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Apex moving to Athens for 7 night cruises for summer 2021


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12 hours ago, librarylady19 said:

Where did you read that? From The Guardian online:

"Greece hopes to reopen its doors to visitors on 14 May, the country’s tourism minister has said as he announced a much-awaited date for the tourist season to officially begin.

Haris Theoharis told the IBT Berlin tourism fair, the world’s largest, that Greece would after this date welcome anyone who had been vaccinated, had antibodies or had tested negative for coronavirus.

 

“We aim to open tourism by 14 May with specific rules and updated protocols,” he said. “Until then, we will gradually lift restrictions if conditions allow.”

 

See also:

https://www.seatrade-cruise.com/ports-destinations/greek-tourism-ministers-cruise-outreach-triggers-eekfn-blowback

 

 

Greece can announce a lot but it´s still up to the EU to open up for the US. ITB was in early March. Since then a lot has changed. The numbers are rising here in Europe pretty quickly. Currently there is a strict lockdown until after Easter. Numbers in Greece are pretty high too. Hapag-Lloyd plans to send the Europa 2 to Croatia and Greece by the end of May. But you can´t say right now whether this works out.

 

steamboats

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16 hours ago, steamboats said:

 

 

Greece can announce a lot but it´s still up to the EU to open up for the US. ITB was in early March. Since then a lot has changed. The numbers are rising here in Europe pretty quickly. Currently there is a strict lockdown until after Easter. Numbers in Greece are pretty high too. Hapag-Lloyd plans to send the Europa 2 to Croatia and Greece by the end of May. But you can´t say right now whether this works out.

 

steamboats

What you say is exactly true ... we live in Athens (a short metro ride to the Piraeus Cruise Port) ... Athens is in "Strict" lockdown now meaning curfews, no restaurants or tavernas open, only some hotels ... the only retail is supermarkets and the pharmacy ... the tourism minister is very positive in his statements but he has adjusted dates frequently for a fully open Athens ... the COVID-19 numbers continue to spike so I don't think anyone really knows ... particularly the biased tourism minister ... each individual must govern themself accordingly ... I am not trying to be negative just stay open in your thinking ... good luck to all!

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the prices are quite high for a 7 night cruise..and looks like they are sailing in reduced capacity.. no inside, outside staterooms are available and not all veranda categories are available

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2 hours ago, roquejo said:

the prices are quite high for a 7 night cruise..and looks like they are sailing in reduced capacity.. no inside, outside staterooms are available and not all veranda categories are available

I hoped it would be otherwise but I guess X can command a premium for a brand new ship. 

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It begs the question as to why there are some American passengers so eager to cruise on APEX with the virus surging in Greece and with no current way to fly there.  Maybe in a few months this will all look much better.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, TeeRick said:

It begs the question as to why there are some American passengers so eager to cruise on APEX with the virus surging in Greece and with no current way to fly there.  Maybe in a few months this will all look much better.

I realize we’re talking  2 1/2 months and more in the future, but currently Athens is in an almost total lockdown. . . Restaurants and tavernas closed, limited hotels open, no retail except groceries and pharmacies.  For the early cruises, final payment may be due before the lockdown is lifted.  Not a decision I would want to face.

Edited by bama4cruisin
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, bama4cruisin said:

I realize we’re talking  2 1/2 months and more in the future, but currently Athens is in an almost total lockdown. . . Restaurants and tavernas closed, limited hotels open, no retail except groceries and pharmacies.  For the early cruises, final payment may be due before the lockdown is lifted.  Not a decision I would want to face.

It is really pretty simple math at this time ... of course, this may change ... (yes, it is "an almost total lockdown .... we have to text to leave our residence") ... to be fair ... even with the current spike Athens has lower COVID-19 infections than almost anywhere in Europe ... but ... do your research prior to booking anything!  I hope we have happy travels for all!

Edited by GlobalMethod
typo
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3 hours ago, TeeRick said:

It begs the question as to why there are some American passengers so eager to cruise on APEX with the virus surging in Greece and with no current way to fly there.  Maybe in a few months this will all look much better.

Well said ... politely ... 🙂 ...!

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4 hours ago, TeeRick said:

It begs the question as to why there are some American passengers so eager to cruise on APEX

There are a lot of desperate cruisers out there who have not analyzed all the multiple nuances regarding this cruise ... there are a lot of moving parts ... it can all turn out fine ... but ... as much as I would love to see it happen (I live in Athens, Greece and would love to hop on something from here) I am thinking it could be just a cloud of optimism for all  involved at this time ... maybe later!

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3 hours ago, TeeRick said:

It begs the question as to why there are some American passengers so eager to cruise on APEX with the virus surging in Greece and with no current way to fly there.  Maybe in a few months this will all look much better.

