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Congress to investigate Carnival Corporation’s handling of COVID-19 on its cruise ships


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3 hours ago, lucymorgan said:

Similar tracing was done for airlines in Australia.  In fact every airline trip going into and out of Australia and domestically with confirmed cases have been traced   https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-travellers

 

edit: including which seat rows are most likely to have transmitted the virus

Did the results of that testing show that a lot of the cases of the virus were brought in by airline passengers?

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5 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

The ship didn't have test kits for COVID so the doctor could not answer the question "Do you have COVID". I doubt that the question was asked. Tests done a few days earlier in Auckland returned a negative result. At that point she must have felt COVID was a possibility, otherwise the tests would not have been done. She also must have felt there could be COVID a few days later when she suggested that the paramedics should wear PPE when they came to the ship to pick up two ill passengers from the ship in Sydney. She also sent swabs to be tested for COVID.

 

The key question is why NSW Health cleared the passengers to disembark without waiting for the test results. 

These are the most importent issues    1. Without test kits the ships medical staff could not verify the illness.

  2.The Australian Health Authority should have assumed that the respiratory patients were Covid-19 and acted accordingly. 

The ships doctors were not as on the ball as they should have been but the buck stops with the AHA as they did receive e.mails warning of illness on board. 

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1 hour ago, ontheweb said:

Did the results of that testing show that a lot of the cases of the virus were brought in by airline passengers?

Yes -  about 2/3 of the cases were bought in by airline passengers/crew and 1/3 was from cruise ships (mainly Ruby Princess).  Even the cruise ship cases would have most likely been bought in by airline passengers/crew - since Australia is a group of Islands and it takes a fair while for cruise ships to get here.  However, it does seem clear that it spread on some cruise ships and there was some spread in the community 😞    

"Of cases with a reported place of acquisition, more than half have recent international travel history, including around 1,200 cases associated with cruise ships."

  https://www.health.gov.au/resources/covid-19-cases-by-source-of-infection-by-state-and-territory 

 

Edited by lucymorgan
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On 5/3/2020 at 1:01 AM, HappyInVan said:

 

Airlines should distribute 3-layer procedural masks to the pax. They're effective in stopping splatter. Obviously, not as effective as N95 masks. But, they're have to do until N95 masks are available in numbers.

 

Please note that the epidemic has been defeated in the East Asian countries where the people wear masks, among other things.

 

I find it hard to believe that people with no symptoms can be very infectious. Yes, people without symptoms can test positive. Yes, people on the verge of symptoms can be infectious. But, is it possible that a person without any sign of the body's response (elevated temperature) can be infectious? IMO, more research needs to be done.

 

At this point, we need to note that the degree of infectiousness depends on distance. A small amount of infectiousness is dangerous in intimate relationships, but not at arms length. 

 

Please note that social distancing (without quarantine) has been effective in flattening the curve.

 

In any case, some degree of effective screening is better than none. No single technique will be foolproof. But a combination strategy (screening, masks, distancing, testing, tracing) should be effective.

 

 

Agree with everything you said.....other countries have been much more successful and effective at controlling COVID-19 then USA.....we are just too divided to really do what needs to be done so we slog on.....have no problem flying but cruising will be another matter.

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3 hours ago, lucymorgan said:

Yes -  about 2/3 of the cases were bought in by airline passengers/crew and 1/3 was from cruise ships (mainly Ruby Princess).  Even the cruise ship cases would have most likely been bought in by airline passengers/crew - since Australia is a group of Islands and it takes a fair while for cruise ships to get here.  However, it does seem clear that it spread on some cruise ships and there was some spread in the community 😞    

"Of cases with a reported place of acquisition, more than half have recent international travel history, including around 1,200 cases associated with cruise ships."

  https://www.health.gov.au/resources/covid-19-cases-by-source-of-infection-by-state-and-territory 

 

Thank you for answering my question.

 

No question that the cruise lines were at fault, but so were others. You do not see the airlines getting beat up by the media and governments the way the cruise lines are.

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My impression is that the cruise lines only had two objectives and could care less about anything else.

 

The first was to sail as long as possible to maximize profit.

 

The second was to disembark cruisers where ever possible, as quickly as possible so as to avoid any responsibility for them. Even if it meant misleading Government health authorities and CDC etc.  They wanted to dump the problem, fast, anywhere they could without regard for anything except their respective P&L's.

