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1 hour ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

Perhaps you've seen something about the test cruise certifications that i have not but, I doubt the CDC will certify multiple cruise lines in a consortia/holding company like NCLH based solely on using ship(s) of only one member.

I've carefully read the CDC Conditional Sail Order several times and  believe  as currently written it will permit the corporate holding company to conduct test cruises on behalf of all its subsidiary cruise lines using just a single ship from one of its subsidiaries. The key is in the order's definition of "cruise ship operator", which specifically includes "any person or entity (including a corporate entity) that authorizes or directs the use of a cruise ship (e.g. as owner, lessee or otherwise). " 

 

In particular, note the words "including a corporate entity". Since NCLH is ultimately the corporate entity owner of all NCL, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas ships I believe a single ship from any of the three lines can work as the prototype for gaining approval for all NCLH cruise lines. If that one ship passes muster in its test sailings and the CDC gives the green light for resumption, as long as NCLH submits the required paperwork for each ship before it is placed back in service certifying the details of how the approved protocols will be adapted, followed and implemented on each of individual ships I believe conditional sailing certificates can be obtained.

 

Of course the CDC may say otherwise if it believes that was not the intent of the order.

 

Given that the NCL Gem is already in US waters (under the order ships that are not in US waters will have to submit applications to return to the US at least 28 days before  doing so, which further delays their resumption of operations), has just undergone a drydock, and already has some crew on board that have been certified as COVID-free it appears to be a prime candidate to be the first NCLH ship undergoing a test voyage. The Regatta is the only Oceania ship currently in US waters and it's docked in Astoria Oregon, not a location likely to be used for test sailings, which are almost certainly going to originate in Florida . Oceania apparently was planning to keep the ship in Astoria until the start of the Alaska cruise season this spring so doesn't intend it to be one of the early starters.

 

Remember that FDR has stated he expects it to take 6 to 9 months to get NCLH operations fully ramped up, and who knows...based on the current state of affairs it may take longer than that. The CDC just upped its warning about cruise ship travel from Level 3 to Level 4. Level 4  is the highest advisory level and means "do not travel". This may mean the CDC will not even permit test voyages until the pandemic is brought under better control.

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Qantas CEO has announced vaccination will be mandatory for international travellers to & from Australia.  No surprise there.

 

A bit more interesting is how they will confirm the vaccine you have been given is acceptable to the country you are travelling to.  This would probably be electronically linked to a person's vaccination passport according to the CEO.

 

What will be interesting is seeing how different countries approve various vaccines for entry permission.

Edited by Tranquility Base
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Expect the same announcements from Canada, EU & GB, most of Asia, etc. Accept it, you’re not going to get on a plane departing the country, or even legally cross an international border soon without having received the vaccine.

 

It will be the carrot that allows more than 7 day cruises! Everyone on the ship will be vaccinated therefore those 10,14,20 cruises are safe.
 

Still believe that on 1/21/21 the CDC reinstates the no sail order until either 7/1/21 or 10/1/21. 

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I am reasonably certain that simply getting vaccinated does not mean people will be allowed to travel overseas without border restrictions.

 

Many countries will need to ensure their own population has reached a certain level of herd immunity through vaccination first.

Until that level is reached, border restrictions of some sort will likely remain in force.

 

At least another 12 months before long cruises to multiple countries are possible I reckon.

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1 hour ago, Tranquility Base said:

I am reasonably certain that simply getting vaccinated does not mean people will be allowed to travel overseas without border restrictions.

 

Many countries will need to ensure their own population has reached a certain level of herd immunity through vaccination first.

Until that level is reached, border restrictions of some sort will likely remain in force.

 

At least another 12 months before long cruises to multiple countries are possible I reckon.

Possibly, but some countries depend upon tourism for a considerable part of their economy. If one has had a vaccine that’s 90+% effective, some will gladly welcome those tourists. Other countries may well shun those tourists. 
 

As with most things in life this definitely won’t be a one size fits all. This produces a real life competition between the richer north of the EU and the southern nations. This script in history is yet to be written.

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34 minutes ago, pinotlover said:

some countries depend upon tourism for a considerable part of their economy.