I am booked on the July 31 Apex cruise to Greece and Israel...

Perhaps I can explain...

First of all, I can understand why some people are hesitant to cruise...as well as why others are eager to cruise...

And, yes, remember, our cruise is still four months away...

First, I look at where we stood just four months ago...Here in California, in December, we had days where we were hitting as many as 65,000 new cases of Covid PER DAY...Now, the numbers are at LESS THAN 2,500 per day...and decreasing steadily.  Of course, we've done a better job than most in enforcing mask and "stay-at-home" orders...and we've administered well over 17 million vaccinations.  And, yes, I fully understand that most other places in the world are nowhere close to as far along at ending the Pandemic.  OTOH, more and more vaccine is coming off production lines...and several new vaccines are nearing approval.  The supply coming onto the market over the next few months will dwarf the available vaccines over the past few months.   I fully expect the situation worldwide will improve drastically over the time prior to our cruise.

 

I am also aware that many countries are eager to "open up" to tourism as soon as possible in that their economies rely on it.

 

For me, personally, both my wife and myself are now fully vaccinated.  We spent over a year pretty much rarely leaving our house...and have had several cruises canceled.  On a personal level, that is tough to take.  My wife retired at the end of the last school term...and we had planned on flying to Europe four days after her last day at work for an extended European tour and back-to-back cruises--all obviously canceled.  We both retired early, figuring we'd be able to travel a bit more and at times of the year we could never cruise before.  We also figured these would clearly be the "best years of our life" as we are still in pretty good health AND have the time and money to cruise...but we don't know if we will be able to do as well as we get older.  Plus, we love cruising...and miss cruising.

 

But, while the pandemic was at full strength and we were unvaccinated, of course, we weren't going anywhere.  But, now that we are vaccinated, we don't feel that we carry anywhere close to the same risk.  AND, as long as the entire crew and all of the passengers are vaccinated, we not only feel that we are safe, we also don't fear any epidemic hitting the ship...perhaps a safer environment even than being here in our local area.

 

As far as the ports we visit still being susceptible to the virus?  Since we are vaccinated, we are not that worried about catching anything while in port (and Israel, one of our destinations, has an even better vaccination record than we have).  If there is a fear--it is only that Greece does not recover as quickly as I am hoping and we risk having shops, restaurants, bars, etc. being closed and streets being emptier.  Does that pose a problem?  Sure, the "experience" of visiting these places won't quite be the same...but, considering everything else, it's a minor issue that I can live with.

 

Am I worried that various rules and restriction will diminish the experience?  We may have some mask requirements, testing requirements, decreased ship capacity, limitations on which cabins can be booked, etc.  I don't care all that much.  I will put up with a lot of this because, to me, the joy of cruising outweighs it.

 

And about that air travel?  I've done searches...and there ARE reasonable flights available to get from LA to Athens and back...So...no reason to worry...

 

I expect all of these things to IMPROVE over the next four months...If they stay the same, I'm still okay here...If they get worse somehow and there's a need to cancel this one?  I'm now used to that...we'll re-shuffle forward once more.  In the meanwhile, I AM eager to do this cruise.  I can understand if some of you cannot...I hope you can understand why I can see this differently.

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Anyone have any luck yet booking a B2B out of Athens associated with the new summer 2021 itineraries? Talked with our X PVP today who mentioned he didn't believe X was going to permit any B2B cruises associated with any itineraries they're going to be offering this summer.

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Just now, Ken the cruiser said:

Anyone have any luck yet booking a B2B out of Athens associated with the new summer 2021 itineraries? Talked with our X PVP today who mentioned he didn't believe X was going to permit any B2B cruises associated with any itineraries they're going to be offering this summer.

I actually spoke with them at length on this...The bottom line is that they have not yet decided this....The word was it has more to do with the countries visited and their requirements than the cruise line (who'd love to sell all the cruises they can).  The bottom line with ME is they were going to go ahead and book BOTH July 24 and 31...The only reason we haven't as of yet has more to do with lifting and shifting our current bookings and issues regarding cancelation/refunds if we end up being disallowed, though we likely go ahead and reserve the July 24 cruise and wait it out...We had the put a hold on the same cabin for both.

 

Remember, also, that the St. Maarten cruises were limited to 7 nights only due to these restrictions--however the Apex itineraries have NOT been limited to 7 nights (some are 8), indicating the length someone is on the ship may not be an issue.

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31 minutes ago, Bruin Steve said:

Remember that the St. Maarten cruises were limited to 7 nights only due to these restrictions--however the Apex itineraries have NOT been limited to 7 nights (some are 8), indicating the length someone is on the ship may not be an issue.

That makes a lot of sense as we couldn't figure out why X wasn't allowing us to do a B2B2B in a S2 out of St Maarten. Thanks!

