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Protocols and embarkation procedures once cruising starts again


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There's something I haven't seen much discussion about. I've been wondering what protocols and embarkation procedures will be in place once cruising starts up again. I know there's been a lot of speculation about a couple of issues, and I'm not sure exactly what Carnival (or any other cruise line) is planning to do. Will face masks be required, and if so, for how long? Will proof of a vaccination or negative test result be required for boarding? Will there be any changes to arrival time appointments at the home ports? Will social distancing be necessary at the home port, or on the ship? If so, how will it be enforced? I highly doubt that anyone here has solid answers to these questions, and there will be lots of speculation as to what will happen. I'm guessing that Carnival will post all of this information some time within the next 60 days. 

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Not Carnival and of course all this can change at any time, but just to give you an idea here's lots of info on what the RCI Quantum of the Seas is doing on current cruises out of Singapore (Singapore residents only cruises):

 

https://www.royalcaribbean.com/sgp/en/royal-promise/faq

 

I broke out some of the most asked questions (that I've noticed anyway) here:

 

Yes you do have to sign waiver:

"In addition to the booking conditions and cruise ticket contract which all guests must accept, guests will also be required to acknowledge the risks associated with pathogen transmission during their voyage and agree to follow all of our health and safety policies at all times. If you are booking through a travel agent, your agent may accept the terms and conditions and confirm your acknowledgment. Failure to agree to our terms and conditions or the requisite self-attestation will result in a denial of boarding".

 

Mobile app:

We strongly advise that all guests download and use the Royal Caribbean App available for Apple and Android devices. It has been enhanced with features that are essential to a smooth and safe boarding day and cruise. These features include notifications, online check-in, the new online Guest Safety Briefing required of all guests, and our Guest Health, Safety and Conduct Policy. Some features are available only via the App, including the Guest Health Questionnaire to be completed by all guests 24 hours before sailing. The App offers key functionality to support guest needs throughout the sailing— important sailing details, ship maps, guest to guest chat, event and dining booking, itinerary planning, steps to assure health and safety, and more. We continue to deploy more functionality to the App. While we provide assistance for guests without access to a smartphone and the App, we highly recommend all guests download and use the App immediately after cruise booking to achieve the smoothest experience and avoid possible delays. Per local authorities, guests must (1) check-in and out upon boarding and disembarking the ship via using SafeEntry signboards that will be posted at the terminal, and (2) have the TraceTogether App installed on their smartphones or keep their TraceTogether token with them for the duration of their sailing.

 

(TraceTogether token as supplied by Singapore gov)

image.png.9b9178e9d088ee8985d645a40c01792c.png

 

Contact testing:

Contact tracing is an important part of our enhanced protocols to keep all our guests and crew safe. Each guest will be provided with a wearable device that allows rapid tracing in the event it is necessary. If you are found to have come within 1 meter (3 feet) of a COVID-19 positive person, for at least 15 minutes, certain actions may be required for your safety and the safety of your fellow guests. Per local authorities, guests must (1) check-in and out upon boarding and disembarking the ship via SafeEntry using signboards that will be posted at the terminal, and (2) have the TraceTogether App installed on their smartphones or keep their TraceTogether token with them for the duration of their sailing. 

Additional, all guests and crew will be issued a wearable called a Tracelet™ at the terminal to be worn during the cruise. The Tracelet™ supports contact tracing in the unlikely case of an onboard health concern. If you lose track of your Tracelet™, please contact Guest Services immediately. We’ll collect your Tracelet™ at the conclusion of the cruise.

 

Tracelet:

image.png.85576f58ddc726f1f7d7ba2dab4ad5cd.png

 

 

Masks:

All guests and crew will be required to wear a mask onboard. Specifically, guests should wear face masks in nearly all public settings regardless of physical distancing measures but will not be required to wear face masks in their own stateroom. There are exceptions, however, such as dining venues, where guests can eat and drink without face masks while seated, provided physical distancing is observed. Also, guests should not wear masks while engaged in activities that may cause the mask to become wet, like when swimming in our pools, or when participating in strenuous activities, such as jogging, running, or fitness classes at the Vitality Spa and Fitness Center. Note that neck gaiters, open chin bandanas and scarves, and face masks with valves do not meet health authority guidelines and will not be permitted.

 

Testing:

Guest of all ages travelling with us must undergo a SARS-CoV-2 test within 48 to 72 hours prior to boarding and obtain a negative result. Guests will also be tested at the terminal at the conclusion of their cruise. The cost of your SARS-CoV-2 tests is included in your cruise fare for sailings departing on or before 18 March 2021, though we will continue to evaluate circumstances and update our policy and timeframe if necessary. Closer to your sail date, approximately 14-10 days prior to sailing, we'll provide clear directions for testing at The Raffles City Convention Hall.

