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Update on Facts Related to Celebrity's Return to Service


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UPDATED: Facts from Celebrity for Summer Sailings on Millennium from St. Maarten

 

I’ve been working this week to pull together more details about Celebrity’s cruises on Millennium (and now Apex).  One thing I’ve learned over the past year is that everything seems to be fluid and that certainly applies to cruising. I tried to group items together under specific topics.  

 

This is the best information I could obtain from my travel agent at this point in time, but know that things could change, and I strongly recommend that you connect with your own travel agent or Celebrity reservations if you book directly with the cruise line on these.  I am simply passing along what I’ve learned, and you can be sure that some of these items will be updated. Apologies if I wasn't able to get answers to everyone's questions from last weekend. My hope is that this will help you understand what’s ahead for cruising with Celebrity.

 

NOTE:  This thread is only for discussing the items listed here.  Please stay on topic and please be respectful.

 

VACCINATIONS & TESTING

  • All passengers 18 years and older MUST be fully vaccinated 14 days prior to boarding the ship.
  • All crew will be vaccinated.
  • You will need to complete a health questionnaire for Celebrity and have your temperature taken in the terminal prior to boarding.
  • A negative PCR test 120 hours before arriving in St. Maarten (St. Maarten requirement).
  • Celebrity will be using the original vaccination record document issues by the country’s health authority that administered the vaccine; or the guest’s medical provider that administered the vaccination.  Procedures are in place to verify vaccinations if necessary.
  • Celebrity will be testing you prior to embarkation.  There is no cost to passengers for testing.
  • They will do the mouth swab antigen test onboard the day before disembarkation so people can come back to the states and there is not charge for the tests.
  • Provided guests follow Celebrity protocols and is quarantined on the ship, removed from the ship during the cruise or is denied boarding due to a positive test, they will receive a full refund for themselves and those traveling with them.  Celebrity will cover onboard medical treatment, the cost of required land-based quarantine and will arrange and pay any additional costs for safe travel home.  The same expenses will be covered for those in close contacts of the passenger who became ill.
  • For any cruise cut short due to confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases, passengers will receive up to refund or future cruise credit up to 100%, depending upon the number of cruise days missed.
  • Celebrity has a complete protocol in place for guests and/or crew who may feel ill during the cruise.  Ask your travel agent or Celebrity to share their detailed plan. It’s too lengthy to list here.  There will be no charge for medical testing or treatment on board if its related to Covid-19.
  • I highly recommend taking the time to read our Cruise Ticket Contract before making final payment. Most people probably do not do this.  Ask your travel agent or Celebrity for a copy of the current Cruise Ticket Contract.

 

BOOKING

  • B2B cruises are not allowed at this time.  This is different than what was first announced so if you booked a B2B, check with your TA or Celebrity to ensure they will allow you to keep the B2B.
  • Boarding times will be staggered.
  • You can only book verandas on Millennium.  No insides or oceanview cabins at this time.
  • Cruise with Confidence applies if cruise is booked by May 31, 2021
  • Sailing time from St. Maarten will be 10:00 PM
  • Pier arrival times will be staggered.
  • You can book airfare through Flights by Celebrity or on your own.
  • Anyone who tests positive for Covid within two weeks of the sail date and members of their immediate travel party will receive a full refund for those who cannot cruise.

 

SHORE EXCURSIONS

  • We are NOT required to use their tours, but Celebrity will offer shore excursions…you can get off the ship on your own and do your own thing, but Celebrity does recommend considering one of their excursions which will follow strict health & safety standards.
  • Additional information related to each port of call and their policies are still being worked out and will be forthcoming.

 

ONBOARD

  • Mask requirements onboard are not finalized at this time.  Mask requirement could vary from port to port and may not be the same as the ship. 
  • They will be sailing at reduced capacity – 40-60% of the ship will be available at this point.
  • Muster drill will remain on the TV in your cabin or your mobile device.  After you watch the safety video, you will report to your muster station where a crew member will verify that you completed all steps for the drill.  No more muster drills in public spaces with lots of people.
  • Oceanview café will have food behind glass and served by crew members. You will no longer be allowed to self-serve.
  • All venues on the ship will be open and there will be evening shows and other entertainment.
  • Most onboard activities will still be available although some changes for safety may be in place. 
  • Room service will be available and will feature contactless delivery.
  • Elevators will be limited to four people or if a family has more than four, they can use one elevator.

