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US State Department urging not to cruise


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https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go/travelers-with-special-considerations/cruise-ship-passengers.html

 

Kind of came out of left field and without a ton of fanfare, but with the official government advice, I'm expecting cancellations to increase. We're still happy with a "wait and see" attitude for our B2B in May on Rhapsody and our sneak peak on Virgin at the end of this month.

 

U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship.  CDC notes increased risk of infection of COVID-19 in a cruise ship environment. In order to curb the spread of COVID-19, many countries have implemented strict screening procedures that have denied port entry rights to ships and prevented passengers from disembarking.  In some cases, local authorities have permitted disembarkation but subjected passengers to local quarantine procedures.  While the U.S. government has evacuated some cruise ship passengers in recent weeks, repatriation flights should not be relied upon as an option for U.S. citizens under the potential risk of quarantine by local authorities.

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Super disappointed hearing this and reading posts on social media. They have this backwards. On a cruise ship, while definitely not a good thing, at least the people with the virus are contained and they can quarantine everyone. There were lots of mistakes with earlier cruises, because not enough was known about the virus. I think containment will get better and more organized with time. 
 

What they should be talking about is flying and other mass transit. Someone who is contagious could enter an airport, fly, leave the airport, and will have passed the virus to numerous people who will then spread it even further. Air travel will spread this world wide and most won’t know where they got sick. 
 

There really isn’t a good answer, just amazing they are just attacking the cruise industry!

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We are far less worried about contracting the virus than the idea that all ports will be blocked at this point.  We sail in a couple of weeks, I was pulling out clothes today, but this... man... No ports would definitely be a ruined cruise! Is that happening with current cruises? We would really like to go (and also don’t wish to lose the companion ticket we will forfeit if we cancel our flight) and would hate to be forced to take a cruise to nowhere.

Edited by AlohaLivin
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I hope the cruise line industry sue Foggy Bottom all because some gov employee went into panic mode. This is not as serious as some think it is. The state dept is over reacting as always.

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11 minutes ago, johnjen said:

I hope the cruise line industry sue Foggy Bottom all because some gov employee went into panic mode. This is not as serious as some think it is. The state dept is over reacting as always.

I totally agree -- the State Department warning was different than the CDC warning.  You're right -- Alert was probably issued by a a panicking State Dept. Bureaucrat.  

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I think the state departments travel advisory is not only a warning to those who fit the demographic of catching the virus and having a bad outcome, but also about the community spread component.  Most younger fit people in good health can still be carrier of the virus, be asymptomatic and due to the long incubation period spread it when they disembark or bring it on and pass it to the crew on embarkation day.  We're still early in this whole outbreak and the government and all appropriate agencies are trying to prevent a full pandemic.  I'm sure the state department has little concern if I'm disappointed that my travel plans have to be cancelled.  Like many have said the possibility of having your cruise altered, ports denied or being quarantined for 14 days is a reality because it has already occurred more than once in the past couple of weeks.  All it takes is for one passenger or crew member to have flu like symptoms and it's going to be reported to the CDC or local authorities and they are going to assume it's the Coronavirus until proven otherwise and order the necessary tests and that will impact all cruisers. The decision for our May Alaska cruise may be made for me if the Federal government or RCI temporarily suspends cruises from US ports.  At this point we are still planning as if we're going as well as take a wait and see approach, re-evaluate in the first week of May and take comfort knowing if we do cancel we have a FCC to use.  So thankful for that option as we didn't have that last week. 

Edited by JeffT237
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It is also probably a warning to the industry and cruisers that the next corona-outbreak cruise can't be bailed out on land, and may be forced to have a sea-based quarantine.  Each of these 1st 2 ship quarantines have been such a huge suck of medical resources and the US states that have places to port are all undergoing outbreaks, and won't have the resources to be able to help...and it seems increasingly clear international ports won't.  So, I think that was also underlying the message.

 

The world has limited medical resources...and they are further limited by geography...and individual cities can't take in 3-6K people who all might need 2-4 weeks of specialized medical care all at once anymore...not right now...  

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My 2 cents is that the state department warning was not primary about health concerns, but a warning not to expect repatriation flights. One could easily assume that since the Diamond cruises were repatriated on US charter flights, that this practice can be expected to continue. However, the start dept is putting everyone on notice that the US may not send charter a flight to repatriate you. 

 

In contrast the CDC is advising high risk populations to stay home as much as possible and avoid unnecessary travel. This would surely include airplanes, trains, etc. 

 

Thus, the CDC warning is about health and the state dept warning is about the possibility of being stuck in another country for a while. 

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8 minutes ago, flyguyjake said:

Posted in another thread:

 

State official asks White House to stop cruise ships from docking in Hawaii over COVID-19

 

https://www.khon2.com/top-stories/state-official-asks-white-house-to-stop-cruise-ships-from-docking-in-hawaii-over-covid-19/

My May 5th on Radiance is looking doubtful

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5 minutes ago, MoniMommy said:

My 2 cents is that the state department warning was not primary about health concerns, but a warning not to expect repatriation flights. One could easily assume that since the Diamond cruises were repatriated on US charter flights, that this practice can be expected to continue. However, the start dept is putting everyone on notice that the US may not send charter a flight to repatriate you. 

 

In contrast the CDC is advising high risk populations to stay home as much as possible and avoid unnecessary travel. This would surely include airplanes, trains, etc. 

 

Thus, the CDC warning is about health and the state dept warning is about the possibility of being stuck in another country for a while. 

Not sure if it changed since but the US Govt sponsored Repat flights back to US were to be charged to each person utilizing them and they were aware of Charge. 

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We took up the offer of allowing us to cancel at not charge a cruise leaving on 3/13 and have postponed to August... I thought it was a great PR and logistic move by Royal and all cruise lines. 
 

As a young (And thankfully healthy) family we aren’t worried about the virus but we are worried about quarantines, missing ports, and if we are exposed not being able to see the grand parents for weeks and weeks when we get back. 
 

 

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8 minutes ago, ONECRUISER said:

Not sure if it changed since but the US Govt sponsored Repat flights back to US were to be charged to each person utilizing them and they were aware of Charge. 

Good to know. Perhaps though they can see arranging this taking longer or may not be possible if the virus continues to spread. They have to take trained medical personal off other duties to be on the flights.  If the quarantine continue it could take longer and longer to arrange flights and a place to quarantine passengers upon arrival. 

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7 minutes ago, Toesinthewater728 said:

We took up the offer of allowing us to cancel at not charge a cruise leaving on 3/13 and have postponed to August... I thought it was a great PR and logistic move by Royal and all cruise lines. 
 

As a young (And thankfully healthy) family we aren’t worried about the virus but we are worried about quarantines, missing ports, and if we are exposed not being able to see the grand parents for weeks and weeks when we get back. 
 

 


I agree that the secondary issues often trump the health concerns - pets that need to be continually care for, elderly parents, and work that can’t be missed (or work that can’t be covered such as those self employed).  Not to mention a potential logistics and financial nightmare that is always a potential result given what we have seen. I lost my mother during the holidays, but if she were living we couldn’t cruise now as I could not (would not) leave her care to others that long if a long quarantine became necessary. Many valid non-health reasons to postpone. 

Edited by AlohaLivin
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