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11 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

Have you guys read the transcripts from the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Ruby Princess. This ties in nicely into the Congressional and NZ hearings.

 

https://www.rubyprincessinquiry.nsw.gov.au/hearings/

 

 

Only transcripts available are from April 22nd and 23rd. On the first day, doctor ILSE VON WATZDORF and Staff Captain SEBASTIANO AZZARELLI testified. On the second day, Hotel Manager CHARLES VERWAAL testified.

 

 

 

Basically, the stonewalling is an admission of guilt. I See Nothing, I Know Nothing, I Remember Nothing.

 

The NSW government has what it needs. The police charges a couple of people with criminal or administrative negligence. Does not go to trial because the Princess employees are far away.

 

Will Princess ever sail again from Australia?

 

Yes, Princess's lawyers will try to score points when NSW Health testifies. But, the NSW government must be confident of their defense when they launched the police investigation and the commission of inquiry.

 

The poor doctor should have engaged a separate counsel for herself. Could she have defended herself by turning state's evidence?

 

On Pages 94-101, she has admitted the failure to submit the updated medical log. There was a Thai crew member with temperature of 38.7 degrees (Page 103). Was in Thailand (recorded covid cases) within the last 14 days. Tested negative for influenza!

 

“DR VON WATZDORF: Yes. A symptom of – potentially of COVID-19. Yes.” (Page 107)

 

The ship officers' reputations are in tatters. I'm surprised that the Captain, Commodore Pomata, didn't step up and take the heat for his staff.

 

https://www.seatrade-cruise.com/news-headlines/princess-cruises-appoints-new-commodore

 

 

On Page 109 of the April 22 transcript, the staff captain described himself...

 

“MR AZZARELLI: It’s the second in command of the vessel and in charge of safety

and security onboard.”

 

On Page 111, the commission's counsel mocked him...

 

“MR KIRBY: So is your role really just a navigational role as second in command to

the commodore?

MR AZZARELLI: Correct.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Attached as a PDF is the letter from the US House of Representatives to Arnold Donald, the CEO of CCL.  It does not paint a pretty picture of the industry or CCL.  An excerpt:

 

"In fact, it seems as though Carnival Corporation and its portfolio of nine cruise lines, which represents 109 cruise ships, is still trying to sell this cruise line fantasy and ignoring the public health threat posed by coronavirus to potential future passengers and crew.  As of April 23, 2020, none of the front facing web-pages from any of Carnival’s nine affiliated cruise lines.... mentioned a single word about COVID-19, coronavirus, or the precautions these cruise lines intend to take once the CDC lifts its “No Sail Order” for cruise lines.  Instead, these sites are advertising various images of couples dining and dancing, musicians entertaining, and lines of children holding hands and playing.  We understand your business and economic livelihood is focused in the entertainment and travel industry, but the realities of the coronavirus pandemic demand that the incentive to entertain is checkered by a responsibility to protect the health of passengers and crew. Unfortunately, recent media reports have called into question Carnival’s commitment to that goal."

 

US House - Letter to CCL CEO.pdf

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2 minutes ago, bluesea321 said:

Attached as a PDF is the letter from the US House of Representatives to Arnold Donald, the CEO of CCL.  It does not paint a pretty picture of the industry or CCL.  An excerpt:

 

"In fact, it seems as though Carnival Corporation and its portfolio of nine cruise lines, which represents 109 cruise ships, is still trying to sell this cruise line fantasy and ignoring the public health threat posed by coronavirus to potential future passengers and crew.  As of April 23, 2020, none of the front facing web-pages from any of Carnival’s nine affiliated cruise lines.... mentioned a single word about COVID-19, coronavirus, or the precautions these cruise lines intend to take once the CDC lifts its “No Sail Order” for cruise lines.  Instead, these sites are advertising various images of couples dining and dancing, musicians entertaining, and lines of children holding hands and playing.  We understand your business and economic livelihood is focused in the entertainment and travel industry, but the realities of the coronavirus pandemic demand that the incentive to entertain is checkered by a responsibility to protect the health of passengers and crew. Unfortunately, recent media reports have called into question Carnival’s commitment to that goal."

