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Everything posted by mabt

  1. It's nice that Royal Caribbean has finally caught up to some of the other cruise lines that have been allowing mixed mRNA doses pretty much all along, based on the exact same CDC guidance. This also bodes well for Canadians with mixed mRNA doses who want to enter the US for any reason, once the new vaccination requirements come into effect. Now if they could just sort out the AstraZeneca situation...
  2. Reasonable guess, but actually it was self-serve a couple of weeks ago, in the beverage area at Chill Grill. Not that I used it - I'm not a beer drinker - but it was there, screen was on, and no staff "guarding" it. Beverages in general (water/juice/pop) were self-serve at Chill Grill while we were there. Ice cream was staffed, as were beverages at the Snack Shack in the thrill park. YMMV.
  3. I don't know about your particular cruise, but in general, there have been lots of reports of low bids being accepted lately. Ours was... but then our cruise was only at about 12% capacity.
  4. The risks around cruising right now are less about catching COVID itself, and more about your travel plans being disrupted because of shifting COVID protocols. If you are uncomfortable with the idea that almost anything could change, without warning, possibly forcing you to cancel your cruise, then a land vacation might be a better bet for you. Although it's worth pointing out that even with land vacations, nothing is certain. We are leaving for our cruise tomorrow. In the six weeks since I booked it, we have had to deal with one of us magically becoming "unvaccinated" (that is, I was vaccinated according to their policy at the time I booked, and then suddenly I wasn't), uncertainty around the border reopening (we also planned to drive to New Jersey "if the border reopened" - it didn't), and a significant change in on-board protocols (we booked with the understanding that the cruise would be mask-free; there is now an indoor mask mandate). And then there's the paperwork. I have an entire duotang filled with printed travel documents for my family: travel attestation forms for our flight to New York, vaccination records, negative test results, Bahamian Health Visas. Not to mention the mild anxiety over test results; I was fully confident that none of us actually have COVID, but false positives on antigen tests have been known to happen, and the consequences for our cruise if it did were not good. (Luckily, all negative.) Point is, I am stubborn and determined enough to roll with the changes and find a way to make it work - although I'm not sure I'll really believe we're going until we're actually on the ship! But for most people, the stress is probably not worth it.
  5. No. There are a couple of "exceptional situations" in which they recommend proceeding with mixed mRNA doses. The exception conditions, for what little it's worth, are exactly the conditions under which most Canadians received mixed mRNA doses (namely, the unavailability of a second dose of the original product leading to a vaccination interval longer than 48 days). Regardless of the reason why you've received mixed doses, you're considered fully vaccinated. You can't just quote the first sentence of the paragraph and then go on to ignore the rest. "If two doses of different mRNA COVID-19 vaccine products are administered in these situations (or inadvertently), no additional doses of either product are recommended at this time. Such persons are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 ≥2 weeks after receipt of the second dose of an mRNA vaccine." These guidelines were not written to inform public policy. If you're an American vaccine administrator following the CDC clinical guidelines, which is the intended audience, then the described situations or "inadvertent" cover all possible scenarios. You're either following the guidelines, or you're not. If you're not, then the document is moot. The point is that if someone shows up in your clinic and has already has two different mRNA doses, regardless of the reason, they are considered "fully vaccinated", clinically speaking, and you shouldn't give them another dose. At this point it's all kind of irrelevant in the context of the cruise lines' policies though. They are all pointing to the same set of guidelines, and drawing different conclusions, or somehow getting different answers from the CDC. Probably the same as when we ask the cruise lines to clarify their policies and the answers are all over the place. The answer depends on when, how, and to whom the question is asked.
  6. Well, the CDC actually does agree that mixed mRNA doses are to be considered fully vaccinated. They are quite clear about that in their clinical considerations guidelines. But for some reason some (not all) of the cruise lines seem to have gotten a different memo.
  7. It varies. DCL is explicit: "Guests who have received one dose of Moderna and one dose of Pfizer are considered fully vaccinated, per CDC guidelines." (Funny how Royal Caribbean cites those very same guidelines as the reason they don't accept mixed mRNA doses, but I digress.) Princess also considers mixed mRNA to be fully vaccinated. NCL and RCCL say no to mixed mRNA for US departures, but yes for non-US departures, with the caveat on Royal of specific allowable intervals that seems to be RCCL's very own made-up requirement. Haven't checked the others.
  8. The short answer to that is that Royal Caribbean is making it up. I assume that it is roughly based on manufacturer's recommended intervals, but they're not enforcing the same recommendations for same-manufacturer doses, and the manufacturer's recommendations don't apply to mixed doses anyway, so... it's basically arbitrary. But pointing this out to them does not seem to have had any effect, so we're rolling with it. 🙃
  9. Standardized system, maybe? The interval doesn't matter for US cruises or same-manufacturer doses, but RCL's policy on mixed doses out of non-US ports does still come with an interval restriction (unfortunately). Likely they're just using a software system that requires both to be recorded?
  10. Found this post, thanks! I was trying for a single thread where people could find this information across cruise lines, but I'm not at all surprised that it has ended up in a related thread instead. 🙂 Sounds like you had a great trip; glad to hear it. We test tomorrow for departure from Nassau on Saturday. Fingers crossed all goes smoothly!
