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How will these restrictions affect Seabourn?


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I've just read a smattering of articles about the resumption of cruising.  I see that the United States CDC has fairly onerous requirements for cruises out of US ports, if they are allowed later this summer. I read that  (according to the CDC) even sunbathers around an outdoor pool would be required to wear masks.  Add that to the fact that Australia has banned foreign travel for its citizens (and will not allow travel into Australia) and it appears that cruising will be very different.  I do understand that SB is not going to be cruising out of US ports anytime soon.  But no Australian guests on SB?  On most of the cruises we have enjoyed, Australians have made up close to 25% (or more) of the guests.  AND, our UK passengers are worrying about getting travel insurance.  How will all of these factors affect the start up of causing. 

 

One more question.  Are you among those anxious to go on the first cruises offered, or, are you waiting to see what happens going forward?

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I’m booked on a cruise in November from Greece to Singapore via Dubai. I’m very interested to see how these first cruises work out, but wouldn’t want to be on it. I’m also very interested to see how the itinerary on my booked cruise will look like if it does sale. Interesting and frustrating times for all of us cruise fans.

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5 hours ago, SLSD said:

One more question.  Are you among those anxious to go on the first cruises offered, or, are you waiting to see what happens going forward?


We are not anxious to be on the first sailings but do have a speculative booking for the holidays.  We are waiting to see a number of things including what the embarkation and disembarkation requirements are in Barbados, what the safety precautions are (things like masks while sunbathing or only being able to take ship excursions will be deal breakers for us at this point, but we might be willing to mask for indoor events where social distancing can’t be maintained or to take an occasional shore excursion in a restricted port).  We are lucky that there will be a month’s worth of Barbados sailings before we hit our first penalty so we have time to wait.  
 

We are vaccinated and continuing to practice safe health measures here in Texas.  I wish we could say the same for many others we know here... in many public places, it looks like there was never a pandemic.  No masks, no social distancing, and few getting vaccinated.  Thankfully that is not OUR social circle but we are seeing it in action very close to home.

 

I would cost Seabourn more to mothball their ships until every country reopens (e.g., Australia and UK) than to restart even with some loyal passengers unable to sail yet.  Starting back with two ships in places welcoming ships seems like a fairly safe restart move with plenty of room to make adjustments along the way.

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Posted (edited)

We are starting a 3 week cruise 7/17 from Athens and as of today are 69 days from embarkation.  I wish to see the positive aspects of getting back to Seabourn and fully expect it to be "different".  In some ways I see this as an opportunity to see if we can be part of the world reopening successfully.  Will we be inconvenienced...yes.  Will the crew be new, most likely with many not returning.  We have never expected perfection from Seabourn and even more so now as everyone is taking baby steps to travel again.  The rules are still fluid, but have not heard anything that has been a deal breaker.  The main deal breaker for us would be if we could not stroll and shop on our own in the various Greece ports.  I don't foresee us canceling, but we can up to 30 days prior to departure.  We are vaccinated and have been dealing with Covid precautions in NY for a year.  With everyone vaccinated on the boat and following rules to stay safe, we are happy to get started.  Could someone still get covid.... absolutely.  I don't know the future, but don't foresee the tragic situations with cruise boats a year ago when no one was vaccinated.  I definitely respect everyone's decision to travel now or delay into the future.  For us we are ready to reconnect with Seabourn and pray all is well for everyone.  

If all goes well, we are hopeful to go on a 2nd cruise from Dubai to Bali on Seabourn but expect the itinerary will change as this is currently a hotspot area with India.
 

Edited by Neverlookback
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43 minutes ago, jenidallas said:

 

We are vaccinated and continuing to practice safe health measures here in Texas.  I wish we could say the same for many others we know here... in many public places, it looks like there was never a pandemic.  No masks, no social distancing, and few getting vaccinated.  Thankfully that is not OUR social circle but we are seeing it in action very close to home.

