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Desert Diamond

Super Interesting Article about Safety when Cruising Restarts

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This link came from a thread on the Celebrity Boards. There is also a link towards the end of the article about five physicians, three of whom have treated cases from and on cruise ships. For me, the most pertinent piece of info is that the CDC has not even begun to review plans for how to safely operate cruises before a vaccine is developed. Their focus is still on repatriating crew members safely.

The article should be viewable online through private, or incognito mode.

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/tourism-cruises/article243180861.html

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20 minutes ago, Desert Diamond said:

... For me, the most pertinent piece of info is that the CDC has not even begun to review plans for how to safely operate cruises before a vaccine is developed. .

 

The first rule would be to limit passengers to young people.  There is no way that we can pack a HAL ship with the usual retired crowd prior to a vaccine.

 

igraf

 

 

 

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Not very encouraging.  I think their number of ships with the virus is way over the top.  I have heard of about ten.  I am suspicious of that number because I think this paper, based on past articles, is not a neutral publication. 

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I have cruised for years.  I have heard many lies. The ships have an undeserved bad rap.  I have heard ships are floating pietry  dishes. Not could be further from the truth.

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1 hour ago, KirkNC said:

Not very encouraging.  I think their number of ships with the virus is way over the top.  I have heard of about ten.  I am suspicious of that number because I think this paper, based on past articles, is not a neutral publication. 

 

The CDC has a list of 26 ships, but it only includes those with a US port on their itinerary. I know of a good handful or two of additional ships (e.g., in Europe. South America, Australia).

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7 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

The CDC has a list of 26 ships, but it only includes those with a US port on their itinerary. I know of a good handful or two of additional ships (e.g., in Europe. South America, Australia).

Here’s an article that lists eleven that had the virus onboard.  It also lists seventeen more where some passengers developed the virus after leaving the ship.  Not sure if you can always say it was the ship on those later ones as so many travel home by air and could have easily contracted the virus on the plane.

 

https://thepointsguy.com/news/cruise-ship-coronavirus-exposure-cdc-list/
 

 

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The future for cruising sounds pretty bleak.

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1 hour ago, ski ww said:

The future for cruising sounds pretty bleak.

At least for several months.  People here are still "hoping" for their September cruises, while the cruise lines are focused on getting the crews OFF the ships...…….

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, KirkNC said:

Here’s an article that lists eleven that had the virus onboard.  It also lists seventeen more where some passengers developed the virus after leaving the ship.  Not sure if you can always say it was the ship on those later ones as so many travel home by air and could have easily contracted the virus on the plane.

 

https://thepointsguy.com/news/cruise-ship-coronavirus-exposure-cdc-list/
 

 

 

That list is also drawn from CDC and seems to be solely US focused. For example, they do not list Diamond Princess, the first ship impacted, with hundreds of cases. Nor do they include Ruby Princess, which also had some several hundreds of cases onboard....

 

Here is a list I found that was compiled by Business Insider. Also keep in mind a lot of these lists only focus on passenger infections. More ships have had crew infections onboard since the "No Sail" order was issued.

 

image.thumb.png.d0e021ed2fc031b511afbcffb9bf2e7b.png

  

 

Edited by cruisemom42

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8 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

That list is also drawn from CDC and seems to be solely US focused. For example, they do not list Diamond Princess, the first ship impacted, with hundreds of cases. Nor do they include Ruby Princess, which also had some several hundreds of cases onboard....

 

Here is a list I found that was compiled by Business Insider. Also keep in mind a lot of these lists only focus on passenger infections. More ships have had crew infections onboard since the "No Sail" order was issued.

 

image.thumb.png.d0e021ed2fc031b511afbcffb9bf2e7b.png

  

 

Funny they use the term outbreak for one or two cases.

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Thanks for the link OP.  I think the challenge that is facing the CDC is defining what exactly it means to "safely" operate a ship in this environment.  As the virus is spread from people, the cruise lines cannot completely eliminate the virus from a ship.  Cruise lines can take many many steps to try and reduce it, but with thousands of people coming and going from all over the world, the virus cannot be totally eliminated.  Cruise ships are currently not sailing and are still experiencing outbreaks amongst crews.