  11. I would say most likely any other province, although I can't speak to it firsthand. But all provinces have been giving vaccines to any resident, temporary or otherwise, with or without health coverage in the province. The last thing they want is to exclude or discourage someone from getting vaccinated just because they aren't locally documented. Just don't tell them it's a third dose.
  12. Could be. A friend in Montreal who still carries Ontario ID told me that they were utterly uninterested in her proof of residency, but that was for the first two shots. All I can say for sure is that in Gatineau I had to pull out that lease at least three times!
  13. They check. At least in Gatineau. I had "proof" of residency in the form of a signed and valid lease agreement.
  14. Thanks so much, that's very helpful. Enjoy the rest of your trip!
  15. This is not the route I took, in the end, but it was one I seriously considered. The whole reason I ended up with mixed doses, against my better judgement, was so that I would be fully vaccinated in time to travel to Nova Scotia earlier this month. Otherwise, I would have just waited a few weeks until I was sure Pfizer was available. I'm almost certain that if I had walked into a clinic in Nova Scotia while I was there, told them that I was a temporary resident (true, depending on how you want to define it), that I'd had a first dose in Ontario in May, and that wanted another shot, they would have given it to me. The provinces do not have the means to directly share medical information, so there would be no way for one province to know if someone had already had a second shot in another jurisdiction, unless you told them. And yes, I think this would work in any province. Where it would probably not work is for those of us in Ottawa, or other border communities, simply driving a short distance across the border. Pretty sure if I tried that in Gatineau, they would just tell me to go home and get my shot in Ontario. 😉
  16. Thanks for the feedback on the water park, glad you had such a good time! How were the lines with Freedom in port at the same time? Even with two ships I'm sure the island is relatively empty, but I was expecting that Adventure would be in port alone for both days next week, and just tonight realized that Freedom is scheduled to be there on the second day as well. Of course it is the day I booked for the water park. Trying to decide if I should bother trying to move our reservation to the first day, when I believe Adventure will be there alone.
  17. I didn't mean your logic, just to be clear. I meant the US federal government's logic, or lack of logic, in keeping the border closed.
  18. I fail to see their logic, period. If I had to guess, I'm not sure they really want to require, validate, or enforce vaccinations of any sort for entry. But they also won't want to just open the land border to everyone, regardless of vaccination status, especially when most other countries are requiring vaccination. That would be bad optics for a president who wants to be seen as taking the pandemic seriously. I could be completely off-base, but IMO it makes at least as much sense as any other theory I've heard. I've been following this pretty closely for the past couple of months, since it would have saved my family a couple thousand dollars if we could have driven to New Jersey next week. But there's not much to follow. There will of course be people in government who actually know why they are doing this, but they're not talking.
  19. Let me guess. Sunny and a high of 28C (80F). 😄
  20. And you are, of course, more than welcome to wear your masks wherever you want, for as long as you want. (I mean that genuinely, not trying to be snarky.) But almost everyone who booked one of these Nassau cruises did so with the expectation that masks would not be required, and I expect that for many of them - certainly my family - that was a primary factor in selecting this particular cruise, or maybe choosing to cruise at all. So we're talking about a population of people who were, at least at the time they booked, very comfortable with the idea of cruising maskless, with whatever COVID-19 risk that entails. Which, for most children and vaccinated adults, is minimal. We would not have booked this cruise if the masking requirement was in place at the time. Likely would not even have looked twice. We've decided to continue with our cruise despite the masks, in part because of reports in this thread and others that have been mostly in agreement that the masks were not a big deal, and frequently not required. So thanks to everyone who contributed!
  21. This whole thing is just so totally ridiculous. I genuinely hope that whatever you do works out though. My guess is the whole "we're only going to look at your first two doses" nonsense will blow over fairly quickly. The alternative is to say that someone who had two mixed doses originally, for any reason, is just considered unvaccinated for the rest of all time, or at least until they arbitrarily change their minds (again). No recourse. That seems a bit extreme, even considering recent questionable decisions by the CDC. For what it worth, the CDC clinical considerations guidelines state that those who received a vaccine not authorized for use by the FDA, but authorized by the WHO, may be offered "a complete, FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine series". This would seem to cover the mixed AZ / mRNA scenario, with an additional, matching mRNA dose "completing the series". But we already know that the CDC is ignoring their own advice (in the same document) on whether those with mixed mRNA doses should be considered fully vaccinated, at least as it applies to cruise ships, so my confidence level that they will follow their own guidelines in this case is not high.
  22. Also the US is already talking about J&J recipients needing extra doses, which really shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. And if they do, no doubt the requirement will be for two doses of J&J, specifically. The Canadian federal government recently announced that we would be donating all of our contracted J&J doses, so if it came to needing a second one, it would (still) have to be in the US. All of this is speculative, of course, but the point is still that there really is no sure bet right now. The rules are arbitrary and therefore unpredictable.
  23. By now we should be starting to see some Canadian CruiseCritic members returning from recent cruises. Can anyone share their experiences with Canadian provincial vaccination documentation at the port? eg. Any issues, are they asking to see individual proof of each dose, accepting both digital and printed documentation, etc? I'm most interested in Royal Caribbean, but I'm sure others would like to hear the situation with other lines too. All reports are very welcome!
  24. I don't think there's any such thing as "safe", since none of the policies make any logical sense. But I also think this third dose question was a non-issue, and would probably have remained that way if people hadn't asked. Now? Who knows.
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