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We have booked a B2B - One Celebrity Apex followed by NCL Pearl.  As the itineraries are scheduled today, we will only duplicate one stop and that’s Santorini - one of my favorite places.  

We recognize that we may have to cancel, or the cruise lines will cancel, one or both, but what else is new?.  We have multiple cruises lined up for late summer and early fall, all with refundable deposits and with staggered sailing dates.  By final payment, if we don’t have reasonable certainty that a particular sailing will happen we will cancel and hope for the next booking.  I echo Bruin Steve’s post.

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2 minutes ago, gerelmx said:

AA is announcing non stop flights to Athens starting June 6

Of course, though, those are nonstops from JFK...

They also (already) have nonstops from Chicago and Philadelphia...

 

For those of us in Southern California (or elsewhere other than greater NYC, Philly or Chicago), it's going to still be a One-Stop anyway...

 

Still, the more available flights the better...

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So today I get an e-mail from Celebrity "Welcoming" me to the new Apex and suggesting I book their new cruise itinerary out of Athens.  There is also the usual link which takes me to Celebrity's web site where I can book the Apex!  Really?  What Celebrity does not say in their invitation is that nobody from the USA can currently fly to Athens or anywhere else in Greece (or the EU).  Greece is closed to Americans.  

 

While marketing is part of business it might be more transparent if Celebrity makes it clear that while Celebrity might be happy to take an American's deposit or final payment (we assume this is the case but have not tried to book) they have no way to get me to their ship in Athens until Greece lifts their restrictions on Americans.  This may or may not happen in the next few months.

 

Hank

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13 hours ago, Bruin Steve said:

I expect all of these things to IMPROVE over the next four months...If they stay the same, I'm still okay here...If they get worse somehow and there's a need to cancel this one?  I'm now used to that...we'll re-shuffle forward once more.  In the meanwhile, I AM eager to do this cruise.  I can understand if some of you cannot...I hope you can understand why I can see this differently.

Your expectations and forecasts are certainly reasonable ... we are trying to use the same analytics but apply them to a November Azamara cruise out of Athens which we think may have a higher probablity of success. Certainly your 7/31 cruise may happen even though we had a new record of COVID-19 infections yesterday and Athens looks a ghost town. All is likely to improve as you say ... the question is how much will it improve in 4 months. We hope it does improve but we will wait and see prior to moving into a formal travel process.

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On 3/29/2021 at 7:10 PM, steamboats said:

Greece can announce a lot but it´s still up to the EU to open up for the US. ITB was in early March. Since then a lot has changed. The numbers are rising here in Europe pretty quickly. Currently there is a strict lockdown until after Easter. Numbers in Greece are pretty high too. Hapag-Lloyd plans to send the Europa 2 to Croatia and Greece by the end of May. But you can´t say right now whether this works out.

 

steamboats

Hey steamboats .... did you see a number of Germans were able to travel to Crete in the last couple of days? ... They were allowed to do this without proving vaccination and it has a lot of Greeks very upset since they can't even travel around Greece due to restrictions ... This was allowed by the Greek government so it doesn't bother me much just not sure how they did it.

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14 hours ago, Bruin Steve said:

I actually spoke with them at length on this...The bottom line is that they have not yet decided this....The word was it has more to do with the countries visited and their requirements than the cruise line (who'd love to sell all the cruises they can).  The bottom line with ME is they were going to go ahead and book BOTH July 24 and 31...The only reason we haven't as of yet has more to do with lifting and shifting our current bookings and issues regarding cancelation/refunds if we end up being disallowed, though we likely go ahead and reserve the July 24 cruise and wait it out...We had the put a hold on the same cabin for both.

 

Remember, also, that the St. Maarten cruises were limited to 7 nights only due to these restrictions--however the Apex itineraries have NOT been limited to 7 nights (some are 8), indicating the length someone is on the ship may not be an issue.

 We had a B2B booked on Apex for 24 and 31 July for 2 x Med cruises. We got an email saying they had automatically shifted both our bookings, cabin and package to the 2 new Greek/Israeli cruises. Checking these  new cruises they were approx. £500 / $675 more expensive, but it doesn't look like we are being charged any more.

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11 hours ago, Hlitner said:

So today I get an e-mail from Celebrity "Welcoming" me to the new Apex and suggesting I book their new cruise itinerary out of Athens.  There is also the usual link which takes me to Celebrity's web site where I can book the Apex!  Really?  What Celebrity does not say in their invitation is that nobody from the USA can currently fly to Athens or anywhere else in Greece (or the EU).  Greece is closed to Americans.  

 

While marketing is part of business it might be more transparent if Celebrity makes it clear that while Celebrity might be happy to take an American's deposit or final payment (we assume this is the case but have not tried to book) they have no way to get me to their ship in Athens until Greece lifts their restrictions on Americans.  This may or may not happen in the next few months.

