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Cruise ship will be fully vaccinated..?


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2 hours ago, deec said:

You guys should go snorkeling I heard it was once of best on our WC...we were sorry we didn't  do that instead because the snorkelers even go to see the dragons briefly without the LONG HOT WALK!!!

That's right the long, hot, muddy walk is not necessary.  When arriving and walking off the dock, turn right and go through the locals handicraft displays.  Go over the little bridge to the watering hole.  Where most of the lizards are anyway and where the two mile hike ends.  Just remember, if you don't see the skinny little kids with sticks you have no "protection"......

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2 hours ago, deec said:

You guys should go snorkeling I heard it was once of best on our WC...we were sorry we didn't  do that instead because the snorkelers even go to see the dragons briefly without the LONG HOT WALK!!!

 

Thanks Dee - I recall now that they had an optional snorkelling excursion to a beach. OMG! just checked our tours from 2020 and they wanted about CAN $200 for 4 hrs - tender to a pink beach with 2 hrs snorkelling and tender back.

 

A pool day is looking even better.

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50 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

 

Thanks Dee - I recall now that they had an optional snorkelling excursion to a beach. OMG! just checked our tours from 2020 and they wanted about CAN $200 for 4 hrs - tender to a pink beach with 2 hrs snorkelling and tender back.

 

A pool day is looking even better.

After walking around Nuka Hiva, we headed to a sandy beach with warm water and very few people.  No snorkeling, but a great way to spend an hour on our first tropical stop.  Fortunately it was a 10 minute walk to the dock that the tenders used.  No drinks served  by lovely Viking staff though!

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On 3/25/2021 at 12:39 PM, OnTheJourney said:

LOL..right up there with PhD = "Piled Hip Deep" . I have an MM degree...you know...those plain chocolate candies???  😁 No need to elaborate on what BS degree might connote. 

I have an MS - midway between BS and PhD. 

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On 3/27/2021 at 10:54 PM, Twitchly said:

I’m not concerned about catching it.

 

But what about un-vaccinated catching it and the possible consequences, like having the cruise terminated? We don't know if the vaccinated can spread the disease. Yes, crowd immunity and all that but I think that cruise lines not requiring a vaccination will be not being reaching the levels of vaccination need to reach that point because the un-vaccinated will be flocking to those lines.

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1 hour ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

But what about un-vaccinated catching it and the possible consequences, like having the cruise terminated? We don't know if the vaccinated can spread the disease. Yes, crowd immunity and all that but I think that cruise lines not requiring a vaccination will be not being reaching the levels of vaccination need to reach that point because the un-vaccinated will be flocking to those lines.

We can all guess about what if... will they... can we...?  Bottom line is if cruising starts back you will have to decide if you want to take the risk or stay home.  I totally understand people that don't want to take the risk.  I hope that people will understand that I probably will take the risk.  If they don't sail that is OK with me also.  I will get my money back and do some thing else.

I'm not sure that guessing what will happen months down the road will help any one to make a decision today.

JMHO

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2 hours ago, Porcupine 52 said:

I'm not sure that guessing what will happen months down the road will help any one to make a decision today.

 

 For me, spending some time thinking about the downsides now is a lot more helpful than waiting. I know that I can't possibly predict what is going to happen but thinking about it helps me decide what will be acceptable and to be prepared for the negatives should they actually occur.

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3 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

 For me, spending some time thinking about the downsides now is a lot more helpful than waiting. I know that I can't possibly predict what is going to happen but thinking about it helps me decide what will be acceptable and to be prepared for the negatives should they actually occur.

Better to plan and be prepared than to wait and be surprised. 

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2 hours ago, Porcupine 52 said:

We can all guess about what if... will they... can we...?  Bottom line is if cruising starts back you will have to decide if you want to take the risk or stay home.  I totally understand people that don't want to take the risk.  I hope that people will understand that I probably will take the risk.  If they don't sail that is OK with me also.  I will get my money back and do some thing else.

I'm not sure that guessing what will happen months down the road will help any one to make a decision today.

JMHO

 

Unfortunately, Viking's failure to require mandatory vaccinations may not only be indroducing a single risk.

