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Back to back bookings - any word yet if CDC will even allow them prior to Nov 1st?


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We are currently booked in early May on a 5 day Alaska cruise on the Millie followed by a 7 day cruise on the Solstice. The Millie cruise is a Vancouver R/T while the Solstice starts in Vancouver and ends in Seattle. We will disembark the first leg in the morning and then embark on the Solstice in the afternoon. The chances are also very good we will have COVID vaccines flowing through our veins by then as we both are over 65. 

 

Assuming Canada opens their borders to cruise ships by then, any word yet as to whether or not CDC will even allow B2B cruises to take place prior to Nov 1, 2021? One interesting twist in our situation is that our first leg on the Millie is a R/T out of Vancouver where CDC has no control. So in CDC's eyes, is it even considered a B2B?

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These are not true back to-backs, in that they are on different ships.  They are two completely separate bookings.

 

Did you get the back-to-back discount? I would doubt that you did.

 

You have already noted that the first cruise is beyond the CDC control. The second cruise fits within their guidelines. There should be no issue.


Now the broader question is, what if someone scheduled to CDC-approved short Cruises on the same ship back to back? Would they be allowed? At this point, no one can say for sure.

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1 hour ago, Ken the cruiser said:

The chances are also very good we will have COVID vaccines flowing through our veins by then as we both are over 65.

I hope you're right, I just think it's going to be later in the year because the vaccine companies are selling globally

 

16 minutes ago, cruisestitch said:

You have already noted that the first cruise is beyond the CDC control.

While it embarks/disembarks Canada, it will (presumably) visit Alaska, isn't that part of the CDCs control?  Overall the CDC documentation did not provide specifics and while the dept of homeland security is tracking and will know if you're taking taking two different sailings, whether a true B2B or two back to back sailings, are they even monitoring this and if noticed do they call the second sailing and tell them to cancel the booking?  Another question is what if sailing one ends on a Sunday and you're next sailing sails on Monday and you stay in a hotel for the night, would that a prevent a B2B flag?

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1 hour ago, cruisestitch said:

These are not true back to-backs, in that they are on different ships.  They are two completely separate bookings.

 

Did you get the back-to-back discount? I would doubt that you did.

 

You have already noted that the first cruise is beyond the CDC control. The second cruise fits within their guidelines. There should be no issue.


Now the broader question is, what if someone scheduled to CDC-approved short Cruises on the same ship back to back? Would they be allowed? At this point, no one can say for sure.

Yes, we got the B2B X discount. 

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I think you are being overly optimistic on a couple of fronts. First that Canada will open it's borders and allow cruise ships in. Second that your getting an early vaccination will make any difference. While vaccination is a good thing, before restrictions can be lifted there also needs to be not just a flattened curve in COVID cases, but an absolute reduction to low levels of cases. And that's not likely to happen until the majority of people have been vaccinated. I highly doubt that will happen by May.

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3 hours ago, mom says said:

I think you are being overly optimistic on a couple of fronts. First that Canada will open it's borders and allow cruise ships in. Second that your getting an early vaccination will make any difference. While vaccination is a good thing, before restrictions can be lifted there also needs to be not just a flattened curve in COVID cases, but an absolute reduction to low levels of cases. And that's not likely to happen until the majority of people have been vaccinated. I highly doubt that will happen by May.

With Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca all getting close to having an approved vaccine and J&J and Novafax getting close to rounding the turn, I think it's all right to start to have a cautiously optimistic attitude for May sailings. But for us, we will really start to get excited when X starts doing their CDC "no revenue" qualification sailings, especially with regards to the Millie and Solstice in our case.  

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12 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

With Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca all getting close to having an approved vaccine and J&J and Novafax getting close to rounding the turn, I think it's all right to start to have a cautiously optimistic attitude for May sailings. But for us, we will really start to get excited when X starts doing their CDC "no revenue" qualification sailings, especially with regards to the Millie and Solstice in our case.  

Were you selected for one of those, Ken the cruiser?

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10 minutes ago, LGW59 said:

Were you selected for one of those, Ken the cruiser?

Nope. Just someone over in the peanut gallery waiting to go cruising again. So far we've had 8 cruises cancelled, but hoping our Alaska cruises will finally get us cruising again.