 

INSURANCE

  • This is probably the trickiest thing of all…or at least the most confusing to me.
  • Cruise fares automatically includes Celebrity’s Covid-19 insurance detailed when you follow the Health & Safety link to Celebrity’s website below.
  • However, at this time, you must additionally purchase Covid-19 insurance from St. Maarten when you complete your on-line travel requirements paperwork to enter St. Maarten.  See the St. Maarten travel requirements and insurance links below.  Don’t be confused thinking your regular travel insurance is sufficient. It’s not.
  • If you want the regular trip cancellation insurance to cover this trip, you need to purchase that insurance separately – either through Celebrity or on your own.  The great majority of these plans do not cover Covid-related incidents.  Things like missing luggage, an injury while cruising, other illnesses, for example won’t be covered by the Celebrity or St. Maarten insurances for Covid.
  • Bottom line, take your time and read all the various insurance requirements and policies carefully and understand what you must purchase and what additional insurance you might want/need.

 

Celebrity’s Health & Safety Information on their website

https://www.celebritycruises.com/health-and-safety

 

St. Maarten Links for travel requirements & insurance

https://stmaartenehas.com/travel-requirements/

https://www.sxmprotectionplan.com/

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1 hour ago, Host Anne said:

UPDATED: Facts from Celebrity for Summer Sailings on Millennium from St. Maarten

 

Procedures are in place to verify vaccinations if necessary.

 

 

 

Thank you for the information.  

 

Do you know what procedures Celebrity has in place to verify vaccinations?   When I received my vaccine, all I was given was a small CDC Vaccine Record Card.  I am not aware of any way for Celebrity (or anyone else) to verify the information on the card.  

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37 minutes ago, cruiserchuck said:

 

Thank you for the information.  

 

Do you know what procedures Celebrity has in place to verify vaccinations?   When I received my vaccine, all I was given was a small CDC Vaccine Record Card.  I am not aware of any way for Celebrity (or anyone else) to verify the information on the card.  

The lot # of the Vaccine you received is how they will verify whether you received a vaccine.

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It's my understanding that the CDC is tracking all vaccinations, including those given at local pharmacies, medical offices, and National Guard sites. Celebrity has indicated they have a plan to verify vaccination dates for potentially fraudulent cards, although they haven't said what that specific plan is.  

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Thank you for posting this information, @Host Anne.  But I am surprised you have nothing said about the all important Cruise Critic Connections gathering (or lack thereof)!!!

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Few details to be on the lookout for:

 

1.  Does Celebrity’s PCR test require an RT-PCR as the country of St Maarten does or just any form of the PCR?

2.  When they say 120hrs prior to boarding, what time are they using? I ask because we will be testing just inside that 120hrs on Monday, so that reference time is important (10pm or some arbitrary time in the day when bording begins?)

3.  We are 100% sure the cruise line wants to see a PCR test during boarding check in as well as the country and they are not confusing the two? It just seems redundant. 

 

Just know an RT-PCR is a more rare version of the PCR test, the island is very specific as to which one. Also you may enter the country with a rapid antigen test (they define specifically which brands) taken within 48hrs of departing for the island. Also know you must upload these test results with your entry application prior to arrival and you must reveive an approval from them in an email to present on arrival. 

 

Im guessing that by mid to late May the US will make it to the islands low risk list of countries and we wont have to jump through these hoops. 

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For what it’s worth. my travel agent said that it is imperative to download the Celebrity app, because that will include updates and timelines for protocols etc for your upcoming cruise.

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Although I always thought that the original notice about these cruises was ambiguous, the notice certainly did at least suggest that airfare would be included.  And my TA told me that a Celebrity rep confirmed this to her.  We decided not to book one of these cruises, so my curiosity is just a general one, but was there any explanation that anyone has heard about what happened to the airfare issue?

 

Tom & Judy

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3 hours ago, cruiserchuck said:

 

Thank you for the information.  

 

Do you know what procedures Celebrity has in place to verify vaccinations?   When I received my vaccine, all I was given was a small CDC Vaccine Record Card.  I am not aware of any way for Celebrity (or anyone else) to verify the information on the card.  

They should be able to access state or provincial databases.  When you got your shot the info was entered into a database.  Got mine at a hospital drive thru.  A week later that info was sent to my primary care doc and was listed on the state database.  He looked it up.  

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34 minutes ago, TFree said:Although I always thought that the original notice about these cruises was ambiguous, the notice certainly did at least suggest that airfare would be included.  And my TA told me that a Celebrity rep confirmed this to her.  We decided not to book one of these cruises, so my curiosity is just a general one, but was there any explanation that anyone has heard about what happened to the airfare issue?

 

Tom & Judy

The one of  the original announcements was confusing and some, like us, initially read it to include air.  Other versions didn’t seem to include air.  Another poster reached out to X early on and it was  clarified that the price did not include air.  We looked at air prices from DFW before booking opened and determined that air fare from DFW would be over $750pp so very unlike the $1499 would have included air.

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The initial announcement that was posted in a different thread stated that pricing was starting at $1,999.  Pricing actually was as low as $1,499.  I wonder if Celebrity initially was going to include the flights in the $1,999 price, but for some reason changed its mind and offered a lower price w/o air. 

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I’m assuming that we don’t fill out the health application for St. Maarten until we have our PCR test results. Will they get back to us in time for our flights.