 

Is a ship with COVID-19 a safe ship?  I guess for everyone wanting to book that is going to be a personal question with every person having to identify the level of risk that they are willing to assume.  Just know that if you do plan to cruise before a vaccine is found, you should also plan for an outbreak on the ship and all that an outbreak will entail. 

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Not sure why some posters try to defend the cruise industry.  The reality is that just a single case of COVID-19 on a ship becomes a huge problem.  Most countries would now insist that the entire ship go into quarantine for at least 2 weeks (even if it is a 3 day cruise).  And if more cases develop in that 14 day period they may well demand another 2 weeks.  Cruise ships can become virtual prison ships (this has already happened).   Most ports around the world will not allow the ships to dock, they do not want the COVID-19 cases, etc.  It is not a matter of blame, but simply a matter of everyone looking out for their own best interests. 

 

How can the cruise lines solve this problem?  I have no idea and neither do the cruise lines or CDC.  There is no effective screening program that is near 100% and no current testing will detect the virus that folks may have recently caught...especially if it happens on a flight to the port, the night before boarding when the passenger goes out to dinner, etc.  On a ship of 2000, 3000 or 4000+ what are the odds that at least one person will harbor COVID-19 and later (during the cruise) develop symptoms?   One study shows about 5700 COVID-19 per million in the USA.  That equates to 5.7 per thousand souls,  So having 1 or more cases on a ship with several thousand souls is not exactly a long shot. 

 

Like many here we are cruise lovers.  A year without at least 70-100 cruise days is not a happy year in this household.  So what to do?  Do we roll the dice and pretend none of this has happened (once cruises start operating)?  Do we stop cruising until there is an effective vaccine (which may never happen)?  Tough choices that every potential cruiser is going to need to make.   On the other hand, if the various ports around the world refuse to open-up to cruise ships it will not be our choice to make.

 

Hank

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Sadly this is probably reality.  My hope is for a vaccine or treatment or a huge downgrade in severity of illness.   We spent 37 days on HAL last year and had a fabulous time, but not willing to risk it this year. Not even sure about 2021.   

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

The reality is that just a single case of COVID-19 on a ship becomes a huge problem.  Most countries would now insist that the entire ship go into quarantine for at least 2 weeks (even if it is a 3 day cruise).  And if more cases develop in that 14 day period they may well demand another 2 weeks.  Cruise ships can become virtual prison ships (this has already happened).   Most ports around the world will not allow the ships to dock, they do not want the COVID-19 cases, etc.  It is not a matter of blame, but simply a matter of everyone looking out for their own best interests. 

 

How can the cruise lines solve this problem?  I have no idea and neither do the cruise lines or CDC.  There is no effective screening program that is near 100% and no current testing will detect the virus that folks may have recently caught...especially if it happens on a flight to the port, the night before boarding when the passenger goes out to dinner, etc.  On a ship of 2000, 3000 or 4000+ what are the odds that at least one person will harbor COVID-19 and later (during the cruise) develop symptoms?   One study shows about 5700 COVID-19 per million in the USA.  That equates to 5.7 per thousand souls,  So having 1 or more cases on a ship with several thousand souls is not exactly a long shot. 

 

Hank


And here lies the real problem - how cases on a cruise ship are treated. Given one confirmed, or even suspected, case on a cruise ship, and everyone onboard is confined on board instead of being quarantined in an environment designed for quarantine.

No other transport or venue is treated that way. Planes, trains, ferry boats, and public venues were not treated that way. Only navy vessels were treated like cruise ships - until it became public. If a passenger on a plane is sick, the passengers or crew aren’t herded together in a confined space for two weeks - they quarantine separately. If a speaker at a convention falls ill, same story. They don’t just lock them all in to share living space until the dust settles.

Edited by Horizon chaser 1957

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2 minutes ago, Horizon chaser 1957 said:


And here lies the real problem - how cases on a cruise ship are treated. Given one confirmed, or even suspected, case on a cruise ship, and everyone onboard is confined on board instead of being quarantined in an environment designed for quarantine.