 

Requiring mandatory vaccinations is an easily implemented and cost effective risk mitigation, which when coupled with the previously announced Health and Safety Program, I believe would reduce the COVID risk to ALARP.

 

Since vaccinations are being proven to be effective, by not requiring them, in my experience, I do not belive Viking are operating at ALARP for the COVID risk. In my opinion, this is a significant departure from pre-COVID practices, where they led the industry. If not reducing the COVID risk to ALARP, it also makes me wonder what other operational risks have not been reduced to ALARP.

 

Therefore, our decision to sail with Viking again is not based on a single risk, but potentially their entire Safety Management System.  

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13 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

 

Unfortunately, Viking's failure to require mandatory vaccinations may not only be indroducing a single risk.

 

Requiring mandatory vaccinations is an easily implemented and cost effective risk mitigation, which when coupled with the previously announced Health and Safety Program, I believe would reduce the COVID risk to ALARP.

 

Since vaccinations are being proven to be effective, by not requiring them, in my experience, I do not belive Viking are operating at ALARP for the COVID risk. In my opinion, this is a significant departure from pre-COVID practices, where they led the industry. If not reducing the COVID risk to ALARP, it also makes me wonder what other operational risks have not been reduced to ALARP.

 

Therefore, our decision to sail with Viking again is not based on a single risk, but potentially their entire Safety Management System.  

It just seems to me it is way to early to make any kind of judgement..... But  that is just me

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We are all frustrated to some degree and are all daydreaming about the day we might get back to things we love.  The only frame of reference any of us has is what we have done before.  When we get back to cruising we hope for the best.  There is no real way to plan for much of anything at present as we don't know when Viking will resume sailing, we don't know what onboard will be like, we don't know for sure any itineraries at all.  The ones shown are from way back in the "good old days".  But still, I like to daydream about spending another 4+ months on "my ship".... 🍸

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We will do a gradual approach, initially cruising close to home, for easy return if the cruise gets terminated early.

 

As a baby step, we plan to spend a few days next month on Catalina.  A 1 1/2 hour cruise away 🙂  The danger there is getting gored by a bison :-0

 

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4 hours ago, Porcupine 52 said:

It just seems to me it is way to early to make any kind of judgement..... But  that is just me

 

A good point. If my concerns were limited to COVID and/or vaccinations, I would definitely agree that it is way too early to be making judgements, as the COVID situaton will no doubt change substantially over the next few months.

 

However, my concerns are based on my opinion of how Viking integrates Risk Mitigation strategies into their Safety Management System (SMS). Since I developed a new SMS, based on current best practices, including risk management and human factors, for a fleet of over 30 ships, it is a subject matter where I have a little experience.

 

As customers, we rarely get an opportunity of seeing how a company really lives safety, so I use every opportunity to assist in rating them. On our previous cruise, Viking scored extremely high, both in safe operation and crew treatment.

 

Similar to Jim, we eagerly await and look forward to enjoying another 4 months on a Viking ship - the new Viking Neptune, and sincerely hope that Viking will eventually incorporate mandatory vaccinations to the Health & Safety Plan, thereby reducing the risk to ALARP. However, if this has not happened by November 21, we will be cancelling the cruise.

 

Personally, based on my experience, I don't consider this as being judmental, more akin to prudence. 

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Posted (edited)

Relative to how we're dealing with the virus at present - except for continued vaccination - I believe we are slightly 'veering off course', as it were,  in the US at least, if we want to move towards resuming cruising - or lots of other activities for that matter. I say this in reference to opening up too soon, relaxing mandates, etc. I totally understand the need and desire to do so, but foresee a huge wave of new infections coming. Is there a general misunderstanding or else a selfish willingess to disregard the fact that vaccinated can still contract the virus and hence be carriers and spreaders? In theory, if a cruise ship full of pax and crew are all vaccinated, there should be no problems while onboard. But the potential problems start to exponentiate quickly once you add shore excursions, etc. into the mix. We have a long way to go. Trying to stay positive, but I truly wonder if cruising will resume at any sort of normal levels even as we move into '22. I believe something like a world cruise or any extended length journey that visits so many different areas should probably be the very last thing to resume. Sounds like a logical approach anyway. I still like the idea of nothing over 7 days to start. 

