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Why are cruise ships considered to be more of a risk than theme Parks?


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Well with the new travel restriction, absolutely theme parks are now affected. All the international travelers (minus U.K.) have to now reschedule or cancel their trips to America for the next 30 days.  We need to contain this thing and let it fizzle out.  The less people coming and going internationally the better.  Though I still have plans to visit a theme park next week, and as of this moment am still planning on going on my cruise next month that I planned 15 months in advance.  I live in the same state as the port and the theme park, however, so I don't have to worry about flights and such.

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The cruise industry is managed by the federal government and the CDC requires ships based in the US to report any gastrointestinal illness where more than 3% of ship head count (crew and guest) are impacted.  For the flu it's 1.38%.   These are hard rules and if they are caught failing to report there are consequences.

 

Because of this reporting requirement there are hard statistics available for the cruise industry.  Reporters love statistics they can quote as an irrefutable source.   Statistics make their reporting appear credible.  

 

Schools, universities, churches, shopping malls, theme parks are not accountable to the CDC or federal government.  If any government agency has oversight it would be a state or probably a local county agency, not federal.  With many state or local jurisdictions there are no reporting requirements.  

 

On land if 900 school kids get noro they go home and see 600 different doctors.  There is no collective awareness of the outbreak.  Doctors don't share notes.  Doctors aren't required to report it to the CDC.  Schools are not required to report it in most jurisdictions.  An entire school could have noro and it might make the local news. 

 

One third of a school gets the flu on a regular basis and no one knows.  It's school, of course it spreads.  We all know that, we've all lived it with our kids.  That's life.  Kids get sick with everything from common colds to the flu at school and bring it home.  That's been happening forever.  It's "normal" and not newsworthy plus county government health departments are small with limited resources to track or manage it. 

 

The media loves to single out the cruise industry because it generates ratings and ratings drive ad revenue.  It's all about money, not facts yet they can point to CDC statistics and guidelines to make their story seem credible.    It's not a fair playing field because land based venues are often not required to report anything.

Edited by twangster
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Cruise ships being stranded at sea or quarantined at port, with people stuck in their cabins broadcasting their experience on social media is much more juicy and sensational to the media than someone touching a handrail at Disney and feeling sick in their home a day later.  

 

The cruise lines are gonna take a hard PR hit from this no matter what (and arguably they may deserve it, in part because of their historically inflexible refund policies and difficulty working through customer service issues).  Maybe it will result in better policies for passengers.

 

 

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Didn't see this posted in regards to the cruise industry being covered in the media versus the Parks industry not being covered. 
 

Who Has vested financial interest in the parks?  NBC/Universal and Disney/ABC.

Edited by Wahed
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8 hours ago, BeachChik said:


Disney isn’t the majority owner in those parks so I doubt they had any say in them shutting down.
 

They 100% control the US parks and no doubt will keep them open as long as they are able. 

My point was that theme parks were impacted with closures etc.

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1 hour ago, twangster said:

The cruise industry is managed by the federal government and the CDC requires ships based in the US to report any gastrointestinal illness where more than 3% of ship head count (crew and guest) are impacted.  For the flu it's 1.38%.   These are hard rules and if they are caught failing to report there are consequences.

Actually, cruise ships are required to report gastrointestinal illness to the CDC every time they enter the US, even if the number is zero.  A follow up report is required when the number of cases reaches 2% (though this is not reported on the CDC website, so there is no public indications of outbreaks up to 2.9%), and a final follow up report when the number of cases reaches 3%, which is the only report available to the public.

 

For influenza, it is not 1.38%.  Similar to GI illness, the ships must make a report of ILI (influenza like illness) every time they enter the US, even if the number of cases is zero.  They are further required to make a report , immediately, when the ILI incidence reaches 1.38 cases per 1000 traveler days (for a ship with 4000 pax on a 7 day cruise, that is 38 cases, or 0.9%).  As with noro reporting, passengers and crew are calculated separately.

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What land based venues have as controlled and contained environments as a cruise ship? You know exactly who is on the ship. No one is getting off the ship unless allowed to. This makes issues far more easier to track and report on. Couple that with the fact that a billion dollar cruise ship makes a very nice photo op. This all makes the cruise lines like chum in the water for the news media sharks.

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10 hours ago, RoyalC said:

Because you are in an enclosed environment and despite "washie washie," anyone that coughs or sneezes will infect you! I get sick almost every cruise but have a stash of antibiotics. I wash my hands more than anyone. Outdoors is easily avoidable. That is why you do not hear of people getting sick from theme parks. 

Norovirus is another one you hear about. You do not hear about people getting regular respiratory illness because it is not news.

Maybe they will quit the smoking in casinos because that is where people get sick mid-cruise and pass it around. But I doubt it! 

