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


TLCOhio
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4 hours ago, spinnaker2 said:

Today aboard the Moon we must get another mandatory covid 19 rapid antigen test.  We all just had one on June 28.  Silversea is trying to maintain a high level of scrutiny.   Masks are still required for walking about and for the crew at all times.  Most pax are compliant with the rules.  Kudos to Silversea for their vigilance.

 

Appreciate these above great details and the follow-up from Spins.  Super sharing, especially as you and DH are busy enjoying this initial Silversea sailing.  Keep enjoying!!  

 

From this below-connected website and MSN News yesterday, they had this headline: On the ground: What it’s like visiting Greece right now with many details for what reality/life is operating for tourists in that historic and scenic country.

 

Here are some of their reporting highlights: “On May 14, Greece reopened its borders to tourists and just a few days ago, lifted most of its lockdown measures.  I live in the U.K., so I flew British Airways to Kos airport (KOS) — you can read about that experience here. To enter Greece from the United Kingdom, the European Union or the United States, you will need to present a Passenger Locator Form (PLF), completed no later than 11:59 p.m. (local time Greece) of the day before arriving in Greece, as well as one of the following:  Negative COVID-19 PCR test, undertaken within the 72-hour period before arrival into Greece; or Proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test from an authorized laboratory, undertaken within the 48-hour period before the scheduled flight; or Proof of two COVID-19 vaccinations completed at least 14 days before travel. Acceptable vaccines are: Pfizer BioNtech, Moderna, Astra Zeneca/Oxford, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen, Sinovac Biotech, Gamaleya (Sputnik), Cansino Biologics and Sinopharm; or A certificate of recovery from the COVID-19 virus infection issued by a public authority or a certified laboratory; or
Proof that the traveler tested positive with COVID-19 in the past two to nine months. This can be proved either by presenting a positive P.C.R. molecular or an antigen test result performed by an authorized laboratory or a medical certificate confirming that the holder was tested positive with COVID-19 virus infection.”

 

Seem simple, quick and easy??  And, this is just for Greece!!  You get the idea of the challenges for both the cruise lines and their passengers in being prepared and ready as they/we are seeking to visit a variety of different countries and ports?  All of these required steps will require time and patience.  And, my guess is that certain of these rules and requirements will be changing and evolving over time during the coming months and into next year.

 

Here is more: "It is critical you complete your Passenger Locator Form at least 24 hours before travel here. You will not be allowed to board your flight if you have not completed this in the required timeframe.  On arrival in Greece, there was a normal immigration check and stamp of passports. Passengers then proceeded to the baggage claim hall. Before collecting luggage, travelers were directed to a COVID-19-screening desk where the QR code from the PLF was scanned and the test, recovery or vaccination records were checked.  I did not print anything out to present on arrival in Greece and this did not cause any issues — everything could be easily read from my phone screen."

 

Full story at:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/tips/on-the-ground-what-its-like-visiting-greece-right-now/ar-AALCzzi?ocid=BingNewsSearch

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Dubrovnik!  Nice visual samples, tips, details, etc., for this super scenic and historic location. Over 47,979 views.    

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1439227

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On 7/1/2021 at 10:38 AM, tosteve1 said:

 

Appreciate this above follow-up and link from our "neighbor" in North Carolina.  Lots happening and more questions coming up.  Just saw this morning that Covid is rising in Japan and that no spectators will be allowed at the Tokyo Olympics starting later this month.  Not a good sign??!! 

 

From the Washington Post this morning, they had this headline: WHO sounds the alarm as global deaths top 4 million, delta spreads to 100 countries with these highlights: “World Health Organization officials issued stern warnings to nations planning to relax coronavirus restrictions as global deaths from the virus topped 4 million and the more virulent delta variant was spotted in more than 100 countries, including those with high vaccination rates. Speaking at a briefing Wednesday, the officials cautioned that more contagious variants were 'currently winning the race against vaccines' as most of the world’s population has yet to be immunized.  Even the delta variant, which was first identified in India and is now tearing through unvaccinated populations around the globe, 'is itself mutating and will continue to do so,' said Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead at the WHO’s Health Emergencies Program.  'There are more than two dozen countries that have epidemic curves that are almost vertical right now,' she said. 'We’re not in a good place.' ”

 

Here are a couple of other key highlights from this reporting in the Post: "Health authorities in Australia’s New South Wales on Thursday reported the state’s largest daily increase in local coronavirus cases this year. The delta variant has driven a surge of cases in the state capital, Sydney, which remains under lockdown until July 16.  England’s coronavirus infections have quadrupled since early June, according to a new study by Imperial College London, as the delta coronavirus variant gains ground among mostly unvaccinated populations.  Iin recent months, less developed nations such as Brazil and India have contributed to a growing share of coronavirus deaths, as outbreaks in both countries ran rampant through unvaccinated populations."

 

These Covid challenges and rising numbers might explain, in part, why for the past ten days, the value of the three major cruise line stocks have been headed significantly downward.  Not a positive trend?  Other speculation and thoughts as to where all of these recent developments are headed that impact cruise line re-opening efforts?

 

This thread is now over 110,000 views.  Appreciate all who have dropped by, made comments, shared links, raised questions, etc.  Keep sharing.  It does not seem to be "all done" right now.  Correct?  Or, wrong?