Edited by OnTheJourney
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14 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

We are all frustrated to some degree and are all daydreaming about the day we might get back to things we love.  The only frame of reference any of us has is what we have done before.  When we get back to cruising we hope for the best.  There is no real way to plan for much of anything at present as we don't know when Viking will resume sailing, we don't know what onboard will be like, we don't know for sure any itineraries at all.  The ones shown are from way back in the "good old days".  But still, I like to daydream about spending another 4+ months on "my ship".... 🍸

The one thing I'm sure of is that if the Cruise industry doesn't get back to sailing again  we will not have to worry about itineraries or any thing else.  One more year shut down will probably finish them off.  And Viking has a balloon payment coming to people  that have booked cruises that  will be canceled, along with some new ships on the way.  Maybe we all need to learn to speak Chinese?

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11 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

 

A good point. If my concerns were limited to COVID and/or vaccinations, I would definitely agree that it is way too early to be making judgements, as the COVID situaton will no doubt change substantially over the next few months.

 

However, my concerns are based on my opinion of how Viking integrates Risk Mitigation strategies into their Safety Management System (SMS). Since I developed a new SMS, based on current best practices, including risk management and human factors, for a fleet of over 30 ships, it is a subject matter where I have a little experience.

 

As customers, we rarely get an opportunity of seeing how a company really lives safety, so I use every opportunity to assist in rating them. On our previous cruise, Viking scored extremely high, both in safe operation and crew treatment.

 

Similar to Jim, we eagerly await and look forward to enjoying another 4 months on a Viking ship - the new Viking Neptune, and sincerely hope that Viking will eventually incorporate mandatory vaccinations to the Health & Safety Plan, thereby reducing the risk to ALARP. However, if this has not happened by November 21, we will be cancelling the cruise.

 

Personally, based on my experience, I don't consider this as being judmental, more akin to prudence. 

Are all Maritime safety standards based on ISO? I was a Quality Assurance Manager for a manufacturer dealing mainly in medical devices, and the ISO processes and procedures did not leave much "wiggle" room. Do you think ISO will be addressing Risk Management for the Maritime Industry in these uncertain Covid times?

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2 hours ago, gbldcl said:

Are all Maritime safety standards based on ISO? I was a Quality Assurance Manager for a manufacturer dealing mainly in medical devices, and the ISO processes and procedures did not leave much "wiggle" room. Do you think ISO will be addressing Risk Management for the Maritime Industry in these uncertain Covid times?

 

The Marine Industry does not use ISO, but has an equivalent, which is based on the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, which is mandated by the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention. Therefore, each Government that is signatory to SOLAS, must implement laws requiring all SOLAS ships to implement and maintain a safety management system based on the ISM Code. My last company only sailed domestic routes, so our participation was voluntary.

 

Based on my limited knowledge of ISO, I would say that ISO 9001 is significantly more detailed than the ISM Code. At its most basic level, the ISM Code require you to document what you do, and do what you documented. 

 

To provide an example - in 1998 my company voluntarily implemented a Safety Management System (SMS) based on the ISM Code. It was rather basic, as in reality all we did was document what we did. Didn't significantly enhance our safe operation, mostly ensured we operated consistently.

 

Many cargo ships still operate with a basic SMS, but many passenger ships (cruise ships & ferries) have developed updated SMS's that incorporate best industry practices - risk management, human factors, closed-loop communications, simulators, Bridge Team audits, etc. First cruise line to develop best practice, I was aware of, was P&O/Princess/Cunard, which developed a Bridge Team Command & Control Policy and built an extensive simulator complex outside Amsterdam. They used a British Company - Wrightway Training to assist with the training and policy development. An interesting note - when the Costa ship sank, Carnival introduced the procedures across all brands. 

 

When I returned to the ships as Senior Master, I started to develop a similar program with my Masters, before the company finally jumped on the bandwagon. Shortly after losing a ship, the company also hired Wrightway, who provided Human Factors training and Risk Assessment training to all Masters & Deck Officers, which was later provided to the Engineers. They purchased simulators, so each Bridge Team can attend training at least every year.

