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Cruise ships pose a huge threat

So we have at least six cruise ships sitting off the NSW coast, refusing to go home, even though Australia has refuelled/restocked them for the voyage and removed to ICU any sick crew/passengers.

Carnival is appealing to our government to reconsider  and repatriate hundred of crew and passsengers but Australians elsewhere around the world are not being helped buy other less "soft touch" countries, are they? 

Anyone else fed up with stupid travellers/cruisers who still went on holidays in the middle of a global pandemic? We had to cancel our holiday plans, at considerable expense, and now we have to risk all we have done here in Australia because of greedy cruise companies allowing cruises to continue when they should have been stopped a long time ago.

And now we have the whingers in the hotels, the people  finally returning from overseas...one woman complained that the food she received was "carb overload".!  Really, lady?

If these foreign crew and passengers are allowed off the ships ( not inccluding the severely ill, of course, they must be helped) we are really in trouble. We will not be able to cope with the surge in illness.

I await criticism from those of you who feel we should welcome every fool who enters our waters but I do not care. We are a soft touch.

39 comments

It is an almighty balls up and that is saying it politely. My mother was on the Ovation of the Seas. They left Sydney to cruise to NZ and then Pacific Islands. Of course they didnt get there and never actually landed anywhere. But a gent who had just flown in from somewhere was allowed to board with them and the virus spread on board. On return my mother and her hubby, both elderly and him with emphysema were allowed to walk off at Sydney, go to a hotel and then get a bus back to home (Coffs Harbour) next day. We were amazed at how casual it was, even they thought it was too easy. After they got home, did the shopping etc , (and had contact with however many people) they received an email saying Covid19 has been diagnosed on board and they had to self isolate. They did get sick and had tests but it was negative. 

I would have expected isolation and health checks on board before anyone was allowed to disembark. Whoever is in charge of letting ships come into port, and just check our their possibly infectious people needs to get a new job. 

There is sufficient historical evidence/examples, when you know where to look, of illnesses being a regular fact of life on cruises. I've got friends who have cruised before multiple times & fortunately their family hasn't come down with . . . something.  But!! Cram pack hundreds of people into a large sardine can ( cruise liner ) & it goes without saying, but I'll state it anyway. Illness of any kind - serious or not - is bound to happen somewhere, sometime. Cause no-one on board can ever know what passengers unknowingly carry on board during embarkation portside. And that's hugely despite said ships respectively employing high quality doctors, nurses, etc insitue on board & the serious cleaning that goes on after passengers disembark after crusing.

When Australia's boarders were slammed shut to inbound / outbound international flights last month; so should have been the ports to inbound / outbound cruise liner companies & frankly their high paid exec's can go cry in their " cruise liner lobster mornay ". 

No someone somewhere has not done their job. WHat I would like to see as a result of this is that all those who attempt to travel, even if it is just a cold, must stay home and not travel anywhere at any time. This all started because someone went onboard and wasnt feeling well.

 

That brings back memories, we were about to board the Sun Princess out of Fremantle in 2016 to Tasmania and back, we were filling out forms to say that we were not sick and didn't have a cold, this woman came to the desk with a rep from the cruise company and both of us over heard her admit that she has a cold.

The rep said don't put that down!  True story.  It is not fair to the rest of the passengers, if the cruise company could keep them in their cabin till their cold had cleared up.   But this was four years ago now, today I would not agree to that.

https://www.cruisemapper.com/

It is amazing to realize how many ships are still on the oceans of our planet.

Back in the 1970's and 80's there was a Sitmar Cruise liner named Fairstar (the fun ship) that sailed regularly from Sydney Harbour. I sailed on it 3 times over a period of several years and it was common knowledge, almost a joke, that you always  stood a good chance of getting the "Fairstar Flu" every time you were onboard. Thankfully I only got it once!

All cruise ships now gone from Australian waters except the Ruby Proncess which has been moved to dock at Port Kembla in NSW. They have 200 sick crew on board fro m a full crew of about 1300.

That boat and its operators are now the sunject of an investigation which could result in criminal charges.

