I just returned from another simply amazing NCL Norwegian Cruise. I had never been on a western Caribbean route, nor had time to visit New Orleans. This gave me the opportunity to do both! The NCL Getaway is a sister ship to the NCL Breakaway (video review of my cabin here and of the Haven review is found here). This cruise I went for a large aft cabin and I will have that review both on YouTube and on the blog soon.
I have covered in a number of posts the different ways I go about reducing the cost of my cruises. Not just the cruise itself — but also how I fly on points to get to the ship, stay on points in hotels before I sail and fly back on points. Heck, I even use either UBER or Groundlink to get to and from the airport, hotel, and the ship itself. The point is that I try using many points to make the trip net cost me no more than 10-20% of retail out of pocket. Nice.
But I am done for 2020!
Yep. Even though I put down another $250 (to get $500 NCL “Cruise Next” credits) before departing the Getaway on Sunday, I will not book another voyage for quite some time.
Coronavirus Disease COVID-19
This thing has me simply scared out of my wits.
I am clearly fearful of getting the disease itself but not in mortal fear of surviving it if I do get sick. I am reasonably healthily and not “that old” and get a flu shot each year (will not help me but has benefits if you study up).
I also understand many more are dying from the normal yearly flu than have or likely will die this year from the coronavirus (unless things change rapidly). But I also understand an inoclulation for this virus is unlikely this year — or maybe even next year!
So why my fear and no more bookings?
I am a big proponent of having a yearly travel insurance policy. I have it because it covers everything my wife and I have booked — and everything I and my wife will book. It covers us even as SCUBA divers as long as we are with a divemaster and stay above 120 feet and even are not freaked out swimming with sharks!
But what is NOT covered? Epidemics. They are in fact explicitly excluded in my policy (see big red arrows above). OK so is it just because of this? No – there is much more.
This thing is getting worse — and could get out of control.
If you have not been following along due to so much coronavirus coverage, there have been a few cruise ships with coronavirus infected people. The number of folks infected keeps going up. What first seemed to be simply an extended pleasure cruise (quarantine) is rapidly changing day by day. Plus, infected folks have now gotten on commercial airlines and flown around the world (ruh roh). What else?
I never book an interior room on a cruise ship (they seem to be only slightly larger than an airline lavatory). I could never, ever, consider being trapped a.k.a. quarantined in one of these rooms for weeks on end – could you?
Even with a balcony room, not being able to go anywhere would start to unnerve me. Plus, the uncertainty of how long I may have to be again quarantined when and if I eventually get home to the USA would add another layer of frustration I am not ready to face!
Bottom line: I love cruising. I love every part of it from the planning of the voyage, to the using points, to make the vacation as close to “free” as possible, and then all the fun on and off the ship.
But the uncertainty that now encircles the coronavirus epidemic has given me pause.
I am happy to wait for a year for the rest of 2020 to see where this thing goes. You? – René
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