 

Full story at:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/07/08/covid-19-global-updates-who-sounds-alarm-global-deaths-top-4-million-delta-spreads-100-countries/

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Athens & Greece: Many visuals, details from two visits in a city with great history, culture and architecture.  Now at 39,650 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1101008

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From the Miami Herald and MSN News late yesterday, they had this headline: Judge denies CDC request to keep COVID-19 cruise rules in place during appeal” with these highlights: “A federal judge denied a request Wednesday from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep its COVID-19 safety regulations for Florida cruises in effect, clearing the path for them to turn into simply recommendations on July 18.   The CDC asked U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday of the Middle District of Florida to lift the deadline — part of a preliminary injunction he put in place last month after Gov. Ron DeSantis sued the CDC in April — while the case goes through the appeal process. The CDC argues that without its regulations, cruise ships could exacerbate the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S.  Merryday said in his ruling Wednesday that the CDC’s argument ignores state and local oversight and the improvements cruise companies have made to their operations since COVID-19 outbreaks caused deaths on several ships last year.  'CDC fails to demonstrate that denial of the stay will injure materially CDC or the United States, any third party, or the public,' Merrday wrote. '...This action is about the use and misuse of governmental power.'   Instead of submitting a narrower set of regulations to Merryday for his approval, on Tuesday the CDC appealed his preliminary injunction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.”

 

Full story at:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/judge-denies-cdc-request-to-keep-covid-19-cruise-rules-in-place-during-appeal/ar-AALTrXJ?ocid=BingNewsSearch

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Lisbon, NWSpain, Bordeaux/Brittany: Live/blog, June 2017 from Portugal to France along scenic Atlantic Coast.  Now at 31,804 views.  Many interesting pictures, details for history, food, culture, etc.:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2511358

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From USA Today newspaper this morning, they had this headline: “Cunard cancels sailings after crew members on Queen Elizabeth ship test positive for COVID” with these highlights: “Cunard Line canceled cruises Thursday after news broke that an unspecified number of crew members boarding the Queen Elizabeth ship had tested positive for COVID-19.  The Carnival Corp. subsidiary's return to service is now scheduled for Aug. 13, Cunard president Simon Palethorpe said in a statement. Five sailings were canceled, all on the Queen Elizabeth ship.  Palethorpe said that since March 2020, the cruise line's priority has been to work with public health, scientific and medical experts and the government to put into place approved protocol to protect the health of crew and passengers as well as the communities Cunard visits.  'These protocols, of which we are very proud, have proven to be very effective and we had no cases of COVID-19 in over 5,000 crew members until last month when a small number of cases were identified amongst new crew boarding the ship,' Palethorpe said.  Cunard did not share medical details of the crew, including whether they had been vaccinated. ”

 

Full story at:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2021/07/07/crew-members-cunards-queen-elizabeth-ship-test-positive-covid/7885169002/

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Panama Canal? Early 2017, Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco adventure through Panama Canal.  Our first stops in Colombia, Central America and Mexico, plus added time in the great Golden Gate City. Now at 30,695 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2465580

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From the Miami Herald and MSN News yesterday, they had this headline: “CDC fights to keep cruise COVID-19 rules in place, warns of increased virus spread with these highlights: “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is fighting to keep its COVID-19 cruise regulations in place and warned a federal judge that without them, there is increased risk of COVID-19 spread in the U.S.   On Tuesday, the CDC appealed a federal judge’s order. The regulations require cruise ships to have COVID-19 testing capabilities aboard, perform test cruises if less than 95% of crew and passengers are vaccinated, and secure evacuation agreements with local hospitals in the U.S. cities they visit, among other things.  Merryday’s order turns the regulations into recommendations, similar to those in place for the airline, hotel and entertainment industries, on July 18. Instead of proposing a narrower set of regulations before then, the CDC appealed Tuesday to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit and asked Merryday to reverse his order while the appeal is heard.  The CDC argues its cruise regulations fall under its broad authority to protect public health and are needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In its request Tuesday, the CDC said cruise ships have a higher risk of COVID-19 spread than other venues like hotels and airplanes.”

 

Full story at:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/cdc-fights-to-keep-cruise-covid-19-rules-in-place-warns-of-increased-virus-spread/ar-AALQm8b?ocid=BingNewsSearch

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

From late 2018, see “Holy Lands, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Dubai, Greece, etc.”, with many visuals, details and ideas for the historic and scenic Middle East. Now at 19,838 views.  Connect at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2607054-livenautica-greece-holy-lands-egypt-dubai-terrypix’s/

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Great to be reading that things are going well with those using Silversea this summer to being exploring Athens and the Greek islands.  BUT, also interesting that these initial sailing are only carrying about 200 passengers on a ship designed for three times that number.  Don't know if that is became of lower demand, lower staffing be available, health/distancing requirements, etc.  Any good guesses or knowledge> 

 

From the Wall Street Journal yesterday, they had this headline: “Americans Can Travel to Greece Now. Here’s How to Smooth the Way.” with these highlights: “After 15 months of successive lockdowns in France, where I live, I viewed a few weeks lolling around the beaches of Greece as a sure cure to my thwarted wanderlust.  I wanted to be sure I wasn’t rushing into the decision. Was it safe and responsible to visit Greece at a time when the pandemic is subsiding in Europe and the U.S.—as more people get vaccinated—but is decidedly still not yet over?  As of June 1, 34% of the Greek population of 10.5 million had received one dose of the vaccination. (As of early July, about 38% of the population had been fully vaccinated compared with about 48% of the U.S. population.) Besides the elderly, the government’s vaccination program prioritized residents of the country’s islands to help jump-start the country’s stalled tourism industry. Foreign tourists must either be vaccinated or show proof of a negative Covid test within 72 hours—and, in any case, are subject to random testing at airports and ferry terminals.  Before the pandemic, tourist numbers to Greece had been steadily rising. In 2019, the country counted a record 34 million arrivals.”

