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Everything posted by Psoque

  1. Thanks for that information x 2. However, I am still wondering how Crystal is going to manage social distancing and smoking without a mask onboard. They may have to improvise something for this.
  2. I am not a smoker so maybe it is none of my business, but how is Crystal going to manage the people in smoking sections of the ship? I guess they can have some sort of single/double occupancy smoking bubbles? I also don’t gamble, but are people allowed smoke in the casinos onboard? That would be a great challenge.
  3. I'm happy to hear that you and many others would find these summer Bahamas cruises to be very attractive. For us, we really would like a big change in scenery if we are going to take any substantial time off, and staying mostly in a cruise ship and/or desperately trying to find shade do not count as something worth our time. We like the Crystal ships, but after being essentially cooped up mainly indoors for most of the year, we are really looking forward to enjoy the ever-changing scenery cruises (used to) offer. When we were younger, we did a few Caribbean cruises (never in the summer) but these days we are not all that interested in the Caribbean either for the same reason. However, if enough people would book this cruise, it might help Crystal survive somehow, and that's a good thing.
  4. I think the filter companies and airlines have brainwashed the public into thinking that HEPA filters are going to protect people from respiratory viruses. That's not exactly the case, and in most cases, that assumption is patently false. I have read a few of the "landmark" papers published by "research groups" that are funded by the airlines and the filter companies regarding their dubious claims. The most effective way in which the coronavirus (and most other respiratory pathogens) is transmitted is person-to-person, via droples, not aerosolized viruses. Unless the passengers on the cruise ships/airplanes/trains/cars, etc. are directly breathing into the HEPA filter, it will not protect you. Only exception to that is this: There is a theoretical possibility that you might get infected from aerosolized virus lingering in a public space, long after the person who produced the virus is gone. That appears to happen with viruses such as measles virus, but it appears to be extremely rare with most other respiratory viruses.
  5. Good for you. We highly value destinations when we pick our cruises. That's probably the reason we haven't done a repositioning cruise. We also gave up on doing a Caribbean cruise years ago. But it's great that there might be a plenty of people who would not mind doing a Bahamas cruise in middle of the summer and hurricane season. Crystal needs people like that.
  6. I am not sure if I would enjoy visiting Bahamas in the middle of the summer, even though we are itching to get back on a Crystal ship. Just saying.
  7. I also forgot to add that the whole privacy/consent issue is a huge problem if a private third-party company wants to get into the business of issuing electronic vaccine authentication. Basically, the “patient” has to give consent to a third party consent to access state immunization records (if you live in the state that has it) and it is not clear if these state agency would like a third party to have that access. Regardless, millions of doses were already given out in the US that are not authenticate-able, and the vaccination cards were not designed to be authenticated later, so the horses are out of the barn in this case.
  8. I am glad Canada is doing this correctly: Having a plan to have a modern authentication process available at the time of vaccine roll-out. I am fairly familiar with how the national public health system is actually functional in Canada, and it’s a good thing.
  9. Vaccination records are not consistently recorded in all states. You are correct that the Yellow Card is also not a robust/authenticated document. However, I don’t think there’s much of an incentive to sell/buy yellow fever or typhoid vaccine certificates. I’m just saying that, with the coronavirus vaccine becoming more of a requirement for travel in some cases, I’m sure there will be a market for fake coronavirus certificates, especially for those who 1) do not want to receive the vaccine or 2) live in a country with limited vaccine availability. I never said having it recorded in Yellow Card makes it more authentic. I just said it might be a good idea to start recording all of our vaccinations in a WHO-approved document, instead of trying to keep separate cards/documents/electronic records/apps for each vaccine.
  10. As for those who already have their “yellow cards,” the plastic sleeve that holds the yellow card is big enough for the coronavirus vaccine cards. I have both my yellow card and the coronavirus vaccine card in the same sleeve. Ideally it would be even better if I had the foresight of bringing my yellow card to my inoculation appointments, and that the vaccinators were prepared/willing to fill out my yellow card with the coronavirus inoculation info.
