CORONAVIRUS AND CRUISING - SOME FAQS AND SOME THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW!

We love cruising and we want you to love cruising too. We want you to continue to cruise and to continue to book cruise giving yourself amazing holiday experiences that you’ll never forget! However infinitely more important is your health, safety and peace of mind and we know that cruise lines feel exactly the same.

🟢 PERSPECTIVE - SOME STATISTICS:


🦠 As of this morning there were 82,168 cases of Coronavirus confirmed. 95.5% of these are in China.

🦠 The mortality rate of Coronavirus is just 3.4% this morning. This is significantly lower than SARS which showed 10% mortality. Of this 3.4% it’s not yet established but based on similar viruses it would be fair to suggest than a high percentage may have had underlying health conditions.

🦠 81% of cases are MILD. 14% are moderate and just 5% are considered critical. Even if someone was to catch Coronavirus then they would be fully expected to recover.

🦠 The HSE state that In Ireland:

“between 200 and 500 people, mainly older people, die from flu each winter. Every year, around the world, flu causes between 3 and 5 million cases of severe disease and up to 646, 000 deaths!!”

Flu is a much bigger risk that Coronavirus as it stands yet we don’t panic about contracting flu, we don’t change travel plans and we’re not as careful about our hygiene habits.

Although of course concerning and we must be vigilant we do need to keep things in perspective here...

🟢 HOW DO I KNOW IF ITS SAFE TO TRAVEL TO MY DESTINATIONS?

There is only one place you should be checking for accurate reliable advice and that’s the Dept of Foreign Affairs. Agents, airlines and cruise lines will react based on the advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Department! Please keep an eye on this page below and keep checking to it destinations:


www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/


🟢 BUT IS CRUISING SAFE?

In a word... yes!! CLIA Europe are reporting that in reality only one of CLIA’s 272 ocean ships actually suffered Coronavirus onboard. This ship was on a 29 day itinerary which departed on 6th January 2020. This is well in advance of the 30th Jan when the World Health Organisation declared a global health emergency!!

Therefore hundreds of thousands of people are cruising across the world right now without the slightest issue!!

There are logistical issues and issues with ports preventing arrival of ships, mostly but not exclusively in the Asian region.

The most recent situation on MSC Cruises Meraviglia is a case in point - denied entry to 2 ports as 1 crew member has reported some fly type symptoms(not coronavirus) (Cruise Lines are obliged to report)

But we passionately believe that cruising is the safest form of holiday right now!


🟢 I ONLY HEAR ABOUT CRUISE LINE CORONAVIRUS ISSUES?

Coronavirus is not unique to cruising!! It can be spread in any settings and there have been outbreaks at ski resorts and hotels with the Tenerife situation just the latest! But not all of these settings have the same controls as cruising and the only major cruising outbreak started before the world new what Coronavirus was!


🟢 SO WHAT ARE CRUISE LINES DOING TO MAKE IT SAFE THEN?

Cruise lines have reacted quickly to the situation and have installed the following restrictions / protective measures:


💊 Cruise lines are restricting who can get onboard with customers from certain countries denied boarding

💊 Cruise lines are checking recent travel history and if someone has passed through an affected area in the last 14 days then they are being denied entry. This list includes China, Hong Kong, Macau and now because of the developing situation, Northern Italy has been added to the list.

💊 Cruise lines are also denying boarding to anyone who has had close contact with or cared for anyone with Coronavirus.

💊 Cruise lines are screening all passengers for temperature and symptoms before boarding and at every port.

These measures are in advance of other sectors in the industry.


🟢 I’VE A CRUISE HOLIDAY BOOKED, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If your holiday is in the next few weeks then you should make contact with your travel agent. Please be patient. They may not have all the information you need to hand given the fast moving situation. Stay close to them and follow the departments advice.

Bear in mind also they will be inundated!! So please be patient.

If your holiday is not for 3 months plus please hold from contact your agent at this point... so much could change between now and then and it’s too early to say what impact there will be on your holiday! This also frees up the agents time to deal with those who are weeks away from travelling!


🟢 SHOULD I CANCEL A HOLIDAY?

Unless you have an underlying health / respiratory illness and the departments advice is that the area is safe to travel to then there’s no reason why you cannot go. If you really would prefer not to then you can of course cancel, your risk would be to lose the deposit. If the department states that the area is not safe then your holiday is likely to be cancelled anyway and you would have your money returned.

If your holiday is months away then we would say don’t panic and don’t cancel. Just hold and wait and see!

🟢 WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?

Keep practicing good hand hygiene and good etiquette with coughing and sneezing at home and abroad.

Make sure your travel insurance is in place but that’s nothing new, it’s important to have it and all the more reason to have it now.

It’s also worth making sure your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is valid.


www2.hse.ie/services/ehic/ehic.html


🟢 REASONS TO BOOK:

Lots of people are now holding off booking.. there’s really no reason to! The reality is that come summer, come 2021 when Covid-19 is just a memory you will wish you had something booked. You will still want to be on holiday. The reality right now is that the pricing has never been lower as people are holding off booking!

The value right now is insanely good... if you book and the situation changes in the countries you are to visit then the cruise lines will either change the itinerary or cancel the cruise. If it’s a changed itinerary then there’s no great issue unless you really had a specific destination in mind. There are some instances of onboard credit and future cruise credits being given in this case.

If they cancel the cruise it’s disappointing but you will get a full refund! If you have travel insurance in place you can claim against that if needed for any reason.

Covid-19 will pass... theres no doubt about that! In the summer we will not be talking about Covid-19. This is a fantastic time to book if you’re looking for amazing value and with the measures in place it’s also a safe choice to make.


🟢 BOOKING THROUGH AN AGENT IN IRELAND IS NOW EVEN MORE IMPORTANT:

Also don’t forget booking through a trusted Agent in Ireland means you have all the supports and protection in place here so you’re not on your own!! You will be looked after!!


🟢 FINAL WORD:

This is a long post, it’s to try and help support you and answer some of the many questions we’ve been asked in recent days. It’s also to try and offer some reassurance to you all that there are measures in place, great measures to ensure you have a safe and happy holiday to look forward to if you decide to travel and if you don’t decide to travel you’re making that decision in an informed manner.


It’s easy to get caught up in the media side of things... headlines dripping in left right and centre... yes it is concerning but perspective is always best in these things!


These are just our thoughts, we hope you find them helpful.


If we can help further in any way then please just let us know.

#CLIA #ITAA #covid19 #coronavirus #choosecruise

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