 

Here is more from this reporting: "Most first-timers to Santorini flock to Thira, the sugar-cube town built on the slopes of the sunken volcano crater that give the island its drama. Pretty as the town is, it was typically mobbed with cruise-ship traffic before the pandemic. But when I arrived, after a two-hour catamaran car ferry from Paros, it was sublimely quiet.  Many airlines have recently added flights from the U.S. to Greece this summer. Among them United Airlines offers daily summer service to Athens from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and also flies from Washington Dulles International Airport. Other carriers with direct or connecting flights to Athens from the U.S. include American, Delta, Air France, Swiss, Lufthansa, Emirates, and Turkish Airlines.  Since travel in Greece is still subject to disruptions, avoid airports with single or infrequent connecting flights to any Greek destination. For example, instead of connecting for a flight to Mykonos in London choose Athens instead. This way if your flight is canceled you might be able to get on a later one the same day." 

 

Full story at:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/americans-can-travel-to-greece-now-heres-how-to-smooth-the-way-11625848440

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Completed 2019 summer with Calgary, Jasper/Banff National Parks, Western Canada Rocky Mountaineer rail adventure, Vancouver, sailing up to Alaska on Silver Muse, post-cruise excursion to Denali, etc.  Many visuals and details from our first in these scenic areas!  Live/blog: 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2682584-live-terryohio-silver-muse-alaska-canadarockies-pix’s/

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From the Jerusalem Post yesterday, they had this headline: “Pfizer, Israel agree: New COVID vaccines coming August 1" with this sub-headline: "As Israel continues to register a high number of daily cases, the Health Ministry opens up third vaccine shot for immunocompromised patients.”

 

Sounds as if this "booster" and/or "third shot" of the Covid vaccine is coming sooner or later.  Agree or disagree??

 

Here are some of their story highlights: “A new shipment of Pfizer vaccines will be delivered on August 1 instead of September.  All the current supply of vaccines Israel possesses is due to expire on July 31. As a result, individuals under 18 were not supposed to be able to receive a first shot until new vaccines arrived, being that three weeks must elapse between the first and second shots. Israel currently has some 200,000 doses of Moderna, which are only authorized for adults.  Before the contagious Delta variant spread in Israel, many experts thought the country had reached some form of herd immunity because the outbreaks were very limited for several months.  However, the rate of a population immune from the virus through inoculation or previous infection required to reach herd immunity increases as the ability of the virus to infect increases, as in the case of the Delta variant.”

 

Many questions keep coming up as to what will work . . . OR NOT . . . long-term in the battle against Covid all around the world.  

 

Full story at:

https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/coronavirus-in-israel-immunocompromised-can-get-jab-today-health-min-673464

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Barcelona/Med: June 2011, with stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Great visuals with key highlights, tips, etc. Live/blog now at 253,624 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

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From the Associated Press/AP newswire this morning, they had this headline: Pfizer to discuss COVID-19 vaccine booster with US officials with these highlights: “Pfizer says it plans to meet with top U.S. health officials Monday to discuss the drugmaker’s request for federal authorization of a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine as President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser acknowledged that “it is entirely conceivable, maybe likely” that booster shots will be needed.  The company said it was scheduled to have the meeting with the Food and Drug Administration and other officials Monday, days after Pfizer asserted that booster shots would be needed within 12 months.  Pfizer’s Dr. Mikael Dolsten told The Associated Press last week that early data from the company’s booster study suggests people’s antibody levels jump five- to 10-fold after a third dose, compared to their second dose months earlier — evidence it believes supports the need for a booster.  On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci didn’t rule out the possibility but said it was too soon for the government to recommend another shot.”

 

Here is more from Dr. Fauci: " 'Right now, given the data and the information we have, we do not need to give people a third shot,' he said. 'That doesn’t mean we stop there. ... There are studies being done now ongoing as we speak about looking at the feasibility about if and when we should be boosting people.'  He said it was quite possible in the coming months 'as data evolves' that the government may urge a booster based on such factors as age and underlying medical conditions."

 

At a time when getting many people in the U.S., especially those younger and in rural areas, are very slow in getting the vaccine, hearing about needing a third dose becomes so much more challenging.  Many of those younger and in rural area apparently believe they are at a "distance" from the risk and/or that they are so strong and healthy as not needing to get the shots.  How to solve?  PLUS, when advanced countries such as Japan having low vaccination rates and rising Covid cases makes this still a very uncertain future travel world.  Am I missing something important?  Or, wrong?

 

Appreciate the kind encouragement from Silver Spectre.  Sorry about yesterday England's Euro Cup loss to Italy.  

 

Full story at:

https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-health-government-and-politics-coronavirus-pandemic-coronavirus-vaccine-a8beda2708e148f5e887a434553da845

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise from Copenhagen, July 2010, to the top of Europe. Scenic visuals with key tips. Live/blog at 242,262 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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3 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

At a time when getting many people in the U.S., especially those younger and in rural areas, are very slow in getting the vaccine, hearing about needing a third dose becomes so much more challenging.

 

For people who haven't yet gotten, and still don't want, a vaccine, I think the issue of two shots versus three is moot.

 

Bringing this back to cruise travel (per CC requirements), the question is what cruise lines may change about their requirements in any governments begin authorizing booster shots. We got our shots in March, and are scheduled to be on a Seabourn cruise at the end of September and a Silversea cruise in late December. If boosters are not recommended, or required by cruise lines, for 12 or more months, we'd clear to travel; if they start suggesting boosters earlier than that, who knows? When planning our travels, will our vaccines be as effective a safety net as we have been told they are? If some countries begin doing booster shots while others don't, will cruise lines currently requiring vaccines for travelers require boosters? All questions which are unanswerable currently; the situation will remain ever-changing for the foreseeable future.