The boat is now essentially a quarantine station for the crew and are visited daily by medical staff. Anyone who needs treatment on-shore will get it.

Not all Cruise ships have left - on the West Coast we have the Artania tied up at the wharf in Fremantle with a lot of Sick Crew onboard and my Marine App has the cruise ship called The World cruising up and down the coast after having been moored at the naval base at Garden Island.  They're either lost or hoping to come back in :)

 

I do not sympatised with people who still went away on cruises and overseas trips at the time when the Covid-19 was already a news headliner and come back to Australia complaining about being quarantined at a 5* Hotel, about the lack of fresh air, food etc.  I bet not all of the returned Australians do actually travel 1st class and stay at 5* Hotels, so they should be lucky that the government and the taxpayers are footing the bill.  Or, maybe, they should have been sent to Christmas Island and be thankful that they are being looked after and not quarantined away from Australia?  They should be made to pay the bill themselves, for being stupid, or for wanting to spread the virus.  Wake-up people!  I had the commonsense to cancel our back-2-back cruises in February, 2020, at the expense of losing $$$$.  But, am happy that I did not inflick my virus to other people, as we am practising social distance?  What good is money if you are sick????

 

Why is almost everyone, including this people on this forum, politicians and journalists, so anti-cruise ship. Why do not people pick on the airlines who transported many more thousands of potential Covid-19 carriers than the cruise ships.  I wonder how many airline passengers contracted Corvid-19 while sitting cheek by jowl in a small cylindrical metal tube, Cruise ships are an easy target because their passengers are on board for many days and any infection has time to incubate. It is not the fault of the cruise ships that Covid-19 got on-board, they can try but there is a limit on what they can do. Intending passengers or crew can have the desease and not know they are infectious.

Having been on many cruises I have no hesitation in cruising again when the desease is finally vanquished. I have seen with my own eyes how seriously cruise lines take the threat of contageous deseases (usually Flu or gastro) and the strict measures they take to combat infection. A damn sight more than airlines.

Some people are in shock-horror that sick people on ships have to pay for their medical treatment. When one boards a cruise ship, or any ship, you are effectively entering a foreign country, therefore you are not covered by Medicare and need to have comprehensive travel insurance. Necessary medical treatment given on board is covered by travel insurance just like it is in any foreign country, and the bills can be high. I would not go on a cruise without proper comprehensive travel insurance.

 

 

Eddy I would never every go back on a cruise ship, you know why?  Because they are not telling the truth when it comes to the Port Authorities in Australia.

We have been cruising for a good 40 years all over the world, I have made my own Thread about this.

Husband and I were last on the Sun Princess coming back from Melbourne a return trip Fremantle to Fremantle, the norovirus was thick on the ship, everyone was told to wash their hands as per usual.

The day before we got into Fremantle husband went down with the Norovirus and was told to disembark quickly, the authorities had come on board to check the ship. Now by rights they should have been told he was sick don't you think?

Later I was communicating on the Board of Cruise Critic which you probably are fully aware of and the lady there was talking that they had no norovirus and it was two cruises after we got off, she attributed this to the closure of the Library.

As you are a cruiser you know that a lot of people use the Library for not only books but various games that they take away to their cabins.  So my guess is those games were the carriers of the virus and should have been cleaned. True Story.

No I would not go on a cruise again even with my long experience of cruising.Why you may ask?  Because there are so many people cruising these days with the cheaper cabins that we are getting a bigger blend of folks some who perhaps are not as clean as one would like them to be.

I know on that cruise on the Sun Princess there were an awful lot of people that could have smelt fresher, putting it mildly.  The hair was smelling, woolie jumpers that obviously needed a wash too. Very  sad when people cannot care for themselves.  We are in our 70s by the way.

 

 

 

Most travel insurances have an excess probably around $220. The account from a doctor on board is usually in the region of $170 per person each visit.

So when we spent $6000 premium on Travel insurance on the last cruise and we came home and wanted to put a claim into our insurance, we receive a pittance back when we became sick with a virus that was not the norovirus.

I think we received the grand sum of $150.

