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16 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

I'm never quite sure whether reading comprehension or cognitive dissonance is the problem here.

You certainly aren't the only one.

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2 hours ago, Fouremco said:

You certainly aren't the only one.

Agreed.  Seems many won't give up the idea that we are waiting for X to cancell cruises in a timely manner.

Still hoping to spend a normal summer on Vancouver Island.  Miss our friends

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16 hours ago, markeb said:

This is not a one liner process. No, an internet forum isn't the place to actually solve something. Too many posts that sound like gotcha trolling. But a few that suggest this is something you've thought about.

In this case, step one is defining the problem...

 

If that doesn't interest you, then I don't know why you keep commenting.

 

You are largely correct in much of the body of your post,   I didn't paste all of it here though.

 

I'm posting on this topic because about 6 months ago I mentioned in one of the PVSA threads that perhaps a feasibility study was needed much as you have referenced.   That did not go over well with our posters who have strong professional allegiances,   and respectfully so.   A lot of posters didn't even want to discuss the possibility of discussing it and the flimliness of the responses became comical,   not like Monty Python as you think ,   more like Benny Hill.

 

The Officer and Gentleman who came to my webside rescue was the marine engineer who planned and oversaw the redevelopment of the U.S. Port of Puerto Rico,   some years ago.     He supported my idea for a feasibility study,  despite the barriers..   You are only the second poster I can remember who thinks that is a good idea. 

 

The comment about the US Army is disrespectful for alot of people and and I hope you didn't really mean that.    If you've been to Omaha Beach you would agree.   My FIL is  Normandy Vet and is still alive at 95.   His unit was among the first to reach Germany,   and then they were called back to defend the northern flanks of the Bulge.  He spent his December in the Ardennes that year.   We proudly display his Bronze Medal and Presidential Unit citation with his other medals on our Fireplace Mantle.

 

I'm not at Step one you are.   I'm at the step where I'd like somebody with a stronger law background than mine who can look at the SCOTUS argument #1 I threw out there.    The definition of passenger has changed alot in the last century plus and it seems that that may be a legal basis to challenge the law.

 

The fact that multiple Senators from multiple states are mobilizing speaks volumes.  This is why I am still posting.

 

I thought that there were 2 chances for a change to PVSA,  Slim and None and Slim had left town.   

 

It looks like Slim might be back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by JRG
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6 minutes ago, JRG said:

The comment about the US Army is disrespectful for alot of people and and I hope you didn't really mean that.    If you've been to Omaha Beach you would agree.   My FIL is  Normandy Vet and is still alive at 95.   His unit was among the first to reach Germany,   and then they were called back to defend the northern flanks of the Bulge.  He spent his December in the Ardennes that year.   We proudly display his Bronze Medal and Presidential Unit citation with his other medals on our Fireplace Mantle.

 

Sorry. I spent too much time in the Army. Once you get to a certain level, the importance of defining the problem gets hammered into you to the point you can never forget it. That sentence lacked context in my original post.

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9 minutes ago, JRG said:

The fact that multiple Senators from multiple states are mobilizing speaks volumes.  This is why I am still posting.

 

I thought that there were 2 chances for a change to PVSA,  Slim and None and Slim had left town.   

 

It looks like Slim might be back.

 

I think concentrating on and starting with the PVSA may be the wrong approach, frankly, but it may not be. It will take much longer, but some serious research on the issues would make sense. If it's ultimately bridges too far, at least there would be material going through it. If CLIA and the like hammer on just changing the PVSA, they will get results they won't like, IMHO.

 

I also don't really have the time or necessarily the interest to dig into what parts of the reality we see today are part of the actual law and require Congressional action to change, and what parts are in the CFR and involve the federal rules making process. And I'm not an attorney. The one thing that seems on the surface most amenable to change would be to remove the "distant foreign port" language. At least then a cruise from Hawaii could stop in Mexico enroute to San Diego, and most likely (immigration and visa codes) not require a change in visa status for the crew. Every step beyond that gets more complicated.