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In an interesting turn of events, per Gene Sloan of The Points Guy, NCL Holdings has sued the State of Florida in federal court in connection with its recently enacted law that generally prohibits businesses in Florida from requiring customers to show proof of vaccination. The complaint states that “one anomalous, misguided intrusion threatens to spoil (NCL’s) careful planning and force it to cancel or hobble upcoming cruises, thereby imperiling and impairing passengers’ experiences and inflicting irreparable harm of vast dimensions.” NCL's head honcho Frank Del Rio stated that “I attribute the demand for NCL cruises in large part to our plan for 100% vaccination...I consider it irresponsible, counterproductive, and damaging to our brand to deviate from that approach in order to make home ports in Florida viable.”  

https://thepointsguy.com/news/norwegian-cruise-line-sues-florida/

Edited by taxatty
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17 hours ago, taxatty said:

In an interesting turn of events, per Gene Sloan of The Points Guy, NCL Holdings has sued the State of Florida in federal court in connection with its recently enacted law that generally prohibits businesses in Florida from requiring customers to show proof of vaccination.

https://thepointsguy.com/news/norwegian-cruise-line-sues-florida/

 

Appreciate these great comments and follow-ups from our Philadelphia and Miami area friends.  Keep it coming!!   Great sharing.    It seems that many of these questions on vaccines and re-opening rules are moving to the courts.  BUT, these legal processes take significant time.  Weeks and months?  AND, when some Federal district judge rules, it is not always the final step to getting an answer that stands and applies all over the country.  Complicated??!!  

 

From the Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch news site yesterday, they had this headline: “Norwegian Cruise Line sues Florida surgeon general over ‘vaccine-passport’ ban” with these highlights: “Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has sued Florida’s surgeon general, challenging the state’s barring of businesses from requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination and intensifying the standoff between the company and Florida.  The cruise operator NCLH  is sticking with its policy to require full vaccinations for all crew and passengers, including children, for initial sailings through Oct. 31 after more than a yearlong hiatus and billions of dollars in losses. That policy, if maintained in Florida, would result in the company being fined up to $5,000 for each passenger affected, it said.  Norwegian asked the court to block and declare unlawful the enforcement of the ban on requiring proof of vaccination. The company also argued that restricting the flow of information—in this case, vaccine documentation—affects freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment. Norwegian is set to offer cruises to the Caribbean starting Aug. 15 from Florida, a cruise hub that in 2019 accounted for about 60% of cruise embarkations from the U.S., according to the industry group Cruise Lines International Association. The company also plans to resume Alaska sailings beginning Aug. 7, marking its first U.S. restart. Alaska doesn’t have restrictions on requiring vaccination proof like Florida does.”  

 

Interesting legal arguments and questions??  Also, Norwegian is being much more "aggressive" in going after the State of Florida versus the postures and positions taken by Carnival and Royal Caribbean.  The cruise industry is not standing united as to how they approach these issues and questions.  

 

Full story at:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/norwegian-cruise-line-sues-florida-surgeon-general-over-vaccine-passport-ban-2021-07-13

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Sydney to NZ/Auckland Adventure, live/blog 2014 sampling/details with many exciting visuals and key highlights.  On page 23, post #571, see a complete index for all of the pictures, postings.  Now at 233,612 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

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From the Reuters newswire and MSN News this morning, they had this headline: “Guests leave Singapore cruise after nearly 3,000 confined onboard over COVID-19 case” with these highlights: “Guests began leaving a Genting Cruise Lines 'cruise to nowhere' on Wednesday night after nearly 3,000 passengers and crew were confined to their staterooms through most of the day following the detection of a COVID-19 case onboard.  A 40-year-old passenger tested positive onboard and the result was confirmed after the person was taken to hospital once the ship docked early on Wednesday.  'The passenger was identified as a close contact of a confirmed case on land, and was immediately isolated as part of onboard health protocols,' the board said in a statement.  Passengers said they found out about the suspected case in an announcement at around 1 a.m. and had been asked to stay in their rooms since.  Singapore, which has seen relatively few domestic COVID-19 cases, launched 'round trips' on luxury liners in November, with no port of call during a few days of sailing.  Singapore reported 56 locally-transmitted coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the highest number of daily domestic infections recorded in about 10 months. Local media reported that the case on the ship was part of a growing cluster of COVID-19 infections associated with karaoke lounges.  The World Dream cruise liner had 1,646 passengers and 1,249 crew members on board and all, except essential service crew, had been required to remain in their staterooms with contactless meals sent to them.”

 

Sure glad that I am not a person who likes to hang out at karaoke lounges.  Does this make me safer?  Are these types of "cruises to nowhere" worth it?

 

Full story at:

https://www.msn.com/en-sg/news/world/update-5-guests-leave-singapore-cruise-after-nearly-3-000-confined-onboard-over-covid-19-case/ar-AAM87Pz?ocid=BingNewsSearch

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Venice: Loving It & Why??!!  Is one of your future desires or past favorites? See these many visual samples for its great history and architecture.  This posting is now at 90,982 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1278226

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3 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

From the Reuters newswire and MSN News this morning, they had this headline: “Guests leave Singapore cruise after nearly 3,000 confined onboard over COVID-19 case” with these highlights: “Guests began leaving a Genting Cruise Lines 'cruise to nowhere' on Wednesday night after nearly 3,000 passengers and crew were confined to their staterooms through most of the day following the detection of a COVID-19 case onboard.  A 40-year-old passenger tested positive onboard and the result was confirmed after the person was taken to hospital once the ship docked early on Wednesday.  'The passenger was identified as a close contact of a confirmed case on land, and was immediately isolated as part of onboard health protocols,' the board said in a statement.  Passengers said they found out about the suspected case in an announcement at around 1 a.m. and had been asked to stay in their rooms since.  Singapore, which has seen relatively few domestic COVID-19 cases, launched 'round trips' on luxury liners in November, with no port of call during a few days of sailing.  Singapore reported 56 locally-transmitted coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the highest number of daily domestic infections recorded in about 10 months. Local media reported that the case on the ship was part of a growing cluster of COVID-19 infections associated with karaoke lounges.  The World Dream cruise liner had 1,646 passengers and 1,249 crew members on board and all, except essential service crew, had been required to remain in their staterooms with contactless meals sent to them.”