This was a cruise with a few Australians on, we had flown from Perth to Heathrow, spent 10 days in the UK and boarded the Arcadia on 6th January, 2018.  Seven days later a lot of people went down with this virus including the crew.   I do not know how many deaths there were.  But the virus was very similar to the one the world is experiencing now.  I have mention this on the site before.

It made a lot of mucus in the Trachia and two lots of visits to the doctor later and of course the cost of antibiotics some of us were better than others.

It was a seven week cruise;  someone had brought the virus on board, this is why I am a strong believer of people travelling on cruises which are much slower than flights, should have a heat sensor monitor given them upon embarkation.  I mentioned this to the Doctor at the time and he agreed, but his replied floored me, he said we have to think of peoples privacy! 

'Privacy!' I replied, what about all these sick people we have on the boat at the moment, he agreed!

I note that same vessel  we were on, the Arcadia was in Broome about two weeks ago and dropped someone off that was sick!  I wonder what that doctor now is thinking.

Perhaps I should write a book about cruising or not to cruise!

But health issues have to be taken more seriously on these cruise ships, some cruise ships used to do their housework at night in the public areas, some do it 24/7 and clean the buttons on the lifts and the hand rails all day and night.

Then you have the issue of the cheap cruises where the cruise line makes their money on alcohol consumption on not the sale of the cabins; when that happens an awful lot of passengers like to get drunk.  As a consequense they throw up on the carpets usually in the passage ways leading to the cabins on the lower decks, so then the poor cabin stewards have to get the carpets shampooed after the Sanitizing Teams come in to clean up the vomit. 

This also happens in the Lifts.

Many a time you will walk along a passageway and find air blowers busy trying to dry out the carpets all day and night.

Another reason we prefer to have mini suites and not cabins.

The vessels have become much too large in my opinion.  Some of the bigger cruise ships can house 6000 people.  Not my idea of and relaxation.

 

According to Traveler, this past month has seen a 40% increase in cruise ship bookings for 2021. Coronavirus is not going to deter some folk. I had to smile at Celia's experiences of cruising--you should write that book. Some friends went on a cruise to which they thought was a good time, but much of it was 'fuzzy'. The fare costs x amount of dollars. Their credit card bill for alcohol almost double. Another, related to us, went on a first-class Mediterranean cruise. He was so drunk he inappropriately touched some female crew members. The captain (who overlooked prior incidents) eventually threw him and his partner off the ship in Turkey, just a few ports into what was an expensive voyage (and he can't wait to go on his next cruise). I guess fun on the high seas is open to interpretation.

 

Hi Veritas,

One of the best cruises we have been on was ex Dover UK, up to the Artic.

On the way we sailed slowly under the bridges of Norway from one fjord to the next, wonderful scenery.

https://www.nordicvisitor.com/blog/best-most-beautiful-fjords-norway/

https://www.hurtigruten.com.au/destinations/norway/hamburg-north-cape-hamburg/#key-info

Have seen the south island of NZ that is lovely but Norway is better.

We used Fred Olsen Cruises, back then, they are not posh, we had a lovely suite with a lovely verandah, the crew were excellent.  The majority of passengers were over 50 and we were one of the youngest couples back then in our late 50s.

https://www.fredolsencruises.com/

They are not large ships, you will never get a large ship under those bridges, which is great, so the maximum number of passengers are around 700; size of their ships is around 24,000 tonnage.  Their largest is around 38,000 tonnage from memory.

'Fred' as cruisers call them!   Are also a large shipping company that run a lot of Ferries between the Baltic capital cities, also they run freight/cargo ships.

 

Food was good, with my special diet they always aimed to please.  So much so if I didn't wish to dine in the formal dining room, they would bring the meal to where I was on the ship!   

Their dining room back then was more formal that the bigger ships, gents needed to wear a tie and jacket, [in the evening] didn't need to be a formal black die and jacket.  The ladies liked to be smartly dressed.

Lunch and breakfast was casual, there are other places to dine besides the formal dining room.