 

Important Note for Singapore Guests
Singapore guests who have had COVID-19 within the past 180 days, or who have a positive COVID-19 Serology certificate, will be unable to take a SARS-CoV-2 test and therefore, are unable to sail at this time.

 

Arrival times:

When you complete online check-in, you will be asked to select a terminal arrival time that works for you. We strongly recommend you arrive at that time. We have designed a safe, physically distanced boarding experience for all guests, and adhering to your arrival time is a key part of that. We will do our best to accommodate guests that arrive outside their time, but you may be re-prioritized within the boarding experience in order to preserve distancing. If you arrive early by private car, we encourage you to wait in your car until your arrival time.

 

At the terminal, we'll continue screening measures to ensure everyone boarding the cruise, or working at the terminal, is in good health. All guest documents, including the pre-arrival Health Questionnaire and a negative SARS-CoV-2 test result, will be verified. Additionally, all guests, crew, visitors, and port personnel will have their temperatures taken in the terminal by trained staff using touchless, handheld thermometers. Guests and crew members with temperatures of 37.5 degrees Celsius or greater will undergo a secondary screening. The secondary screening is conducted by a medical professional and determines if a person is eligible to sail.

 

Social distancing:

Physical distancing should be practiced throughout your vacation, even when masks are being used— from the moment you arrive at the terminal until you return home— allowing at least 1 meter (3 feet) of space between travel parties. To ensure this, you'll find there are fewer guests onboard as we return to sailing. Signage, ground markings, and crew safety ambassadors will be posted throughout the ship and terminal to kindly remind guests of distancing and other protocols. Seating in public spaces such as dining venues, theaters, and pool decks will be spread out and elevators will be limited to no more than four guests or one travel party at a time.

 

Temperature checks:

We will perform temperature checks on all guests once daily using touchless thermometers. It will be performed via kiosk or by your stateroom attendant. Both guests and crew members have their temperature checked daily. In addition, you will have your temperature checked upon entering certain venues onboard.

 

Entertainment venues:

Most of the entertainment you know and love will still be available onboard— with some changes for your safety. Having a reduced number of guests onboard lets us maintain a limited capacity in each entertainment venue based on size, with spaced seating arrangements that allow for physical distancing between guests. Only those in the same travel party will be able to be in the same seated group during performances. Many of our shows and activities will have extended hours and additional showtimes to ensure that our guests have plenty of opportunities to enjoy our onboard entertainment. Face masks will be required during all shows and activities.

 

Bars:

Bars within a dedicated space will have capacity limits and spaced seating, while walk-up bars (like the pool bar) will remain open with spacing guidance to be applied at the bar. Face masks will be required at all bars or nightclubs when not seated and actively eating or drinking with your party. We’ll arrange seating in bars, lounges, and nightclubs to allow for physical distancing, so guests can eat and drink without needing face masks while seated. In line with local authorities’ regulations, alcoholic beverages will not be served after 10:30 p.m., and no live singing or dancing will be permitted. However, we will be reimagining the experience with other forms of entertainment for your enjoyment.

 

Pool Area:

We’ll arrange the pool areas with sufficient space between furniture to allow for physical distancing. Crew will be posted on the pool deck to ensure pool and jacuzzi occupancy is appropriate, and easily accessible hand sanitizing stations and wipes dispensers will be available throughout. The housekeeping team will frequently clean surfaces in high-traffic pool and pool deck areas, with hourly cleaning during peak times, such as sea days. Sanitizing wipes will be available for all guests to wipe down chairs and loungers. Every evening all pool and deck furniture will be cleaned. Face masks are not required in pools or hot tubs, and guests should take care to maintain physical distance.

 

Casino:

Along with reduced capacity onboard our ships, all casino games will host fewer players, with alternating game table chairs unoccupied and alternating slot machines disabled intermittently to facilitate physical distancing. Casino chips and equipment will be cleaned nightly, hand sanitizing and hand wipe stations will be available throughout the casino, and sanitizer bottles will be made available for guests. Face masks will be required inside the casino.

 

Dining:

All your favorite restaurants you've been craving will be waiting for you onboard— though some changes have been made for your safety. All restaurant seating will be arranged to allow for physical distancing, so guests can eat and drink without face masks while seated, and tables and chairs will be disinfected regularly. All crew will wear face masks and gloves at all times. Restaurants and bars will feature QR codes that will let you view menus right on your phone. Buffets will now be served by crew rather than self-service, and more covered or wrapped grab-and-go items will be made available for your convenience at buffets and cafes around the ship. We will gladly accommodate walk-ins when availability permits, but reservations are recommended for the Windjammer buffet due to limited capacity.

