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SS Future Re-Open Plan: Timing, Testing Needs??!!


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From the Washington Post earlier this week, they had this headline: “ ‘I’d like to hear an argument why we couldn’t sail’: Norwegian Cruise CEO lays out plan for a U.S. restart” with these highlights: “The chief executive of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings on Monday rolled out a plan to start sailing again from the United States with fully vaccinated passengers and crew. A big catch: He still needs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to sign off, more than a year after the agency prohibited cruising in the United States. The move by CEO Frank Del Rio is a bold salvo amid the cruise industry’s escalating frustration with the CDC, whose allegedly 'outdated' rules have been the target of complaints in recent weeks. The criticism has only mounted since Friday, when the agency said travel for vaccinated people was low risk — but also laid out a raft of additional conditions, under a 'conditional sailing order,' that cruise lines need to meet before getting permission to operate from U.S. ports.  'I’d like to hear an argument why we couldn’t sail,' Del Rio said in an interview. 'If everyone on board is vaccinated and following the protocols, there is absolutely no need for the conditional sail order to exist as it is known today.' ”

 

This aggressive positioning by the NCL CEO does sound "bold" and very strong.   BUT, will the CDC be intimidated by his daring statements?  Del Rio makes his point, but the CDC has also been very clear that they do not trust the cruise industry and remember certain of the shady activities to hide Covid conditions from last year.  The head of Royal Caribbean has not been as "aggressive" as Del Rio in daring the CDC to approve or else.  

 

Which positioning and posturings are best for the cruise industry's long-term relationship with the controlling CDC to restore trust and confidence?  Reactions and comments?

 

Full story at:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/2021/04/05/norwegian-sail-july-cdc-vaccine/?itid=sf_coronavirus_aboutUS-top-table

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

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http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=110100

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32 minutes ago, TLCOhio said:

"Moderna’s Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks on Wednesday said the company should be able to supply booster shots by the end of 2021.”

It will be interesting to see how this ‘booster’ process will be managed.  Hopefully, it’ll be much better than the Hunger Games model employed so far with the vaccines.  And, will anyone be able to take the Moderna booster even if their original vaccine was from AZ, J&J, or Pfizer?

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2 minutes ago, Stumblefoot said:

It will be interesting to see how this ‘booster’ process will be managed.  Hopefully, it’ll be much better than the Hunger Games model employed so far with the vaccines.  And, will anyone be able to take the Moderna booster even if their original vaccine was from AZ, J&J, or Pfizer?


A doctor on the Today show this morning recommended you take a booster from the same manufacturer of your original.   She didn’t specifically address if it was wrong to take a different booster so that bridge will have to be crossed if and when a booster or boosters become available.   She did think there would be boosters later this year or early next and likened it to annual flu vaccines.

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23 hours ago, Randyk47 said:


Therein lies the rub.   Obviously vaccination is not a guarantee you won’t catch Covid so it could happen.  Then add the possibility of a false positive.  Unfortunately it’s a slight but real risk.   Sure makes insurance that would cover those possibilities important.   

In the same way a GP wouldn't go with a first high blood pressure reading,  you would expect SS to run a 2nd or even 3rd test before declaring you infected and refuse you boarding. To be denied by a false lateral flow test would be galling, and could have implications for you getting on a plane home etc.

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39 minutes ago, Cruiser6270 said:

In the same way a GP wouldn't go with a first high blood pressure reading,  you would expect SS to run a 2nd or even 3rd test before declaring you infected and refuse you boarding. To be denied by a false lateral flow test would be galling, and could have implications for you getting on a plane home etc.

 

My plan, as we have a tentative cruise in November ( fingers crossed) is to be an active participant in the challenge to stay Covid Negative prior to cruising.  

Nothing is perfect, but I can try and do everything in my power to not test positive.  Two weeks prior.  Stay home as much as possible.  Still do curbside pick-up.  Wear mask in public ( even if not requried).  No indoor dining ( havent done that in a year anyway).  No bars ( don't go to bars, so thats easy!). No concerts, ball games, any large gatherings.

