Cruise ships experiencing COVID outbreaks despite 'safety protocols'

Yeah I don’t get the dig against cruise ship gigging. I’m tempted to say something like it’s a decent gig for a young person but even my esteemed major-orchestra achieving tenured college prof had a week’s gig on a cruise ship each winter that he looked forward to as a kind of working vacation. For musicians and entertainers, work is work and as you say there’s far worse out there; the sadness of someone working something that’s not their dream while it slips away probably happens far more in your local venues than on cruise ships.

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I know a violinist that “enjoyed” a season. Know a dancer/actor that enjoyed it enough to go back a second time.

Also know a music grad that worked at the local amusement park’s theater. Same 25 minute show a dozen times a day, 6 days a week, all summer long, and didn’t earn much more than the funnel cake guy. Got to go home at the end of the day, but with the shitty schedule he couldn’t find any time to join any other ensemble or projects.

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It’s my understanding that “but I’m vaccinated!” is why we have the omicron variant now - without masking indoors or distancing outdoors, they’re just vectors for further spreading.

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cheers champagne GIF by Fleabag

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Not “Mc Boaty COVID Lung”?

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Sorta, sorta not. Unvaccinated people are still driving this ship into the rocks by a large margin. Vaccines do decrease the chance of being infected in the first place, by multiples. But people who are treating the vaccine like it’s open season to breathe strangers’ exhaust aren’t helping.

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I believe it’s part of the phenomenon known as “risk compensation”, and might also be why bicycle helmets prevent so few injuries across a population: in practice, people wearing helmets will ride faster and crash harder.

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I came reasonably close to working a cruise line, but our company was outbid. I was looking forward to the experience, although even before doing it, I realized I might want to do it a couple times for the experience and then move on.

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I can’t believe this is actually news this week. LISTEN UP–

I worked at a major cruise line for a number of years. As long as the pandemic is going on, DO NOT BOARD A CRUISE SHIP.

Multiple times different cruises lines have tried to re-open, and every time there was a Covid outbreak. At the beginning, they shut down one of our ships, cleaned it top to bottom, started the next cruise, and there was IMMEDIATELY another outbreak. This was early on, of course, so maybe they missed some things, but it doesn’t matter because all the cabins are connected via the heating and cooling system. It is cost-prohibitive to make every room separate in terms of ventilation, so there is literally no safe place to go maskless on a ship unless you’re outdoors in the wind. If you take your mask off in your own cabin, you CAN still be exposed. Cruise ships are already floating petri dishes of bacteria (one idiot guest not washing their hands can give everyone at the buffet a nice helping of norovirus), and something airborne is catastrophic for the industry. CATASTROPHIC. Like, ‘whatever happened to Blockbuster Video’ catastrophic.

I know people want to cruise. I know major cruiselines are running out of money after having been shut down for so long, and are getting desperate. Heck, pre-covid I’d even recommend cruising so long as you’re safe and keep clean and use hand sanitizer. But even with the vaccine, there is NOTHING. SAFE. ABOUT. CRUISING. Don’t do it. People are coming from all over the world and even if they’re vaccinated, they can still carry it, and they can still infect you, and you can still infect people you take it home to. Going on a cruise ship from October 2019 to present and beyond is AN EXTRAORDINARILY BAD IDEA. Cruise lines will tell you they took steps, and they are clearly not doing nothing, but THESE DO NOT WORK, it is an airborne virus that is mutating and even if 100% of guests and crew are vaccinated, you are putting yourself at even more risk than a concert or sporting event because most major cruise lines sail for seven days minimum.

I’m not some ex-employee with an axe to grind, I understand why they let me go and I already have another job. This isn’t about their business model. It’s about them trying to tell you a closed bacterial environment has been made safe when it is literally the dictionary definition of the last possible thing you should do during a pandemic. This article shouldn’t be news, it should as obvious as the Earth being round, but here we are.

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My father in law died in his favorite chair watching The Love Boat in 1982.

I can think of worse ways to go, like covid after an actual cruise.

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Cruise ships when there isn’t a pandemic? Also no.

I didn’t like the idea even before the constant norovirus outbreaks, as AnthonyI mentions above.

Mom (a claustrophobe) pointed out that once yr on a ship, you can never escape the assholes you encounter. She also figured she’d spend most of her time just walking/pacing the decks.

During a trip to Jamaica in the late 90s, what was then one of the world’s biggest cruise ships docked at Ocho Rios. Ochi’s a 15min drive E of Priory, the small N coast town where we stayed. She left port once it was dark and headed W, staying quite close to the coastline. The sea there is very shallow for a long way out from the beach, but eventually there is a massive drop off that makes for a terrific wall dive. We were sat on the beach with some friends when we were treated to the sight of what looked like a supremely fugly cross between a V fat horizontal skyscraper and a tacky AF Christmas tree, given the am’t of nasty lights on her.

“That’s a big, hideous floating hotel,” I pointed out and visably shuddered.

“Ya, mon,” a friend agreed. “A big, h’ugly, flowtin’ 'otel.”

“I much prefer being with you than them,” I said, dismissing the behemoth with a flippant gesture.

The first whole day I ever spent 'pon De Island, we visited a bakery in Ochi. The very nice lady behind the counter asked after a while, “Yu come off da boat [cruise ship]?”

No,” mom said, with disgusted feeling, then added, “We don’t want to be stuck on a boat with a buncha Americans.

“Oah, yu from Canada, den [then]?” she innocently asked.

“No, we’re American,” mom explained, and we grinned.

This was also the day we learned that sarcasm was mostly wasted on kindly, non-urban dwellers. This lady is sweet as pie, and no dummy, and after a sec she got it, LOL’ing. We always made certain that waiting on us was far from tedious wherever we went, and she told us we were lotsa fun. Her bakery ('twas her joint as it turned out) was one of the places we went several times during every trip, and she was as happy to see us as we were seeing her. :grinning:

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I would not cruise again until this shit is under control (especially since I’m not willing to be a vector to spread diseases I may not even realize I am carrying to other people and countries!), but, I proposed on a Cruise ship. I met Wil Wheaton on a cruise ship (no, I didn’t propose to him). My cruise from Vancouver to Hawai’i was one of the best experiences of my life. YMMV.

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and then you couldn’t stop running into him.

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I shipped as a Chief Cook for 5 years, almost all of it I was at sea. No you can’t get away from the asshole, and as no surprise most of them were just that, assholes.

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Hrm
I just figured everyone has read and heard the petri dish stories and have seen the overflowing toilet videos.
Are people really boarding these boats thinking they were safe?

A couple of days ago I was reading the negative comments directed towards some rock climbers who were portaledged on a rock face. “Too risky” and “too young” and blah blah blah. My feeling is they know the risk and accept the consequences. Is it not the same for cruisers? I mean, the vast majority of cruises are probably fine? And if you choose the wrong boat at the right time… Well at least you went out knowing the risk??

Such a good reason to make a living wielding Admiralty Law.

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Hmm…could be a future Black Mirror episode…

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[brief tangent: I imagine you’re quite fond of Arsenic and Old Lace, then? "I’m the son of a sea cook!!!"]

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