 

 

A stash of antibiotics is not ideal. Viruses, the common cold etc. do not need antibiotics and unless your illness has been diagnosed as a bacterial infection antibiotics are not only useless but if overused make you susceptible to super bugs that are not treatable with available antibiotics.

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2 minutes ago, blueridgemama said:

 

A stash of antibiotics is not ideal. Viruses, the common cold etc. do not need antibiotics and unless your illness has been diagnosed as a bacterial infection antibiotics are not only useless but if overused make you susceptible to super bugs that are not treatable with available antibiotics.

Most likely someone who has their "stash" of antibiotics cares very little about your very acurate post.

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7 hours ago, flvol77 said:

We went to Disney 61 times last year, and 45 times the year before,  

 

I started to get sick from someone in line at Disney one time,  went home ( yes I am a local) went to bed and was fine the next morning. 
 

been on 25 plus cruises and we clean the walls, ceiling, drapes, bathroom with Clorox wipes and lysol the room multiple times the first day and we always end up getting a sore throat or cold on a ship.  
 

we clean our hands like crazy, don’t do the buffet, and don’t touch hand rails, but we still end up getting sick. 
 

I personally think Disney especially with the new precautions and cleaning methods put in place is a much better alternative then a cruise. 
 

we love to cruise - but, we need to face it, this will change that industry for years to come. 
 

This is crisis management, and I keep asking how are they going to react, like BP or Tylenol. 

 

How on earth do you not get sick of Disney going on average more than once a week?

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1 minute ago, hotsauce126 said:

 

How on earth do you not get sick of Disney going on average more than once a week?

 

They might just go for an hour with the annual park pass.  

 

All I can think of this the finger print reader, that you used when you arrive to gain access to the park, that that was never cleaned. 

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11 hours ago, ZoeyVictoria said:

My concern is that cruise ships are constantly the focus of news reporting, yet there is no mention of theme parks.  Why the marked difference?

Because there are not 6,000 people stuck in a theme park for 2 weeks.   Not much sensationalism about a theme park sitting there empty.

 

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I'm surprised we aren't hearing more about movie theaters...  They seem like a germ risk, even when it ISN'T cold and flu season...  Even though DH and I always try to be careful, I KNOW we have touched the seat, eaten some popcorn, maybe touched a door handle, eaten some popcorn, etc.  We aren't freaking out about Coronavirus (yet), however we have made the decision to skip going to the movies, until things settle down a bit, here in MN.

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8 hours ago, flvol77 said:

We went to Disney 61 times last year, and 45 times the year before,  

 

I started to get sick from someone in line at Disney one time,  went home ( yes I am a local) went to bed and was fine the next morning. 
 

been on 25 plus cruises and we clean the walls, ceiling, drapes, bathroom with Clorox wipes and lysol the room multiple times the first day and we always end up getting a sore throat or cold on a ship.  
 

we clean our hands like crazy, don’t do the buffet, and don’t touch hand rails, but we still end up getting sick. 
 

I personally think Disney especially with the new precautions and cleaning methods put in place is a much better alternative then a cruise. 
 

we love to cruise - but, we need to face it, this will change that industry for years to come. 
 

This is crisis management, and I keep asking how are they going to react, like BP or Tylenol. 


Again if large gatherings are being stopped then Disney should be as well. Regardless of cleaning Disney isn’t wiping down every ride vehicle between each guest, or every line handrail or door handles. 
 

Im not sure what the number of times you have been to Disney has to do with anything. I live in Orlando so we go often as well and I 100% disagree that you are better at Disney. Being shoulder to shoulder with 50k people for 12 hours there is no way to prevent germs from spreading regardless of how much they clean.  

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Reality is the only valid public health approach is shutting stuff down and social distancing. Theme parks DO need to be shut down, and claiming them to be low risk is not scientifically valid. Claiming that individual choice should rule is also invalid, because pandemic is about community transmission, and just because you are in a lower morbidity risk group does not mean you don't use medical resources if you get sick, or cannot transmit the disease in your community while carrying it.

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I am upset and disappointed as well that some governments are trying to blame the cruise industry for this mess.  The cruise industry did not create this problem.  In my opinion, the airline industry should be the ones to make changes.  In recent years, the airline industry has decided to make the passenger seats smaller so that they can cram more seats in every plane.  People in economy class are practically sitting on top of each other because of the seats being so close together.  This is a sign of the airline industry being greedy and putting passengers' health at risk.  Place the blame on the airline industry, not cruising!

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14 minutes ago, BeachChik said:


I 100% disagree that you are better at Disney. Being shoulder to shoulder with 50k people for 12 hours there is no way to prevent germs from spreading regardless of how much they clean.  

