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Everything posted by Emelda1967

  1. I agree, I was told by my BC/BS representative to check and see what hospitals, clinics, and doctors were in-network for all of the ports I would be visiting. And to take that information with me. Fortunately most of the ports are in major cities where there were in-network facilities.
  2. I notice the Geo Blue does not cover things expense of quarantining for asymptomatic people, i.e. hotel expenses, food etc. Are there any insurance policies that also have contingencies for these events?
  3. Perhaps the position should be, if you don’t want to or can’t be vaccinated, don’t cruise…yet. Vaccination status is not a protected category and businesses have a right to protect their employees as much as possible. Cruise ships need healthy crews to run properly. Kudos to those who have helped others by donating blood, wearing masks (regardless of status) and are doing their best to keep themselves and others healthy. Think of this as one more way to help during this pandemic. BTW most health organization, including the World Health Organization (WHO) https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/question-and-answers-hub/q-a-detail/coronavirus-disease-(covid-19)-vaccines and the CDC recommend even those who have had COVID get vaccinated.
  4. Actually, I think there is sufficient evidence that Florida is, for lack of a better term, manipulating its numbers by omission or otherwise. Florida is currently not counting non-resident numbers, although they occur within the state and impact the bottom line, in an attempt to appear less risky as a vacation destination. Florida IS counting the thousands of non-resident vaccinations given in early 2021…go figure. The Delta variant is here and is being found nation-wide in prominently in deaths in non-vaccinated people. COVID surges are occurring in non-vaccinated people regardless of location. I would like to see 100% vaccinated cruise ship passengers, but 95% is better than nothing.
  5. I agree with requiring proof of vaccination for cruises where people are in the same environment for days on end. Most flights are six hours or less. Airplanes have had HEPA filtration systems for decades to prevent the spread of most diseases. Most cruise ships do not. These systems can filter out virus particles such as those which cause COVID. It’s the most they can do unless they want to half empty the planes and require vaccination. Can’t understand why anyone would want to put themselves in an environment that risks their lives without all additional protections? The Delta variant is much more contagious, it’s like playing Russian roulette.
  6. Scientifically, the restrictions should depend on the setting and the risk. It is impossible to create one set of rules that cover every situation.
  7. I can’t confirm the above, but it is, unfortunately all too easy for a competent scientist with the right equipment to create a virus or enhance one using already existing DNA/RNA mapping. The virus is real, it exists and is mutating to become more contagious and in some cases, more lethal. We are still in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. All the more reason to get vaccinated and add a layer or protection not previously available. Vaccinated cruise ship passengers and crew are much safer than non-vaccinated.
  8. Please do. It would be very helpful to have something other than a paper card to confirm vaccination for travel!
  9. I respect your decision regarding your son and everyone else’s decisions for their own purposes. I would certainly do everything possible to keep my child safe. So I guess my question is, why would anyone want to risk their child’s health or their own by putting them in a vacation environment that has been proven to be high risk for transmitting a deadly disease? I think your decision to wait is a good one for whatever the reason, especially in light of the Delta variant on its way to becoming the leading strain in the United States.
  10. People have a right to decide whether or not they get vaccinated. But don’t the cruise lines also have the right to protect their employees? Sick, quarantined and dead crew can’t run a ship. There is no vaccine that is 100% effective. Scientifically, it makes sense that a ship with the likely hood of less virus onboard, i.e. “fully vaccinated” is also less likely to have an outbreak.
  11. The CDC presents guidelines for the United States as the responsible human health agency in the Federal government. Apparently in an effort to appease folks in the United States and stop the whining, the CDC choose to forgo stricter scientifically based requirements. 600,000+ dead and counting. As everyone should know, it takes a great deal less time than four days to spread the disease via aerosol as the scientific studies have noted. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-03140-4 https://www.theinsight.org/p/small-data-big-implications Royal Caribbean is testing all of the unvaccinated passengers before disembarkation.
  12. This was a temporary injunction as was noted. If anyone thinks that being on a plane, bus, or train (by the way a person still must be masked by Executive Order, not the CDC), is the same thing as being on a cruise ship for days on end, they are truly idiots.
  13. That was a great link. Fortunately, it is only temporary. Can’t wait to hear the complaints from people who have to pay more and are banned from certain venues. I found it interesting that Florida’s complaint compared cruising to other industries. What other industry keeps the same people in close contact for days on end, sometimes without the ability to leave the structure (i.e. sea days)? Studies of the outbreak on the Princess, pretty much ground zero for cruise ships, determined that the ventilation/air movement system was the reason the virus spread so quickly. Unless they put in HEPA filtration systems on the ships, that can still happen. What other “industry” has been shown to successfully disseminate disease and have hundreds fall sick or die from exposure? Churches come to mind with singing and oral responses, so a ship where people spend days together would be even more efficient in disease spread amongst the unvaccinated. Successful cruising? Those ships probably had passengers from countries with much less disease than the United States and the passengers complied with safety requirements. That won’t happen with a lot of passengers from the United States, there will be physical fights over safety precautions especially now that the unvaccinated will be allowed onboard. I’ve switched or cancelled four fall 2021 cruises. Hopefully by January, things will settle down.