However, as gets discussed here regularly, "tourism" and "cruise passengers" can be quite different.

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41 minutes ago, pinotlover said:

If one has had a vaccine that’s 90+% effective, some will gladly welcome those tourists.

Sure.

My understanding so far (admittedly very limited):

 

What we know about the reported efficacy so far; it is protected efficacy against disease.

IE: how well the vaccines protect someone from getting sick.

 

Whether the vaccines stop people from getting infected in the first place is not yet able to be answered by the researchers.

 

Once we have the answer to the above question, it will go a long way into determining if a vaccinated person can still transmit the virus.

 

That's why I think the world will still see only limited travel for a lot of 2021, even for those who are vaccinated.

Edited by Tranquility Base
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Maybe, maybe not. But this I will assure you this. You will see near zero travel from those that don’t get vaccinated. This will be a fact not only in the 2nd half of 2021, but for years to come. 
 

By 07/01/21, the door will slam shut on many travelers without vaccinations wanting to leave the US or even get on a cruise ship in US waters. We can debate what the total experiences of those vaccinated early travelers might be, but they will be vaccinated before they go anywhere. 

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42 minutes ago, pinotlover said:

But this I will assure you this. You will see near zero travel from those that don’t get vaccinated. This will be a fact not only in the 2nd half of 2021, but for years to come. 

We get that.

You've made that point many times.

 

However, there are many people out there who seem to believe a vaccine is the immediate answer for unlimited travel. I think it's those people who will be disappointed for a large portion of 2021.

 

Some people have had unrealistic expectations for most of this pandemic, thinking cruises / travel would be possible to all sorts of countries.

Only recently have they appeared to lower their expectations.

 

These research results for various vaccines are obviously great news.

Still too early to get the World Atlas out for the big trip however (my opinion)

 

 

 

Edited by Tranquility Base
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15 hours ago, pinotlover said:

Maybe, maybe not. But this I will assure you this. You will see near zero travel from those that don’t get vaccinated. This will be a fact not only in the 2nd half of 2021, but for years to come. 
 

By 07/01/21, the door will slam shut on many travelers without vaccinations wanting to leave the US or even get on a cruise ship in US waters. We can debate what the total experiences of those vaccinated early travelers might be, but they will be vaccinated before they go anywhere. 

Sounds like you are on the right track.  Will be a long time until enough of us are vaccinated to make a big dent  in the virus. 

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8 + day sailings in US ports.

 

There are posts  on the Celebrity forum of cruises over 7 days using US ports prior to 1st Nov 2021 being cancelled.

The Royal Caribbean forum is expecting similar cancellations soon.

Follows the CDC CSO requirement.

 

If this is indeed the case, they would join the Carnival brands ( Carnival, Princess, HAL ) in cancelling these cruises.

 

If true, that would leave NCLH and their cruise lines as the last of the big 3 with these categories still being offered for sale. 

Edited by Tranquility Base
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36 minutes ago, Tranquility Base said:

8 + day sailings in US ports.

 

There are posts  on the Celebrity forum of cruises over 7 days using US ports prior to 1st Nov 2021 being cancelled.

The Royal Caribbean forum is expecting similar cancellations soon.

Follows the CDC CSO requirement.

 

If this is indeed the case, they would join the Carnival brands ( Carnival, Princess, HAL ) in cancelling these cruises.

 

If true, that would leave NCLH and their cruise lines as the last of the big 3 with these categories still being offered for sale. 

Please read the CDC document. Requests for exceptions to the current US port 7 day cruise limit, will be considered on a case by case basis. 

And, as has been pointed out here a zillion times, at least NCLH's Oceania brand has been very clear about the efficacy (for O and its passengers) of doing their cancels monthly. This maintains a consistent staff workload (refunds/bookings/etc) while maintaining flexibility to restart quickly if/when the rules change again (e.g., vaccine eases cruise restrictions).

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29 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

Please read the CDC document. Requests for exceptions to the current US port 7 day cruise limit, will be considered on a case by case basis. 

And, as has been pointed out here a zillion times,..................