I love Disney.  I love to cruise. I am not a scientist or doctor. But I'd have to agree. I am much closer to people much more of the time at Disney World. The words that make me cringe - "fill in all available space." You are seriously shoulder to shoulder and face to face with people in tiny pre-show areas and lines. People are sneezing, coughing, and breathing just inches from you. The only time I have been that close to people on a ship is muster drill on the deck of Liberty and walking out of Studio B from muster drill. 

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4 hours ago, twangster said:

The media loves to single out the cruise industry because it generates ratings and ratings drive ad revenue.  It's all about money,

Your opinion! As a member of the media I can assure you that is not true. The media did not shut down China or Italy. The media did not cancel cruises, flights, NBA games or parades. The media did not infect more than a hundred thousand people in dozens of countries in a month. The media did not tell you to buy toilet paper. The media said wash your hands. Stay safe my friend!

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50 minutes ago, vacationlover_mn said:

I'm surprised we aren't hearing more about movie theaters...  They seem like a germ risk, even when it ISN'T cold and flu season...  Even though DH and I always try to be careful, I KNOW we have touched the seat, eaten some popcorn, maybe touched a door handle, eaten some popcorn, etc.  We aren't freaking out about Coronavirus (yet), however we have made the decision to skip going to the movies, until things settle down a bit, here in MN.

 

Yes, I'm thinking of all the popcorn that I have inadvertently picked up off my seat and popped in my mouth😮  

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7 minutes ago, luv2sailAgain said:

I love Disney.  I love to cruise. I am not a scientist or doctor. But I'd have to agree. I am much closer to people much more of the time at Disney World. The words that make me cringe - "fill in all available space." You are seriously shoulder to shoulder and face to face with people in tiny pre-show areas and lines. People are sneezing, coughing, and breathing just inches from you. The only time I have been that close to people on a ship is muster drill on the deck of Liberty and walking out of Studio B from muster drill. 

 

Exactly. You are much more in people's personal space at the theme parks.

 

I don't think anyone takes shutting down lightly. Disney World employs over 70,000 people in central Florida and Universal over 25,000. That is a lot of people, that didn't make a whole lot to begin with, to suddenly be without any income.

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Cruises are easy targets.  When anyone dies, it's news.  The odder the death, the more people hear about it.

 

I've not once heard of any person committing suicide at Disney or other theme parks.  But I'm sure it happens.  I've never heard of any flu or virus outbreak at theme parks- I'm sure that happens, too.  

 

The fact that there's a CDC blotter, and that tight packed people tend to talk- news gets out, and it's an easy target.

 

Having been on more than one virus reaction cruise, I have a HUGE amount of confidence in the cruise lines in keeping people safe- even when we all know the source are other passengers who lie about their sicknesses and bring it on board.  They manage that really well.

 

But being easy targets, well.... 


That's how I see it.

 

(for our upcoming cruises, once on the ship, I'm pretty confident we would stay well.  The flights- not so much.)

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11 minutes ago, alfaeric said:

 

I've not once heard of any person committing suicide at Disney or other theme parks. 

 

It happened just last week at Walt Disney World.  There were news stories all over about it.  Trust me, there are plenty of stories about it when someone dies at a Disney park.

 

It's like the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon (you know, when you buy a new car suddenly you see that type of car everywhere) for us--we see and notice cruise stories because that is something relevant and important to us.  I also notice all of the Disney stories because those are relevant to me, as well.  

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2 hours ago, kebrown said:

I am upset and disappointed as well that some governments are trying to blame the cruise industry for this mess.  The cruise industry did not create this problem.  In my opinion, the airline industry should be the ones to make changes.  In recent years, the airline industry has decided to make the passenger seats smaller so that they can cram more seats in every plane.  People in economy class are practically sitting on top of each other because of the seats being so close together.  This is a sign of the airline industry being greedy and putting passengers' health at risk.  Place the blame on the airline industry, not cruising!

It seems like every time a ship is "amped" in dry dock it comes out with more cabins where there was once public space. There is plenty of greed to go around.

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Another place you do not hear them tell to stay away from...casinos!!!  We stopped at one in Battle Creek on sunday, it was packed and I mean to the point that you had to walk around to try and find a machine to play!!  You have all these people in there, touching machines, money, dice, cards, poker chips, beverage stations, etc.  Not once did I notice anyone cleaning any of the machines!!  Plus they are warning the elderly to not go into crowds (cruises too!) and what do you see?  Elderly people with their walkers and some even pulling their oxygen tanks, even with people smoking all around them!!!  You can't tell me that place wasn't loaded with who knows what!!!!!  If they want to close down the cruise industry, then close the casinos...oh wait, the states want that free money that people are throwing away trying to win big!

 

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