 

US House - Letter to CCL CEO.pdf 202.45 kB · 0 downloads

 

This is a great share and the a major problem because CCL is not being transparent with its passengers.

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1 hour ago, bluesea321 said:

Attached as a PDF is the letter from the US House of Representatives to Arnold Donald, the CEO of CCL.  It does not paint a pretty picture of the industry or CCL.  An excerpt:

 

"In fact, it seems as though Carnival Corporation and its portfolio of nine cruise lines, which represents 109 cruise ships, is still trying to sell this cruise line fantasy and ignoring the public health threat posed by coronavirus to potential future passengers and crew.  As of April 23, 2020, none of the front facing web-pages from any of Carnival’s nine affiliated cruise lines.... mentioned a single word about COVID-19, coronavirus, or the precautions these cruise lines intend to take once the CDC lifts its “No Sail Order” for cruise lines.  Instead, these sites are advertising various images of couples dining and dancing, musicians entertaining, and lines of children holding hands and playing.  We understand your business and economic livelihood is focused in the entertainment and travel industry, but the realities of the coronavirus pandemic demand that the incentive to entertain is checkered by a responsibility to protect the health of passengers and crew. Unfortunately, recent media reports have called into question Carnival’s commitment to that goal."

 

US House - Letter to CCL CEO.pdf 202.45 kB · 1 download

 

OUCH!! That pretty much says it all.  'Sell this cruise line fantasy........'      See also the thread posted this morning about CCL's announcement to resume limited operations in August.   Talk about fantasy!

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Thank you to those who posted info regarding the wearing of masks on aircraft.  That letter above does say a lot.  We shall see what the outcome will be.  Have a pleasant day

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5 hours ago, ontheweb said:

Thank you for answering my question.

 

No question that the cruise lines were at fault, but so were others. You do not see the airlines getting beat up by the media and governments the way the cruise lines are.

Largely for the following reasons

1. Cruise lines are recreational only there is no essential activities on cruise lines

2. The marketing of cruise lines  which focuses on the recreation aspect as well as touting safety

3. You have not had any documented cases where 1 case has turned into 700 cases on an airplane.

 

There have been news stories when a hotel has had a major issue. For example early on there was one case identified where the couple had stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and what the hotel was doing.  After 2 weeks no additional cases so the story went away.

 

The first case in Seattle was someone that flew back from Wuhan.  That made the news for about a week.

 

Bottom line as far as news organizations are concerned cruise lines  are visible, tout their safety, and yield incidents that just turn out badly with the number of cases.  They just keep on giving more and more.

 

The all-inclusives on the other hand, the closet competition you have to cruise lines have had very few incidents and have kept a low profile.

Edited by npcl
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2 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

 

I believe these official Enquiries are political exercises to try Princess in a public forum for what was the failure of a state government department.

I think that is one reason for the enquiry but there are others - hopefully one of the most important is to learn lessons for the future to improve the safety of travel and dealing with pandemics.   

 

Let's face it - there are going to be many many enquiries and lawsuits.  The families of those who have perished are one enormous group of people.  Another is the people who have lost many thousands of dollars.  

 

Today in the Australian media Slater and Gordon is forming a class action for people who have been offered travel vouchers instead of refunds https://www.slatergordon.com.au/class-actions/current-class-actions/travel-vouchers  - this is not specific to cruising but includes it.

 

 

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4 hours ago, npcl said:

Bottom line as far as news organizations are concerned cruise lines  are visible, tout their safety, and yield incidents that just turn out badly with the number of cases.  They just keep on giving more and more.

 

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/04/25/national/coronavirus-outbreak-cruise-ship-nagasaki/#.XrDJTKhKg2w

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7 hours ago, npcl said:

Largely for the following reasons

 

3. You have not had any documented cases where 1 case has turned into 700 cases on an airplane.

 

 

 

That is because the airline passengers that are exposed to the virus while on the plane are not on the plane for the number of days to show symptoms.

 

By the time they become infectious (with or without symptoms) they are at their final destination and can infect other people who may never know the source of their infection.

 

The initial outbreak in Westchester County in the NYC area was traced to an airline passenger who had flown home from Florida. Who knows if he infected other people during his trip home.

 

Even if an infected person does not transfer the virus to another plane passenger, he/she will do so at their final destination.