Thank you.

I will consider myself suitably admonished.

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21 hours ago, Tranquility Base said:

We get that.

You've made that point many times.

 

However, there are many people out there who seem to believe a vaccine is the immediate answer for unlimited travel. I think it's those people who will be disappointed for a large portion of 2021.

 

Some people have had unrealistic expectations for most of this pandemic, thinking cruises / travel would be possible to all sorts of countries.

Only recently have they appeared to lower their expectations.

 

These research results for various vaccines are obviously great news.

Still too early to get the World Atlas out for the big trip however (my opinion)

 

 

 

I agree which is why we have zero cruises planned in 2021.  We will get vaccinated when we can but I believe that is only one small step in the restoration of travel.

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2 hours ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

Please read the CDC document. Requests for exceptions to the current US port 7 day cruise limit, will be considered on a case by case basis. 

And, as has been pointed out here a zillion times, at least NCLH's Oceania brand has been very clear about the efficacy (for O and its passengers) of doing their cancels monthly. This maintains a consistent staff workload (refunds/bookings/etc) while maintaining flexibility to restart quickly if/when the rules change again (e.g., vaccine eases cruise restrictions).

 

1 hour ago, Tranquility Base said:

Thank you.

I will consider myself suitably admonished.

Page 32, paragraph (2) of the pdf  CDC order specifically states  "The cruise ship operator must not sail or offer to sail on an itinerary longer than 7 days. CDC may shorten or lengthen the number of days permitted to sail based on public health considerations and as set forth in technical instructions or orders."

 

Note the words "must not sail or offer to sail " . Nor is there a provision for a cruise to apply for a longer itinerary.

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48 minutes ago, njhorseman said:

 

Page 32, paragraph (2) of the pdf  CDC order specifically states  "The cruise ship operator must not sail or offer to sail on an itinerary longer than 7 days. CDC may shorten or lengthen the number of days permitted to sail based on public health considerations and as set forth in technical instructions or orders."

 

Note the words "must not sail or offer to sail " . Nor is there a provision for a cruise to apply for a longer itinerary.

"May shorten/lengthen" leaves the door open for all sorts of entities to request that action  based on ...public health considerations (e.g., vaccine) et al. (Instructions/orders). 

Bottom line: everything is open to discussion.

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6 hours ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

"May shorten/lengthen" leaves the door open for all sorts of entities to request that action  based on ...public health considerations (e.g., vaccine) et al. (Instructions/orders). 

Bottom line: everything is open to discussion.

Nowhere does the order say that cruise lines can apply for longer itineraries. The CDC will decide based on public health considerations whether itineraries may be lengthened or shortened and when that will take place.Even if cruise lines could apply for longer itineraries it appears to be unlikely that a sufficient percentage of the population would be vaccinated  before late next year for the CDC to consider allowing longer cruises. Of course if a cruise line were to adopt a vaccination requirement for all passengers then the CDC might very well permit longer cruises.

Further, Oceania and other cruise lines still offering itineraries longer than 7 days through November 1 2021 are in clear violation of the order. They will have to cancel the longer itineraries as Princess and Holland America have. The excuses about managing workload and continuing to offer them just in case something changes are no longer valid.

Edited by njhorseman
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Here what I happening, imo. By canceling all those cruises and wiping the slate clean:

 

1. They are giving themselves the future flexibility of scheduling either short cruises to nowhere, or to private island destinations. If ( huge if) , they pass the trial runs, and the CDC allows the short hauls, those lines are in a position to advertise and sell cruises that might sail. One can’t sell 7 day cruises to your private island in March or April if your holding people’s money for a different cruise on the same ship! At this point, not cancelling those longer cruises is effectively saying you’re not sailing at all.

 

2. If sailing can’t resume, it allows the line to cut staff even further to the bone. No making phony plane reservations for cruises that won’t sail. No supporting dining reservation systems or shore tour reservations for phantom cruises. Manning requirements, and the costs thereof, are minimized. Perhaps some of the lines have decided that eliminating costs saves more money than playing FDR’s current game.