We have been on 5 of their cruises, twice to Saint Petersberg, once up  to the Horn of Europe, back to back cruises, so we saw more of Norway and Sweden, Denmark and Fineland.  Also through the Keil Canal in Germany to Hamberg. The last was around the Med back to back cruising and into the Black Sea.   

https://www.fredolsencruises.com/about-us

I don't want to come across as a know it all in cruising, but from our experience we do like Holland America and have enjoyed their hospitality.  

The Oosterdam is my favourite ship, she is probably the biggest size I would want to go on, but she doesn't feel huge!  She carries just under 2000 passengers, but it never felt crowded.

https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/cruise-ships/ms-oosterdam/6.html

They are excellent in catering for odd diets, especially the non dairy ice cream.  We spent a month on her going around the Pacific about five years ago.  I would love to have repeated that cruise! We felt we had been on a holiday and looked after, unlike some cruises.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Xu72sPoTYY

I remember reading when Carnival wanted to take Holland America over they stipulated that a condition of them being purchased was that HAL should be managed the way it always had been and nothing should change!     

We've also been on P and O International, P & O Australia, Princess and Royal Caribbean besides Fred!

Australia "soft ' on cruise ships? Whatever makes you think that?

Our gov. hasn't got enough balls to do anything that may cause ructions for any foreign countries even if it killa Australians.

Is there any truth to the story that the Ruby princess was allowed to disembark passengers cos there was a gov. official on the cruise who managed to pull enough strings to have them docked?

Note that the border force , who is supposed to "protect" our borders is pointing the finger at NSW Health and vice versa. Every one is ducking for cover and now blaming the cruise line.

Will things be any different when we get coronavirus-20 or 21. I doubt it.

I find it sgrange that Border Force can take people of boats and put them in camps but claims it doesn't have the power to stop people suspected of being carriers from leaving a plague ship.

Apparently, visas and contraband are the jurisdictions of Border Force operations. Viruses come under biosecurity. It means, if someone picked up a few kilograms of methamphetamine in one of the ports of call, theoretically they could walk off the ship as long as their visa was good as it appears no proper checks are done in Australian ports. Drugs, like viruses, have the potential to kill people.

If coronavirus is good for one thing, it exposed all that under-the-carpet stuff in day-to-day operations.

I'm with you, Celia.  Never again will we cruise. Numerous reasons but this recent state of events is the icing on the cake.

First cruise we really enjoyed. Small ship.

Second cruise, larger ship, husband got gastro. As did hundreds of others.

Third cruise on one of the newest, biggest ships made...awful! Crowds and crowds, nowhere to sit apart from your stateroom, dreadful experience.

We didn't get sick but  the buffet tables  were always wet! I asked the supervisor about this and he said the special antiseptic spray the used on the tables would be ineffective if dried off. So we all sat down to eat on wet tables. Yukky. The place stank of  heated wet plastic; I know they use unbreakable plates and they are hurriedly put through a dishwasher and put out again as the buffet was so busy but the odour put us off and we stuck to the dining room after day 2.

Re, coronavirus:

The cruises should have ceased long ago but due to the greed of cruise companies they continued and have been responsible for death. How can we, in all conscience, give our money to these criminals? There are better ways to holiday anyway.

Celia and Holly, I totally agree with all that you have said.  I'm really indignant - no - actually angry that:

1) these cruise vessels refuse to go away from our waters in spite of being refuelled and re-stocked. And that is even after we have done the right thing by removing those on board who were ill.

2) So I suppose the captains/crew on these vessels would love to offload themselves even thought they do not have any symptoms, just to come and i) unwittingly spread the virus ii) become infected with the virus but don't worry, they say - Australia will take care of us, we will be treated for free by the Australian health system

3) the lies that the captain/s have come up with thereby causing huge delays in getting passengers either off their vessels as required or moving on

4) Most of all, the blatant and complete treachery of the Chinese Communist Party in allowing this tragedy to happen to mankind.  Their secrecy of this murderous disease to the whole world stinks of evil and corruption and greed for power, and I hope all nations can bring the Chinese Communist Party down to its knees and get them to account for this gross act of murder worldwide - thousands of lives lost. I think there needs to be a huge revolt by the people in China to remove this immoral and criminal Chinese Communist Party dictatorship ......and no, I'm not racist but I'm certainly against the evil, murderous acts of the CCP.