Edited by Ken the cruiser
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47 minutes ago, NutsAboutGolf said:

 

Please please please, book a cancelable back up plan.  All inclusive in Mexico is a good starting point 🙂

No worries. If X cancels our two "short" Alaska May cruises because of COVID related issues, our next cruise is a 24 day Venice R/T on the Pacific Princess in July. Basically, we've got cruises booked through Nov 2022. So whenever it's deemed safe to cruise again, we're ready. 😁

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My concerns would be:

- by May will all Celebrity ships be sailing- doubtful in my mind

-will  Vancouver be accepting cruise ship and what about Alaska

-will  cruise lines allow B2Bs even if the CDC does- the cruise lines want to mitigate their risk

 

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20 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

One interesting twist in our situation is that our first leg on the Millie is a R/T out of Vancouver where CDC has no control. So in CDC's eyes, is it even considered a B2B?

I'm assuming that this round trip from Vancouver calls at US ports in Alaska?  Then it does fall under CDC control, as the conditional sailing certificate is not just for cruises that start or end in the US, but any cruise that enters US waters at any time.  The CDC's mandate is for ships entering the US, not really about ships leaving the US.  A ship must apply for "pratique" (a clean bill of health), when entering a country, not when leaving.

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Has the CDC said anything about B2Bs?  I don't see why they would care. It's 2 separate 7-night cruises that just happen to be on the same ship one after another.  So long as you're treated like any other embarking passenger, all should be fine I would hope. 

 

You could surely take a Celebrity ship Northbound, and a Royal Carib ship Southbound right?  Then 2 cruises on the same ship should also be possible. 

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8 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

No worries. If X cancels our two "short" Alaska May cruises because of COVID related issues, our next cruise is a 24 day Venice R/T on the Pacific Princess in July. Basically, we've got cruises booked through Nov 2022. So whenever it's deemed safe to cruise again, we're ready. 😁

 

Good luck with your Venice trip in July.  I'm not sure that I see international travel without quarantining by July.

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8 hours ago, jelayne said:

My concerns would be:

- by May will all Celebrity ships be sailing- doubtful in my mind

-will  Vancouver be accepting cruise ship and what about Alaska

-will  cruise lines allow B2Bs even if the CDC does- the cruise lines want to mitigate their risk

 

All good concerns. In addition, right now the Millie and Eclipse are off the San Diego coast while the Solstice is in Singapore. Since all ships sailing in and out US ports will first have to take the CDC "no revenue" cruise certification test, our hopes right now are higher for the Millie and Eclipse than the Solstice.

 

2 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

I'm assuming that this round trip from Vancouver calls at US ports in Alaska?  Then it does fall under CDC control, as the conditional sailing certificate is not just for cruises that start or end in the US, but any cruise that enters US waters at any time.  The CDC's mandate is for ships entering the US, not really about ships leaving the US.  A ship must apply for "pratique" (a clean bill of health), when entering a country, not when leaving.

Good point!

2 hours ago, ipeeinthepool said:

 

Good luck with your Venice trip in July.  I'm not sure that I see international travel without quarantining by July.

I hope that's not the case. We have no issues with cancelling the cruise before the FPDD. But we would be very sad for the EU folks if the pandemic wasn't over by the summer, especially with news today regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine.

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3 hours ago, D C said:

Has the CDC said anything about B2Bs?  I don't see why they would care. It's 2 separate 7-night cruises that just happen to be on the same ship one after another.  So long as you're treated like any other embarking passenger, all should be fine I would hope. 

 

Page 32 of CDC conditional sail order limits the sailings to 7-days.  Other than this limit, I don't see anything that prevents B2B bookings.

Does anyone see something I missed?

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54 minutes ago, Sam.Seattle said:

Page 32 of CDC conditional sail order limits the sailings to 7-days.  Other than this limit, I don't see anything that prevents B2B bookings.

Does anyone see something I missed?

Travel agents have reported you are simply unable to book B2Bs on Princess.  I haven't seen reports whether X allows it.

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1 hour ago, Sam.Seattle said:

Page 32 of CDC conditional sail order limits the sailings to 7-days.  Other than this limit, I don't see anything that prevents B2B bookings.