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Does everyone understand that the first step is for the CDC to put out rules that clarify what is required before test cruises can begin to be planned?

Forget the Jones Act or PVSA.  The initials important today are CDC, WHO and COVID.  

The CDC and the WHO want to see COVID cases drop significantly before they will consider codifying the guidelines.  Will vaccines drop the numbers?  Sure.  When will enough people be vaccinated so that the CDC is not scared that people on cruise ships will become super spreaders?  Since not until summer or early fall is suggested for a majority of the population to be vaccinated; would that likely be when things resume?

Alaska for major cruiselines in 2021 - Fouremco said it well.  That is dead.

Has nothing to do with laws.  Only disease and transmission of that disease.

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34 minutes ago, JRG said:

 

You are largely correct in much of the body of your post,   I didn't paste all of it here though.

 

I'm posting on this topic because about 6 months ago I mentioned in one of the PVSA threads that perhaps a feasibility study was needed much as you have referenced.   That did not go over well with our posters who have strong professional allegiances,   and respectfully so.   A lot of posters didn't even want to discuss the possibility of discussing it and the flimliness of the responses became comical,   not like Monty Python as you think ,   more like Benny Hill.

 

The Officer and Gentleman who came to my webside rescue was the marine engineer who planned and oversaw the redevelopment of the U.S. Port of Puerto Rico,   some years ago.     He supported my idea for a feasibility study,  despite the barriers..   You are only the second poster I can remember who thinks that is a good idea. 

 

The comment about the US Army is disrespectful for alot of people and and I hope you didn't really mean that.    If you've been to Omaha Beach you would agree.   My FIL is  Normandy Vet and is still alive at 95.   His unit was among the first to reach Germany,   and then they were called back to defend the northern flanks of the Bulge.  He spent his December in the Ardennes that year.   We proudly display his Bronze Medal and Presidential Unit citation with his other medals on our Fireplace Mantle.

 

I'm not at Step one you are.   I'm at the step where I'd like somebody with a stronger law background than mine who can look at the SCOTUS argument #1 I threw out there.    The definition of passenger has changed alot in the last century plus and it seems that that may be a legal basis to challenge the law.

 

The fact that multiple Senators from multiple states are mobilizing speaks volumes.  This is why I am still posting.

 

I thought that there were 2 chances for a change to PVSA,  Slim and None and Slim had left town.   

 

It looks like Slim might be back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 If you've been to Omaha Beach you would agree.   My FIL is  Normandy Vet and is still alive at 95.   His unit was among the first to reach Germany,   and then they were called back to defend the northern flanks of the Bulge.  He spent his December in the Ardennes that year.  THE single most moving experience of my life when I did this trip.  Hired a private driver who was a retired WWII history professor, he and his wife drove me around for 2 full days, was simply an incredible experience!  God bless your FIL for his heroic service!!!  

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49 minutes ago, Arizona Wildcat said:

Does everyone understand that the first step is for the CDC to put out rules that clarify what is required before test cruises can begin to be planned?

 

Yes

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1 hour ago, Arizona Wildcat said:

Does everyone understand that the first step is for the CDC to put out rules that clarify what is required before test cruises can begin to be planned?

Forget the Jones Act or PVSA.  The initials important today are CDC, WHO and COVID.  

The CDC and the WHO want to see COVID cases drop significantly before they will consider codifying the guidelines.  Will vaccines drop the numbers?  Sure.  When will enough people be vaccinated so that the CDC is not scared that people on cruise ships will become super spreaders?  Since not until summer or early fall is suggested for a majority of the population to be vaccinated; would that likely be when things resume?

Alaska for major cruiselines in 2021 - Fouremco said it well.  That is dead.

Has nothing to do with laws.  Only disease and transmission of that disease.