 

Then there is the original Diamond Princess passenger who had left the ship before showing symptoms, but after infecting others. It is not the Cruise Line's fault that an infected individual who presented no symptoms but was infected was on the ship.

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9 minutes ago, USCcruisecrazy said:

1) This idea that the cruise lines should have been aware or better prepared is absurd.  The incubation period of this virus can be as long as 14 days and approximately 50% of infected people are asymptomatic...so the fact that these ships didn't have even a higher level of infection is amazing...but blame is certaintly not on how they handled the situation.

 

 

Actually, I was stunned about how the officers on the Ruby Princess was able to infect a third of the pax in 11 days! Is that a record?

 

Fortunately, NSW started a commission of inquiry. The fruits of the first two days are available. Read posts 73 and 83 on this thread...

 

 

 

The facts show that the blame does lie on their handling of the matter. Plus, organizational changes need to be made at HQ and on the ship. Who's in charge?

 

 

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5 minutes ago, HappyInVan said:

 

Actually, I was stunned about how the officers on the Ruby Princess was able to infect a third of the pax in 11 days! Is that a record?

 

Fortunately, NSW started a commission of inquiry. The fruits of the first two days are available. Read posts 73 and 83 on this thread...

 

 

 

The facts show that the blame does lie on their handling of the matter. Plus, organizational changes need to be made at HQ and on the ship. Who's in charge?

 

 

I would simply ask a few questions:  how many passengers on day #1, hour #1 of boarding the ship showed symptoms of the virus?  Assuming the crew was unaware of any sick passengers, especially since we now know that easily 50% of all infected are asympomatic, ther could have been dozens of infected passengers on day 1 with no symptoms.  By the time they started showing symptoms, which could easily be days or a week or more, they would have infected hundreds of more passengers when you use an exponential means of passing it...10 infect 2 each so up to 30...30 infect 2 each so up to 90...90 infect 2 each so up to 270...2 each and we are at 810 passengers with just 4 iterations of the infection which could have taken place over a matter of a few days.  Why do you think a few hundred people flying in on a plane from Europe could result in a hundred thousand in NY being infected?  It's a novel virus, we all had no clue of it's ability to spread (especially with Chinese deception) so blaming the Cruise lInes from being able to better control it is just laying unjust blame and an excuse that to me doens't hold water.

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4 minutes ago, npcl said:

They can provide support to the CDC for keeping their tight restrictions in place out of US ports. After all the US is the focus of the US congress.

 

Compared to the impact on those businesses which are travel related the cruise industry impact is a rounding error on the over all impact on restaurants, hotels, airlines and shuttles.

 

With the impact of the food supply I am pretty sure those items that would have been sold to the cruise lines can find other destinations.

 

 

That may be true...but for the 422,000 jobs Nationally supported by the Cruise Industry and the billions in revenue they generate, those people will certainly feel like it's more than a drop in the bucket!

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5 minutes ago, HappyInVan said:

 

 

I like to tell the truth. Read posts 73 and 83. That's about a commission of inquiry and its proceedings

 

 

 

Of course! He knew the consequences, and yet he sacrificed himself.

I don't take these threads as seriously as others do. They're fun to read. 

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3 minutes ago, ontheweb said:

I don't think anyone has stated that he was canned for caring about the safety of his crew, only that the safety of his crew was less important to the naval brass than rules and regulations.

 

I do remember reading that his crew cheered him and had the opposite reaction for the acting Secretary of the Navy.  What do you think it does for the morale of the crew when it is felt that their safety is unimportant to those above their Captain?

The original post I responded to was because the poster believed that was the case...he was canned for trying to do what he thought was in his crew's safety.  The issue is, he could have gotten the same results perhaps had he followed the Chain of Command.  It's important to remember that without Order and Discipline, the military doesn't function at peak performance and when they don't perform that way, people die. 

And absolutely I understand why they cheered him on...because they respected him as their Captain.  I would guess mnay of those sailors served with him for years.  It was great they showed him that respect.  And I wish him the best, but he broke the rules and potentially endangered his Nation by giving away classified information...the Readiness of his Ship!

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2 minutes ago, USCcruisecrazy said:

That may be true...but for the 422,000 jobs Nationally supported by the Cruise Industry and the billions in revenue they generate, those people will certainly feel like it's more than a drop in the bucket!