  14. At 600,000+ deaths and counting, eighteen months later, the United States has yet to be surpassed by third world countries regarding absolute numbers of deaths. But I guess that depends on how and if you are looking at the entire pandemic picture in the United States. Zoonotic diseases were the focus of my work in the federal government so my interest may be a little more in depth. Yes, things are slowing down and are definitely better but we are not out of the woods. There are millions of people who have chosen to exercise their right to not be vaccinated, increasing numbers of young adults and children being hospitalized for COVID-19, and seven states were reporting significantly higher numbers of new cases this past week. Who knows what long term effects having had COVID-19 will be on any patient? That winter visitor surge brought a whole new group of variants to Florida but Florida has so sanitized its data that we don’t even know what’s valid and what is not. There are variants still being identified world-wide and evaluated that may not have hit the media. Remember that people come from countries allowed to travel to the United States and can join a cruise. CDC only requires a negative test 1-3 days prior to arrival in the U.S. and theoretically requires/recommends a second test 3-6 days after travel, quarantining until test results. The states are supposed to enforce quarantines and any additional testing based on state requirements, of which FL has none. Cruise lines are right to impose restrictions, especially here in FL. We are united in the thought that we all want to be able to travel safely. And we, as cruisers, are fortunate to be able to even have this discussion. I wish everyone safe and happy journeys!
  15. Thank you for explanation of the Danish system. Unfortunately, the United States was one of the first, if not the first country, countries to highly politicize this virus instead of following the science as other countries have. Hopefully we will soon be able to sail safely with proper precautions in place.
  16. This is a good discussion of this issue. I respect your opinion. I attended a school where medical experimentation on humans took place, so I understand the history. It was not limited to one location. However, DeSantis has proven time and time again that he is not truly for citizen equality but is definitely grandstanding for his 2024 Presidential run. We will never know the true status of coronavirus in the state of Florida because of the falsified and curated data. Transparency is not his forte. I can appreciate the concerns of people who don’t want the new technology used (it’s actually old technology with a new application, the J&J vaccine uses decades old vaccine technology) or are concerned about the emergency approval process and/or side effects. People have the right to refuse vaccination if that is their choice. I have a medical degree, I worked for FDA at one time, and I chose to be vaccinated. I’ve said from the beginning of this pandemic that it would become endemic and annual (or even semi annual) vaccination would be used similar to the season flu vaccines. In immunocompetent people, vaccines protect them from the disease and limit the spread of disease. But no vaccine is 100% effective. These types of viruses can harbor in a person’s nasal passages (regardless of vaccination status) for up to 72 hours but there haven’t many studies to see how efficient disease spread would be in these situations. But it’s my theory on how vaccinated asymptomatic passengers can test positive. We should remember that we are currently in the middle of a world wide pandemic. This is an international medical emergency. There are new variants emerging at any given moment. Had everyone pulled together and done what was necessary when the pandemic began, we would not be having this conversation. All that being said, cruising is a privilege, not a right. The cruise lines are businesses who decide how to keep their employees and customers safe. Vaccination status is not a legally protected class. One court has recently upheld the mandatory vaccination for a company’s employees. Crew ship employees don’t work if they are sick, quarantined or dead. And a cruise ship doesn’t run without a crew. Any measures the cruise lines take are to protect the crew as well as the passengers. “Fully” vaccinated cruises reduce the risk of disease spread and disease severity. It is simply science. And it would likely be a temporary requirement. The Miami Herald reported today that the cruise lines will likely be assessing additional charges to unvaccinated passengers and enforcing safety precautions. I’ve switched four 2021 fall cruises to 2022. Not because of coronavirus but because of my concern regarding violence from passengers aboard ship when people refuse to abide by the safety precautions. We shall see.
  17. Thank you. I have one too. Vaccinations have been required to visit various countries for years.
  18. Honestly, I don’t think that a country trying to keep its citizens safe is a bad thing. We are still in the middle of a world wide pandemic with new variants emerging every week! If everyone had taken this virus seriously from the beginning, we would be having a different conversation at this point. That being said, I doubt that Canada will be bypassed as a cruise destination in the future. For many, it would be their first chance to visit the country that is our neighbor and has many interesting places to see. I am lamenting missing my back to back cruises from Sydney to Vancouver last year. Hopefully soon.
  19. I think those of us who play slots would play them anyway, so if we get something back from the casino, it’s great. I play for entertainment purposes only. I just claimed my “free” cruise for 2022. This was a great idea to start this topic.