 

I'm not sure about JRG, but I'm asking long term. If the CDC lifted the US restrictions, and Canada did nothing, then the PVSA and the assorted issues related to it would apply. But yes, for this year, if nothing changes with the virus and the health restrictions, then this is a moot discussion. And I really don't anticipate anything changing enough to impact the Alaska or New England cruise season. But oddly enough, that might give an opportunity to at least discuss changes for the future.

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1 hour ago, LGW59 said:

THE single most moving experience of my life when I did this trip.  Hired a private driver who was a retired WWII history professor, he and his wife drove me around for 2 full days, was simply an incredible experience!  God bless your FIL for his heroic service!!!

 

I've been to four Arlington funerals, in uniform. One for one of my own Soldiers. Those were pretty moving, and a couple of them pretty devastating. But NOTHING compares to standing in the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer. 

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5 minutes ago, markeb said:

 

I've been to four Arlington funerals, in uniform. One for one of my own Soldiers. Those were pretty moving, and a couple of them pretty devastating. But NOTHING compares to standing in the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer. 

The US Flag is at half staff as I was here on the day that Barbara Bush passed away.

 

image.png.5fd48f95a70f8f6fb430524c2d4bd8e2.png

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45 minutes ago, markeb said:

 

I'm not sure about JRG, but I'm asking long term. If the CDC lifted the US restrictions, and Canada did nothing, then the PVSA and the assorted issues related to it would apply. But yes, for this year, if nothing changes with the virus and the health restrictions, then this is a moot discussion. And I really don't anticipate anything changing enough to impact the Alaska or New England cruise season. But oddly enough, that might give an opportunity to at least discuss changes for the future.

I wonder if by the end of summer, things virus wise would have improved enough that if the PVSA was changed and the CDC cooperated, then perhaps there could be some NE cruises without a stop in Canada, as well as potentially some west coast California cruises that did not necessarily go all the way up to Alaska (nor stopping in Canada either).   Not placing a lot of hope in that direction, but thinking outside the box - it could possibly work.

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12 minutes ago, phoenix_dream said:

I wonder if by the end of summer, things virus wise would have improved enough that if the PVSA was changed and the CDC cooperated, then perhaps there could be some NE cruises without a stop in Canada, as well as potentially some west coast California cruises that did not necessarily go all the way up to Alaska (nor stopping in Canada either).   Not placing a lot of hope in that direction, but thinking outside the box - it could possibly work.

Unfortunately, those are three very big "ifs", and the likelihood of all three coming to fruition is very remote. 

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2 hours ago, markeb said:

I spent too much time in the Army.

 

I spent too much time eating donuts behind a desk playing with a spreadsheet.

 

I didn't spend enough time thanking people like you for your dedicated military service.

 

Thank you.

 

My FIL and his brothers from Old Hickory would salute you as well I'm quite sure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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47 minutes ago, phoenix_dream said:

I wonder if by the end of summer, things virus wise would have improved enough that if the PVSA was changed and the CDC cooperated, then perhaps there could be some NE cruises without a stop in Canada, as well as potentially some west coast California cruises that did not necessarily go all the way up to Alaska (nor stopping in Canada either).   Not placing a lot of hope in that direction, but thinking outside the box - it could possibly work.

Again, as I read the law, and the use of Executive Orders, the only way to get the PVSA waived to allow these cruises to go this year is through Congress, and I don't hold my breath for that.

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5 hours ago, markeb said:

 

I'm not sure about JRG, but I'm asking long term. If the CDC lifted the US restrictions, and Canada did nothing, then the PVSA and the assorted issues related to it would apply. But yes, for this year, if nothing changes with the virus and the health restrictions, then this is a moot discussion. And I really don't anticipate anything changing enough to impact the Alaska or New England cruise season. But oddly enough, that might give an opportunity to at least discuss changes for the future.

Considering the talk about the US potentially requiring negative tests for internal flights, I do not see the new administration reducing requirements for cruises to restart and may potentially tighten things even more.

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1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

Again, as I read the law, and the use of Executive Orders, the only way to get the PVSA waived to allow these cruises to go this year is through Congress, and I don't hold my breath for that.