 

 

You need to take a look at the bigger picture.

 

Where's there demand, there will be supply. Carnival/Princess stops operating in USA and Australia. Other companies will step in when the demand returns. 

 

Consider this a part of evolution. Companies that can't adapt, have no respect for the safety of pax and crew do not deserve to remain in business. 

 

BTW, read posts 73 and 83.

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12 minutes ago, HappyInVan said:

 

 

You need to take a look at the bigger picture.

 

Where's there demand, there will be supply. Carnival/Princess stops operating in USA and Australia. Other companies will step in when the demand returns. 

 

Consider this a part of evolution. Companies that can't adapt, have no respect for the safety of pax and crew do not deserve to remain in business. 

 

BTW, read posts 73 and 83.

Okay, I read those two posts:  take on post #73 (with no real context to the entire conversation) would lead me to believe the Captain was incompetent in his reaction.  When he says something about not being responsible for their illness, does that mean "He is not why they got sick" or does he mean he is not responsible for their care now that the issue is apparent?  That would be good to know.  For post #83, the issue seems to be that the House is not too happy that CCL did not lace COVID-19 warninga all over their banners.  Is that a mandatory action by all businesses now?  Does that mean that people are being decieved?  I guess if someone doesn't know of it's existence, they would be decieved...but that's virtually impossible.  Did they advertise sailings now or cancel them based on the COVID-19 issue?  Sounds like someone complaining that the company didn't do what they thought was prudent.  BTW:  I would have thought it prudent as well, but that doesn't give me the authority to direct their company policies. 

 

Appreciate the words...great way to think through processes by hearing alternate views.   

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15 hours ago, caribill said:

 

That is because the airline passengers that are exposed to the virus while on the plane are not on the plane for the number of days to show symptoms.

 

By the time they become infectious (with or without symptoms) they are at their final destination and can infect other people who may never know the source of their infection.

 

The initial outbreak in Westchester County in the NYC area was traced to an airline passenger who had flown home from Florida. Who knows if he infected other people during his trip home.

 

Even if an infected person does not transfer the virus to another plane passenger, he/she will do so at their final destination.

 

Then there is the original Diamond Princess passenger who had left the ship before showing symptoms, but after infecting others. It is not the Cruise Line's fault that an infected individual who presented no symptoms but was infected was on the ship.

There have been studies (supported also by contact tracing) that the only people at risk from a sick person on a plan is those in very close proximity to the ill individual. 1 row in front of and 2 row behind.   The crew is at risk during greeting passengers and during drink/meal service (close proximity, both crew and passenger talking)

 

As the CDC indicated they have not found any other setting that has the attack rate that they have seen on cruise ships.

 

But just to put things back in context my response was in response to the question as to why the media is going after cruise lines, not a discussion on spread dynamics.

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On 5/4/2020 at 9:20 PM, ontheweb said:

Did the results of that testing show that a lot of the cases of the virus were brought in by airline passengers?

Yes. All cases originated from an airline passenger, except for some cases from foreign cruise ships (example a German ship) that had passengers with COVID who were taken to Australian hospitals to be treated. There were no secondary infections from these people.

 

Australia carries out tracing on each and every cases of COVID - where the person contracted the virus, then isolation of all their contacts. An example is an early case (my DIL's sister) who flew in from Europe and found out two days later that she tested positive. Her doctor, his receptionist and all the patients who had been in the waiting room went into quarantine for 14 days. There was no transmission. Maybe because of this rigorous tracing, Australia does not have community transmission of COVID. With virtually every case, it can be traced to a friend or relative who has been overseas, or in contact with an infected person who has been.

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On 5/3/2020 at 3:46 PM, 4cats4me said:

 

How will people rehydrate during a long flight, or eat? I’ve worn mask on planes before, but I also was not mandated to and was free to remove it to eat.  Wondering if they will be disallowed to remove masks.  On a one hour flight, no big deal.     

 

I saw a great video of a moron in a mask and gloves who, when served food, pulled the mask down with the dirty gloves and then proceeded to eat a sandwich and stuff using the dirty gloves. Gloves can keep your hands clean but you have to be smart enough to understand that clean hands inside of gloves won't save you from the jive on the outside of the gloves. One reason this spreads so well is that there are so many freaking morons in the world.

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