  11. Accuracy of any (future) database can be an issue, but my biggest concern is that it is absolutely impossible to authenticate the vaccination cards for those who has already received the vaccines and it is also impossible to know if any of these cards are not authentic. Also, those cards were never filled out consistently among different people/places/times. Only way to have a digital authentication for vaccination for some robust, authenticate-able proof of vaccination to be created at the point of vaccination, which did not occur. So basically, I can photocopy my vaccination card, remove my name, and sell it to a bunch of people (not that I will do that.)
  12. I think authenticating the primary proof of vaccination will be nearly impossible now that millions of people have already received the vaccination cards with no serial numbers or anything else needed to make each card unique. Whether it is made digital or not, and actually especially if it is made digital, the meaning of "being vaccinated" may become rather meaningless, unless, somehow each of these vaccination cards can be authenticated somehow.
  13. My guess is that the language in the memo from Crystal is intentionally vague because we are all assuming that this version of the protocol will be updated (perhaps multiple times) before actual cruising occurs. Hopefully, sometime in the not far future, there will be an internationally agreed upon (perhaps through the WHO) standard on vaccination verification that well defined.
  14. Thanks for the clarification. But I still stand by my assertion that controlling the outbreak in the US and its relevant (relevant to the cruise route) bordering countries should be the first priority, and repealing or asking for exception to the PVSA will not make the outbreak go away any sooner. I am not saying that these are not mutually exclusive. I am saying that these are completely unrelated. I agree, however, that the current PVSA is really forcing cruise lines to seek the lowest bidder for registration (and responsibilities that comes with it). And it is a terrible idea to tempt governors of cruise-revenue starved US states with this idea of trying to re-start cruising before it is reasonably safe to do so.
  15. I am not well versed in anything legal, but it was my understanding that PVSA applies to “foreign vessels,” and that “foreign vessels” are defined as any ship registered outside of the US and operated under jurisdiction of foreign country. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I did not think it had to be built in the US. Also, it was my understanding that US registered cruise ships are still allowed to employ non-US workers, but perhaps I am wrong? The exception two of the NCL Hawaii vessels were granted is, I thought, was a special one-time provision where employment of all US based crew was part of the condition of the exception, not that PVSA required it.
  16. If the US cruise lines are desperately desiring "flexibility" in the near future, they should seriously consider registering their ships in the US, at least temporarily. I'm afraid that the cruise lines are wanting to have the cake and eat it.
  17. I agree with you that at least at the federal policy-making level, to a certain extent, we are starting to make better decisions about containing this outbreak here in the US. However, looking at how some states are rapidly relaxing public health measures (if they had any to begin with) in preparation for spring break, and looking at how this and other decisions are made purely based on one-sided and short-sighted economic factors, I do not think US as a whole is managing this outbreak in a rational manner yet. As a healthcare provider, I even saw health insurance companies making rapid changes to how their reimburse virtual/telephone visits (no longer paying for them) as early as January of this year, in midst of the last big wave of new deaths, presumably based on their financial incentive alone. I think it is extremely premature and patently false to say that our public health decision making has returned to the hands of the scientists and medical experts. That has not happened, at least not yet. At this time, there are way too many people in power who value their money a lot more than the lives of others who generate revenue. This is not going change anytime soon, regardless of who is in the White House.
  18. Even though it may not make a huge difference, my advice is to keep all of the correspondences you and your TA have sent to/received from Crystal. They might come in handy in the future. I am doing exactly that.
  19. It will also take months (and months, most likely) before the incidence of the disease goes down and we figure out how to navigate the new normal on cruise ships also. I am a bit suspicious that movement to repeal/temporary lift PVSA is political pandering to those anti-mask/virus denying population in the US, who thinks US is somehow preventing their happiness by taking this outbreak seriously/using PVSA as added excuse/taking public health measures in other countries as important. Obviously, businesses would like as little barrier between them and their revenue, and I see that, but I can't sympathize with them. And in terms of contingency plans, the cruise lines can make plans based on what is certain, instead of hoping that the congress will act on anything. And based on my knowledge of how this country has mismanaged this outbreak and continues to do so to some extent even now, I would actually trust Canada (or any other country with a more effective public health infrastructure) more than any US government agency to let us know when it is reasonably safe to take a cruise, so in this particular situation, PVSA might be a good thing for US and Canadian public health.
