Covid and Cruising

I returned from a 7 day cruise from NY to Bermuda on Sunday, August 7th. The rules were that passengers had to be fully vaccinated and show proof of a negative Covid test 2 days prior to sailing. I figured that I was safer on a cruise ship than in my home town. I guess I was wrong. I felt what I thought were allergy symptoms this week, and they were getting worse. That made sense since pollen levels are rising. But the symptoms got annoying enough that I tested myself this morning, and found that I’m positive for Covid.

In a way, I felt kind of stupid. I should have remembered that vaccinations (I’ve had 4) do not offer good protection against developing Covid, although they probably decrease the probability of serious
consequences.

My doctor says, “You’ll be fine,” but he put me on Paxlovid. He asked, “Were you surprised that you got Covid after being in a cruise?” I guess I was.

According to data in today’s NY Times, Covid cases have decreased 17% nationally in the past 14 days.
Of course, with all of the in-home testing and the fact that nobody has to report a positive result, the numbers could be much worse.

Hospitalizations in the state where I live (NY) are 15 per 100K, which is a little above the national average (13/100k). NY has one of the highest rates on vaccination (78% vs national average of 67%)

Here’s my point. Covid is still very much with us, and cruising is probably too risky. Is anyone keeping tabs of how many people test positive in the weeks following a cruise?

If I had it to do over, I probably would not have cruised, and yet we’ve dealing with the dilemma of
not being able to live our lives.

Thoughts?

1 Like

If I had it to do over, I probably would not have cruised, and yet we’ve dealing with the dilemma of
not being able to live our lives.

Thoughts?

We have decided that we are changing our approach to travel to allow ourselves to live within the new boundaries the virus imposes on us. We are reasonably young retirees, still not eligible for Medicare, vaccinated and boosted, but have an elder pooch who of course is not. The three of us got Covid in February 2020, when DH returned from a work trip to San Francisco. Didn’t hit him or me hard, since we had meds we could take, but the dog had ramifications from Covid for 18 months of hell. Vet tried to get us to put him down twice, but we could see him in there and persisted. Now that he’s finally healthy again and off meds, we are reluctant to bring home the virus to him and take care to minimize exposure. An asymptomatic expression of the virus from us could kill man’s best friend.

At the same time, we have tired of where we live, most specifically the climate. We feel imprisoned by the heat in summer, cold in winter, keeping us huddled at home, since there is little we can do indoors for fun, needing to wear a mask. We didn’t retire early to be old and stay at home people.

We are putting our primary residence on the market around February, taking the time until then to whittle down our stuff and move what we can’t get rid of to our vacation home. That house, (the one recently described as having a friendly neighbor with an AK-47,) can be left vacant for long periods of time with little consequence beyond the bugs moving in. We are going to travel the US with our dog, going from a series of 30 day plus rentals until we feel the need to settle down and find a place that we want to do that. I expect that to take years, with occasional stays back at the cabin. These rentals are smaller than our current home, but the rents are comparable to the mortgage which we will be getting rid of, and we should realize a significant amount of tax free capital gains on the sale. We are getting free storage at the cabin.

I’ve never been a If It’s Tuesday It Must Be Belgium kind of traveler. I am super excited to go from home base to home base and spend weeks exploring the area. In an effort to make Dog’s final years good, we will likely be concentrating on outdoor activities to start with. He will be 17 this year and is once again doing 3-5 mile hikes with us.

Took our first van load of belongings to the cabin yesterday. It’s so exciting to put this plan into motion.

Is that enough thoughts for you?

IP,
living differently, but living well!

2 Likes

(the one recently described as having a friendly neighbor with an AK-47,)

Sorry, was on another board. Lost track of where I was posting.

IP

You’ve done all you can do. You got the shots, the boosters, and I assume you mask-up. At some point you have to go on living, and just accept that occasionally you’re gonna catch cold/flu/COVID. COVID is here to stay. We’ll probably have annual shot into perpetuity, just like flu shots.