 

Sure glad that I am not a person who likes to hang out at karaoke lounges.  Does this make me safer?  Are these types of "cruises to nowhere" worth it?

 

Full story at:

https://www.msn.com/en-sg/news/world/update-5-guests-leave-singapore-cruise-after-nearly-3-000-confined-onboard-over-covid-19-case/ar-AAM87Pz?ocid=BingNewsSearch

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Venice: Loving It & Why??!!  Is one of your future desires or past favorites? See these many visual samples for its great history and architecture.  This posting is now at 90,982 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1278226

It just proves that being vaccinated does not prevent you from contracting COVID so anyone that is cruising and has been vaccinated is not excused from having to quarantine. I would just have to say it would be a huge disappointment to have to be restricted to quarantine but I guess that's the chance we take if we cruise.  So many unknowns.......

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2 hours ago, silversneakers said:

It just proves that being vaccinated does not prevent you from contracting COVID so anyone that is cruising and has been vaccinated is not excused from having to quarantine. I would just have to say it would be a huge disappointment to have to be restricted to quarantine but I guess that's the chance we take if we cruise.  So many unknowns.......

 

Agree, BOTH, that there are "many unknowns" and "being vaccinated does not prevent you from contracting COVID"  But, I am glad to have had my two Moderna shots.  At my age, having those shots does much to keep me out of the hospital, away from ICU units and not being on a funeral home slab.   Don't know how long those two shots will last, when some better/booster come along, etc.  Many questions to be answered during the coming months ahead.   

 

For cruising, another key factor relates to airlines and the flights needed to reach the cruise ship port.  And, to return safely back home.   Is all good, known and perfect for airlines, flight travels, etc.?  NO!!  Below is one interesting article with another story to follow.  

 

From the Wall Street Journal this morning, they had this headline: How CEOs Think the Covid Crisis Will Shape Flying"  with this sub-headline: "American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly have steered their companies through the pandemic.”  This was written by this major newspaper's long-time travel expert who follows the airline business closely.   

 

Here are some of key column highlights: To run an airline is to manage crisis. And for two of the longest-serving CEOs in the airline business, lessons learned after the 2001 terrorist attacks guided decisions during the current pandemic.Gary Kelly and Doug Parker, chief executives of Southwest and American airlines, respectively, have found their businesses turned upside down repeatedly.  'I did find myself harkening back to the 9-11 experience. I think that gave me as much confidence as anything—I know we are going to get through this,' says Mr. Parker, who had become CEO of America West Airlines days before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.   Parker says lessons he learned as an airline boss during the 2001 terrorist attacks helped guide decisions made during the pandemic.  He merged America West into US Airways and then into American to create the world’s largest carrier. He’s the only person to have been a major U.S. airline CEO for both 9-11 and the pandemic.  The lesson he’s learned from past crises: 'What’s going to matter when this passes is how we treated our team, how we treated our customers.'   Customers have had plenty of issues with American’s operation this summer and in prior years. Many other carriers, including Southwest, have had a rocky restart coping with a travel surge.  For millions of travelers, the complex rush to add flights has been key to pandemic recovery and reconnection. At the same time, the pain points are prominent: delays and cancellations from severe weather, staffing problems and limited capacity to fly customers on holiday weekends.”

 

From the Southwest CEO: "Kelly says the restructuring of the airline industry with bankruptcies and mergers at other airlines following 9-11 created opportunity for Southwest that he pounced on when he took the CEO reins in 2004.  Southwest found creative ways to expand its footprint in Chicago and Dallas, enabling huge expansion and a much stronger route network. His move to buy up 10 years’ worth of jet fuel at low prices helped keep fares down and powered one of its most rapid periods of growth.   The pandemic means a big airline-industry reset and the opportunity to remake networks that will change travel for years to come. With hourly trips between key business destinations not needed, Southwest had airplanes available to add 18 new destinations during the pandemic.  Through its history, Southwest has made its biggest moves in a crisis. 'Scenarios like this create awesome opportunities,' Kelly says.  The airline business is tougher to manage than most. There are very high fixed costs—airplanes are expensive—and very high labor costs with a skilled workforce and enormous safety concerns and responsibilities. Airlines depend on energy prices. They can’t inventory their product, they are subject to weather daily and pricing is highly competitive."

 

Interesting perspectives and challenges involving the airlines and how they will transition during the re-opening process over the next year or two.

 

Full story at:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-ceos-think-the-covid-crisis-will-shape-flying-11626267600?mod=hp_lead_pos13

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Amazon River-Caribbean 2015 adventure live/blog starting in Barbados. Many visuals from this amazing river and Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, San Juan, etc.).  Now at 68,619 views:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

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From this below major news source in our nation's capital this morning, they had this headline: “Massive flight delays, cancellations prompt finger-pointing” with these highlights: “Airlines are racking up an unprecedented number of delays and flight cancellations just months after Congress gave the industry $54 billion so that carriers could retain their employees and facilitate a seamless return to air travel as the nation emerged from the pandemic.  From July 1 to July 6, JetBlue delayed 51 percent of its flights, Southwest Airlines delayed 39 percent of its flights and American Airlines delayed 34 percent of its flights. Those setbacks came after major airlines canceled hundreds of flights this month to prevent additional delays.  Industry experts said poor weather conditions grounded many of those flights but also blamed the almost unprecedented uptick in delays and cancellations on a shortage of trained pilots and airport employees.  'We’re seeing a pilot training shortage,' said Dennis Tajer, communications committee chairman at the Allied Pilots Association, which represents American Airlines pilots. 'The pilots are there, but their hands are tied because they aren’t fully trained and they can’t fly yet.' Major airlines urged pilots to take leaves of absence or early retirements at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, believing that air travel wouldn’t rebound any time soon. When government support temporarily ran dry late last year, airlines cut tens of thousands of jobs. American Airlines furloughed 1,600 pilots, making it the only major commercial carrier to do so.  Pilots are required to undergo a rigorous training program before they return to the cockpit. Some pilots who took leaves of absence are still waiting to complete their training as airline instructors work to accommodate the influx of returning pilots.”