  20. I am thinking the same thing. And based on that assumption, it is a bit misleading/disingenuous to say "no single supplement!" because, basically, they will be pricing these "solo cabins" with inherent single supplement built-in. More I think about it, I find this "without a single supplement" spiel to be rather dubious. I think it would have been better to say that these "solo cabins" will be priced attractively for single travelers. But Crystal never asked me to help them write their spiel.
  21. In my opinion, putting a pause to cruises even domestic ones in/out of US ports (actually ESPECIALLY those that carry US residents anywhere) is a good idea until the actual incidence of the coronavirus goes down and stays down sufficiently to know that the chance of another big outbreak is possible. The value/cost of PVSA and possible reasons to either repeal or temporary suspension of the act is something that might help, if for some reason US manages to control this outbreak much better than Canada, which, I can't imagine happening anytime soon. I think it would be more constructive to debate how we can control the outbreak so that we can take cruises sooner, instead of talking about PVSA. It would be a terrible idea to start cruising in Alaska until we have a much better handle on this outbreak. Obviously, when the outbreak is over (i. e. under much better control), it might be a good idea to think about what to do with PVSA.
  22. I wonder what Crystal exactly means by "without a single supplement?" Does that mean my husband and I can book one cabin each and still pay the same price as us sharing one cabin? Or it is the case that a price of these "solo suites" are inherently higher than price per person on "equivalent" double occupancy cabins?
  23. I’m not sure if people are intentionally or unintentionally taking you and others on a wild goose chase with no defined endpoint. The fact is that most of these projected timelines have mostly been associated with two factors, which are: 1) how well we have actually followed the recommended mitigation methods (we haven’t here in the US good enough.). And 2) how well have we managed to contain the outbreak. If we continue to mismanage this outbreak, the goalpost will continue to move. For example, Texas, with its plans to remove all mitigating restrictions on March 10, will move the goalpost even further for all of us, now just for people in Texas. Also, on a more scientific standpoint, it is unreasonable to know what is adequate level of herd immunity for the population to self-contain this outbreak. We just don’t know what that number is, and actual concept of herd immunity may not be well-defined for this particular virus, which is able to (at least partially) evade natural and vaccine-induced immunity via mutations. So, I have no idea why Dr. Fauci and others were compelled to guess this number (based on experience with other diseases) and allow the public to fixate on this concept. I always thought it was a terrible idea to put the concept of herd immunity in absolute terms (you have heard my previous rants on this), and that’s what;’s happening now.
  24. Just to add that it is not too crazy to assume that these five known as well as more unknown mutants of this virus has been free to roam this country and beyond for months. Just because it was confirmed in Houston, that does not mean these viruses are just limited to Houston or even Texas. Also these five commonly known mutants are not the end of the changes the "original" or other mutants will make in the future, and that's how these viruses go through their version of natural selection. So it is great that we now have three good vaccines available, and that they are now starting to be produced at a very rapid rate, and being administered to more people every day, it is extremely premature and short-sighted to celebrate our ultimate victory over this outbreak, whether you want to burn your masks or not. And also on a more personal level, as a child of an immigrant and an immigrant myself, these dog-whistle type suggestions to somehow shift the blame of this greatly self-inflicted outbreak to those people who are desperate enough to risk their lives to come here (an experience I did not have to endure) are nothing short of despicable. I guess international travel does not vaccinate us against bigotry and xenophobia.
  25. Actually, we (the scientific community) do not know how to determine, by a test, how someone is sufficiently immune to this virus. Antibody titer is something we CAN measure, but we still don't know if that's really reflective of the effective immunity, and if so, how do we translate the actual titer to something more understandable, like % efficacy. We are also still finding out how effective the acquired immunity from this virus is, how that is manifested (antibodies, memory B cells, T cells, etc.), and how long does it really last. And with the new mutants popping up and spreading around the globe, naturally acquired immunity to one strain may not provide sufficient protection to another. We are sill in the dark about this.
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