return to port and have to fly people back home at their expense.

 

To me, it is a no-brainer, in the short term, if you dont have a vaccination you can not get on the ship.   All cruiselines will do it for USA(not sure about the rest of the world).  This would increase the confidence of the guests, and they would receive support for approval from the CDC.  We have all seen how difficult the cruiselines are having to launch their US cruises.  This will be one step to get to that.

 

The question of the Big 3, is who makes the statement first that you need to vaccine.   NCL has already hinted around it.   We shall see.

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2 hours ago, york survey said:

This is the first I have come across with a cruise line. The BBC are reporting that Sage (a British cruise line aimed at the over 50's) will require ALL passengers to have FULL vaccination cove in order to sail when they restart.

 

Will Celebrity do the same?

 

Personally I think it's the only solution but appreciate others will disagree

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55738918

 

 

Understand your question of course but what a small cruise line like Saga decides to do really has no impact on what a very large cruise line will do.  Or what the mass market cruise lines will be allowed to do to resume operations.  

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Just now, TeeRick said:

Understand your question of course but what a small cruise line like Saga decides to do really has no impact on what a very large cruise line will do.  Or what the mass market cruise lines will be allowed to do to resume operations.  

 

Fair point and they focus on over 50's only so clearly have concerns about their business model.

 

Saga is a well established but small (2Ships) line and although their decision will not impact directly on the big 3 it does make it easier for them to make the same move IF they were already considering it.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, d9704011 said:

Are you suggesting that a cruise line will begin operating before everyone has had a legitimate opportunity to get vaccinated?

 

Not my comment, but yes. As someone who will be in one of the last groups vaccinated, I do not see a problem with this. It's essentially no different if I was unable to secure a passport, visa, etc. on time. 

Edited by Jeremiah1212
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2 hours ago, york survey said:

This is the first I have come across with a cruise line. The BBC are reporting that Sage (a British cruise line aimed at the over 50's) will require ALL passengers to have FULL vaccination cove in order to sail when they restart.

 

Will Celebrity do the same?

 

Personally I think it's the only solution but appreciate others will disagree

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55738918

 

 

Will Celebrity do the same? I don't know. 

 

If I had a crystal ball and could see the future I'd be seeing what Bitcoin, or Apple stock will be worth in a year's time. Then I could buy my own two ship cruise line, convert one into my private yacht and sail with or without a vaccine. 😉

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44 minutes ago, Jeremiah1212 said:

 

Not my comment, but yes. As someone who will be in one of the last groups vaccinated, I do not see a problem with this. It's essentially no different if I was unable to secure a passport, visa, etc. on time. 

It is very much different.  Visas, passports, etc.... are not associated with communicable diseases that can lead to illness and death among other travellers.

Edited by d9704011
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I think this is the best path to a restart.

My guess is that you would significantly increase your pool of potential pax by such a requirement.  We have 3 sailings scheduled before end of 2021 (July, October and November) and all 3 are on the bubble until mandates such as vaccination are in effect. 

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7 minutes ago, d9704011 said:

It is very much different.  Visas, passports, etc.... are not associated with communicable diseases that can lead to illness and death among other travellers.

 

If it's a requirement to sail...it's a requirement to sail. Either get it or stay home, just like you would do it you didn't get a required visa or other document.

 

If there are enough people vaccinated to safely start cruises - even short of 100% vaccine availability - given a choice, it's not realistic for cruise lines to continue to sit and wait in the name of perceived fairness. 

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I think vaccination will be a de facto requirement for international travel and possibly domestic air travel for the next 3-5 years.

 

Pre and post testing for people in tight congregate settings may be required for the next couple of years after widespread vaccination and restart. Right now in my state nursing homes and rehab facilities require at least 2 negative Covid tests by PCR on the same platform to accept a transfer from a hospital- I don’t see that changing until the pandemic is declared over. I think the CDC lumps cruises in the same bucket for risk as nursing homes.