 

Ouch!!  Sounds like there are many issues and questions for getting the airline business back to some form of "normal" so we can easily resume sailing on the cruise lines.  Here is more from this story: "United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said last month that the U.S. could face a continued shortage of pilots because the U.S. military doesn’t train enough pilots.  'The military produces far fewer pilots today than they did in the Vietnam and the Cold War era and it’s hard to become a pilot — a commercial airline pilot on your own — if you’re not going through the military,' he told Axios.  The worker shortage extends beyond pilots. The aviation industry is finding it difficult to find employees to clean airplanes, transport baggage and handle reservations, among other roles.  Airlines have struggled to keep up with the summer surge in passengers. More than 10 million travelers flew over the July Fourth weekend, representing about 83 percent of the travel volume compared to 2019, according to the Transportation Security Administration.  Airline and airport executives have stressed that their companies are not immune to the effects of a nationwide worker shortage."

 

Full story at:

https://thehill.com/policy/transportation/562879-massive-flight-delays-cancellations-prompt-finger-pointing?rl=1

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

AFRICA?!!?: Fun, interesting visuals, plus travel details from this early 2016 live/blog. At 51,497 views. Featuring Cape Town, South Africa’s coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2310337

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14 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

 

Agree, BOTH, that there are "many unknowns" and "being vaccinated does not prevent you from contracting COVID"  But, I am glad to have had my two Moderna shots.  At my age, having those shots does much to keep me out of the hospital, away from ICU units and not being on a funeral home slab.   Don't know how long those two shots will last, when some better/booster come along, etc.  Many questions to be answered during the coming months ahead.   

 

For cruising, another key factor relates to airlines and the flights needed to reach the cruise ship port.  And, to return safely back home.   Is all good, known and perfect for airlines, flight travels, etc.?  NO!!  Below is one interesting article with another story to follow.  

 

From the Wall Street Journal this morning, they had this headline: How CEOs Think the Covid Crisis Will Shape Flying"  with this sub-headline: "American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly have steered their companies through the pandemic.”  This was written by this major newspaper's long-time travel expert who follows the airline business closely.   

 

Here are some of key column highlights: To run an airline is to manage crisis. And for two of the longest-serving CEOs in the airline business, lessons learned after the 2001 terrorist attacks guided decisions during the current pandemic.Gary Kelly and Doug Parker, chief executives of Southwest and American airlines, respectively, have found their businesses turned upside down repeatedly.  'I did find myself harkening back to the 9-11 experience. I think that gave me as much confidence as anything—I know we are going to get through this,' says Mr. Parker, who had become CEO of America West Airlines days before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.   Parker says lessons he learned as an airline boss during the 2001 terrorist attacks helped guide decisions made during the pandemic.  He merged America West into US Airways and then into American to create the world’s largest carrier. He’s the only person to have been a major U.S. airline CEO for both 9-11 and the pandemic.  The lesson he’s learned from past crises: 'What’s going to matter when this passes is how we treated our team, how we treated our customers.'   Customers have had plenty of issues with American’s operation this summer and in prior years. Many other carriers, including Southwest, have had a rocky restart coping with a travel surge.  For millions of travelers, the complex rush to add flights has been key to pandemic recovery and reconnection. At the same time, the pain points are prominent: delays and cancellations from severe weather, staffing problems and limited capacity to fly customers on holiday weekends.”

 

From the Southwest CEO: "Kelly says the restructuring of the airline industry with bankruptcies and mergers at other airlines following 9-11 created opportunity for Southwest that he pounced on when he took the CEO reins in 2004.  Southwest found creative ways to expand its footprint in Chicago and Dallas, enabling huge expansion and a much stronger route network. His move to buy up 10 years’ worth of jet fuel at low prices helped keep fares down and powered one of its most rapid periods of growth.   The pandemic means a big airline-industry reset and the opportunity to remake networks that will change travel for years to come. With hourly trips between key business destinations not needed, Southwest had airplanes available to add 18 new destinations during the pandemic.  Through its history, Southwest has made its biggest moves in a crisis. 'Scenarios like this create awesome opportunities,' Kelly says.  The airline business is tougher to manage than most. There are very high fixed costs—airplanes are expensive—and very high labor costs with a skilled workforce and enormous safety concerns and responsibilities. Airlines depend on energy prices. They can’t inventory their product, they are subject to weather daily and pricing is highly competitive."

 

Interesting perspectives and challenges involving the airlines and how they will transition during the re-opening process over the next year or two.

 

Full story at:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-ceos-think-the-covid-crisis-will-shape-flying-11626267600?mod=hp_lead_pos13

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Amazon River-Caribbean 2015 adventure live/blog starting in Barbados. Many visuals from this amazing river and Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, San Juan, etc.).  Now at 68,619 views:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

Thanks for sharing. I think the whole world is in for a "reset" and no one is quite sure what that will look like. 

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2 hours ago, silversneakers said:

Thanks for sharing. I think the whole world is in for a "reset" and no one is quite sure what that will look like. 

 

Agree with above that some serious "reset" is still going to come.  When and how?  As I read stories from around the world and within parts of the U.S. about the spike ups in cases and deaths, it signals that this "situation" is far from over.  I doubt that a "return to normal" is as close as we and cruise executives would desire and hope.  Right or wrong?

