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The Miami Herald doesn't even reach my bird cage and they are typically very late to the game.

 

I've learned most about this situation from crew posting videos to YouTube.  Yes, they're frustrated but their situation is far from dire.  

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3 hours ago, ALWAYS CRUZIN said:

Just listened from a senior officer from a Carnival ship in Barcelona. The received permission to send US citizens home on a commercial flight. problem. No commercial flights to the US. So far no charter air flights available either. The ship is anchored out. However they are able to get rid of the trash and get food and water for the ship. They are hoping that the US government will let them sail to a US port so the US citizens can get home. All crew members.

 

There were 2 commercial flights from Madrid to the USA today with American to Dallas and Iberia to Miami. I do not know the situation with Barcelona direct. There are limited flights with KLM to Amsterdam and Lufthansa to Frankfurt from Barcelona. 

 

Gibraltar has started allowing cruise ships for technical calls for provisions, fuel and trash removal. 

 

The Norwegian Breakaway is in Barcelona now though and the Carnival Breeze will come into Cadiz to pick up crew from a ship they have at the shipyard. The Carnival Magic was at Gibraltar 2 days ago and is heading toward Dubrovnik at the moment.  

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11 hours ago, ECCruise said:

Like most things in life, the truth usually falls somewhere in the middle.

 

Are the cruise lines doing many things trying to get the crew home?  Definitely.  Are their hurdles they have to get over to get that done?  Without a doubt.  Is it enough?  Only the final analysis will determine that.

Are these crew in a really difficult situation (especially those whose contracts expired weeks or months ago) you better believe it.  Are they frustrated?  This protest and the suicides give that indication clearly.

 

But my sympathies, when all is said and done, will lie with the wonderful men and women we've met on ships in the past, rather than corporate executives in offices (or their expensive homes) fiddling with the pieces.

 

Post of the day!  Excellent summary, ECCruise.

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13 hours ago, johnlcruise said:

Here is an interesting read from a stranded crew member that finale made it home.

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/coronavirus-cruise-ship-nightmares-america-has-abandoned-its-citizens-sea-ncna1207346 

Really highlights the disconnect in policy - true, cruise ships have had their share of issues.  But now they are floating quarantine centres - if there is no evidence of COVID-19 on board, why can't the crew be treated as "ordinary citizens" and allowed to travel home without restriction?

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While the protest on the Majesty is new, the news of the "stranded" crew is definitely not, and has 'reached the mainstream media" weeks ago.  What I find interesting is that while weeks ago it was reported that there was 80-100,000 crew stranded on cruise ships off the US, despite repatriation efforts that have been made over the weeks, the Miami Herald now reports that there are still 100,000 crew onboard.

 

As for Walker, as I've said, if he was truly interested in the plight of the crew, he would be taking class action suits to ensure the crew get their statutory minimum pay for the period between the end of their contract and the time of their repatriation, and would also be looking at the crew of other ships that are stranded, and that are increasing by 100,000 every month.  

 

Currently, the IMO is working with nations to allow crew of all vessels (there are 1.6 million merchant mariners on ships at any  one time, of which about 180,000 are cruise ship crew) that have not been allowed to crew change for months now, and as noted above, they accumulate overdue crew changes at 100,000 every month.  The USCG has held the position that merchant ship crews are entitled to free access to crew change provided the ship has made the health attestation prior to entering port.  Unfortunately, local ports have placed restrictions on this, complicating the process.  Not sure if the IMO can make any headway with the CDC about the cruise ship crew, though since they have been on the ship for well over the 14 day quarantine period that the CDC feels is adequate, and no new cases have happened, then it should be decided that the crew are virus free, and should be released to take international flights that leave directly from the US, just as other citizens of the world do everyday right now, and it is up to the destination countries as to whether to require additional measures upon entry, or whether they would ban passengers from boarding the plane.  

 

While the measures the CDC has implemented against cruise ships were justified at the beginning, when passengers were being disembarked, and while crew were not verified that they were not infected, the time has come to treat these ships and crews as any other merchant ship, where they have been under a textbook case of quarantine.

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1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

While the measures the CDC has implemented against cruise ships were justified at the beginning, when passengers were being disembarked, and while crew were not verified that they were not infected, the time has come to treat these ships and crews as any other merchant ship, where they have been under a textbook case of quarantine.

 

Fully agree.  There's no reason to keep these crew members isolated.  My linguist daughter likes to point out that a quarantine is technically 40 days, not 14 days.  They've done that and more.  They are zero risk to anyone on land and will put no strain on any medical facilities or resources.  This is all about politics right now, since the ships are not US flagged, and the crews are suffering as a result.

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