Celia and Holly, I totally agree with all that you have said.  I'm really indignant - no - actually angry that:

1) these cruise vessels refuse to go away from our waters in spite of being refuelled and re-stocked. And that is even after we have done the right thing by removing those on board who were ill.

2) So I suppose the captains/crew on these vessels would love to offload themselves even thought they do not have any symptoms, just to come and i) unwittingly spread the virus ii) become infected with the virus but don't worry, they say - Australia will take care of us, we will be treated for free by the Australian health system

3) the lies that the captain/s have come up with thereby causing huge delays in getting passengers either off their vessels as required or moving on

4) Most of all, the blatant and complete treachery of the Chinese Communist Party in allowing this tragedy to happen to mankind.  Their secrecy of this murderous disease to the whole world stinks of evil and corruption and greed for power, and I hope all nations can bring the Chinese Communist Party down to its knees and get them to account for this gross act of murder worldwide - thousands of lives lost. I think there needs to be a huge revolt by the people in China to remove this immoral and criminal Chinese Communist Party dictatorship ......and no, I'm not racist but I'm certainly against the evil, murderous acts of the CCP.

The Captian on the ship is called the MASTER he is in control of the vessal complete control he says weather  it goes in or out after speaking with the people ashore,i believe the Ruby princes had 3 doctors and 3 nurses and they did not inform the Captian if they did he has to inform ashore and come in flying the yellow Q flag which means nobody comes on and nobody leaves the vessall untill it has been checked out and the Captian has to enforce it well we will see every one running ashore and on board now 

The Captain is controlled by the Port Authorities & Border Control you will find cupoftea when he is in various countries he has to abide by the countries regulations, he has to do what they say also when the Pilot is on board with regards the steering of the vessel.  But on the high seas he is the boss for sure.

He will of course be commanded by his Head Office too!

The ship has to be passed by the Health Authorities in each respective country and they board the ship to see records.  Sometimes they do an inspection before anyone is allowed to live the vessel, if there is a death on the ship they are in control also.  Sometimes the respective police from that country also come on board.

Each time we were in port there is usually some time after docking before the all clear is given to disembark and passengers can go their own way.   Later you will find these people having lunch up on the self service usually the top deck.  It is interesting going into various ports and see these people come on board.

It is interesting comparing apples with oranges in the various cruise lines, sometimes the formal restaurants are open in port,  some cruise lines close them off and only have self service.

Packing thousands of people onto a boat like sardines in a can completely defies common sense. It's just like the plague ships of old. Forget cruising: even if not corona virus, it will be norovirus or something worse next time. Holiday in Australia.

Bigger ships and cheaper cruises attracts en masse of ordinary, dirty people, grub who are unhygienic.  We were cruisers, but not again.

Hi LornaH.

I have to agree with you, they put the cabin prices down to the rock bottom and get their profits selling wine and spirits.  Then these people get drunk!    It is not a pleasant atmosphere anymore.

We had a mini suite and used to return there after dinner as there was not much in the way of quality entertainment.    

We like peace and quiet or some nice music, not the junk they blast now adays.  No we will not return to cruising they have lost us.

 

True, LornaH. I once heard a neighbour tell my husband he was

"goin onna cruise an gunna wear me  one pair o trakky daks the ole time an never av a shower coz it's my oliday".

Ah, yes. It's as if a certain group of people feel they need to make some point here? Defiance, perhaps, like a school child. But I fail to see why turning yourself into a stinking sewat ball for two weeks makes any useful point at all. But it does say a lot about him, doesn't it.

On our last cruise as we left the elevator to disembark a woman got in. She absolutely stank of b.o. I didn't hold back and said in a very loud voice "Gee, what a stink" .

I know. I am awful. Don't care.

Devastated family of an American man who died from coronavirus sues Ruby Princess operators for $1.6million for failing to warn passengers about the risks of the bug on board the cruise

    

Chung Chen, 64, died on April 4 in Los Angeles from COVID-19 after travelling on the Ruby Princess, which finished it's voyage in Sydney.

 

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