 

From the New York Times yesterday, they had this headline: “Norwegian Cruise Line Sues Florida Over Ban on Vaccine Requirements” with these highlights: “The fight over requiring vaccinations for travel is heating up.  Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings sued Florida’s surgeon general on Tuesday, accusing the state of preventing it from “safely and soundly” resuming trips by barring it from requiring customers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.  'One anomalous, misguided intrusion threatens to spoil N.C.L.H.’s careful planning and force it to cancel or hobble upcoming cruises, thereby imperiling and impairing passengers’ experiences and inflicting irreparable harm of vast dimensions,' the company said in the lawsuit.  Norwegian is claiming that Florida’s ban is not valid because it pre-empts federal law and violates various provisions of the Constitution, including the First Amendment.”

 

From this reporting, here is an interesting little item of background financial info they shared: "The industry was devastated by the pandemic, with ridership falling 80 percent last year compared with 2019. The three major cruise companies — Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean and Norwegian — have lost a combined $900 million each month since March 2020, according to a recent report by Moody’s, the credit rating firm."

 

Full story at:

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/07/13/world/covid-variant-vaccine-updates

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Kotor/Montenegro:  Exciting visual samples, tips, details, etc., for this scenic, historic location. Over 48,417 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1439193

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On my travel wish list would be doing an Antarctica adventure through either Silversea or Seabourn in early 2022.  BUT, as of right now, BOTH Argentina and Chile are "shut down" and not allowing tourists to come in.  Will these restrictions be lifted or not??  When??  

 

As I reviewed this below story, it is rather shocking.  Why so much of concern?   While Argentina is the eighth largest country for land area in the world, it only has 45 million people.  Not that large of a population to be having more than 100K Covid deaths??!! 

 

From Bloomberg News yesterday, they had this headline: “Argentina Marks Somber Milestone as Covid Deaths Surpass 100,000” with these highlights: “Argentina reached a somber milestone in its fight to control the pandemic as deaths caused by Covid-19 crossed 100,000 on Wednesday afternoon.   Argentina added 19,697 new Covid-19 cases and 614 more deaths, bringing the total number of deaths to 100,250. The death count puts the South American nation in the company of 10 other countries that have suffered losses of 100,000 or more, according to data compiled by the World Health Organization.  Although Argentina’s cases receded from a peak in June, various lockdown restrictions have remained in place, including a rule last month that limits the number of travelers allowed to enter the country. The country implemented one of the world’s strictest lockdowns last year.”

 

Reactions and guesses for re-openings to access these various areas?

 

Full story/charts at:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-07-14/argentina-marks-somber-milestone-as-covid-deaths-surpass-100-000

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/world/covid-cases.html

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Dubrovnik!  Nice visual samples, tips, details, etc., for this super scenic and historic location. Over 48,047 views.    

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1439227

 

 

From this Bloomberg news story, here is the chart shown to illustrated the top countries around the world for total deaths from Covid.  Second is a NY Times world chart reflecting the "hot spots" for increasing Covid cases during the past week.  Those countries in orange or dark red have spiked up the most during the most recent period.  This includes for Spain, the UK, Columbia, Argentina, etc.,  being in the highest danger areas.  If you were a cruise company executive, does this world map offer lots of "flexibility" as to where to have your ships dock in interesting, great, safe ports?:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these visuals larger/better!)

1513851856_ScreenShot2021-07-15at11_15_10AM.png.2a9a06f80a6588f3f9caddf3339149f5.png

1999022128_ScreenShot2021-07-15at11_22_08AM.thumb.png.764452af0eb0457ac52b31c05c97e1e9.png

 

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1 hour ago, TLCOhio said:

On my travel wish list would be doing an Antarctica adventure through either Silversea or Seabourn in early 2022.  BUT, as of right now, BOTH Argentina and Chile are "shut down" and not allowing tourists to come in.  Will these restrictions be lifted or not??  When??  

Terry--we're supposed to be going on the Cloud to Antarctica at the end of this year, and the thread below has been a useful source of information as to whether that may really happen. Especially considering the enormous cost of the cruise, you can bet SS will do everything possible to make it work.

 

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On 7/15/2021 at 11:31 AM, TLCOhio said:

On my travel wish list would be doing an Antarctica adventure through either Silversea or Seabourn in early 2022.  BUT, as of right now, BOTH Argentina and Chile are "shut down" and not allowing tourists to come in.  Will these restrictions be lifted or not??  When??

 

We're booked on a Silversea trip on the Silver Wind this December, and as of now, it's still on. Just recently, Argentina announced that it will allow cruises from Ushuaia (the normal southern departure point for most cruise lines' Antartica cruises) this winter season -- even though international travelers are currently prohibited. I think there's an expectation that as Chile and Argentina emerge from their winter, and continue to increase there vaccination rates, they will allow international travelers either fully or in a quarantine-pass-through to enable cruises. Only time will tell. The cruise lines pretty much need to know their plans by early September, so those of us who are booked have another two months of wait-and-see ahead of us. 😉

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On 7/15/2021 at 12:48 PM, taxatty said:

Terry--we're supposed to be going on the Cloud to Antarctica at the end of this year, and the thread below has been a useful source of information as to whether that may really happen. Especially considering the enormous cost of the cruise, you can bet SS will do everything possible to make it work.

 

Great to hear that both our Philadelphia and Miami-area friends are, hopefully, headed, down towards Antarctica.  Good luck!!  Lots of "moving parts" involved as Argentina and other challenged countries in South America seek to "manage" these various and changing vaccine and Covid issues.  Will keep watching that part of the world with strong personal interest.    