 

We live in your area, as you know.  Today, EVERYONE at our local grocery store had on a mask.  We went out to dinner and EVERYONE entered the restaurant wearing a mask.  Of course they removed them for dining.  Last Saturday, we attended a funeral in my East Texas hometown (Tyler).  Out of about 120 in attendance, only about 15 of us were wearing masks.  So--it appears that there is more adherence to public health advice in the big cities than in smaller towns and rural areas.  

 

We are really looking forward to cruising again, but want to observe what happens with the first cruises.  We don't really want to wear masks onboard, even though we are vigilant about wearing our masks in public now.  We are willing to wait for it not to be necessary--and hope that this happens.  

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41 minutes ago, Neverlookback said:

  I don't know the future, but don't foresee the tragic situations with cruise boats a year ago when no one was vaccinated.  I definitely respect everyone's decision to travel now or delay into the future.  For us we are ready to reconnect with Seabourn and pray all is well for everyone.  

If all goes well, we are hopeful to go on a 2nd cruise from Dubai to Bali on Seabourn but expect the itinerary will change as this is currently a hotspot area with India.
 

I am so glad that some of you are willing to go ahead and be on the first cruises.  And yes, you will be part of reopening the world--and the rest of us are grateful.  

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As you can see from my post total I am very new to adding to the forum.  I will be happy to post from the cruise and advise how it's going.  I don't remember seeing pics posted in these threads.  Is this an option as I could share some of the changes being made to operate safely via pics?

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Yes pics can be posted. We'll be looking forward to those as we are booked in Oct. out of Barbados for our 30th anniversary.

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I expect cruising to ramp up slowly, with a variety of obstacles needing to be overcome through the startup phases.  US ports could well be an issue for an extended time.  Entry and return restrictions for destination and home countries are another challenge.  

 

My wife and I are not dedicated cruisers.  We are more likely to opportunistically add a cruise to a land-based trip when the cost, ports, and quality seem like they would be worthwhile.  I'd be willing to take a cruise this summer if the pieces all fell together right, but it's not something I would want to commit to more than about four weeks in advance.  I'd also be hesitant to book any cruise longer than about two weeks at this point; there would just be too much uncertainty about the ports (my wife is not a fan of sea days).

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Congrats on your 30th anniversary!  We will be celebrating our 15th anniversary.  Traveling on a cruise with Seabourn in combination with a birthday or anniversary has always been special for us.

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We are booked on the 7/10 and 7/17 cruises out of Greece.   The first cruise is 7/3.    We don’t do back to backs but since they are largely different cruises we won’t be repeating many ports.   We have a nice cabin (Spa), with a very nice verandah so we will happily relax there.   Coffee and gelato are only an elevator trip away.   Our last spa cabin only had a curving stairway with much of it taken by a chair lift.   It was sketchy, especially in rough seas.   Glad the CDC has no authority over sailings in Greece but I still expect we will wear masks except while eating md drinking.   I am also happy that everyone has to be fully vaccinated.

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Getting back to the OP's topic I do not think that the CDC will have a major impact on Seabourn.  Seabourn is well suited to move all of its cruises "off shore" out of the CDC's jurisdiction.  They are already moving in this direction with their summer cruises out of Pireaus and Barbados.  We have been quite happy to show our support by booking both itineraries.  

 

Hank

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We are booked on the December Antarctic cruise and are also planning a week in Italy in October. As long as Seabourn requires vaccination of all passengers (by December boosters will likely be available) the risk, according to published statistics is extremely small. I think by Fall Europe will be in pretty good shape and even in less developed areas the situation should markedly improve by late in the year, as vaccinations roll out. If Seabourn changes its vaccination requirements, we may very well bail out of the December cruise.

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We seriously considered Seabourn's Greece offerings for this summer, but decided to do a land-based Grecian experience instead.  We have booked an apartment in Athens for 5 weeks and intend to take a lot of side trips.  Regarding the CDC's new rules, I am very concerned.  We have an Atlantic crossing booked on another line, departing December, 2021.  If the CDC's rules are extended beyond October, they will break the deal for us as the on-board experience with distancing and masking would ruin the on-board experience for us, and for this RT crossing, on board will be the only thing going on.  I don't want to pay $650 pp per day to be encouraged to order room service.