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11 hours ago, mahdnc said:

Thank you for posting this information, @Host Anne.  But I am surprised you have nothing said about the all important Cruise Critic Connections gathering (or lack thereof)!!!

I have to be honest...that hadn't even crossed my mind at this point.  I think the cruise lines  have been mainly focusing on everything that needs to get us safely back on ships again.  I will check with our Cruise Critic Community Manager and see if she can get some information for us.  Thanks for asking!

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9 hours ago, BoundForSea said:

Few details to be on the lookout for:

 

1.  Does Celebrity’s PCR test require an RT-PCR as the country of St Maarten does or just any form of the PCR?

2.  When they say 120hrs prior to boarding, what time are they using? I ask because we will be testing just inside that 120hrs on Monday, so that reference time is important (10pm or some arbitrary time in the day when bording begins?)

3.  We are 100% sure the cruise line wants to see a PCR test during boarding check in as well as the country and they are not confusing the two? It just seems redundant. 

 

Just know an RT-PCR is a more rare version of the PCR test, the island is very specific as to which one. Also you may enter the country with a rapid antigen test (they define specifically which brands) taken within 48hrs of departing for the island. Also know you must upload these test results with your entry application prior to arrival and you must reveive an approval from them in an email to present on arrival. 

 

Im guessing that by mid to late May the US will make it to the islands low risk list of countries and we wont have to jump through these hoops. 

 

I'm going to reconfirm all of this because it was a little confusing when I got this info yesterday as well.  This is different from what I heard earlier in the week so let me try to get confirmation.  

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9 hours ago, TFree said:

Although I always thought that the original notice about these cruises was ambiguous, the notice certainly did at least suggest that airfare would be included.  And my TA told me that a Celebrity rep confirmed this to her.  We decided not to book one of these cruises, so my curiosity is just a general one, but was there any explanation that anyone has heard about what happened to the airfare issue?

 

Tom & Judy

 

There was definitely info that came out about a $1,999 fare that included the cruise and air but I never saw that fare available and I neglected to ask my agent about that because I had pre-booked air myself before the cruise reservations opened, knowing I could cancel the flights if needed.  I didn't see anything on Celebrity's website about this either.  For myself, I knew the cabin fare I got along with booking my own air was better than a combo fare Celebrity could offer so I didn't ask about this.  

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Host Anne,

 

did Celebrity or your travel agent say anything about what will happen in case the guests weren't able to be fully vaccinated until 14 days before the cruise starts?

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Hi I am curious about the proof of vaccination required and how this will be verified.  It seems like the CDC has a system in place for those vaccinated in the US.  However other countries will have their own system...some will look a lot more official than others I am assuming.  This will make it difficult for Celebrity to verify.  With cruisers coming from all over the world it will be a monumental task for Celebrity to be informed of what the official vaccination record should look like so they can verify. 

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, keiki40 said:

Host Anne,

 

did Celebrity or your travel agent say anything about what will happen in case the guests weren't able to be fully vaccinated until 14 days before the cruise starts?

 

If you book by May 31, you still fall under CWC and can cancel up to 48 hrs ahead of time. In this case you have plenty of advance notice since you have to be fully vaccinated 14 days before departure.

 

12 hours ago, mahdnc said:

Thank you for posting this information, @Host Anne.  But I am surprised you have nothing said about the all important Cruise Critic Connections gathering (or lack thereof)!!!

 

Royal Caribbean posted a lengthy pause of certain C&A benefits, most related to social distancing and crown control measures. I would expect Celebrity does the same. 

Edited by paulh84
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8 minutes ago, keiki40 said:

Host Anne,

 

did Celebrity or your travel agent say anything about what will happen in case the guests weren't able to be fully vaccinated until 14 days before the cruise starts?

From everything I've read, if you aren't fully vaccinated 14 days out, you cannot board the ship.  Celebrity's information on their website clearly states you must be fully vaccinated 14 days prior to the cruise and have a negative rt-PCR test 120 hours prior to boarding.  I recommend bookmarking this page where Celebrity says they will update information:  https://www.celebritycruises.com/health-and-safety  I certainly wouldn't arrive at the port in St. Maarten if I wasn't fully vaccinated 14 days out.  Plus St. Maarten isn't going to allow us to enter if you don't have the rt-PCR negative test 120 hours prior to arrival.  

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12 minutes ago, paulh84 said:

 

If you book by May 31, you still fall under CWC and can cancel up to 48 hrs ahead of time. In this case you have plenty of advance notice since you have to be fully vaccinated 14 days before departure.

 

 

This is correct....Cruise with Confidence would apply if you book my May 31 but I wouldn't fly to St. Maarten if I wasn't fully vaccinated 14 days out.  I would like to think (I'm a glass half full person) that most people (at least in the USA) would have had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated more than 14 days out.  

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