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4 hours ago, njhorseman said:

Nowhere does the order say that cruise lines can apply for longer itineraries. The CDC will decide based on public health considerations whether itineraries may be lengthened or shortened........Of course if a cruise line were to adopt a vaccination requirement for all passengers then the CDC might very well permit longer cruises.

Further, Oceania and other cruise lines still offering itineraries longer than 7 days through November 1 2021 are in clear violation of the order. .........The excuses about managing workload and continuing to offer them just in case something changes are no longer valid.

In a sense you just contradicted yourself. 

 

How will the CDC know that a cruise line has decided to require Covid vaccination if the cruise line does not formally inform the CDC of that decision (in a document that also requests lifting the 7 day restriction). There is no rule that prohibits requests to the CDC.

 

As for "offering itineraries," the CDC order says "offer to sail" - not "offer to sell." As long as passengers have the option to cancel for 100% of the cruise fare paid (Oceania's current Traveler Assurance Program), it certainly can inform folks of their plans to maintain those US itineraries should the CDC change the restriction for any of the obvious reasons (including a cruise line's informing them of the vaccination requirement in a formal equest to restart cruising in general or for US cruises longer than 7 days).

 

Remember too, that most cruise lines have ships that do not regularly visit or use US ports  in their scheduling (and can modify the itineraries of those that do/did). Such ships are not bound by the current CDC prohibitions.

Should the CDC decide to drag its heels despite O's adoption of  a vaccine requirement, Oceania COULD decide to operate in a limited capacity solely outside the US.

 

With the various items in play, the efficacy of O's monthly decision remains valid and makes absolute sense. 

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26 minutes ago, pinotlover said:

Here what I happening, imo. By canceling all those cruises and wiping the slate clean:

 

1. They are giving themselves the future flexibility of scheduling either short cruises to nowhere, or to private island destinations. If ( huge if) , they pass the trial runs, and the CDC allows the short hauls, those lines are in a position to advertise and sell cruises that might sail. One can’t sell 7 day cruises to your private island in March or April if your holding people’s money for a different cruise on the same ship! At this point, not cancelling those longer cruises is effectively saying you’re not sailing at all.

 

2. If sailing can’t resume, it allows the line to cut staff even further to the bone. No making phony plane reservations for cruises that won’t sail. No supporting dining reservation systems or shore tour reservations for phantom cruises. Manning requirements, and the costs thereof, are minimized. Perhaps some of the lines have decided that eliminating costs saves more money than playing FDR’s current game.

While there is some "dollar sense" to your point about cutting staff further, I am convinced that, as far as Oceania is concerned, FDR is personally hard-pressed to abandon his "baby" and wants to protect the livelihood of as many employees as possible while also testing the efficacy of consolidating many of the NCLH companies' functions.

 

While O Is a business in every sense of the word, it remains unusual in many of its practices which, in total, are part of the reason that it has such a loyal passenger base.

 

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On this subject, a new wrench was thrown into the fire last night. Not sure how many of you saw the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt and his interview with President Elect Biden. When discussing distribution of the new vaccines, and who would get them, first priority was again with first responders and health care workers. Present policy of current administration, and nothing new. Then came the surprise! Next students and those working in the school systems. “ We have to safely get all these kids back into school.”

 

The interesting part of this is that originally , months ago, the students and school workers were 2nd In priority. Not people in nursing homes, the highly vulnerable, and then those over 65. Elections and solicitation of votes are over. Getting the kids back into school is vital to getting the economy restarted, not vaccinating the elderly. It’ll be a long time before your vote is needed again.

 

The effect of this is apparent. People are not going to be getting on cruise ships, en mass, or flying to foreign destinations until they are vaccinated. This change, if it becomes policy, means that many of those highly potential cruisers ( 65+) won’t be getting vaccinated in Feb-March, but now more likely later 2nd Quarter. This will almost assuredly push back resumption of general travel and cruises until sometime 3rd Qtr at best. There’s that 7-9 months that FDR spoke about!