Does anyone see something I missed?

 

If you need to get a PCR test 3 days before your cruise you may not be able to get that onboard, so that would prevent you from taking the second cruise

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1 hour ago, Sam.Seattle said:

Page 32 of CDC conditional sail order limits the sailings to 7-days.  Other than this limit, I don't see anything that prevents B2B bookings.

Does anyone see something I missed?

Technically, you are correct.  However, any "technical instructions" from the CDC regarding B2B cruises have not been issued, so there may be.  You have to ask yourself, "why is the CDC limiting cruises to 7 days?".  The answer is, to me, "to limit the exposure time of any one passenger" to the close environment of the cruise ship.  So, if their intention is to limit the time onboard a ship, why would they allow a person to book two consecutive cruises and get around that desired limitation of exposure.  Just as CBP doesn't care that two cruises are sold separately, they look at the combined cruises to determine PVSA applicability.

 

As for the "side to side" example given above, especially using two lines within the same parent corporation, I'd assume it would depend on how integrated the booking systems are for the two sister cruise lines as to whether the "corporation" could sell those cruises.  But a "side to side" would be a definite possibility for someone absolutely hell-bent on cruising.

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Just now, ipeeinthepool said:

 

If you need to get a PCR test 3 days before your cruise you may not be able to get that onboard, so that would prevent you from taking the second cruise

That’s definitely a possibility, especially if they also require everyone that has received a vaccine to also get a PCR test prior to boarding. If that was the case, that would definitely be a showstopper if they didn’t offer that service onboard to folks booked on a B2B. 

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28 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

We booked our Alaska B2B directly with X a couple of weeks ago without any issues. 

 

Two different ships, right?  A travel agent simply reported Princess won't allow B2B on the same ship.  The other dynamic is how does the CDC plan to enforce this, it clearly doesn't trust the cruise line.  The cruise lines do report your sailing to the Dept of Homeland security so assuming the CDC cares enough to want to enforce this I would imagine they'd look at that list vs taking the cruise lines word that no one is allowed B2B cruises.  My best guess is we won't have to wait too long until we hear further B2B clarity from the CDC.

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43 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

That’s definitely a possibility, especially if they also require everyone that has received a vaccine to also get a PCR test prior to boarding. If that was the case, that would definitely be a showstopper if they didn’t offer that service onboard to folks booked on a B2B. 

I doubt such service will be available. Also, I don't think its legal to ask for PCR tests or whatever other other tests you had cause  its breaking your privacy in a way. I think it would rather be a kind of recommendation or something 

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53 minutes ago, Roger88 said:

I doubt such service will be available. Also, I don't think its legal to ask for PCR tests or whatever other other tests you had cause  its breaking your privacy in a way. I think it would rather be a kind of recommendation or something 

No, it would not violate your privacy, nor your HIPAA rights.  The cruise line can ask for tests and test results, just like a business can require you to wear a mask, whether your state or town has a mask mandate or not.  It is up to you to decide if you want to provide the test results, but it is the cruise line's right to not allow you onboard if you don't provide it.  HIPAA privacy rights apply to a medical provider giving your medical information to a third party (the cruise line), not you giving your data.  Many businesses today require negative PCR tests in order to come into work, no different for a cruise line.

 

Airlines and cruise ships have been requiring proof of vaccination for various diseases before letting someone on their ship or plane for years (decades).

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I don't recall anything in the CDC guidelines preventing B2B cruises.  The reason you need to disembark and re-embark in the US in-between cruises is because they are so specific about considering them separate cruises.  

 

As to PCR tests - no one can say for sure if Celebrity will require them.  It is very difficult right now in many areas (including my own) to get a PCR test at all unless you have symptoms, let alone be able to get one that gives you results that quick.  Most testing sites by me take a minimum of 4 days to return results, and that is after you wait in line 3-4 hours, after getting up at 3:00 am to go sit in line at the test site.  You can only get them at a doctor's office if you have symptoms or have direct exposure to someone with diagnosed Covid.  Even if Celebrity requires PCR tests for cruising, I have to guess (which is all we can do now) that if they allow B2B guests they will not require a second PCR test as the passenger will have been required to wear masks, go on ship's excursions, etc..  

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