Flying. Masks will still be madatory I suspect.  Layover, NO eating or drinking in a maskless setting. If we have to have a snack, grab and go, and find an out of the way spot. On the plane, as little mask removal as possible.

Masking upon landing, and from then on...

Does it sound fun, NOPE, will I be trying to keep myself and husband from picking up the virus along the way, putting some control in our hands. Absolutely. Doesn't guarantee anything, but being fully vaccinated, plus those measures, gives us a fighting chance of testing negative.

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This is one of those things that we definitely have to decide what is best for ourselves.

I normally take tours through the cruise line so that is not a negative for me.

 

As for the home things.......Kimanjo, I agree with many of your items although I do eat out.

But I always wear a mask when I am out as well.

 

I am hoping my October cruise is a go as well!😃  And one of these upcoming cruises to Greece?

I am waiting for prices to come out for that one to see how high they are......

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3 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

From the Washington Post earlier this week, they had this headline: “ ‘I’d like to hear an argument why we couldn’t sail’: Norwegian Cruise CEO lays out plan for a U.S. restart” with these highlights: “The chief executive of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings on Monday rolled out a plan to start sailing again from the United States with fully vaccinated passengers and crew. A big catch: He still needs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to sign off, more than a year after the agency prohibited cruising in the United States. The move by CEO Frank Del Rio is a bold salvo amid the cruise industry’s escalating frustration with the CDC, whose allegedly 'outdated' rules have been the target of complaints in recent weeks. The criticism has only mounted since Friday, when the agency said travel for vaccinated people was low risk — but also laid out a raft of additional conditions, under a 'conditional sailing order,' that cruise lines need to meet before getting permission to operate from U.S. ports.  'I’d like to hear an argument why we couldn’t sail,' Del Rio said in an interview. 'If everyone on board is vaccinated and following the protocols, there is absolutely no need for the conditional sail order to exist as it is known today.' ”

 

This aggressive positioning by the NCL CEO does sound "bold" and very strong.   BUT, will the CDC be intimidated by his daring statements?  Del Rio makes his point, but the CDC has also been very clear that they do not trust the cruise industry and remember certain of the shady activities to hide Covid conditions from last year.  The head of Royal Caribbean has not been as "aggressive" as Del Rio in daring the CDC to approve or else.  

 

Which positioning and posturings are best for the cruise industry's long-term relationship with the controlling CDC to restore trust and confidence?  Reactions and comments?

 

Full story at:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/2021/04/05/norwegian-sail-july-cdc-vaccine/?itid=sf_coronavirus_aboutUS-top-table

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Athens & Greece: Many visuals, details from two visits in a city with great history, culture and architecture.  Now at 38,044 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=110100

Anything is possible, but I sincerely doubt if either Del Rio's rant or the Florida lawsuit will sway the CDC. Just get the darn port agreements in place and be ready to sail as soon as that happens, at least with a test cruise or two. That could get full cruising started by this summer, barring another setback.

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This is really crazy......I read over on the Celebrity forum about a letter Celebrity has sent to customers.

They are asking (customers) to start to reach out to your Congress people and tell them to re-start cruising.

  I am a bit surprised about this..........Talk about getting your

clientele involved.......😮

 

See the attached:

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Lois R said:

This is really crazy......I read over on the Celebrity forum about a letter Celebrity has sent to customers.

They are asking (customers) to start to reach out to your Congress people and tell them to re-start cruising.

  I am a bit surprised about this..........Talk about getting your

clientele involved.......😮

 

See the attached:

 

 

 

I am not sure that politician's ever listen to those who made them politicians!! Long time before the next election!!

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I was curious as to what percentage of the Gross National Product in the USA was generated by the Cruise industry in the USA. When I Googled it, it turns out that the number is .259%.  That is almost a grain of sand on the beach in the USA so not sure all politicians we get excited to help the cruise industry. I hope I am wrong, as usual!! Just trying to put thing in perspective.

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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, A Tucson Guy said:

I was curious as to what percentage of the Gross National Product in the USA was generated by the Cruise industry in the USA. When I Googled it, it turns out that the number is .259%.  That is almost a grain of sand on the beach in the USA so not sure all politicians we get excited to help the cruise industry. I hope I am wrong, as usual!! Just trying to put thing in perspective. These numbers are from 2019.