  20. Another perspective to offer. Most countries in the world don’t tip and if they do it is not to the level that we do in the United States. I’ve heard that some countries have even banned/discouraged tipping. So I understand the point of view of the other cruiser. We do not pay a decent wage to servers, bar tenders, etc. in the United States. Tips supplement their income. The U.S. average is about $2.13/hour, certainly not a living wage. Within the last couple of decades, servers get taxed on the perceived tips based on the cost of the meals, at least in the DC area. I think “expected” is the key. The gratuities that we can pre-pay are automated but not mandatory. If you read the cruise line websites, there are opportunities to change the amount you pay as long as it’s done before the last day of sailing. I was on an RC transatlantic cruise from England to Ft Lauderdale and I saw a couple of passengers ask to have the gratuities completely removed from their bills. So it can be done if you wish. You can also probably argue the tips automatically added to other bills, such as the spa. It seems churlish. I pre-pay because it’s easier even though I rarely participate in the dining room, etc. In addition I tip my stateroom attendants generously depending on the service. Working on a cruise ship is no joy ride, I’m just glad that someone is willing to do it.
  21. Great news. As expected the CDC did their job based on science, not some idiot politicians' views. The CDC is allowing cruises from the United States with 95% vaccinated passengers and 98% vaccinated crew, which allows for passengers under the age of 18 to 16 and those medically unable to get vaccinated to cruise. It will be a microenvironment with herd immunity. I do so love when DeSantis is forced to back down....he should be modifying or "forgetting" his executive order banning businesses from requiring vaccination in order to provide service soon. It will be interesting to see him act like it was his own idea. What an idiot. https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2021/05/01/cruise-covid-vaccinations-port-canaveral/4905928001/
  22. You are correct. The problem is not the CDC the problem is people like the governor of Florida, where the largest number of cruise originate in the United States and where most of the cruise lines have their headquarters. He had issued an executive order that no businesses, including cruise lines, can require vaccination in order to provide services. The governor of Texas has done the same. Idiots all! It is most likely that other states, California, Maryland, etc. will allow fully vaccinated cruises and the cruise lines will begin limited cruises in the U.S. from those states. TX and FL will just have to wait for another 6-7 months when the restrictions relax. It is very hard for the CDC to refute the science of a created microcosm of herd immunity aboard a ship with fully vaccinated adults and tested children with negative results. If you have a problem...contact those governors.
  23. Why does everyone think that any recommendations made by the CDC would stay the same as more is learned about the virus? From a recent article on Bayley clarified the pathway to the resumption -- one for ships with fully vaccinated passengers and crew and one without. A vaccinated ship would have no requirement for a test voyage, and "would be a quicker way for a resumption of service." "A highly vaccinated cruise means that as soon as you have your port plan ready and lined up you can submit your request to cruise and the CDC will try their best to get you a response within five days," he said. "The target that has been stated and what we are all working towards is mid-July. And I think that after what we received last night is looking very realistic."
  24. Seems like the senator from NJ understands science. If folks want to cruise now, they can try another country. Although residents of the United States are pretty much persona non grata, so you might not get in. The countries that are allowing U.S. visitors will probably end up shutting their countries down when their infection rates climb or not and let their citizens get sick and/or die. The study done on the Princess indicated that the air filtration/distribution system was the primary culprit in spreading coronavirus. If you put fully vaccinated adults and tested children on a ship, and use appropriate safety protocols, then the cruise starts with the lowest risk possible. But the governors of FL and TX are against keeping passengers and crew safe that way, by banning businesses from requiring for vaccination in order to provide services, why is that? Cruise lines can’t function without healthy crews to work on the ships. Because no vaccine is 100% effective, having coronavirus onboard can still have an adverse impact. Being vaccinated doesn’t mean they won’t get sick and/or be quarantined, hopefully the vaccines will prevent hospitalization and/or death. I am fascinated how everyone keep comparing the United States with the worst COVID record (STILL) after over a year into the pandemic than any other country in the world, to other countries where cruising has begun. Literally every other one of the 136+ countries have significantly lower raw numbers for infections and deaths. Every one of those numbers represents someone’s family member, friend, colleague or neighbor. It is only the fact that we have a large population that our death rates are lower than some and now with some of the population getting vaccinated. The U.S. still has twice as many COVID cases as the next closest country, India. We are almost at 575,000 deaths from COVID and counting. One sixth of the deaths in the entire world have occurred in the United States! Per a recent survey, 28% of the Republicans in the U.S. are not planning to get vaccinated. Compare that to countries who have over 50% of the total population fully vaccinated and are still vaccinating, like Israel, a country where RCL will be starting cruises with vaccinated adult passengers and tested children. People can complain all they want, by not allowing fully vaccinated cruises which the CDC would be hard pressed to deny, states like FL and TX are shooting the United States in our own foot.
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