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I think we're all smart buyers of any merchandise. The product has to be right. The product Seabourn or any cruise line for me is twofold:  the destination and the ship we are on. 

1) The Greek Islands product from all appearances will look like what the Caribbean looks like in the winter. Only this time it should be a lot worse, if that can be imagined, with so many more ships lasered in by necessity on the Aegean. With dozens of ships and many thousands of passengers invading those small ports and tiny islands. If the only excursions are the ones the ship arranges, it will be worse. Those roads are not equipped for hundreds of buses - visiting the same church . Nor are the small ports  and towns themselves ready for this. If I can't get ashore for a great lunch at some local restaurant on my own  each day it makes it so much less inviting.

 

The shipboard  product the Seabourn  is selling at its old if not raised price points is also at this stage an unknown quality. Facemasks outside at the pool if this doesn't get changed by the CDC are a definite turnoff. Will luxury, that is earned over time. suddenly re-emerge after the year 16 month hiatus?  The crew as good as ever?  Who is  a new hire and how many veterans will be returning? Food and service great as thence were?  Has anyone heard a word about how Seabourn plans to regain its former high status? Plans for crewing and retraining? Luxury is earned over time. Luxury sailing cannot be simply assumed by any of us just because it used to be that way on our prior voyages. If the islands themselves are not going to be a very attractive destination, then sailing the Aegean and never getting off the ship has to be even better than before. How long will it take for Seabourn to again rise from the ranks and present the first class product is the question.

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Seabourn does not need to regain its former status as a luxury cruise line.    All of the cruise lines will be starting from where they left off.   COVID restrictions will be difficult on any cruise line but at least Seabourn has an excellent starting point.   If sitting by the pool without a mask is what you desire you won’t find it on any line.   I have always preferred our pool and hot tub at home.   No longer interested in sitting in the sun, there is too much skin cancer around here.

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The CDC rules/guidance only apply to cruises docking in the USA.  And, as I read their rules/guidance, they are somewhere between unrealistic and stupid.  Passengers are not going to wear masks while sitting at the pool.  If they had to, most would not get on the ship.  And ships docking in the Florida  may also not be an issue, as Florida now mandates that any buisness operating from Florida cannot require the employees have a Vaccine.  NCL has already said, they will just move their ships to another state.

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9 hours ago, brittany12 said:

I think we're all smart buyers of any merchandise. The product has to be right. The product Seabourn or any cruise line for me is twofold:  the destination and the ship we are on. 

1) The Greek Islands product from all appearances will look like what the Caribbean looks like in the winter. Only this time it should be a lot worse, if that can be imagined, with so many more ships lasered in by necessity on the Aegean. With dozens of ships and many thousands of passengers invading those small ports and tiny islands. If the only excursions are the ones the ship arranges, it will be worse. Those roads are not equipped for hundreds of buses - visiting the same church . Nor are the small ports  and towns themselves ready for this. If I can't get ashore for a great lunch at some local restaurant on my own  each day it makes it so much less inviting.

 

The shipboard  product the Seabourn  is selling at its old if not raised price points is also at this stage an unknown quality. Facemasks outside at the pool if this doesn't get changed by the CDC are a definite turnoff. Will luxury, that is earned over time. suddenly re-emerge after the year 16 month hiatus?  The crew as good as ever?  Who is  a new hire and how many veterans will be returning? Food and service great as thence were?  Has anyone heard a word about how Seabourn plans to regain its former high status? Plans for crewing and retraining? Luxury is earned over time. Luxury sailing cannot be simply assumed by any of us just because it used to be that way on our prior voyages. If the islands themselves are not going to be a very attractive destination, then sailing the Aegean and never getting off the ship has to be even better than before. How long will it take for Seabourn to again rise from the ranks and present the first class product is the question.