 

I think any change is long term. There are benefits to incremental change, but you probably wouldn't see big changes if you do increments.

 

Do you know if the distant foreign port requirement is actually in law? There are a lot of ifs in what I'm about to say, but if that's CFR versus USC, then it could be waived. And longer cruises (obviously would require the CDC to allow greater than 7 day cruises) could go from Alaska to say San Diego with a stop in Mexico, then reverse without the immigration issues. Ditto in theory up the New England coast from the New York area, reversing down the coast to maybe Bermuda, and ending in Fort Lauderdale (that's pretty crazy, but it wouldn't require immigration changes). Turning what were 7 day itineraries into 10-14 itineraries only works for a year or two, and depends on pent up demand exceeding logic. BUT, if it's in the law (USC), with everything else on the agenda, I don't see if happening this year, and certainly not before the typical end of the Alaska and New England seasons. This term would be possible, if there's a push for it. Going beyond the distant port requirement would bring in all the other, more complicated, and probably less popular, changes.

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5 hours ago, markeb said:

Do you know if the distant foreign port requirement is actually in law?

As far as I can see, the "distant" foreign port requirement is an exemption granted to the law.

 

The applicable section of USC is:  https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/46/55103

 

Which states that transportation of passengers between US ports can only be done by US owned, and US documented, for coastwise trade, vessels, period. 

 

A "coastwise endorsement" is described in: 46 USC 12112

 

I.e., the law does not allow an "open jaw" or one port to another cruise at all.  

 

The "distant foreign port" rule is found in 19 CFR 480.a, as is the ability to have more than one US port call in a cruise.

 

So, while the CFR does grant leeway in enforcing the law of the PVSA (by granting exceptions for "distant" foreign ports", I'm not sure (not a lawyer) whether a CFR could be made to drop the foreign port requirement completely. And, a CFR requires a "request for information" period and a review period after that, before it becomes final, so short term I don't see the timeline working out for this year's Alaska season.  As for removing the foreign port requirement totally via CFR, I don't see this as happening as this would change the intent of the law, which can only be done by Congress.

 

 

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11 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

Again, as I read the law, and the use of Executive Orders, the only way to get the PVSA waived to allow these cruises to go this year is through Congress, and I don't hold my breath for that.

 

You're probably correct, but it wouldn't be the first time an executive order would be used to just ignore the law.

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11 hours ago, nocl said:

Considering the talk about the US potentially requiring negative tests for internal flights, I do not see the new administration reducing requirements for cruises to restart and may potentially tighten things even more.

Sadly, I agree.  Unfortunate that they are potentially willing to just completely kill an industry that provides so much financial support to several states, and employs tens of thousands of citizens either directly or indirectly (hotels, taxi, Uber, restaurants, travel agents etc.) .  IMHO it is more about the optics than the actual safety.  But regardless of the party, optics always seem to take the top priority.

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17 hours ago, markeb said:

 

I'm not sure about JRG, but I'm asking long term. If the CDC lifted the US restrictions, and Canada did nothing, then the PVSA and the assorted issues related to it would apply. But yes, for this year, if nothing changes with the virus and the health restrictions, then this is a moot discussion. And I really don't anticipate anything changing enough to impact the Alaska or New England cruise season. But oddly enough, that might give an opportunity to at least discuss changes for the future.

Absolutely agree.  It is a moot point for 2021.  Both because of the legislative time line and the time required to get the ships ready to cruise.  

You are one of the few suggesting a change for 2022 and beyond.  On that a definate possibility.

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5 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

I.e., the law does not allow an "open jaw" or one port to another cruise at all.  

 

The "distant foreign port" rule is found in 19 CFR 480.a, as is the ability to have more than one US port call in a cruise.