 

Edited by A Tucson Guy
typo
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5 minutes ago, A Tucson Guy said:

I was curious as to what percentage of the Gross National Product in the USA was generated by the Cruise industry in the USA. When I Googled it, it turns out that the number is .259%.  That is almost a grain of sand on the beach in the USA so not sure all politicians we get excited to help the cruise industry. I hope I am wrong, as usual!! Just trying to put thing in perspective.

I just think if the cruise line wants to reach out to (pick a name) then go ahead but to send 

letters to customers asking them to do it? No thanks.  

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17 hours ago, A Tucson Guy said:

I was curious as to what percentage of the Gross National Product in the USA was generated by the Cruise industry in the USA. When I Googled it, it turns out that the number is .259%.  That is almost a grain of sand on the beach in the USA so not sure all politicians we get excited to help the cruise industry. I hope I am wrong, as usual!! Just trying to put thing in perspective.

 

Great above comment and follow-up about the important, but still small, overall impact of the cruise companies as a part of our overall economy here in the U.S.  More below as to the efforts to get the attention of the "politicians" in Washington, DC, as to re-opening the cruise industry from our ports here.  Sad but true point by our Arizona friend in saying: "I am not sure that politician's ever listen to those who made them politicians!!  Long time before the next election!!"

 

Right or wrong, the CDC in Atlanta and in their laboratories does and should not always listen to what those in politics, on both sides, demand and ask as they posture from their executive and legislative branch perches.  This current situation can lead to a long and complicated debate/discussion with a wide variety of legitimate health and safety factors to consider among the various viewpoints and economic interests.  What will the CDC do and when?  The CDC staff and leadership has good reasons not to trust certain of the cruise lines based on what sadly and fatally happened in March, etc., 2020.  

 

From The Points Guy website that has done a good job covering cruise issues, they had yesterday this headline: “Transportation Secretary Buttigieg wants cruising to resume by mid-summer” with these highlights: “U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg joined White House spokesperson Jen Psaki today in the White House briefing room for the first time since he joined the Biden Administration.  He was asked about the resumption of cruises, and said, 'The CDC is hopeful that a lot of these operators will be able to be sailing by mid-summer. We want to do this as soon as we responsibly can but we want to be safe.' It comes one day after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he was suing the CDC, demanding the immediate resumption of cruising from Florida. 'The bottom line is safety,' Buttigieg said, 'I can’t wait for us all to be on the move as much as possible, but it’s gotta be safe and responsible' ”

 

What exactly and precisely does "safe and responsible" actually mean and be appearing as in tangible, specific terms?   With what type of time-table?  That is part of the "Mystery Meat" connected with this issue/challenge that government officials, cruise companies and consumers/travelers are trying to unravel.  Right?  

 

Full story at:

https://thepointsguy.com/news/transportation-secretary-buttigieg-cruising-infrastructure/

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

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7 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

What exactly and precisely does "safe and responsible" actually mean and be appearing as in tangible, specific terms?   With what type of time-table?  That is part of the "Mystery Meat" connected with this issue/challenge that government officials, cruise companies and consumers/travelers are trying to unravel.  Right?  

Right.  But what a convoluted mess it is.

 

There are still so many unknowns with this (expletive deleted) virus and the US public.  We have "breakthrough" cases (how many? how serious?), foggy (for now I hope) answers as to how long the protection from an injection lasts, some folks viewing the requirement of vaccination to travel as a threat to their liberty (will end up in court? OMG), and others, I'm sure, of which I'm not aware.

 

Would I commit to a specific timetable now?  No way

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The CDC (IMO) has always been a very cautious and conservative organization, very risk-averse, and its recommendations are generally aimed at getting to zero risk. I have read their travel guidelines for years. The "recommended" vaccinations for international travel are kind of crazy IMO. So with that background, you can understand why they are not going to recommend that cruising resume.