 

From travel guru Gene Sloan through The Points Guy and MSN News late this morning, they had this headline: “Why cruisers shouldn’t get too excited about Canada’s just-announced plan to reopen to cruise ships” with these highlights: “Canada’s transport minister on Thursday announced the country would end its ban on cruise ship visits on Nov. 1 — four months ahead of schedule. But cruise fans shouldn’t get too excited about the change.   For the most part, cruises to Canada still won’t resume until April of next year.  That’s because cruise ships generally don’t travel to Canada between November and March, which is the off-season for travel to Canada.   The first Eastern Canada cruise on the schedule for any major line is a 12-night Viking sailing from New York to Toronto starting on April 18, 2022.  The first cruise ship calls currently scheduled for ports on the West Coast of Canada also are in April, as cruise ships begin returning to the region for the Alaska cruise season. The cruise ship ban in Canada, in turn, led to a crisis for cruise lines operating in Alaska, as most cruise ships are not allowed to visit Alaska without also visiting Canada due to a 135-year-old U.S. law known as the Passenger Vessel Services Act.  While the Canadian transport minister’s announcement on Thursday will have little impact on when cruise ships will resume sailings to Canada, it can be seen as a signal to cruise lines that the country is eager for them to keep Canadian ports on their schedules for 2022 and beyond.”

 

From knowing one aircraft tour provider in Alaska, this summer re-opening is kind of good news, but not that meaningful for them.  Their insurance bill to re-open is huge and for the current, shorten 2021 cruise season, it made no economic sense (or cents) to try to resume service this year.  Then for many businesses, getting employees is now a serious challenge.  Re-opening is going to be slower and requiring more time than many might have expected or assumed.  Insurance and employees are a couple of "details" that we assume are easy and simple.  Not anymore.  Sorry!!

 

Full story at:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/why-cruisers-shouldnt-get-too-excited-about-canadas-just-announced-plan-to-reopen-to-cruise-ships/ar-AAMev0A?ocid=BingNewsSearch

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Athens & Greece: Many visuals, details from two visits in a city with great history, culture and architecture.  Now at 40,055 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1101008

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Airlines continue to be a key, "CHALLENGED LINK" for cruises in the process to get back to "normal".  Earlier this week, I had highlights and important insights from two top airline executives.  This morning, I got more details from good friends who had done a Viking cruise in and around Bermuda.  BUT, United Airlines scrubbed their flight back from Newark/NJ to Columbus, throwing their return from that cruise into total chaos.  Not good or fun!!??  If you cannot get to your cruise and/or back in an orderly and comfortable manner, how can cruise ship sailing be inviting, fun and "back to normal"?

 

From the AP/Associated Press newswire yesterday, they had this headline: “Key lawmaker quizzes airlines on delays, worker shortages” with these highlights: “A key senator is asking six U.S. airlines to explain the high rates of delayed and canceled flights this summer, and she’s asking whether there are labor shortages despite the airlines getting billions in federal aid to keep workers on the job.  Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, sent letters Friday to the CEOs of American, Southwest, Delta, JetBlue, Republic and Allegiant. She wrote that she is concerned by reports that have highlighted the role of worker shortages in a surge of delayed and canceled flights.  Cantwell said each airline did a poor job of managing its workforce and, at worst, “'failed to meet the intent of tax payer funding and prepare for the surge in travel that we are now witnessing.'  Since March 2020, when the pandemic began to crush air travel, Congress has approved $54 billion to keep airline workers employed. As a condition of the aid, airlines have been prohibited from furloughing workers, but they persuaded tens of thousands of employees to take voluntary buyouts, early retirement or long-term leave to cut costs.   Now the airlines are trying to bolster their staffs.”

 

Here is more from this reporting: "The number of people flying in the U.S. bottomed out at less than 100,000 a day in April 2020. It has increased from about 700,000 a day in early February to about 2 million a day in July, although that is still down 20% from the same month in 2019, before the pandemic."

 

Full story at:

https://apnews.com/article/business-health-government-and-politics-coronavirus-pandemic-6bc47103625a126d4194ae515cc6a7ea

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Lisbon, NWSpain, Bordeaux/Brittany: Live/blog, June 2017 from Portugal to France along scenic Atlantic Coast on the Silver Spirit.  Now at 31,839 views.  Many interesting pictures, details for history, food, culture, etc.:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2511358

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If you are a cruise company executive, the "legal waters" continue to be even more choppy, muddy and confusing.  Why?  Here is the latest "Twist & Turn" from a narrow 2-1 decision by a Court of Appeals panel of judges.  What's next legally and how do the cruise lines plan and move forward as these questions continue to dangle? 

 

From the Miami Herald and MSN News this morning, they had this headline: Appeals court sides with CDC, Norwegian Cruise Lines over DeSantis on vaccination rules” with these highlights: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 guidelines for cruise lines returning to operation are rules, not suggestions, a federal appeals court ruled Saturday night, reversing a lower court decision in favor of the state of Florida. The 2-1 decision by the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals judges was a win for the CDC and, by extension, Norwegian Cruise Lines, which filed an amicus brief in this case.  In a separate federal case, NCL has sued Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees for the right to require all passengers be vaccinated against COVID-19 once it restarts its Florida cruises Aug. 15.  'The CDC protocols at issue here require conventional communicable disease control measures on cruise ships traveling internationally, which is an area of traditional federal jurisdiction,' the U.S. Department of Justice stated in a letter filed Thursday to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.”

 

Full story at:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/appeals-court-sides-with-cdc-norwegian-cruise-lines-over-desantis-on-vaccination-rules/ar-AAMi3BR?ocid=BingNewsSearch

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Panama Canal? Early 2017, Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco adventure through Panama Canal.  Our first stops in Colombia, Central America and Mexico, plus added time in the great Golden Gate City. Now at 30,706 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2465580

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