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28 minutes ago, pinotlover said:

On this subject, a new wrench was thrown into the fire last night. Not sure how many of you saw the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt and his interview with President Elect Biden. When discussing distribution of the new vaccines, and who would get them, first priority was again with first responders and health care workers. Present policy of current administration, and nothing new. Then came the surprise! Next students and those working in the school systems. “ We have to safely get all these kids back into school.”

 

The interesting part of this is that originally , months ago, the students and school workers were 2nd In priority. Not people in nursing homes, the highly vulnerable, and then those over 65. Elections and solicitation of votes are over. Getting the kids back into school is vital to getting the economy restarted, not vaccinating the elderly. It’ll be a long time before your vote is needed again.

 

The effect of this is apparent. People are not going to be getting on cruise ships, en mass, or flying to foreign destinations until they are vaccinated. This change, if it becomes policy, means that many of those highly potential cruisers ( 65+) won’t be getting vaccinated in Feb-March, but now more likely later 2nd Quarter. This will almost assuredly push back resumption of general travel and cruises until sometime 3rd Qtr at best. There’s that 7-9 months that FDR spoke about!

In all honesty, it's pretty clear that FDR's crystal ball is (and always has been) a whole different (and far better) entity than those of his competitor execs.

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It is my understanding from my reading that, so far, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has only been fully tested on adults. In September, they started including teenagers as young as 16 in an ongoing trial, and in October they began a new trial including children as young as 12.  I believe the initial EUA may not include children 17 or younger.  Would not be surprised if adults working in the school systems were included in the first distributions.

Edited by RetiredLifer
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3 hours ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

In a sense you just contradicted yourself. 

 

How will the CDC know that a cruise line has decided to require Covid vaccination if the cruise line does not formally inform the CDC of that decision (in a document that also requests lifting the 7 day restriction). There is no rule that prohibits requests to the CDC.

 

As for "offering itineraries," the CDC order says "offer to sail" - not "offer to sell." As long as passengers have the option to cancel for 100% of the cruise fare paid (Oceania's current Traveler Assurance Program), it certainly can inform folks of their plans to maintain those US itineraries should the CDC change the restriction for any of the obvious reasons (including a cruise line's informing them of the vaccination requirement in a formal equest to restart cruising in general or for US cruises longer than 7 days).

 

Remember too, that most cruise lines have ships that do not regularly visit or use US ports  in their scheduling (and can modify the itineraries of those that do/did). Such ships are not bound by the current CDC prohibitions.

Should the CDC decide to drag its heels despite O's adoption of  a vaccine requirement, Oceania COULD decide to operate in a limited capacity solely outside the US.

 

With the various items in play, the efficacy of O's monthly decision remains valid and makes absolute sense. 

There's no contradiction in what I said. The CDC will know the full extent of the cruise lines' COVID protocols because they have to obtain CDC approval of them in order to sail. And any time a cruise line wants to amend their protocols the CDC will have to approve them before they can be implemented. So anytime a cruise line wants to include, amend or exclude a vaccination requirement the CDC will know about it and have the right to approve disapprove or order changes to the proposal.

 

I think your interpretation of "offer to sail" is invalid.  How does one "offer to sail" without "offering to sell"?  Certainly Carnival Corp.'s lawyers don't think much of your interpretation. If they thought what you think Holland America and Princess wouldn't have cancelled all their cruises longer than one week through November 1. Rather than arguing further let's see what Oceania and other cruise lines do in the next few days. December will be here next week and NCLH should be making their monthly cancellation announcement in a few says.

 

I find your comment about the CDC regulations not applying to itineraries not involving US ports condescending and insulting to both my intelligence and knowledge of the cruise business. Not only have I been cruising for more than 30 years but one of the businesses I owned and operated was a travel agency. I'm pretty sure I was aware of the fact that the various CDC orders don't apply to cruises that are not in US waters at some point in their itinerary.

 

While month-to-month cancellation announcements may have been reasonable in the past given that the individual CDC No Sail Orders and CLIA voluntary no sail agreements were relatively short term, once the last No Sail Order expired and was replaced by the Conditional Sail Order that is not short term, but in fact extends for a full year, I can't find a reasonable argument for continuing that approach for the longer cruises when they are explicitly prohibited for one year unless the order is amended.

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