 

Given how this pandemic is playing out I don't think that zero risk is feasible, until worldwide cases drop to near-zero and immunity has been achieved at a high rate, which will probably take a few years. Eventually the governments around the world are going to have to figure out how much risk is acceptable and decide from there when to open up. A low level of risk is achievable in the near future for at least some part of the world. Zero risk is probably not. While I respect the CDC experts and their analysis of the situation, their recommendations will probably lag way behind what is "safe enough" to get cruising started, because they will wait for "zero" risk or something close to it.

 

Example - there is pretty good evidence now that vaccinated people don't transmit the virus, or if they do, it's at a much lower rate than unvaccinated people. The CDC still won't really adjust their recommendations to reflect that. They say that vaccinated people can probably travel at low risk to themselves, but then they still don't recommend travel. The reason is probably that they don't want vaccinated travelers carrying virus around and spreading it to unvaccinated people - even though the evidence says that's not likely. And that is a perfect example of their risk aversion. The risk is very low, but not zero, so they advise strongly against it.

 

Unfortunately for us, our hospital leadership just eats up the CDC recommendations like gospel. And they follow them to the letter, sometimes even more stringently. So even though we are fully vaccinated, and have been for months, if we were to travel to a non-contiguous state they would force us to COVID test prior to returning to work, and again at 5d after returning! And that is despite the fact that NY State has dropped this requirement completely. Argh. we are never going to be able to leave NY State again, it seems.

 

 

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Good morning JP, thank you for that detailed, easily to understand reply🙂 I appreciate it. Sometimes I read the stuff from the CDC and/or other articles and just don't get everything.   I know I read they said November will be the date they shoot for on re-opening of cruises out of the states........from what you just posted, they probably want to wait even longer.😧

 

 

 

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I was recently on the Seattle Trip Advisor board (we hope to go there after our Alaska cruise). A helpful person there said he thought the Canadians will not open their border with the US until March 2022. I said that's a bit late to then expect the 2022 Alaska cruise season to suddenly kick in. So I hope that isn't true?

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33 minutes ago, worldtraveller99 said:

I was recently on the Seattle Trip Advisor board (we hope to go there after our Alaska cruise). A helpful person there said he thought the Canadians will not open their border with the US until March 2022. I said that's a bit late to then expect the 2022 Alaska cruise season to suddenly kick in. So I hope that isn't true?


It is true in the sense that Canada has barred cruise ships with more than 100 people from operating in Canadian waters through February 2022.   Unless they back off of that order then March 2022 would be the first month Alaskan cruises through Canadian waters could commence.   Typically March-April is the opening of the Alaskan cruise season as the cruise lines draw down their Caribbean season.  Hard to tell what that is going to look like in late 2021/early 2022.   I think there will be a Caribbean season starting this coming fall but I have to wonder how robust it is going to be in terms of the number of ships and cruises.  How that will impact the follow on Alaskan season I can’t say.   

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1 minute ago, worldtraveller99 said:

This is terrible, Randyk47. So we are all planning with only guesses to go with. I would not want to be cruise company - we may lose a few thousand, they will continue to lose millions.

They are losing millions with a "B"!

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Thank you for this Lois. Very interesting as to what happens after March 2022? Not sure what Nebula is, so if you can also put up the Ketchikan video, I would love to see it, as that was one of the places we should have been in 2020, and I am crossing fingers and toes we will see it in 2022. Thank you again.

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Hi, I got that video off of You Tube.  If you go to the website and just type Ketchikan, you will find all kinds of videos🙂

 

What I thought was was interesting was how so many ships went all over the place to keep them from having to pay port fees😲.....I know they are business to make money and their bottom line has really been hit.  And at least 100 crew have to be on those empty ships at all times.......so this must have been really hard and weird for them all this time as well.