 

Hank

Yes my thoughts too.  I would love to sail APEX from Greece.  But not sure why I would give Celebrity money when as an American I cannot get there.  But yes I am hoping that the situation will change too.

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17 hours ago, Bruin Steve said:

I am booked on the July 31 Apex cruise to Greece and Israel...

Perhaps I can explain...

First of all, I can understand why some people are hesitant to cruise...as well as why others are eager to cruise...

And, yes, remember, our cruise is still four months away...

First, I look at where we stood just four months ago...Here in California, in December, we had days where we were hitting as many as 65,000 new cases of Covid PER DAY...Now, the numbers are at LESS THAN 2,500 per day...and decreasing steadily.  Of course, we've done a better job than most in enforcing mask and "stay-at-home" orders...and we've administered well over 17 million vaccinations.  And, yes, I fully understand that most other places in the world are nowhere close to as far along at ending the Pandemic.  OTOH, more and more vaccine is coming off production lines...and several new vaccines are nearing approval.  The supply coming onto the market over the next few months will dwarf the available vaccines over the past few months.   I fully expect the situation worldwide will improve drastically over the time prior to our cruise.

 

I am also aware that many countries are eager to "open up" to tourism as soon as possible in that their economies rely on it.

 

For me, personally, both my wife and myself are now fully vaccinated.  We spent over a year pretty much rarely leaving our house...and have had several cruises canceled.  On a personal level, that is tough to take.  My wife retired at the end of the last school term...and we had planned on flying to Europe four days after her last day at work for an extended European tour and back-to-back cruises--all obviously canceled.  We both retired early, figuring we'd be able to travel a bit more and at times of the year we could never cruise before.  We also figured these would clearly be the "best years of our life" as we are still in pretty good health AND have the time and money to cruise...but we don't know if we will be able to do as well as we get older.  Plus, we love cruising...and miss cruising.

 

But, while the pandemic was at full strength and we were unvaccinated, of course, we weren't going anywhere.  But, now that we are vaccinated, we don't feel that we carry anywhere close to the same risk.  AND, as long as the entire crew and all of the passengers are vaccinated, we not only feel that we are safe, we also don't fear any epidemic hitting the ship...perhaps a safer environment even than being here in our local area.

 

As far as the ports we visit still being susceptible to the virus?  Since we are vaccinated, we are not that worried about catching anything while in port (and Israel, one of our destinations, has an even better vaccination record than we have).  If there is a fear--it is only that Greece does not recover as quickly as I am hoping and we risk having shops, restaurants, bars, etc. being closed and streets being emptier.  Does that pose a problem?  Sure, the "experience" of visiting these places won't quite be the same...but, considering everything else, it's a minor issue that I can live with.

 

Am I worried that various rules and restriction will diminish the experience?  We may have some mask requirements, testing requirements, decreased ship capacity, limitations on which cabins can be booked, etc.  I don't care all that much.  I will put up with a lot of this because, to me, the joy of cruising outweighs it.

 

And about that air travel?  I've done searches...and there ARE reasonable flights available to get from LA to Athens and back...So...no reason to worry...

 

I expect all of these things to IMPROVE over the next four months...If they stay the same, I'm still okay here...If they get worse somehow and there's a need to cancel this one?  I'm now used to that...we'll re-shuffle forward once more.  In the meanwhile, I AM eager to do this cruise.  I can understand if some of you cannot...I hope you can understand why I can see this differently.

Thank you for the detailed response expressing your thoughts and expectations.  I think a lot of people have similar thoughts.  I am going to wait a bit to see how the US/EU travel restrictions play out.

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4 hours ago, GlobalMethod said:

Hey steamboats .... did you see a number of Germans were able to travel to Crete in the last couple of days? ... They were allowed to do this without proving vaccination and it has a lot of Greeks very upset since they can't even travel around Greece due to restrictions ... This was allowed by the Greek government so it doesn't bother me much just not sure how they did it.

 

Amazes me they are still cruising around the Canaries. You can't get much between a German and his vacation

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44 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

Thank you for the detailed response expressing your thoughts and expectations.  I think a lot of people have similar thoughts.  I am going to wait a bit to see how the US/EU travel restrictions play out.

Yes ... as much as we would love to be on 1 of these Athens based cruises I think we might make this a "last minute cruise" decision ... 🙂 ... even though the cruise is supposed to embark just 10 minutes from our residence!

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13 minutes ago, GlobalMethod said:

Yes ... as much as we would love to be on 1 of these Athens based cruises I think we might make this a "last minute cruise" decision ... 🙂 ... even though the cruise is supposed to embark just 10 minutes from our residence!

But at least you can get to the cruise port!  Currently I cannot get to any country in the EU.

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