We have cruise credits we have to use or lose. So we’re going. Fully vaxxed, and one booster. And we wear masks when out in public. That’s all we can do.

1poorguy

1 Like

Here’s my point. Covid is still very much with us, and cruising is probably too risky. Is anyone keeping tabs of how many people test positive in the weeks following a cruise? – JohnEBgood

We caught COVID early… in January 2021. It was a mild flu-like event for us, fortunately, except I passed out twice over a couple day period and that worried my doctor. Required a bunch of tests in the hospital that said everything was fine… no explanation for that. The only symptom that lasted a while… oddly… was a heightened sense of taste. Which seemed like a great thing! The hospital food seemed spicy. LOL.

We only got a vaccination in order to go on a cruise over the Christmas holiday. And had a COVID test the day before boarding because it was required (negative). Had no issues on board. Had no issues afterward. Didn’t get tested afterward.

We got the JNJ vaccination because it used the “traditional” vaccine development methodology instead of the new mRNA process.

That’s all I’ve got. Sorry.

Rob
Former RB and BL Home Fool, Supernova Portfolio Contributor & Maintenance Fool
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

Is anyone keeping tabs of how many people test positive in the weeks following a cruise?

I haven’t seen any statistics on after cruise numbers but here’s a link with numbers for the US.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

AC if I see anything else I’ll post it

2 Likes

Thank you so much for those thoughts, inparadise!

I was unaware that dogs can contract Covid-19. I looked it up and the
American Kennel Club says that they cannot.
https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/can-dogs-get-covid/…

Don’t get me wrong…I’m a real dog lover. I have an 8 yr old American Staffordshire mix that I “rescued” 3 years ago. We spend a lot of time together, and she loves to snuggle up to me when she’s sleeping. Since it’s just her and I these days, I appreciate the love. I sure hope that I do not pass Covid on to her!

Your lifestyle is intriguing. I live in a lovely area near the Hudson River, and I haven’t seen many places anywhere that could compete. Lots to do, but not as crowded as the big cities. The climate is just fine most of the year. Here we are in mid-August, hot as it gets, so air conditioning rules the day. But autumn isn’t far off.

having a friendly neighbor with an AK-47 Glad I live in NY State where that sort of thing is frowned on. My son and his wife jusst bought a second home in North Carolina. Not exactly the “deep south,” but he’s already encountering the “good ole boy” mentality.

We have cruise credits we have to use or lose. So we’re going. Fully vaxxed, and one booster. And we wear masks when out in public. That’s all we can do.

I’m an OLD scientist, but I’ve used my analytical skills to study Covid from the start.

One of the things that has driven me crazy is the underemphasis on SOCIAL DISTANCING. As I mentioned, everybody on my cruise was vaccinated and tested. I’d say that, other than during boarding, way less than 10% of passengers wore masks. If you’re outdoors 90% of the time, I guess that’s ok. And cruisers spend a lot of time stuffing their faces, masks would get in the way. (ha,ha)

But here’s the thing. How can people sit for a couple of hours in a crowded theater or bar with strangers? When I did go to the theater, I always sat on the end of the row…nobody closer than 6 feet. I saw people bunched in swimming pools, etc. STUPID, I thought…then I get Covid. Go figure.

I think we’re gotten too careless to fast. It ain’t over, as bad as we want it to be. After I recover, I know I’ll want to travel again. But I’ll be a lot more careful. I remember that more than a year ago, when things were a lot worse, Amtrak conductors would throw you off a moving train if you didn’t wear your mask. Fine. But how could they allow EVERY seat to be occupied…people squished up against each other for HOURS.

I’m a big fan of vaccination an to an extent, masks. But an even bigger fan of social distancing.

2 Likes

Yes, we try to distance today. Harder in venues like grocery stores. But we try. We no longer go to theaters, and likely never will again. Streaming is good enough. I won’t sit next to strangers if I don’t have to (like an airplane…not much choice there). I will eschew the buffets (which I already did anyway…people of unknown hygiene habits touching serving utensils that I had to touch?! I don’t think so.).