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7 hours ago, jpalbny said:

The CDC (IMO) has always been a very cautious and conservative organization, very risk-averse, and its recommendations are generally aimed at getting to zero risk. The "recommended" vaccinations for international travel are kind of crazy IMO. So with that background, you can understand why they are not going to recommend that cruising resume.  Given how this pandemic is playing out I don't think that zero risk is feasible, until worldwide cases drop to near-zero and immunity has been achieved at a high rate, which will probably take a few years. Eventually the governments around the world are going to have to figure out how much risk is acceptable and decide from there when to open up. A low level of risk is achievable in the near future for at least some part of the world. Zero risk is probably not. While I respect the CDC experts and their analysis of the situation, their recommendations will probably lag way behind what is "safe enough" to get cruising started, because they will wait for "zero" risk or something close to it.  Unfortunately for us, our hospital leadership just eats up the CDC recommendations like gospel.  Argh. we are never going to be able to leave NY State again, it seems.

 

Super excellent above summary and analysis by our expert, J.P.  As I have highlighted in bold, your most insightful phrase is "ZERO RISK".  Yes, we all would desire to be perfect and never get caught making an error.  With the CDC (and any government bureaucracy), they would seek to avoid being criticized for failing to be "flawless".

 

When sailing in these uncharted waters of worldwide Covid, you cannot wait and wait and wait until you can be 100% certain.  That's MISSION IMPOSSIBLE!  It will not happen.  I fully understand and respect the "caution" being displayed now by the CDC.  In the coming weeks and monthly, however, they will need to make some challenging decisions and risk not being perfectly perfect.  Their "very cautious" style and too-slow approach could backfire and undermine their reputation.  

 

I was once told by a top CDC regional international official about how their agency decides in trying to predict (guess) 24-months in advance the right mix for designing  future flu vaccines.  They know that their vaccine mix will not be 100% correct.  They hope for maybe around a 70% future flu vaccine effectiveness rate. Sometimes, they do better than that goal.  Sometimes worse. What will the CDC do for this re-opening after Covid?  And when?  Waiting for perfection is not possible.    

 

90,000 Views!:  Appreciate all of the great comments, questions and interest for this Silversea Future thread.  We are now over 90,000 views.  There is still much interest on this topic.  Keep the great sharing!!  

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

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Most agree that vaccines are THE "foundation" for getting cruising and travel moving back towards some form of "normal".  Right?  But, how will the verifications being managed and communicated with certainty around the world to verify we really have had these claimed vaccines?  The paper card I have with the CDC logo can easily be duplicated.  How will the right people who are checking know what is "FAKE" . . . versus . . . a real, honest and true certification?  

 

From NBC-TV News this morning, they had this headline: “Vaccine 'passports' could be useful — but only if government gets out of the way” with this sub-headline for this commentary: "Governments need not issue or require them; they don't for most vaccinations. But banning them burdens companies trying to make smart decisions."

 

Here are some of this writer's opinion highlights: “With nearly 25 percent of Americans now fully vaccinated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been issuing new guidelines every few weeks for what fully vaccinated people can safely do. Now, for many the question is how to prove that they've been vaccinated — or trust that others have been.  The most popular answer to emerge has been some sort of certification more robust than the paper cards familiar from the Instagram feeds of the newly vaccinated—what has been somewhat misleadingly dubbed a 'vaccine passport.' And that has sparked a serious backlash.”

 

Here is more in that discussion from his column: "The conversation around vaccination credentials would be enormously improved if we could separate two distinct questions.  First: Is it desirable to have a secure and reliable mechanism for determining who has been vaccinated against the coronavirus for at least some purposes?  And second: In what contexts is it desirable and appropriate to demand proof of vaccination as a precondition for participating in some activity?   If it is sometimes necessary to verify an individual’s vaccination status, the critical information is typically handwritten — and not always legibly or accurately — and the card itself is both easy to lose and trivial to forge.  There are at least 17 separate initiatives already underway aimed at providing a more secure alternative. The details vary, but the core idea behind most is to take advantage of encryption technology to create an upgraded version of the current immunization record card."

 

This is only a small sampling of the writer's views, but the point is clear that doing such a process is not as simple, quick and easy as it would initially seem.  There are a wide range of pro/con factors to consider as to how it would be accomplished and by whom.  And, when?  This writer works at a national think tank where he studies issues at the "busy intersection of technology, privacy, and civil liberties".   What's the best solution?  And does government or the private sector (tech experts) do it?

 

Full story at:

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/vaccine-passports-could-be-useful-only-if-government-gets-out-ncna1263688

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

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