 

So, while the CFR does grant leeway in enforcing the law of the PVSA (by granting exceptions for "distant" foreign ports", I'm not sure (not a lawyer) whether a CFR could be made to drop the foreign port requirement completely. And, a CFR requires a "request for information" period and a review period after that, before it becomes final, so short term I don't see the timeline working out for this year's Alaska season.  As for removing the foreign port requirement totally via CFR, I don't see this as happening as this would change the intent of the law, which can only be done by Congress.

 

Interesting read, honestly. If you read the actually (very short, BTW) section of the US Code, you're actually left shaking your head with how the definitions in the CFR could be interpreted as contradicting rather than clarifying the USC. I'm not a lawyer, either!

 

With the huge immigration and tax implication of simply removing the foreign port requirement, I don't see that happening at all. And the cruise lines that are sort of suggesting it would back off in a hurry. Allowing transport of passengers between ports without a distant foreign port stop, but requiring a foreign stop, might be palatable, and that might be doable through the federal rules making process, or possibly waived temporarily by executive order, but the one thing I'm sure of with that is if you ask two attorneys, you'll get three opinions on whether that's legal...

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29 minutes ago, Arizona Wildcat said:

Absolutely agree.  It is a moot point for 2021.  Both because of the legislative time line and the time required to get the ships ready to cruise.  

You are one of the few suggesting a change for 2022 and beyond.  On that a definate possibility.

 

I'm pretty sure the cruise lines don't want to simply drop the collective requirements that are referred to as the PVSA and open up the can of worms associated with them. But I followed the links in chengkp75's post, and am now fascinated on some bizarre level. Because almost nothing collectively referred to as the PVSA around here and in various pressers and the like is actually in 46 U.S. Code § 55103.Transportation of passengers. That (the actual governing law), states only:

 

(a) In General.—Except as otherwise provided in this chapter or chapter 121 of this title, a vessel may not transport passengers between ports or places in the United States to which the coastwise laws apply, either directly or via a foreign port, unless the vessel—


(1) is wholly owned by citizens of the United States for purposes of engaging in the coastwise trade;

 

and

 

(2) has been issued a certificate of documentation with a coastwise endorsement under chapter 121 or is exempt from documentation but would otherwise be eligible for such a certificate and endorsement.

 

(b) Penalty.—
The penalty for violating subsection (a) is $300 for each passenger transported and landed.

 

The penalty clause is subject to another law that increases penalties according to inflation, but those changes don't get posted back into other sections of the code.

 

Other than the documentation piece, which deals with US ownership requirements, pretty much everything else that gets collectively referred to as the PVSA is actually in the CFR, i.e., regulation, not Congressionally passed law. And, in fact, the law would appear to expressly prohibit the foreign port calls and distant port calls that the CFR defines and allows...

 

That's even without touching on the visa and immigration impacts of change. Which are a totally different chapter of the USC.

 

No, there's not enough time in 2021 with everything else going on to make any serious change here. But it could start if there's any will.

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4 minutes ago, markeb said:

That's even without touching on the visa and immigration impacts of change. Which are a totally different chapter of the USC.

Yes, and the requisite H2-B visas are limited in number and by country of origin, by statute, (and India and Indonesia are not included), have some processing time constraints (at least a couple of months), and hold that the wages earned by the foreign workers must be equivalent to what a US worker would get in a similar position.  Also, the company must actively recruit in the US, and may not deny a US worker if they apply.  I believe this is all in USC, not CFR, so there is no shortcut to changing this, either.

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2 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

Yes, and the requisite H2-B visas are limited in number and by country of origin, by statute, (and India and Indonesia are not included), have some processing time constraints (at least a couple of months), and hold that the wages earned by the foreign workers must be equivalent to what a US worker would get in a similar position.  Also, the company must actively recruit in the US, and may not deny a US worker if they apply.  I believe this is all in USC, not CFR, so there is no shortcut to changing this, either.

 

And in 2021, you still have significant unemployment in the US service industries...

 

MAYBE better arguments for engineering and technical staff, but that would be a fun hearing explaining why there's a shortage of employees in the  US hotel and restaurant industry to fill those rolls on the ships!

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