If a grocery aisle is too crowded, I will go around and come back later.

No people squishing. I didn’t like that before COVID, and I certainly don’t like it now.

2 Likes

We’ve gotten in the habit of only one of us (DW) going into the grocery stores, I unload into the PU, load into he house once were home… Costco we both go in because of the heavies, beer, water, but stay masked, distanced, so far so good, Shots, double boosted, but still very careful…

We were going to fly up to Seattle in October, I talked DW into my driving instead, I really don’t like not having my own vehicle, but we’re staying in a downtown hotel, will be able to mostly walk most places, cab maybe… I’ll avoid planes as much as possible… Always had trouble with colds, bronchitis after flights, some were oK, but one nasty long ride back from Australia, really got me…

Not so much into gambling any more… Still trying to get my stamina back from the long spell of no walking, gym, taking a while, need to get into the gym, maybe next week, find a slack time, skip crowded areas…

1 Like

… and yet we’ve dealing with the dilemma of not being able to live our lives.

Not being able to live a pre-Covid life? Yes. At least until either new vaccines or a changing virus alters the situation. Or unless you’re willing to get Covid again. And again.

At age 73, I am not willing to get Covid again. The risk of long-term damage is too high. We will (and do) travel. But we keep our N95 masks on the entire time on public transportation, other than literally a few seconds to swig some water on long trips (i.e., more than 3 hours).

Cruises hold no interest for us. If you eat indoors with strangers around and you do it regularly, as on a cruise, you’ll likely catch Covid, regardless of “social distancing.” Aerosol particles stay aloft for hours and float all over the room.

We don’t eat in indoor restaurants, period. We eat in outdoor dining areas, away from others. We like eating outdoors. We haven’t been to the movies or a show since Covid began. We may go to NYC this fall to see shows, but–again–we’ll be N95 masked the entire time we’re indoors.

We mask in stores, go in off hours, and minimize our time in them. In Honolulu (where we are now), masks are still fairly common.

We walk outdoors almost daily, even during the Michigan winter of 2020-21. I spend hours each week outdoors running or paddling. We’ve reserved an apartment in Paris for a month next spring.

So life is different for us in some ways, but we’re making the best of it.

2 Likes

I’m back to traveling as I did before the pandemic. I am single and have no reason to do much differently. I was among quite few people in the times I was in Paris and have no regrets. The craziness* of being on the Champs for the Tour is likely a once in a lifetime experience and was just serendipity. Rubbernecking watching David Hyde Pierce and fabulous classic cars for the filming of the series Julia was hard to beat and the were just around the block from my hotel.

I had too many years of putting others first and this is my time. If I know I am positive, I would isolate but not planning on any other measures. 2 Vax + 1 booster. Covid at the beginning of May and made a decision to wait for a more precise booster.

Santa Fe on Monday for a week, bike trip to Prince Edward Island, bike trip to Croatia, couple of weeks on the Big Island, small ship cruise from Barcelona to Lisbon by way of Morocco, couple of weeks on the Big Island, Costa Rica/Panama small ship cruise for the rest of this year.

*listening to Danes singing about Jonas Vingegaard hours before he was due in was a great memory.

Covid at the beginning of May and made a decision to wait for a more precise booster.

We are waiting for the new vaccine that targets BA5 and not just a booster of the original vaccine. We aren’t planning on flying for the rest of this year. The trips we are planning will be early next year and I am hoping that the new vaccine will be available by the end of this year.

1 Like

I was unaware that dogs can contract Covid-19. I looked it up and the
American Kennel Club says that they cannot.

American Kennel Club is very wrong. There are documented cases in dogs, cats and deer. Lots of deer. https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2022/03/09/1084440… Big cats in zoos and family cats and dogs. Even the CDC admits: Pets worldwide, including cats and dogs, have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19. https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/covid-19/pets.html#:~:text=P…. Of course they also say it’s unusual, but IMO it’s just unusual for it to be documented. It’s probably unusual for it to be as severe as it was for our dog. Hopefully, anyway.