 

I was then tasked with developing a Level 2 Operations Manual for Deck Operations that incorporated all best practice, requiring every operation to be risk assessed. Check lists were developed for all critical operations. They also included closed loop communications, operational parameters for weather, operational status, limits of approach and a whole host more. This standard was well in excess of the requirements of the ISM Code and well beyond the knowledge and experience of most of the Flag State Inspectors we dealt with.

 

Based on my limited knowledge of ISO 9001, I believe the final product I developed was consistent with that standard.

 

When considering risk management, at the Level 2 Document, I developed standards for a fleet of > 30 ships, from 2.100 pax down to a couple of hundred. Therefore, the Level 2 was at a fairly high level and it provided standards for the Senior Masters of each vessel to risk assess each operation and document in the Level 3 manual, or ship specific manual.

 

So while risk assessment isn't overly common in the marine industry (yet) it is being increasingly used by the top shipping lines, especially cruise ships & large Ro/Pax (ferries).

 

With your knowledge of ISO, hopefully this will provide a brief summary of the marine standards.

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9 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

 

The Marine Industry does not use ISO, but has an equivalent, which is based on the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, which is mandated by the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention. Therefore, each Government that is signatory to SOLAS, must implement laws requiring all SOLAS ships to implement and maintain a safety management system based on the ISM Code. My last company only sailed domestic routes, so our participation was voluntary.

 

Based on my limited knowledge of ISO, I would say that ISO 9001 is significantly more detailed than the ISM Code. At its most basic level, the ISM Code require you to document what you do, and do what you documented. 

 

To provide an example - in 1998 my company voluntarily implemented a Safety Management System (SMS) based on the ISM Code. It was rather basic, as in reality all we did was document what we did. Didn't significantly enhance our safe operation, mostly ensured we operated consistently.

 

Many cargo ships still operate with a basic SMS, but many passenger ships (cruise ships & ferries) have developed updated SMS's that incorporate best industry practices - risk management, human factors, closed-loop communications, simulators, Bridge Team audits, etc. First cruise line to develop best practice, I was aware of, was P&O/Princess/Cunard, which developed a Bridge Team Command & Control Policy and built an extensive simulator complex outside Amsterdam. They used a British Company - Wrightway Training to assist with the training and policy development. An interesting note - when the Costa ship sank, Carnival introduced the procedures across all brands. 

 

When I returned to the ships as Senior Master, I started to develop a similar program with my Masters, before the company finally jumped on the bandwagon. Shortly after losing a ship, the company also hired Wrightway, who provided Human Factors training and Risk Assessment training to all Masters & Deck Officers, which was later provided to the Engineers. They purchased simulators, so each Bridge Team can attend training at least every year.

 

I was then tasked with developing a Level 2 Operations Manual for Deck Operations that incorporated all best practice, requiring every operation to be risk assessed. Check lists were developed for all critical operations. They also included closed loop communications, operational parameters for weather, operational status, limits of approach and a whole host more. This standard was well in excess of the requirements of the ISM Code and well beyond the knowledge and experience of most of the Flag State Inspectors we dealt with.

 

Based on my limited knowledge of ISO 9001, I believe the final product I developed was consistent with that standard.

 

When considering risk management, at the Level 2 Document, I developed standards for a fleet of > 30 ships, from 2.100 pax down to a couple of hundred. Therefore, the Level 2 was at a fairly high level and it provided standards for the Senior Masters of each vessel to risk assess each operation and document in the Level 3 manual, or ship specific manual.

 

So while risk assessment isn't overly common in the marine industry (yet) it is being increasingly used by the top shipping lines, especially cruise ships & large Ro/Pax (ferries).

 

With your knowledge of ISO, hopefully this will provide a brief summary of the marine standards.

Wow. Thank you for your amazingly thorough answer. I learned a lot. Yes, ISO 9001 is the basis for manufacturing. Being in medical devices we were held to ISO 13485 which is like 9001 on steroids.Throw in FDA standards and regulations and you have government "assistance" at its finest.

 

 

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15 hours ago, OnTheJourney said:

fact that vaccinated can still contract the virus and hence be carriers and spreaders? I

Ignore - a reply abandoned. 