 

 

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16 hours ago, beachbum53 said:

There's something I haven't seen much discussion about. I've been wondering what protocols and embarkation procedures will be in place once cruising starts up again. I know there's been a lot of speculation about a couple of issues, and I'm not sure exactly what Carnival (or any other cruise line) is planning to do. Will face masks be required, and if so, for how long? Will proof of a vaccination or negative test result be required for boarding? Will there be any changes to arrival time appointments at the home ports? Will social distancing be necessary at the home port, or on the ship? If so, how will it be enforced? I highly doubt that anyone here has solid answers to these questions, and there will be lots of speculation as to what will happen. I'm guessing that Carnival will post all of this information some time within the next 60 days. 


I agree with your 60 days comment, with the only difference being I think they will announce it 60 days prior to resuming cruises from US ports, which is still a LONG ways away. 

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3 hours ago, PhillyFan33579 said:


I agree with your 60 days comment, with the only difference being I think they will announce it 60 days prior to resuming cruises from US ports, which is still a LONG ways away. 

Unless Carnival changes the most recent information they've posted (which is certainly possible), there are a handful of cruises scheduled to set sail in April, most notably the inaugural sailing of the Mardi Gras on April 24th. If (and that's a big "if") there are no further changes, the April sailings are not that far away. 

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23 minutes ago, beachbum53 said:

Unless Carnival changes the most recent information they've posted (which is certainly possible), there are a handful of cruises scheduled to set sail in April, most notably the inaugural sailing of the Mardi Gras on April 24th. If (and that's a big "if") there are no further changes, the April sailings are not that far away. 


The chances of Carnival (or any cruise line) cruising from a US port in April is 0 percent. 

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8 minutes ago, beachbum53 said:

Your optimism is underwhelming. 😁


I am just dealing with reality. I am friends with dozens of Carnival crew members and everyone, without exception, says they have not heard anything about crew members returning to work any time soon. I am simply repeating what I have been told countless times over the last few weeks...Carnival is not close to resuming cruises in the US for the forseeable future. 

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11 hours ago, zqvol said:

IMO by the time the  CDC allows cruises out of  the US there will not be any need for special protocols.

I wonder if that statement should be looked at as optimistic or pessimistic. It is optimistic that he foresees no need for protocols. It is pessimistic in the sense that it implies that it will be a long time until there are cruises allowed.

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Since Operation Warp Speed has turned into Operation Molasses Drip, achieving any sort of herd immunity or cruising with all pax vaxxed will be a much harder goal to accomplish.

 

So cruiselines will have to wait a few months longer before implementing their protocols, at least the lines that can survive the extended down time without any income.

 

I saw this posting from Cruise Critic this morning:  https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=5806&cache=reset&et_cid=3392966&et_rid=255601258&et_referrer=vantage-travel-june-2018

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1 hour ago, Don Kehote said:

You are free to choose that. 

That seems to be a lot of hoops and restrictions to having a good time. The nature of the beast is that people are closer together in many areas of the ship. The virus was politicized and disinformation one way or the other seems rampant. They are also going to add many surveillance cameras on the ships whatever happens. Where does the line cross from liberty and control? I know. Cruising is fun.  

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I suspect the lines are going to require you to have a so-called "vaccine passport."  The very last thing the companies want is another spread of COVID on a ship and having CDC shut them down again.  I don't think they could survive another one.  If that is the course they want/need to take, then cruises won't be able to start up again anytime soon.  The states are having a rough time getting the vaccine out there.

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16 hours ago, zqvol said:

IMO by the time the  CDC allows cruises out of  the US there will not be any need for special protocols.

There are many who will say this is the exact strategy some or all cruise lines are taking for the North American market.

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1 hour ago, SNJCruisers said:

Then you won't be cruising for awhile.  Better research alternative vacation methods.

If they require vaccination, then maybe? Requiring a mask isn't going to stop me from going. I'm more concerned about how distancing requirements will make it more difficult to get a seat at the bar or attend events onboard. 

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4 minutes ago, Jamesatgsu said:

If they require vaccination, then maybe? Requiring a mask isn't going to stop me from going. I'm more concerned about how distancing requirements will make it more difficult to get a seat at the bar or attend events onboard. 

Some on these boards have also wondered how distancing requirements will work on elevators.

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1 hour ago, ontheweb said:

Some on these boards have also wondered how distancing requirements will work on elevators.

I use the stairs primarily on most cruises. But of course that isn't an option for lots of cruisers, and it can be a pain depending on ship layout and room location. 

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3 hours ago, ontheweb said:

Some on these boards have also wondered how distancing requirements will work on elevators.

Four to an elevator.  Only exception is if your nuclear family cruising is larger.  The problem of course will be with enforcement.  If vaccination is a requirement to cruise and wearing a mask while walking around the ship is also required, then distancing would be a lower priority.

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