IP

Thank you ALL for your interesting replies. As usual, I learned something.

May I just comment that I think it’s a shame that TMF shut down all of the non-financial boards? I hope that at least this one survives.

Hasn’t it been more than 20 years that boards like Political Asylum were around? The United States is in a horrible political crisis right now, and if anything, it could get worse.

I am very wary of ANY social media. TMF provided a mostly civil, well-controlled venue where we could discuss all sorts of things, including politics. Why this very thread provided me with useful information about Covid and traveling.

Since the financial world does NOT exist in isolation, it seems silly to ignore issues like politics, health, etc

Hope TMF takes another look at that decision. If reversed, it could bring in more revenue for paid financial services.

Just my thoughts.

5 Likes

I now know (personally) five different couples that went on cruises in the last month that came home with Covid. I plan on traveling in the next month or so but it will include a beach rental and grabbing takeout or cooking at the house. There’s only one breakfast place that I plan to eat at (with a mask except while eating) but I will go after the early morning rush of the charter fishing folk.

AC intends to hold off on the big trips until mid to late 2023

2 Likes

Make that six. I got sick the last few days of the cruise (fortunately, didn’t miss much). Got home, did a home test…positive. 1poorlady is now feeling achy and sore throat (which is how mine started). She insisted on a CVS test, but I’m pretty sure I know the result. We should find out today or tomorrow.

Most of the crew wore masks. Most of the passengers didn’t. We did, but all of the inconsiderate louts that didn’t ended up giving to me (and probably other people, too).

Though, to be fair, I suspect I got it on the plane. Again, no one was masked except us. And it was roughly a week after the flight that I got symptoms. That’s about the incubation period of COVID.

It’s a lot easier to maintain some distancing on a ship. Impossible on a plane.

3 Likes

I suspect I got it on the plane. Again, no one was masked except us. And it was roughly a week after the flight that I got symptoms. That’s about the incubation period of COVID.

Not for the current variants. It’s now 3.5 to 5 days. https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20220823/covid-incubation-pe…

I’m sorry you and your wife got it. If you eat around lots of other people within an enclosed area, esp. for multiple meals daily, it’s highly likely you’ll catch it. It won’t matter whether you’re masked the rest of the time. That’s the reality of it.

Also, distancing isn’t all that relevant in a poorly ventilated enclosed area. Studies show that if someone’s infected and is eating, talking loudly, singing, etc., the aerosol can go all over the place. Conversely, in a well ventilated area, e.g. on deck with the wind blowing, you could be a 2’ apart from the infected person and probably be ok unless they were coughing and sneezing directly into your face.

We, too, learned this the hard way.

Could have been on the ship. I started showing symptoms about 6 days (sore throat).

We generally ate at not-busy times. Mostly avoided the buffet. Ship was only half-capacity (just over 1000), so it was pretty easy to avoid crowded spaces.

Though you would think if is so likely to catch it as you describe, then a lot more people would have caught it. And there were some old people on that ship. Enough that people would have been talking about it, crew would have been getting sick, etc.

Not that I dispute your facts. You’re absolutely correct about aerosols, etc. I just would have expect a lot more cases if that was a problem on this ship. (We all had to test negative for COVID prior to boarding, though I know that isn’t a guarantee someone hadn’t contracted it but didn’t have a detectable viral load yet.)

I just would have expect a lot more cases if that was a problem on this ship.

But there’s really no way of knowing how many pax caught Covid on board, is there? If this was a cruise of a week or so, many of them wouldn’t test positive until after it was over. For that matter, unless there was regular testing on board, there’s no way of knowing how many were Covid-positive while on the cruise.

That said, if you took your mask off to eat/drink on the plane, along with everyone else, you might have caught it on the flight.