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On 3/29/2021 at 2:13 PM, Peregrina651 said:

... We don't know if the vaccinated can spread the disease. Yes, crowd immunity and all that but I think that cruise lines not requiring a vaccination will be not being reaching the levels of vaccination need to reach that point because the un-vaccinated will be flocking to those lines.

The latest research out of Israel, which is months ahead of the US in vaccinations, is those vaccinated do not spread the disease. The research only pertains to Pfizer but it is likely the same for Moderna. This further re-enforces the importance of  Viking requiring all passengers be vaccinated.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, rbslos18 said:

The latest research out of Israel, which is months ahead of the US in vaccinations, is those vaccinated do not spread the disease. The research only pertains to Pfizer but it is likely the same for Moderna. This further re-enforces the importance of  Viking requiring all passengers be vaccinated.

Thanks. That's what I was going to share but couldn't remember all the details - enough that I could both describe it as well as you did or find a citation for it. But faced with no way to cancel a post once started...

Edited by CharTrav
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On 3/30/2021 at 6:22 PM, gbldcl said:

Wow. Thank you for your amazingly thorough answer. I learned a lot. Yes, ISO 9001 is the basis for manufacturing. Being in medical devices we were held to ISO 13485 which is like 9001 on steroids.Throw in FDA standards and regulations and you have government "assistance" at its finest.

 

 

To amplify on what Andy said, as one who has sailed under the ISM Code since it's inception in 1998 until today.  ISM has grown far away from a basic "write what you do, do what you write", though that is still the guiding concept.  ISM covers nearly every single phase of vessel operation, and corporate operations, as the company is required to have one ISM document that covers all subsidiaries and all vessels identically.  So, corporate business practices are listed, vessel operations from crewing to engineering, nautical operations, weather, sanitation, cargo operations, security, safety, planned and preventative maintenance, and on and on, are all included in the ISM Code.  The company is required to audit all subsidiaries and vessels, internally, annually, and a third party auditor is also required annually.  This third party auditor is generally the vessel's class society, which acts as insurance underwriter.  There are even requirements for "open reporting", where a crew member, who feels that their concerns (of nearly any nature) are not being met by the vessel's chain of command, can anonymously contact a "Designated Person Ashore" and report their concerns.  This "DPA" reports directly to the CEO outside of the corporate chain of command, and is required, legally, to investigate any complaint.

 

One of the guiding principles of ISM is Root Cause Analysis, where incidents are investigated to determine the "root cause", and develop protocols and procedures  to prevent the incident from happening again.  As part of this, ISM does not use the "blame culture", where individuals are blamed for incidents and then punished.  Instead, by not assigning blame, all individuals involved are more likely to give accurate descriptions of their actions, so that true root causes can be identified.

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58 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

To amplify on what Andy said, as one who has sailed under the ISM Code since it's inception in 1998 until today.  ISM has grown far away from a basic "write what you do, do what you write", though that is still the guiding concept.  ISM covers nearly every single phase of vessel operation, and corporate operations, as the company is required to have one ISM document that covers all subsidiaries and all vessels identically.  So, corporate business practices are listed, vessel operations from crewing to engineering, nautical operations, weather, sanitation, cargo operations, security, safety, planned and preventative maintenance, and on and on, are all included in the ISM Code.  The company is required to audit all subsidiaries and vessels, internally, annually, and a third party auditor is also required annually.  This third party auditor is generally the vessel's class society, which acts as insurance underwriter.  There are even requirements for "open reporting", where a crew member, who feels that their concerns (of nearly any nature) are not being met by the vessel's chain of command, can anonymously contact a "Designated Person Ashore" and report their concerns.  This "DPA" reports directly to the CEO outside of the corporate chain of command, and is required, legally, to investigate any complaint.

 

One of the guiding principles of ISM is Root Cause Analysis, where incidents are investigated to determine the "root cause", and develop protocols and procedures  to prevent the incident from happening again.  As part of this, ISM does not use the "blame culture", where individuals are blamed for incidents and then punished.  Instead, by not assigning blame, all individuals involved are more likely to give accurate descriptions of their actions, so that true root causes can be identified.

 

Thanks Chief - excellent addendum.

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