The world has changed, all cruise lines will have to adjust and travelers will need to recalculate their expectations, especially at the beginning of reopening.  Waiting on the items detailed in your post to return to a previous level is a reasonable request, but for us the loss of nearly 2 years of treasured travel and waiting for another year or more to reach a level of "luxury sailing" is not something that will delay us from re engaging with Seabourn.  We traveled with Seabourn 5 years ago to the Aegean and can remember Athens crowded everywhere, was expected and not an issue.  Your description of dozens of ships and hundreds of buses is over the top in my humble opinion.  We are 66 days out from embarking on 3 weeks with Seabourn in Greece and plan to share our experiences with this forum.  I am hopeful the opportunity to go at the beginning of travel reopening will be a rewarding experience with great travel memories.  We shall see....

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2 hours ago, Neverlookback said:

  We are 66 days out from embarking on 3 weeks with Seabourn in Greece and plan to share our experiences with this forum.  I am hopeful the opportunity to go at the beginning of travel reopening will be a rewarding experience with great travel memories.  We shall see....

Thank you for your plan to share your experiences with this group.  We will all be very interested and hope it is a wonderful cruise in every way.  

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13 hours ago, geoffieg said:

The CDC rules/guidance only apply to cruises docking in the USA.  And, as I read their rules/guidance, they are somewhere between unrealistic and stupid.  Passengers are not going to wear masks while sitting at the pool.  If they had to, most would not get on the ship.  And ships docking in the Florida  may also not be an issue, as Florida now mandates that any buisness operating from Florida cannot require the employees have a Vaccine.  NCL has already said, they will just move their ships to another state.

Florida's "mandate" is only in the legislature. Not signed into state law yet. And if it ever is, it will be immediately challenged because it's so unconstitutional, it's laughable.

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The CDC's latest revisions to their rules remove most of the restrictions people in this thread have been concerned about. It's up to each cruise line to set their own rules, but a fully-vaccinated ship could now do away with masks, social distancing, and ship-only excursions. And as surely as that's where things stand today, things are sure to change again in another couple months, and/or be different for different parts of the world.

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2 hours ago, cruiseej said:

The CDC's latest revisions to their rules remove most of the restrictions people in this thread have been concerned about. It's up to each cruise line to set their own rules, but a fully-vaccinated ship could now do away with masks, social distancing, and ship-only excursions. And as surely as that's where things stand today, things are sure to change again in another couple months, and/or be different for different parts of the world.

100% agree.  I am even more hopeful cruising will more closely resemble what it was prior to the pandemic.  

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1 hour ago, Covepointcruiser said:

I don’t believe Greece has relaxed their COVID rules yet.   They re still having major outbreaks and I hope this improves before our 7/10 cruise.

https://thepointsguy.com/news/greece-welcoming-tourists-may-14/

 

This article has positive spin on the opening of Greece.  Anyone vaccinated is welcome, ie. cruise boats.  Sounds like everything is open for the most part, although maybe limited occupancies, wearing masks and social distancing.  This sounds like what we in the US have gotten through successfully the last 6+ months as we opened up.  As for someone coming down with Covid, they are then quarantined to a specific hotel.  I would guess a cruise line passenger with Covid would fulfill the same requirement by being isolated on the boat.  Tourists will be coming from all different sources and not just cruises.  I am hopeful when Covid arises with a passenger it will be handled in a manner that gives everyone comfort the cruise will continue on safely.  We have all been around Covid the past year and known people that have had serious issues.  The vaccine requirement does not eliminate someone from getting sick, but I am confident that one sick person is not going to cause Covid to spread through the boat because we are all vaccinated and the protocols that Seabourn will have implemented with cleaning, masks and social distancing.  Also we are both approximately 60 days out from the start of our cruises and we have seen the many positive changes that have occurred in the last few weeks.  Hopefully these positive developments will continue.... 

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