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Jeremiah1212 said:

 

If it's a requirement to sail...it's a requirement to sail. Either get it or stay home, just like you would do it you didn't get a required visa or other document.

 

If there are enough people vaccinated to safely start cruises - even short of 100% vaccine availability - given a choice, it's not realistic for cruise lines to continue to sit and wait in the name of perceived fairness. 

Who said anything about fairness?  My original question, and what you’ve alluded to (.... enough people vaccinated to safely start cruises...) is do you think a cruise line will begin, or be permitted to begin, cruising again before the situation is such that all involved, including the citizenry of locations that may be visited, have had an opportunity to get vaccinated?

 

I’m with you on the visas, passports an all that other stuff that may be required to cruise/travel, people can make the choice to get them or not and live with the consequences.

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I think Celebrity will require vaccination and PCR testing several days before departure and on the day of the cruise.

 

When we are all in the situation to have had the vaccination is another thing. I believe the UK will be able to offer all over 16s by September. I believe we are currently ahead of the USA and allegedly has immunised more than the rest of Europe combined.

 

That does not bode well for holidays this Spring/Summer including cruises if we are all in the queue. Possibly when there is adequate vaccines available private operators will be able to offer them at a cost to get ahead of the queue.

 

I am fortunate to have been immunised already as in healthcare. Although immunised and had Covid -19 antibodies in the Summer I still have to provide two negative lateral flow tests a week.

 

Had a look at the Saga cruise offering and considered booking a cruise with them in July. Would like to try them out and am desparate for a cruise. Wife said no as she will not book anything until 'back to normal'. The name Saga puts her off too with the perception of a ship full of elderly folk.

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I sincerely hope that Celebrity requires vaccination proof prior to sailing.  My concern is this - if you have a relatively early 2021 cruise scheduled (we have a July Alaska, and for purposes of this point I will assume it will sail) and they require the vaccination and because you are not in one of the earlier vaccination groups you can't get fully vaccinated by then, can you cancel at the last minute without penalty?  We already had to Lift and Shift this cruise once so doing that is no longer an option.  As a senior I certainly expect to be vaccinated by then, but my healthy 34 year old sailing with us may not be able to get the vaccine until much later, especially at the rate the US is vaccinating (not getting into politics here - just stating facts).  So what then??  I know we don't have that answer now, but I hope they fairly address situations like this when they occur (which they undoubtedly will)

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3 hours ago, laslomas said:

This is an excerpt from the Saga Q&A

 

What if I am exempt from receiving the vaccine?

Sadly we would not be able to allow you to cruise and would ask that you contact our Cruise Guest Services who will be able to discuss your options with you and arrange a full refund.

Will I still be able to travel if I choose not to have the vaccine?

We have made the decision not to allow a guest to travel with us if they choose not to receive the vaccine. The majority of our guests fall into the at-risk age bracket and our priority is their safety and wellbeing.

Will I need evidence of a negative test pre-departure and proof that I have had the vaccine?
We will test you prior to embarking the vessel at the port.

 

I think Saga are doing their best to get their business up and running. Basically - no vaccine - no cruise. They are dedicated to older cruisers. I expect Celebrity will not be so keen to do similarly as the guests they are hoping to welcome on board are younger than Saga cruisers. 


 

 

 

I saw this on the FAQ

How will you check that I have received the vaccine?

You will be required to bring the vaccination document and/or evidence with you as proof at the time of boarding.

 

 

 

 

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I don't see how the cruise lines, (Big 3), can make a vaccine a requirement.  They would lose a large portion of their customer base because kids under 16 are not being vaccinated.  This would also mean cruising will not start until late this year.  They maybe bankrupt by then.

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5 hours ago, terrydtx said:

Yes, I believe this is the only way cruise lines can start up again. If you do not want to be vaccinated that's your choice, and you can stay home, I don't want you on a cruise ship with me.


Exactly!

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