Sunday, March 8, 2020

A Cruising Update

As a blogger I sometimes write posts and post them right away. Other times I write them and save them to post later when I'm ready. And sometimes I write them and schedule them to be posted on a certain day and time.

Guess I should have been more aware of when yesterday's Ways to Keep Healthy on a Cruise was posting. Bad timing on my part. While I do believe those ways to keep healthy are valid no matter which germs are floating around, the current strain of Coronavirus is a wild card. So much is unknown, and the information out there is changing so fast it's hard to know what to do. Which leads me to an update on how COVID-19 is impacting cruises. Mine included. 

First, we have a dear crew member friend who is on the Grand Princess right now. (He was the one we were supposed to meet up with in Ensenada last month but their ship had to skip the port.) Since we didn't get to see him in Ensenada we were planning on a cruise to see him in May, but that won't be happening now. While the future cruises on the Grand (other than this week's) haven't been cancelled by the cruise line, I wouldn't be surprised if the ship is taken out of circulation for a while. Even if it wasn't, our buddy believes all crew contracts will be cut short and they'll be heading home. After a quarantine, period of course. I've been talking with him every day and I can hear fear in his voice. It's certainly a stressful times for all.

Then today we heard from two other crew members, one on the Royal Princess (the ship we just left) and the Regal Princess. Both ships have crew members who had transferred over from the Grand Princess. (Before anyone knew about COVID-19 on the Grand.) And now both ships are in a holding pattern. The Royal cancelled yesterday's cruise and the Regal cancelled today's. The Royal is empty of passengers and sitting at the dock in San Pedro but the Regal is offshore in Florida with a ship full of passengers needing to disembark. Without knowing what is happening next, it's more stressful times for all.

With everything happening, what did our crew members on those ships and other ships tell us? Again and again, they told us the same thing. Stay away from ships for a while. I gotta say, I trust crew members we've know for years over what I hear on TV or read on the Internet so we're following their advice. 

We're skipping our two cruises on the Star Princess, our two cruises on the Grand Princess, and the one cruise on the Coral Princess. There will be no March-April-May cruises for us this year. Many months ago we had already decided to skip Alaska this season so no June-July-August cruises, either. We're not giving up completely, though. We've gone ahead and booked several cruises for October and November this year. But if when the time comes we have crew members telling us not to go, we won't. 

It's a crazy time in the cruising world right now and things are changing day by day and sometimes hour by hour. We all need to do what we can to reduce risks of exposure, whether we are on a cruise ship or not. Be safe out there, and stay healthy!

Thank you to everyone who has been checking with us to see if we’re okay. We are home now, having left the Royal Princess not too long ago. We’re healthy and happy to be back home for a while.