No other transport or venue is treated that way. Planes, trains, ferry boats, and public venues were not treated that way. Only navy vessels were treated like cruise ships - until it became public. If a passenger on a plane is sick, the passengers or crew aren’t herded together in a confined space for two weeks - they quarantine separately. If a speaker at a convention falls ill, same story. They don’t just lock them all in to share living space until the dust settles.

But lets be honest with ourselves.  Cruise ships are somewhat different then most other venues.  Take a flight and its only for a few hours and then everyone goes their own way.  Go to a hotel for 1 or 2 nights and then you are on your way.  Some of these folks get infected, but most of the time it happens at a later time when they are long gone.  And that is what "contact tracing" is all about.  But for those folks the cat is already out  of the bag.  But cruise ships are contained environments where folks can spend weeks or even months.   And folks are "trapped" in that environment where, if sick, they must deal with ship's own medical facility (that has a legal obligation to report certain type cases).  Getting sick or injured on a cruise vacation is different then nearly any other venue.    Speaking of hotels we did hear of one Caribbean hotel/resort (there are probably more) that was locked down with everyone quarantined.   But even at a resort where folks might spend a week, people are checking in-out every day.  Cruise ships are different.

 

Hank

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If people wait until there is a 100% certainty of no virus and/or no potential quarantine then the industry is dead.  Not even a vaccine can accomplish that.

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53 minutes ago, KirkNC said:

If people wait until there is a 100% certainty of no virus and/or no potential quarantine then the industry is dead.  Not even a vaccine can accomplish that.

 

I don't think it has to be a 100% certainty. But it has to be a heckuva lot better than the crapshoot it is right now -- e.g., without a vaccine, without treatment, and without clear guidance on how ships will handle infections onboard.

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1 minute ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

I don't think it has to be a 100% certainty. But it has to be a heckuva lot better than the crapshoot it is right now -- e.g., without a vaccine, without treatment, and without clear guidance on how ships will handle infections onboard.

 

Well said and I agree with you 100%

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2 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

I don't think it has to be a 100% certainty. But it has to be a heckuva lot better than the crapshoot it is right now -- e.g., without a vaccine, without treatment, and without clear guidance on how ships will handle infections onboard.

But what can a ship do once it is on board?  The only viable option I am aware of is some form of lockdown.  How many impacted by that would probably determine how wide spread of a lockdown.  But if the crew gets it, it’s all over.

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1 hour ago, KirkNC said:

But what can a ship do once it is on board?  The only viable option I am aware of is some form of lockdown.  How many impacted by that would probably determine how wide spread of a lockdown.  But if the crew gets it, it’s all over.


The most viable option may be a requirement that the ship return to its point of origin for that cruise, and all aboard are removed to proper quarantine facilities shoreside for 14 days.

Like anything else, there are a thousand details to be worked out, but it would relieve ports of call, and passengers,  of the fear of another Diamond Princess fiasco.

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Viking Ocean is our line of choice.  Good to see that its ships don't appear on the list.

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11 hours ago, KirkNC said:

Funny they use the term outbreak for one or two cases.

 

According to the W.H.O.:  "A disease outbreak is the occurrence of disease cases in excess of normal expectancy.  The number of cases varies according to the disease-causing agent, and the size and type of previous and existing exposure to the agent."

 

https://www.who.int/environmental_health_emergencies/disease_outbreaks/en/

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And not a single HAL ship on any of those lists!  I was on  the Koningsdam from 2/23 to 3/15 and HAL was proactive at all times in protecting passengers, crew and ship. 

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1 minute ago, regnig said:

And not a single HAL ship on any of those lists!  I was on  the Koningsdam from 2/23 to 3/15 and HAL was proactive at all times in protecting passengers, crew and ship. 

 

I think the Zaandam is still a HAL ship 😉. they are on the list and their problems got enough media coverage, sadly.

 

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1 hour ago, DaveSJ711 said:

 

According to the W.H.O.:  "A disease outbreak is the occurrence of disease cases in excess of normal expectancy.  The number of cases varies according to the disease-causing agent, and the size and type of previous and existing exposure to the agent."

 

https://www.who.int/environmental_health_emergencies/disease_outbreaks/en/

But one out of several thousand passengers would not in my lay opinion qualify as an outbreak of anything.

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